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The Great Depression

When the Depression Caught Up With Doctors (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

"Some people have maintained that doctors weren't hit so hard by the economic slump. The claim was that people couldn't help getting sick and their misfortune was the doctor's gravy. But the Committee on the Cost of Medical Care, a non-governmental committee, of which Secretary Wilbur is chairman, reports a rapid decline in the income of doctors during the Depression... In 1930, the first [full] year of the Depression, physician's incomes decreased 17% and they have been decreasing ever since."

The author also included some other elements gleaned by the committee - such as the average sum paid by the families in their study, the approximate cost of the nation's medical bills and an approximation concerning the number of medical professionals at work in 1931.

During the Depression, many doctors and nurses worked entirely for free; to read about that, click here...


During the Depression Unskilled Labor Flocked to Hollywood (Photoplay Magazine, 1934)

Illustrated with the images of shanties and tents that once surrounded Universal Studios, this article tells the sad story of Hollywood movie extras and the challenging lives they led during the Great Depression:

"Tossed out of other work by the recent depression, attracted by the false stories of Hollywood's squanderings and extravagances, excited by the thrill of living and working in the same town and the same industry with world famous personalities, they drifted to Hollywood and attached themselves to the motion picture industry. They registered with the Central Casting Bureau, and joined the great army of extras."
"These people saw no glitter, no romance, no bright mirage of stardom. To them, it was hard work and serious work..."

For further reading:
Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players, and Stand-Ins

Read about the wages paid to extras during Hollywood's silent film days.


Are College Degrees Needed In Such A Bad Economy? (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

"There is sharply divided sentiment on [the subject of education]. One faction holds that a costly 'overproduction of brains' has contributed to our [economic] plight, while the opposition reasons that any curtailment in educational expenditure would be 'false economy' and that only from the best minds will come our economic salvation".


The Economic Downturn Affected Clothing (The Era of the Great Depression, 1948)

"Men's attire was more sensitive to depression than women's, for even the most elemental sense of chivalry recognized the superior importance of fashion for wife and daughter."

More articles on 1930s fashion can be read here...


The Forgotten Child (Literary Digest, 1935)

This magazine article from 1935 documented the Federal aid that was made available for America's poorest children. The malnutrition visited upon the boys of America's indigent would render some of them unfit for military service in World War II.

"With nearly one-sixth of the nation's child population in families dependent upon emergency relief, welfare agencies call for a solution of their grave problem."

"The problem was laid before the recent National Conference on the 1935 Needs of Children held under the auspices of "The Parent's Magazine" in New York City. Before them Katherine F. Lenroot, Chief of the United States Children's Bureau, made one of her first public appearances since taking office:"

"...These children have a right to expect that Federal, State, and community relief policies of 1935 will provide more adequately for essential items in the family budget."

Another article about children of the Great Depression can be read here...


The Forgotten Men and the NRA (Literary Digest, 1935)

"A long program of suggested remedial legislation lies ahead of the 7,500 representatives of the people who gather this year in the halls of Congress and of all but four State Legislatures. The NRA (National Recovery Administration) will come under the closest scrutiny. As the old year waned, the NIRA (National Industrial Recovery Act)was being attacked and defended."

Click here to see a chart concerning the U.S. urban murder rate between the years 1926 - 1936.

More on the NRA can be read here...


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