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THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND PHOTOS OF THE DROUGHT STRICKEN AREA OF THE AMERICAN MIDWEST

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The Great Depression

  • The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. In the United States, the Great Depression began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and rising levels of unemployment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its nadir, some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed. Though the relief and reform measures put into place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped lessen the worst effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the economy would not fully turn around until after 1939, when World War II kicked American industry into high gear.

The American economy entered an ordinary recession during the summer of 1929, as consumer spending dropped and unsold goods began to pile up, slowing production. At the same time, stock prices continued to rise, and by the fall of that year had reached levels that could not be justified by anticipated future earnings. On October 24, 1929, the stock market bubble finally burst, as investors began dumping shares en masse. A record 12.9 million shares were traded that day, known as “Black Thursday.” Five days later, on “Black Tuesday” some 16 million shares were traded after another wave of panic swept Wall Street. Millions of shares ended up worthless, and those investors who had bought stocks “on margin” (with borrowed money) were wiped out completely.

As consumer confidence vanished in the wake of the stock market crash, the downturn in spending and investment led factories and other businesses to slow down production and construction and begin firing their workers. For those who were lucky enough to remain employed, wages fell and buying power decreased. Many Americans forced to buy on credit fell into debt, and the number of foreclosures and repossessions climbed steadily. The adherence to the gold standard, which joined countries around the world in a fixed currency exchange, helped spread the Depression from the United States throughout the world, especially in Europe.

Despite assurances from President Herbert Hoover and other leaders that the crisis would run its course, matters continued to get worse over the next three years. By 1930, 4 million Americans looking for work could not find it; that number had risen to 6 million in 1931. Meanwhile, the country’s industrial production had dropped by half. Bread lines, soup kitchens and rising numbers of homeless people became more and more common in America’s towns and cities. Farmers (who had been struggling with their own economic depression for much of the 1920s due to drought and falling food prices) couldn’t afford to harvest their crops, and were forced to leave them rotting in the fields while people elsewhere starved.

In the fall of 1930, the first of four waves of banking panics began, as large numbers of investors lost confidence in the solvency of their banks and demanded deposits in cash, forcing banks to liquidate loans in order to supplement their insufficient cash reserves on hand. Bank runs swept the United States again in the spring and fall of 1931 and the fall of 1932, and by early 1933 thousands of banks had closed their doors. In the face of this dire situation, Hoover’s administration tried supporting failing banks and other institutions with government loans; the idea was that the banks in turn would loan to businesses, which would be able to hire back their employees.

Hoover, a Republican who had formerly served as U.S. secretary of commerce, believed that government should not directly intervene in the economy, and that it did not have the responsibility to create jobs or provide economic relief for its citizens. In 1932, however, with the country mired in the depths of the Great Depression and some 13-15 million people (or more than 20 percent of the U.S. population at the time) unemployed, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory in the presidential election. By Inauguration Day (March 4, 1933), every U.S. state had ordered all remaining banks to close at the end of the fourth wave of banking panics, and the U.S. Treasury didn’t have enough cash to pay all government workers. Nonetheless, FDR (as he was known) projected a calm energy and optimism, famously declaring that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Roosevelt took immediate action to address the country’s economic woes, first announcing a four-day “bank holiday” during which all banks would close so that Congress could pass reform legislation and reopen those banks determined to be sound. He also began addressing the public directly over the radio in a series of talks, and these so-called “fireside chats” went a long way towards restoring public confidence. During Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office, his administration passed legislation that aimed to stabilize industrial and agricultural production, create jobs and stimulate recovery. In addition, Roosevelt sought to reform the financial system, creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect depositors’ accounts and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the stock market and prevent abuses of the kind that led to the 1929 crash.

Among the programs and institutions of the New Deal that aided in recovery from the Great Depression were the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which built dams and hydroelectric projects to control flooding and provide electric power to the impoverished Tennessee Valley region of the South, and the Works Project Administration (WPA), a permanent jobs program that employed 8.5 million people from 1935 to 1943. After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years, during which real GDP (adjusted for inflation) grew at an average rate of 9 percent per year. A sharp recession hit in 1937, caused in part by the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase its requirements for money in reserve. Though the economy began improving again in 1938, this second severe contraction reversed many of the gains in production and employment and prolonged the effects of the Great Depression through the end of the decade.

