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Never-before-seen pictures capture everyday life of destitute Americans during the Great Depression
Mail Online ^ | 6/8/12 | SNEJANA FARBEROV

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 ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; History
KEYWORDS: 2012; bhoeconomy; depression; economy; greatdepression; thegreatdepression
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"By 1932 the national unemployment rate had soared past 20 per cent, and millions of men and women were homeless, forced to live on the street and forage for scraps in garbage cans. As a result of widespread bank failures, many people lost their jobs and homes, and were forced to move to makeshift camps and shantytowns.
1 posted on 06/09/2012 9:30:19 AM PDT by djone
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To: djone

Given the state of the Obama economy these pictures could have been taken last week.


2 posted on 06/09/2012 9:39:18 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: djone

This is propaganda!!!
In those years settlers in the West were still living in dugouts by choice so they could work their land.
Blacks and whites were living in “hovels” in the South, but they called them homes.
Migrant workers are migrant workers. I’ve done some of that on a sheep shearing team in New Zealand. It was hard work, and we were not pretty, but it paid and fed us.
Those times were hard, but put those photos next to starving Africans. In spite of the depression, everyone looks well nurished.
We cannot look at the 1930’s through the lens of our current prosperity and ease. They toughed it out because life was tough in the best of times.


3 posted on 06/09/2012 9:40:26 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: djone

I saw more smiles than frowns in these photos. I also noticed that the photos were almost all of families, together. Most of the photos were of people working. I wonder if these people considered themselves “poor?”


4 posted on 06/09/2012 9:40:52 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: djone

B&W pictures make it look so bad. Not long ago someone e-mailed me a bunch of KODACHROME COLOR photos of the 1930s. All the difference in the world!

My folks lived through that time, from the hard times on a tobacco farm in Tennessee to the hard times in the dust bowl where they did not leave. They survived.


5 posted on 06/09/2012 9:41:42 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: djone

My mother, father, and grandfather remembered this time well. I do, too - partically. I was born in 1950. I remember living in my grandpa’s house that had electricity (REA), a well, and an outhouse out back.

I remember as a young boy getting baths in a big galvanized tub filled with hot water taken from the well and heated on the stove. Heat was a coal burning stove/heater that was in the kitchen/open room in the center of the house...the whole house was about 750 square feet, 4 rooms. When my mom swept the floors all she need do was sweep the dirt through the cracks in the wood to the dirt below.

He was a carpenter, my dad a veteran serviceman with a 5th grade education. It wasn’t hard with their help to do better than they did. I worry now, with Obama and his socialists, if those times of my childhood will be visited on my grandchildren.


6 posted on 06/09/2012 9:41:42 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: djone

Ironic, isn’t it, that we must rely on our cousins across The Pond to find images that The Left doesn’t want us to see.


7 posted on 06/09/2012 9:43:59 AM PDT by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: djone

U-6, the “real” unemployment rate, May 2012: 14.8%.


8 posted on 06/09/2012 9:48:22 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: djone

Thing is, it comes from the UK to show how bad we had it. They’ve never done a series on how bad the UK was during that time and turn of the century (1890-1900). It made our Depression look like prosperity.


9 posted on 06/09/2012 9:49:02 AM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: djone
A sad thing for hard-working men and women to lose their jobs and their homes. My parents lived through the Great Depression - neither one lost their house, but my mother's family had it rough. They were able to keep a large dog to keep the gas man from coming in and cutting off service. The Depression shaped their outlook for the remainder of their lives.



Nos genuflectitur ad non princeps sed Princeps Pacem!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

10 posted on 06/09/2012 9:49:26 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: djone

And this didn’t stop for over 10 years under an FDR administration.

Will we learn?


11 posted on 06/09/2012 9:54:28 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: djone

Using the accurate U6 data, we’re not all that far away:

http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp?fromYear=2000&toYear=2012


12 posted on 06/09/2012 9:56:52 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: Lurker

Holy carp: look at this...

