Tuesday, April 28, 2009

El Pánico de 1837 (1)

En el año 1837, se produjo el primer gran pánico comercial con el cual la nación ha pasado y Nueva York fue tan afectada como el resto del país.

Lamentablemente ningunas medidas prácticas fueron al principio instituidas para aliviar las angustias de las clases obreras, y los políticos y demagogos se aprovecharon de la oportunidad para inflamar las pasiones del ignorante y el vicioso.

La cosecha económica de los años de Jackson es el Pánico de 1837, con una depresión consiguiente. Durante estos años la producción de algodón aumentó en el Sur, la agricultura se amplió en el Oeste, las ciudades crecieron, y la fabricación sustituyó el comercio como la base económica en el Norte.

Estos fenómenos fueron acompañados por un aumento en las ventas de tierras, y también en el precio pagado por la tierra. Hubo la necesidad de hacer mejoras internas, carreteras, canales, etc y estos tenían que ser financiados por los Estados y las empresas privadas. Inevitablemente tales actividades fueron acompañadas por la especulación y la inflación, y el Presidente Jackson esperó contener los aspectos malsanos de una economía creciente acabando con el banco central, que él consideró la raíz del mal.

Pero con fondos federales distribuido extensamente en "pet banks" (bancos favoritos) y los excedentes de ingresos distribuidos entre los estados, el control ejercido por el Banco de los Estados Unidos es sustituido por la anarquía financiera: el número de bancos y el número de billetes de banco aumentó.

En respuesta al Especie Circular del Presidente emitida en 1836, los bancos locales se enfrentan con una situación crítica, y recojen sus préstamos. (Al mismo tiempo, una depresión en Gran Bretaña resulta en la retirada de las inversiones británicas y una disminución en la demanda de algodón.)

En primer lugar los bancos de la ciudad de Nueva York suspenden el pago de especie; luego otros sigan su ejemplo. Careciendo de suficiente dinero, los bancos fallan, las empresas se quiebran, y el desempleo se extiende por toda la nación. Mientras la depresión se profundiza, el Presidente Van Buren continúa siguiendo la política de Jackson, con el codicilo mal aconsejada de un plan para fragmentar la única tesorería en un sistema de "sub-tesoros".

A continuación: El Pánico de 1837 (2)

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Monday, April 20, 2009

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (10)

Topic: The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration 1933-1945 Intro.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the first President to serve more than two terms and the first to be inaugurated January 20. The only son of a railroad executive Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882. Most of his early education was from governesses and tutors and every year he went to Europe with his parents. The similarity between Mr. Roosevelt and his fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt was that they both were of considerable wealth, both went to Harvard , both began their political careers in New York and most of all both became president. As reformers and leaders of social and economic revolutions (T.R.'s "Square Deal" and F.D.R.'s "New Deal") they were both detested and adored.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during the greatest depression and the greatest war in the history of the world, and he defeated them both. Just before paralysis struck him in August, 1921, the thirty-nine-year-old Roosevelt stood six feet, two inches, weighed about 175 pounds and was in vibrant health. After a day of vigorous exertion, followed by a swim in the icy waters of the Bay of Fundy, Roosevelt went to bed with a chill. The next morning he had a high temperature and complained of acute pain in the legs. In a few days they were paralyzed. He never again stood unaided.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was fifty- one when he took the oath of office, a year younger than Lincoln when he was inaugurated. Just like Lincoln he faced a grave national crisis and immediately went into action. "Action and action now" was F.D.R.'s inaugural promise, and action was what the country got. Roosevelt's smile, soothing voice and supreme self-confidence drove some men to fury, while others found it irresistible was able to encourage a fear-ridden nation to overcome the "Great Depression" and assemble the mightiest military the world had ever seen to free the enslaved people of three continents..

He was the first president to leave the country during a war, Roosevelt conferred with Churchill at Casablanca, Morocco, in January, 1943 to plan military strategy following the North African invasion of the previous fall. At Teheran, Iran, F.D.R., Churchill and Stalin met together (for the first time) to discuss the invasion of Western Europe.

During the first 100 days as President, Roosevelt 's first duty was to restore confidence to the stricken nation and get it back on its feet. He stressed throughout his messages the element of "Hope", inflating the deflated spirits of the American people, like a child blowing up a balloon. The American people, clinging to the words of his inaugural address and first fireside chat soon afterwards, felt he was their leader, their friend and that he would pull them through this horrendous crisis and save them from any further catastrophe no matter what. In doing this , a sigh of relief could be heard across the entire nation. It is said that Roosevelt always strove to work with Congress. President Roosevelt did more during his first 100 days to alter the basic structure of the nation's economic life than anybody else had done in 100 years.

"Happy Days Are Here Again," was his favorite campaign song., and through his term in office the people of the United States elected him president four times_a greater honor and trust than ever given another man.

As president he believed that the role of any president was "to preserve under the changing conditions of each generation, a people's government for the people's good."

To be continued: The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration 1933-1945 Intro. (2)

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

America! My America! How I Do Love Thee.......

As the mass of immigrants approached the statue in the New York Harbor, smiles spread across their wretched lifeless faces and they raised their voices in unison "America." "America!" For the newcomers the American Dream was finally at hand. Suddenly the atmosphere aboard the vessel became electrified. The immigrants -whatever their nationality or religion-- embraced each other, hugging and kissing as they danced with joy. Gone were the saddened faces, heavy hearts and feelings of regret. Tears flowed in abundance, while many fell to their knees kissing the floor of the vessel. Throughout the entire deck, hands raised to the heavens could be seen, as prayers of gratitude were uttered in various tongues, for their safe arrival. For the first time, in that single miraculous moment, the mass of immigrants became of one mind, soul and spirit. Whatever awaited them, it had to be better than what they had left behind.

I would like you to stop and think about this for a moment. America has always been a safe haven for many who have suffered in their countries tremendous hardships, Wars, calamities generating poverty, racial prejudices, religious persecution, and political oppression.

Centuries ago, a great mass of emigrants from various origins left their places of birth in pursuit of the "American Dream", which symbolized for them democracy, equality, liberty, justice and most of all material well-being. "The American Dream" a term first used by James Truslow Adams in his book the Epic of America, written in 1931 is stated as such: "The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." (1)

For millions of immigrants, the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor was their first glimpse of America. Lady Liberty, " Enlightening the World," was a symbol of democracy, of freedom of expression and religious beliefs.

America has always been viewed as a country of opportunity. Ours is a nation built on immigration. Its mixture of culture, races and languages combined to make us the great, diverse and respected nation that we are today. Our remarkable democratic structure has been contributed to this diversity. We depend on each other.

Our early ancestors, in pursuit of the American Dream and the "Hope" that it inspired, dared to explore new horizons, freedom of choices and action , enduring great injustices, inhumanities, and severe hardships, as they were woven into the texture of the American life. Often stereotyped and discriminated against, they suffered verbal and physical abuse because they were "different." Yet, undaunted by poverty, illiteracy , discrimination and discouragement, they sacrificed and toiled incessantly making major contributions to the economic strength of America and to a richer cultural diversity in the field of arts, music, education, language and cuisine. The new image created out of the foreign wilderness helped mold and maintain the enterprise system that has made America what it is today, the financial center of the World. Whether they worked on the farms, in the factories, building railroads, bridges, towns and cities, their rewards were greater than any land could ever offer... America is a nation among all nations. A nation where every citizen enjoys his or her freedom especially in the area of choice and opportunity, in comparison with the restricted freedom found in other countries. Now centuries later, America is still providing this same freedom and opportunities that our ancestors pursued, in whose footsteps we follow. The American Dream is still ours to embrace.

