Written at the request of a grandson who asks me, “What has happened of great significance in your lifetime?”
The Great Depression
This was the period of time after World War I when the economy of the United States became even worse than today. Banks failed, unemployment was at the lowest in history, and food supply was low. The government set up programs to assist the people by provided work in the environment. One such program was called the WPA.
Under another government program called the CCC program, men were assigned to camps all over the US. Men were put to work on roads, bridges, and parks and in soil conservation. In Germany, the Nazi’s Third Reich rose with the beginning of WWII.
World War II
Germany invaded Europe and Eastern European countries and then Russia. The U.S. assisted the allies with weapons, and boats and technology. The Americans thought that we should stay out of the war. On December 7, 1942, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor destroying many ships and loss of life was great. Then President Roosevelt declared War against Japan and Germany. We would be fighting the war on both sides of the US.
America changed dramatically. Men went off to war; Women began to work in the defense plants. Food, tires, gasoline, shoes were rationed. The war was over in 1945. Many soldiers lost their lives and are buried in foreign cemeteries.
President Kennedy was Killed
I was watching on a small TV in my den in 1962 when the announcement stated that President Kennedy had been shot. Later we learned that he died from the gunshot. There is still controversy surrounding his death.
End of Segregation
Before the 1960’s segregation was practice all over the U.S. There were separate facilities for the White person and the Negro. School children were in separate but not equal schools. Drinking fountains were marked, “White only.”
Restaurants were also segregated. Voting rights were not in keeping with the laws. In the 1960s the Negro population had had enough of this. Peaceful marches became prevalent in major cities. Violence did occur at times. The leader of the marches was Dr. Martin Luther King, an Atlanta preacher, who later was assassinated. This was a very troubled time. Laws were changed, Negros became known as African Americans and were admitted to once all-white schools, Voting rights improved and the word, “segregation” now slowly disappearing.
On the Brighter Side
Being born in 1935, I see that many good things did happen in the 1930s. Books were still read on paper. The Hoover Dam was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, Ok.
Radar, nylon, and the radio were invented. “Lassie Come Home” was a favorite movie and the Kodak Camera came to be. Monopoly was invented by Parker brothers. Music was changed forever by the birth of a Tupelo boy named Elvis Presley!