“The Dust Bowl as Presented in the Letters from the Dust by Caroline A. Henderson 1936 in the Atlantic Daily”

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The drought of 1930 resulted in a lot of suffering to the American immigrants. The southern plains were rich fertile plains. The high demand of wheat during the First World War encouraged farmers to practice large scale farming in the states of Kansas, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.As Henderson explains in the letters (2), it was during the summer of 1931 that the winds started to blow dust making it very difficult to breathe. Everyone had to use face masks to protect their faces.Sand was blown everywhere with severe dust storms that increased in frequencies from 15 to 30 per year by 1932(Henderson 2). In 1934 to 1935, all the crops died leading to huge losses due to the ensuing drought. According to Arthi (200), Farmers depended on cornbread and beans only. The federal government stepped in to supply the farmers with relief checks but some of the family heads felt that it was too humiliating. Fraser (1663) describes how the drought worsened the animals started dying and the government set up a program to kill the animals and paid the farmers a small compensation for the loss. It’s during 1935 that the pneumonia epidemic started which the locals called the dust pneumonia. !/3 of all the deaths was caused by pneumonia in these states. Most of the farmers gave up and decided to leave leading to the mass closure of schools, banks and abandoning of churches (Gregg, 130).One John McCarthy advocated for those who had been left not to leave. By 1936 the federal government started to teach the farmers to practice soil conservation measures. By 1937 the plowing practices were done using soil conservation techniques. In 1939 the dust storms had reduced by 65% and the rains came during that year after a decade of drought.Work CitedHenderson, Caroline, A. Letters From the Dust Bowl, The Atlantic Daily (5) 1936 p,1-2, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1936/05/letters-from-the-dust-bowl/308897/ accessed on 10th April 2018Arthi, Vellore. “The Dust Was Long in Settling’: Human Capital and the Lasting Impact of the American Dust Bowl.”The Journal of Economic history,Vol.78.no.1,2018,pp196-230.,doi:10.1017/S0022050718000074 accessed on 10th April 2018Fraser, Evan DG. “Coping with food crises: Lessons from the American Dust Bowl on balancing local food, agro-technology, social welfare, and government regulation agendas in food and farming systems.” Global environmental change 23.6 (2013): 1662-1672. Retrieved from, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378013001507, accessed on 10th April 2018.Gregg, Sara M. “From breadbasket to dust bowl: rural credit, the World War I plow-up, and the transformation of American agriculture.” Great Plains Quarterly 35.2 (2015): 129-166.Retrieved from, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/581877/summary, accessed on 10th April 2018.

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