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Kansans' Stories Told in Dust Bowl Documentary

A dust storm in Rolla, Kansas. April 14, 1935. (Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Digital Archives)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The stories of Kansans are told in the new Ken Burns documentary "The Dust Bowl." The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that tears well up in the eyes of Dale and Floyd Coen as they recall their 2½-year-old sister Rena Marie. She died in 1935 of dust pneumonia. The Coens are two of seven brothers who grew up and still reside in Morton County. The disaster encompassed that part of southwest Kansas, although parts of Oklahoma were even harder hit. Dale Coen says that as the only girl in a family of boys, Rena Marie was "precious" and "a pretty little girl." His brother, Floyd Coen, called the toddler "the sweetest little thing that you had ever seen." The two-part documentary began yesterday (SUN) and continues this (MON) evening on PBS.

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