Synopsis by Jeff Gemmill
Ken Burns' four-hour documentary recalls the 1930s-era environmental catastrophe that destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains and caused massive dust storms and "dust pneumonia." The 1920s saw a wheat boom in the region, but the Depression led to a drop in prices. In a bid to recoup losses, farmers -- acting against the recommendations of the government -- harvested more wheat. But that left fields open and, once drought hit in 1932, created the Dust Bowl. The documentary includes first-person stories, photos, and film footage.