During the Depression era, families across America learned the real meaning of deprivation and sacrifice and community effort. It’s hard for us to imagine how awful (and deep) and how long of a period it was, but despite their dire economic straits, they remained hopeful for the future and worked every day to improve their lives. They were immigrant pioneers who came from hard times and didn’t turn and run. They are our parents and grandparents. They belong to us. And we to them. Today, whatever our problems, we enjoy conveniences they couldn’t imagine. We are the beneficiaries of their resiliency and hope for the future. The images in this collection will remind us of that heritage, keep our problems in perspective, and fill us with gratitude for the legacy of faith and tenacity gifted to us by this greatest of generations.
40 Images From The Great Depression That Inspire Gratitude
#1 – An unemployed man leans against a vacant shop in San Francisco. 32,000 businesses closed and 9,000 banks failed during the 1930s.
#2 – Job hunting in the 1930s was a dogged and shameless pursuit.
#3 – Unemployed men vying for jobs at American Legion in Los Angeles.
#4 – Bread lines and soup kitchens for the unemployed, like this one in New York City, typically provided a cup of coffee along with a piece of bread or a bowl of soup once a day.
#5 – In 1930, an estimated 5,000 unemployed venders walked the streets of New York City selling apples for 5c a piece.
#6 – Shantytowns, or “Hoovervilles,” like this one in Seattle, WA, popped up in cities around the country in 1933.
#7 – A shanty settlement in SoHo, Lower Manhattan, NY.
#8 – Ironic sign above food relief line in Louisville, KY (1937 flooding of Ohio River displaced 1 million people in four states).
#9 – Hopping on moving freight trains was dangerous, but hundreds of thousands of men and women did so in search of work and food.
#10 – Agricultural migrant family traveling by freight train. Toppenish, Washington. 1939.
#11 – A hobo prepares turtle soup in Minneapolis, MN.
#12 – Dozens of severe dust storms hit the Plains states during the 1930s, decimating over 100,000 million acres of farmland.
#13 – Children off to school with goggles and homemade dust masks.
#14 – 300,000 million tons of top soil were displaced during the storms of the Dust Bowl drought.
#15 – The storms, dubbed “Black Blizzards,” suffocated livestock, buried farms and forced families to evacuate their homes.
#16 – Dust Bowl refugees. Thousands of homeless families trekked the highways looking for work, from the wheat fields in Texas to the cotton fields in Phoenix, Arizona, on their way to California.
Can read a trail map, a music score, Chaucer, and a balance sheet. 1 part executive, 1 part entrepreneur, 2 parts geek, and 3 parts Dad. Love lime juice on chef salads and Rudy's BBQ sauce on my brisket.Some days I amaze myself. Other days I look for the phone while I'm still talking on it. On amazing days, I produce technical writing that helps people get things done.