Editorial Cartoon about Farm Subsidies (1969)

In 1920, Arthur Allen Henrikson was born to Florence and Allen Henrikson.  A talented cartoonist and musician, he graduated from Austin High School and went on to serve in the United States Army Air Force Medical Corps during World War II.  Following his discharge, Henrikson earned a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University and enjoyed a long career as a cartoonist for approximately 40 weekly and daily Illinois newspapers including Rockford Newspapers, the Daily Herald, and the Des Plaines Journal. 

Dated August 2, 1969, this editorial cartoon titled “Any left?” pictures a “big farmer” happily walking away from the “farm subsidy payments” window with two tall stacks of money.  Meanwhile, a “little farmer” stands in front of the window next to a sign that reads “sky’s the limit subsidy payments” asking if there was any money left for him.  This editorial may be found online.  

Donated to the McCain Library & Archives by the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists this editorial cartoon is one of more than 3,500 illustrations available at the McCain Library and Archives.  Dating from 1782-1980, the collection includes original artwork by more than 300 artists from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Of these, there are approximately 1,000 digital reproductions of the work of 50 cartoonists that are accessible through the University of Southern Mississippi’s Digital Collections.  The editorial cartoons are valuable tools for researchers because they clearly present social and political attitudes about national issues such as the civil rights movement, Watergate, and the Vietnam War as well as artistic commentary on more local, and often timeless, concerns like the plight of the small farmer.

USM Digital Collections can be accessed here. For more information about this item or Special Collections, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347. To see more Items of the Month, click here.

Text by Eve Wade, History PhD student, University of Southern Mississippi