Americans View Their Dust Bowl Experience

By John R. Wunder; Frances W. Kaye et al. | Go to book overview

THE FARMERS GO ON STRIKE, 1932—1933

Milo Reno was the stormy leader of the Iowa Farmers' Union from 1921 until his death in 1936. Born in 1866 in Wapello County, Iowa, he had been a wanderer, an Iowa farmhand, and an occasional preacher until he catapulted into state and national prominence during the early 1920s as a spokesman for Iowa farmers. He advocated that farmers determine the value of their products in the same way labor unions, industries, and bankers did, but this proposal—one advocated by many farmers' leaders before him—found little real support until 1932. In May 1932, he led the organization of the Farmers' Holiday Association at a large meeting of farmers in Des Moines and was elected the group's president. The movement spread quickly to adjoining states.

WHY THE FARMERS HOLIDAY?
Milo Reno

In presenting to the listeners of KFNF the Farmers' National Holiday program, it is necessary to, as briefly as possible, review the causes which have led up to the most amazing and confounding situation in the history of the world—people starving in a land with an abundance of food; naked, because of a surplus of clothing; people bankrupt in the richest nation in the world.

This situation did not just happen. It is not because of an act of Providence! But is the result of a conspiracy as destructive and damnable as has ever occurred in this history of mankind.

Its correction can only be accomplished through heroic measures; a patriotic determination to faithfully carry out the objective for which

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