The Dirty Thirties - The Dust Bowl

Created on Apr 14, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
From 1934 through 1940, the Great Plains of the United States and Canada were devastated by dust storms, causing great economic and social anguish. Many farmers simply picked up and moved, leaving everything behind. When you see what these people faced and how they endured, you will truly be amazed!

Did you know? The Great Plain has had, on average, very little rainfall. In some eras, it was actually a desert. American farmers did not employ dryland farming practices, destroying the topsoil and leading to conditions that allowed the soil to dry out and blow away. Thus, the Dust Bowl. When President Roosevelt commissioned a study, new farming practices were implemented and voila - no more Dust Bowl.

The Dirty Thirties - The Dust Bowl

California or Bust!

Oklahoma Refugees, 1935

This Oklahoma family left their home and (with everything they had) moved to California.

Home Sweet Home

Housing for Oklahoma refugees. California

Refugees from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl make a home in a California dump. Not so sweet.

Could you do this?

Oklahoma Migratory Workers in California

This isn't camping - it's daily life. Refugees washing up in a California ditch.


Rollin' on in, again

Dust storm. Baca County, Colorado

A dust storm rolling over a Colorado town in 1936

Duck and cover!

Kansas dust storm

Elkhard KS under siege from a dust storm.

Towels to prevent dust

North Dakota Dust Bowl

This North Dakota family tried to keep the dust out of their kitchen by stuffing towels around the windows. It didn't work well.

That isn't snow!

Oklahoma farm covered by dust, 1936

This may look like snow but it's the aftermath of a dust storm in Oklahoma.


No liquor in Oregon!

Oregon sign, Dust Bowl refugees 1941

This park in Oregon didn't want Dust Bowl refugees drinking.

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