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Jul 23

Governor Woodring's Radio Chats, 1932

Posted on July 23, 2020 at 10:07 AM by Bill Sowers

Governor Woodring's Radio Chats, 1932
Transcripts of chats by Kansas Governor Harry H. Woodring, July - September, 1932, to the people of Kansas during the Great Depression of the 1930s offering information and hope.

In 1931 Harry H. Woodring came into office as governor of the state of Kansas in what was one of the most difficult times in our state's history. The Great Depression had workers unemployed across the state and a terrible drought had begun in 1931 which would eventually whip up black dust clouds across the landscape choking the life out of much of agricultural production. It was not the best time to be governor! But Woodring rolled up his sleeves and did his best to try to turn things around.

One thing that Governor Woodring decided to do was to quell the uncertainties and confusion of the time through radio chats. Using the "social media" of his day he broadcast messages letting his listeners know what the state government was doing for them.

In his own words...

"I have kept foremost in my mind that the primary object of the government is to promote the welfare of the individual citizen. It can have no other purpose, and when the government ceases to function solely for the benefit of the average man, then it has ceased to be a democracy— a government for, by and of the people. It then becomes an autocracy, or, to use a more common term, becomes a sort of racket through which certain individuals obtain unfair advantages and privileges at the expense of their fellow citizens. It is with this thought in mind that I have arranged these daily talks about your state government. It is impossible for the people to govern themselves intelligently unless they are fully informed as to the organization of their government— unless they know what we are doing and trying to do here at Topeka."

These radio chats, broadcast from July through September 1932, were published and are available online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library. They are messages of hope and assurance during dark times.

You can view this book, "Under the Statehouse Dome," here...

Topics covered in Woodring's speeches:

Foreword -- Introduction -- Unemployment Relief -- State Departments -- State Funds: the Tax Dollar and its Distribution -- The Capitol Building -- Problems of a Governor -- Cutting Governmental Expenses -- The Executive Branch -- The Kansas Federal Relief Committee -- Functions of the Governor -- Division of the State Tax Dollar -- The State Legislature -- State Funds, Close of the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1932 -- What the Records Show -- The Judiciary -- Taxes and Tax Reforms -- Assessment and Collection of Taxes -- The Kansas National Guard -- State Board of Agriculture -- Public and Social Welfare -- More About Taxes -- Board of Regents and Board of Administration -- Tax Limitation -- The Department of Labor -- The State Institutions -- The Curtis Notification—New Tax Levy -- Camp Whitside -- Functions of State Departments -- The Highway Department -- The Highway Department (Continued) -- The Highway Department (Concluded) -- Party Councils and State Departments -- Party Councils: An Impromptu Discussion of the Party Platform -- Fort Riley -- American Legion Convention -- Labor Day -- Highways -- Industrial Development of Kansas -- Conservation of Natural and Human Resources -- Governor Roosevelt -- Crippled Children's Commission.