|A haboob in Iraq|
Haboobs are common in countries around the Sahara Desert, such as Sudan, and they also happen in places like Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. Australia has haboobs in its deserts, for instance around Alice Springs. A haboob might blow sand and debris several kilometers into the sky. And after the haboob is over, there can be a foot of sand left behind.
In North America, there are sometimes haboobs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. I don't think there are any haboobs in Missouri, but if we don't get some rain soon, it could happen!
|Exodusters on St. Louis levee, waiting |
for steamboat to take them to Kansas.
Library of Congress photo
Kansas was the place people wanted to go because John Brown had been there before the Civil War started, and he had freed a bunch of slaves and took them to Canada on the Underground Railroad. Also, Kansas had entered the union as a free state -- after people first did a lot of fighting over the issue -- so Kansas seemed like a more tolerant state than some others. There were several agencies that tried to help the exodusters, but most of these people still ended up being very poor. After the summer of 1880, African-Americans pretty much stopped coming to Kansas, and the Exoduster movement died out.
SPOONY is another funny-sounding word, and you can use it to describe somebody who is silly and sentimental, fond, weak-minded, or soft. A spoony person is goofy and lovable, and just wants to have fun.
The word was first used in English popular literature before 1835. It's a term that was used by sailors who were out sailing around in those big, tall ships. When a storm came up that was really strong, the ship had to put right before the wind, which was called "spooning." The same thing might happen to a young man who was in the storm of courtship. When he was in danger of being swept away by a look from his lady, he might have to "spoon" in order to stay upright and afloat.