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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





May 6, 1940

John Steinbeck is Awarded a Pulitzer Prize
for the Novel "Grapes of Wrath"

On this day in 1940, John Steinbeck was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his novel published in 1939 titled The Grapes of Wrath. This depression era novel was about a poor family of sharecroppers who were forced from their farms and homes in Oklahoma by drought and economic hardship during the Dust Bowl.

With no other means of income, the “Oakies” moved West to California where there were rumors of high paying jobs, only to find that thousands of others had done the same. This overabundance of job seekers along with unfair labor practices of the time meant that they would often work in the fields and end the long work day with barely enough money to buy flour and lard.

The heart-breaking story does have some uplifting moments and is also a stark reminder of how fortunate many of us are even in the most difficult economic times.