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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1930-1945 (Kansas_Benchmark 2) - Dust Bowl experiences (Indicator 1) - Agricultural losses

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Black Friday meets its master

Black Friday meets its master
Creator: Garden City Daily Telegram
Date: April 10, 1935
Several articles about life in the Dust Bowl can be found on the front page of this newspaper from Garden City. Articles of particular interest include two articles on "raging dusters," one on the winter wheat crop, and a brief article discussing the postponement of community meetings to distribute aid under the soil erosion program. The newspaper also includes articles about other newsworthy events occurring in Garden City and around the state of Kansas.


Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards

Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards
Date: May 1, 1935
This photograph captures one of the hardships faced by families during the Dust Bowl--starving cattle. It was taken in Kansas City, Kansas, by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, a state agency working to relieve the financial burdens of families suffering during the droughts of the 1930s. The KERC worked alongside the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which began a cattle-purchasing program in 1934. Emaciated cattle (as in this photograph) were destroyed after purchase, and healthy cattle were shipped to slaughter with the meat being distributed to poor families needing relief.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: August 31, 1938
Tenant farmers Bill and Edna Heim of Kensington, Kansas, wrote this letter to farm owner Clarice Snoddy of Topeka regarding drought conditions and government soil conservation programs on the farm. The letter demonstrates the use of local and federal government programs to counter the removal of a dangerous amount of topsoil from farms on the southern Plains. Kansas began appealing for emergency federal aid in 1937 to counter sever drought and wind erosion in what is commonly known as the Dust Bowl.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: March 25, 1936
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and thus remained in close contact. Mrs. Heim describes the condition of the wheat crop, which has suffered during the drought and also expresses her distaste for relief programs. According to Mrs. Heim, the only people who receive relief are those who have not "helped themselves."


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: March 31, 1936
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and frequently updated her on its condition. According to Mrs. Heim, the wheat crop on Snoddy's farm was doing as well as could be expected during a drought. Also, in anticipation of Snoddy's visit, Heim gave her directions to their farm in Kensington, Kansas.


Ghost cornfield

Ghost cornfield
Date: 1934
This photograph, taken in Barber County at the height of the Dust Bowl, demonstrates the effects of severe drought. Cornfields such as these also contributed to blowing dust because the root systems of corn plants were too shallow to hold loose dirt in place.


Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry

Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry
Creator: Umberger, Harry
Date: December 23, 1933
This letter from Harry Umberger, the Director of Extension at Kansas State College (now Kansas State University), was addressed to Willard Mayberry, secretary to Gov. Alf Landon. The letter discusses the reduction of railroad transportation rates for livestock feed, because the depression, combined with the droughts of the 1930s, had made it difficult for farmers to feed their livestock. Umberger recommended that the rates be reduced for at least thirty days (preferably sixty days) in order to keep stock alive during the winter. The letter is accompanied by a state map labeling the counties who needed these rates, with the red shaded section indicating which counties were in the greatest need.


Interview with Gus Kramer

Interview with Gus Kramer
Creator: Kramer, Gus
Date: 1979
This oral history interview with Gus Kramer of Hugoton, Stevens County, describes his experiences during the dust storms of the 1930s. In it he recounts how difficult it was to make a living, and how the drifting soil clung to everything, clogging engines and seeping through cracks in buildings. He also compares living during the Dust Bowl and Depression to his early childhood, when the area around Hugoton was covered with healthy, green grass. This interview was printed in Dust Storms as Remembered by Hugoton Citizens, a collection of interviews collected by the Hugoton High School Social Studies Club.


Jack rabbit roundup near Liberal

Jack rabbit roundup near Liberal
Creator: Smith, C. A.
Date: 1935
This photograph by C. A. Smith depicts only a small section of the territory covered in a jack rabbit drive near Liberal, Seward County, during the Dust Bowl. Jack rabbits were rounded up in a pen and then processed as food for animals such as hogs and chickens. Between 10,000 and 20,000 rabbits were killed during this drive.


Map showing locations of lakes and ponds in Kansas

Map showing locations of lakes and ponds in Kansas
Creator: Kansas. State Board of Agriculture. Division of Water Resources
Date: 1936
This map of Kansas, created by geologist Ogden Jones for the State Board of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, depicts the lakes and farm ponds in each county. At the bottom are notations about the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, which had allocated funds that built 95% of the farm ponds in existence. The map was included in a drought report to Governor Alf Landon, dated August 28, 1936.


Western Kansas jack rabbit roundup

Western Kansas jack rabbit roundup
Creator: Smith, C. A.
Date: 1935
This photograph, taken by C. A. Smith near Liberal, Kansas, depicts the crowds preparing to round up jack rabbits who had been devastating what little crops had managed to survive through the drought. One rabbit could do $10 worth of damage to a field in only one week. No guns were allowed, only clubs or canes; nevertheless between 10,000 and 20,000 rabbits were killed during this drive.


Showing 1 - 11

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