FC: Nicole Brown and Gaby Torres | 2nd Period
2: FDR Was a Damned Good Man | I was born in the old country -- Italy -- 41 years ago and came over here when I was 3 months old. Things have certainly changed a lot in forty years. . . . I can get a job today even if we got a depression. I don't mean that I wasn't on relief when things got tough because there was a time when everything was shut down and I had to get on relief for a job. It isn't so long ago I was working on WPA. Believe me it was a big help. But it wasn't the kind of a job I should have had because this town is Republican and I am a Republican and I was a good worker for the party -- making voters and helping a lot of people out -- getting their taxes rebated (abated). Getting jobs for them. When it came my turn that I needed help the politicians told me that I had to go on relief -- well, when I did I was handed a shovel and pick. . . .Roosevelt is a damn good man -- you take all these young fellows and you can't talk to them like in the old days to swing them over. Today all these kids are satisfied on WPA and the NYA . My son works there and gets 44 cents an hour. . . .When I was a young fellow, not that I am very old now, I used to have a lot fun going around singing and to friends but you don't see that nowadays. I guess everybody just don't care anymore. Of course the depression is the fault. When the pocket book is sick the whole body is sick also. You know they call this a depression. Well I think it is a sickness that won't go way. Ten years is a long time to suffer it seems to me that if the government wanted to stop it they could. Not that Roosevelt isn't a good man because whoever get in there things will be the same old story. The money men control everything and the unions most of them are crooked. . . . I believe in education and I always wish that I had one -- but today the man who knows a trade, especially a machinist trade is the baby that can get along. There are no depression for him and furthermore how many of these college students after they graduate get on the top? Let me tell you that when I was on the WPA I met some of these college men working in the ditches and damn glad to do it. Well this brings us right back to where we started. It's just like a circle. Somebody is got the key and we're all trying to get out. Suppose we get out then what? We get right in again. Because the capitalist almost controls everything. To-day if a person is getting along fine - along comes something like the depression or some screwy laws and down in the ditch you go. . . . In the nine years of this depression even though I didn't feel it much because I always gave myself a push but think of the others who are weak -- what about them? You know there shouldn't be a depression in this country. You know we have everything -- even the most money but all you hear today is the same old baloney -- the Democrats are in power and the Republicans won't let loose with the money. Well I say that the money men started this thing and I believe the government should make laws to force these capitalist to bring back prosperity. They can do it if they wanted to. But all you hear nowadays is lets balance the budget. I don't believe this budget has been balanced since the indians were here so why the hell do it now. I don't mean that we should go overboard on everything and start spending money left and right because I am against chislers and flukey jobs but lets get down to business and start manufacturing things and sell them to everybody who got the cash -- and to those who haven't the cash give them enough credit and a job so that they can pay.
3: You know sometimes I wonder what way we are drifting -- some of the laws that was passed in the last few years were very good for the people and I guess you know what happened. You take the N.R.A. I think that was very good -- it gave everybody a chance except those who are misers and are never satisfied if they make 100 dollars a week. This other law the Social Security I believe is the best. The only fault I find is that a man has to reach the age of 65 before he can collect. Well how many do? [?] They tell you nowadays that a person lives longer - well they used to before this depression but[,?] hell[,?] today you worry your god damn head off on how to meet both ends and that makes your life much shorter. You see what I mean that this government wants to do something good for the people and does but damn it they put strings to it. Tell me how many reach the age of 65? Very few. Why the hell don't they give a person a break and say at 56 years old you should retire from work and enjoy life instead of waiting until he is almost dead they give him a few dollars a month. I think the whole shooting match is wrong. And unless we get the crooks and chislers out of Washington we'll remain the same. | Summary of "FDR Was a Damned Good Man | These paragraphs is about a man describing his experiences during the depression and expressing his opinion on a way to stop it. The man starts out talking about his experience in the Republican Party and how when it came for him to do a job he was handed a shovel and pick. (On relief) Then he starts to talk about how there was no money and people that used to hangout with their friends didn't even bother calling anymore. After that, he talks about how even an educated man doesn't have a bright future because there are no positions for him to fill. Finally, the man gets frustrated and complains about politics and starts to say how it should be fixed. He finished the article by talking about social security and how people barely make it to that age nowadays.
