Skip to comments.Never-before-seen pictures capture everyday life of destitute Americans during the Great Depression
Posted on 06/09/2012 9:30:09 AM PDT by djone
"And you thought it was bad now... Since the onset of the recession in 2007, pundits have compared the crisis to the Great Depression of the 1930s - but this week's release of 1,000 photographs from that bygone era serves as a reminder of how truly harsh that period was. "
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Ha ha. Family of eight living in a four bedroom house. I grew up in the fifties in a two bedroom house in which my dad converted the garage into a third bedroom. There were eight of us. My sister got one room, mom and dad one and us five boys got the third. We knew we weren’t rich but we also knew we were not poor.
Shouldn’t you wait to see if your predictions for your imagined future come true, before attacking people for discussing the Great Depression in realistic and accurate, and historical terms?
****the situation is far less bleak that the one President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced when he was elected in 1932.****
I can’t help but think FDR got elected only because he promised to end prohibition.
My fathers maternal grandfather came over from Ireland in 1850 at the age of 8 with his brothers and parents to escape the potato famine. Now that was really hard times.
In 1972 I lived in Nepal for a few months. Traveling through that part of the world, I saw a lot of poverty...wearing rags, bathing in the river, sleeping on dirt floors, burning cow dung to stay warm, etc., etc.
A few years ago, we drove around Ireland and visited some cultural museums. I staggered at the poverty and unending misery endured in that cold, wet country. My ancesters came to Canada during the potatoe famine. Nothing in Asia appoached the misery of Ireland. Tough, tough survivors!
All I could say was, “Thank God! They immigrated!”
If I am ever that poor, I’m moving to the Bahama’s! I don’t want to die cold, and wet.
That isn’t a troll. That’s someone with whom you disagree. Trolls are those who disrupt a thread with their behavior, who attack and provoke without sense, and who make an annoyance of themselves.
You claim he jumped to conclusions because of his use of the word propaganda, but what did you do?
You called him a troll, implied he was from DU, and used no arguments to assert your position.
Your behavior was much more troll-like than his were.
If you disagreed with him, you could have posted what you did to me.
***Many of them are posed for deception or dont really represent what they are purported to show.****
what’s this from the article?
***The federal government stepped forward with $5 million to buy a million head of cattle with the meat to go to the needy. ***
Bunkum! I know of too many old farmers who recall that the government confiscated their cattle (with payment) then shot them and buried them on the spot. They would NOT give the needy even one piece of meat from them.
Same for milk, hogs, and anything else they had. The government wanted to create a cattle shortage and get the prices back up. My mother-in-law remembered that time when you ate steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner as it was so cheap.
My mother and her family were of the cotton picking, fruit picking group, their life improved when they became sharecroppers.
I love that movie and it’s perspective on the people of the time.
You said it. Those times were hard on the heels of the Civil War, and in the South we were still recovering from that when the GD hit. Those pictures look like my childhood to me. We were dirty scruffy little barefoot urchins living off the land as best we could. But we never knew we were poor. Mom wouldn’t let the goats or chickens stay in the house for long. She would shoo them out. They always came back in during warm months though. There were no screens to keep them out. Bedbugs, mosquitos, snakes, mice; all part of life. Didn’t see indoor plumbing or electric lights until I was 9 yrs. This was in rural TN.
I also tend to think that these old-timey Depression era photos were/are often used as propoganda.
It's the old John Steinbeck/Woody Guthrie feel one gets when one looks at them. Art was used by the communists to agitate Labor and further FDR's New Deal policies.
It's very interesting to read the history of how the activists worked; I know some people in S. California are trying to use these same techniques today with the Mexican migrants.
When I look at these photos I see people who are a bit dirty with mussed hair (and it was commoner for kids to be dirtier back then in general as they ran around outside), but they don't look like Cambodian refugees. And many were from European immigrant families where things for them were tougher before they came to America.
Sure, there's no doubt that people struggle during severe downturns. But the commies definitely twist these types of photos for political advantage.
I bet we'd see many attempts to propogate these same types of photos today (remember the homeless stories/photos of the Reagan era?) if Bush was in office instead of Obama.
What problem does the author see in these houses? People are living in some just like those today. Nice furniture, too. That garden is fantastic.
You could take a camera into Detroit today and within an hour shoot pictures much worse than these.
Current reality is that the USA is bankrupt and has exceeded 100% of GDP in debt with no signs of slowing down on the borrwing. Voting Mitt Romney President is not going to change that. You have to live in a dreamworld to think we are in better shape now than at the time of the Depression. We are in a depression now with real unemployment at 15-19%.
The economic collapse that is going to happen here and around the world in the next 2-5 years is going to be horrific. Its not real speculative to look around and realize this is not going to end well.
I’m not creating the future I’m just preparing for it.
Life is worse now than the Great Depression, yet here we are on the computer, I bet you ate pretty well today and might even go shopping this week.
I wasn’t alive during the great depression but so many of my friends and family were, and I have read about it, it sure seemed worse than this.