Depression-era hardships had fueled the rise of extremist political movements in various European countries, most notably that of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany. German aggression led war to break out in Europe in 1939, and the WPA turned its attention to strengthening the military infrastructure of the United States, even as the country maintained its neutrality. With Roosevelt’s decision to support Britain and France in the struggle against Germany and the other Axis Powers, defense manufacturing geared up, producing more and more private sector jobs. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to an American declaration of war, and the nation’s factories went back in full production mode. This expanding industrial production, as well as widespread conscription beginning in 1942, reduced the unemployment rate to below its pre-Depression level.

When the Great Depression began, the United States was the only industrialized country in the world without some form of unemployment insurance or social security. In 1935, Congress passed the Social Security Act, which for the first time provided Americans with unemployment, disability and pensions for old age.

Drought-stricken areas of the American Midwest from which thousands of farm families migrated during the Great Depression. Click any thumbnail for a slideshow. This gallery has 32 images. Sort by most recently added.

LARRY KEENAN PHOTOS OF NEAL CASSADY AND KEN KESEY IN OAKLAND CA.

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Larry Keenan - Beat Generation & Counterculture Photos - Photographs Gallery
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Beat Generation Gallery

NEAL CASSADY WATCHING OUT FOR THE COPS

NEAL CASSADY WATCHING OUT FOR THE COPS
Oakland 1966

While waiting for Ken Kesey to arrive, Cassady kept a lookout for the cops. Kesey was a fugitive at the time. Cassady asked me, “What’s the heat like around here, man?” Thinking he was talking about the weather, I said, “Pretty nice.” He gave me the weirdest look, then I knew what he meant.

KEN KESEY / PROFILE

KEN KESEY / PROFILE
Oakland, 1966

Fugitive Ken Kesey was giving a talk to some students at the California College of Arts and Crafts when I shot this picture. I sent Neal Cassady some prints. The FBI intercepted Cassady’s mail, found this photograph and put it on a wanted poster. It was the only current profile they had of Kesey.

CASSADY AND MURPHY

CASSADY AND MURPHY
Oakland 1966

Neal Cassady, and an old girlfriend of his, Ann Murphy, were at CCAC to attend an underground lecture. The lecture was by Ken Kesey, who had jumped bail and was now a wanted fugitive. Cassady was there at my school to be sure no cops were around before Kesey arrived.

GYPSY & NEAL CASSADY

GYPSY & CASSADY
Oakland, 1966

Gypsy was a Hell’s Angel from Colorado, where he said he knew Dylan. Neal Cassady is lighting Gypsy’s cigarette from his, in this photograph. Both of them were talking in ‘con talk’ most of the time. Neal asks Gypsy “Hey, have you got any animals, man?” Gypsy replies that he doesn’t have any animals. Later, I asked Gypsy what Cassady asked him for and he said that Neal wanted some Camel cigarettes.

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#larry_keenan#photography#cassady#ken_kesey#ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com

Preservation Blake Little-photography

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On the set Blake Little creating the photographs for his new monograph “Preservation”
Preservation Book: http://preservationbook.com Edited by Bil Yoelin
Blake creates the images for his book and exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery Mar.7- Apr.18, 2015

https://youtu.be/0wVRClZhYxA

HIWAY AMERICA -15 Stunning Pictures Of Abandoned Places In Northeastern America

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15 Stunning Pictures Of Abandoned Places In Northeastern America

Abandoned Church in Pennsylvania states of decayCourtesy of Daniel Barter and Daniel Marbaix

It’s incredible to see what time can do to a building when it is no longer cared for.

British photographers Daniel Barter and Daniel Marbaix spent years traveling around New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and other states capturing images of decrepit U.S. buildings.

They just published a new book called “States of Decay” with their photographs, and shared some of their visually arresting images with Business Insider.

The photographers would only reveal the state in which each photo was taken for fear that being more specific would draw thieves or vandals to the abandoned sites.

From New York to Connecticut, these pictures show a different side of America.

Now see the jaw-dropping photos »

View as one page

 ;Vines creep around recliners with cushions in a dated fabric next to an abandoned indoor pool in New York.

