Living During the Great Depression

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by alemv
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Living During the Great Depression

* Some 6,000 street vendors walked the streets of New York City in 1930 trying to sell apples for 5 cents each.* Zippers became widely used because buttons became too expensive.* Thousands of homeless families camped out on the Great Lawn at Central Park in New York City, which was an empty reservoir during the Great Depression.* Comic strips like Superman, Flash Gordon and Dick Tracy kept children entertained during the Great Depression.* The biggest hit song of 1932 was "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" by Bing Crosby.* During the 1930s, manufacturing employees earned about $17 per week. Doctors earned $61 per week.


"In other periods of depression, it has always been possible to see some things which were solid and upon which you could base hope, but as I look about, I now see nothing to give ground to hope—nothing of man."- Former President Calvin Coolidge, 1932


Lessons Learnt

Don't spend money you don't already have in your pocket. Don't pay someone else to provide something that you can learn to do or do yourself. Never buy anything you can use, only what you can't live without. Don't buy anything if you don't have twice the amount of the purchase. It doesn't matter how much money you can make, but how much money you can save!

Living During the Great Depression

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*People who lost their homes often lived in what were called “Hoovervilles,” or shanty towns, that were named after President Herbert Hoover. There was also “Hoover Stew” which was the name for food handed out to the poor at soup kitchens. “Hoover Blankets” were newspapers that were being used to cover people like a blanket. “Hoover Hogs” were jack rabbits that were used for food, and “Hoover Wagons” were broken down cars that were pulled by mules. *Some people who became homeless would ride on railroad cars, because they didn’t have money to travel. Some believe that more than 50,000 people were injured or killed while jumping trains. Many of these people traveled together and were called hobos. *Almost half of the children who were living in the United States at that time did not have enough food, shelter, or medical care. Many suffered diseases. By the 1930s, thousands of schools were operating on reduced hours or were closed down entirely. Some three million children had left school, and at least 200,000 took to riding the rails either with their parents or as orphans. * Many couples delayed getting married, and divorce rates and birth rates dropped. Some men also abandoned their families. A 1940 poll revealed that 1.5 million married women had been abandoned by their husbands.


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