Ken Burns Classroom

Government Reform Program

Ken Burns Film: The Dust Bowl

Collections: The Great Depression and WWII (1929-1945)

Subject: US History

Grade Level: 7-12

Video Run Time: 5:16

By 1937, the Dust Bowl farmers are asking for government help in regulating the land by forcing other farmers to take better care of their soil. They even consider declaring martial law. For many farmers who had previously demonstrated independence and suspicion of government, this is a substantial ideological turnaround. Eventually, conservation districts are established to enforce better farming methods and gradual progress is made.