A group of disparate explorers settle in a bountiful alien land. Through technology they transform the world, making it beautiful, hospitable, profitable. And little by little, they doom themselves. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan, is a…
When the "frontier" was first being settled, prairie rabbits were a boon. They were easy game for hungry families. But during the Depression, they became a terror that whole communities fought through gruesome "Jack Rabbit Drives."
Charles Hatfield was a celebrated rainmaker, but when one of his rainmaking schemes worked too well, he became a notorious rainmaker. Here's how a flooded city refused to pay the man who claimed to have flooded it.
During the Dust Bowl, people living in northern Texas and Oklahoma had to contend with storms of flour-fine dust that could last for days. The dust blasted through the cracks in window frames and under doors, blinded people, and smothered cattle to death. But it also made people into walking tasers.
In the 1930s, the southwestern Great Plains suffered a series of severe droughts. Overfarming and overgrazing had destroyed prairie grasses, making the topsoil even more vulnerable to strong winds. NASA scientists now say that one of those drought years, 1934, was the driest and most widespread in a millennium.
Some of America's biggest historical events, like Gettysburg or the Dust Bowl, are also some of the most complex—and rife with contradicting accounts. A new digital mapping system aims to apply Google Earth-like functionality to American History's mysteries.