Love Ever After – Portraits of Couples Who’ve Been Together Over 50 years

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Love Ever After – Portraits of Couples Who’ve Been Together Over 50 years

  • Posted 13 months ago by Jack Lowe · Art & Design · 117727 Views

MY COLLAGED COUNTRY GUITAR

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Ana’s GuitarThis is my friend Ana’s Guitar.

Ana is a Poet who, some years ago, went travelling through Nashville, Tennessee collecting and patching memorabilia to this guitar. The arm sticking out from the bottom of the photo is Mr. Howdy Doody’s Puppet!

If you view this in larger size you can read the details on leaflets.

You can view this in Large here;

www.flickr.com/photos/26562546@N02/15929077150/sizes/o/

A TOUCH OF ART – Taxicab Driver’s Revealing Portrait Series Feature His Eccentric Passengers

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A TOUCH OF ART – Taxicab Driver’s Revealing Portrait Series Feature His Eccentric Passengers
Former taxi driver Mike Harvey shuttled so many eclectic individuals around Neath, Wales, that he decided to buy a DSLR camera to document his experiences. What resulted was this riveting black-and-white portrait series showcasing a spectrum of personalities.During his four years at the wheel, Harvey sped a pregnant woman to a hospital, was asked for permission to sniff cocaine in the back seat, and witnessed passengers scampering away without paying.His portrait series, taken throughout 2010, seems to capture this wild variety. One woman holds a CD in her teeth as she struggles to count coins for her fare. A young man wearing a Santa hat lounges in the backseat with his girlfriend. Other riders sport outlandish jewelry, interesting tattoos and colorful facial expressions. Meanwhile, the back window displays a variety of urban and suburban…

BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS-“SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS”

 http://youtu.be/g2JwiusEyPQ

“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival.

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

90203c58193d6ec9581549bbe7501cfd images (83)images (84)

dave and myself in San Francisco

Posted: 10/15/2012 2:20 pm EDT Updated: 10/16/2012 2:21 pm EDT
HAIGHT ASHBURY 1960S
  A stroll down Haight Street today will undoubtedly evoke a certain 1960s nostalgia.

Live guitar music still warbles from street corners, tie-dyed t-shirts are hawked by the handful, the smell of pot permanently wafts, colorful peace signs adorn windows of businesses like the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast — institutions better suited to an earlier time.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

But said nostalgia is often overshadowed by the sad realities of a neighborhood that has long since evolved from the remnants of a revolution: the wayward teenagers, the tourist traps, the vagabonds, the $6 corporate ice cream cones sold at precisely San Francisco’s most famous intersection.

During its heyday, which culminated in 1967’s infamous Summer of Love, young dreamers converged in the Haight by the thousands. Historians deem the neighborhood the birthplace of the hippie movement, marked by peaceful protests and psychedelic experimentation. The era’s greatest luminaries, from Jerry Garcia to Allen Ginsberg to Jimi Hendrix, all lived nearby.

Then the movement waned, and the area began to decay along with it. “By the fall of 1967, Haight-Ashbury was nearly abandoned, trashed, and laden with drugs and homeless people,” blogger Jon Newman wrote in his essay Death of the Hippie Subculture. “With the Haight in ruins and most of its residents gone, it was simply unable to operate as a hub for music, poetry and art.”

Of course, the Haight still has a certain appeal. There’s no better jazz-and-pizza combo in the city than at Club Deluxe, Amoeba Music offers a truly epic collection, a parklet just popped up in front of Haight Street Market and the 12-piece band that assembles in front of American Apparel on Sunday mornings always move crowds to dance in the street.

Yet we can’t help but heave a sigh while pushing past gaggles of gawking tourists or stepping over the man sleeping on the sidewalk at noon. While a stroll down Haight Street today certainly evokes nostalgia, it also makes us yearn for a place that was once the epicenter of peace and love and youth in revolt, a place we never had the chance to experience ourselves but will be forever engrained in San Francisco’s complex, progressive history.

A History Of Hippies

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 This collection is part of a new HuffPost SF partnership with the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center, “Tales From The City,” which features various images from throughout the city’s past. Visit the San Francisco History Center in person to view original photographic prints and negatives as well as tour other relics from SF’s earlier days.

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This is a short documentary about the Haight Street kids living in San Francisco.

http://youtu.be/sIHa8QyU2Ok