"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.” -from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck The Dust Bowl took place from 1931 to 1939. Covering an area in the midwest plains, the Dust Bowl devastated hundreds of thousands farmers. The plains started off as the prime location for farming, but drought and poor farming techniques sucked the rich soil dry. All the crops took in the vast nutrients supplied within the ground but nothing was done to replenish the supply. Dust covered the land, the homes, and the dreams the prospective people were hoping for. The new promise land became California, and farmers and their families packed up whatever belongings they had left and took the long journey in high hopes of something better. I am going to further research the journey of the grief-stricken farmers and I hope to learn more about the hardships they faced along the way and in California.
The crops withered away and drifted along the wind with the dust and debris.
The hopes of the farmers were taken away with the crops.
Homes were half buried in sand and dust. The once luscious land is barren. No useful vegetation was to be found.
Livestock used to eat their fill carelessly everyday in the green paradise. Then the drought and bad farming left the animals to roam around in nothing.
The farmers believed that the journey to California would be the road to redeeming their lives.
The journey along Route 66 to California was a tough one, and the hardships continued well after the farmers reached the promise land.
President Hoover’s stance on the events taking place in his country was passive. Tired from the long journey, the farmers were forced to live in “Hoovervilles”.
Farmers struggled to find work and provide for themselves and their families.
The Okies were limited to fruit-picking due to their lack of experience and the prejudice exhibited by others.
Days were spent doing hard work. The result was barely enough money to cover food for dinner.
Finally in 1939, farmers rejoiced as the rains fell down.
The rain brought the end of the drought. Shortly after, the stock market stabilized. The Okies had battled sand storms and a grueling journey to the west. They faced starvation, homelessness, and worst of all, racial and social prejudice and injustice.
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