Twelve thousand American veterans of World War I stood on the Capitol lawn on June 17, 1932, while the Senate debated the “Bonus Bill.” Already passed by the House, the bill would have authorized immediate payment of a bonus that the veterans were due to receive in 1945. The veterans demanded their bonus right away, to help them and their families survive the economic hardships of the Great Depression. Bonus Marchers came from all over the country, set up tents on vacant land around Washington, and then gathered at the Capitol to await the final vote. Some senators feared mob violence, but when the Senate defeated the Bonus Bill, the marchers vowed to continue their fight, sang “America,” and returned to their camps. Yet the Bonus March ended tragically. U.S. Army troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur drove the marchers from the city and burned their camps. There were 100 casualties, and two children died in tear-gas attacks. Still, the Bonus Marchers had demonstrated the seriousness of their plight and the need for federal action to end the depression.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)
32nd president of the U.S. (193345). Easily defeated Pres. Herbert Hoover. In his inaugural address to a nation of more than 13 million unemployed, he pronounced that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Congress passed most of the changes he sought in his New Deal program in the first hundred days of his term.
As president, Roosevelt appointed her U.S. secretary of labor; she thereby became the first woman to hold a U.S. cabinet post. In her long term of office (193345) she advocated reforms such as a minimum wage, a maximum workweek, and unemployment compensation; she also helped draft the Social Security Act and supervised the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938).
The niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she married her distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1905. She raised their five children and became active in politics after her husband's polio attack (1921). As first lady (193345), she traveled around the U.S. to report on living conditions and public opinion for her husband, and she supported humanitarian causes such as child welfare, equal rights, and social reforms.
Okie is a term dating from as early as 1907, originally denoting a resident or native of Oklahoma. It is derived from the name of the state, similar to Texan or Tex for someone from Texas, or Arkie or Arkansawyer for a native of Arkansas.
In the 1930s in California, the term (often used in contempt) came to refer to very poor migrants from Oklahoma (and nearby states). Jobs were very scarce in the 1930s but after the defense boom began in 1940 there were plenty of high paying jobs in in the shipyards and defense factories.
The "Okie" migration of the 1930s brought in over a million new displaced people; many headed to the farms in California's Central valley .
Father Charles Coughlin
One of FDR's most vitriolic critics. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1923, he became pastor of a Michigan church. In 1930 he began radio broadcasts of his sermons, into which he gradually injected reactionary political statements and anti-Semitic rhetoric. His sermons attracted one of the first deeply loyal mass audiences in broadcast history. He attacked Herbert Hoover and later turned on Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. His magazine, Social Justice, targeted Wall Street, communism, and Jews. It was banned from the mails and ceased publication in 1942, the same year the Catholic hierarchy ordered Coughlin to stop broadcasting.
As governor (192831) of Louisiana, he became nationally famous for his fiery oratory and unconventional behaviour, and his nickname, Kingfish, became widely known. He implemented public works projects and education reform but used autocratic methods to control the state government. Elected to the U.S. Senate (193235), he sought national power with a Share-the-Wealth program. He was ready to challenge FDR in 1936 for not being sufficiently radical in his approach to ending the Depression. In 1935 he was assassinated by Carl A. Weiss, whose father Long had vilified.
In the U.S. Senate (1927-49), he became an ally of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and introduced New Deal labour and social-reform legislation, including the National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), the National Labor Relations Act (known as the Wagner Act), and the Social Security Act. He cosponsored the Wagner-Steagall Act (1937), which created the U.S. Housing Authority.
Mary McLeod Bethune
Part of FDR's "black cabinet," Born to former slaves, she made her way through college and in 1904 founded a school that later became part of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She was president of the college in 1923-42 and 1946-47, also serving as a special adviser to Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. Prominent in African-American organizations, particularly women's groups, she directed the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration (1936-44).
an American social reformer and Native American advocate. He served as Commissioner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, from 1933-1945. He is considered chiefly responsible for the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which he intended to correct some of the problems in federal policy toward Native Americans. It was considered to aid in ending the loss of reservations lands held by Indians, and making some progress for enabling tribal nations to re-institute self-government.
