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Kansas Kaleidoscope - March 1999

(Volume 2, Number 5)

Real People. Real Stories.

A fun magazine for kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, March 1999 The Dirty Thirties

"One of my worst memories of these times were the dust storms."

Great dark clouds of dust rolled across western Kansas during the 1930s.

Dry Soil + Wind = Dust

The Great Depression that descended on America in the 1930s caused hard times for people everywhere.

The Great Depression. . .and the New Deal

The 1920s were a decade of relative prosperity compared to the tough times in the 1930s.

Making Do

The Great Depression and the drought during the 1930s caused hard times for nearly everyone in Kansas.

And Having Fun

The hard times of the 1930s did not keep Kansans from having fun.

Fan Tan: Try This popular 1930s card game!

It can be played by three to six players. The dealer deals all the cards to the players. The first play is made by the first player who has a seven in his or her hand.

Living in the "Dust Bowl"

By 1935, the combination of not enough rain, high summer temperatures, too much cultivated land and the ever-present wind left the Great Plains ripe for trouble.

A Kansan for President

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, became a popular president as he began pulling the country out of the Great Depression. At the same time, Kansas Governor Alf Landon, a Republican, gained national recognition for helping the people of his state during this hard time.

When it was time for the Republican Party to select a presidential candidate for the 1936 election, Landon was their choice.

Timeline: 1930s - A Decade of Changes

Follow the changes that occurred from 1930 with Kansas explorer/photographers Osa and Martin Johnson in the Belgian Congo to 1939 with the premiere of The Wizard of Oz.

Move On or Stay Put?

Hardships in the 1930s forced Kansans to make some tough decisions. Some decided that moving to the East or West coasts would relieve their problems. In fact, more than 70,000 Americans from the Great Plains states moved to either California, Oregon or Washington during this decade.

Jackrabbit Drives

In the 1930s, Western Kansas farmers probably couldn't imagine how their troubles could get any worse. . .until the jackrabbit population exploded, threatening what few crops the farmers could get to grow.

What Did it Cost in the 1930s?

  • A box of Cracker Jacks - 3 cents
  • A bottle of soda pop, an ice cream soda, a burger, a bowl of soup with bread or a whole loaf of bread - 5 cents