Excellent documentary. Loved the personal interviews with men and women who experienced the Dust Bowl as children and lived through those hard times. My husband's parents and other older siblings experienced the Dust Bowl (he was one of 12 children in a farming family in Baca County, Colorado..and...right in the bullseye of the Bowl in the 30's). I heard his family's stories. My husband , born in 1940, was the second youngest of the 12 siblings, and was a teenager in the 1950's in Baca County. Some farmers went back to their old ways of plowing after the 1930's Dust Bowl days (like they plowed in the 20's to grow/harvest wheat crops that was a boom in the 20's and before the 30's droughts). Plowing up the farmlands again like before caused dust storms again in the 1950's. My husband experienced seeing many of those bad dust storms again in the mid-1950's. Some farmers, sadly, didn't learn the Dust Bowl lessons of the 30's. Currently, thankfully, many thousands of acres of farmlands in that vast area are not farmed, and natural grasses have grown back. Evidently, the government pays farmers there not to plow some acreages to keep away the dust bowl tragedies like the 30's.
But, my husband in the 1950's saw those dust storms return as a teen, and saw the invasions of grasshoppers again destroying crops, and the invasions of thousands of jackrabbits that ate crops, too. As a teen, he helped his dad supplement the family income to kill the invading thousands of jackrabbits. He said folks were paid $0.25/ head for killing jackrabbits to slow the destruction of the crops, their livelihood. He showed me newspaper pictures from the Plainsman Herald , Springfield, CO of the piles of dead jackrabbits from that time.
We take so much for granted now compared to what these heroic American folks experienced during those Dust Bowl years of the 30's shown in this documentary. So much courage shown in the stories and filmclips along with so much heartbreak for many. I was moved to tears by some of the heartbreaking stories, especially of children dying of dust pneumonia.
I highly recommend this and other documentaries researched and produced by Ken Burns. Excellent lessons in American history for me to take away to learn more invaluable life lessons, and have a greater respect for that generation of everyday folks living and surviving during the Dust Bowl years.