Arkansas: Between the Wars

Info graphic by: Ben Gann

Post War AR

After World War One, Arkansas changed in a couple big ways. Harvey Couch expanded electricity to all but 12 Arkansas counties, and "The Climber" was invented. The climber was a car that was made to be able to drive on dirt and up steep hills.

Growing Violence

The Ku Klux Klan promoted patriotic and moral standards but secretly promoted hatred and violence toward blacks. As they gained in numbers, their violent activity increased. The Klansmen intimidated, beat and lynched hundreds of black citizens. Sometimes the members attacked Jews, Catholics, moonshiners, gamblers and foreign immigrants.

Oil and Boom Towns

The first major oil discovery in Arkansas happened near the small southern town of El Dorado. Samuel T. Busey had been drilling than the ground started to rumble and hundreds of gallons of oil flew into the air all over the fields where he had been drilling. Because of this discovery, El Dorado became a boom town. In less than a year, El Dorado went from a town of 131 residents to a big town of 25,000 residents.

Flood of 1927

The Mississippi River flooded into Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Of all the states, Arkansas received the most damage. Flooded lands stretched from the Mississippi to 50 miles into Arkansas. Many counties were buried in water up to 30 feet. In the year 1927, Arkansas lost a total of more than $50 million of crop and property damages.

The New Deal

Franklin Roosevelt's goal was to create specific government agencies and programs to bring aid and jobs to American citizens. Millions of dollars were used to finance a unique cooperative community in Arkansas, where farm families lived and worked together. Each family was given a home. The works progress administration brought people jobs in Arkansas like building dams, schools, hospitals etc. This is when Social Security was invented. Social security sends checks to people after they retire.