Dirt, Disease, And Death: What Life Was Like During The Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl Car Road

A car tries to outrun a massive wall of dust; storms could reach speeds of up to 60 mph Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the 1930s, the Great Plains of the United States had a bad drought. But it wasn’t drought that turned these grasslands into the Dust Bowl. The worst environmental disaster in the history of our nation was caused by man.

Most folks that lived in the Great Plains in the 30s moved there to take advantage of cheap farmland the government offered. Washington wanted wheat and the Plains were grasslands; it seemed to make sense.

The problem was that wheat has a short root system. The hardy prairie grass that the farmers tore out had roots several inches deep, allowing the plant to hang onto the soil when the heavy Plains winds blew as they had for thousands of years. It wasn’t so much a problem of the wheat blowing away, it was that the wheat wasn’t strong enough to keep the topsoil from the mouth of that hungry wind.

Dust Bowl Texas 1935

Dust storm looms over Stratford, Texas Source: Wikipedia

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The Crazy Evolution Of The American Flag

These days, July 4th is all about barbecues, fireworks and a healthy dose of red, white and blue excesses. And as the most well-known symbol of U.S. patriotism, the American flag is often a prominent feature of Fourth of July parades and parties. Yet today’s flag has come a long way since the first design created more than two centuries ago. Here’s an intriguing look at the evolution of the American flag over time.

The American Flag In Its Infancy

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The Jazz And Style Of 1940s Harlem

Harlem 1940

1940s Harlem. The Harlem of Malcolm X, of Duke Ellington, of Zora Neale Hurston. Prohibition is over, and African Americans are fighting a war at a time when they are still regarded as second-class citizens. The energy was palpable, as the northwestern corner of Manhattan was a petri dish for creatives, thinkers and activists whose legacy would largely shape the course of African American history in the 20th century.

Fishing For Change During The Great Depression

Fishing For Change Great Depression

Three boys scavenge peer down New York City grates for change in 1930. During the first years of the Depression, approximately 250,000 young people were homeless. As this photo suggests, one of the few constants in these kids’ lives was a sense of desperation.

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