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In the 1930s, much of the United States was being ravaged by the Dust Bowl, a natural disaster caused by prolonged drought.

It was particularly bad for residents of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Entire farms were swept away in giant, seething clouds of black dust. So these "Okies" and "Arkies," as they were known, moved west.

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Photo: Arthur Rothstein

A car chased by a "black blizzard" during the Dust Bowl, March 1936

Many stopped in Arizona, attracted by the sunshine and the opportunity to work in the state's cotton fields. And they stayed, settling in with their customs, their cultures and their beliefs.

The influx of Midwesterners would change Arizona forever.

Today, as giant dust storms regularly form in the deserts of southern Arizona, some are asking if we could suffer another Dust Bowl?

This Sunday (11/18) at 7:00 p.m. on PBS 6, see the Arizona Public Media original production Arizona's Dust Bowl: Lessons Lost.

Then at 8:00 p.m., see the premiere of Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl.

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Photo: AZPM