Great Depression (October 29, 1929)

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Migrant Mother, photo by Dorothea Lange (1936)

During the Great Depression starting in October 1929, famous photographer, Dorothea Lange captured this and many other photos of people during the Great Depression to show the widespread effect it had on the country. This woman lived in Nipomo, California and this photo was taken in 1936. This woman was a mother of seven children at age 32, and they became extremely impoverished by the Depression, and was forced to take up a job as a pea picker to support her family. The look on her face represents the economic and social struggles that the Great Depression brought to so many Americans. As the early 20’s seemed as Golden Age, the The Great Depression increased the economic gap heavily. The top 1% -who didn’t invest all their money- stayed manageable, while other middle to low class families felt the repercussions of the stock market crash.


“Unemployment Suggestion”, article by Wilmot T Cox A.M (1931)

This source is a newspaper article written and edited by EM Orkin, Wilmot T. Cox A.M., Emerson P. Harris, J. Parke Channing and Guy Irving Burch. The article was called “Traveling for Prosperity” and was published in the New York Times on May 20, 1931. Within this one page article, each of these authors list suggestions of how to relieve the Great Depression. I will focus on the section by Wilmot T Cox A.M. which discusses ways of which to give jobs to the unemployed. In the short, two paragraph sectional, I assume the audience is a local government who would pay wages, as the audience of the unemployed looking for any sort of income. The purpose of this source is to create an idea for a new source of income for unemployed people. The main point of the this author makes is to hire unemployed men to work at water hydrants spray down children who are playing in the sun all day. These men could be payed for this task, and then they could use this money to provide themselves with read; as bread the surplus of wheat is going to waste. This connects to my project’s theme because the job search for poor Americans at this time is so eager that even this simple job can generate income. On the contrary, this clearly would not create substantial economic wealth in the long run for anyone who obtains this job.