Depressesion story

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by 16ntetzlaff
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Depressesion story

Two months later the barber shop closed, and only a couple more months after that until they were forced to live in a Hooverville with nothing but pocket change.

Most of that money went into an attempt to keep their barbershop alive but with things as they were, few could afford the luxury of a haircut.

On Black Tuesday the market crashed and they lost everything. The Humphrey family was hardly able to cut their losses so when they pulled out they only had $75 in total and their bank closed before they could get their money out.

Ralph Humphrey had it great until the stock market crashed. He was born in 1915 and raised right into the roaring twenties. His parents owned a barber shop in New Jersey where his father cut customers' hair and his mother kept the place clean.

This wasn't their main source of income however, they made most of their money by investing in the stock market. They were smart investors and did well. They knew better than to buy on margin and be in debt to the banks, but they often speculated stocks hoping for a large gain.

Having never left his hometown before, riding the rails was quite an adventure for Ralph. He learned how to beg for work correctly and keep himself from starving while he traveled around the country with a small pack of friends he acquired.

One of his buddies carried around an old guitar and they would stop in "the jungles" (places where hoboes would meet together) and sing songs like The Big Rock Candy Mountains and Do Re Mi.

Hungry for more adventure, Ralph enlisted in the war as soon as he was able. He served as gunner in a B-17 bomber but sadly was shot down in a bombing run.

Ralph traveled like this until he was 24, when a farmer lost his cow and Joe returned it to him. The farmer was very thankful and offered Ralph a job as a farm hand. He accepted and worked hard on the farm until the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Ralph left the Hooverville quietly one night to avoid being a burden as one more mouth to feed, and hit the rails.

Ralph Hemphrey's Survival of the Great Depression



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