In 1939, photographer Dorothea Lange traveled the United States photographing thousands of people suffering the consequences of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. Although much of the country was on the road to recovery at this point, the decade-long drought on the Great Plains continued to displace rural laborers and white-collar workers alike.

While taking photographs of people from North Carolina to Oregon, Lange also collected their stories. These quotes from the subjects are included in the title of each photo at the Library of Congress.

See our slideshow of some of the most human moments Lange captured for an unparalleled look into the American spirit in 1939

Humans of 1939

Twenty-five year old drifter, California

Carrot picker, California

Young man, North Carolina

Deputy sheriff, Oregon

Woman in mobile camp, Oregon

Drought refugee, Washington

Rural rehabilitation client, Washington

Grandmother in a contractor's camp, California

Lemon pickers, California

Family from Dallas Texas, in California

If you had ancestors that were affected by the Dust Bowl and were part of the greatest migration in American history, you must find out their full story. Start today by searching the 1940 census (free access) and more of our American records to begin piecing together your family's journey.

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Read the full story of the Dust Bowl: 1939: The year the dust settled