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Great Depression Diary

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Great Depression Diary - Page Text Content

BC: Just Married...

FC: My Diary

1: Dear Diary, December 1928 My name is Mary Anne and I am 16 years old. I have a younger brother named Jonas who is 10, and an older brother named Todd who is 19. My father's name is David, he is a successful banker in New York and I am really proud of him! I also have a mother named Elizabeth and I love her so much. She takes care of the house while my daddy works hard at a magical place called Wall Street. My birthday was a few days ago and my parents got me a beautiful gold locket!

2: It has my initials engraved on it! Also there is a picture of my parents and me in the locket. I feel like this locket necklace is priceless because I know my dad worked hard to buy this locket for me. He loves me so much, and so does the rest of my family. Whenever my dad gives my brothers or I an expensive gift he is always quick to remind us that we are lucky we have these things. He tells us that many don't live a lifestyle like we do. I have never told him this, but honestly the reason people don't live like us is is because they obviously don't work as hard as my father. Have to go eat dinner! Tonight is steak night! -Mary Anne

3: Here is the picture that is in the locket of my parents and me!

4: Dear Diary, August 1929 Today was a bitter sweet day for me. My brother Todd left for college to pursue his career as a lawyer. My whole family is so proud of him for wanting to achieve such great things. He has always been such a hard worker. Even as a child he spent much of his time reading. He loved to read mystery books. One day I asked him why he likes to read mystery books, and he told me, " I love to read these books because you never know what will happen, just like in real life." I guess he is right about that, since we never know what will happen to our lives from one day to the next. When we were all saying our goodbyes to Todd, I began to cry. Thankfully Todd knows just how to comfort me. He looked deep into my eyes and said "don't worry, I will be back before you know it." I know I should be proud of him for going to college, but it is so hard to accept that he is leaving. I have

5: A senior picture of my brother Todd. This photo was taken just a few months before he went off to college to pursue his dream of being a lawyer. | always looked up to him. He is my biggest role model. One day he will make his dreams a reality, and become a lawyer. He will then keep my family safe and put bad men in jail. I love you Todd. -Mary Anne

6: Dear Diary, November 1929 Something I never thought would happen, has happened. My father lost his job today, my family is completely shocked. All of this occurred because the stock market crashed a few weeks ago. His bank had to lay off over half of their employees since the bank is failing. Sadly my father was one of those fired. How could such an honest, hardworking man lose his job? He has worked for this bank since he was only twenty three! How could they just let him go as if he is just any other guy on the street? How will we be able to survive? How will we buy food? Pay for electricity? Pay the bills? I have so many questions and no answers. Not only did he lose his job, but he also lost most of his money that he had in stocks. My father is not one to show emotions, but this situation is really getting to him. Now I can't sleep at night because he often cries in my mothers arms. For once my mother is the strong one in their marriage. I can only think of the worst for our family since there will be no more income entering our house. What happens if we end up like those people my father always talks about when he gives us gifts.

7: Here is the news clipping we received after the crash. It was one of the worst days of my dad's life. | How could this happen to us? My father works so hard so how is it possible that we could end up with such an uncertain future. -Mary Anne

8: Dear Diary, January 1930 It has been several months since the stock market crashed, and it seems that there is no end in sight. Sadly Todd had to come back home from college after his first semester. The reason being we could no longer pay for his tuition. Although Todd seems upbeat that he is back, I know he isn't. He really wanted to be at school. The other day my father went to the bank to try to take out all our savings because he heard the bank was running out of money. After waiting in line for hours with everyone else in our town, he was turned away, being told "Sorry sir but there is simply no more money here." Now with no money, no savings, and no

9: job we can no longer afford anything. The furnace was turned off because we could not pay the bill. Now I live by the fire, trying to keep warm. Having the heat turned off in the dead of winter makes everything miserable. Recently my brother Jonas came down with pneumonia (no surprise in these conditions). He got really sick, really fast. This morning he passed. Now my family is destroyed, we lost a son, a brother, and a best friend. Times have become really tough on my family. Remember my beloved locket? I came home from school and noticed that my golden locket was missing. I was about to ask my parents where it went, however when I looked

10: at the pained expression in my fathers face, I knew at that moment how serious the financial situation was. He sold my locket, my most precious item, my favorite present I have ever recieved. It was gone just like all of our hopes and dreams. -Mary Anne

11: My beloved brother Jonas. We miss you and love you.