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/real-unemployment-rate-22-5/

22.5%


13 posted on 06/09/2012 10:00:37 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: WestwardHo

Hey troll, go back to your mommie’s basement


14 posted on 06/09/2012 10:01:02 AM PDT by ProudFossil (" I never did give anyone hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." Harry Truman)
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To: djone
I see these pictures and all I can think of is our president's homely - 'white man's greed runs a world in need'.

Don't think these white folks would've quite understood.

15 posted on 06/09/2012 10:02:31 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: ProudFossil

How is he a troll?


16 posted on 06/09/2012 10:06:30 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Harp/e/B0087FYGRI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1)
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To: PGR88

You are right. Most families had a father and a mother. Plus as my Mom has told me many times they never felt that bad about themselves because everybody was in the same boat. Families doubled up and the men went out looking for work and the women did the housework and cooked and washed clothes while minding the children. My mom has said that many nights all they had was cornbread with milk over it and my Dad said they never starved but a lot of nights it was just potatoes and nothing else. There was no food stamps or welfare and people were too proud to take it anyway.


17 posted on 06/09/2012 10:09:04 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Old Sarge
Ironic, isn’t it, that we must rely on our cousins across The Pond to find images that The Left doesn’t want us to see.

I'm not so sure the Left minds if we see these photos. After all, their story (and they are sticking to it) is that it was Wall Street greed which led to the Crash in '29, kicking off the Depression and only when FDR got control of the government did things get better.

The reality is much different, as the economic policy of both Hoover and Roosevelt (ridiculously similar to the kind of transformed America that Obama wants) contributed to deepening and lengthening the Depression, not fixing it.

18 posted on 06/09/2012 10:11:38 AM PDT by newheart (At what point does policy become treason?)
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To: carriage_hill

Dittos to the “Holy carp”

22.5% Yikes

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/real-unemployment-rate-22-5/


19 posted on 06/09/2012 10:11:38 AM PDT by Irish Eyes
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To: djone

Am I crazy, or most of those people look BETTER fit than people today? If you take random photos of poor people in America, they are fat and are clearly not suffering from the lack of food. Those depression era poor people at least look to have dignity (at least in appearance).


20 posted on 06/09/2012 10:12:19 AM PDT by sagar
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To: WestwardHo

I lived in Alabama in the 60s. I remember tar-paper shacks. My grandparents lived in a 700 sq ft house and considered themselves blessed. When my Dad was a Colonel, we lived in a 1500 sq ft house and only owned one car. We literally ate at the kitchen table - a metal and Formica thing we all squeezed in to, although my Dad considered himself a wealthy man. I was an adult before I lived in a house with a ‘dining room’.

Growing up during the Depression, my Mom wasn’t allowed to wear shoes to school until there was frost on the ground. Everyone else did the same, and no one felt ‘poor’. In fact, her Mom kept a second table so she could share their food with the bums who were poor and in need of help. The bums were polite, and usually offered to help with the chores.

Very different times.


21 posted on 06/09/2012 10:13:33 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (A conservative can't please a liberal unless he jumps in front of a bus or off of a cliff)
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To: PGR88
" I saw more smiles than frowns in these photos"

They seemed more blank to me. Considering that they knew the pics were being taken it was probably the best they could muster.

As to your 'Did they consider themselves poor'. From my experience probably not. I had just started school when the depression started. My father cut grass for NYC. Our place did not have any heat or own toilet. Our heat was the kitchen stove. We gathered in two rooms sleeping on the floor for the winter. I went with my father to gather wooden boxes to burn from the grocery stores on Broadway. Egg box cardboard was also good. We went to the 96st Street freight train stop where my father bought eggs from the incoming freight men. I believe it was 25 cents per dozen. There was no money for health care. My mother was taken to Harlem Hospital as a charity case. I lost all my upper teeth. We didn't know what poor was. It was life. Regards.

22 posted on 06/09/2012 10:15:06 AM PDT by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: djone

Must be a lot criminals in these pictures. For as we are constantly told today poverty causes crime.


23 posted on 06/09/2012 10:16:33 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: WestwardHo
They toughed it out because life was tough in the best of times.

