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- Created 2012-02-20
, or the
, was a period of severe
s causing major ecological and
lands in the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought combined with a failure to apply
methods to prevent
. Extensive deep plowing of the virgin
in the preceding decade had displaced the natural deep-rooted
es that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. Rapid mechanization of farm implements, especially small gasoline tractors and widespread use of the
, were significant in the decisions to convert arid grassland (much of which received no more than 10 in of precipitation per year) to cultivated cropland.
During the drought of the 1930s, without natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried, turned to
, and blew away with the prevailing winds. At times, the clouds blackened the sky, reaching all the way to
cities such as
New York City
. These immense dust storms – given names such as "black blizzards" and "black rollers" – often reduced visibility to a few feet (a meter) or less. The "
" black blizzards of April 14, 1935, were witnessed by
reporter Robert E. Geiger who happened to be in
Boise City, Oklahoma
that day; the term
was coined by Edward Stanley, Kansas City news editor of the Associated Press, while rewriting Geiger's news story.
The drought and erosion of the Dust Bowl affected 100000000 acre, centered on the
s of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their farms; many of these families (often known as "
s", since so many came from Oklahoma) migrated to
and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left, because of the
The Grapes of Wrath
Of Mice and Men
about such people.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 26 May), licensed under
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The Dust Bowl
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The Bibliography of Aeolian Research
Surviving the Dust Bowl, Black Sunday (April 14, 1935)
Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940–1941
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Africa Data Dissemination Service
Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture – Dust Bowl
Great Plains Shelterbelt
The Plow That Broke the Plains
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