Our forefathers had great courage, faith and hope in maintaining the right mental attitude in the midst of such negative external forces. Their example should be an inspiration to all of us. I believe we can also learn some lessons from them. With courage and faith we will mentally prepare ourselves, to be able to control and cope with today which will help us to find solace in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today is our chance to lay a good foundation for tomorrow. Let’s set our feet firmly on this path of Faith and Hope and get ready to walk through extraordinary times for we are more than conquerors, not quitters.

America! Now is the time to roll up our sleeves, and get tough. Be a witness to the wonders that life will provide. Yes we can and we will overcome!

Miriam Medina is the author of this essay.

Photo Credit: Welcome To The Land of Freedom 1887 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA LC-USZC2-1255

(1)The Library of Congress: "What is the American Dream?"

To contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Replacing Fear and Worry with Hope.....

"A mind dominated by positive emotions, becomes a favorable abode for the state of mind known as faith." Napoleon Hill

We all live in a fear-ridden society. The fear of war existing in the minds of the masses, a continual state of violence running rampant across our nation, as well as the economic life of our nation that is in a delicate state of unbalance causing mass unemployment, home and farm foreclosures, can create a dismal look to our present existence. We need courage and great faith in maintaining the right mental attitude in the midst of such negative external forces. With courage and faith we are mentally preparing ourselves, to be able to control and cope with today.

I realize that one of the greatest enemies in life will always be fear. When a person has fear, you become negative. Remaining in a negative frame of mind will keep you in a powerless state in achieving anything, especially in the area of assuming and maintaining a positive attitude. Every wrong image that we entertain in our minds with feelings of fear behind it eventually will reproduce similar happenings in our life. In order to protect ourselves from the increasing effect of wrong emotional reactions we must acquire the ability to control our feelings. The constant complaining of negative conditions which we bring upon ourselves through fear thinking, eventually more of these unhappy conditions will continue.

Having a positive approach to life does not happen overnight, it is a day by day continual process. Life is a game, you either win or lose and in order to win, one has to stay in the game, whether you like it or not.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (4)

En el año 1933 "la deuda hipotecaria total de la nación había sido estimada tan alta como $ (2)

Para el año 1934 las condiciones económicas comenzaron a mejorar. Aproximadamente 2,500,000 de los desempleados encontraron trabajo con un mejoramiento en el salario.Todavía había 11,000,000 que necesitaban el trabajo y como 16,000 and 18,000 y hacia 16,000 y 18,000 en las listas de socorro. La producción industrial comenzó a aumentar lentamente. También el 8 de enero de 1934 la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos apoya la decisión de 5 a 4 una ley de Minnesota que prohibe temporalmente la extinción del derecho de redimir de hipotecas. Durante enero 30, de 1934 el "Gold Reserve Act" dió al presidente el derecho de fijar la capacidad adquisitiva del dólar, con relación al oro, entre 50 a 60 centavos, y cambiar el valor de vez en cuando como sea adecuado. El presidente Inmediatamente devaluó el dólar a 59.06 centavos.

Tambien el 31 de enero de 1934 el "Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation" fue establecido para adelantar el alivio hacia los problemas de crédito de granjas proporcionando la nueva financiación de deudas de granja en términos favorables. El oro que tenía un valor de $100,000,000 llegó el 16 de febrero de 1934 a la ciudad de Nueva York, atraída por la devaluación del dólar al final de enero. En un intento para limitar los abusos en la communidad financiera, el "Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)," fue establecido en el 6 de junio de 1934 para regular la bolsa.(1)

En el 4 de enero de 1935 el Presidente Roosevelt en su mensaje al Congreso, perfiló sus proyectos para ampliar el "New Deal" en áreas de la reforma social. Uno de sus ofertas principales era un sistema de seguridad social. El "Social Security Act" se hizo ley el dia 14 de agosto de 1935,instituyendo un sistema nacional del seguro social, incluso pensiones por vejez. Fue diseñado para salvaguardar a americanos contra las dificultades financieras de vejez y el desempleo. Esto aseguró contribuciones iguales de trabajador y patrón hacia un fondo bajo el control del Gobierno federal, del cual una pensión de jubilación estaría disponible para cada trabajador a la edad de 65 años. Esto también aseguró fondos contribuidos por el patrón para ser distribuidos por varios gobiernos estatales siempre que los trabajadores debieran encontrarse temporalmente desempleados.Otras provisiones en el acto era para asistir al ciego, el inválido y niños dependientes. Para compensar la decisión de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos contra el "Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act of 1934, el Congreso pasa el 29 de agosto de 1935 el "Farm Mortgage Moratorium Act." Este acto permite que agricultores sigan viviendo de la propiedad extinguida el derecho de redimir pagando al acreedor un alquiler fijado por los tribunales.(1)

Para el año 1936, aunque muchas personas todavía estaban desempleadas, cinco millones pudieron volver al trabajo. En noviembre 3, 1936 el Presidente Roosevelt es reelegido. Él tenía 523 votos electorales a 8 para Alfred M. Landon.

En el mes de septiembre de 1937 la actividad económica empezó a disminuir y los precios de la bolsa comenzó a caerse. El término "recesión" era usado para distinguir esta decadencia relativamente suave de la depresión que el país ha estado combatiendo durante varios años.

La recesión que comenzó a mediados de 1937 siguió empeorándose. El número de los desempleados comenzó a elevarse con aproximadamente 2,000,000 desempleos en 1938. Hacia marzo la bolsa había alcanzado su punto más bajo en cuatro años. El 14 de enero de 1938 un grupo de líderes comerciales y de trabajo superiores, incluso John L. Lewis, se encontraron con el Presidente Roosevelt para preguntar lo que él planea hacer para restaurar una economía sana. En respuesta a la recesión persistente que se comenzó en 1937, el Presidente Roosevelt pidió al Congreso en el 14 de abril de 1938 $3,000,000,000 para gastar en el alivio y otros obras públicos durante los próximos pocos meses.

En el 16 de mayo de 1939 el primer "Food Stamp Plan" se llevóa cabo en Rochester, New York y pronto se extendió a otras ciudades.

A continuación La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (5)

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New York City Main Directory: Cemeteries Section

Subject of Post: Greenwood Restoration of Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Gravesite

Received From: Joe Gissen (Joebgissen@yahoo.com) 5/23/09

After two centuries, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY is as beautiful as it was at its founding. But such historic beauty is fragile, so since 1999, the Green-Wood Historic Fund's Saved In Time program has been preserving and protecting this American landmark. Through the generosity of members and donors, the Fund has restored many monuments, as well as preserved the stunning parkland in of one of New York City's premiere open spaces.

Now, we are excited to have begun the restoration of the gravesite of legendary American composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869). The most ambitious part of this restoration is the re-creation of Gottschalk's "Angel of Music," a sculpture that once adorned the top of a marble pedestal.

In collaboration with the National Sculpture Society, we have solicited proposals from today's most accomplished figurative sculptors to create a new "Angel of Music," and we will select three finalists. To choose the sculptor who will receive the commission for this important work, we are establishing a "Blue Ribbon" Selection Committee.