4: Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Unionism | Mr. Silverman is the publicity director for the ACA. He is a tall, good looking guy about 28, breezy, informal, tactful and extremely co-operative. Promised to round up all available material, to assist in making contacts, to publicize the project in the Union Newspaper, to help in any way possible. . . .I'll tell you about the stand up the workers pulled when the Union was negotiating with Postal Telegraph. You've heard of the sit down. Well this was a stand up. Here's the way it happened. Around November 1937, we were negotiating with Postal for recognition and other demands. Things were going slow and then this action was organized which clinched the contract. Here's how it worked. The workers called it the Iron Ring. Now here's a map of the United States. Now if you draw a line through theses cities, you'll see what was meant by the Iron Ring. It looks something like this . . .WASHINGTON, PHILADELPHIA, PITTSBURGH, DETROIT, NEW YORK, BUFFALO, in these cities, stand up meetings were held simultaneously for three hours. All messages going East, West, North or South have to be relayed through one of these points. When the workers stood up at their machines and the action was [85%?] successful, well, it stopped the work. It stopped 85 to 90 percent of the traffic throughout the country. Things happened during those stand up meetings. The workers tell stories about it. They wrote songs about it, their own songs. There's no record who wrote them. Ten or fifteen people got together and composed them. They send them during the stand up and they're still being sung today. Almost everybody remembers them. Here's how the action took place. Nobody knew just when and where it would start, not even the executive committees in the shops. But the workers had voted the National Office the power to call this action. At exactly 10:19 the organizer stepped into the Pittsburgh shop and he was supposed to blow a whistle which would begin the action. He had the whistle with him and he tried to blow a terrific blast. Nothing came up. That was hot. Finally the damn thing did let out a squeak and as soon as the Pittsburgh workers heard the whistle they flashed this message at the end of whatever message they were sending. STOP STOP STOP ACA STAND UP FOR BETTER CONDITIONS, and they stood up. The workers receiving the message sent it on and did the same. In a minute the action was flashed all over the country and the Stand Up meetings were on. When the three hours were over, someone flashed the word and in the same way they resumed work. It was that action that broke the back of Postal and they signed up. Here are some of the songs that were born during the time. The [song] is called the Postal Soup Song. It goes to the tune of My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean: “All my lifetime I worked for the Postal. Until I was near ninety-nine; And when I was laid off they told me "We'll give you something that's fine," Chorus : Sou-up, Sou-up. They gave me a bowl of soup. sou-up, Sou-up. They gave me a bowl of soup. I had fourteen kids and a wife, Who were hungry and ragged and cold. And when I asked for a raise, Here is what I was told. Sou-up, Sou-up. We'll give you a bowl of soup. Sou-up, Sou-up. We'll give you a bowl of soup. “ Here's one to the tune of Tipperary which was sung when the Union was organizing Western Union. “It's a good thing to join the union. It's a fine place to go. It's a good thing to join the union And march with the CIO. Good bye to the speed up, Hello union pay, Rally Western Union workers for the ARTA.”
5: Summary of “Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Unionism” | This article starts out by talking about the iron ring, and how the workers for the Postal held meetings in these cities that formed a ring on the map. Then it talks about how works stood up during these meetings and told stories and wrote sings about the percent of traffic throughout the country. Then it talks about a plan they devised for all the workers to stand up at 10:19. A whistle was blown in Pittsburg that notified the workers and flashed a message that signified the start of the stand up meetings. The article is finished with a song wrote about the situation. One of these songs described the years of hard work for the union that turned into being laid off and having their families suffer. The second song talked up the Union and how great it was. | Eugenia Martin and the WPA | "I am the offspring of Thomas and Lucy Collier. Their parents were slaves. Mother and father were also slaves. . . ."Mother and father have died. He did, however, live to see some of his dreams realized. For he lived to see some of his children through college and see the race enjoying some of the things for which he had worked, and prayed. Also eight of my brothers and sisters have died. Some of them died rather young and others later in life. . . ."I married a young man who was a minister in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. I entered heartily into this new life - a minister's wife. I took an active part in his church work, helping wherever possible. I worked from one place to another in the church. Sometimes I was a prayer leader in class meetings; other times I was working with the Missionary Society, or with the choir as organist. . . ."The annual conference, of which husband was a member, was in session and he left home just three weeks before Christmas to be present at the conference roll call. He was stricken ill soon after reaching the conference and died before he was able to be brought home . . . and so he was brought back to me a corpse. . . ."When we first came to Atlanta husband had a home built, and at his death he hadn't finished paying for it. I had to take hold and try to pay for it for I didn't have any children or anyone to help me; the job was mine. I had the notes readjusted and they were cut down to $36.00 a month. [this?] was as low as I could get them because the house cost a lot and when he lived he was able to keep up the high notes. His salary was good and being a general officer of the church he was paid regularly. With notes on the home of $36.00 plus my living expense and the general upkeep of the house I found it next to impossible to live. Of course husband left me a little money, very little however, at his death and this was soon exhausted. I then tried to get work to maintain myself. I made every attempt to get work in private industry and being unsuccessful, I was compelled to get work on WPA. I was reluctant at first to go to WPA, for heretofore it had seemingly been the consensus of many that only the shiftless, lazy and lower types resorted to relief agencies. The need of work was so great that this barrier was soon eradicated. Of course, as many, many others, I'm sure, I experienced the humilities that go with the process of securing this work and it was disappointing at times but I was