12: Dear Diary, April 1931 Now even my father's political view points have changed. He once was a huge supporter of Hoover. He even went to many of Hoover's speeches while the candidate was campaigning for the 1928 election. However, since Hoover has done nothing about this financial crisis, my father wants a change. He feels Hoover is a disgrace to American citizens. He also feels the government has let down the working man. In fact, Hoover has let down Americans so badly, that now families who are forced to live in shacks in Central Park, call their "communities", Hoovervilles. How could the president sit in his office with his perfect family, and a huge dinner, when there are people living in shacks down the street. Something must be done! I agree with my father. I feel Hoover needs to do more about this situation. How can a president let down his country like Hoover has? My father lost his job, a son, we have no heat, and there is no end in sight.

13: One home in a Hooverville. Is this my future? | Sadly this is only one of thousands of similar stories. Millions of Americans have had everything they have worked hard for taken away. These hard working citizens have not done anything wrong! Just like many other Americans, my family is barely making ends meet. Father said he can only afford to pay for the mortgage for a few more months. If we do not figure something out fast, we will end up homeless. Maybe we should take residency in on of those Hoovervilles. -Mary Anne

14: Dear Diary May 1931 Finally President Hoover has come up with something that will actually help my family. Recently Hoover passed an act called, 'The Home Loan Bank Act'. This act was made to allow banks to give lower and more affordable mortgages to people. This took some of the financial burden off my father. Now he can pay for our mortgage, and still save money to pay for heat next winter! This act has allowed our family to finally begin saving money. Now we may be able to get back on our feet. For the first time in awhile, I saw my dad smile after returning home from the bank. Maybe there really is an end in sight. My father always taught me to be an optimistic person. However

15: recently it has been tough to look at the glass as half full. It does make it easier that many people are in the same boat as us though. Most Americans are feeling the financial strain, and fear they will soon be homeless. I remember when I was younger I always felt that the reason people struggled to make ends meet was because they did not work hard like my father. The depression has made me realize that sometimes life is not fair. No matter how hard you work sometimes it simply does not make a difference, I am still trying to be positive, even though my future is bleak and uncertain. -Mary Anne

16: The Home Loan Bank Act is allowing us to pay the mortgage for a few more months. Here is our home, where all my memories, hopes, and dreams, were created. Hopefully we can keep our house, unlike our optimism.

17: Dear Diary, March 1932 My family has reached an all time low. Even with the help of a lower mortgage my family is falling apart. Since there has been no money being made in about two years, we have nothing. Now we can not even afford food. My father and mother went out this morning to the grocery store to see if they could afford any food for a meal. They left with only a few coins in their pockets. When they came home an hour later, my stomach was growling, and so was Todd's. I was so excited to see what they had gotten, perhaps some sweet oranges, or

18: even a freshly slaughtered chicken. All they come home with however, was some partly brown cabbage, and some bruised potatoes. For dinner we had cabbage and potato soup. This "soup" consisted of chopped cabbage, sliced potato, and boiling hot water. It was far from our typical steak dinners we once had. The soup tasted awful, and did not fill me up. However neither I nor Todd complained because we knew that our parents were embarrassed that this meal was all they could afford. I simply ate, and ate, and ate, until all that soup was gone. I then said "Thank you mother and father for such a delicious meal". I hope that made them feel a little bit better. -Mary Anne

19: My mother and father on there way to the store. Trying to find food to feed their children.

