The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression
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The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression
The Dust Bowl, The Dirty Thirties
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the dust bowl letter Devin thomas

the dust bowl letter Devin thomas | The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression | Scoop.it
The Dust Bowl, The Dirty Thirties
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When I was a little boy I live on a farm and one day I was out side playing and my mom had called me in side because there was a storm the last storm we had was in July 1935. But this time this is a dust bowl I could feel the cold wind when it was blowing and the dust bowl storm hit us. On august 12th 1936 it was very bad I was very scared when it came I would be in my house in my bed and the dust would come into my house and we would try and put blankets down but it would just blow harder and it would come in and we could not do anything about it the storm would last about two or three days and when we would go to eat we where eating dirt. And we could not get rid  of it the dust would get into our body it would make me very sick it  had made me so sick before I almost dead. Our water would be dirty and it was not clean at all. All of our cows out side most of them deeded because the dirt and sand would get in side of them and they would die but after the storm was over we would go out side and we would not be able to see are car or our gate the dirt and the sand was so hi. We would not have any of our crops they would be all gone then we had to move and when where on the road we had hared on the radio that another storm was coming so we tried to get where we where going and what do you know the wind started to pick up it got very cold. We looked a head and we saw the town and then we looked behind us and we saw the storm right behind us and so we tried to out run the storm tell we got to the town we almost did not make it we was running in side a shop when the dust was coming we go inside and there are all of these people and we asked for some food and water they said well we don’t food for all of yawl so after the storm we went back to our house to check and see if we still had food and all we had was just the amount for all of us and so we stayed there and a day goes by and the government came to our house and they had knocked on our door and my mom opened it and say how my I help you they asked us if they could kill our cows they said they would give us 5 dollars a cow and we had 20 cows so the y would kill our cows and give us 100 dollars that was a lot of money back then so we said yes they could kill our cows. We let them kill the cows because they had no food they where filled with sand on the inside of them and if we where to kill them and try to eat them we could not because they where filled with sand so we could not eat or we would get sick so that’s why the government came and killed our cows so we got that money left town got a house and a farm and we lived on.

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primary document #2 : a letter

primary document #2 : a letter | The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression | Scoop.it
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From the time she was a young girl, Caroline Boa Henderson dreamed of having a piece of land she could call her own. The eldest child of a prosperous Iowa farm family, she studied languages and literature at Mount Holyoke College, where her senior class prophecy predicted that her future would be found "somewhere on a western ranch." In 1907, Caroline followed that dream to the Oklahoma panhandle. She took a job teaching school in Texas county, staked out a homestead claim on a quarter section of land, and moved into a one-room 14'x16' shack, which she dubbed her "castle." "Out here in this wilderness," she wrote to a college friend, "has come to me the very greatest and sweetest and most hopeful happiness of all my life."

A year later, she married Will Henderson, a farmer and former cowboy she'd hired to dig her well. They soon had a daughter, Eleanor, and Will built an addition to their home. During the wheat boom, they were relatively prosperous, allowing them to expand their land to a full section (640 acres). Caroline grew flowers, had a telephone installed, and subscribed to a daily newspaper. With the bust, they lost the phone, the paper, the garden, their farm animals, and all their crops.

Between 1931 and 1937, Caroline attracted a national following as a writer when a series of her letters and articles was published in the prestigious Atlantic Monthly. In her "Letters from the Dustbowl," she provided a portrait of the farmers who stayed to face the stark conditions on the southern plains, writing in turn about the daily occurrences on her farm and the harsh realities of eking out an existence in a land of dust and Depression. She infused her articles with lyrical descriptions of the sweeping, starkly beautiful land that claimed her: "the whiteness of our Monday's washing against the blue of the summer sky, . . . the hush of early morning broken by the first bird's song." Beyond that, she called attention to the changing place of agriculture in America, a nation that was becoming increasingly urban and industrial in its economy and vision.

Caroline stopped writing for publication in 1937. In letters and postcards to her daughter, she returned often to familiar themes: area wildlife, her livestock, her pets, her connection to the land. In December 1965, she and Will left their farm to live with Eleanor in Arizona. They returned to the Oklahoma panhandle one last time the following spring. Will died three days later, on March 17, 1966. Caroline died on August 4. In accordance with her wishes, the homestead was placed in trust, with the condition that it never be plowed again.

