Memories    [back to TripodGirl.com]

From the Great Depression to World War II - photos from the American Memory collection


DONNA LAFRAMBOISE  aka  TripodGirl
The American Memory collection contains more than 162,000 images taken between 1935 and 1944 by government-hired photographers. If you were to look at 100 of them per day, every day, you'd need more than four years to view them all. As a photographer, I consider these images nothing short of wondrous. This blog showcases some of them.

October 29, 2008

From Racial Segregation to the Oval Office (2 of 3)

[see Part 1 here]

America in the '30s and '40s had many racially-segregated hearts and neighborhoods. But other forces were also at work.

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms SOUTH CHICAGO TOGETHEROn Chicago's South Side in 1941, youngsters of different hues kept company. (Russell Lee)


to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms HILL HOUSE CHILDRENIn 1936 Mississippi, as children of tenant farmers (aka sharecroppers), their fortunes were entwined. (Dorothea Lange)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms TEXAS BOOTBLACKSIn 1939 they worked shoulder-to-shoulder as shoeshine boys in Texas. (Russell Lee)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms VIVIAN KINGMeanwhile, their mothers, aunts, and elder sisters built aircraft together in California during World War II. (These women are identified as Vivian King and Kathryn Polinaire.)

to locate these image on the American Memory website use searh terms LUCAS CHESNEYTheir fathers, uncles, and older brothers worked in tandem to construct warships such as the Booker T. Washington. (A photo caption explains this was the "first liberty ship named for a Negro." The man on the left is experienced welder Jessie Lucas. The one on the right is apprentice Rodney Chesney.) (Alfred T. Palmer)

to locate this image on the American Memory website use search terms MARIAN CHRISTENSWhen a women's organization refused to allow African-American opera singer Marian Anderson to perform in its concert hall in 1939, thousands of its members resigned - including the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. With assistance from the Roosevelts, Ms. Anderson later delivered a free, open-air concert to a racially-diverse crowd of 75,000.

In the 1942 photo above, the singer christens the Booker T. Washington. (Alfred T. Palmer)

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