LIFE Dust Bowl - these were proud, hard-working farmers who tried to maintain hope as a pilar of strength for their families in the midst of such adversity. They wanted to be able to provide for their families and keep them safe. This proved to be a nearly impossible task.
Fence row covered in dirt. The most visible evidence of how dry the 1930s became was the dust storm. Tons of topsoil were blown off barren fields and carried in storm clouds for hundreds of miles. Technically, the driest region of the Plains – southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas – became known as the Dust Bowl, and many dust storms started there. But the entire region, and eventually the entire country, was affected.
Perhaps the most devastating weather driven event in American history, the drought of the 1920's and 1930's significantly impacted Minnesota's economic, social, and natural landscapes. Abnormally dry and hot growing season weather throughout the better part of two decades turned Minnesota farm fields to dust and small lakes into muddy ponds. The parched soil was easily taken up by strong winds, often turning day into night.