The Great Depression is signified as a brutal era in the States. In fact it has been brutal for more than 15 million people, who have been jobless.
But even as many Americans struggled to survive, they still found ways to have fun. Here’s what people did to distract themselves from the deprivations of their daily lives during the Great Depression.
1. Seeing People Sitting on Poles
The man who have started the trend is a Hollywood stuntman named Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly. In 1930, many people have been coming out to see Kelly eat, sleep and shave atop a 225-foot flagpole for 49 days.
However that same year, children across the country briefly took part in a tree-sitting challenge. As a matter of fact they have been trying to stay in a tree for as long as they could.
2. Playing Monopoly
The backstory in Monopoly has been very ironic. It has been first invented as the Landlord’s Game and has been teaching the players the evils of capitalism.
But then in the 1930s, another man has been selling a board game based on the Monopoly idea. In 1935, he had sold it to Parker Brothers company, which then has began selling it as Monopoly. The game was a huge success among Great Depression families. As a matter of fact it has been a relatively cheap form of entertainment.
3. Listeing to Hit Radio Shows About Masked Avengers
As an important source of news and entertainment, people in the 1930s have been tuning in to radio shows.
Every week, Americans had been following the masked vigilantes in The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet or laugh along with comedians like Gracie Allen. One of the most popular sitcoms had been Amos ‘n’ Andy, which introduced blackface minstrelsy tropes to radio. Kids in particular had been listening to Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie.
Americans also had been tunning in to hear about current events, the latest baseball scores or juicy Hollywood gossip.
4. Reading Comics
Flash Gordon the Yale polo player and Little Orphan Annie, had been symbolic for the Great Depression era. In one 1933 comic, Annie said: “Leapin’ Lizards! Who says business is bad?” If ever Annie needed help on an adventure, she was saved by “Daddy” Warbucks, a benevolent millionaire whose name literally indicated he has been a war profiteer.
Annie’s politics had been reflecting those of her creator, cartoonist Harold Gray. The popular comic has been making, earning a cozy $100,000 a year. Enraged by the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in ‘32, Gray has been using his strip to rail against unions and the New Deal.
5. Venturing into Haunted Houses
Halloween traditions have began during the Great Depression as a way to keep young people out of trouble.
In fact parents have been using their creativity to put together haunted houses without spending a lot of money. “Hang old fur, strips of raw liver on walls, where one feels his way to dark steps,” advised a 1937 party pamphlet on how to create a “trail of terror.” “Weird moans and howls come from dark corners, damp sponges and hair nets hung from the ceiling touch his face… Doorways are blockaded so that guests must crawl through a long dark tunnel.”