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The Dust Bowl

Page history last edited by taylor.clenney@... 13 years, 7 months ago

back to Woody Guthrie

                          

 

The Dust Bowl occured in the the geographic area containing the mid-southwestern states of. North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  During the Great Depression due to unsustainable farming practiced imposed on tenant farmers by mainly by large corporations in conjuction with the severe drought that plagued the central United States much of the land's dry topsoil was swept into the air in great "dust storms."  Due to the terrible envirnmental and economic conditions of the Great Depression and the ensuing devastation of the Dust Bowland, many families in towns and farms throughout the region left thier homes behind  headed off to california to look for work.  Hopeful migrant workers sometimes found handbills in states affected by the dust storms which proclaimed that fruit growers in California needed workers to help pick fruit and other jobs.  Upon arriving to California migrants in search of work soon found out that they had been decieved, they weren't wanted and were treated as vagrants and bums, and many times only found a place to pitch a tent in the numerous refugee camps scattered over California.  Joe Klien writes about the experience of Arkies and Okies upo there arrival to California, "The Los Angeles police, alarmed by the influz of migrants from the southwest, had set up highly illeagal roadblocks on the major highways at the California border, turning back people who looked like they might be "unemployables" (Klein 80).

 

   

Sources:

Klein, Joe.  Woody Guthrie: A Life.  New York: Dell Publishing, 1980.

 

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