Diary of :Mary Beth Johnson The Great depression and its impact on families

October 1, 1929-My name is Mary Beth Johnson I am 10 years old and I live in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania. I don't have any brothers or sisters, but I do have a dog named Buster. My mom and dad both work all day. Things around the house have been normal, until this past year.

October 29 1929- Things have been tough around the house lately. Mom and Dad keep talking about money and how money is tight. They keep saying prices and taxes are increasing. Dad said many people were getting laid off at work. I really hope that doesn't mean he's going to get fired. Dad works for the railroad and mom works for a textile factory. Mom and Dad have been struggling lately.

December 25, 1929- Today is Christmas and we have no presents under the tree. We barely have money to eat. Mom's job at the textile factory has gotten sickening and worse. They make her work nonstop and give her little pay. Dad almost got fired from the railroad company because they can't afford to pay their workers, we are barely making ends meet.

June 17, 1930-Today's my birthday! I am 11. The sad thing is Mom and Dad don't have money to buy me a present. Yesterday, Dad got fired from the railroad company so now Mom's paycheck is barely holding us together. Mom and Dad both told me I need to start working at the textile factory with Mom. I start my job tomorrow.

July 4 1930- Today is my first day working for the textile factory with Mom. As soon as I walk in i realize how nasty, smelly, dirty, and hot it was. There were so many people in there it was hard to move around. All day, I made yarn into fabric. It got really tiring and we never ever got to take a break. I realized there were a lot of children working in there with me to. So, I guess i'm not the only child who has to work.

September 13, 1932- Money is still extremely tight and dad has still not found a job. Mom and i both still work at the textile factory, but ever since i started working there I feel sleep deprived and very sickly. But, i am not allowed to call in sick. Mom told me last night that our lives might never be the same again. We have become very poor and we can barely afford dog food for Buster or ourselves.

October 20, 1934- Last night I overhead my Mom and Dad talking and they said that our country was in the Great Depression. I also overheard them arguing over money and if we have to move into a smaller house because we can't afford this one anymore.

November 9, 1935- Today me and some of my friends went downtown and protested. We brought posters that said, "Give our Dad's work!"

June 17, 1938- Today is my birthday and I am 19! I can't believe I am this old, but things have been looking better lately around the house.

January 1, 1939- Dad finally got his job back at the railroad! Mom got a better job working at a pharmacy. Now I don't have to work anymore. Life is much better now that the depression is over. Glad my family is back as it once was.



Created with images by darkday. - "Big Textile Factory" • Lucas Lucas - "untitled image"

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