John Maynard Keynes
British economist. In the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, overturning the older ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes instead argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Following the outbreak of World War II, Keynes's ideas concerning economic policy were adopted by leading Western economies. During the 1950s and 1960s, the success of Keynesian economics resulted in almost all capitalist governments adopting its policy recommendations.
New Deal coalition
The alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Franklin D. Roosevelt forged a coalition that included the Democratic state party organizations, city machines, labor unions and blue collar workers, minorities (racial, ethnic and religious), farmers, white Southerners, people on relief, and intellectuals. The coalition fell apart around the bitter factionalism during the 1968 election, but it remains the model that party activists seek to replicate
U.S. domestic program of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt to bring economic relief (193339). The term was taken from Roosevelt's speech accepting the 1932 presidential nomination, in which he promised a new deal for the American people. New Deal legislation was enacted mainly in the first three months of 1933 (Roosevelt's hundred days) and established such agencies as the Civil Works Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps to alleviate unemployment, the National Recovery Administration to revive industrial production, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate financial institutions, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to support farm production, and the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide public power and flood control. A second period of legislation (193536), often called the second New Deal, established the National Labor Relations Board, the Works Progress Administration, and the social security system. Some legislation was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, and some programs did not accomplish their aims, but many reforms were continued by later administrations and permanently changed the role of government. Public Works Administration.
Roosevelt's legendary "First 100 Days" concentrated on the first part of his strategy: immediate relief. From March 9 to June 16, 1933, FDR sent Congress a record number of bills, all of which passed easily. These included the creation of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Congress also gave the Federal Trade Commission broad new regulatory powers, and provided mortgage relief to millions of farmers and homeowners.
Franklin Roosevelt speechwriter and legal counsel Samuel Rosenman suggested having an academic team to advise Roosevelt in March 1932. This concept was perhaps based on The Inquiry, a group of academic advisors President Woodrow Wilson formed in 1917 to prepare for the peace negotiations following World War I. In 1932, New York Times writer James Kieran first used the term Brains Trust (shortened to Brain Trust later) when he applied it to the close group of experts that surrounded United States presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt. According to Roosevelt Brain Trust member Raymond Moley, Kieran coined the term, however Rosenman contended that Louis Howe, a close advisor to the President, first used the term but used it derisively in a conversation with Roosevelt
Emergency Banking Act of 1933
The Emergency Banking Act of 1933, passed by Congress on March 9, 1933, four days after FDR declared a nationwide bank holiday, combined with the Federal Reserve’s commitment to supply unlimited amounts of currency to reopened banks, created de facto 100 percent deposit insurance. Much to everyone’s relief, when the institutions reopened for business on March 13, 1933 depositors stood in line to return their stashed cash to neighborhood banks. Within two weeks, Americans had redeposited more than half of the currency that they had squirreled away before the bank suspension. The stock market registered its approval as well
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a United States government corporation created by the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. It provides deposit insurance, which guarantees the safety of deposits in member banks, up to $250,000 per depositor per bank as of January 2012. As of November 18, 2010, the FDIC insured deposits at 7,723 institutions. The FDIC also examines and supervises certain financial institutions for safety and soundness, performs certain consumer-protection functions, and manages banks in receiverships (failed banks).
FDR first used "fireside chat" in 1929 as Governor of New York[. Roosevelt faced a conservative Republican legislature, so during each legislative session, he would occasionally address the citizens of New York directly. He appealed to radio listeners for help getting his agenda passed. Letters would pour in following each of these "chats," which helped pressure legislators to pass measures Roosevelt had proposed. He began making the informal addresses as President on March 12, 1933, during the Great Depression. These chats were the first time most Americans had ever directly heard the voice of the president of the U.S. They established a warm rapport between FDR and the ordinary people of America throughout the Depression and WW II.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The SEC was established by the United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1934 as an independent, quasi-judicial regulatory agency during the Great Depression that followed the Crash of 1929. The main reason for the creation of the SEC was to regulate the stock market and prevent corporate abuses relating to the offering and sale of securities and corporate reporting. The SEC was given the power to license and regulate stock exchanges, the companies whose securities traded on them, and the brokers and dealers who conducted the trading.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 17–23. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide employment for young men in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 2.5 million young men participated.