Just living to adulthood in those days was a lot harder than it is now. I like to remind my children, when we read historical novels or watch shows with historic settings, that nobody, not even kings, had what we consider basic sanitation and household necessities. They were cold, they were dirty, they had fleas and intestinal parasites, and their food was going bad. There were flies everywhere, and rooms were full of smoke.

Might as well hit the road in a covered wagon as stay home!

24 posted on 06/09/2012 10:16:52 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Genetic testing of unborn babies: measuring the morality of our culture. (Wesley Smith)
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To: ProudFossil

“Hey troll, go back to your mommie’s basement”

A little difficult since I am a grandmother, my own mother having been dead seventeen years and did not have a basement.
The pictures are valuable history of the depression years, but then I read the following commentary following one of the photos.

“While President Barack Obama has often been criticized for his handling of the economy and the unemployment crisis, which continues to threaten his re-election prospects, the situation is far less bleak that the one President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced when he was elected in 1932.”


25 posted on 06/09/2012 10:17:07 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: djone
Reminds me of Roger Miller's "King of the Road":

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination...Bangor, Maine.
Old worn out suits and shoes,
I don't pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked
When no one's around.

I sing,
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Watch Roger Miller perform...

26 posted on 06/09/2012 10:18:50 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Mr Rogers; Gaffer; Georgia Girl 2

We all have a lot of personal and family memories, in common.


27 posted on 06/09/2012 10:20:12 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: WestwardHo

A grandmother, you should certainly know that the ‘debt’ whatever it was per person (you know, those stranded by the roadside in makeshift shacks, tents, and hovels) was infinitely smaller than the potential debt that this Obama government is shackling OUR children and grandchildren with.

IF you couple an insurmountable per capita debt with a vast portion of this country’s citizenry already totally dependent on government largesse and unwilling to diminish their ill-gotten booty one iota, you have an absolute catastrophe on the horizon. You might call it propaganda and ‘their’ choice, I know better, and I call it real poverty. You should know better.


28 posted on 06/09/2012 10:36:31 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: raybbr

great post! Fitting for the culture of the time. I remember singing this when I was younger.


29 posted on 06/09/2012 10:45:41 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: WestwardHo

“While President Barack Obama has often been criticized for his handling of the economy and the unemployment crisis, which continues to threaten his re-election prospects, the situation is far less bleak that the one President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced when he was elected in 1932.”

I’m not so sure thats true. In 1932 80% of folks lived on the farm and only 20% lived in the city. Its just the opposite now. When the big crash comes people won’t be able to grow their own food like they did back then.

Back then there were no credit cards so people did not have the debt people have now and most people rented their homes as opposed to owning and carrying a big mortgage. Subsistence was actually easier then than it is now. People were not as dependent on electricity and electronics as we are now either.


30 posted on 06/09/2012 10:45:41 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: djone

That “hovels in Winston-Salem, NC” shot is particularly galling.

The houses are not especially large and are unpainted. Paint was the first thing to go in hard times, Great Depression or before. There are no trees because they were burnt as fuel in wood cookstoves and for heat. Note that the bare ground is plowed. Food production.

I also note electic lines in the neighborhood and I see no outhouses, so there was city water and indoor plumbing.

Theses “hovels” so-called, were better than most out in the country had, white or black. Ignorance regarding history is no excuse. It’s certainly not appealing to look at from the vantage point of today, but it was servicable shelter with power, clean running water and garden space.

It got them through. Sneering at “hovels” doesn’t do anybody any good at all. It just reinforces a stereotype that is politically useful.


31 posted on 06/09/2012 10:46:49 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: WestwardHo

Most of these photos are flat out propaganda for FDR’s socialist policies. The photographers were sent out by government agencies or the NYT with the express goal of making things look bad. Many of them are posed for deception or don’t really represent what they are purported to show.

This has been well documented, for example here:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/the-case-of-the-inappropriate-alarm-clock-part-1/


32 posted on 06/09/2012 10:50:00 AM PDT by BigBobber
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To: djone

BOOKMARK


33 posted on 06/09/2012 10:50:55 AM PDT by razorback-bert (I'm in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?)
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To: djone
My guess is that some of the children seen in these photos may very well have turned out to be outstanding community, school and church leaders. They look very much like the children in my own rural community at the time.

