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The Dust Bowl

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The Dust Bowl

  1. 1. The Dust Bowl
  2. 2. <ul><li>The Dust Bowl happened during the 1930s and was a contributor to the length and depth of the Great Depression. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dust Bowl the name given to the crippling drought and winds which removed the topsoil in the Great Plains area of the United States and, to a lesser degree, Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dust Bowl was caused by human/environment interaction—the removal of native grasses (which held the ground in place) for farming purposes. It was exacerbated by climatic conditions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Following are pictures, quotes and descriptions of the Dust Bowl. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Bismark, North Dakota
  5. 5. Approaching Dust Storm
  6. 6. Oklahoma
  7. 7. Spearman, Texas
  8. 8. <ul><li>“On May 11, 1934, the orphaned land of the Great Plains came to the doorstep of the nation’s premier city. For 5 hours, the cloud dumped dirt over New York. Commerce came to a standstill. The outline of the Statue of Liberty was barely visible. The New York Times headline the next day called it “the greatest dust storm in United States history.’” </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The storm moved out to sea, covering ships that were more than two hundred miles from shore. Dust fell on the national Mall and seeped into the White House, where President Roosevelt was discussing plans for drought relief. Dust in Chicago, Boston, Manhattan, Philadelphia, and Washington gave the great cities of America a dose of what the people in the little communities of the High Plains had been living with for nearly two years. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>People in the cities wondered why the plains folks could not do something to hold their soil down. One man suggested laying asphalt over the prairie. Another idea was to ship junked cars to the southern plains, where they would be used as weights to hold the ground in place. </li></ul><ul><li>-- The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan </li></ul><ul><li>pg. 152 </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Also from The Worst Hard Time —pg. 203 </li></ul><ul><li>“When the big roller crossed into Kansas, it was reported to be two hundred miles wide, with high winds like a tornado turned on its side. In Denver, temperature dropped twenty-five degrees in one hour, and then the city fell into a haze. The sun was blocked.” </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>“ Fred Folkers spent most of his days shoveling dust. The shovel was his rescue tool; he never went anywhere without it. In a long day’s blow, the drifts could pile four feet or more against fences clogged with tumbleweeds, which created dunes, which then sent dust off in other directions. Some mornings his car was completely covered.” (Egan 138) </li></ul>
  13. 14. Black Sunday <ul><li>April 14 th , 1935 was the worst of the dust storms. It has been named “Black Sunday” </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>It took an hour for the Black Sunday duster to travel from the border towns to Amarillo. At 7:20 pm, the biggest city in the Texas Panhandle went dark, and its 42,000 residents choked on the same thick mass that had begun its roll in the Dakotas, clawing the barren plains, charring the sky in five states, producing enough static electricity to power New York, a fury that has never been duplicated. (Egan, 221) </li></ul>
  15. 17. Prowers, Colorado, 1937
  16. 18. Prowers, Colorado, 1937
  17. 19. <ul><li>The dead cattle, some with their eyes frozen and glazed over with sand, were pinned against fences. C.C. Lucas cut open the stomach of one dead cow and found the stomach packed so solidly with dust that it blocked food from getting any further. Other postmortems found the same thing: animals dead from starvation caused by internal suffocation. </li></ul><ul><li>(Egan, 234) </li></ul>
  18. 20. Fleeing a Dust Storm
  19. 21. Red Cross Volunteers Wearing Dust Masks
  20. 22. <ul><li>During March and April 1935, about 4.7 tons of dust per acre fell on western Kansas during each of the blizzards. The tonnage not only crushed trees, broke windows, and dented the tops of cars, but the ceilings of houses were collapsing as well. </li></ul><ul><li>One hundred million acres had lost most of its topsoil and nearly half had been “essentially destroyed” and could not be farmed again. </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>More than 850 million tons of topsoil had blown off the southern plains in 1935—nearly 8 tons of dirt for every resident of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>In the total time of the Dust Bowl, Farmers lost 480 tons of dirt per acre </li></ul><ul><li>Two-thirds of the total area of the Great Plains had been damaged by severe wind erosion—an environmental disaster bigger than anything in American history </li></ul><ul><li>(Egan 223, 224, 254) </li></ul>
  22. 24. Map of Area Most Damaged
  23. 25. Sources <ul><li>http://www.ccccok.org/museum/dustbowl.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/depression/dustbowl.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.weru.ksu.edu/new_weru/multimedia/dustbowl/dustbowlpics.html </li></ul><ul><li>Egan, Timothy. “ The Worst Hard Times.” Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2006 </li></ul>

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