With the generosity of donors and members, the non-profit Green-Wood Historic Fund is raising $200,000 for the complete restoration of the monument and gravesite of Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

We hope you will agree to take part in this historical effort. Visit Page:

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (3)

En el año 1930, la salud económica de la nación estaba en una condición crítica y deprimente, y empeorandose más. En el mes de julio de 1931 el desempleo subió a 7,00,000. Durante el año 1931 había 2,294 fracasos bancarios, el doble de aquellos que sucedieron en 1930. En septiembre del mismo año el U.S. Steel comenzó a cortar el diez por ciento de los salarios,de más de 200,000 empleados. Un total de 800 bancos se cerraron, mientras los Individuos comenzaron a acumular el oro.(1)

El 27 de febrero de 1932 el Congreso pasó el "Glass-Steagalll Act," que autorizó la venta del valor de $750.000.000 del suministro de oro enorme del Gobierno y permitió al "Federal Reserve System" más deriva en el descuento del documento comercial. El objetivo de la medida era para neutralizar la acumulación de oro y para aliviar el crédito. Con las condiciones economicas que seguían empeorándose, El Presidente Hoover en el día 15 de julio de 1932 anunció que el iba cojer un 20 por ciento reducción de salario. En julio 22, 1932, el Federal Home Loan Bank Act se hizo ley, creando 12 bancos regionales con un capital de $125,000,000 con el fin de rebajar los prestamos de hipotecas para los Building and Loan Associations, bancos de ahorros y compañías de seguros. La esperanza del presidente Hoover consistía en que el acto estimularía la construcción residencial, aumentar el empleo y ampliar posesión de casas.(1)

Las semanas entre la elección en noviembre y la inauguración en marzo eran las más deprimentes que la nación había atestiguado. El desempleo había alcanzado un pico estimado de 15,000,000. Más de doscientas ciudades estaban al punto de quebrarse. A través de la nación las propiedades se confiscaban y millones de personas perdian sus equidades que habían ganado con tanto sacrificio quedandose en la calle. Aquellos que tenían el dinero lo acumularían. Las plantas de acero,las fábricas de automoviles, y otras industrias eran en un nivel bien bajo en la producción. La situación era grave.(2)

En julio 28, 1932, un ejército de veteranos desempleados fueron a Washington y acamparon en la propiedad del gobierno. Aunque los veteranos se portaron en una forma muy disciplinados y actuaron de un modo pacífico, fueron expulsados por la fuerza por tanques, caballerías, infanterías y tropas con ametralladoras. En este encuentro dispararon a dos hombres y a mil hombres, mujeres y ninos le echaron gas. Esto era una de las exposiciones mas peores de torpeza oficial y opresión cruel que el país había atestiguado en alguna vez.

Las condiciones de la nación continuó a deteriorarse cuando Franklin Delano Roosevelt tomó el jurado en el 4 de marzo de 1933 como el presidente. En su dirección inaugural él declaró a millones de oyentes " Dejame afirmar mi convicción que la única cosa que tenemos que temer es el temor mismo_ anonimo_irrazonable, terror injustificado que paraliza los esfuerzos necesarios para convertir la retirada en adelantado." En junio 16 el Acto Bancario de 1933 (The Glass-Steagall Act) fue pasado, estableciendo el "Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) que garantizó cuentas individuales en bancos hasta $5,000.(1)

A continuación La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (4)


1. _________The Bicentennial Almanac; edited by Calvin D. Linton Ph.D; Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975)

2. Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

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Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (30)

Topic: Human Warmth the Best Physical Communication.

I came across this beautiful piece of inspiring music/video on You-tube sung by Josh Groban by the title of: "You Raise Me Up"

Human warmth is the best physical communication that brings its own special kind of reassurance for parent, child and all relationships.

If you are successful in establishing open lines of communication with your child about day-to-day events, she or he will be more likely to seek your input on other serious issues as well.
As a parent keep reassuring your child, teen-ager, young adult that you will always be there for them no matter what. Whether you believe it or not, they ARE listening and it will mean so much to your child, for him or her to hear you say that. Not only say you love him or her unconditionally, but follow up with affection.

Be understanding and pay close attention to what THEY have to say and in so doing you will help rebuild their self-confidence and self-esteem and bring you closer to each other in the human connection.

So take that first step, try reaching out and connecting and see where it goes from there! You will be amazed at the results........

To contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (6)


Considerando la forma triste de la economía americana de hoy, a pesar de todo que se haya aprendido del pasado para asegurar la estabilidad económica, no podemos ser demasiado confidentes que la historia no se repetirá. Competiendo con precios agitados de la gasolina,los gastos altísimos de la comida, el aumento de extinciones del derecho de redimir de casa , el desempleo de las masas, una economía frágil que añadiendo los gastos mensuales de la guerra estadounidense en Iraq, es totalmente atterizante con absolutamente ninguna garantía que lo peor está detrás de nosotros.

Los economistas americanos, los hombres de negocios y los numerosos políticos no han dejado de agotar todas las posibilidades en sus esfuerzos de establecer la estabilidad en la economía, aunque nadie pueda prever exactamente que curso ellos tomarán o que gastos incurrirán para conseguir los resultados finales. Somos demasiado familiares con la situación actual de la guerra en Iraq, la pesadumbre de la energía, los milliones desempleados, y la economía turbulento. El Presidente Obama y sus consejeros económicos estan haciendo un gran esfuerzo para aliviar y mejorar la crisis financiera corriente y a la vez mantener en alto las esperanzas del pueblo americano para que puedan permanecer tranquila y positiva durante este ambiente de cambio.

¿Mi pregunta es "por qué con esto en mente todavía me siento inquieta? y no más esperanzada ahora? ¿Significa esto que lo peor todavía está por venir? ¿Qué piensa usted?

Por favor si deseas dejar un comentario escribe a: miriammedina@earthlink.net o miriam@thehistorybox.com

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (5)

En el 4 de noviembre de 1940 el presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt fue elegido a un tercer término, con 449 votos electorales a 82 para Wendell Willkie. En el día 7 de diciembre de 1941, los aviones de guerra japoneses atacaron a "Pearl Harbor", matando a más de 2,300 soldados, marineros y civiles. Los Estados Unidos declaró guerra contra Japón, el día 8 de diciembre de 1941. En el 11 de diciembre de 1941 Alemania e Italia declararon la guerra contra los Estados Unidos....

El presidente Roosevelt distribuyó una directiva para la producción en 1942 de 60,000 aviones, 45 000 tanques, 20,000 cañones antiaéreos y 8,000,000 de toneladas de peso muerto del embarque mercante. Éstos sólo eran los artículos de principio, la producción de los cuales requeriría un nuevo labrado completo de plantas industriales, el cese de la fabricación no esencial, reasignación de la mano de obra, y extensión enorme del programa de consecución de la materia prima." Las nuevas fábricas, los astilleros y las plantas procesadoras estaban siendo construidos.(3)

El envolvimiento de los Estados Unidos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, trajo la Gran Depresión a un fin, movilizando hombres y algunas mujeres en las fuerzas armadas y teniendo la populación entera desempeñar un papel en la producción o defensa civil. La producción de tiempos de guerra creó millones de nuevos empleos. Las mujeres se afiliaron al personal que sustituye a los hombres que se alistaron o fueron redactados en la guerra. Rosie el Remachador se hizo el símbolo de mujeres que trabajan en la fabricación.Las mujeres se unieron a la fuerza trabajadora reemplazando a los hombres que se alistaron o fueron redactados en la guerra. "Rosie the Riveter" se hizo el símbolo de mujeres que trabajan en la fabricación.

"Había 50,000,000 de personas empleados en trabajo remunerado cuando la guerra comenzó, y aproximadamente 4,000,000 capaces de trabajar quiénes no fueron empleados, 13,000,000 trabajaron en fábricas, 10,000,000 en granjas, 11,000,000 en casas comerciales y financieras, 6,000,000 para el gobierno, 3,000,000 en transporte y servicios públicos, 2,000,000 con el trabajo de construcción, 1,000,000 en la minería, y 4,000,000 en una variedad de otras ocupaciones.El gobierno tomó de todos estos grupos a 12,000,000 de personas para las fuerzas armadas. El racionamiento de ruedas de goma de automoviles, la gasolina, el azúcar y comida. Esto suspendió la fabricacion de coches, dejando a 44,000 distribuidores y sus empleados al número de 400, 000 sin negocio o trabajo. Había un gran cambio de personas empleadas de varias ocupaciones hacia industrias de guerra. El número de obreros industriales femeninos se dobló. Los desempleados se hicieron desmovilizados y la gran depresión terminó.." (4)

A continuación: La Década de los años treinta: los Efectos de la Gran Depresión (6)


3) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Page: 619; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

4) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Pages:624-625 ; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

Photo Credit: President Roosevelt signing the Declaration of War Against Japan, courtesy of US National Archives.

