Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
(157 total)

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This cartoon uses characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland story to criticize federal spending on New Deal programs. The cartoonist depicts President Franklin Roosevelt as the Mad Hatter; Postmaster General and Chairman of the Democratic Party James Farley as the March Hare; and Congress as the sleepy Dormouse.

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Item Type: Cartoon
Date: 1936

This worksheet helps students undertake a close reading of the 1936 cartoon "A Mad Tea Party," about President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. It also asks them to write a paragraph explaining the cartoon's argument.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2013

The Social Security Act of 1935 started a national old-age pension for workers who earned wages. This meant that at age 65 these workers could retire and receive monthly payments from the government. To pay for this program, workers and employers each paid money into the fund. The Social Security Board distributed this poster in 1936 and 1937 to…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: 1936

A 1943 poster announces a Nazi paper drive. As in the Allied countries, German civilians were expected to contribute to the war effort by recycling materials, rationing food, and buying war bonds. In Nazi Germany, however, such participation was seldom optional. Boys of the age shown in this poster, for example, would have been required to join the…

Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: 1943

Mexicans and Mexican Americans contributed in many ways to the United States' war effort during World War II. About 19% of all Mexican Americans signed up for the armed forces; nearly 17,000 Mexican Americans in Los Angeles worked in the area's shipyards, airfields, and armament factories. So many Mexican-American women helped build ships that…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: 1943

The unemployment rate soared in the U.S. during the Great Depression (peaking at 25% in 1933), while wages for those who still had jobs fell sharply. Many people, employed and unemployed, fell behind on their rent or mortgage payments and lost their homes. This photo was taken in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1937 (well into the Great Depression), by…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1937

This photograph is part of a series of iconic images of the Civilian Conservation Corps taken at an "experimental farm" in Beltsville, Maryland. The photographer, Carl Mydans (1907-2004), worked for the Farm Security Administration and, in 1936, became a staff photographer for Life magazine.

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1933

During the Great Depression an estimated 250,000 youths left home to search for work, to ease the burden on their families, to escape an abusive home life, or to find adventure. Opportunities for work were rare and never long-term, and most young transients hitch-hiked or illegally rode freight trains, traveling from town to town. Train…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1935

This account from the Norfolk (Virginia) Journal and Guide, an African-American newspaper, describes the CCC's response to the dishonorable discharge of an African-American corpsman who refused to fan flies off of a white officer. After a protest by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), CCC director Robert Fechner…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1934

Between 1942 and 1964, 4.6 million Mexicans came to the United States to perform the much needed but incredibly difficult "stoop work" of planting, tending, and harvesting crops. These men, called braceros, were initially invited by the United States government during World War II, when higher-paying industrial factory jobs lured away existing…

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Item Type: Music/Song
Date: 1942