The next Front Porch Chat at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14, will feature Bernie Madsoe, who will display some of his unique musical instruments and give some insight into his talent and creativity. The event is free.

At the last Chat, Alden Kollman spoke about the Great Depression. The failure of the stock market in 1929 led to closures of banks, loss of personal fortunes and lack of funds for investment. Prior to the mid-1930s farmers were better equipped to handle the downturn because they needed little money, they could grow their own food, milk their own cows, gather their own eggs and slaughter their own livestock for meat. They needed some cash to buy kerosene for the lamps, sugar, flour and salt but were often able to trade eggs or cream for them if necessary. When the droughts of the mid-1930s reduced their farms to poor or non-existent crops, starving cattle and blowing dust they joined the ranks of the poorest of the city folks who had been suffering for several years.

The Roosevelt “New Deal” with the CCC and WPA gave some hope and provided work for many of the farmers. Their projects created many public buildings and improved infrastructure, like roads and bridges. Along with improving weather these programs created hope for a better future. The troubles in Europe that would become World War II caused an increased need for weapons, vehicles and food that would result in a dramatic economic recovery by the early 1940s.

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