Leah Stenzel/5th hour
THE DUST BOWL
Who was affected by the Dust Bowl?
The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s spread over 100 million acres in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
What was the Dust Bowl?
Tons of topsoil were blown off barren fields and carried in storm clouds for hundreds of miles. The driest region of the plains were southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. They became known as the Dust Bowl, and many dust storms started there. The entire region, and eventually the entire country, was affected.
When did the Dust Bowl Happen?
It started in the 1930s. In 1931, a severe drought hit the Midwestern and southern plains. In 1932, the number of dust storms were increasing. Fourteen dust storms were reported and 38 will happen next year. In 1934, the great dust storms spread from the Dust Bowl area. The drought was the worst ever in U.S. history, covering more than 75% of the country and affecting 27 states severely. In April 14, 1935, it was Black Sunday. The worst "black blizzard" of the Dust Bowl occurs, causing a lot of damage. In 1938, there was a 65% reduction in the amount of soil blowing. However, the drought did continue. In 1939, it's the fall and the rain comes, finally putting an end to the drought. During the next couple years, World War II comes and the country is pulled out of the Depression and the plains become golden with wheat.
Where did the Dust Bowl occur?
The drought of the Dust Bowl affected the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and touched sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
Why did the Dust Bowl Happen?
The plains of the Midwest were once protected by tall prairie grass, that held the topsoil in place during droughts. Once the prairies were settled, farmers plowed over the prairie grass. When the drought killed the crops, high winds blew the remaining topsoil away creating the Dust Bowl.
How did the Dust Bowl Effect the Economy?
The huge dust storm forced migrant farmers to lose their business, their livelihood, and their homes. The families migrated to California or cities to find work that didn't really exist at the time. Many farmers ended up living as homeless people.