Si deseas dejar un comentario escribe por favor a: miriammedina@earthlink.net o miriam@thehistorybox.com

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (2)

Comenzando en los Estados Unidos, la Gran Depresión se extendió a la mayor parte de los países industriales del mundo, trayendo el comercio exterior a un alto. Había una decadencia rápida en la producción y en las ventas de bienes. Trece a quince millones de personas fueron desempleados a consecuencia del cierre de las fabricas. Los bancos y negocios quebrados cerraron sus puertas. Los depositantes que habían confiado al banco sus ahorros de vida descubrieron mucho a su sorpresa desagradable y consternación que con el colapso bancario, se quedaron sin un centavo.

Muchos tuvieron que depender de la caridad a fin de sobrevivir. Extinción del derecho de redimir de las fincas y las casas estaba en un alto absoluto. Por todas partes los americanos sufrían privaciones físicas y emocionales. El consumidor no compraba. Ellos ya no tenían el dinero para hacerlo, ni el ánimo de cantar alabanzas a los buenos dias del pasado.

Por todas partes de los Estados Unidos, surgían barrios de chabolas or comunidades de residentes intrusos compuestos de las personas desposeadas de sus casas y fincas. El término de "Hoovervilles" fue aplicado durante la epoca que el presidente Hoover estaba en la casa blanca. Estos individuos (los vagabundos) fueron obligados a vivir una existencia degradada entre la basura acumulada y basureros publicos, esperando siempre los camiones con el fin de encontrar fragmentos de comida or algo para vender. Los pobres y desposeados cocinarían sus porciones escasos en latas sobre el fuego abierto y se cubrirían con periódicos que mostraba la suela del zapato con agujeros. El único paisaje que veían desde sus chabolas era uno del polvo en el verano, y la barra en el invierno, respirando diariamente el olor horrible de la basura y de los retretes desvencijados antihigiénicos.

Los Años De La Depresion

Para abril del año 1930 había 3,187,000 desempleados aumentando a 4,000,00 para el mes de octubre del mismo año. Durante este tiempo el "Dust Bowl" que era una sequía terrible devastó los "Great Plains", causando mucho sufrimiento en la zona empeorando la situación que ya existía. Los agricultores de los "Great Plains," eran los que fueron más afectados por la depresión y la sequía.

Muchos de estos granjeros fueron obligados a pedir auxilio y ayuda del gobierno. Los estados más afectados por la sequía en una escala mayor eran Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana Tennessee y Mississippi. A pesar de todos los esfuerzos, casi un millón de familias de granja quienes vivían en las zonas más destruidas a consequencia de la sequía horrible,entre el desempleo, las enfermedades, el hambre y la
miseria fueron obligados a emigrar a otros estados especialmente al oeste en busca del trabajo. Los conflictos intensos se intensificarían entre los recién llegados y los residentes permanentes en su lucha para sobrevivir.

Las personas quienes emigraron de las fincas para las ciudades industriales en busca de oportunidades de empleo, estuvieron sorprendido all encontrar que la situación de empleo no estaba tan bueno como ellos habían esperado, desde uno de tres trabajadores estaban desempleados..

Uno de los fracasos mas grandes de bancos en la historia de la nación, tomo lugar cuando el Banco de los Estados Unidos cerró sus puertas en la Ciudad de Nueva York el 11 de diciembre de 1930. Casi 400,000 depositantes fueron afectados por el colapso del banco. En los dias 23-26 de diciembre de 1930, el Chelsea Bank and Trust Company, con seis oficinas en el Area de Nueva York, fueron obligados a cerrarse. Tres días más tarde 20 bancos pequeños en seis estados del Sur y del medio oeste también estuvieron cerrados.

A continuación: La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (3)

Para dejar un comentario escribe a: miriammedina@earthlink.net

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (1)

Escrita y traducida por Miriam Medina

Una de las canciones que reflejaba el estado de ánimo de este período se llamaba "¿Hermano, Tienes una Moneda Que Darme"? donde esto muestra como a pesar del patriotismo de esta persona y todos los sacrificios que él había hecho para conseguir el sueño americano, fue reducido al estado de un vagabundo, haciendo fila para un pedazo de pan.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," lyrics by Yip Harburg, 1931

"¿Hermano, Tienes Una Moneda Que Darme?"

Me decían que yo estaba construyendo un sueño, asi que seguí la muchedumbre,
Donde había tierra para arar, armas para llevar, siempre trabajando
Me decían que yo estaba construyendo un sueño, con paz y gloria por delante,
¿Porqué estoy yo en esta fila, sólo esperando el pan?

Una vez construí un ferrocarril, hice que corriera, hice que corriera contra el tiempo
Una vez construí un ferrocarril, ahora esta hecho,¿ Hermano , tienes una moneda que darme?
Una vez construí una torre, llegaba hacia el sol, de ladrillo, remache, y cal;
Una vez construí una torre, ahora esta hecho,¿ Hermano, tienes una moneda que darme?

Una vez en traje de caqui, hombre que elegante nos vimos,
llenos de ese Yankee Doodly Dum,
Medio millon de botas, caminando trabajosamente por el infierno
Yo era el niño con el tambor

Oye, no te recuerdas, me llamaban Al: siempre fue Al todo el tiempo
¿Por qué no recuerda usted, soy su amigo? ¿Hermano, tienes una moneda que darme?

* * * *

El Pánico de 1929 y la depresión consiguiente eran los más terrible que la nación había sufrido en alguna vez. "El colapso de la bolsa de valores, en el 23 de octubre de 1929 liquidó un promedio del valor de más de mil millones de dólares de los valores de papel al día. Un total asombroso de 15 millones de personas estaban desempleado, y aquellos que siguieron trabajando lo hizieron bajo escalas salariales enormemente reducidas." El flujo de capital invertida en las empresas
productivas redujo la velocidad; reduciendo a un chorrillo. El país estaba sufriendo de la falta de consumo y no de la superproducción. Los bancos estaban sobre-cargados con títulos del Estado, hipotecas de bienes inmuebles basadas en valoraciones enormemente apreciadas, y valores muy especulativos. La histeria de las masas fue evidente.

A continuación: La Década de los Años Treinta: Efectos de la Gran Depresión (2)

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Great Run of 1872

Charges of mismanagement were made by a morning paper on the 1st of January, 1872, and the following day another attack was made on the bank by the frightened depositors. This third run was the greatest ever experienced in the history of any bank. For ten weeks, a crowd of wild depositors besieged the bank, clamorous for their money.

The greatest excitement prevailed at the time. The claims were paid promptly as fast as the creditors presented their books, and thousands of dollars passed over the counters each day. During the first two days of the run $800,000 were withdrawn. People wondered where the money came from, as it was supposed the bank had not sufficient resources to hold out.

Week after week passed, and still there were no signs of abatement. Other banks came to its rescue and greatly assisted it. The Mutual Life Insurance Company took $1,000,000 of its securities and the Park Bank loaned large amounts. The struggle continued, but after ten weeks of steady payments the run ceased. Over $4,000,000 were paid to the depositors. When the end came the bank was in a very poor condition and its resources were nearly exhausted. It was so seriously crippled that when the panic came it was barely able to keep up, although its true financial condition was not generally known.

source: The New York Times September 30, 1875. This article in its entirety was transcribed verbatim.

