Dust Bowl Research Paper

718 Words 3 Pages
The Dust Bowl
In the 1930’s and the early 1940’s, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Kansas. Once a semi-arid grassland, the treeless plains became home to thousands of settlers when, in 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act. Most of the settlers farmed their land or raised cattle. The farmers plowed the prairie grasses and planted dryland wheat. As the demand for wheat products grew, cattle raising was reduced, and millions more acres were plowed and planted. The drought and erosion of the Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres.

There were so many black blizzards between 1930 and the early 1940’s some people called the
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Carrying dust up to 200 miles off the Atlantic coast, the storm blackened cities and traveled at over 100 miles per hour. Animals and insects fled south and a woman believing the storm marked the beginning of Armageddon, killed her child to spare her the horror. And while Hugh Hammond Bennett was delivering a speech to Congress about soil preservation, dust rained down on Washington D.C. and blackened out the sun. Congress passed his legislation. This is something that Liberal News got on April 15, 1935, "...a great black bank rolled in out of the northeast, and in a twinkling when it struck Liberal, plunged everything into inky blackness, worse than that on any midnight, when there is at least some starlight and outlines of objects can be seen. When the storm struck it was impossible to see one's hand before his face even two inches away. And it was several minutes before any trace of daylight whatsoever …show more content…
On the south there was blue sky, golden sunlight and tranquility; on the north, there was a menacing curtain of boiling black dust that appeared to reach a thousand or more feet into the air. It had the appearance of a mammoth waterfall in reverse – color as well as form. The apex of the cloud was plumed and curling, seething and tumbling over itself from north to south and whipping trash, papers, sticks, and cardboard cartons before it. Even the birds were helpless in the turbulent onslaught and dipped and dived without benefit of wings as the wind propelled them. As the wall of dust and sand struck our house the sun was instantly blotted out completely. Gravel particles clattered against the windows and pounded down on the roof. The floor shook with the impact of the wind, and the rafters creaked threateningly. We stood in our living room in pitch blackness. We were stunned. Never had we been in such all-enveloping blackness before, such impenetrable gloom." The Black Sunday of April 14, 1935 of the Kansas Historical Society.
The event's major causes of the Dust Bowl was severe drought, the expansion of agriculture, and inappropriate methods of cultivation, which in turn has been linked to the proliferation of small farms promoted by the Homestead

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