Dust Bowl History

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Group 9– Taylor Langford, Cody Stallings, Zane Fleming AGCM 3103 Ann Busby March 13, 2014 The History and Influence of Dust Bowl Journalism on American Culture The Dust Bowl of the 1930’s will forever go down as one of the biggest human made catastrophes to ever impact America. With the ever increasing drought, lack of rain, and over plowing of wheat ground, farming became more than a job, it turned into a killer. However, though photography, journalism, and song we were able to show others what can happened from agricultural mistakes and pave the way for future generations. This paper will discuss the Dust Bowl, how the government helped the cause by journalism, and what journalism did for agriculture then and now. The Dust Bowl occurred during the 1930’s lasting nearly a decade from 1931 to 1939 earning its infamous title the “Dirty Thirties.” The farmers of the great plains plowed their grassland very deep to maintain a wheat harvest, but unlike like previous years of adequate rain, the drought brought little to no water relief. Farmers became worried and continued to dig deeper and deeper eventually removing a very important layer of ground that held the soil intact. The plains winds didn’t help, they picked up the uncovered soil and created dust storms that overtook Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. These dark, dusty storms would smother livestock and humans, to where there was limited breathing and possible death. The storm ruined people’s homes, farms and way of life making it hard for them to provide for their families. As the dust storms continued through families eventually loaded up and headed west to California in search of new life and opport... ... middle of paper ... ...44 colored, personal letters, songs, and books, people now had a better understanding of what was happening in the Midwest. America was forever changed by the acts of the journalists and photographers. It gave people a new perspective on life and how quick it can be blown away. The most important thing for farmers and ranchers was it provided us with time, new farming techniques. Now, we can irrigate our farms and provide moisture needed to make harvests succeed. The way we plow today has evolved over time to make sure we keep our richer soil within the ground for better crop production. Also, this provided us with a push for more photography and writing to better establish local, and world news. Even though Americans had to go through such change, it paved to where we are today and showed us new ways to better provide for our families as well as others around us.

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