To contact: miriammedina@thehistorybox.com or miriammedina@earthlink.net

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A Blog is a frequently updated journal or diary, also called a "Web log," which is a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences. A Blog is a publication of a mixture of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links. Some blogging sites may provide a variety of topics that may be of interest to the public, such as in my case where I love to talk about New York City , New York State and American History as well as life itself.

There are many people who love to read blogs, but just don't have the time to go through it's entire contents trying to find something that may be of interest to them. Usually when people approach a blog, they like to go quickly from one thing to the next. As for actually reading the text, there is little evidence of that unless the subject matter should catch their eye, then it becomes worthwhile.

Since my blog was started in 2007, there have been postings of over 300 tid-bits of information, which talk about history, life situations, goals and success. New updates will continue to be posted regularly. So my dear reader, for your benefit, I am making every attempt to improve the navigation to this treasure trove of information as quickly as possible. For this purpose I have created a table of contents divided by categories, for easy accessing. However if there is something that may interest you, I suggest you find yourself a comfortable chair, and while you're at it, grab a steaming hot cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese and you'll be all set to settle down for a while. So happy reading.


(A. ) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) East Harlem
(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State (G.) Urban/Suburban Living Issues

Table of Contents (3)
(H.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

Table of Contents (4)
(I.) Jewish Knowledge (J.) Self-Improvement (K.) Historical Facts On England & United States

Table of Contents (5)
(L.) Miscellaneous (M.) Timetables (N.) Ethnic Groups (O.) Legal Talk
(P.) Entertainment: Backward Glances (Q.) Immigration

Table of Contents (6)
(R.) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.
(S.) Worship

Table of Contents (7)
(T.) A Little Taste of History, (U.) U.S. History-Transportation, (V) U.S. History-Panics, Economic Depressions

Table of Contents (8)
(W) ¿Habla Español?
(This section dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish)

Table of Contents (9)
(X) So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term in Office....? (The Series)

(Feel free to express your comments or ask questions regarding: "TheHistoryBox.com." which will be reviewed before posting. Thank You.


Contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

The Effects of the Great Depression (7)


Given the sad shape of today's American economy, despite all that has been learned from the past to assure economic stability, we cannot be overly confident that history will not repeat itself. Contending with surging gas prices, soaring food costs, rising home foreclosures, mass unemployment, a fragile economy adding to it the monthly costs of the U.S. war in Iraq, is downright terrifying with absolutely no guarantee that the worst is behind us.

American economists, businessmen and numerous politicians have not left any stone unturned in their efforts to establish stability in the economy, though no one can foresee precisely what course they will take or what costs will be incurred to achieve the end results. We are all too familiar with the current situation on the war in Iraq, energy woes and the troubled economy leaving millions unemployed as well as the staggering amount of home foreclosures. Though President Obama and his economic advisors are trying their very best to bring about some sort of relief or a slight improvement to this crisis, with the hopes that the American people remain calm and positive through this climate of change.

The question is "why with this in mind am I still feeling uneasy, and not more hopeful now? Does it mean that the worst is yet to come? What do you think?


If you would like to leave a comment, please contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com or miriammedina@earthlink.net

The Effects of the Great Depression (6)

"President Roosevelt issued a directive for production in 1942 of 60,000 planes, 45,000 tanks, 20,000 anti-aircraft guns and 8,000,000 dead weight tons of merchant shipping. These were only the principle items, production of which would require a complete retooling of industrial plants, cessation of non-essential manufacturing, re-allocation of man-power, and vast expansion of the procurement program of raw material." New factories, shipyards and processing plants were being built. (3)

The United States involvement in World War II, brought the Great Depression to a close, mobilizing men and a few women into the armed forces and having the entire population play a role in production or civil defense. Wartime production created millions of new jobs. Women joined the workforce replacing the men that enlisted or were drafted into the war. Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women laboring in manufacturing.

"There were 50,000,000 people gainfully employed when the war began, and about 4,000,000 able to work who were not employed , 13,000,000 worked in factories, 10,000,000 on farms, 11,000,000 in business and financial houses, 6,000,000 for the government, 3,000,000 in transportation and public utilities, 2,000,000 in construction work, 1,000,000 in mining, and 4,000,000 in a variety of other occupations. The government took 12,000,000 people into the armed forces from all these groups. It rationed automobile tires, gasoline, sugar and food.. It stopped manufacturing of automobiles, leaving 44,000 dealers and their employees to the number of 400,000 without business or work. There was a great shifting of employed persons from various occupations into war industries. The number of female factory workers doubled. The unemployed became demobilized and the great depression ended.." (4)

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (7)


3) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Page: 619; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

4) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Pages:624-625 ; Henry Holt and Company (1937)


The Effects of the Great Depression (5)

On January 4, 1935 President Roosevelt, in his message to Congress, outlined his plans for expanding the New Deal into areas of social reform. One of his chief proposals was a system of social security. The Social Security Act became Law on August 14, 1935, instituting a national system of social insurance, including old age pensions. It was designed to safeguard Americans against the financial difficulties of old age and unemployment. It provided for equal contributions from worker and employer toward a fund under the control of the Federal Government, from which a retirement pension would be available to every worker at age 65.

It also provided for employer-contributed funds to be distributed by the several state governments whenever workers should find themselves temporarily unemployed. Other provisions in the act were to assist the blind, the disabled, and dependent children. To offset the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act of 1934, Congress passes on August 29, 1935 the Farm Mortgage Moratorium Act. This act allows farmers to continue to live on foreclosed property by paying the mortgagee a rental fixed by the courts.(1)

By 1936, although many people were still employed, five million were able to return to work. On November 3, 1936 President Roosevelt is re-elected. He had 523 electoral votes to 8 for Alfred M. Landon.

In September of 1937 business activity started to decline and stock prices began dropping. The term "recession" was used to distinguish this relatively mild decline from the full-scale depression the country has been battling for several years.

The recession that began in mid 1937 continued to worsen. The number of unemployed began to rise by about 2,000,000 in 1938. By March the stock market had reached its lowest point in four years. On January 14, 1938 a group of top business and labor leaders, including John L. Lewis, met with President Roosevelt to ask what he planned to do to restore a healthy economy. In response to the continuing recession begun in 1937, President Roosevelt asked Congress on April 14, 1938 for $3,000,000,000 to spend on relief and other public works over the next few months.

On May 16, 1939 the first food stamp plan went into effect at Rochester, New York and soon spread to other cities.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term, on November 4, 1940 with 449 electoral votes to 82 for Wendell Willkie. On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes attacked Pearl Harbor killing more than 2,300 soldiers, sailors and civilians. The United States declared war on Japan, December 8, 1941. On December 11, 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (6)


1) _________The Bicentennial Almanac; edited by Calvin D. Linton Ph.D; Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975)

To contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

The Effects of the Great Depression (4)

Conditions in the Nation continued to deteriorate, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office on March 4, 1933 as President. In his inaugural address he stated to millions of listeners "let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself__nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." On June 16 the Banking Act of 1933 (The Glass-Steagall Act) was passed, setting up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which guaranteed individual accounts in banks up to $5,000.

