1. The dust bowl started with a drought in 1930 and lasted about a decade. 2. It was caused by poor farming practices and over-farming. 3. Approximately 35 million acres have been destroyed. 4. Around 100 million acres now in crops have lost all, or most, of the topsoil.
5. 125 million acres of land now in crops are rapidly losing topsoil. 6. The Dust Storms began in 1932 and would eventually cover more than 75% of the country and severely affect all of the prairie states.
7. There were epic plagues of spiders, crickets, centipedes and grasshoppers. 8. Cattle, sheep, roosters and wildlife died from suffocation. 9. The black blizzards were terrifying events and sometimes the visibility levels were zero
10. Total blackouts were recorded as lasting as long as 11 hours. 11. Single black blizzard storms could rage for up to 3½ days. 12. Towering black pillar of clouds reached over 1000 feet tall.
13. Farming income, that supported between 25% - 30% of Americans, was devastated. 14. 3 million farmers were adversely effected due to unemployment. 15. In 1930 - 1934 creditors foreclosed on nearly 1 million farms. Families were evicted and made homeless.
16. In 1932 desperate farmers, angered by President Hoover's failure to help in raising farm prices started to protest. Some frantic farmers began destroying their own crops trying to raise crop prices by reducing the supply. Others organized strikes, refusing to take their crops to market for weeks. 17. Grain growers in Nebraska burned their corn to heat their homes. 18. Dairy farmers in Georgia stopped milk trucks and emptied cans of milk.
19. In addition to the storms and black blizzards, people in the prairie states also suffered from such extreme weather conditions including twisters, droughts, earthquakes, and record high and low temperatures. 20. In 1937, the Farm Security Act (FSA) provided for the building of migrant camps in the agricultural areas in which migrants found work. 21. The migrant camps were built in attempt to improve sanitation and protect migrants from hostile local residents.
22. Republican President Herbert Hoover was slow to react to the Great Depression advocating the idea that every man should fend for himself and that government handouts to the unemployed did great damage to a persons self-esteem. 23. There was no social 'safety net' of welfare or relief programs at the start of the Great Depression. 24. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the presidency in March 1933 and began to implement various relief programs in his 'New Deal', some of which were aimed at relieving the impact of the Dust Bowl.
25. Dust Bowl Relief Measures: In May, the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act allotted $200 million for refinancing mortgages to help farmers facing foreclosure and established local banks and credit associations. 26. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was signed into law establishing the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) that would pay farmers to limit crop production to get crop prices to rise. 27. Dust Bowl Relief Measures - Soil Erosion Camps: In June 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) opened the first soil erosion control camp and by September 1933 there were a total of 161 soil erosion camps in effect.
28. In June 1934 President Roosevelt signed the Taylor Grazing Act enabling the government to release 140 million acres of federally-owned land and establish new grazing districts. 29. In June 1934 the Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act was passed as a temporary measure to restrict the ability of banks to dispossess farmers in times of distress.It was originally effective until 1938, but as the prolonged effects of the Dust Bowl continued the act was renewed four times until 1947, when it eventually expired. 30. In January 1935 the Drought Relief Service (DRS) was formed to coordinate relief activities with a government cattle buying program. Surplus cattle were given to the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation (FSRC) that had been established in October 1933 to divert agricultural commodities to relief organizations.