These 9 Photos From South Dakota’s Dust Bowl Will Break Your Heart

Times can be tough today, but our problems are nothing compared to what people faced about a century ago. They called it the Dust Bowl and the Dirty Thirties, and it was a hard, hard time to be alive in South Dakota. As the economy started to fail in the late 1920s, South Dakota farmers tried to compensate for low crop prices by planting more. The overworked land quickly became stressed and the soil lacked the nutrients needed to grow plants. Then the drought hit the state, bringing with it harsh winds and dust storms. From the early 1930s to the early ’40s, South Dakotans struggled with one of the worst crises we had ever faced. While our state certainly wasn’t the only place affected by the terrible drought and dust storms, it’s a part of our history that those who lived through it will never forget. Take a look at the following photos of the 1930s Dust Bowl in South Dakota to see a glimpse of just how trying these years were.

Check out this footage from USA Today of a modern-day South Dakota dust storm if you’re having trouble envisioning what this would look like in person:

Do you have any family stories about the South Dakota dust storms? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

Our state’s history is undeniably fascinating. For proof of this, here are some of the oldest photos ever taken in South Dakota.

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