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        A Man-Made Ecological Disaster | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        View images of farmers, and members of the U.S. Government’s Soil Conservation Service, which was developed to help save the soil and the land. The Dust Bowl was the greatest man-made ecological disaster in the history of the United States. It encompassed a region 150,000 square miles long, across Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandles, and parts of Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. A combination of aggressive and poor farming techniques, coupled with drought conditions in the region and high winds created massive dust storms that drove thousands from their homes and created a large migrant population of poor, rural Americans during the 1930s. 

        Prosperous Farmers | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Prosperous farmers with women and children stand in an abundant wheat field in Molt, Montana, 1927. Source: Mildred Romundstad Madson (1897-1992).

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        Land Speculators | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A group of men, land speculators, stand around a piece of farm equipment in a field. New Mexico, 1903. Source: Windows on the Plains, Dumas, Texas.

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        A Landscape Rearranged | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        The fine dirt lifted by the dust storms and blown by the winds scraped some fields to hardpan, and created dunes wherver there were eddies in the wind. Farm Security Administration photographer Arthur Rothstein shot this photograph in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1936. Source: Arthur Rothstein, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        A Government Official Talks To Two Farmers | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A government official talks to two farmers in Gray County, Kansas, in August, 1939. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Farms At A Stock Auction | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Farmers at a stock auction in San Angelo, Texas, in March, 1940. Photo by Russell Lee. Source: The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        A Farmer In A Field | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A farmer holds out his hand to represent how high the wheat should be in a field in Grand County, North Dakota, July, 1936. Source: Arthur Rothstein, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        Farmer Inspecting Soil | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A farmer inspects soil next to a planter pulled by horses in a field in Jasper Country, Iowa. May, 1940. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Abandoned Hopes, Abandoned Farm | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        An abandoned, dusted-out homestead north of Dalhart, Texas, in 1938. Dorothea Lange took this photograph as part of her work with the federal Farm Security Administration (FSA). Source: Dorothea Lange, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Divison.

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        A Man In A Suit Sits In Buffalo Grass | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A man in a suit sits in a vast field of buffalo grass in Haskell County, Kansas, in 1897. Source: Kansas State Historical Society.

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        Farmers Harvesting Grain | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Two farmers harvest grain with farm equipment in Costilla County, Colorado, in October, 1939. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Soil Conservation Service Meeting | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Hugh Bennett points to a map in an office. H. Howard Finnell is standing second from left, while other Soil Conservation Service men look on. Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

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        Sparse Vegetation In Field | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Sparse vegetation can be seen in a field covered by sand drifts near a house, barn, windmill, and shacks. Dalhart, Texas. June, 1938. Source: Dorothea Lange, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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