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Commemoration of Black Sunday Planned for April 9-10
03/29/2010

The event that came to be known as Black Sunday occurred on April 14, 1935, when a horrific dust storm hit the Great Plains . The 75th anniversary of that event is to be commemorated in Guymon on Friday and Saturday, April 9-10. Many scholars and experts in various fields will be featured and discuss aspects of the significance of the Dust Bowl to the area.

On Friday, April 9, there will be a showing of the documentary The Plow That Broke the Plains and the movie The Grapes of Wrath at Guymon’s Northridge 8 Theatres at 3 p.m. for 35-cents. Prior to that there will be live music of the ear featured for movie-goers.

Saturday’s events will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Draper Farms west of Guymon. Follow signs along Highway 54 for directions. All events are free that day, no registration is required, and one may attend any or all of the sessions. Major funding for this event is provided by the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

Dr. Guy Logsdon will speak at 6:15 p.m. on the topic, “Oklahoma Music in the 1930s.” He will also lead a gospel sing-along, Dr. Logsdon is a native Oklahoman who has earned international recognition as a scholar and entertainer; his special interests are Woody Guthrie, Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills and western swing music, cowboy songs and poetry, Will Rogers and Oklahoma history and music.

Jess Nelson, former Guymon mayor, will welcome visitors and introduce speakers. There will be opportunities throughout the day for survivors to tell their stories at an open microphone. Dr. Paul Bonnifield, author of The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt and Depression, will speak at 9:10 a.m. on the topic, “The Days of the Dust Bowl.” Bonnifield was a professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in nearby Goodwell when he did the research on his book.

Dr. Sara Jane Richter, head of the humanities department at OPSU will give her well-researched talk, “Down and Dirty, But Not Out: Women of the High Plains During the Dust Bowl” at 11 a.m. Richter is also the author of a readers’ theatre production to be presented at 3:45 p.m., If Only It’d Rain .

Food will be available for purchase at noon catered by a local church followed by activities for school-age children arranged by the Texas County 4-Hers and Girl Scouts.

Other speakers for the day include Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Steve Drillette of the National Weather Service, Dr. Pauline Hodges and Mark Harrison, Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Oklahoma Conservation Reserve Program director Rod Wanger of Stillwater will speak at 3p.m.

A free soup line supper will be held at 5:30 p.m. featuring stew and corn bread prepared by David Kidwell and helpers. Square dancers from Perryton , Texas will be featured during the meal. The evening will end with dancing at 8 p.m.

For a complete schedule of events with times, see the event website at thegritinyourteeth.com or go to Dust Bowl Symposium on Facebook. Other generous sponsors who are helping with the event include the Guymon Public Library, Guymon

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