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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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

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A Worker Warns Eleanor Roosevelt of Growing Class Unrest

As the Great Depression dragged on through the 1930s, critics on the left blamed the Roosevelt Administration for not going far enough. They maintained that New Deal measures had mostly shored up banks and industries without sufficiently providing [...]

"Boys Hopping Freight"

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 [...]

Unemployed Single Women Demonstrate for Jobs

As millions of men lost their jobs during the Great Depression, many began to argue that women (particularly married women) should not be occupying the scarce jobs that remained. When women could find jobs, employers routinely paid them less than [...]

"Bachelor Shacks in Outskirts of Patterson"

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 [...]

"Part of the daily lineup outside the State Employment Service Office. Memphis, Tennessee"

African Americans were poor to begin with, but the Great Depression made their plight worse. They tended to work in industries most affected y the economic downturn, and in such dire circumstances white workers often took even the difficult, [...]

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 [...]

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 Midwestern Runaway Remembers the CCC

During the Great Depression, many young people left home to search for economic opportunity (and sometimes adventure) on the open roads of America. Jim Mitchell was a sophomore in high school when his father lost his job, sending the family into [...]

"Growing Up in Down Times: Children of the Great Depression"

This essay provides historical perspective on the social, political, and economic circumstances of the Great Depression. It suggests some ways the hard times of the 1930s affected young people and left their mark on them as adults.