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(Alex N., Alex C., Caitlin, Cassie, Christina, Corey, Jacob, Jason, Joe O., John, Kayla, Kiley)

Arts and Entertainment During The Great Depression


Alex N.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
This takes place in an unknown western state, in which their senator, Sam Foley, has recently passed away. The governor, Hubert Hooper, is pressed with the decision of picking a new senator. His (corrupt) boss wants him to choose someone that he has handpicked, comities in the state want him to choose a reformer, and his children want him to choose the head of the boy rangers, Jefferson Smith. Faced with the decision, he decided to flip a coin with the choices from the committees and his boss. He flips the coin and it lands on it's side. Hubert looks down at the coin and notices a news article with Jefferson Smith and one of his recent accomplishments. Seeing that, he decides to pick Jefferson.
When Jefferson gets to Washington, he is given a place to stay with his old friend Joseph Paine (secretly corrupt). While staying there, he falls in love with Paine's daughter. When the press finds out, they criticize him, and say "He has no business being a senator." Paine suggested that he should propose a bill to make himself more popular. He makes a bill that would make the government allow that state to borrow money and buy a piece of land for a boy's camp. Paine and the Taylor political party are secretly going to use that land for a new dam, though.
Paine tries to get out of the deal but is stopped by Taylor. Taylor says that he is only in power because of him. With Paine still in the deal, Taylor says makes fake evidence that Jefferson already owns the land and he was going to make a profit from the loan. Shocked by Paine turn against him, Jefferson runs away. One of his employees, Clarissa Saunders, believed in him. She postponed the bill and brought the matter to court so that she could prove his innocence. Taylor responds by restricting every local newspaper and radio station from broadcasting his case. When the Boy Rangers try to spread the word of his innocence, they were attacked, giving Jefferson almost no hope.
Jefferson sees a little hope in the president of the senate. He said to him that he would fight until people believe him, but collapses in a faint. With so much guilt, Paine tries to leave and kill himself. He was caught however, and confessed to the whole thing, confirming Jefferson's innocence.

My Man Godfrey
We start out with Mr. Godfrey Smith living with other homeless people in the city dump. One night, a rich, young girl was having a scavenger hunt. She wanders into the dump and sees Mr. Godfrey and his horrible life. She decided that since they are rich, that she could hire him to be their butler and give him a better life. At first, he gets annoyed with her and advances on her. Soon, he realizes his mistake and takes to her. In the end, he decided to accept. Throughout the movie, they give him a place to stay, clothes, etc, while he teaches them life lessons he has learned. He falls in love with the woman of the house, Irene, and she helps him withstand the rest of the family who do not like him. After having enough of the family trying to make his life miserable, he decides to quit. Irene still loves him and helps him to make a nightclub at the dump that gives homeless people jobs in the summer and shelter in the winter.

(Whole Movie)

Gone with the Wind

Cassie G.

Wizard of Oz-

The Wizard of Oz movie takes place in Kansas, where an orphaned girl Dorthy Gale lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on their farm. When the townswomen Ms. Gulch takes Dorthy's dog Toto to have him be euthanized because he bit her, Toto gets away from Ms. Gulch and runs home to Dorthy. Dorthy knows Ms. Gulch will come back for Toto so she proceeds to run away. They come across a fortune teller, and the fortune teller tells Dorthy her Aunt is fallen ill from grief. Dorthy goes back home to be caught in a storm. Her family was already in the cellar so she went in the house for protection. She gets knocked unconscious from a window frame and when she awakes the house in caught up in the twister.
The twister drops the house in a village known as Munchkinland. When Dorthy opens the door, the Good witch of the North appears and tells her she has killed the ruby-slippered Wicked Witch of the East by dropping her house on her. The Good Witch gives the ruby slippers to Dorthy, but warns her that the Wicked Witch of the West will be after those slippers. She also tells Dorthy she can seek help from the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City for her return home.
Along the way she meets a scarecrow with no brain, a tin man with no heart and a cowardly lion. They go along with her on the journey to Emerald City to search for the things they are missing. They come across many obstacles but in the end of the movie she returns home to Kansas.

The Wizard of Oz was made in 1939 and directed by Victor Fleming. The movie features Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Frank Morgan. The coloring of the Oz sequences were filmed in 3-strip technicolor. The Kansas sequences and opening and closing credits were filmed in black and white and colored in Sepia tone.

Kayla F

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was one of the first Disney movies released. The release date of the movie was 1937. The movie was based off of the fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers. Walt Disney produced the movie and David Hand directed it. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is still one of the most watched Disney movies today. The colors, art work, and music is what makes the movie its best.


Alex C. & Jacob L.

Painting was somewhat popular during the 30's. W.P.A (Works progress administration) funded artists during the great depression to create art for galleries and parks. Some famous artists during the 30's were Pablo Picasso, Grant Wood and Some of the lesser famous artist of the Harlem Renascence. American Gothic was a Painting by Grant wood. It was just a great painting that used the creative arts of the dust bowel with Woods style of art, the people were bored. Guernica, a painting by Picasso was just plain abstract. The used simple shapes and bland colors to make it feel just weird. The reason for the weirdness was that Italian and German warplanes bombed this place and these people didn't make it out in one piece. Art always has meaning, even during the 1930's.

