Vanity Fair Magazine Articles
The Atlantic Monthly Articles
The Outlook Articles
People Today Articles
American Legion Monthly Articles
Sea Power Magazine Articles
Confederate Veteran Magazine Articles
flapper magazine Articles
La Baionnette Articles
PIC Magazine Articles
Outing Magazine Articles
Stage Magazine Articles
Life Magazine  Articles
National Park Service Histories Articles
Punch Magazine Articles
Men's Wear Articles
Current Literature Articles
The New York Times Articles
Hearst's Sunday American Articles
Click Magazine Articles
Creative Art Magazine Articles
Rob Wagner's Script Articles
The New Republic Articles
American Legion Weekly Articles
The Smart Set Articles
Photoplay Magazine Articles
Leslie's Magazine Articles
Ken Magazine Articles
PM  Articles
Saturday Review of Literature Articles
The Dial Magazine Articles
Theatre Arts Magazine Articles
The North American Review Articles
Direction Magazine Articles
'47 Magazine Articles
Film Spectator Articles
Film Daily Articles
Trench Warfare History Articles


Article Surfer
<— Prev    |    Next —>

"To farm its rich vineyards and orchards, the San Joaquin Valley has long depended on the hordes of migratory workers who swarm the state in search of employment. All such work is seasonal, and in the slack periods these transients have to make shift as best they can. Of late years, depression, droughts and floods have driven increasingly greater numbers of families from such nearby states as Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas into the fertile valley in search of livelihood. A serious problem grew... investigations had brought to light a shocking picture. In a addition to the 200,000 vagrants already roaming California's valleys, estimates showed an influx of about 50,000 more transients since January 1."

Two years after this article went to press, the most famous novel on this same topic would appear: The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck - the work was an instant bestseller. Pasted below is one of the most moving passages describing the the arrival of his protagonists when they first laid eyes on the San Joaquin Valley - a land that would lead to their undoing:

"They drove through Tehachapi in the morning glow, and the sun came up behind them, and then suddenly they saw the great valley below them. Al jammed on the brake and stopped in the middle of the road, and, 'Jesus Christ! Look!' he said. The vineyards, the orchards, the great flat valley, green and beautiful, the trees set in rows, and the farm houses.

And Pa said, 'God Almighty!' The distant cities, the little towns in the orchard land, and the morning sun, golden on the valley. A car honked behind them. Al pulled to the side of the road and parked.

'I want ta look at her.' The grain fields golden in the morning, and the willow lines, the eucalyptus trees in rows.

Pa sighed, 'I never knowed they was anything like her.' The peach trees and the walnut groves, and the dark green patches of oranges. And red roofs among the trees, and barns rich barns. Al got out and stretched his legs.

He called, 'Ma come look. We're there!'

Ruthie and Winfield scrambled down from the car, and then they stood, silent and awestruck, embarrassed before the great valley. The distance was thinned with haze, and the land grew softer and softer in the distance. A windmill flashed in the sun, and its turning blades were like a little heliograph, far away. Ruthie and Winfield looked at it, and Ruthie whispered, 'It's California.'

Winfield moved his lips silently over the syllables. 'There's fruit,' he said aloud."

To read about the beautifully crafted motion picture adaptation of the book, click here...


Starvation in the San Joaquin Valley (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)

Starvation in the San Joaquin Valley (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)

Article Surfer
<— Prev    |    Next —>







Copyright 2008 Old Magazine Articles