Texas in the 1920-40s

By: Trey, Max, Trinity, Lindsay, Chris


During the early 1920s through the late 1940s, the U.S. went through tough times, because of the Dust Bowl, Great Depression and WWII.

Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl was an area of the U.S. that was affected by a huge drought, bad farming practices, and high winds during the 1930s. The drought was caused by erosion in the soil (dirt). During this time many people left the area. Major cities such as, Dalmart, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, and small communities around, were all severely effected.

Not only did the dust severely injure and kill people, Grasshoppers and Jack rabbits destroyed all the crops that were left, although farmers during the dust bowl planted vegetation to prevent erosion which helped decrease the large about of dust. Which left people without crops, and no money to support their families.


Great Depression

Before the Great Depression people could put money in banks and not worry about it. Banks would give people large quantities of money. People would buy stocks and made wealthy people even more wealthy. Then an event swept by that made the economy go downhill (the stock market crash) on "Black Tuesday" October 29th, 1929. People went to their banks to try to withdrawal their money, but the banks didn't have it due to the large amount of loans. Afterward, there was a high level of unemployment. Although the Great Depression was a hard time for america, Texans didn't feel the impact as bad because they had agriculture to depend on for money. $26 billion that had been invested in the stock market was lost and 25% of people in the U.S. eventually went unemployed. The Great Depression was becoming an economic crisis in 1931-1932. In major cities soup kitchens and bread lines began to spring up to feed the starving and homeless people. A group that helped, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) was a government funded work for men that gave them food, shelter and $30 a month. Franklin D. Roosevelt created an organization called the New Deal that helped revive the economy. By July 1, 1940 the Great Depression ended


What was WWII?:

- WWII was a global conflict that involved almost every country in the world and began on September 1, 1939. Although the U.S. didn't enter the war until December 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor

How Texas was involved:

- Texas played a vital role in supporting the war efforts, which helped launch the modernization and urbanization of Texas.

- Texas rationed to help with war efforts.

- Texans saved the fat from their food and sent it to help build explosives.

- Texas Oil and gas helped provide fuel for the military.

Economic Impact:

- Oil and gas continued to boom as new oil fields were discovered.

- Texans moved from rural areas to cites to find jobs.

- The movement from rural areas to the cities lead to the urbanization of Texas.

- Texas went from a primarily rural agricultural state, to a diverse state.

Social Impact:

- Led to civil rights achievements.

- Women and minorities were afforded professional opportunities in the military business that forever changed the face of Texas Work Force.

Important People:

- Five Admiral Chester Nimitz from Fredricksburg, was commander in chief of the Pacific Ocean Area for U.S. Allied Airline and Sea Forces.

- Audie Murphy from Hunt County, was the most decorated U.S. soldier of the war.

- Cleto Rodriguez from San Antonio, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

- Bessie Coleman was the first african american female pilot to hold an international pilot license

Important Dates:

- September 1, 1939: Start of WWII.

- December 7, 1941: U.S. joined WWII.

- August 16, 1945: WWII ends


- 750,000 Texans served in the military during WWII.

- 22,000 Texans died.

- 1.5 million soldiers came to the military training bases build in Texas.

- 175 military installations in Texas.

- 65 Army Airfields.

- 35 Army Forts.

- 7 Naval Bases.

- 60 Prisoner of War camps.

-33 Texans Texans were awarded the Medal of Honor

- Leader of Germany: Adolf Hitler

- Leader of Italy: Benito Mussolini

- U.S. President: FDR