|"Hooverville" in Seattle, Washington|
A 'Hooverville' was the popular name for shanty towns built by homeless people during the
Great Depression. They were named after the President of the United States at the time, Herbert
Hoover, because he allegedly let the nation slide into depression. The term was coined by Charles
Michelson, publicity chief of the Democratic National Committee.
Homelessness was present before the Great Depression, and hobos and tramps were common sights
in the 1920s, but the economic downturn increased their numbers and concentrated them in urban
settlements close to soup kitchens run by charities. These settlements were often formed on empty
land and generally consisted of tents and small shacks.
Some of the men who were forced to live in these conditions possessed construction skills and
were able to build their houses out of stone. Most people, however, resorted to building their
residences out of wood from crates, cardboard, scraps of metal, or whatever materials were
available to them. They usually had a small stove, bedding and a couple of simple cooking implements.
The New Deal enacted special relief programs aimed at the homeless under the Federal Transient
Service (FTS), which operated from 1933-35.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 1934
I went swimming today in Gym. Swam 2/3 length. Walked home with Bernice, Pauline and Nadine.