14 dust storms in 1932 and 38 in 1933

Oral Histories

Robert Kendall 68 years old was born in 1930 in Smith Center Kansas. The stock market crash was a year before he was born, he’s a retired professor from the university of Florida. He has mixed up memories from the dust bowl and the great depression, a lot of people were suffering from loss of food income jobs were scarce food was scarce because it was not easy to produce in the drought. His family lives on the farm 6 miles out of town and grew string green beans, people would drive for miles and miles because there were no string green beans any were else. Depression made money scarce drought made food scarce. When they could raise crops or sell crops there was not enough money that prices began to drop…sometimes it was cheaper to burn your crops then to sell it. People began to leave their farms because they couldn’t pay to live on their farms. His dad started a house moving business. To move houses into town. But people didn’t have enough money… They couldn’t make enough money doing what they normally did so they had to leave and try to make a living else were. They had to do a lot of trading because there was no cash. A lot of families would help each other. Most people did not eat very well. A lot of meals were biscuits and gravy in his home. And a lot of times that was the only meal they had. Kendall’s family had cows and chickens so they had eggs and milk, and they would give milk to the young boy down the street because he was young and they new that he was not getting enough. A lot of banks wen tout of business because they could not keep up with the demand.

This Oral history is about a man named Clayton Hall, he was born October 2, 1920 in Minneola. He worked with his father on windmills and drilling wells until he went off to college. His mother died when he was only 3 and thats why he started working with his father. When he was about 10-12 he was playing outside with friends one day and when he went home to get baseball bats so they could play baseball, when he was on his way home he suddenly could not see anymore. He started wiping his eyes because he thought that he just got a little dust in his eyes, but when that didn't work he realized that he could not see anything, he got down on his knees and put his nose to the ground and he then realized he could not see anything no matter what he did. He says it was like being in a salt mine or a coal mine. Hall said it lasted about 20 minutes that way and then it started to lighten up enough for him to see to get home. At night when the dust was blowing you would have to put wet towels on the windows and the static electricity was so bad that if you had a steel windmill you would never dare to touch it because it would shock you extremely bad! You could even feel the grit between your teeth when you ate. Most of the dirt came from Oklahoma were the dirt was red.

Written Summary

Herbert Hoover was president during the Great Depression and he had many different beliefs on how to fix the Depression as it advanced. When the depression first started in 1929 he believed that people should not look for help from their government when they are in trouble. He thought that you should look for help in your our community and have neighbors help neighbors. He believed that people would so help each other. So he just had businesses not lay off people and keep up production.

Hoover thought that if we boosted people’s confidence that it would help the economy and then stocks would rise, people would go back to work and factories would open again. He told people to stay confident and that the depression was just a recession. He told people that the depression would be over soon.

Whenever voluntarism and optimism didn’t work president Hoover had congress try and save railroads, major lands, insurance companies and many other companies important to the economy. Congress then created the RFC or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

Whenever this corporation was created Hoover spent 2 billion dollars to save all the railroads and banks necessary. Hoover still refused to spend the federal money for direct relief. President Hoover even vetoed a bill that would’ve provided thousands of jobs in the US. Hoover continued to try to end the depression by balancing the budget. If he couldn’t balance the budget then the US citizens would lose ten times more jobs.

Hoover believed that if he could save all the large businesses that it would create the domino affect and it would help all the smaller business. So it would from the CEOs of companies to the hard working American citizen. Herbert Hoover had very good intentions in order to fix the great depression but the beliefs he had never helped the Depression. It probably caused the depression to worsen.

(History Channel-The Great Depression)

This video sums up about everything of the Great depression. The Great Depression was at a high for so long, the jazz world was booming and then everything crashed. The whole nation came to a stand still wondering if this was the end of the world dream. Franklin Roosevelt, served 4 terms, through the great depression and World War II.

Primary Sources

We go around all dressed in rags
While the rest of the world goes neat,
And we have to be satisfied
With half enough to eat.
We have to live in lean-tos,
Or else we live in a tent,
For when we buy our bread and beans
There's nothing left for rent.

I'd rather not be on the rolls of relief,
Or work on the W. P. A.,
We'd rather work for the farmer
If the farmer could raise the pay;
Then the farmer could plant more cotton
And he'd get more money for spuds,
Instead of wearing patches,
We'd dress up in new duds.

From the east and west and north and south
Like a swarm of bees we come;
The migratory workers
Are worse off than a bum.
We go to Mr. Farmer
And ask him what he'll pay;
He says, "You gypsy workers
Can live on a buck a day."

I'd rather not be on the rolls of relief,
Or work on the W. P. A.,
We'd rather work for the farmer
If the farmer could raise the pay;
Then the farmer could plant more cotton
And he'd get more money for spuds,
Instead of wearing patches,
We'd dress up in new duds.

We don't ask for luxuries
Or even a feather bed.
But we're bound to raise the dickens
While our families are underfed.
Now the winter is on us
And the cotton picking is done,
What are we going to live on
While weirs wqiting for spuds to come?

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