1929: THE GREAT DEPRESSION

Up from The Dust

ESTIMATED TIME: 1 HOUR

The year is 1929. You’re one of the Dunn twins. When the Great Depression hits, can you help save the family farm? Play online or download the iPad app.

Meet the Characters

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Meet the Characters

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Roberto Lopez

Roberto Lopez is a Rock Island Railroad line worker. He works in a small group to keep the railroad tracks clear and level, cleans freight cars, and helps load and unload freight. His family came from Chihuahua, Mexico, where his father worked on a large ranch, but the Mexican Revolution caused the ranch owner to flee. His father was recruited by the railroad 20 years ago to work laying track.

Tony Amato

Tony Amato is 19 years old and becomes friends with Frank Dunn when they are in the CCC together. The son of Italian immigrants, he grew up in the Bronx in New York City. His father is an unemployed laborer and brick layer and his mother takes care of his three younger siblings. His first CCC assignment was in upstate New York planting trees, then he was transferred to the camp in Texas where he meets Frank.

Evelyn Huff

Mrs. Evelyn Huff runs a general store near the Dunn farm. She knows everybody who farms nearby and barters eggs, butter, homemade jams, and other farm goods for necessities such as sugar, flour, and salt. She also allows most of the local families to pay on credit while they wait to sell their yearly crop.

Edward “Ned” Shaw

Ned Shaw is a sharecropper from Arkansas who was cheated by the owner of the land he farmed. He feared violence from the Ku Klux Klan if he tried to seek justice, so he decided to move his family to Los Angeles, California, in search of better conditions.

Trudy Dunn (Ma)

Trudy Dunn has lived in the southern Texas Panhandle her whole life. Her father acquired public land from the government in the 1870s and began planting a hardy strain of wheat that could survive the harsh climate. After marrying Raymond Dunn, the couple took over her family’s wheat farm and expanded it.

Virginia (Ginny) Dunn

Ginny (Frank’s twin sister) is thirteen when “Up from the Dust” begins. She lives with her family on a wheat farm in the Texas Panhandle a few miles outside of Dalhart. She goes to school in Dalhart and helps out on the farm taking care of the chickens and making butter. She is active in the 4-H Club and is close friends with her neighbor Thelma.

Frank Dunn

Frank (Ginny’s twin brother) is thirteen when “Up from the Dust” begins. He lives with his family on a wheat farm in the Texas Panhandle a few miles outside of Dalhart. He goes to school, helps take care of the beef and milk cows on the farm, and enjoys reading adventure stories in his spare time. He doesn’t always get along with his older brothers, but is close to Ginny. He’s raising a calf on his own and hoping she will win a ribbon at the county fair.

Raymond Dunn (Pa)

Raymond Dunn farms wheat and raises a few head of cattle on 640 acres in the Texas Panhandle. His father was a ranch hand on the XIT ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Raymond hoped to become a cattle rancher, too, but a wheat boom during World War I encouraged him to switch to wheat farming and to teach his sons all he’s learned about raising wheat.

Thelma Mitchell

Thelma is Ginny’s best friend and is also thirteen years old at the start of “Up from the Dust.” Her family are tenant farmers, so they do not own their own land. When hard times hit, they are already in debt and unable to borrow more money to cover their expenses. Thelma goes to school with Ginny and Frank and is also active in the 4-H Club.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) is a documentary photographer best known for her images of American hardship during the Great Depression. Born in New Jersey, she moved to northern California when she was in her 20s and lived there for the rest of her life. Lange worked for a variety of U.S. government agencies from 1935-1945, traveling around the country to photograph the Dust Bowl, conditions in migrant labor camps, rural poverty, wartime defense industry workers, and imprisoned Japanese Americans.

Tom Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell is a tenant farmer who lives with his wife and two daughters near the Dunns. After World War I, he moved his family from Arkansas to the Texas Panhandle, hoping to make enough money growing wheat to buy his own land. With declining wheat prices, it hasn’t worked out that way. He works on land owned by a businessman in Dalhart to whom he pays a portion of his wheat crop as rent.

Charlie, a Bonus Army veteran

Charlie fought in World War I and was promised an additional cash bonus for his military service, to be paid in 1945. When unemployment rose after the stock market crash he was laid off from his factory job and has not been able to find any work., Along with thousands of other World War I veterans, he is traveling to Washington, D.C., to ask the government to pay veterans their bonuses now.