6: growing more and more in need and this caused me to keep on trying. I finally succeeded in being certified and then was later assigned to work."I was assigned to a project known as the Survey of White Collar and Skilled Negroes. This was a most interesting work. We first went out and found all the white collar and skilled workers among the Negroes here in Atlanta. This was done through a house to house canvas. These workers were interviewed as to their father's occupation, their schooling and their occupation. We found those who had followed their father's occupation and those who had deviated. We checked on how many who had migrated from rural to urban localities, occupations trained for and whether they were engaged in those occupations or whether because of employment conditions they were forced to work at occupations not trained for. I enjoyed it so much. After we got all of the information together, it was then compiled in tables and put in book form. "I worked hard every day and went to school at night where I took a two-year commercial course. I completed the course as prescribed by the Board of Education, City of Atlanta. "After that project ended I was sent to the sewing project and here too found the work interesting. I had a knowledge of sewing and because of this experience I was put over a group of women as 'floor woman', and like the former project I enjoyed it much. After this work I was transferred to the Housekeepers Aid Project. This was a most unusual experience for me. I had worked in the church, coming in contact with the poor and needy, the sick and suffering but it was nothing compared with that which I found or experienced on this project. I never realized before just what was out there in those alleys, in the slums, the poverty and illiteracy that existed there. I am glad I have had the opportunity to work on WPA, first because it has provided me a livelihood and second for the experience I've gotten, which I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It enabled me to keep up my notes on my home. I haven't been able to save anything since working on WPA but it enabled me to carry on. I simply could not have held out this long had it not been for WPA. The experience caused me to care for the sick and the old age pensioners and performing their household work which they were unable to do. In fact, all sorts of human suffering has been witnessed in my work. In working in the latter job, where I worked until the recent law was passed that all workers who have done 18 months service on WPA be released, I was able to learn much about the families and some of their backgrounds. . . . "I have looked forward to being reassigned to WPA or getting work in private industry and something must come up soon for me or I don't know what will happen. The notes on my home are getting behind. See, I haven't been able to pay anything since I've been out of work. The holder of the notes gave me four months grace and I have been off three months already. I have made every effort to secure work that I may not have to go back to WPA but I have failed. There seems so little work for Negroes. We have so few places and they are all overcrowded. I am beginning to get afraid for I had only my earnings to depend on but I guess I'll be able to carry on somehow but something will just have to turn up for me soon. It must, I just can't give up here. Each new day brings me new hope and courage for that day and I can feel the presence of a good spirit with me, and so I go on like that each day."
7: Summary of “Eugenia Martin and the WPA” | Eugenia Martin was an African American woman whose husband died and she went to seek work through the WPA. She had a house with the husband who had recently passed and when he died he hasn't finished paying for it, so she had to finish the job herself. She was assigned to the “Survey of White Collar and Skilled Negroes” who found all white collar and skilled African Americans in the area to work for them. She was then sent to another project in which she was asked to sew, and she was the leader of these women. Then she was put into the Housekeepers Aid Project in which she worked in the church to help the needy, poor, and sick. There she got to see how truly bad everything was and how impoverished and illiterate the people here were. The WPA gave this woman many different and interesting opportunities and ways to make money that she enjoyed and that were also helpful to others. She got to care for people who needed it and help people out who couldn't even help themselves, and she also got to learn so much about the people in her close neighborhoods and their backgrounds. It was difficult to find work without the WPA because there is little work without the WPA helping.
9: This photograph is of men waiting in line at a soup kitchen. These men are in old tattered clothing, they are thin, and they are getting free or lower priced food. During the Great Depression people would stand for hours on end in lines waiting for this food, some lines wrapped around blocks. These men sometimes had to decide what was more important, getting food for their families or finding a job to support their families. | Soup Kitchen
10: Dust Storm | This is an example of a Dust Storm. The disaster is about to rip through this city, wreck homes, and hurt people. It was caused by over-production of land and extreme drought. The Dust Bowl was a period of time in the thirties when the soil dried, turned to dust, and had nothing to hold it down in the ground. Homes like the ones pictured here were filled with dust and were impossible to keep clean. Also winds blew so hard that they flipped over vehicles and the dust the winds carried buried many things.
