Dust Bowl Research Paper

2488 Words10 Pages
On their way home from school, children walked backwards to avoid being blinded. Housewives stuffed window cracks and doors with damp rags. Powerful static electricity crackled, filling the air. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s had arrived. Although the wind and dust storms that characterized the event centered on the American Midwest, their effects spread across the nation, particularly to California. The Dust Bowl was a turning point for the people and land of America, causing economic downturn, vast migration, and ecological damage, resulting in the need for governmental aid and agricultural and social innovations. Background In 1823, government surveyor Major Stephen Long described the Great Plains, the heart of the Dust Bowl, as “…almost wholly…show more content…
From the mid-1800s onward, large-scale factory farms produced peaches, oranges, lettuce, cauliflower, and other fruits and vegetables. These crops all required extensive work at harvest time. An orchard that required 20 men for its upkeep year-round needed 2,000 during picking and packing season. Otherwise, the crop would rot. Companies generally hired from whatever pool of foreign immigrants was available. For workers of all origins, conditions and salaries were poor. Predominant ethnicities of hired laborers shifted from Chinese, to Filipino, to Japanese, to, most recently before the Dust Bowl years, Mexican. When Latino workers responded to mistreatment by banding together in protests, farm owners pressured the California government to stop the uprisings. Under repatriation plans, officials banished hundreds of both legal and illegal immigrants back to Mexico in buses and…show more content…
Several minor dust storms occurred in 1932, and slightly more intense episodes ensued in April and November of 1933. The first major dust storm struck in May 1934, reached all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, and was over 1,000 miles wide. Three hundred fifty million tons of earth entered the wind stream, blanketing Washington, D.C. in a haze. Over the remainder of the year, storms increased in severity and number. Considered by many to have been the worst period of the Dust Bowl, 1935 featured the “Black Sunday” storm that swept through on April 14. The day began with a clear morning sunrise, but by afternoon the sky held nothing besides dust. Storms of various force continued until 1939, when rain returned in the fall, ending the

More about Dust Bowl Research Paper

Open Document