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Migrant Mother: Hard Times

How a photograph defined the Great Depression

What set the Great Depression in motion? (2 min. 30 sec.)

In late October 1929, The Great Depression was set in motion by the collapse of the stock market. The collapsing markets, job losses, and bank failures caused a large increase in poverty. The Great Depression spanned the years of 1929 to 1941.

Farm Security Administration (13 min. 30 sec.)

In 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Farm Security Administration. Within the FSA was a photography unit lead by economist Roy Stryker, consisting of famous photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Gordon Parks. They were assigned to capture on film the deep poverty of the nation, in order to convince the American people to support FDR's New Deal.
This documentary short combines universal images, sound recordings of music of the 30s and interviews with people living in the government migrant camps FDR created in California.

 

Woody Guthrie

The Dust Bowl occured because of drought. The topsoil became infertile and dry and caused enormous dust storms. It covered large parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas. Woody Guthrie released an album called The Dust Bowl Blues.