The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Principal benefits of an individual’s enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. Of their pay of $30 a month, $25 went to their parents. Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
During the 1920s and the Great Depression years, Americans began to support the idea of public ownership of utilities, particularly hydroelectric power facilities. The concept of government-owned generation facilities selling to publicly owned distribution utilities was controversial and remains so today.
Many believed privately owned power companies were charging too much for power, did not employ fair operating practices and were subject to abuse by their owners (utility holding companies), at the expense of consumers. During his presidential campaign, Roosevelt claimed that private utilities had "selfish purposes" and said, "Never shall the federal government part with its sovereignty or with its control of its power resources while I'm president of the United States." By forming utility holding companies, the private sector controlled 94 percent of generation by 1921, essentially unregulated. (This gave rise to Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA)). Many private companies in the Tennessee Valley were bought by the federal government. Others shut down, unable to compete with the TVA. Government regulations were also passed to prevent competition with TVA.
On the other hand, there were economic libertarians who believed the government should not participate in the electricity generation business, fearing government ownership would lead to the misuse of hydroelectric sites. TVA was one of the first federal hydropower agencies, and today most of the nation's
Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA)
United States federal law of the New Deal era which restricted agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies not to plant part of their land (that is, to let a portion of their fields lie fallow) and to kill off excess livestock. Its purpose was to reduce crop surplus and therefore effectively raise the value of crops. The money for these subsidies was generated through an exclusive tax on companies which processed farm products. The Act created a new agency, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, to oversee the distribution of the subsidies. It is considered the first modern U.S. farm bill.
National Recovery Administration (NRA)
Law authorized the President of the United States to regulate industry and permit cartels and monopolies in an attempt to stimulate economic recovery, and established a national public works program.
The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislative program. Section 7(a) of the bill, which protected collective bargaining rights for unions, proved contentious (especially in the Senate), but both chambers eventually passed the legislation and President Roosevelt signed the bill into law on June 16, 1933. The Act had two main sections (or "titles"). Title I was devoted to industrial recovery, and authorized the promulgation of industrial codes of fair competition, guaranteed trade union rights, permitted the regulation of working standards, and regulated the price of certain refined petroleum products and their transportation. Title II established the Public Works Administration, outlined the projects and funding opportunities it could engage in, and funded the Act
Works Progress Administration (WPA)
The Works Progress Administration (renamed during 1939 as the Works Project Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.
It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and Western areas.The budget at the outset of the WPA in 1935 was $1.4 billion a year (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP), and in total it spent $13.4 billion.
At its peak in 1938 it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men (and some women), as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs
National Labor relations Act (NLRB)
Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.
Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO)
The CIO was born out of a fundamental dispute within the U.S. labor movement over whether and how to organize industrial workers. Those who favored craft unionism believed that the most effective way to represent workers was to defend the advantages they had secured through their skills. They focused on the hiring of skilled workers, such as carpenters, lithographers, and railroad engineers, in an attempt to maintain as much control as possible over the work their members did through enforcement of work rules, zealous defense of their jurisdiction to certain types of work, control over apprenticeship programs, and exclusion of less skilled workers from membership.
Craft unionists were opposed to organizing workers on an industrial basis (efficiency), i.e. into unions that represented all of the production workers in a particular enterprise, rather than in separate units divided along craft lines.
The proponents of industrial unionism, on the other hand, generally believed that craft distinctions may have been appropriate in those industries in which craft unions had flourished, such as construction or printing, but that they were unworkable in industries such as steel or auto production. In their view, dividing workers in a single plant into a number of different crafts represented by separate organizations, each with its own agenda, would weaken the workers’ bargaining power and leave the majority, who had few traditional craft skills, completely unrepresented.
A sit-down strike is a form of civil disobedience in which an organized group of workers, usually employed at a factory or other centralized location, take possession of the workplace by "sitting down" at their stations, effectively preventing their employers from replacing them with strikebreakers or, in some cases, moving production to other locations. The United Auto Workers staged successful sit-down strikes in the 1930s, most famously in the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936-1937. In Flint, Michigan, strikers occupied several General Motors plants for more than forty days, and repelled the efforts of the police and National Guard to retake them. A wave of sit-down strikes followed, but diminished by the end of the decade as the courts and the National Labor Relations Board held that sit-down strikes were illegal and sit-down strikers could be fired. While some sit-down strikes still occur in the United States, they tend to be spontaneous and short-lived.
