Oklahoma Governor Robert Kerr During The Second World War

1094 Words5 Pages

As the rest of the United States was impacted by the onset of the Second World War, Oklahoma took major moves to monopolize on the world events. Oklahoma transformed from the crippled state that had endured the worst parts of the Great Depress and Dust Bowl into a modern state. The governor Robert Kerr was the force behind the mobilization of the home front and increased militarization of the state, which would prove to be a lasting impact beyond the war. The Oklahoman home front saw increased economic activity to the war, which paralleled the rest of the nation moves during this time. Farmers saw increased production as the land was recovered and was put back to use, despite the Dust Bowl forcing many farmers to change professions all together …show more content…

Kerr came from humble origins of a log cabin outside of Ada, Oklahoma and the first governor born in Oklahoma (Goins and Goble, 258). His hardworking qualities pushed Kerr past the difficulties of his youth, and attending East Central State College and later law school at the University of Oklahoma. (Baird and Goble, 230). He served in World War I and became an oilman; Kerr would eventually team up with Dean McGee, an expert geologist, and created the energy – producing company Kerr – McGee (Baird and Goble, 230). Through the 1930s Kerr gained political capital and by the 1940s became a nationally known Democrat, even representing Oklahoma at the Democratic National Convention (Baird and Goble, 230). Finally, in 1941, Kerr became governor of Oklahoma; As governor, Kerr moved to heal the fractured politics at the state and federal level, which he was quite successful (Baird and Goble, 230). Kerr was insistent on moving Oklahoma into the future, which he used the War effort to soak up as much federal money as possible into the state’s economy (Baird and Goble, 230. Kerr improved Oklahoma in various aspects to include: education reforms, reducing patronage – client corruption, and preparing for the economy after the World War II. Perhaps, Kerr’s greatest achievement was the creation of the Port of Catoosa, the largest civilian public works project of that era; The project covered over 448 miles of river that created the Arkansas River into a more manageable transportation system (Goins and Goble,

Open Document