|"Amarillo - The
Story Of A Western Town" by Paul H. Carlson is a must read for old-timers
and those who arrived later. Most who have lived in the Panhandle
very long remember seeing or hearing of our most notorious history,
but few know the little details of how and why the stories unfolded.
The book is a treasure chest of details based on published fact.
example, in March of 1933 banks across the nation closed down for
two weeks, including the four banks in Amarillo.
But, when the nation's banks reopened - and in direct contrast to
most of the rest of America where thousands of customers withdrew
their money - the people of Amarillo
stood in line to deposit nearly $1,435,000, showing their faith in
Almost unknown to most, but still beneficial today, was the National
Industrial Recovery Act which established codes of "fair practices,"
creating a uniform system of working hours and wages. Participating
businesses also adopted many standard ethical practices which are
followed closely today.
|The most enduring
act of the New Deal Programs was the Social Security Act of 1935.
The Banking Act of that same year strengthened the Federal
Reserve System with regulation and deposit insurance protecting depositors.
Farm foreclosures were almost stopped with The Emergency Farm Mortgage
Act of 1933. These programs along with the WPA and the
CCC put America back to work again and prospering.
dust storm of April 1935
Photo courtesy Louise George
how bad was the drought during the Dust Bowl? Agricultural historian
Dr. Gary L. Nall wrote that nine of the years from 1929 to 1940, rainfall
was below average with only 9.96 inches falling in 1933 and 1934.
Insignificant but true, I was born in June of 1933 right after a bad
dust storm which required a damp diaper to be placed over my bassinet.
My father often laughed saying, "he thought every bad thing had already
happened that year and then I came along."
Dr. Nall verified that Panhandle
residents experienced some 192 dusters from January 1933 to February
1936. What was the worst dust storm of all? Most agree it occurred
on March 3, 1933. For Amarillo
residents the most dramatic dust storm rolled in about mid-afternoon
on April 14, 1935. To many it appeared to be "the end of the world."
The term Dust Bowl has endured the test of time and is still the most
descriptive term in Great Plains history. Robert Geiger, an Associated
Press reporter from Denver, coined the term after experiencing the
dust storm on April 14, 1935.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact