Growing a Nation

Primary Sources

AUDIO

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Audio THE WESTWARD MOVEMENT
This sound recording by the Resettlement Administration dramatizes the westward march of pioneers through hardships and Indian ambushes and their influence on soil erosion in the Midwest. Series of brief dramatic episodes cover, in very general terms, the Westward Movement, the influence of the Kansas-Nebraska Act on homesteading, the impact of the railroads, land frauds, and the beginning of soil erosion leading finally to the "Dust Bowl" crisis. No credits given.
Produced in 1936 — 15:16 minutes
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Audio WHAT PRICE AMERICA?
This sound recording dramatizes land settlement under the 1862 Homestead Act, conflicts between homesteaders and cattlemen, conflicts of both with sheepmen, lawlessness regarding use of the public range, the dust bowl and soil conservation in general. Settlement, exploitation, and ecological decline of the Great Plains through overgrazing and intensive cultivation, from the Homestead Act (1862) through the Taylor Grazing Act are presented.
Produced on April 22, 1939 — 30:11 minutes
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Audio ON FARMERS AND LABORERS: FIRESIDE CHAT 8 (SEPTEMBER 6, 1936)
Roosevelt seeks to remind farmers and laborers of how they rely on one another two months before the election, in which he successfully carries both the agricultural and industrial states. After the 1936 drought, the president outlines the relief efforts being made for the farmers, while also highlighting programs under way for labor.
25:12 minutes
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VIDEO

Movie FOOD TO WIN THE WAR
This movie produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages farmers to assist with the defense of America through a program called "Farm Defense."
Produced circa 1941 — 4:56 minutes
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Movie FROM WOOL TO CLOTH
The Lowell Textile Mill is featured in this 1916 silent film which depicts the processing of wool after sheep are shorn. In Part 1, the sacks of wool arrive at a warehouse and the wool is graded and sold. At the Lowell Textile School, Massachusetts, the fleece is separated by hand, washed, dried, carded, and wound. In Part 2, wool is spun into yarn and worsted cloth is woven and then dyed. The machines and processes are nearly the same as the ones used earlier at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (The process is the same today but the machines are electronic, not mechanical, and they are computer-operated.)
Produced 1916 — 10:42 minutes
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Movie MORE MILK FOR MORE CHILDREN
The National School Milk Program is promoted as part of the National School Lunch Program. This is how milk became part of the school lunch.
Produced 1954 — 5:32 minutes
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Movie SECRETARY BENSON SPEAKS
Created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson gives a New Year's Day address concerning the future of agriculture. Business prospects and the economy of the nation are discussed along with Gross National Product and the American standard of living. Suggestions for better farming methods that increase production and income are encouraged.
Produced 1955 — 4:07 minutes
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Movie SECRETARY FREEMAN TALKS ON FOOD AND FIBERS
As part of President Johnson's "War on Hunger," Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman addresses the issue of hunger and raises questions about whom America could or should feed and how hunger can be ended.
Produced circa 1968 — 2:49 minutes
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