Archive for February, 2008

Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange

One of the series of photos by Dorothea Lange of pea-pickers  in California.migrantmother.jpg

Eleanor Roosevelt on Lynching

 FOR EXTRA CREDIT: Bring in a description of the Van Nuys resolution in the Senate, which was proposed on January 6, 1936, and explain who Senator Byrnes was.


Letter, Eleanor Roosevelt to Walter White detailing the First Lady’s lobbying efforts for federal action against lynchings, 19 March 1936.
(National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records)

Lynching was undoubtedly the most terrible crime perpetrated by white supremacists against African Americans. From the late nineteenth century through the World War I years, hundreds of blacks were lynched in the South for a variety of alleged crimes, the most heinous of which was the rape of white women. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights organizations tried unsuccessfully for many years to get a federal antilynching law passed. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) and Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes  (1874-1952), a one-time president of the NAACP’s Chicago chapter, were supportive of the organization’s efforts, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) did not share their enthusiasm and believed that pressing for the NAACP’s demands would endanger congressional support for his New Deal programs. In her March 1936 letter to Walter Francis White (1893-1955), who served as NAACP executive secretary (later director) from 1931 to 1955, Mrs. Roosevelt stated some of the arguments that were used by the president and others against passage of an antilynching bill. It is clear from this “personal and confidential” letter that Mrs. Roosevelt was searching for a tactful means for aiding the anti-lynching cause herself, and she suggested to White various methods for winning the goodwill of members of Congress.

My dear Mr. White:

Before I received your letter today I had been in to the President, talking to him about your letter enclosing that of the Attorney General. I told him that it seemed rather terrible that one could get nothing done and that I did not blame you for this very serious question. I asked him if there were any possibility of getting even one step taken, and he said the difficulty is that it is unconstitutional apparently for the  Federal Government to step in in the lynching situation. The Government has only been allowed to do anything about kidnapping because of its interstate aspect, and even that has not yet been appealed so they are not sure that it will be declared constitutional.

The President feels that lynching is a question of education in the states, rallying good citizens, and creating public opinion so that the localities themselves will wipe it out. However, if it were done by a Northerner, it will have an antagonistic effect. I will talk to him again about the Van Nuys resolution and will try to talk to Senator Byrnes and get his point of view.  I am deeply troubled by the whole situation as it seems to be a terrible thing to stand by and let it continue and feel that one cannot speak out as to his feeling. I think your next step would be to talk to the more prominent members of the Senate.

Very sincerely yours,

Eleanor Roosevelt

Terms for Chapter 33- terms check Monday

Chapter 33 The Great Depression and the New Deal, 1933-1939
Identify the historical significance of the following:
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Father Coughlin,  George Norris,
Eleanor Roosevelt,Huey Long, John L. Lewis,
Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, New Deal,
Public Works Administration, National Labor Relations Board,  “Brain Trust,”
Agricultural Adjustment Act, Congress of Industrial Orgs,  Dust Bowl,
Hundred Days, Glass-Steagall Act, Liberty League,
Securities & Exchange Comm., Tennessee Valley Authority, “managed currency,”
Roosevelt coalition,  Civilian Conservation Corps, 20th Amendment,
Federal Housing Authority, 20th Amendment,  Social Security Act,
Works Progress Administration, Wagner Act, National Recovery Act,
Schechter case, Agricultural Adjustment Act, “three Rs,”
Federal Emergency Relief Act, “Share Our Wealth,” Frances Perkins,
Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act,   Okies,
Indian Reorganization Act,  John Collier,  San Joaquin Valley,
Alf Landon, Fair Labor Standards Act,  Court-packing scheme,
Hatch Act,  subversives,  Emergency Congress,
21st Amendment,  “forgotten man,” “half-way revolution,”
Alan Brinkley,  Lizabeth Cohen, Carl Degler,
“Roosevelt recession,” John Maynard Keynes,
Court-packing plan,   “Memorial Day massacre,” sit-down strike
Be able to explain the following fully:
— Describe the impact of Roosevelt and the New Deal upon America.
— Examine the goals and activities of the major New Deal programs.
— Analyze the costs and benefits to the American people by the massive spending engendered by the New Deal. What effects did this spending have?
— Respond to the following statement: “Roosevelt went too far in correcting the flaws of capitalism and laissez-faire.  In creating his New Deal programs, he undermined the traditions of the Protestant work ethic and rugged individualism, which had been the bedrock of American society.”

Outline Notes 33– due Monday, Feb 25

Since this is a relatively well-known era, I’m going to put some of the onus on you to organize the notes for this chapter. I will expect to see you put the details into your notes on this chapter. All of the terms should be included in your notes, using Arabic numerals and lower-case letters under those to flesh out this outline. Make sure you do your own work.

These will be due Monday, February 25.

Chapter 33 Outlines

—–A. His early life and wife
—–B. What effect does his disability have?
—–C. Election of 1932
———-1. shift in election demographics
—–D. Lame duck period
———-1. Brain Trust
—–E. How does he change the role of government?

II. The New Deal: Relief, Recovery, and Reform

(You will divide up this part yourselves!!!! Your own work, please….)

III. Criticism of the New Deal
—–A. TVA and “creeping socialism”
—–B. Republicans
———-1. Alf Landon
—–C. Supreme Court
———-1. Schecter case
———-2. Attempt to pack the court
—–D. Huey Long
—–E. Charles Coughlin
—–F. Francis Townsend
—–G. Deficit spending—good or bad?

Terms for Chapter 32

Warren Harding,         Albert B. Fall,                 John Davis,
Charles Evans Hughes,     Harry Daugherty,             Robert LaFollette,
Andrew Mellon,        Charles Forbes,            Alfred E. Smith,
Herbert Hoover,         Calvin Coolidge,             “Ohio Gang”,
Reconstruction Finance Corp.,     Dawes Plan,
Washington Conference,     Bonus Army,                 “black gold”,
Muller v. Oregon,        Adkins v. Children’s Hospital,     American Legion,
Nine-Power Treaty,         Kellogg-Briand Pact,             Teapot Dome,
McNary-Haugen Bill,     Progressive Party,             moratorium,
“noble experiment”,         Federal Farm Board,             “Black Tuesday”,
Hoovervilles,             Muscle Shoals Bill,             Stimson doctrine,
“debt knot”,             “wheat belt”,                 Capper-Volstead Act,
Andrew Mellon,         Adkins v. Children’s Hospital,     Fordney-McCumber Tariff,
“farm bloc”,             “honest little Finland”,         Hoovercrats,
Agricultual Marketing Act,     “rugged individualism”,         “trickle-down”,
Hoover Dam,             Reconstruction Finance Corp.,     Adjusted Compensation Act,
Veterans Bureau,         steel strike- 1919,             Nicaragua
Be able to explain the following fully:
— Contrast the corrupt Harding administration with the upright Coolidge and Hoover administrations.  How did each president represent the ideals of the probusiness 1920s in his own way?
–Outline the social and political conditions in the 1920s which led to the Great Depression.  Did the Republican party fail to react?

Make sure you bring your books to class on Thursday

Bring your books to class on Thursday, February 14.

Make sure you’ve read the article on the Scopes trial below, as well.

Remember, your test over Chapters 30 and 31 is on Friday. Study! And bring your books to class on Friday as well!

Poetry of the 1920s: Langston Hughes


By Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow
of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went
down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn
all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
(You can go to this link and hear Langston Hughes read his poem himself!)