Veteran migrant worker camped in Wagoner County, Oklahoma, June 1939. Two decades after the nation’s worst drought year in history, 1934, the southern plains were again officially labeled by the U.S. government with two familiar words “Dust Bowl.”. See some of those who lived through it, their thousand-yard stares, and the ghostly landscapes they traveled through in the Dust Bowl pictures above. Arthur Rothstein/Farm security Administration via Library of Congress. 27 Astounding Images From Spain's Centuries-Old Baby Jumping Festival, 17 Pictures Of When Seattle Grunge Took Over The World, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. All comments belong to previous pinner unless otherwise stated. A migratory field worker's makeshift home on the edge of a pea field, where they lived through the winter, in Imperial Valley, California, 1937. And thus it's entirely fitting that it caused a tremendous exodus. Vivian. Shame on humanity that made fun and or took advantage of them as they struggled to find work, food and shelter. A migrant farmer and his child in California, 1936. Today, we're left with the photographs of Dorothea Lange and a few others to provide an up-close look at this one-of-a-kind American tragedy. And when both of those struck in the mid-1930s, the region's fate was sealed. These pictures don’t follow “Okies” as they leave their world behind. Landscape left barren by the Dust Bowl, north of Dalhart, Texas, June 1938. Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration via New York Public Library. The Getty Images design is a trademark of Getty Images. Click here to request Getty Images Premium Access through IBM Creative Design Services. An irrigation ditch near Amity was cleared of dust, which filled it for 20 miles to depth of six feet. The IBM strategic repository for digital assets such as images and videos is located at It's an ineffable look at once vacant and intent, stoic and poignant, broken and resolved -- the quintessential thousand-yard stare. John Vachon/Farm Security Administration via New York Public Library. In order to plant crops, farmers removed the deep-rooted grasses which kept the soil moist during periods of little rain and high wind. The threatening storm rose above a farm near Hartman, Colo. Once range land, it was almost ruined by wheat farming. Drought plagued the Mid-West from 1934 to 1940. The young son of a farmer walks amid the dust in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, April 1936. Dust bowl refugee from Chickasaw, Oklahoma, now in Imperial Valley, California, March 1937. . The children of a migrant family living in a trailer in the middle of a field south of Chandler, Arizona, November 1940. . An abandoned house on the edge of the Great Plains near Hollis, Oklahoma, June 1938. The day before this photo was taken, she and her husband had traveled 35 miles each way to pick peas for five hours, earning just $2.25 between them. Children from Oklahoma staying in a migratory camp in California, November 1936. Throughout most of the 1930s and into the early 1940s, the Dust Bowl turned much of what's now known as the American heartland into a virtual wasteland. An abandoned farm house in southwest Oklahoma, June 1937. These Dust Bowl pictures from the 1930s reveal both the vast scope and total despair of the worst ecological disaster in American history. Dust Bowl refugees camp along the highway near Bakersfield, California, November 1935. Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons. The land turned desolate and the sky went dark as "black blizzards" (dust storms) flared up day in and day out. For nearly a decade, approximately 100 million acres centered around the panhandles of both Oklahoma and Texas endured devastating drought made even more catastrophic by the harmful farming practices that had taken hold in the region the decade before. And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts: You'll recognize the stare. Ben Shahn/Farm Security Administration via New York Public Library. Migrant worker looking through back window of automobile near Prague, Oklahoma, 1939. […] Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images The antidust measure of furrowing land, taken by a conservation-minded farmer in Baca County, went for naught when a neighbor’s unfurrowed land blew across his farm, killing a crop of winter wheat. A woman identified as Mrs. Howard holds her baby at a migrant camp in California, 1935. Felled broomcorn lay near Walsh, once ‘Broomcorn Capital of U.S.’. Man fought back with such techniques as chiseling. A young migratory mother originally from Texas, now in Edison, California, April 1940. Carl Mydans/Farm Security Administration via New York Public Library. Dorothea Lange/United States Department of Agriculture via National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons. Across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, the darkening swirls of loosened topsoil chewed their way across the plains, destroying or damaging 16 million acres of land. Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration via Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons.

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