20: Dear Diary, October 1932 It's been exactly three years since that awful day the stock market crashed. Recently a factory that makes canned foods laid off many of its workers. Although it is unfortunate for those employees, my family is thankful. The reason they fired many of their workers was because others would work for a lot less many. My father and Todd will work for anything, they feel that even if they are paid a dollar a day they will be better off then they would without a job. The past few weeks my father and brother have been leaving the house at five in the morning to be at the factory by 5:15.

21: Then they wait in line with all the other struggling men. All there, hoping to work for the day. My father tells me that when the boss comes out, all the men go wild, yelling, and pushing, just to get closer to the front. The boss then chooses a few of the strongest, healthiest looking men out of the group. Sometimes my father and Todd are chosen, and sometimes they are not. However, the times that they are chosen, they work long hours and for little pay, but as long as they are chosen and are willing to work, we will find a way to get by. -Mary Anne

22: Here is the factory in my town that both my father and brother work at whenever they are chosen in the line up. Every dollar helps.

23: Dear Diary, January 1933 Now is the re-birth of America! Recently Franklin D. Roosevelt began his first days as the president of the United States. I truly feel he will fix the mess Hoover left. He promises to create jobs, help the economy, and make America the land of dreams once again. Roosevelt is a small man, due to having polio as a child. Although he has trouble walking, he still is a very busy man. I can tell he is ready to get things done as president. Unlike Hoover he wants to have the government highly involved. He plans to create many government programs to help citizens. His beliefs are the exact opposite of Hoover's, which is probably why he won the election by a land slide. He has already helped many Americans, including my family, gain trust in the banks once again. When banks lost people's entire life savings, many felt they could

24: no longer trust banks. I feel Roosevelt has fixed this problem by creating the FDIC. This program promises customers all the money they put in the bank, up to $100,000 can be returned back to them at any time! Since most people will never have more than $100,000 in the bank, they know their money is protected! This has put a lot of trust back into banks. Even my parents have trust in the banks now! My father recently opened a new account at the local bank, where we can put all our savings and paychecks! My parents were right, we needed Roosevelt in office! He will fix America's financial crisis and help Americans get back on their feet. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. -Mary Anne

25: Franklin D Roosevelt, helping fix America, one program at a time.

26: Dear Diary April 1933 I can finally say that we are back on our feet. It has been a long time coming though. We have gone though so much in the past four years. I am now almost twenty, it is so hard to believe. I feel that when I was sixteen I had to become an adult over night. I had to learn that life is rarely fair. Franklin D Roosevelt has really stepped up to the plate, and put this country in the right direction. He recently created the New Deal, which had over a dozen programs to help get Americans back to work, and to make life easier for all. These programs have really been boosting the economy. The news says America will soon become the land that dreams are made once again! In Roosevelt's New Deal plan, there are two programs that allowed my father, Todd, and I all to find work! The Civil Works Administration creates

27: projects such as building roads, bridges, and maintaining parks. My father was able to get a job building a bridge a few miles away from our town! Also the National Youth Association, made it possible for Todd and I to find jobs at a textile mill! Although we all only make minimum wage, it is better than not having a job at all. Sadly my mother has not been able to find work, she takes care of the house though. We are all just thankful that we are finally saving money again. The past few years have been really hard, especially losing Jonas. However we got up every day and tried our best to get out of this disaster. And I honestly feel we have finally overcome. My family and I have worked so hard. I am finally proud to be an American once again. -Mary Anne

28: My mother and I on my twentieth birthday.

29: Work Cited "Autobiog." Terence M. Green. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. . "Etsy."Etsy. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . "Franklin D. Roosevelt."History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . *GloriousNature*SusanGaryPhotography. "Girl with Large Bow in Hair Circa 1920s."Flickr. Yahoo!, 26 July 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . "Hooverville."About.com US Economy. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.

30: Work Cited . "An Ignorant View of a Factory Worker."Today's Machining World. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . John Ream Home Page. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . Lindawroth.com. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . Poyskygenealogy.com. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. . "THIS IS FINDON VILLAGE _Myrtle Grove Remembered." This Is Findon Village. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. .

33: Our Bridal Party

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  • Title: Great Depression Diary
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