Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
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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

Luther C. Wandall, an African American from New York, recalls his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps in an account originally published in The Crisis in 1935.

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1935

In this letter, an African American in Georgia anonymously writes to Franklin D. Roosevelt to tell how discrimination in his community means that black citizens are not receiving the relief they are entitled to under New Deal programs. This version includes text supports such as definitions.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1935

In September 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to clergymen across the United States, asking them whether conditions in their communities had improved since the start of the New Deal. This was one of over 100,000 responses he received. This letter was reproduced with all of the author's original spelling, syntax, and grammar.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1935

In September 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to clergyman across the United States, asking them whether conditions in their communities had improved since the start of the New Deal. He was particularly interested in people's thoughts on Social Security, the new program passed in August 1935 to provide guaranteed payments for the…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1935

The Civilian Conservation Corps, established in 1933, employed a quarter of a million young men annually who lived in military-style camps and carried out conservation and construction projects. It proved to be one of the most popular New Deal programs, but it did not include women. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt advocated for a comparable program…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: Circa 1935

Although Franklin D. Roosevelt never endorsed anti-lynching legislation and condoned discrimination against blacks in federally funded relief programs, he still won the hearts and the votes of many African Americans. Yet this support and even veneration for Roosevelt did not blind black Americans to the continuing discrimination that they faced.…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1935

Luther C. Wandall, an African American from New York City, wrote the following account of life in a segregated Civilian Conservation Corps camp for Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Wandall tells about his first encounter with "Mr. James Crow" (Jim Crow) and offers a candid report of his…

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 1935

On June 27, 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt accepted the Democratic party's nomination to run for a second term as President of the U.S. In this excerpt from his speech to the Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt compares the struggle to gain economic equality to the American Revolution's fight for political equality and defends the role of…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1936

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