In 1933 the "total mortgage debt of the nation had been estimated as high as 250,000,000,000. (2)

By 1934 economic conditions began to improve. About 2,500,000 of the unemployed found jobs, with a slight improvement in wages. There were still 11,000,000 that needed work and circa 16,000 and 18,000 on the relief rolls.. Industrial production began increasing slowly. Also on January 8, 1934 the U.S. Supreme Court upholds by a 5-to-4 decision a Minnesota law that temporarily bans the foreclosure of mortgages. On January 3o, 1934 the Gold Reserve Act gave the President the right to peg the value of the dollar, in relation to gold, at between 50 to 60 cents, and to change the value from time to time as he saw fit. The President immediately devalued the dollar to 59.06 cents. Also on January 31, 1934 the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation was established to further alleviate the credit problems of farms by providing refinancing of farm debts at favorable terms. Gold worth $100,000,000 arrived on February 16, 1934 at New York City, attracted by the devaluation of the dollar at the end of January. In an attempt further to limit abuses in the financial community, the Securities and exchange commission (SEC) was established on June 6, 1934 to regulate the stock market.(1)

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (5)

1) _________The Bicentennial Almanac; edited by Calvin D. Linton Ph.D; Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975)

2) Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

To contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com or miriammedina@earthlink.net

The Effects of the Great Depression (3)

The nation's economic health that was poor in 1930 continued to deteriorate. In July, 1931 unemployment reached 7,000,000. During 1931 there were 2,294 bank failures, double the amount of those in 1930. In September of the same year U.S. Steel began cutting wages of over 200,000 employees by 10 % . 800 more banks were closed, while Individuals began hoarding gold.(1)

On February 27, 1932 Congress passed the Glass-Steagalll Act, which authorized the sale of $750,000,000 worth of the Government's huge gold supply and allowed the Federal Reserve System more leeway in discounting commercial paper. The purpose of the measure was to counteract the hoarding of gold and to ease credit. With economic conditions continuing to worsen, on July 15, 1932 President Hoover announced that he was taking a 20 % salary cut. On July 22, 1932 the Federal Home Loan Bank Act became law, creating 12 regional banks with a capital of $125,000,000 to discount home loans for building and loan associations, savings banks, and insurance companies. President Hoover's hope was that the act would stimulate residential construction, increase employment, and expand home ownership.(1)

The weeks between the election in November and the inauguration in March were the most depressing the nation had witnessed. Unemployment had reached an estimated peak of 15,000,000. More than two hundred cities were facing bankruptcies. Across the nation property was being forfeited and millions of people were loosing their hard-earned equities and becoming homeless.. Those who had money would hoard it. Steel plants, automobile factories, and other industries were at an all time low in production. The situation was desperate. (2)

On July 28,1932, an army of unemployed veterans went to Washington and encamped on government property. Though the veterans were well disciplined and acting in a peaceful way, they were driven out by tanks, cavalry, infantry and machine gun troops. In this encounter two men were shot, 1000 men, women and children were gassed. This was one of the worst exhibitions of official blundering and cruel oppression the country had ever witnessed.

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (4)


1. _________The Bicentennial Almanac; edited by Calvin D. Linton Ph.D; Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975)

2. Dumond, Dwight Lowell; "America in Our Time" 1896-1946; Henry Holt and Company (1937)

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com


The Effects of the Great Depression (2)

Shanty towns, or squatter communities dubbed as "Hoovervilles" during President Hoover's term in office composed of people evicted from their homes and farms were sprouting all over the United States. These individuals labeled (hobos) were forced to live a degraded existence among the piles of accumulated trash and public garbage dumps, waiting for the trucks, in hopes of finding scraps of food or something of value to sell. The poor and disposed would cook their meager portions of food in tin cans over open fires and cover themselves with newspapers displaying their Hoover shoes with holes in the soles. Their only scenery was one of dust in the summer, and mud in the winter breathing in the stench from trash and beyond unsanitary dilapidated outhouses.

The Years of the Great Depression

By April, 1930 there were 3,187,000 unemployed which increased to 4,000,000 by October, 1930. During this time the "Dust Bowl" a terrible drought devastated the Great Plains, causing much suffering in the area worsening the already farm situation. The depression and drought hit farmers on the Great Plains the hardest. Many of these farmers were forced to seek government assistance. Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi were the states most severely hit by the drought. Despite all efforts, almost a million farm families that lived in the worst-hit area amidst the unemployment, disease and diminishing food supply were forced to migrate to other states mostly out west in search of work. Intense conflicts would escalate between the new comers and the local residents in their fight for survival..

The people who migrated from the farms to the industrial cities in search of job opportunities, were surprised to find that the employment situation was not as good as they had anticipated , since one out of three workers were unemployed..

On December 11, 1930 the largest bank failure in the nation's history took place when the bank of the United States closed its doors in New York City. Almost 400,000 depositors were affected by the bank's collapse. On December 23-26, 1930 the Chelsea Bank and Trust Company, with six offices in the New York area, was forced to close. Three days later 20 small banks in six Southern and Midwestern states were also closed.

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (3)

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com or miriammedina@earthlink.net

The Effects of the Great Depression (1)

Author: Miriam Medina (with reference to sources of information)

One of the songs that reflected the mood of this period was "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.", where it shows how despite this person's patriotism and all the sacrifices he had made to achieve the American Dream, he was reduced to the status of a bum standing on a bread line.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," lyrics by Yip Harburg, 1931

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

The Panic of 1929 and the ensuing depression were the most terrible the nation had ever suffered. "The stock market crash on October 23, 1929 wiped out an average of more than a billion dollars worth of paper values a day. A staggering total of 15 million were unemployed, and those who continued to work did so under greatly reduced wage scales." The flow of capital into productive enterprise slowed down to a trickle. The country was suffering from under consumption not overproduction. Banks were weighted down with government bonds, real estate mortgages based on greatly appreciated valuations, and highly speculative securities. Mass hysteria reigned.

Beginning in the United States, the Great Depression spread to most of the world's industrial countries, bringing foreign-trade to a standstill. There was a rapid decline in production and sales of goods. Thirteen to Fifteen million people were left unemployed as a result of factory shut-downs. Bankrupt businesses and banks closed their doors. Depositors who had entrusted the bank with their life savings discovered much to their shock and dismay that they were wiped out by the bank collapse.

Many had to depend on charity in order to survive. Farm and home foreclosures were at an all-time high. Everywhere Americans were suffering physical and emotional hardships. People were not buying .They just couldn't afford to do it anymore , nor were they any longer in a "whoopee" mood over "the good old Days".

To be continued: The Effects of the Great Depression (2)

Photo Credit: "Bread Line in New York City"; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA; Reproduction Number LCC-SZ62-75787

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (9)

Topic: The Hoover Administration-Year 1932 #3

June 14-16, 1932
The Republican Party holds its convention at Chicago and renominates President Herbert Hoover and Vice President Charles Curtis.

July 11, 1932
President Hoover vetoes the Wagner-Garner Bill, passed by Congress two days earlier. The bill would provide for Federal employment agencies in states that do not have their own state employment services.

July 15, 1932
With economic conditions continuing to worsen, President Hoover announces that he is taking a 20-percent salary cut.

July 18, 1932
The United States and Canada sign a treaty to construct the St. Lawrence Seaway to connect the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and to produce hydroelectric energy. The cost of the project, estimated At $543,000,000, is to be split evenly between the two nations.

July 21, 1932
President Hoover signs the Emergency Relief Act, which provides for $300,000,000 in loans to states unable otherwise to raise money for relief purposes. The act also authorizes the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to increase its debt ceiling to $3,000, 000, 000 and to make loans to state and local governments for the construction of public works.

July 22, 1932
The Federal Home Loan Bank Act becomes law, creating 12 regional banks with a capital of $125,000,000 to discount home loans for building and loan associations, savings banks, and insurance companies. President Hoover's hope is that the act will stimulate residential construction, increase employment, and expand home ownership.

October 15, 1932
The 12 Federal Home Loan Banks begin operations as provided for by the Federal Home Loan Bank Act passed on July 22.

November 8, 1932
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected President of the United States, defeating Herbert Hoover by a margin of over 7,000,000 votes and winning 472 of 531 electoral votes. Congress is heavily Democratic.

November 22, 1932
President-elect Roosevelt meets with president Hoover at the White House to discuss the war-debt question. It is virtually the only time the two men discuss policy issues.

