Ken Burns Classroom

The Wheat Bubble Bursts

Ken Burns Film: The Dust Bowl

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

Subject: US History

Grade Level: 7-12

Video Run Time: 7:02

The stock market crashes on what came to be called Black Tuesday. By the end of 1929, financial panic has spread throughout the United States, throwing 1.5 million Americans out of work. But people living on the southern Plains are still prosperous. Many farmers believe the economic problems back east will not affect them. Wheat prices continue their downward trend and more wheat is planted in response. In 1931, the pain is felt as a bumper crop is met by depressed demand and prices drop even further. Farmers hope the tough financial times are only a temporary setback.