Roberto Lopez

Roberto Lopez is a Rock Island Railroad line worker. He works in a small group to keep the railroad tracks clear and level, cleans freight cars, and helps load and unload freight. His family came from Chihuahua, Mexico, where his father worked on a large ranch, but the Mexican Revolution caused the ranch owner to flee. His father was recruited by the railroad 20 years ago to work laying track.

Tony Amato

Tony Amato is 19 years old and becomes friends with Frank Dunn when they are in the CCC together. The son of Italian immigrants, he grew up in the Bronx in New York City. His father is an unemployed laborer and brick layer and his mother takes care of his three younger siblings. His first CCC assignment was in upstate New York planting trees, then he was transferred to the camp in Texas where he meets Frank.

Evelyn Huff

Mrs. Evelyn Huff runs a general store near the Dunn farm. She knows everybody who farms nearby and barters eggs, butter, homemade jams, and other farm goods for necessities such as sugar, flour, and salt. She also allows most of the local families to pay on credit while they wait to sell their yearly crop.

Edward “Ned” Shaw

Ned Shaw is a sharecropper from Arkansas who was cheated by the owner of the land he farmed. He feared violence from the Ku Klux Klan if he tried to seek justice, so he decided to move his family to Los Angeles, California, in search of better conditions.

Trudy Dunn (Ma)

Trudy Dunn has lived in the southern Texas Panhandle her whole life. Her father acquired public land from the government in the 1870s and began planting a hardy strain of wheat that could survive the harsh climate. After marrying Raymond Dunn, the couple took over her family’s wheat farm and expanded it.

Virginia (Ginny) Dunn

Ginny (Frank’s twin sister) is thirteen when “Up from the Dust” begins. She lives with her family on a wheat farm in the Texas Panhandle a few miles outside of Dalhart. She goes to school in Dalhart and helps out on the farm taking care of the chickens and making butter. She is active in the 4-H Club and is close friends with her neighbor Thelma.

Frank Dunn

Frank (Ginny’s twin brother) is thirteen when “Up from the Dust” begins. He lives with his family on a wheat farm in the Texas Panhandle a few miles outside of Dalhart. He goes to school, helps take care of the beef and milk cows on the farm, and enjoys reading adventure stories in his spare time. He doesn’t always get along with his older brothers, but is close to Ginny. He’s raising a calf on his own and hoping she will win a ribbon at the county fair.

Raymond Dunn (Pa)

Raymond Dunn farms wheat and raises a few head of cattle on 640 acres in the Texas Panhandle. His father was a ranch hand on the XIT ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Raymond hoped to become a cattle rancher, too, but a wheat boom during World War I encouraged him to switch to wheat farming and to teach his sons all he’s learned about raising wheat.

Thelma Mitchell

Thelma is Ginny’s best friend and is also thirteen years old at the start of “Up from the Dust.” Her family are tenant farmers, so they do not own their own land. When hard times hit, they are already in debt and unable to borrow more money to cover their expenses. Thelma goes to school with Ginny and Frank and is also active in the 4-H Club.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) is a documentary photographer best known for her images of American hardship during the Great Depression. Born in New Jersey, she moved to northern California when she was in her 20s and lived there for the rest of her life. Lange worked for a variety of U.S. government agencies from 1935-1945, traveling around the country to photograph the Dust Bowl, conditions in migrant labor camps, rural poverty, wartime defense industry workers, and imprisoned Japanese Americans.

Tom Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell is a tenant farmer who lives with his wife and two daughters near the Dunns. After World War I, he moved his family from Arkansas to the Texas Panhandle, hoping to make enough money growing wheat to buy his own land. With declining wheat prices, it hasn’t worked out that way. He works on land owned by a businessman in Dalhart to whom he pays a portion of his wheat crop as rent.

Charlie, a Bonus Army veteran

Charlie fought in World War I and was promised an additional cash bonus for his military service, to be paid in 1945. When unemployment rose after the stock market crash he was laid off from his factory job and has not been able to find any work., Along with thousands of other World War I veterans, he is traveling to Washington, D.C., to ask the government to pay veterans their bonuses now.