Which of the following is true of Dust Bowl migrants?
- They were lone transients who rode the rails in search of adventure.
- They were immigrants from Eastern Europe or Asia who came to the U.S. to build the railroads.
- They were women widowed by World War I who migrated to the industrial cities of the North in hopes of finding employment.
- They were families displaced by the Depression who migrated west in hopes of finding employment in the agricultural sector.
- They were Hispanics brought from Mexico under the bracero program.
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Of the options given in your question, the only possible answer is #4. Answer #1 has an element of truth in that some of the Dust Bowl migrants did become hoboes, but it was generally not a search for adventure that drove them. Instead, it was poverty.
During the Dust Bowl, hundreds of thousands of people had to leave the plains states in search of new homes where they could hope to make a living. These people tended to be generically known as "Okies." As you can see in pictures such as those by Dorothea Lange, the Okies tended to migrate in family groups as they looked for a way to make a living.
A seven-year drought beginning in 1931 followed by the dust storms of 1932 in Kansas, southeastern Colorado, northeastern and southeastern New Mexico, and Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas came to be known as the Dust Bowl. Farmers were driven by the Great Depression, drought, and dust storms; thousands of farmers packed up their families and made the difficult journey to California where they hoped to find work. California was the destination for most of the migrants because of the temperate climate and farming communities. Most of the migrants were referred to as “Okies” and they did not find the employment situation as they had expected. John Steinbeck writes about this migration in his famous work Grapes of Wrath.
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