Riding The Rails. By: Kevin Nogueira. What was Riding the Rails. People were forced off farms due to lack of work. ( Ganzel ) They heard of work miles away but could not pay for train rides. They would jump onto freight trains illegally and ride the train until its next stop. ( Ganzel )
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Riding The Rails By: Kevin Nogueira
What was Riding the Rails • People were forced off farms due to lack of work. (Ganzel) • They heard of work miles away but could not pay for train rides. • They would jump onto freight trains illegally and ride the train until its next stop. (Ganzel) • Once they reached a destination, they would jump off. • Often they were beaten by brutal railroad guards (Bulls). • Bulls jobs were to ensure every riding passenger paid, and if not, the ones who did not pay would get beaten off the train. (Ganzel)
Where did People Ride the Rails • People rode the rails mostly in America. • People would head west throughout the country looking for jobs. • As the depression hit Canada, few people rode the rails in Canada as well.
Who Rode the Rails • All homeless people in need of money would ride the rails. • Teenagers and Adults. (The Gale Group) • Both girls and boys. (The Gale Group) • 250,000 of the 400,000 people riding the • rails were teens. (The Gale Group)
When did People Ride the Rails • People rode the rails during the Great Depression roughly from 1929-1939. • When people were out of jobs they would ride the rails.
Why did People Ride the Rails • People rode the rails to look for jobs. • During the depression jobs were hard to find and in order to find a job, people would have to move away from where you lived. • Adolescences also felt like burdens towards there families as they were another person their parents had to care for. (The Gale Group) • After a while, people got addicted to riding the rails and the adventure it provided. They would continue to ride for the adventure. (W5AWG)
How did People Ride the Rails • People would hide outside along the tracks waiting for a train to pass. • As trains would pass and gain speed, people would run along side the train and jump into empty boxcars. • When they approached a town, they would jump off before they reached the town to save themselves from getting beat by the Bulls. • Many people lost limbs by missing the boxcars.
How did Riding the Rails Start • Timeline of the Great Depression • 1929- The Crash on Wall Street • - The Stock Market crashed in October of 1929. Businesses struggled to stay afloat, and banks began to close. People would lose their life savings when the banks closed, never getting that money back. (Downing, 44) • 1930- Unemployment struck • -Many people began to become unemployed, and in desperation would travel elsewhere to find work. • 1934- The Dust Bowl • - During 1934 a huge drought hit America and farmers were unable to provide food or work for others. (Downing,44)
Continued • 1935- The Social Security Act. • - A system that would provide general welfare. Cared for the disabled, single parents, children, and unemployment. (Great Depression) • 1939- World War II • - As WWII began, weapons and supplies needed to be made, giving a lot of factory jobs. Also, many army jobs were available for those suited for them. The Great • Depression had ended. • 1945- World War II Ended • People returned to their wealth established • families with money from the army.
Life as a Hobo • While waiting for the trains, hobos would live in temporary camps known as “Jungles”. • Jungles would be set up near a railroad hidden from people. (W5AWG) • Jungles were set up by previous hobos. People would stay there for weeks at a time. (W5AWG) • Many hobos would work for food.
Interesting Facts • A union was started in the late 1800’s to aid for the migrating hobos. It was known as Tourist Union #63 (63 hobos started the union). Some were paid. (The Economist) • Famous people rode the rails: • -Louis L’Amour- Novelist • -Art Linkletter- T.V Host • -H.L Hunt- Oil Billionaire • -William O. Douglas- Supreme Court Justice • (Ganzel)
Relate to the Novel • Smokey and Artis both rode the rails in order for them to get to places. • Many hobos would stop in towns and look for anyone willing to provide them food, shelter, etc. The homeless society in the book would come to the Café looking for a meal. • Railroad Bill would ride the rails and throw food off for the less fortunate.