Lost & Found Sound

Lost and Found Sound - Voices of the Dustbowl

{LOST AND FOUND SOUND: "VOICES OF THE DUSTBOWL"} — Today we hear the latest installment the "Lost and Found Sound," series: "Voices of the Dustbowl." In the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of people from Oklahoma and Arkansas traveled to California, in search of better living. Depression-related poverty and a massive drought and subsequent dust storms had made life impossible for them back home. There were no jobs, and the fields were fallow. California held the promise of work and wages, harvesting fruit and vegetables year-round. Sixty years ago, in the summer of 1940, Charles Todd was hired by the Library of Congress to visit the federal camps where many of these migrants lived, to create an audio oral history of their stories, and to document the success of the camp program to the Roosevelt administration back in Washington. Todd carried a 50-pound Presto recorder from camp to camp that summer, interviewing the migrant workers. He made hundreds of hours of recordings on acetate and cardboard discs. Todd was there at the same time that writer John Steinbeck was interviewing many of the same people in these camps, for research on a new novel called "The Grapes of Wrath." Producer Barrett Golding went though this massive collection of Todd's recordings. Together, they bring us this story, narrated by Charles Todd.



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