Dust bowl

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In 1931 the rains stopped and the “black blizzards” began. Powerful dust storms carrying millions of tons of stinging, blinding black dirt swept across the Southern Plains—the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, western Kansas, and the eastern portions of Colorado and New Mexico. Topsoil that had taken a thousand years per inch to build suddenly blew away in only minutes. One journalist traveling through the devastated region dubbed it the “Dust Bowl."

In 1931 the rains stopped and the “black blizzards” began. Powerful dust storms carrying millions of tons of stinging, blinding black dirt swept across the Southern Plains—the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, western Kansas, and the eastern portions of Colorado and New Mexico. Topsoil that had taken a thousand years per inch to build suddenly blew away in only minutes. One journalist traveling through the devastated region dubbed it the “Dust Bowl."

Caption from LIFE. "Oklahoma farmer John Barnett's daughter Delphaline, 17, wears bright-colored slacks around the farm. She and her two brothers go to a rural school where there are only four other pupils. Next fall Delphaline will enter high school." Oklahoma, 1942. (Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

LIFE: Dust Bowl survivors

Caption from LIFE. "Oklahoma farmer John Barnett's daughter Delphaline, 17, wears bright-colored slacks around the farm. She and her two brothers go to a rural school where there are only four other pupils. Next fall Delphaline will enter high school." Oklahoma, 1942. (Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

oklahoma dust bowl 1942

oklahoma dust bowl 1942

Farming Family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, so much personality and grit on each face, tough life.

Farming Family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, so much personality and grit on each face, tough life.

dustbowl town | The Great Depression was cutting deeply into livelihoods and lives ...

dustbowl town | The Great Depression was cutting deeply into livelihoods and lives ...

The Dust Bowl. The animals died, they could not breathe with no shelter the dust filling their lungs.

The Dust Bowl. The animals died, they could not breathe with no shelter the dust filling their lungs.

Dust Bowl Memories  http://pinterest.com/bobbieje/the-dust-bowl-years/  http://pinterest.com/berthaautry/history/

Dust Bowl Memories http://pinterest.com/bobbieje/the-dust-bowl-years/ http://pinterest.com/berthaautry/history/

“Watching a Dust Storm’s Approach,” as a black blizzard rolls in to Ulysses, Kansas, two women and a girl pose for a photograph before taking shelter.

“Watching a Dust Storm’s Approach,” as a black blizzard rolls in to Ulysses, Kansas, two women and a girl pose for a photograph before taking shelter.

The Dust Bowl:  By 1932, 14 dust storms, known as black blizzards were reported, and in just one year, the number increased to nearly 40.  The Dust Bowl brought ecological, economical and human misery to America during a time when it was already suffering under the Great Depression.

What caused the Dust Bowl?

The Dust Bowl: By 1932, 14 dust storms, known as black blizzards were reported, and in just one year, the number increased to nearly 40. The Dust Bowl brought ecological, economical and human misery to America during a time when it was already suffering under the Great Depression.

BLACK SUNDAY - April 14, 1935 -  The rains didn't return until 4 years later.  When the dust settled in April 1935, scenes like this were repeated throughout the high plains region.  Crops were ruined.  Farms produced nothing.  Livestock died en masse.  People abandoned their homes in droves, with little more than the clothes on their back to show for many years of hard work building their homesteads.  There was nothing of value to sell, no one to sell to.

BLACK SUNDAY - April 14, 1935 - The rains didn't return until 4 years later. When the dust settled in April 1935, scenes like this were repeated throughout the high plains region. Crops were ruined. Farms produced nothing. Livestock died en masse. People abandoned their homes in droves, with little more than the clothes on their back to show for many years of hard work building their homesteads. There was nothing of value to sell, no one to sell to.

"Fleeing a dust storm". Farmer Arthur Coble and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimmaron County, Oklahoma. Arthur Rothstein, photographer, April, 1936.

"Fleeing a dust storm". Farmer Arthur Coble and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimmaron County, Oklahoma. Arthur Rothstein, photographer, April, 1936.

Going to school during the Dust Bowl. 1930s

Going to school during the Dust Bowl. 1930s

Fence row covered in dirt.  The most visible evidence of how dry the 1930s became was the dust storm. Tons of topsoil were blown off barren fields and carried in storm clouds for hundreds of miles. Technically, the driest region of the Plains – southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas – became known as the Dust Bowl, and many dust storms started there. But the entire region, and eventually the entire country, was affected.

Fence row covered in dirt. The most visible evidence of how dry the 1930s became was the dust storm. Tons of topsoil were blown off barren fields and carried in storm clouds for hundreds of miles. Technically, the driest region of the Plains – southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas – became known as the Dust Bowl, and many dust storms started there. But the entire region, and eventually the entire country, was affected.

1930s Great Depression Family at Migrant Workers Camp Photo

1930s Great Depression Family at Migrant Workers Camp Photo

Dorothea Lange  Dust Bowl

Dorothea Lange Dust Bowl

The picture above was taken in 1935 and shows a destitute family at a relocation camp in California.

The picture above was taken in 1935 and shows a destitute family at a relocation camp in California.

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