9.04 The Great Depression
A. Heading: * Address (imaginary) * City, State (imaginary) * Date (Month, Day, Year in the 1930s) B. Greeting:
Dear ________: C. Body
Your letter should focus on the following aspects of your life: * Paragraph 1:
In the introduction to your letter, identify two causes of the Great Depression. Utilize the web sites in the Resource section. Explain how the Great Depression has affected you and your family. Use specific details from the web sites (For example, how did Black Tuesday affect your family or relatives?) What is your standard of living? * Paragraph 2: a. Describe your family. Who are your brothers, sisters, relatives? What do your parents and relatives do for a living? b. Choose one of your relatives that has a job set up by FDR's New Deal. (For example, an uncle might be employed by the WPA). Choose a specific program within the New Deal—do not simply reference the New Deal in general. Describe the job with details. What is the purpose of the organization? * Paragraph 3: c. Describe your school, classes, and teachers. Who are your friends? d. Describe the town where you live. Who are your neighbors? Describe important celebrations, events, and people. Where do you like to hang out or play? * Paragraph 4: e. What is happening in the nation politically and economically? Look carefully at the date of your letter. Include specific details from the resources. f. What is happening in the nation's culture? Tell about music, radio programs, movies, sports. (Minimum of two specific details from the timeline according to the date of your letter.) * Paragraph 5: a. What are your dreams for the future? b. What do you think the world will be like? c. How do you think the events of the Great Depression will affect you?
76 Fort Street
Johnston, West Virginia
January 15, 1936
Dear Home Owner,
My name is Frank Rollins and one day you will find this letter in my old house as part of a time capsule to be opened in the year 2007. It will hopefully help you and others understand what life is like for the people living through the tough economic times of today and hopefully will help you appreciate the many things that you may have. It will help you understand that standards of living can change very rapidly in times of economic turmoil and that what was once taken for granted can just as easily slip through your hands as if it wasn’t there. It will also hopefully help you understand just how quickly things change. Most importantly, I hope this letter helps you appreciate that the people in your lives are so much more important than the things.
I am writing this letter as one final activity in this wonderful home where we have lived for 12 years. I am 33 years old, married to a beautiful woman, and we share 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11. We bought this house as our first home and thought that we would live here to raise all of our children. It is a wonderful neighborhood and the people here are friendly and kind. We have made friends that we will have for life and our children have too. Today is a very sad day for my entire family and for the friends that we have made. Unfortunately, we have to move because we can no longer afford to pay for the house that we treasure so much. Times are tough in this country and although we thought we would make it, things have changed.
I was once the manager of the town’s bank and I made a very good living. We have been able to live in this affluent white collar neighborhood, be part of the country club and send our kids to private school where they were around other kids with the same standard of living. I worked hard to earn the wage that I did and I moved up the ladder in a meticulous manner so that I could maintain stability and growth. I wanted to provide my wife and children...
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