Dust bowl

LIFE Dust Bowl-Oklahoma 1942

LIFE Dust Bowl-Oklahoma 1942

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.

dust bowl - kansas 1934

dust bowl - kansas 1934

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.

LIFE Dust Bowl

LIFE Dust Bowl

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.

Going to school during the Dust Bowl. 1930s

Going to school during the Dust Bowl. 1930s

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

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

dorothea lange photographs | The first image is of Dorothea Lange herself. I love this picture ...

dorothea lange photographs | The first image is of Dorothea Lange herself. I love this picture ...

There were three major dust storms during the Dust Bowl: November 11th, 1933, in South Dakota; May 9th, 1934, along the Great Plains; and the "Black Blizzard" of April 14th, 1935. In the winter of 1935-36, red snow fell on New England.

There were three major dust storms during the Dust Bowl: November 11th, 1933, in South Dakota; May 9th, 1934, along the Great Plains; and the "Black Blizzard" of April 14th, 1935. In the winter of 1935-36, red snow fell on New England.

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