Please complete this study guide as you watch the film on the Dust Bowl

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Surviving the Dust Bowl

Please complete this study guide as you watch the film on the Dust Bowl.

  1. What year did the rain stop?

    1. 1931

  1. How long did the Dust Bowl last?

    1. 8-10 years

  1. What happed to the people who actually lived through and experienced the Dust Bowl?

a. lost all of their means to make a living; had to leave because they could not farm; crops were destroyed

  1. Describe the Southern Plains.

    1. The land was untouched, lush and green, but there is a never ending cycle of drought and rain.

  1. What did the farmers plant on the land in the Southern Plains?


  1. What happened to the weather in the 1930’s?

    1. The rains stopped

  1. Did all the farmers leave the Southern Plains during the Dust Bowl? How many left?

a. No but most did leave. 2.5 million people moved out of the Plains; 200,000 moved to California

  1. What were the dust storms called?

    1. Black Blizzards

  1. Describe what it was like to experience a dust storm.

    1. It was like a blizzard.

  1. What did the people spit out?

    1. dirt

  1. What did people believe was happening when they were experiencing a dust storm?

    1. End of the world

  1. How were the farming conditions in 1931 compared to the rest of the country?

    1. excellent

  1. What was the land and soil like before farmers plowed it?

    1. Chocolate, rich

  1. What didn’t the farmers know about the land when they started to move to the southern plains?

    1. Endless cycle of drought; constant plowing and planting stripped land of nutrients

  1. What drew the farmers to the southern plains?

    1. They were paid well for farming wheat

  1. What did Washington want from farmers? Why?

    1. Wheat for WWI

  1. What came to the fields in the 20’s

    1. Tractors & farmers

  1. How many acres a day could a horse plow?

    1. 3

  1. How many acres a day could a tractor plow?

    1. 50

  1. What happened to the fields when the rains stopped?

    1. Dried up, dust formed

  1. What did the Red Cross do?

    1. Handed out dust masks

  1. How many acres became waste land?

    1. omitted in my class

  1. How many dust storms were there in 1932, in 1933?

1932 – 14 dust storms

1933- 38 dust storms

  1. How did people protect themselves and their houses from the dust?

    1. People hung wet sheets in front of doors and windows, stuffed rags in windows and cracks

  1. What did the Government do to help the farmers?

a. offered relief through Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal

  1. What did the govt. do to the cattle, Why?

a. bought and destroyed cattle because the livestock feed depleted

  1. In 1935, what problem did farmers face?

    1. land was destroyed by jack rabbits that were starving

  1. What were rabbit drives, explain?

a. people would go out and hunt jack rabbits (to get rid of them)

  1. Describe Black Sunday.

    1. April 14, 1935 was the worst day of the Dust Storm; the people thought that God's wrath was on them for killing the jack rabbits

  1. Where did people turn for moral support? the Bible

  1. What epidemic hit the plains? Dust Pneumonia

  1. What were some home remedies? skunk grease, sugar and turpentine, kerosene and lard

  1. Why did some farmers begin to head West? there had been no rainfall for 4 years What were they in search of? farm jobs in California

  1. What happened to the banks, businesses and churches? the banks and businesses failed and churches were boarded up

  1. Who was John McCarty? editor of the Dow Hart Newspaper who started the Last Man's Club

  1. What was the Last Man’s Club? issued the call to arms; meant to build up courage; the men in the club pledged to stay and do anything to help others

  1. What solution did Tex Thorton propose? Use explosion to excite the atmosphere and induce rain

  1. What did Hugh Bennett try to teach farmers? the Father of Soil Conservation;

  1. What did Hugh Bennett try to tell Washington? conservation techniques could restore farming to the southern plains

  1. Why did he stall when he was presenting in Washington? because the Dust Storm was approaching Washington D.C.; the Congressmen would be able to see what the farmers in the Southern plains were going through

  1. What did the Easterners get? what it was like for the Southern Plain farmers; they could smell, breathe, and taste the dust

  1. What did most people think about soil? it was limitless; full of nutrients; could not be destroyed

  1. Describe the film that was created that promoted conservation of soil. "The Plow that Broke the Plains" paid Melt White's Dad to play a farmer breaking up the soil; the film showed the farmer's farming practices to be the reason why the soil was would not grow anything.

  1. What did Washington finally do about the problem? paid farmers to use conservation methods

  1. Plowing was no longer done to plant, what was the purpose of plowing? to get money for surviving

  1. What were the results of the conservation efforts? dust blowing reduced by 65% but the drought continued

  1. When it finally did rain, how did the farmers feel? extreme happiness; very emotional; had hope that there would be crops

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