During the Great Depression
, in portions of the North American Great Plains
there was a years-long drought, leading to soil erosion and dust storms
. Crops failed, forcing many farmers to leave in search of work elsewhere, notably California
. Many of the displaced were from Oklahoma, and became known as Okies.
In South Dakota on November 11, 1933 a very strong dust storm stripped topsoil from desiccated farmlands in just one of a series of disastrous dust storms that year. Then on May 11, 1934 a strong two-day dust storm removed massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst such storms of the Dust Bowl.
See also: Woody Guthrie, The Grapes of Wrath
- The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression, Paul Bonnifield, University of New Mexico Press, Alquequerque, New Mexico, 1978, hardcover, ISBN 0-8263-0485-0.