Today is the 80th anniversary of Black Sunday, widely regarded as one of the worst days of the Dust Bowl.
I’ve been fascinated by the history of the Dust Bowl since I first saw one of the iconic photographs of a “black blizzard”. Though the Dust Bowl was an environmental disaster with man-made roots*, there’s a nearly supernatural quality laced through the images and accounts of the time. Maybe it’s that most of the written and oral accounts were coming from people who lived very closely with the land, and felt as though a friend had betrayed them. Maybe it’s that nothing of the sort had ever been seen before, and the relentless assault didn’t ever seem likely to end.
I’m captivated by the idea that the environment could be quasi-sentient, and with a landscape so unpredictable that it’s easier to assume there are forces at work other than air currents and a lack of rain. 150,000 words of fascinated with it, but that’s a (long) story for another day. In the meantime, you can check out what GhostsofNorthDakota.com has to say about Black Sunday.