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Tommy Franks Museum focuses on Oklahoma's Dust Bowl through Nov. 1

HOBART  The newest temporary exhibit at the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum focuses on a dark time in Oklahoma's past  the Dust Bowl.

"Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry" opened in September and will continue through Nov. 1 at the Hobart museum. Scott Cumm, museum manager, said the new attraction consists of 10 panels that detail different aspects and points of view of one of the most prolonged natural disasters in the country's history. In addition to the panels, he added a video of a PBS documentary on the Dust Bowl, which adds even more context and information to the exhibit.

"There's a lot of people who have come and are really interested in what's on the video," Cumm said. "I've seen people go in there and they end up sitting down to watch the video."

When visitors step foot in the exhibit, they'll read the full story of the Dust Bowl from the 10 panels on display. Each chronicles its beginnings through the mistreatment of the land by farmers to the migration of many to California and what measures landowners and the government had to undertake to recover. Each panel includes QR codes that allow visitors to listen to oral histories from Oklahoma State University's "Women of the Dust Bowl" oral history series using their smart phones. It also includes resources produced during the early 1900s, including journals, photography and historical artifacts. D'Lese Travis, executive director, said the exhibit allows museum attendees to experience the human and ecological consequences of the Dust Bowl through an interactive showcase.

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