My folks were hitting adulthood when GD I hit. My sainted mother had to quit college and move to go to a trade school. My maternal grandfather apparently was lucky to have work one day a week. At my mother's folks' house, hobos and out of work people would climb a hill and go to the back door of the little clapboard house, asking for food--and were fed. My maternal grandmother took in wash, sewed for people, took in boarders and cleaned to keep the house and food on the table. It changed my folks' worlds like no other single event in their lives ever did again.
“I wasnt alive during the great depression but so many of my friends and family were, and I have read about it, it sure seemed worse than this.”
Get back to me in about 18 months when the banks close for the banking holiday and you can’t use your debit card. And then when the banks open back up you can turn in 3 old dollars for 1 new dollar.
I love that movie and its perspective on the people of the time.
The movie is delightful! Stirred a lot of memories, and feelings. Thank you!
The “Okies” that came to the Central Valley to eek out a bare living picking crops ended up owning many of those farms. Only in America.
How about you let earth humans discuss history and the present and the Great Depression and then if your future comes true, you can then use it as something that exists, and makes the great depression worse than is what is happening at that point, because right now, you are attacking people talking about something real and concrete compared to some future in your head, which we aren’t discussing.
You described my home exactly, moved in to it in 1943, I was 5 years old. Dad bought the old house from a mining town that disappeared as the war wound down. I remember riding in the house as it was moved, how excited we were, our family had a home all five of us. Mom did put linoleum in the kitchen. We had an ice box and everything. Several years after the war we had a refrigerator. Gasoline engine powered washing machine. I would take those days in a heart beat.
We tore that house down in 1990 (built sometime at the turn of the last century.) When the dozer had gotten around to crunching up the roof, you could still see the pine ridge and rafter poles he used to build it. My mom and aunt who had grown up there cried a lot.
Your post is very true. My parents were the WWII generation. Luckily, they were city people - as Atticus Finch says: the crash hit the country folk hardest. My mother’s family survived by being policemen and employees of the NYC transit system. My father’s family did much worse. They went from living in a Harlem brownstone to a slum neighborhood in Brooklyn. Changed my father forever. But he still fought in the war and emerged a decent, hard-working man.
I agree. FDR did in fact have one of the biggest propaganda machines going to push his socialism agenda. Don't flame me folks I'm not saying those weren't hard times for many. My parents grew up during The Great Depression and were born before it hit.
You have to look at not just the stock market aspect but a bigger player was local or regional disasters making getting by rough. The Dust Bowl is a prime example. The ability to provide for needs was greatly diminished.
FDR also sent his propaganda crews into our region The Tennessee Valley and tried to portray those living here as backward, illiterate, poverty ridden, dirt farmers living in horrid conditions. Far from it. My Mom grew up on family farms mainly. They always had food. MY grandfather did everything from prison guard to helping build Norris Dam to owning a saw mill.
My Dad's family lived in the city. They too were poor but had a pretty good existence all things considered. I have a picture of my dad and his brother and sister playing on tricycles likely the 1920's vintage. In the summer my dads uncle would load up an army squad tent into his car and camping gear. He took my dad and my dads brother up to a camp on the river. He helped them get set up and he went back to town to work. Next weekend he would drive back up and the family had plenty of fish to eat. My grandfather worked as a night supervisor over janitors and maintenance in a then famous Knoxville restaurant. The man walked to work every day and by every day I mean just that. They weren't rich.
My dad even though he grew up in town would get on his bicycle on weekends during the school year and ride about 40 miles up to the camp on the river and a friend of the failiy's farm to spend the night and ride the bike home next morning.
By today's standards they were likely well below the poverty level. Granddad was originally from Oklahoma and left there with my grandmother who was from East Tennessee and he returned back here with her.
There were thriving communities in these ridges and mountains up too the flooding of the rivers. FDR used a Poverty Propaganda Program and soil erosion propaganda against this region to sell the forming of TVA The Tennessee Valley Authority to congress.
There was a Freeper from Virgina who had a wealth of information on the southern Appalachian region. I can't recall his user or real name right now. He passed on a couple years ago IIRC.
If you look at most of the pictures closely they are not pictures of poverty. Heck looking at the homes blacks lived in at North Carolina I'm rather amused. For the day those were actually good homes for anyone. They were the typical build. Cheap, affordable to most anyone, and they served the purpose. My first home as an adult back in 1980 after my Navy tour looked about the same construction. The inside was where it mattered. Me and my late first wife loved it.
Today I live in a double-wide me and my second wife bought over 20 years ago. The cost was what I could afford and was paid off in less than a decade. It will serve us well for our remaining lifetime. My Mom lives in a rather large two story brick home nearby. After Dad passed last year it's a considerable bit for her to keep up now.
I have seen kids just down right filthy barefooted and the boys had no shirts. I was born in the late 50's. I grew up middle class in the 1960's in a rural area mostly. The family across the road was poor as a church house mouse with 9 kids. We played together and at the end of the day all of us were clean before we went to bed that night in our homes. When playing though were got filthy by anyones stanndards. I have always been skeptical of how government portrayed things in The Great Depression.
The web site says the “situation as far less bleak” referring to the GD, however, the GD didn’t have welfare as we have it today. 46 million people are on food stamps and the welfare rolls for other services are at an all-time high.
Take a look at the movie in post 50.
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