Dust BowlDuring the Great Depression, in portions of the North American Great Plains there was a years-long drought, leading to soil erosion and dust storms. Crops failed, forcing many farmers to leave in search of work elsewhere, notably California. Many of the displaced were from Oklahoma, and became known as Okies.
In South Dakota on November 11, 1933 a very strong dust storm stripped topsoil from desiccated farmlands in just one of a series of disastrous dust storms that year. Then on May 11, 1934 a strong two-day dust storm removed massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst such storms of the Dust Bowl.