Between the Wars

Oil Boom, Entertainment, Flood, New deal

Oil Boom!

The first big oil discovery in Arkansas happened near the town of El Dorado in Union County. Samuel T. Busey had been drilling west of the town when the ground began to shake and a huge wall of oil shot up into the sky. There were thousands of gallons of oil across local farmlands and fields. Since early spectators didn't know how to correctly store oil, much of it was lost or wasted. Soon, oil contaminated water supplies and rich farrming soil.


Women called "Flappers" dared to cut their hair, shorten their skirts, and wear makeup. Art, music, and literature also took on bold new forms. Listening to nightly radio programs was one of most popular forms of entertainment. They heard comedy acts, detective stories, and new sounds of jazz music. Movies also became popular form of entertainment. The earliest films were called silent movies because they had no sound. Instead a piano or organ played music to accompany the film. Baseball was becoming a popular sport. Men formed local teams to compete against other teams from other towns. Every male no matter their job could sign up to play. Occasionally some of the more competitive teams would hire retired professional players to help them win. These players were called "ringers." In 1957 The only professional team from Arkansas changed their name to the Arkansas Travelers.

Flood of 1927!

Despite promises that new levees would prevent flooding along the Mississippi River, the area soon experienced one of the worst flood in our nation's history. The flood 1927 destroyed people's lives, animals, and properties in 7 states including Arkansas. A ton of factors caused the river to flow over it's banks. Of all the states hit by flood Arkansas got the worst damage. Many counties were buried in water up to 30 feet deep. Many people and animals climbed up on tree tops and roofs to stay safe while waiting to be rescued.

New Deal!

With a new president, came a new deal. The goal of the plan was to create specific agencies and government programs to help feed those without food, provide work for the jobless,and build a healthy economy. Many of these programs brought, hope, jobs, and reliefs to people in Arkansas. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration is a way to provide food and shelter for the needy. Each family was given a home, a mule, a cow, groceries, and farm equipment. They were expected to pay back the loan as soon as their crops sold out. Civilian Conservation Corps was one President Roosevelt's most successful New Deal programs. It was made for men who didn't have jobs putting them back to work. Arkansas had as many as 65 CCC camps operating during the nine year program. In exchange for their labors men were given food, a place to live, 30$ a month, the opportunity to further their education, and a chance to rebuild their future.