American Gothic
In 1930 Grant Wood was traveling and say a small white house in "Carpenter Gothic" style in Eldon, Iowa. Wood decides he would paint this house and paint the type of people he would think would live in the house. The product was the famous panting "American Gothic." Woods entered the painting in a contest at the Chicago Art Institute. The judges deemed it "Cosmic Valentine" but a Museum convinced the judges decided to give Woods 3rd place and 300 dollars. The image started getting put in the news papers fast. When the paintings image reached Iowa Iowans were not happy at all at the fact hat they looked like "pinched, grim-faced, puritanical Bible-thumpers." One farmwife threatened to bite off Woods's ear. Woods said that he didn't paint th image to make fun of Iowans but to show a Americana.

During the Spanish Civil war there was a town named Guernica in the Basque area of Spain. The area was a bastion for Republican resistance, and it was also an epicenter of Basques people. The German Army saw this as a way to test their new way of using bombers to destroy cities, so in 1937 they deiced to bomb it. The resistance to the bombing consisted of Communists, Socialists, and Anarchists, so that made them an even bigger target to Hitler. After the bombing, and after the war, the Spanish Government commissioned Picasso to create a painting to be shown at a festival in France. The painting was taken to kindly and is now a known piece that symbolizes the horrors of war and is used in a lot of Anit-War protest and other such.


Joe O. & Jason

During the Great Depression, over 52 million Americans listened to the radio. President Roosevelt frequently use the radio to deliver Fireside Chats, so called because he spoke near a fireplace.

Radio comedy was popular during the great depression, aside from music. George Burns and Gracie Allen worked as a pair since 1922. Comedians like them would have their own shows, similar to T.V. shows today. Radio Comedy originated in vaudeville, which was totally different from radio broadcasting. Vaudeville was theater, with a series of different type of act being preformed. Today, we have Stand Up Comedy Theater. Comedians would be able to share ideas constantly, because they would have to perform their show every two or three days, with new material.

The radio also helped during the great depression because it would help Americans forget their problems. Listening to the radio was a great way for Americans to relive stress during the hard times.

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Christina S.

In the 1930's money wasn't good because the great depression. It doesn't mean they didn't have fun because they went to movies, played games, and listened to music. Back then people didn't have computers to study they had to use books. Now we have email, ipods, and cell phones and back then they didn't have that. The American once asked maxim what their lives were base on and they were democracy, capitalism, and individualism. Most of the families took all their stuff and drove in the car. During 1929 to 1932 the income of the Americans was reduced to 2,300 to 1,500.


Ben R.

Hard Tack was certainly bred like a champion. His dam, Tea Biscuit, was sired by the great Rock Sand, who won the English Triple Crown and was one of the top sires in the country. His second dam, Tea's Over, produced the champion Ort Wells and the good mare Toggery, who produced several stakes winners. Tea's Over was by the great Hanover. Hard Tack was sired by the immortal Man o' War himself.
Yet due to a difficult temperament, Hard Tack was only a modest stakes winner, earning a mere $16,820 before bowing a tendon. In 1933 his book included only a handful of mares, including the well bred but poorly made broodmare Swing On, who had also done nothing to distinguish herself on the racetrack. Only her pedigree made her worth breeding at all. A daughter of the great Whisk Broom II, she was from the same female family as two-time Horse of the Year Equipoise, then at the height of his career. Equipoise was out of Swinging. Swing On was out of Balance. Both were out of Balancoire II. Swing On was later the third dam of Kentucky Derby winner Determine.
On May 23, 1933, Swing On had a bay colt by Hard Tack who was later named Seabiscuit. He grew up on Claiborne Farm, with his age mates including Flares, Snark, Tintagel, Forever Yours, and Granville. Snark and Seabiscuit were among the horses bred by Mrs. Gladys Phipps' Wheatley Stable, and when she came to inspect her yearlings in April of 1934, Bull Hancock had Seabiscuit hidden away, knowing she wouldn't be impressed. He was undersized, knobby, and refused to shed his winter coat. Twenty one years later Bull Hancock hid another yearling from Mrs. Phipps. That was the accident prone Bold Ruler.


A famous singer/songwriter during the Great Depression was Bessie Smith. She was known as the Empress of Blues, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and loved to play Blues and listen to music because that admired he very much. Bessie started working small-time traveling tent shows, such as Charles P. Bailey's troupe and Pete Werley's Florida Cotton Blossoms, carnivals, and hony-tonks. Her first recording. Down Hearted Blues was released in the spring of 1923. Though released without special promotion, it was an immediate success, and had sold over two million copies by the end of the first year of release, an immense number for that time. She was discovered by Ma Rainey, who made her famous. As a result of her hit, she started touring on the best race artist vaudeville circuits booked by the Toby, or TOBA, which is short for Theatre Owners Booking Association, but also thought to stand for Tough On Black Artists. In the mid-twenties she toured the entire south and most of the major northern citites, always as the star attraction on the bill. She was the highest paid Black entertainer in the country at the time, completely booked at $1500 a week, and her records remained hot during that time.

The 30's were a great great time for music. Nobody had money, so music was a great, free way to have fun. Some of the main types of music were Jazz, Big Band, Swing, and Broadway.
The main music was Jazz. People liked Jazz for a lot of reasons. They liked it because they could usually relate to the lyrics, and it had a good beat to it. Jazz music used Saxophones, Drums, Trumpets, Trombones, and Basses. They used walking baselines which were certain melodies that were unique to Jazz. A lot of famous singers were Jazz singers at the time. Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and Bessie Smith just to name a few.
Big Band is like jazz, but has some differences. Usually in Big Band, they have about 25 instruments, most of which are the ones used in Jazz. There is usually not singing, just instrumental. Big Band shows were played on Broadway.


Music: Caitlin C, Corey W.
Radio: Joe O, Jason
Art: Jacob, Alex C.
Movie: Alex N, Cassie G, Kayla
Literature: Christina, Kiely S.