Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl of the 1930’s lasted about a decade. The area that was mostly hit was the southern plains while the northern U. S. was barely touched. The Dust Bowl had a huge impact on agriculture.

Many crops that were planted did not grow because the ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. Farmers faced huge problems during this time. In 1931, severe drought had hit the plains, and dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed land began to blow. Just a year later, the national weather bureau had reported 14 dust storms, and by 1939, there had been up to 38 dust storms. In the year of 1934, the drought had been the worst that the United States has ever seen.

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It covered more than 75% of the country and affected 27 states. On April 8, 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. This act provided $525 million for drought relief and employed 8.5 million people.

On April 14, 1935, the worst “black blizzard” of the Dust Bowl caused very severe damage to the land. The day of this blizzard was known as “Black Sunday.” The number of dust storms was increasing, and some people would even have thick layers of dust covering their furniture. To get outside, many people had to climb out of their windows and shovel all the dust away. Many of the everyday activities like walking, eating, and breathing were not simple. Children had to wear dust masks to and from school.

In the fall of 1939, the rain finally came, bringing an end to the drought and the Great Depression. Source: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/dustbowl.htm .