Migrant Labor in the 1930's By: Eli Joseph, Amelia Read & Perry Cummings

What Happened to the Migrant Laborers?

Many farmers and laborers were driven out of their farms due to a seven year drought known as the "Dust Bowl." There were constant dust storms and little to no rain which made it impossible to grow crops and drove people west. This led the stock market to crash and many people lost their jobs. But to keep their spirits up they sang, played music and engaged in recreational activities.

When did it happen?

The seven year drought started in 1931, which was followed by many dust storms causing many farms to dry up, creating an area called the "Dust Bowl."

Why is it important?

This is important because many people lost their jobs and traveled west to California in search for a job, which is what the characters in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck are doing.

What did it look like?

Every farm in the Dust Bowl was dried up which led people to move to California. Since there were so many people looking for jobs, employment and housing was terrible. Many people lived in shacks made of scrap and had no plumbing or electricity. This led people to drink irrigation water and made many sick.


The Migrant Experience - Voices from the Dust Bowl: the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941

Logan, Katie Abbey. "Migrant Workers of California in the 1930's." Prezi. Katie Estel, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 9 Jan. 2017.

Lange, Dorothea. Great Depression, 1936. 1936. National Farm Worker Ministry, Nipomo, CA.

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