Great Depression

…Talk About the Drought! President Roosevelt Visits Nebraska Panhandle

In an earlier post we we recalled the effects of the 1890s drought in Nebraska. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.

In 1936, Nebraska farmers were facing similar hardship. The ongoing drought (or “drouth” as it was often spelled) was unrelenting, and continued to produce record-breaking temperatures. The Grand Island Independent (perhaps exaggerating a bit) called it the “worst drouth in climatological history.”

Oh, the Irony

Thrive in the Thriving ThirtiesThe designer of this 1930 advertising stationery didn’t know it yet, but the expression “Thriving Thirties” was not going to catch on. Printed by the Epsten Lithographing Co.

Rev. Russel Taylor and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1920s Omaha.

There are certain names we instantly recognize as those who passionately loved and strove for equality. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and many others have a permanent place in history textbooks as heroes of social justice. There are, however, many other names with which we are much less familiar, but are no less important. These are the names of the people who worked decades prior to the names that we know. They fought desperately for the same causes, but they did not succeed. Most did not survive to see the fruits of their hard labor.

Beating the Heat in the 1930s

The mid-1930s saw some of the hottest summer temperatures ever recorded in Nebraska. When Ruth Godfrey Donovan and her family moved to Lincoln in 1934, the Depression and a severe drought were well underway. Donovan, who lived in a small apartment near downtown Lincoln, recalled: “Sleeping was difficult during that heatridden time. Sometimes it would be so hot inside the building we dragged the cushions from the living room couch out on the front porch and slept on them in the cooler outside air.”

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