Check out the Library of Congress' multimedia collections about the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s. Driven by the lash of dust storms and crop failures, the so-called Okies moved west in search of work in the Golden State. They gathered in squalid roadside camps along their route and sometimes met armed guards aiming to turn them back at the California border. Once in California, the migrant families found field work scarce, backbreaking and poorly paid. Along the way, the Okies grew a rich folk culture.

To check out this history, go to There you will find 'Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-41.' The collection includes voice files, photographs and manuscripts from the era. And have a glass of iced lemonade ready when you do.


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