Images of the Great Depression and World War II home front

All of these images were from the Library of Congress’s American Memory project at

A “hobo jungle” along the St. Louis waterfront:

A sharecropper mother in Louisiana teaches her children the alphabet:

As the “Okies”  abandoned their farms in the Great Plains, they traveled along Route 66 to the West Coast. Here is a gas station in New Mexico that catered to refugees from Oklahoma. You could even get Oklahoma newspapers inside:

Migrant children in a preschool program run by the WPA eat lunch. The camp was run by the Farm Security Administration in California. The emphasis on early childhood education and nutrition by the government was groundbreaking:

On the home front, one’s patriotic duty included collecting old tires (given that Japan had seized most of the places in the world that produced rubber) and scrap metals such as iron, steel, and aluminum. These were turned in to be recycled by the Civil Defense for the war effort. This image is from Chicago in 1942:

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