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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945) (x)

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President Hoover Encourages Private Charity

President Herbert Hoover wrote the following letter to 10-year-old Barbara McIntyre of Columbus, Ohio after she wrote to him 1931 to report that she and her friends planned to collect old blankets, clothing, shoes, and food to send to him in [...]

President Roosevelt Seeks Feedback on New Deal Programs

In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent this letter to clergymen around the country. He received over 100,000 responses from priests, rabbis, and ministers serving diverse congregations that varied by geography, size, religious views, and [...]

Differing Federal Responses to the Great Depression: Letter Analysis

In this activity students read two letters (one from Hoover, one from FDR) to determine different political beliefs that guided the presidents in their responses to the Great Depression.

FDR's Tree Army: Personal Turning Points in the CCC

In this activity students learn about the goals of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the opportunities it provided for young men. Students create poster presentations about different aspects of the CCC by combining photographs and quotes from [...]

A Bracero's Identification Card Certifies He Is Ready to Work

Aaron Castañeda Gamez and thousands of other Mexican workers had to pass a series of examinations to enter the bracero program. Recruits reported to centers in Mexico where they were inspected for lice and disease. Braceros' hands were inspected to [...]

"Americans all, let's fight for victory: Americanos todos, luchamos por la victoria"

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 [...]

Two Braceros Harvest Potatoes

The majority of braceros who came to the United States performed the most difficult types of agricultural labor: planting, tending, and harvesting crops. This type of work was called "stoop work" because it required laborers to spend all day bent [...]

A Bracero Compares Expectations versus Reality of Life in the United States

José Francisco Delgado Soto traveled extensively around the United States as a bracero. He worked in Michigan, California, Washington, and Texas picking apples, cherries, corn, eggplants, lettuce, pears, pumpkins, and sugar beets. He describes what [...]

A Bracero Describes Work in New Mexico

Braceros who worked close to the Mexican border were sometimes able to go back and forth to see family or enjoy the food and culture of their homeland. Carlos Sánchez Montoya describes such travel from New Mexico, as well as making tortillas for [...]

A Bracero Enters the United States (with text supports)

In this oral history Alvaro Hernandez describes how he entered the United States, first as an illegal worker and then as a bracero. Mr. Hernandez was born in Jilemes, Chihuahua, Mexico. His father was an agricultural worker and his mother was a [...]

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