A columnist writing for the business magazine New Outlook following the first nine months of the New Deal, weighed carefully all the assorted alphabet agencies and edicts that President Roosevelt created in hopes that the U.S. economy would once more spring to life. He concluded that there was nothing to look forward to and compared FDR to the con-men on the street corners who scam the passersby into playing their shell games; difference being that FDR's shells were both empty.
Click here to read about the first 100 days of the Roosevelt administration.
An article about FDR's scheme to create an American Utopia purchased with high taxation...
"Blue Eagle, symbol of the National [Industrial] Recovery Act, is probably one of the best known figures in the country today. Gripping bolts of lightening and a cog wheel in its claws it now hovers over 95 percent of industrial America advertising the success of the first major move of the New Deal... With only one year behind it, it has brought about the cooperation of 2,300,000 employers and 60,000,000 consumers."
- so runs the introductory paragraph for this 1934 article that marked the first anniversary of the National Recovery Administration. This short-lived agency was the brainchild of FDR's administration that was shot down by the Supreme Court in 1935. Although this article is filled with praise for the NRA, it would not be very long before the editors of PATHFINDER MAGAZINE assumed a more suspicious approach when reporting on this president's efforts to repair the damaged economy.
By the year 1937 it became a concern that an eighth of all those admitted to the nation's state-run mental hospitals were between the ages of 15 through 24. On a similar note, it was revealed that 40% of employable youth were entirely unable to secure positions during this this same period. These matters were made known as a result of the efforts put forward by the Youth Commission of the American Council of Education - a group that began compiling such data in 1935.
It must have been very difficult to maintain a sunny disposition back in the Thirties! No doubt, residents of the Great Depression would often have to make their own "good news". For example, that same month in 1932 when this article appeared it was also announced that "for the first time in the nation's history alien emigration from the United States during the last fiscal year exceeded immigration [to the United States], figures being 103,295 and 35,576 respectively" - there! For those people who disliked hearing foreign accents on the streets, there was a glimmer of hope - and that's what this article was all about: finding hope.
Written during the later years of the Great Depression, these columns summarize the sad lot of America's Black population - their hardships, ambitions, leadership, and where they tend to live.
"When the Depression struck, Negroes were the first to lose their jobs. Today, 1,500,000 colored adults are unemployed."
A 1938 article about the hardships of the Southern States during the Great Depression can be read here...
Click here to learn about the origins of the term "Jim Crow".