Yesterday was the anniversary of some mammoth multi-state dust storms. Robert Geiger (AP) wrote on 4/15/35:
Three little words achingly familiar on a Western farmer’s tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent – if it rains.
The name “Dust Bowl” stuck, first coined on today’s date 74 years ago. The rains didn’t return until four years later. When the dust settled in April 1935, scenes like this were repeated throughout the high plains region.
Crops were ruined. Farms produced nothing. Livestock died en masse. There was no one to sell to. People abandoned them in droves, with little more than the clothes on their back to show for many years of hard work building their homesteads.
The 1930s Dust Bowl is often referred to as a natural disaster. But that’s not quite right. Human activities, en masse, had everything to do with it.