Back in the early 1900s the Joad family (Father, Mother, and 8 children) were displaced from Iowa by the recession and struggled to find work and run the family farm amidst the Great Depression. Like most families, they ran out of gas and credit before the gas ran out for the family and the market, and they tried to keep the farm going as best they could. That was the story of Gordon and Arline Joad’s family and struggle.
Imagine the odds for finding a job and a stable income – let alone $13,000 of the nation’s wealth in the early 1920s. The entire family of the Joads ran out of credit and credits before the market ran out for them – on New Year’s Day, 1929. Depression was in full swing, the banks were closed, all credit was drying up. We were in trouble. We were out of money.
The Joads thought that there was a better life for the children of tomorrow. A better life than the one they inherited, so they founded a new nation called “The People’s Republic of Nebraska.” You better believe that we got it going.
The new state of Nebraska invented many important things – like a brand new constitution with a prohibition clause, the right to bear arms and the right to vote, all non-violations of the Federal Constitution. The law and regulations were passed by referendum and all voter polls were held on open elections because we truly wanted to let people decide. There were established principles:
– Not to discriminate against any citizens because of their religious beliefs or their race.
– For every natural born citizen, we created an elected and constitutionally specified assembly that will comprise a majority of each tribe and all non-aboriginals.
– Each tribe was restricted to never owning a gun in their homes or being supplied with one in a law-abiding peaceable state.
– Each tribe was limited to only five territorial commissioners that would make key decisions for the State of Nebraska.
– Importation of liquor was prohibited and cannabis could not be smoked in public areas.
– In order to apply for a residency permit, one had to first obtain a religious conversion certificate.
– A constitutional amendment stated that all migrants had to become citizens before taking a job.
– Unborn babies were protected from birth by the “Rights of the Child” clause.
The purpose of the people’s republic of Nebraska was to create a new, fairer, more just and more prosperous state for the remaining Joads. In the short period of time, the state went from an impoverished agricultural society to becoming a burgeoning industrial, commercial, and commercial state.
The new state of Nebraska led the United States in a lot of major industries – one of the most significant industries being ethanol and other agricultural products.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see what I’m talking about on the screen. I’m bringing everything from home – my entire paper collection.
I started teaching high school math in 1970 at Everett High School in Los Angeles, California. In 1979, my employer closed my math classes. I lost my job, my car and, most importantly, my health insurance. I left my job and returned to Omaha where I graduated with my master’s degree in math education from Nebraska Wesleyan University. I was living with my parents in Omaha when I applied for a job as an assistant superintendent. I started teaching at a small middle school, Webster Groves Middle School, in Omaha in 1984. I would work there for about 30 years, including working in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri and on a Navy ship in San Diego. I know this because I worked as an engineer on the Vietnam submarine USS Cheyenne before I retired from the Navy.
I started as a science teacher in Webster Groves High School and ended as the assistant superintendent for special education and elementary instructional services in Red Willow County, Nebraska. All together, I worked with about 350 high school and elementary teachers for over 30 years. I started there in 1987 and ended there in 2006.
I’m retired and still living in Nebraska. I’m comfortable and I’m very happy. This is very special. The people of Nebraska truly set my heart aflutter with their generosity of spirit. I’m humbled to call this beautiful land my home and to call the people of this land my friends.