The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms in the U.S. Great Plains, especially the states of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, between 1934 and 1938.
Millions of acres of farmland were damaged.
The situation developed because of poor farming and grazing practices, making the soil dry and loose and easily blown away by the wind.
To make matters worse, a drought had been in place for several years.
The first major storm struck in 1934 and carried millions of tons of dirt to places hundreds of miles east.
Thousands of farmers and their families were devastated, and many moved out of the area to California and other states, where economic conditions were not much better.
Many who remained traveled from farm to farm picking fruit and other crops at starvation wages.