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13 Dust Bowl Facts for Kids

navajocodetalkersadmin on January 3, 2015 - 2:00 pm in Fun Facts for Kids

Have you ever heard about the Dust Bowl? If so, what does it make you think of? The name The Dust Bowl might make you think of swirling dust storms, farmers, or even specific songs. But if you have never heard of the Dust Bowl as a historical event, then you might not know what to think. Here, we will tell you more about this natural disaster that took place in the 1930s in the American Great Plains.

1. The Dust Bowl occurred from 1934 to 1937.

2. Robert Geiger, an AP reporter, coined the term Dust Bowl in an article of his from 1935.

3. Dust storms were known as black blizzards. These blizzards left inches of dust on cars, in homes, and more.

4. Children who experienced the dust storms were often made to wear respirators. Babies were put in cribs with wet cloths placed over them to keep the dust off.

5. Respiratory issues and illnesses originated from these dust storms. Some residents of the American plains even died from what was known as the brown plague, or from silicosis, which comes from inhaling very small particles.

6. Cattle and other farm animals also died from inhalation of dust.

7. The static electricity that was caused by the dust storms was tremendous. So much so that motors, radios, and more were effected. Blue flames could be seen shooting from barbed wire fences.

8. In addition to swirling dust storms, there were also huge numbers of both jackrabbits and grasshoppers in the plains during this time, largely for all the same reasons.

9. New technology like tractors and plows, as well as over grazing in the plains area and elimination of native species that helped to hold soil in place all caused the Dust Bowl.

10. “Okies,” was the term used to refer to migrants who moved out of the Plains due to the Dust Bowl. Not all of them were from Oklahoma.

11. About 40% of farmers who were living on the Plains during the Dust Bowl stayed put on the Plains instead of moving elsewhere. 60%, however, fled.

12. The devastation of the Dust Bowl greatly contributed to and compounded the issues facing the US during the Great Depression. It also led to the organization of several governmental agencies, like the Soil Conservation Service.

13. Artists, authors, and songwriters like Dorothea Lange (photographer), John Steinbeck (author), and Woody Guthrie (singer/songwriter) were all inspired by the events of the Dust Bowl.

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