PICRYL
PICRYLThe World's Largest Public Domain Source
  • homeHome
  • searchSearch
  • photo_albumStories
  • collectionsCollections
  • infoAbout
  • star_rateUpgrade
  • account_boxLogin

The Dust Bowl Exodus

Draught and Great Depression RefugeesCreated by: PICRYLDated: 2017
Part of the daily motorcade of drought refugees. The Montana-North Dakota state line
The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history that happened during the Great Depression. Although overall three out of four farmers stayed on their land, the mass exodus depleted the population drastically in certain areas. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California.
Arriving in California, the migrants were faced with a life almost as difficult as the one they had left. Like the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”, some 40 percent of migrant farmers wound up in the San Joaquin Valley, picking grapes and cotton. They took up the work of Mexican migrant workers, 120,000 of whom were repatriated during the 1930s.
1899
1899
slider-holder
1941
slider-holder
1941
926 Media in collectionpage 1 of 10
Over this bridge drought refugees are crossing the Colorado River into California. U.S. 80 / Dorothea Lange, 1935.

Over this bridge drought refugees are crossing the Colorado River into...

Photograph shows cars crossing a bridge with a sign with the word "Yuma" on the top. Title from item.

Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven children without food. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Nipomo, California

Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven children without food. Mot...

Photograph shows Florence Thompson with two of her children as part of the "Migrant Mother" series. For background information, see "Dorothea Lange's M̀igrant Mother' photographs ..." http://www.loc.gov/rr/prin... more

President Roosevelt speaking from train. Bismarck, North Dakota

President Roosevelt speaking from train. Bismarck, North Dakota

Photo shows U.S. Secret Service agent William "Bill" Simmons, bottom left (Source: Secret Service archivist, 2012)