Below: A map showing the
"Dust Bowl" area that was most
affected by a severe drought (lack of rain) in the 1930s. Many
of farms in the area went bankrupt when they could not produce a crop
Below: A small town in Texas in 1935 as a dust storm was
about to hit.
Below: A farm in Texas with all its crops ruined for lack of
and wind-blown dirt piled up against the house.
migrant farm workers
Below: Hundreds of thousands of people from the Dust Bowl
area headed to California
with their belongings to try to find work harvesting crops
on farms there.
Below: Migrant families often formed campgrounds near farms
in California that
they hoped would hire them at harvest time. Desperate for work,
take whatever wages were offered, just to earn enough money to buy food.
Steinbeck is famous for his novel about the migrant farm
workers during the Great Depression, titled The Grapes of
The story showed the strength of character of the migrant farm
families and their determination to get through the hard times.
for a YouTube video that describes
novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Many of the migrant farm families that went to California to find
work, like the one
were from Oklahoma. As a result, the nickname "Okies" was given
many of the migrant
returns to the Dust Bowl - 1939
In 1939 and 1940 rain began returning to normal
levels on the
Families like the one shown below could finally plant and
The photo shows the family harvesting beets on their farm in Kansas.
Map by David Burns. All photos except the Texas dust storm
Library of Congress. The dust storm photo is from the National
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) historic photos collection.
Some have been edited or resized for this page.
Copyright 2009, 2012 by David Burns. All rights
reserved. As a guide to the Virginia Standards of Learning,
some pages necessarily include phrases or sentences from that document,
which is available online from the
Virginia Department of Education. The author's copyright extends
the original text and graphics, unique design and layout, and related