The Depression was a terrible time for millions of Americans. Thousands of letters arrived at the White House addressed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. They came from desperate Americans begging for help.
Many people felt that women shoul not hold jobs as long as so many men were unemployed. Women usually earned less than men.
To save money, they sewed more clothing, baked more bread, and canned more vegetables. To make money, some women started home businesses, such as laundries or boardinghouses.
President Roosevelt named the first woman ever to serve in the cabinet when he chose Frances Perkins to be secretary of labor.
Eleanor Roosevelt played a major role in her husband's presidency. She acted as his "eyes and ears." She made many fact-finding trips in his place. Mrs. Roosevelt also was a powerful voice for women and families in need.
During the 1930s, the southern Great Plains suffered an environmental disaster. The region came to be known as the Dust Bowl.
The drought and the storms —"black blizzards"— continued for years. Each storm stripped away more precious soil. Huge dust clouds blocked out the sun.
Local people called the migrants "Okies," after the state of Oklahoma from which many had come.
More than half of all African Americans in the Siuth had no jobs. Mony of those who had work found their jobs taken by white people who had lost theirs.
About 400,000 African American men, women, and children migrated to northern cities in the 1930s