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Entertainment During the Great Depression

Entertainment During the Great Depression

by Maddie, Hannah, Sam, and Connor


     Between 1929 and the early 1940's, America was in a severe economic depression. Now known as the Great Depression, many Americans were left without jobs or much money.  However, they still found comfort by entertainment, such as games, music, movies, and more.

     Games children played, such as hide and go seek and cards were great ways to get away from family troubles involving the economy.  Games that were recently invented then, like Monopoly and Scrabble, were also great time fillers.

     Listening to music was also a great way to get things off of their mind.  Back then, jazz music was very popular. Songs such as How Deep Is the Ocean (How High Is the Sky) and It don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) were popular hits back then.  Music would relax people from their troubles at home. Songs often expressed how people had been feeling about economy troubles. For example, the song "Brother, Can You Spare Me A Dime?" by Yip Hamburg, did just so.  Other songs, such as "We're In The Money" by Harry Warren gave people hope that the economy won't be so awful forever.

     Another way of spending time back then was by listening to the radio. This was a common thing to do for people who had the money to buy one.  There was so much to listen to. People would laugh as they heard stories told by comedians like Amos and Andy, and Fibber McGee.  Women could listen to their soap operas (they didn't have TVs back then). Families could listen to the stories of their favorite characters like The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger.  People could listen to the game. There was so much to do when it came to the radio. It was much more than just music.

     Other things to do in the 1930s was to go see a movie. Some films from that era are The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Gone With The Wind.  Some famous actors of the time were Shirley Temple, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Movies were a good thing to do during the Great Depression because they allowed people to escape the reality of everyday life. They also allowed people to think of places far away rather than household troubles.

     Another type of entertainment during depression was books.  People were comforted by allowing them to escape the horrors of every day life. Good books written during this time period were The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men by John Steinback. Books like these reassured people that they were not the only ones going through poverty issues.

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