America in the Great Depression

Jefferson Institute for Lifelong Learning S2008
Senior Center, Tuesdays, 9:00-11:00
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6
Instructor: Alan B. Howard

History doesn't repeat itself -- at best it sometimes rhymes.
                                                                                     Mark Twain

Course Requirements:
Basic familiarity with the internet would be nice; access from home even better.

Calendar of Meetings

April 1:

         A. Organization

         B. Introduction

       Suggested:    Alan Trachtenberg, "Introduction" to The Incorporation of America
                           T.H. Watkins, The Great Depression.
                           David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.
                           Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday
                           The 30s Project
                                 The 30s Timeline

April 8:       Radio: The Theatre of the Imagination

A. A Day in Radio: September 21, 1939
A Radio Sampler
Radio Advertising in the 1930s

B.      The 1930s Jukebox


April 15:       Now Appearing: Movies from Soup to Grapes
A.    B. Documentary Film  


April 22:           Everything that's Fit to Print -- and Not


Resources: April 29:         American Landscapes: The Sense of Place

  • Hoover Dam
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Grand Coulee Dam
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Roadscapes
  • Resources:  

    May 6:      New York 1939: All the Worlds a Fair

             A. New York World's Fair (1939-1940)

           B. Conclusions?  


    Internet Resources

    General Resources for the Decade


  • American Studies at the University of Virginia     
  • The 1930s      (
  • The 30s Timeline      (
  • American Memory from the Library of Congress
    Archival materials in art, architecture, folklore and life, advertising, posters, etc. An excellent resource.

    Also from the Library of Congress:
    Special Topics