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Beccy Tanner image

Beccy Tanner, Speaker

Teaches Kansas history classes at Wichita State University and works as a freelance writer

Dirt, Grit, and Jell-O Salad – How We Survived the Great Depression

Generations after the Great Depression, Kansans still define themselves and rural communities largely in the same terms their grandparents and great-grandparents once used – ‘hard-working, close-knit, loyal and faithful.’ But the dynamics have changed. Fewer Kansans are growing up on farms. More than 70 percent of Kansans now identify themselves as living in urban communities. Today, rural Kansans face new challenges—aging communities and fewer services. This presentation examines historical aspects of Kansas during the 1930s to better understand our rural communities today. Discover what communities did to survive and thrive in times of hardships, what it means to be rural, and how that’s changed over time. Are we still full of the dirt, grit, and Jell-O salad that defined our ancestors?  

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