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The Great Depression

The Lot of Women (New Outlook, 1934)

An editorial by two American feminists who insisted that the economic depression of the Thirties had knocked the wind right out of the Women's Movement. They argued that some of the high ground that was earned in the preceding decades had been lost and needed to be taken back; their points are backed up by figures from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as other agencies. Much column space is devoted to the employment discrimination practiced by both state and Federal governments in favor of single women at the expense of the married. It is grievously made clear that even the sainted FDR Administration was one of the cruel practitioners of wage inequality.


The Great Depression Reduced the Number of Marriages (The Pathfinder, 1933)

"It probably signifies that many young people anxious to marry were standing by their relatives in need and putting off their own happiness. Quite possibly it means also that many who would have met and drifted together toward matrimony, or even hastened in that direction, never met at all, but stayed home and economized."

- it also means that many simply preferred to "shack-up" until they could afford the caterer, the dress and the honeymoon. Divorces are also expensive, and they, too, were reduced in number.


Increased Suicide Rate (Literary Digest, 1933)

With the arrival of the Great Depression came a remarkable increase in the American suicide rate that surged from 18 in 100,000 up to 22 in 100,000. When this article appeared on the newsstands the Depression was just three and a half years old - with six and a half more years yet to come. As the Americans saw 1932 come to a close, the records showed that 3,088 more acts of self-immolation had taken place than had been recorded the year before.

This article devoted very little column space to the growing number of global suicides, as the title indicates, but primarily concerns U.S. statistics, breaking down the figures by listing the cities with the higher suicide rates and what manner of adult was most likely to indulge.


The Era of Bartering (Pathfinder Magazine, 1934)

"Scrip (sometimes called chit) is a term for any substitute for legal tender and is often a form of credit" - so reads the Wikipedia definition for those items that served as currency in those portions of the U.S. where the bucks were scarce.

The attached news column tells a scrip story from the early Thirties - the sort of story that was probably most common on the old frontier.


Labor Abuses in the South (Focus Magazine, 1938)

Many of the back-handed dealings that would be addressed in John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" are illustrated in the attached photo-essay titled, "Slavery in America". This article is about the cruel world of the Deep South that existed in the Twenties and Thirties. It was an agrarian fiefdom where generations of White planters and factory owners practiced the most un-American system of exploitation and feudalism that developed and was perpetuated from the chaos wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction. It was a nasty place where the working people of both races labored under conditions of peonage and bone-crushing poverty with no hope in sight.


The Great Depression and American Communists (Click Magazine, 1939)

Accompanying a short editorial are pictured the images of the leaders of the CPUSA (Communist Party USA) and the various assorted Americans who rallied, marched and rioted under their banner during the Great Depression:

William Z. Foster (1881 1961),
Ella Reeve Bloor (1862 1951)
Jay Lovestone (1897 1990)

1939 was the year that the CPUSA was able to boast that their membership rolls had swelled as high as 66,000; the list began to dwindle from that point and today it is believed to stand at 15,000.

Click here to learn how thoroughly the FBI had infiltrated the CPUSA.

Was former Vice-President Henry Wallace a dirty Red?

From Amazon: Demagogues in the Depression: American Radicals and the Union Party, 1932-1936,


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