11: Migrant Mother | This is a photograph of a young 18 year-old mother living in a shantytown. She sits on the chair in front of her makeshift home looking depressed and worried about the future. Her child sits on the dirty dusty ground becoming filthy and playing in the filth. Many people couldn't afford their homes, so they sold them (or were kicked out) and made a shantytown their new home. This was the sad and depressing truth of the Great Depression and this picture is worth 1,000 words in showing how much the people struck by the economic failure were struggling.
12: Political Cartoons
13: This political cartoon is representing the fact that Hoover was considered to be a Lameduck because he was nearly useless as present. The poster on the wall says “Hoover train to prosperity – Sidetracked. Next train – Roosevelt special.” It is saying that prosperity for the country coming from Hoover isn't ever happening. The country needs to wait for Roosevelt's presidency until their country is back on the right track.
14: This cartoon is depicting the government controlling the farmers and the businessmen to fight to be able to make a living. The Second New Deal was becoming more pro-labor (favoring the farmers) and anti-business (being against business men). Franklin Roosevelt is being shown as being a puppet master and pitting these two classes against each other while everyone else is watching this battle go on. The inspiration for this cartoon came from the Wagner Act to protect labor organizations.
15: This is a picture featuring a young Franklin Roosevelt talking to Uncle Sam. It is Christmas Eve and his stockings labeled with the programs of the New Deal are empty. He is hoping that he will get something out of his New Deal plans. He wants to rebuild the financial aspect of America and he is hoping to bring prosperity through the New Deal. He also wants American to have brighter days instead of being in this gloomy depression.
16: WPA Posters
17: This poster is to promote the reconstruction and redevelopment of buildings in the cities. The buildings were falling apart, unsanitary, and unfit to live in. Children, infants, and the elderly were dying in these conditions. This poster is to encourage the cities to rebuild buildings with better structure, interior, and utilities in order to support the health of the people. The building of better houses is not only helping people in that time, but it is helping people in the future who will be living there.
18: This poster is to encourage education in the United States. It is for people who are foreign born to get a good education especially fitted for them. The classes encourage bilingual teachings, for you to learn English and also be taught in your own language as well. The people who created this poster wanted to attract the parents to learn the language that their children born here already knew. They wanted people to be educated in order to be able to make it easier living in the United States.
19: The Board of Education and the WPA created this poster to support adult education. They wanted people to learn trades and skills in order to be able to work and support their families. It was also to decrease the amount of unemployment in the United States. It is to allow men and women over the age of 17 to be able to fend for themselves in the world. It is also to help out their communities by building roads, buildings, and many other things.
21: Franklin Roosevelt took over and then tried to fix this country after President Herbert Hoover’s presidency was over after being blamed for the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt started a set of programs in order to try to improve the United States’ economic situation. Even today the Great Depression and New Deal still affect us. Some programs are still running today. Social Security is still aiding the elderly, the disabled, the sick, and the needy as it did during the Great Depression. Also soup kitchens and establishments for low priced or free meals are still available today to help those in need. The Federal Deposit Insurance Company that was created after the Great Depression to prevent terrible economic devastation at that level from ever happening again in this country. The FDIC insures the money in your bank account so if a bank goes under you do not lose every single penny you own. The things created or restored by the Works Progress Administration's projects are still being used today. Even today our very own President Obama is trying to boost our economy through methods like Roosevelt's. The Fair Labor Standards Act, which was a part of the New Deal still regulates child labor laws, minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping of hours worked and money paid to these people.. Today the Tennessee Valley Authority is still active today and is doing things like trying to restart nuclear reactors, maintaining rivers, creates energy through many different means like fossil fuels, hydroelectric energy, nuclear energy, combustion turbine energy, and gas-fueled energy. The Tennessee Valley Authority also has a lot of property saved for recreation and preservation in which they have public parks, national parks, wildlife refuges, and many other areas. Because of the Great Depression the government wanted to have a better relationship and responsibility with the people of their country. During the Great Depression a constant decline in the Stock Market led to people losing a whole lot of money and led to a decline in spending as well, much similar to today. Today many of people are facing foreclosure and are being forced to live out on the streets or find somewhere else to live. The rate of foreclosures and rate of homelessness may not be as severe as it was during the Great Depression, but it is still there. Just as it was during the Great Depression, loans were given to people who eventually couldn't pay them off. These people then filed for bankruptcy, the banks were never paid their money, so the banks went under with everyone else's. Today and during the Great Depression people and businesses were just struggling to stay afloat. The lay off rate now isn't as high as it was then, but it is still negatively affecting the country. The DOW plummeted very much then as it did now. The differences in today and during the Great Depression is that there is much more debt in the country today than there was back then. The dollar is valued at less now then it is now. There is no restriction in how much money could be created today as there was back during the Great Depression.