Sources For Information: The American Presidents by David C. Whitney; Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (1996), The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference; A Stonesong Press Book (1997) The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Macmillan Company (1952); The Bicentennial Almanac Edited by Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D. Publishers, Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975) The Presidents of the United States Vol 2, A.S. Barnes & Co. (1973)

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (8)

Topic: The Hoover Administration-Year 1932 #2

February 2, 1932
Although not a member of the League of Nations, the United States attends an arms limitation conference at Geneva sponsored by the League. President Hoover makes sweeping proposals to reduce armaments, but the meeting ends without the participants having reached any significant agreement.

February 27, 1932
Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, which authorizes the sale of $750,000,000 worth of the Government's huge gold supply and allows the Federal Reserve System more leeway in discounting commercial paper. The purpose of the measure is to counteract the hoarding of gold and to ease credit.

March 3, 1932
The 20th Amendment to the Constitution is sent to the states to be ratified. Known popularly as the Lame Duck Amendment, the measure would reduce the amount of time an outgoing President will serve after the country has elected his successor (as a "lame duck"), by moving the inauguration date from March 4 to January 20. The measure also calls for Congress to convene on Jan. 3.

March 23, 1932
The Norris-La Guardia Act is signed by president Hoover. The Act limits the use of injunctions to stop strikes and is favored by organized labor. The act also prohibits "yellow-dog" contracts, by which employers, as a condition of employment, require their workers to promise not to join a union.

May 29-July 28, 1932
The first veterans of the "Bonus Army" arrive in Washington, D.C., with the hope of convincing the Government to approve immediate payment-in-full of their bonuses. Those proposed bonuses are actually prepayments of equities due to the veterans in 1945 under the terms of the 1924 Adjusted Compensation Act. By June approximately 15,000 veterans and 5,000 women and children are camped near the Capitol. On June 15 the House votes to cash the bonuses, but two days later the Senate turns the measure down. Most of the veterans return home, but approximately 2,000 remain. Finally President Hoover sends Federal troops commanded by General Douglas MacArthur to drive the veterans out. (In 1936 Congress votes to pay the bonus.).

To be continued: The Hoover Administration-Year 1932 #3

Sources For Information: The American Presidents by David C. Whitney; Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (1996), The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference; A Stonesong Press Book (1997) The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Macmillan Company (1952); The Bicentennial Almanac Edited by Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D. Publishers, Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975) The Presidents of the United States Vol 2, A.S. Barnes & Co. (1973)

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (7)

Topic: The Hoover Administration-Year 1932 #1

Franklin D. Roosevelt is Elected President of the U.S. Defeating Herbert Hoover.

Although there is great discontent in the country and in the Republican Party as well, President Herbert Hoover easily manages to win the nomination at the Chicago convention in mid-June. The Republicans blame the nation's troubles on events in Europe, promise that prosperity is "just around the corner," and considerably ease their former policy of supporting strict Prohibition. The Democrats have a more difficult time selecting their candidate when they meet in Chicago later in June, but on the fourth ballot they nominate Franklin D. Roosevelt, the reform-minded governor of New York. The Democratic platform calls for a variety of direct measures, including an expanded public works program, to combat the economic ills that the country is esxperiencing. In addition the Democrats call for the repeal of the 18th Amendment and the immediate legalization of beer. Roosevelt, in his acceptance speech, promises a "new deal" for all Americans.

The campaign is turbulent, with the Democrats accusing Republicans of inaction, while the Republicans warn that, if the Democrats win, "grass will grow in the streets of 100 cities." Radio is becoming an increasingly important factor in the campaign, as both candidates are heard by millions. Roosevelt's vibrant voice and warm personality, and his appeal to the "forgotten man," come over the air far better than Hoover's serious monotone.

On November 8 Roosevelt is elected President by a plurality somewhat larger that that by which Hoover defeated Alfred E. Smith in 1928, and with 57.4 percent of the popular vote. In addition the Democrats win decisive control over the Congress by capturing more than 70 percent of the House and more than 60 per cent of the Senate. As soon as he is elected. Roosevelt selects hsi advisors, many of them from academic circles, and therefore nicknamed the "brain trust." They include Cordell Hull, Secretary of State; Homer S. Cummings, Attorney General; Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior and the first woman Cabinet member, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

January 3-6 1932
The Reverend James R. Cox leads a group of 18,000 unemployed men from Pittsburgh to Washington, where they meet with members of Congress and President Hoover. They do not pretend to represent the 13,000,000 in the country who are out of work.

January 22, 1932
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) comes into existence with a capital of $500,000,000 and authority to borrow an additional $1,500,000,000 by issuing tax-exempt bonds. Its purpose is to prop up the faltering monetary system by making loans to banks, insurance companies, farm mortgage association, building and loan associations, and other businesses. President Hoover selects Charles G. Dawes, a noted economist and Vice President under Coolidge, to run the agency.

To be continued: The Hoover Administration 1932 #2

Sources For Information: The American Presidents by David C. Whitney; Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (1996), The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference; A Stonesong Press Book (1997) The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Macmillan Company (1952); The Bicentennial Almanac Edited by Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D. Publishers, Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975) The Presidents of the United States Vol 2, A.S. Barnes & Co. (1973)

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

Table of Contents: Mimi Speaks Blog (9)

X. So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office....?

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Researched, compiled and transcribed by Miriam Medina

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (6)

Topic: The Hoover Administration-Year 1931 #3

December 8, 1931
The President's annual message to Congress calls for increased taxation to make up for the deficit of $902,000,000 for the fiscal year 1930-1931. The message also asks Congress to set up an agency to make emergency loans to banks, railroads, and other businesses.

December 8, 1931
(These are selected excerpts from President Hoover's Annual Message to Congress)

"Business depressions have been recurrent in the life of our country and are but transitory. The nation has emerged from each of them with increased strength and virility because of the enlightenment they have brought, the readjustments and the larger understanding of the realities and obligations of life and work which come from them."

"As an aid to unemployment the Federal Government is engaged in the greatest program of public building, harbor, flood control, highway, waterway, aviation, merchant and naval ship construction in all history…."

"The emergencies of unemployment have been met by action in many directions. The appropriations for the continued speeding up of the great Federal construction program have provided direct and indirect aid to unemployment upon a large scale. By organized unity of action, the states and municipalities have also maintained large programs of public improvement. Many industries have been prevailed upon to anticipate and intensify construction. Industrial concerns and other employers have been organized to spread available work amongst all their employees instead of discharging a portion of them. A large majority have maintained wages at as high levels as the safe conduct of their business would permit. "

"Although some of the causes of our depression are due to speculation, inflation of securities and real estate, unsound foreign investments, and mismanagement of financial institutions, yet our self-contained national economy, with its matchless strength and resources, would have enabled us to recover long since but for the continued dislocations, shocks and setbacks from abroad…."

"Our first step toward recovery is to reestablish confidence and thus restore the flow of credit which is the very basis of our economic life. We must put some steel beams in the foundations of our credit structure. "

"The first requirement of confidence and of economic recovery is financial stability of the United States Government. We must have insistent and determined reduction in government expenses. We must face a temporary increase in taxes. Even with increased taxation, the government will reach the utmost safe limit of its borrowing capacity by the expenditures for which we are already obligated and the recommendations here proposed.

" I recommend the establishment of a system of home-loan discount banks as the necessary companion in our financial structure of the Federal Reserve Banks and our Federal Land Banks. Such action will relieve present distressing pressures against home and farm property owners. It will relieve pressures upon and give added strength to building and loan associations, savings banks, and deposit banks, engaged in extending such credits. Such action would further decentralize our credit structure. It would revive residential construction and employment. It would enable such loaning institutions more effectually to promote home ownership. "

To be continued: The Hoover Administration Year 1932

Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (5)

Topic: The Hoover Administration Year 1931 #2

August 11, 1931
The moratorium agreement proposed by President Hoover is signed by 18 countries in London.

