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  • 1. “ The Dustbowl” The Great Depression
  • 2. The Second New Deal Takes Hold "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 “Grapes of Wrath”
  • 3. The Dustbowl
    • Farmers were some of the hardest hit during the Depression
      • Deeply in debt (from buying on credit)
      • Poor agricultural practices
      • A continual drought
    • The last two items eroded the top soil, the rich, hearty soil, leaving grainy chat or dust exposed
  • 4. The Dustbowl (cont’d.)
    • This dust was free from the rich nutrients of the top soil and worthless for planting
    • The exposed dust was carried freely by the wind and often created ‘dunes’ of dust across the Great Plains
    • Because of this, 2.5 million people living in the Great Plains moved; 200,000 of which moved to California
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  • 9. April 14, 1935 “Black Sunday”
    • The last major ‘dust storm’ swept across the Great Plains
    • It was described as: “The impact is like a shovelful of fine sand flung against the face.”
  • 10. Avis D. Carlson Describes it...
    • "People caught in their own yards grope for the doorstep. Cars come to a standstill, for no light in the world can penetrate that swirling murk. . . . The nightmare is deepest during the storms. But on the occasional bright day and the usual gray day we cannot shake from it. We live with the dust, eat it, sleep with it, watch it strip us of possessions and the hope of possessions. It is becoming Real. The poetic uplift of spring fades into a phantom of the storied past. The nightmare is becoming life."
  • 11. Steinbeck
    • Out of this comes John Steinbeck
    • Funded by the Federal Writers’ Project
    • Published “The Grapes of Wrath” in 1939