Children of the Dust Bowl

J.R. Davison J.R. Davison

"I was pretty small when I got the dust pneumonia. I don't remember exactly getting sick, but I do remember part of my stay in the hospital. They took me to Amarillo, that was the closest good hospital, and I guess I was sicker than I ever realized..."





children of the dust bowl

Maria plantation, Arkansas, 1937

 It is very difficult for us to realize how hard life was in the 1930s.  They had a very different outlook on things.  They had nothing, lived day to day, and worked harder than we can understand.  The children at that time had very different roles than children today.  They were responsible for the upkeep of the farm, they ahd strict rules, and they did not have many entertainment devices.  They had to entertain themselves!  All of their toys and clothes were homemade, and family was extremely important to them.


 Although we have poor people in our society, as well as rich, nothing compares to the widespread poverty and lack of possessions than the 1930s!  The following video is an account of a man named LeRoy Hankel.  He talks about how they would live off of $1 a day. 

LeRoy Hankel, Living on a Dollar a Day

Video hint: there is a transcript at the right of the video so you can read what he is saying while you are listening.



For more information on the lives of children during the dust bowl and the great depression, the following book is an excellent resource:

Freedman, A. (2005). Children of the Great Depression. New York: Haughton Mifflin Company