The 1930’s were a time of depression, the Great Depression. The Great Depression lasted from the late 1920’s all through the 30’s. During this period, many people were unemployed, and many families didn’t have much food. When our company told me that they had to let me go I begged them not to. At some point I even thought about jumping from a skyscraper or a bridge like some others did, but I knew it would just give my family more problems to deal with. In this time, many other events occurred in our world, like the Dust Bowl, which lasted until 1936.
The mud dried up and turned into dust, and that was the start of The Dust Bowl. Although the dust was bad there still was some good news, some of my farmer friends told me they heard that in California there was gold, so most of the farmers tried to go there. Daily life in the thirties was hard and stressful for everybody. Some of my friends I used to work with came home and their wife yelled at them because they had no job, which made some families fall apart. Most people in the thirties were miserable. The lines for bread were long and they lasted long too, because of the shortage of bread.
The jobs were very hard to get especially in 1933, even for me even though I had lots of experience and had a master’s degree in business from Harvard. In 1931, the television was starting to come along and at this time we didn’t realize that in 50 years televisions would be the main entertainment object of the century. Another big hit in the 1930’s was for the whole family to gather around the radio. It was our main way to hear the news, except for going into town, which was a place people didn’t go every day.
On May 1st 1931, the world’s tallest building, the Empire State Building, was opened by President Hoover in New York. It was and still is 380 meters high and 102 stories with a solid steel frame. It was an impressive structure for us at this time and to this day it still stands, used and improved. In 1937 the German Hindenburg air ship burned to the ground in less than two minutes by a spark the size of an ant, leaving 33 people killed, 12 people injured, and only 64 people got away not badly hurt. The development of new types of fibers in the early 30’s was finally bearing fruit.
In 1937 the Du Pont Company in the USA was able to make nylon stockings for the first time, which became a big hit with the ladies, but they were not yet available in stores to the general public. In the 1930’s there was the first clinical use of Penicillin and insulin was used to control diabetes. In 1932 President Roosevelt was elected, and again re-elected in 1936. Roosevelt built our country’s economy and is known to be one of many people’s favorite presidents. The famous American women pilot, Amelia Earhart, disappeared on a flight around the world in July of 1938.
She was two thirds of the way around when her plane was believed to crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. She was an inspiration for many of us, especially for the women. The fashion we had in the 1930’s was very different than the fashion today. Women wore long halter topped dresses, lace frocks, negligees, and corsets, while we men wore suits with a matching top hat and over coats. For entertainment we had Shirley Temple, known for her blonde ringlets and her ability to sing and tap dance.
She became a favorite celebrity in 1934 and by the end of the year she received an Academy Award, and was declared a favorite for the whole family! By the end of the decade, one of the first color motion pictures was released. Let’s not forget about sports like baseball, where the legendary Babe Ruth entertained our nation. At first the great depression was very tough on the whole nation, but with the great leadership of President Roosevelt and the people’s will power we were able to rebuild our economy.