With great faith and dignity, their parents worked hard in the fields, and later in the factories, to put food on the table, thereby instilling in the children a pride that would serve them well when, a few years later, they were called to duty to defend America in WWII.

Those soldiers, and their mothers, sisters and wives who planted victory gardens, worked in shipyards, and collected scrap metal for the war effort, were the ones who preserved the Founders' concept of liberty in the world and continued to make America the destination for poor oppressed people from all over the globe.

Real poverty was not an excuse for theft, either privately or by getting a bunch of elected politicians to pass a law to take from their neighbors what they could not legally steal individually. Instead, it was the motivator for achievement, lending a helping hand to neighbors, and for fellowship among believers that a Divine Providence was overruling America, and that the term "under God" was a meaningful acknowledgement of that idea.

Following the World War, a grateful nation became prosperous and the literal breadbasket of the world.

Those who, since then, have waged a fake and purely political "war on poverty" to advance their own status and coercive power over the lives of others are proving to be the great causers of poverty, because they have abandoned the very ideas of liberty, individual enterprise and personal responsibility which made America great--and they are doing it without the shame which should accompany such an effort.

34 posted on 06/09/2012 10:54:11 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Gaffer

It’s despicable that those photos would be used to make commentary on Obama’s economic disaster.

The pictures are valuable history of the depression years, but then I read the following commentary following one of the photos.

I repeat:
“While President Barack Obama has often been criticized for his handling of the economy and the unemployment crisis, which continues to threaten his re-election prospects, the situation is far less bleak that the one President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced when he was elected in 1932.”
It’s really tacky to make other folks suffering all about Obama.
Don’t miss BigBobbers post#32.


35 posted on 06/09/2012 11:06:30 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Gaffer

By the time I was born in 1948 my father’s father had lost the farm and was dead. I’m not sure when but my older brothers remembered grandpa and the farm. We never talked about that time. My grandma with a maiden sister lived in a three room shack in a tiny town that is now almost extinct. My uncle, who had gotten a college education and was working for a newspaper, had purchased it. It did not have running water. It did have electricity. I think that there was either a gas stove or an electric stove. The old wood burning stove was still there but unused. You had to pump water and use an outhouse. My aunt, who had married a doctor, provided for them. She wanted them to come to KCMO to live but they refused to leave Pettis county. I now have figured out why. My other uncle who was bi-polar and an alcoholic, lived there. You don’t leave family who needs you.

My father’s maternal grandfather came over from Ireland in 1850 at the age of 8 with his brother’s and parents to escape the potato famine. Now that was really hard times.


36 posted on 06/09/2012 11:09:28 AM PDT by Mercat (Necessity is the argument of tyrants. John Milton)
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To: djone

100 million Americans who can’t find jobs. 50 million Americans on food stamps. 50% of new college graduates unemployed....

Oh wait...that’s now.


37 posted on 06/09/2012 11:13:44 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Because of her/his statement that this is propaganda. It is not. It is simply a pictorial view of rural North America during the 30's. It could also apply to the 20's, the teens, etc. Hell, there was one community about 65 miles from Albuquerque that finally got electricity about 15 years ago. These pictures and the article have nothing to do with today's conditions and we cannot compare our current situation to theirs. So it is not propaganda.

A troll would be jumping to conclusions about the motives for the release of the pictures.

38 posted on 06/09/2012 11:16:48 AM PDT by ProudFossil (" I never did give anyone hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." Harry Truman)
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To: WestwardHo
Really, because some dweeb in a booth somewhere in the UK adds a commentary which you curiously cling to in citation, you steadfastly maintain the status quo isn't the Depression of yesterday?

If you had personally been, or had family members that had lived through it, I don't think you'd be so quick to discount what is likely to happen if Obama is elected again. Honestly, you sound like an apologist for Obama. Since I know you don't know what you're talking about, it is pointless to try and make you see the obvious parallels.

39 posted on 06/09/2012 11:20:58 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: ProudFossil

The conclusion one is expected to reach is contained in the headline.


