Archive for the ‘Chapter 33’ Category

Panics and Depressions in US history

Chapter 14 covers a huge section of American history from an economic point of view. However unwise this may be from a learning standpoint, I nonetheless need you to understand the cycles of economic development in our nation’s history. So please go to and read the article.Please take notes or make a chart to have this info in a handy spot in your notebooks, and also bookmark this site for AP review time in April and May.

Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the Four Freedoms

Read the story behind the paintings here:

Although Norman Rockwell was not liked very much by the art critics, he was enormously popular. His work was far too sentimental to be critically acclaimed. However, as a draftsman he was quite skilled, and he was very adept at using small details to get his point accross.

The first freedom was the freedom from want. This poster became the most famous and was also known as “The Thanksgiving painting.” Notice how he draws the observer into the painting by having the man in the lower right corner looking back outside the painting at you, thus placing the observer in the family gathered around the table. As a poster (not in the original painting), this painting is being used to encourage enlistment and support of the military.


Another freedom was freedom of worship. Notice the inclusion of the German-looking woman who is obviously Roman Catholic, since she is praying the rosary. This one also includes an African-American.


A third freedom was freedom from fear. Mom and dad tucking the kids into bed– and yes, siblings shared beds and bedrooms all the time in those days, even though this is a two-story house.


And a final freedom was freedom of speech. As the link explained this was based on a real incident at a school board meeting in the town where Rockwell was staying. The man speaking was opposed by almost everyone in the room in what he proposed, but they still respected his right to speak. And class distinction does’t matter– he’s in work clothes, while nearly everyone else is in a suit and tie. Those were the days!


Notice how three of these paintings were turned into posters to encourage buying war bonds.

Bank run from It’s a Wonderful Life, take 2

Here it is again.


Route 66

At the top of this page is a drawing of Route 66 with the main towns that lay on the route:

Route 66 now lies alongside Interstate 44 to Oklahoma City and then Interstate 40 to Santa Monica.

The most famous song version is Nat King Cole’s:

And then there’s St. Louis’s own Chuck Berry, for a rock version (he mispronounces Barstow, grrr):

And then it was redone in Cars by John Mayer:

A WPA film: “We Work Again”

What is fascinating is that this was aimed specifically at African Americans and showed how FDR had not forgotten them.

The First Fireside Chat

Read the excerpt from the First Fireside Chat. You can find it on this website:

Or you can download it as a word document: First Fireside Chat

You can hear a recording of FDR reading most of this excerpt here:

The Bank Run from It’s a Wonderful Life

If you haven’t seen the movie (first of all, shame on you!), George and his family run the Building and Loan in town. It’s like a credit union– the depositors buy shares in the Building and Loan, and then people borrow the money to build their own houses. It’s a tiny, shoestring operation– and independent of the greedy Mr. Potter, who wants to own everything in town.

George (Jimmy Stewart) has just gotten married and is getting ready to go on his honeymoon when a run commences at the bank across the street. Panicked investors then come to his Building and Loan to get their money too. George has to try to get the people to stop panicking and hold steady in the crisis….