‘Till Hell Freezes Over

The Dust Bowl invokes images of mass migration: hundreds of poor, desperate farmers packed into over-loaded jalopies, making their way westward with dirty-faced children and bone-thin wives. Fleeing the dust, the drought, the near-starvation, and searching for the promised land. But not everyone left. Many Dust Bowl farmers found the notion of fleeing abhorrent, an … Continue reading ‘Till Hell Freezes Over

Suicide Sal and the Barrow Gang

Beginning with the Stock Market crash of 1929, the Great Depression, as it would later be called, swept across the United States, plunging much of the country into an unprecedented state of poverty. Crop prices fell by 60%. Construction projects and manufacturing ground to a standstill. Unemployment wavered between 25-33%. And, out west, in the … Continue reading Suicide Sal and the Barrow Gang

The Plow That Broke The Plains

In the mid-1930's, Roy Emerson Stryker and his band of photographers were roaming the Dust Bowl, capturing images of the devastation in hopes of rallying support for Roosevelt's New Deal. This "documentary division" of the Farm Security Administration captured images, not of the dust storms, as news outlets across the country had done, but of … Continue reading The Plow That Broke The Plains

“This rusty car creaking along the highway to the west…”

In 1935, facing mounting pressure from Congress about the "Dust Bowl" problem, and thanks in part to Hugh Bennett's passionate plea to save the Plains, President Roosevelt created the Resettlement Administration. The main purpose of this entity was to give a buy-out, about seven hundred dollars per family, for people affected by the drought and … Continue reading “This rusty car creaking along the highway to the west…”