1937 Ohio River flood in Cincinnati, Ohio   Save
Ohio Guide Photographs
Description: In January and February of 1937, weeks of heavy rainfall caused the Ohio River to flood parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, causing $500 million in property damages, and displacing and killing hundreds. By the end of January, the Ohio River measured 80 feet deep in Cincinnati, 28 feet over flood stage and nine feet above the 1884 record. As flood waters rose, gas tanks exploded and oil fires erupted on the river. Parts of Cincinnati remained under water for nineteen days, and electricity and fresh water were in short supply. More than 50,000 were homeless, 10% of the city was inundated, water supply was cut, and streetcar service curtailed. President Roosevelt dispatched thousands of relief workers from the Works Progress Administration to rescue flood victims and restore affected cities. This photograph shows a commercial street with flood waters still covering the first story of the buildings. A note on the back of the photograph reads "When folk were flooded out, it was a Godsend to have the Bethel." In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B04F02_38_01
Subjects: Cincinnati (Ohio)--History; Storefronts--United States--Pictorial works; Floods; Natural disasters; Ohio River; Works Progress Administration; Ohio Federal Writers' Project
Places: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)