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Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
The Dust Bowl
On the Road - Photograph Collage

With crops drying in the fields and cattle starving, the Dust Bowl farmers had little choice but to abandon their farms and move elsewhere. Loading as many of their belongings as they could carry, the farmers and their families joined thousands of others migrating to other parts of the country. The pictures that follow provide a view of life "on the road" as the migrants moved west, south, or southeast in search of work. What do the faces of those pictured tell you about life "on the road?" What problems do you think were most common to the migrants as they traveled "on the road?" What things do you think were essential to surviving "on the road"?

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squatters along highway

Squatters along highway, Bakersfield, California

dust bowl refugees

Oklahoma dust bowl refugees, San Fernando, California

along the highway

Along the highway, Bakersfield, California

family on the road

Family between Dallas and Austin, Texas


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Click on the photographs to view larger images. View additional images from FSA/OWI Photographs, 1935-1945.Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.