The Great Depression By Amy Vivanco

In the streets of New York, right after the stock market crash of 1929, a man who lost all of his money to stocks tries to sell his car for $100

In this picture, someone is redeeming a food stamp voucher in a store in Brooklyn, New York. The food stamp program lasted from 1939 to 1943. The program could be thought of as a symbol to the public that government intervention was a necessary measure to improve the lives of those in poverty, something that had not previously been thought of as a governmental issue.

The food stamp program was a government program that was established in order to help prevent overproduction by farmers during the Great Depression. The program was started by the Department of Agriculture in 1939, in Rochester, New York, but it eventually reached 1,500 counties. The goal of the Food Stamp Program was to benefit U.S. farmers, while also feeding the homeless, jobless, and hungry. Although it eventually ended in 1943 because of the economy improvements that were sparked by WWII, the Food Stamp Program was reestablished under John F Kennedy in 1961, permanently on August 31, 1964, and is still around today.

The WPA, or Works Progress Administration, was a New Deal agency that created government projects to give jobs to the unemployed. This picture from 1938 shows the Rhode Island WPA Symphony Orchestra rehearsing. After only four years of being in place, (1939) the Federal Music Project, which was part of the WPA and New Deal, had already employed around 7,000 musicians and put on 225,000 concerts or other musical events. In addition to giving musicians jobs, the Federal Music Project also gave the struggling community a form of entertainment so that people could temporarily forget about their worries during the time of hardships.

This piece, Elegy from “String Serenade” by Tchaikovsky, is played by the New York Civic Orchestra, “a unit of the Federal Music Project,” in 1939

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