Oral History Interview:

The Depression and the 1930s.

The assignment is for you to talk to a older family member or find someone who had lived during the Depression and the time of the New Deal. Take notes and create a documented history of their aswers. Let them tell you a story, their story. The intent of this assignment is to get a better understand of life during the 1930s. History books tell only a general view of the times. Personal history give you, a young person more perseptive of our history as Americans. I have listed some questions to guide you through the interview. YOU DO NOT have to ask all of them but this list may be helpful for you. The interviewee may not recall some the items listed below.

What are your most vivid memories of the 1930s?

At what stage of life were at when the Depression began? School?... Job?.... Married? ....etc.

Do you remember the day:

The Stock Market Crashed


What were you doing?

The election of FDR


What was your reaction?
FDR's inauguration  


What are your rememberances of President Hoover? What was your opinion of him?

What are your rememberances of President Franklin d. Roosevelt?

Do you remember the WPA...CCC...TVA...PWA?

-Were any of your friends, family members or relatives in any of these groups?
-What type of work do they do?
- Do they remember the pay they received?
-What is your opinion of the program?

Do you remember the dust bowl? Did you know anyone who was affected by it? Did the Dust Bowl affect you part of the country?

What are your memories of President Roosevelt's attempt to "pack" the Supreme Court?

What are your memories of the bread lines or soup kitchens? Did you know anyone who participated in these activities?

Were any of your family members umemployed? For how long were they out of a job?From what job were the laid-off or fired? How did they live or survive?

Did you know any people who went "bumming it" on the railroads to find another job? How long were they gone? Where did they go? Did they have any success getting work?



Do you recall: Please elaborate

The opening of Terminal Tower?

The Great Lakes Exposition?
The opening of the Stadium--Memorial Shoreway?
The streetcars--the interurbans(highspeed electric trolleys)?
The national air races at Cleveland Airport?
The D&C or the C&B steam ships-- going to Cedar Point on the boat?
Euclid Beach or Puritas Spring Amusement Parks. Or Crystal Beach in Vermillion?
The Zeppelins out of Akron?
The Movie Gone with the Wind
Euclid Ave.
The 1920 Cleveland Indians?

What was you favorite radio program?

Who was your favorite actriss--actor--athlete--movie?

What was your favorite pass time?

in your opinion what brought an end to the Great Depression?