Life During the Depression. IV. Family Life. Effects on the Family 1. Basic need not met Many families did not have enough money to make ends meet Could not afford food, shelter, or clothing Men Leave Home In search of jobs men crisscrossed the country Many never returned.
Life During the Depression
1. Basic need not met
“Hoovervilles”, homeless camps named after the president
The Dust Bowl refers to the area which was devastated first by drought then by wind-driven clouds of blown away topsoil that resembled dark storm clouds.
It was partially caused by poor farming practices and overgrazing that destroyed deep rooted natural grasses. When the strong winds came the crops farmers planted could not hold the soil and it blew away in clouds of “dust”.
Dust Bowl location
Many farmers decided to pack up and leave their drought stricken farms and move west to California hoping for a new start. So many of the migrants were from Oklahoma they soon became known as “Okies”. Unfortunately, farming conditions in California were not much better. Many of the migrants ended up living in migrant/refugee camps.
Migrant camps in California where refugees came to make a new start
Popular song from the 1930s: Brother, can you spare a dime?
They used to tell me I was building a dream,And so I followed the mobWhen there as earth to plough or guns to bearI was always there right on the job.The used to tell me I was building a dreamWith peace and glory aheadWhy should I be standing in line just waiting for bread?Once I built a railroad, made it run,Made it race against time.Once I build a railroad, Now its doneBrother, can you spare a dime?Once I built a tower, to the sunBrick and rivet and lime,Once I built a tower,Now its doneBrother, can you spare a dime?Once in khaki suitesGee, we looked swellFull of that Yankee Doodle-de-dum.Half a million boots went sloggin' thru Hell,I was the kid with the drum.Say, don't you remember, they called me AlIt was Al all the timeSay, don't you remember I'm your Pal!Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Children Of Migrant/Refugees
“ covering everything, including ourselves, in a thick, brownish gray blanket…The door and windows were all shut tightly, yet those tiny particles seemed to seep through the very walls. It got into cupboards and clothes closets; our faces were as dirty as if we had rolled in the dirt; our hair was gray and stiff and we ground dirt between our teeth.”