40 posted on 06/09/2012 11:21:27 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Georgia Girl 2
Most families had a father and a mother. Plus as my Mom has told me many times they never felt that bad about themselves because everybody was in the same boat. Families doubled up and the men went out looking for work and the women did the housework and cooked and washed clothes while minding the children. My mom has said that many nights all they had was cornbread with milk over it and my Dad said they never starved but a lot of nights it was just potatoes and nothing else. There was no food stamps or welfare and people were too proud to take it anyway.

Great post :^) Brings back lots of memories. The great gardens we used to have, canning (you eat what you can, and what you can't, you can). Doing your best with what you had. Getting a stern look from Dad if you lost one of your school pencils

It's a different world here today in Atlanta. They had a "School supply giveaway" for the needy a couple years ago and it was hilarious. Well meaning folks went to their local Targets and bought a bunch of stuff and dropped it off at the local park in the morning to be distributed to the needy in the afternoon. Lots of good intentions. When the afternoon rolled around it was akin to a land rush. Big fat baby mommas grabbing for everything they could carry without regard to real need. I think the organizers expected that the "needy" would have their school lists and go throught the line filling their bags with just what they needed. Instead they went for the higher dollar items first. One "lady" carried off a stack of 10 backpacks still in the plastic.

The scene at the park was hilarious - akin to the Bumpus's dogs going after the turkey on A Christmas Story.
41 posted on 06/09/2012 11:22:25 AM PDT by DJlaysitup
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To: PGR88
Look at the children--faces full, no sunken cheeks, not skin and bones with distended bellies. Look at the clothes--they all had shoes while half of Europe had none. Nobody was getting fat, but work was there even if it didn't pay what it should, or you had to pull up stakes to get to it.

Hard times for sure, but there WAS something called 'relief,' and when nobody had any money, you didn't feel poor by comparison.

Do any liberals ever wonder why "The People" didn't rise up in rebellion and insurrection against the fat cats and "malefactors of great wealth?"

They should.

42 posted on 06/09/2012 11:29:30 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Georgia Girl 2; WestwardHo

Your post is about your own created, speculative future, Westward was describing current reality.


43 posted on 06/09/2012 11:31:39 AM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: djone; All
One addendum to my previous post on this thread:

We must remember that those brave men and women now known as "the greatest generation" came through the exact period depicted in these pictures, making their sacrifices for the "land of the free."

Those who survived went on to build the later period of growth and prosperity which so-called "progressives" now are destroying in their attempts to impose the ideas their ancestors fought against decades ago.

44 posted on 06/09/2012 11:32:47 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Mr Rogers
I recall the late forties, when my father was still in Germany as part of the Occupation Forces, we lived in what was euphemistically called "tourist cabins." More like one room shacks, with plumbing, electricity, and an icebox. That was it.
45 posted on 06/09/2012 11:36:42 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Georgia Girl 2
There was a basic welfare, called "relief" and yes most people were too proud to take it.
46 posted on 06/09/2012 11:38:52 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Old Sarge

My mother told me stories of what it was like—and it was bad. Once they killed and cooked the family dog! Ate Chicken feet stew, Dinner one baked potato each—thats all. If people had it that rough today—lots would kill themselves.


47 posted on 06/09/2012 11:39:08 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Gaffer

Since I know you don’t know what you’re talking about, it is pointless to try and make you see the obvious parallels.

Well, that certainly takes the load off my mind! LOL!!!


48 posted on 06/09/2012 11:42:32 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Mr Rogers
In fact, her Mom kept a second table so she could share their food with the bums who were poor and in need of help. The bums were polite, and usually offered to help with the chores

Working with the elderly today I hear of this scenario time and time again. Putting a plate out--but you know what, the old folks I talk to today who reminisce about this don't disparage the men they fed when they came to the door--they understood intuitively the epigram, "But for the Grace of God..."

49 posted on 06/09/2012 11:43:54 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: WestwardHo
This is a must see movie of a sharecropping family of the era.

The three Oscars nominated movie was made in 1945.

It is on youtube for Free.

Jean Renoir's, The Southerner

50 posted on 06/09/2012 11:44:40 AM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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