Post-War Arkansas

Events In Arkansas Between the World Wars

The Great Depression

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In 1929 a major stock market crash caused panicked U.S citizens to take out their money out of their banks all at once. They could not pay back all of the people causing the banks to close. It also left many out of work because business could pay their employees compensation. The situation grew more dire after a major drought in Arkansas and other states leaving them with little crops and food.


In Arkansas tenant farming began in order to replace farmer's former slave labor. During the Depression, these tenant farmers crashed into poverty because of drops in prices and demand for the agricultural goods they were producing. In fact they were referred to as a “picture of squalor, filth, and poverty" by federal investigators.

Flood of 1927

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The most damage of the Flood of 1927 was in the state of Arkansas. As low as 30 foot deep water covered some counties. It caused 50 million dollars in damage. Fifty camps run by the Red Cross were opened to support many affected by the floods.

Oil Boom and Boom Towns

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Oil was discovered in El Dorado, Arkansas. It caused many to flock to this community in the 1920's to seek work and riches. Another small town 12 miles from El Dorado, Smackover, also stuck oil and its population increased dramatically. Many crimes were committed in both rapidly expanding towns because of lack of proper infrastructures to cope with the growing population.

The New Deal

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt came up with the idea to give work and help support jobless Americans called the "New Deal." It helped many people in Arkansas. One of the branches of this deal was the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was made to give work to young men to protect and advance its natural resources. They worked in six locations in Arkansas to develop the areas of Devil’s Den, Buffalo Point Petit Jean, Mount Nebo, Crowley’s Ridge, and Lake Catherine. In Arkansas, the organisation greatly helped the state parks by developing trails and roads as well as other needs for state parks.

Racism in Arkansas

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Many African Americans, to get away from racism, left Arkansas to seek better work because many companies rejected black applicants for jobs openings. Those who stayed were given injustices by the hands of their fellow white citizens. In the Elaine Massacre racist white Americans slaughtered many African Americans who were apart of Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. Hundreds of them were murdered by rioting crowds of armed, racist white Americans after being “suspected” of being apart of at gunfight earlier. The white Americans made the excuse that the African Americans were going to kill American white men as a group against them.

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Citations

Arkansas Journey textbook: information about Arkansas in between the World Wars

Great Depression:

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/arkansas/ar-great-depression/ Great Depression picture

http://stfm.astate.edu/tenant-farming-history/ Great Depression Information


Flood of 1927:

https://dee-burris.dreamwidth.org/95283.html Flood of 1927 picture


Oil Boom:

http://www.mainstreeteldorado.org/history.html Oil Boom picture and information


New Deal:

https://www.arkansaspreservation.com/_literature_136638/We_Will_Persevere!_The_New_Deal_In_Arkansas_(The_Great_Depression) The New Deal picture

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2396: information on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)


The Elaine Massacre:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_red.html: Details about The Elaine Massacre

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=110: Information about the Elaine Massacre and pictures