The bank panic increases as over 800 banks are closed in two months. Individuals start to hoard gold.

November 4, 1931
As an indication of the expansion of the building program, President Hoover said in a progress statement in mid-term, November 4, 1931:

"That portion of the Federal program of aid to unemployment comprised in the great expansion of public buildings under the Treasury Department shows the following progress since the report of September 1. There is a total of 817 projects which have so far been specifically authorized...

A) A total of 131 buildings have been completed at a total cost of $41,934,569....

B) There were 270 buildings in construction at the first of November by contract, at an estimated cost of $229,772,700...

C) There are 64 projects in which sites have been arranged, drawings are completed, for which construction contracts have been invited, of a total estimated cost of $19,970,500.

D) There are 240 projects in which sites have been selected, and on which plans are now under way of a total estimated cost of $141,947,923...

It is estimated that the number of men now directly and indirectly employed on this program is 50,000. It is estimated by the Treasury Department that the number that will be directly and indirectly employed on January 1st is 100,000. (Memoirs)

To be continued: The Hoover Administration Year 1931 #3

To Contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (4)

Topic: The Hoover Administration Year 1931 #1

The nation's economic health, poor in 1930, continues to deteriorate. At least 9,000,000 are unemployed before the year is out. In September U.S. Steel announces that is cutting wages for over 200,000 employes, and other large companies follow. There are 2,294 bank failures during the year, twice that of 1930. The movement of people from farm to city is reversed for the first time; in some industrial cities one out of three workers is unemployed. As the number of those without jobs grows, private charity is unable to cope with the situation: so the states step in. During the summer, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt sets up the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration with $20,000,000 to be distributed through local governments, and other states quickly adopt similar plans. On the national level President Hoover is reluctant to take such a drastic step as direct Federal aid, but in August he appoints the President's Organization on Unemployment Relief (POUR), whose main activity is to assist private charity to raise money. Later in the year Hoover asks Congress to establish the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) with a $500,000,000 fund to provide emergency loans to banks and large industries in financial trouble. The move, however, is of no apparent help, either to the unemployed or to the economy.

January 15, 1931
President Hoover signs a bill easing the penalties of those caught violating the Prohibition law. Cases involving less than a gallon of liquor are no longer a felony.

February 19-26, 1931
Congress passes the Veterans Compensation Act, which permits veterans to borrow up to half the amount of their 1924 bonus certificates at a maximum interest rate of 4 1/2 percent. A week later President Hoover vetoes the Bill, claiming that it would benefit many veterans who are not in need and would put a heavy burden on the Government's budget. Congress passes the measure over the President's veto.

February 23, 1931
Congress passes a bill to provide funds for government operation of the Muscle Shoals power and fertilizer plants on the Tennessee River, originally built during the Great War (World War I). President Hoover refuses to sign the bill, stating in his veto message that he is "...firmly opposed to the Government entering into any business the main purpose of which is competition with our citizens."

May 14, 1931
The major national forests already had been established by previous administrations. The total acreage of the national forests was increased over 2,250,000 acres. In order further to conserve this important resource, President Hoover directed on May 14, 1931, that all leasing of the Federal forests for new lumbering operations should cease for a while.

June 20, 1931
President Hoover, in an effort to bolster the international economic situation, proposes a one-year moratorium on payments of war debts and war reparations.

August 7, 1931
In time the state legislatures of California, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas established state conservation controls. Each of them prorated and restrained production and volume of each oil well in new fields so as to conserve gas pressure. Texas would not undertake these measures and great wastes were going on. On August 7, 1931, The President issued a statement to the effect that all the great producing states except Texas had acted, saying: "Except for the failure of the Texas authorities and legislature so far to cooperate by controlling their big new oil pool in east Texas, the whole oil situation would have been corrected months ago. The waste in total production of this pool will be enormous due to unlimited release of the gas." (Memoirs)

To be continued: The Hoover Administration Year 1931 #2

Sources For Information: The American Presidents by David C. Whitney; Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (1996), The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference; A Stonesong Press Book (1997) The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Macmillan Company (1952); The Bicentennial Almanac Edited by Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D. Publishers, Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975) The Presidents of the United States Vol 2, A.S. Barnes & Co. (1973)

To contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (3)

Topic: Hoover Administration Year 1930

Most government and business leaders still insisted that the economic conditions were basically sound. The first four months of the year there was a strong stock market recovery and the Dow-Jones industrial average rose from a low of 198 to 294 during the period. Unemployment, which stood at about 1,500,000 in October 1929, rose to 4,000,000 by spring. Industrial production of almost every type starts to drop as consumers save against an uncertain future. Wages hold steady for the first half of the year as President Hoover attempts to convince the business community that their decrease would aggravate the nation's problems. In May the stock market again declines sharply and the trend for the rest of the year is downward. A terrible drought during the summer months in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys causes much suffering in the area and worsens the already bad farm situation. Increasing bank failures during the latter half of the year culminate in December when the Bank of the United States fails. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff, highest in the country's history, is passed in June and has the effect of increasing the price of imported goods and reducing foreign trade.

April 10, 1930
President Hoover nominates Judge John J. Parker of the Federal Fourth Judicial Circuit. No member of the Court at that time was from the southern states, and the regional distribution of justices had always been regarded as of some importance. Parker was regarded as a nominal Republican. He had been elected to the local bench by Democratic support and, together with his service on the Federal bench, he had served some twenty of his adult years as a judge with great distinction. The Attorney General had studied more than 125 of Parker's decisions and had found them of high legal competence. (Memoirs)

May 1, 1930
President Hoover submitted the Naval Limitation Treaty to the Senate on May 1, 1930.

May 13, 1930
President Hoover signed the first of a series of acts which was drafted for the committees of Congress covering the Federal prison reforms.

June 17, 1930
Ignoring the objections of economists, President Hoover signs the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, which raises import duties on hundreds of goods to record levels. Hoover contends that the tariff will aid the hard-pressed farmer.

July 29, 1930
Reform in the bankruptcy laws was equally urgent. It was not alone a problem in fraud and crime; it had the widest economic importance. The Constitution itself recognized its national importance by making supervision of bankruptcy a Federal function. On July 29, 1930, President Hoover directed the Departments of Justice and Commerce to make a joint investigation of the whole subject. The social desirability was to keep every honest, producing unit operating whether individual or corporate. The reforms provided for 1)elimination of fraud in bankruptcy practice; (2) conciliation and adjustment of debt with the aid of the courts (3) protection during the period of negotiation (4) creation of a system of conciliators under the courts for farmers, home owners and small debtors (5) provisio n against speculators buying up debt in order to seize property, usually to speculators. (Memoirs)

By October President Hoover recognizes publicly that there are 4,500,000 unemployed, but he is not willing to concede that the Government should provide direct assistance to the needy, as Senator Robert M. La Follette, Jr., of Wisconsin and Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York, among others, suggest.

December 2, 1930
Calling it "the greatest program of waterway, harbor, flood control, public building, highway, and airway improvement," President Hoover asks Congress to approve over $100,000,000 to fight unemployment and stimulate the economy.

December 20, 1930
Congress sends the President a bill authorizing expenditure of $116,000,000 on projects to relieve unemployment. The number of unemployed is estimated at 7,000,000.

To be continued: Hoover Administration Year 1931 #1

Sources For Information: The American Presidents by David C. Whitney; Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (1996), The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference; A Stonesong Press Book (1997) The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Macmillan Company (1952); The Bicentennial Almanac Edited by Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D. Publishers, Thomas Nelson Inc. (1975) The Presidents of the United States Vol 2, A.S. Barnes & Co. (1973)

To contact: miriam@thehistorybox.com