Test Grab Ok

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Social Studies
Explorers and Discovers

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Test Grab Ok

Biography The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains region devastated by drought in 1930s depression-ridden America. The 150,000-square-mile area, encompassing the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and neighboring sections of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, has little rainfall, light soil, and high winds, a potentially destructive combination. When drought struck from 1934 to 1937, the soil lacked the stronger root system of grass as an anchor, so the winds easily picked up the loose topsoil and swirled it into dense dust clouds, called “black blizzards.” Recurrent dust storms wreaked havoc, choking cattle and pasture lands and driving 60 percent of the population from the region. Most of these “exodusters” went to agricultural areas first and then to cities, especially in the Far West.

Fun FactsPoor farming practices included not only overplanting of crops, but overgrazing livestock.Because the crops died due to a lack of rain and bad farming practices, millions of acres of topsoil were blown away during dust storms. More than one million acres of lan were affected during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Hobos During the Dust BowlOne of the more interesting aspects about the history of the Dust Bowl was the emergence of "hobos." Farmers who left the Dust Bowl states had no money to buy bus or train tickets and few had vehicles that could make the trip. Therefore, many men took to illegally hopping on trains to travel to cities hundreds or thousands of miles away where they hoped to find jobs.An estimated 2 million people became hobos during the Dust Bowl. The life of a hobo was not an easy one though. In one year during the Great Depression, it's estimated that 6,500 people were killed trying to hop on moving freight trains. Many died as the result of accidents, though some were killed by guards hired by railways to keep hobos off the trains.

The Dust Bowl



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