Unemployment compensation is money received from the United States and a state by a worker who has become unemployed through no fault of their own. In the United States, this compensation is classified as a type of social welfare benefit. The idea of unemployment insurance in the United States originated in Wisconsin in 1932. In the United States, there are 50 state unemployment insurance programs plus one each in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands. Through the Social Security Act of 1935, the federal government of the United States effectively encouraged the individual states to adopt unemployment insurance plans.
The Black Cabinet was first known as the Federal Council of Negro Affairs, an informal group of African-American public policy advisors to United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was supported by the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. By mid-1935, there were 45 African Americans working in federal executive departments and New Deal agencies.
The Social Security Act was enacted August 14, 1935. The Act was drafted during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term by the President's Committee on Economic Security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the New Deal. The Act was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this Act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.
The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death. Payments to current retirees are financed by a payroll tax on current workers' wages, half directly as a payroll tax and half paid by the employer. The act also gave money to states to provide assistance to aged individuals (Title I), for unemployment insurance (Title III), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Title IV), Maternal and Child Welfare (Title V), public health services (Title VI), and the blind (Title X)
Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)
The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, sometimes known as the Indian New Deal, was U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans (known in law as American Indians or Indians), including Alaska Natives. These include actions that contributed to the reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of communal holdings of American Indian tribes and a return to local self-government on a tribal basis. The Act also restored to Indians the management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for the inhabitants of Indian reservations.
The IRA was perhaps the most significant initiative of John Collier Sr., Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) from 1933 to 1945. He had worked on Indian issues for ten years prior to his appointment, particularly with the Indian Defense Fund. He had intended to reverse some of the worst government policies and provide ways for American Indians to re-establish sovereignty and self-government, to reduce the losses of reservation lands, and establish ways for Indians to build economic self-sufficiency. Various other interests effected changes to the legislation that reduced protections for Indians and preserved oversight by BIA.
Popular Front organizations were coalitions of leftist groups united for a special cause--often the rectification of some legal or political injustice or conviction. The front would include communists, socialists, liberals , and "do gooders" of every stripe.
Fair Labor Standards Act/
The Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 (abbreviated as FLSA; also referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill) is a federal statute of the United States. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute. It applies to employees engaged in interstate commerce or employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage.
The Fair Labor Standards Act established a minimum wage for all workers involved with interstate commerce--excluding agricultural field workers (often Black and Hispanic) and domestics (often Black).
Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
During the Great Depression, the banking system failed, causing a drastic decrease in home loans and ownership. At this time, most home mortgages were short-term (three to five years), no amortization, balloon instruments at loan-to-value (LTV) ratios below fifty to sixty percent. The banking crisis of the 1930s forced all lenders to retrieve due mortgages. Refinancing was not available, and many borrowers, now unemployed, were unable to make mortgage payments. Consequently, many homes were foreclosed, causing the housing market to plummet. Banks collected the loan collateral (foreclosed homes) but the low property values resulted in a relative lack of assets. Because there was little faith in the backing of the U.S. government, few loans were issued and few new homes were purchased.
In 1934 the federal banking system was restructured. The National Housing Act of 1934 was passed and the Federal Housing Administration was created. Its intent was to regulate the rate of interest and the terms of mortgages that it insured. These new lending practices increased the number of people who could afford a down payment on a house and monthly debt service payments on a mortgage, thereby also increasing the size of the market for single-family homes.
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands in the 1930s, particularly in 1934 and 1936. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent wind erosion. Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.
During the drought of the 1930s, without natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried, turned to dust, and blew away eastward and southward in large dark clouds. At times, the clouds blackened the sky, reaching all the way to East Coast cities such as New York and Washington, D.C. Much of the soil ended up deposited in the Atlantic Ocean, carried by prevailing winds, which were in part created by the dry and bare soil conditions. These immense dust storms—given names such as "black blizzards" and "black rollers"—often reduced visibility to a few feet (around a meter). The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2), centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
Millions of acres of farmland were damaged, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as "O