On the 15. April 1935, the disc of the sun disappeared in Mental Floss from the sky tent. It was so dark you couldn’t see his Hand in front of your eyes. Even in closed rooms, you could see the “Black Sunday,” no one in the room. 1000 miles the storm front. They loomed black in the sky, so high, like a mountain, a wall of Dirt, and rolled over. A dust that was Recently fertile farmland, and now it was worn. And with it the livelihood of Thousands of farmers and their families.

man made disaster

These dust storms, Black Blizzards, are considered to be one of the largest ecological disasters, the people had ever caused. Even if drought and natural storms were involved, were these storms in the core of people. And this happened in little more than ten years. After the First world war, the United States has been the major exporter of Grain and filled the gap left by the tsarist Russia.


Before the dust, there was no Escape.


exploding grain prices. With agriculture, even small people could come at once to money. Even with a small Farm you could make in the 1920s, more money than the most famous baseball players of the time, Babe Ruth, earned. It is a gold rush for grain began. The mass introduction of the tractor has made it possible to transform the endless prairies in the Interior of the country in a few years, the sub-plow in grain fields. At the time, as the Great Plains in the middle of the 19th century. Century were settled was Land covered with Prairie grass. It is a band of moisture in the earth and covered the largest part of the ground, the tough Grass prevented that the soil in dry periods will be blown away.

This Phase of overexploitation and prosperity ended abruptly in 1929, when the stock markets collapsed on Black Friday. A global economic crisis started, and grain prices fell through the Floor. At the time of the ground weakened already. The Prairie grass whose roots were attached to the soil over the centuries, was eradicated. The soils were leached, the natural Vegetation disappeared. And then, in 1930, began an eleven-year-old drought, and, with it, the time of the “Black Blizzards”. In 1933, the city of Goodwill experienced alone in Oklahoma 70 storms.

the sand storm: Black Blizzard – as the exploited earth, the people store devoured Fullscreen

Many of them were in California to a fresh start and ended up in Misery.

©Circa Images/ Picture Alliance No protection against the dust

animals warned the people, they were able to notice a coming storm faster. Farmer tensioned wires, in the absolute darkness of a storm back to the house. Only a few died in a storm. However, the earth that had fed the Farmer once killed they and their families now. The wooden houses at that time were porous and did not prevent the fine dust of the storm with more than 100 km/h pushed against the walls. The lungs were filled with dust and fine crystals, especially small children died in agony in the dust of the lungs.

Floyd Coen told the “History Channel”, how he lost his little sister. “She was a perfect little girl. I’m the only one of us brothers that can talk about it without collapsing.” Four of the Coen brothers ‘ children, including Floyd, had a lung disease, the girl was only two and a half years old. “At the time, four children died in our neighborhood.”

in addition To this misfortune, disasters, the the caused the collapsing Ecosystem. The incredible heat and dryness led to an Invasion of insects, pests and poisonous spiders that took refuge in the houses, because there was still liquid. To do this, waves of locusts and Plagues of rabbits. For the contemporaries it seemed like the Apocalypse of the Old Testament.

The Farmer fled into the next misery

The extreme dryness of dörrte the floor and turned the fertile soil into a fine black dust. Storms were able to form an over 3000-Meter-high wall from the Soil. The people were able to identify the origin of the storms, even the color of the dust. The once fertile soil trickled somewhere over the seas down again. Sailors noticed in the middle of the Pacific ocean, the dust on their Decks. In two days a storm blew 350 million tons of soil to the East coast.

The Great Plan remained as a desert.


Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange the misery of the home shows-free Farmer who had been driven by the drought.

The Black Sunday of 1935 led to the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt under the New Deal programme, new, continued soil-conserving cultivation methods. But the Black Blizzards ended until 1939, when the drought came to an end.

For many farmers and their families it was too late. The dust storms forced thousands of families from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico, to California, to emigrate. In the midst of the global economic crisis, they lived in tent cities and were only with difficulty, poorly paid work. Dorothea Lange and other photographers took at the time of its misery in the order of the government.

The Country singer, Woody Guthrie experienced as a young man, the terror of the storms and the Suffering of the Farmer, and processed the experience in his songs, such as “The great dust storm”:

“The storm started at sunset, he raged the entire night.

As we looked at the next Morning, waiting for us a terrible sight.

We saw outside our window where wheat fields were,

now, only a rippling ocean of dust that had blown in the Wind here.

He devoured our fences, he devoured our barns.

He swallowed up our tractors in this wild and dusty storm.

We have loaded our boxes and our families.

We are gebrettert down the Highway to never come back.”

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