The Woodward News

Local News

August 18, 2012

The Dust Bowl: Screening of Ken Burns' film draws large crowd

Woodward, Okla. — A packed house was on hand for a preview of the Ken Burns' "The Dust Bowl" documentary on Thursday night at the Conference Center in Woodward.

Though the crowd of almost 350 people only saw a 40-minute excerpt of the film on Thursday, the entire documentary will air on OETA on Nov. 18th and 19th.

The film features stories from Oklahomans who survived the Dust Bowl.


Pauline Hodges, of Beaver, was one of the survivors interviewed in the film.

The Dust Bowl was the setting for much of Hodges'  childhood as she was just 2 when it began and 12 when it ended.

"We lived 14 miles west of Forgan, in Beaver County, and lost our farm to the bank," she said. "My dad then went to work for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) or we would have starved to death."

Hodges was impressed with how Burns' documentary turned out and encouraged everyone to watch OETA when the full film airs in November.

"When people see the entire film, they will be really impressed on how thorough it is on the Dust Bowl," she said.

Hodges said she appreciated being able to participate in the making of the film, which went beyond just sharing her own memories.

"My job on the film, not only as a survivor, was to check the accuracy of the people in the film and that it was historically accurate," she said.

As someone who lived through the Dust Bowl, Hodges said she thinks it's even more important for those who didn't to learn all they can about it.

She said more teachers should teach the history of the Dust Bowl and educate their students on what they can do to help prevent another devastating drought like that.

"Right now it is just up to the FFA and 4-H advisors to teach conservation," she said.

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