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website #1 from today

website #1 from today | The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression | Scoop.it
THE DUST BOWL chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the 'Great Plow-Up,' followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation.
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a two-part, four-hour documentary series by Ken Burns, will air November 18 and 19, 2012, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). The film chronicles the environmental catastrophe that, throughout the 1930s, destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains, turned prairies into deserts, and unleashed a pattern of massive, deadly dust storms that for many seemed to herald the end of the world. It was the worst manmade ecological disaster in American history.

Until the arrival of European and American settlers in the late nineteenth century, the southern Plains of the United States were predominantly grasslands, the home and hunting grounds of many Native American tribes and the range of untold millions of bison. It was seldom used for farming. Bitterly cold winters, hot summers, high winds and especially low, unreliable precipitation made it unsuitable for standard agriculture. But at the start of the 1900s, offers of cheap public land attracted farmers to the region, and in World War I, in the midst of a relatively wet period, a lucrative new wheat market opened up. Advances in gasoline-powered farm machinery made production faster and easier than ever. During the 1920s, millions of acres of grasslands across the Plains were converted into wheat fields at an unprecedented rate.

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historical website #2

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The Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a decade. Its primary area of impact was on the southern Plains. The northern Plains were not so badly effected, but nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and agricultural decline were no strangers to the north. In fact the agricultural devastation helped to lengthen the Depression whose effects were felt worldwide. The movement of people on the Plains was also profound.

As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: "And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land." 

Poor agricultural practices and years of sustained drought caused the Dust Bowl. Plains grasslands had been deeply plowed and planted to wheat. During the years when there was adequate rainfall, the land produced bountiful crops. But as the droughts of the early 1930s deepened, the farmers kept plowing and planting and nothing would grow. The ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. The Plains winds whipped across the fields raising billowing clouds of dust to the skys. The skys could darken for days, and even the most well sealed homes could have a thick layer of dust on furniture. In some places the dust would drift like snow, covering farmsteads.

 

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website #2 from today

website #2 from today | The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression | Scoop.it
There have been many comparisons between 2012's growing drought and the 1930's Dust Bowl. We take you back in history to the Dust Bowl and explain what happened meteorologically, agriculturally, and culturally.
devin thomas's insight:

There have been many comparisons between 2012's growing drought and the 1930's Dust Bowl. Both happened in a time of economic downturn. Both are accompanied by stunning images of dry, withered land. Both have sparked deep concerns about the state of the environment and whether our land and lifestyles are sustainable. 

Play VideoFarmer Remembers Dust Bowl 

However, there are huge differences. 

"In terms of percent area of country affected by drought (as measured by the Palmer Drought Index), the 1930's Dust Bowl decade is the worst drought on record by spatial area," says Richard Heim, a meteorologist and drought expert with NOAA's National Climactic Data Center.  

 

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historical website #3

historical website #3 | The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression | Scoop.it
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Between 1930 and 1940, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought. Once a semi-arid grassland, the treeless plains became home to thousands of settlers when, in 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act. Most of the settlers farmed their land or grazed cattle. The farmers plowed the prairie grasses and planted dry land wheat. As the demand for wheat products grew, cattle grazing was reduced, and millions more acres were plowed and planted.

Dry land farming on the Great Plains led to the systematic destruction of the prairie grasses. In the ranching regions, overgrazing also destroyed large areas of grassland. Gradually, the land was laid bare, and significant environmental damage began to occur. Among the natural elements, the strong winds of the region were particularly devastating.

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historical website #1

Compare the Great Depression to what's happening in today's economy, causes and effects, timelines, the Dust Bowl and farmer migration, FDR New Deal, 1929 stock market crash, and more.
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For years, American farmers overplanted and poorly managed their crop rotations, and between 1930 and 1936, when severe drought conditions prevailed across much of America’s Plains, Dust Bowls were created. Soil turned to dust and large dark clouds could be seen across the horizon in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico. Topsoil was carried by the ton from barren fields, across hundreds of miles of Plains in the driest regions of the country.

 

 

 

Black Sunday, April 14, 1935, a day when winds reached top speeds of 60 miles per hour, prompted an AP reporter to coin the term “dust bowl” for the first time.

 

 

Throughout the 1930s, more than a million acres of land were affected in the Dust Bowl, thousands of farmers lost their livelihoods and property, and mass migration patterns began to emerge as farmers left rural America in search of work in urban areas. This migration added to Great Depression unemployment woes, stressed relief and benefits programs, and created social strife in many large American cities.

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