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The Dust Bowl, California, and the Politics of Hard Times 


In the 1930s, a series of severe dust storms swept across the mid-west states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas. The storms, years of drought, and the Great Depression devastated the lives of residents living in those Dust Bowl states. Three hundred thousand of the stricken people packed up their belongings and drove to California. A new exhibition titled “The Dust Bowl, California, and the Politics of Hard Times” opens at The California State Capitol Museum on June 17, 2013, and runs through May 15, 2014. This exhibit examines the cultural, social, and political impact the Dust Bowl migrants had on California. The photographs of Dorothea Lange, songs and lyrics of Woody Guthrie, and storytelling genius of John Steinbeck bring the era and people to life with their dramatic and poignant styles. Two California governors and their administrations grappled with the influx of the hundreds of thousands who flooded the state throughout the 1930s.  The great Dust Bowl migration transformed and reshaped California for years to come.  


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