Ken Burns's latest documentary, The Dust Bowl, focuses on the greatest man-made ecological disaster in American history—a decade-long drought that overlapped with the Great Depression. "It was a 10 year apocalypse," Burns says. "The story of the human beings who survived this 10 year apocalypse is one of the most moving and one of the most dramatic stories we've ever come across." Burns discusses the making of the documentary in the video below.
Some of the most iconic images in American history come from the Dirty Thirties. That's because photographers were actually sent out to document the plight of the people caught in the heart of the catastrophe—including Arthur Rothstein, who was the first photojournalist from the Farm Security Administration to go to the Dust Bowl. He took some of the most iconic photographs of that time, including this one.
You can check out full episodes of The Dust Bowl on the PBS website.