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        Migrant Families | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        View images of families displaced by the Dust Bowl to places like California, where they often lived under poor conditions in migrant camps. The Dust Bowl was a region of the Southwestern Great Plains of the United States that stretched 150,000 square miles across Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandles, and parts of Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. The region fell into an ecologically disastrous state during the 1930s. A combination of aggressive and poor farming techniques, coupled with drought conditions in the region, created massive dust storms that drove thousands of poor, rural Americans from their homes. 

        Farmer And Sons Walking In the Face Of A Dust Storm | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Farmer and sons in a dust storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, April, 1936. Source: Arthur Rothstein, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        Migrant Mother | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Farm Security Administration photographer, Dorothea Lange, came across Florence Thomson and her children in a pea pickers' camp in Nipomo, California, in March 1936. During the decade of the Great Depression, California's population grew by more than 20 percent, an increase of 1.3 million people. More than half of the newcomers came from cities, not farms. One in six were professionals or white-collar workers. Of the 315,000 who arrived from Oklahoma, Texas, and neighboring states, only 16,000 were from the Dust Bowl itself. Regardless of where they came from, what their skills were, or their education, to most Californians, and the nation at-large, they were all the same: Okies. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Migrant Couple | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Migrant couple sitting on the running board of an auto in Berrien County, Michigan. July, 1940. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Migrant Man Working On Headlight Of An Auto | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Migrant man working on the headlight of an auto in Muskogee, Oklahoma. July, 1939. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Migrant Woman With Five Children | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Migrant woman with five children on the road near Fresno, California, May, 1937. Source: Dorothea Lange. The Library of Congress Prints Photographs Division.

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        Woman Standing Outside Wooden Shack | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A woman stands outside a wodden shack with two small children and a baby in Tulare County, California, 1938. Source: Dorothea Lange, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Divison.

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        Family At A Migrant Camp | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A migrant man and four children look out from their tent in a migrant camp in Brawley, California, in February, 1939. Source: Dorothea Lange, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        Migrant Man Looking Up At Billboard | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        Migrant man looks up at a billboard in Dubuque, Iowa, in April 1940. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Migrant Boy | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A migrant boy looks out of the back window of an automobile in Berrien County, Michigan, in July, 1940. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        A Migrant Woman And Small Child | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        A migrant woman and a small child in Oskaloosa, Kansas, October, 1938. Source: The Library of Congress.

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        Woman With Children In A Tent | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

        This image is from the Migrant Mother series, and was taken in Nipomo, California, in 1936. Source: Dorothea Lange, The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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