The Time of Wonder 1930-1945

Moments in History

Jim Crow Law

January 1930 - 1940

The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy

The Great Depression

October 29,1930 - January 1, 1940

When the stock market crashed it offically beginned. As stock prices plummeted with no hope of recovery, panic struck. Masses and masses of people tried to sell their stock, but no one was buying. The stock market, which had appeared to be the surest way to become rich, quickly became the path to bankruptcy.

Scottsbro Trail

April 1931

On March 24, 1931, two mill girls from Huntsville in Madison County, northern Alabama, dressed up in overalls and hoboed their way by freight train to Chattanooga, Tenn., about 97 miles away. The older of the two, Victoria Price, who said she was born in Fayettesville, Tenn. and gave her age as 21, planned the trip, urging the younger one, Ruby Bates, 17 years old, to go with her.

All that is in known so far of this trip is what Victoria Price later told concerning it on the witness stand. No check on the truth of her story was made at the trial. According to this story, the two girls arrived in Chattanooga late Tuesday, March 24, and went to spend the night at the home of Mrs. Callie Brochie, who lived, according to Victoria, several blocks off Market Street on North Seventh. Victoria said she did not know the number of the house, but found the place by asking a boy on the street where Mrs. Brochie lived. He pointed it out to the two girls, she said, and all she could say was that it was the fourth house in the block.

A thorough investigation of the neighborhood later by the attorney for the defense failed to discover either Mrs. Brochie or the house she was said to live in.
About 5:45 in the morning on April 6, a picked detachment of the 167th infantry under Major Joe Stearnes, made up of 118 members of five national guard companies of Gadsden, Albertville and Guntersville, Alabama, brought the nine negroes from Gadsden and locked them in the county jail at Scottsboro until the hour of their trial. People from surrounding counties and states began arriving by car and train with the coming of dawn. Thousands had gathered by the time the trial opened at 8:30 o'clock. By ten o'clock it was estimated that a crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 swarmed in the narrow village streets of the little county seat of Scottsboro, packing the outside rim of the Square around the Courthouse with a solid mass of humanity. Armed soldiers formed a picket line to keep the mass of people out of the Square, and no one was admitted into the Courthouse without a special permit

Cost Of Living

january 1, 1932

Government and Companies implement wage cuts up to 30% for those lucky enough to be in employment
Government and Companies cut working hours for those in employment hoping to provide more jobs for those who are unemployed.
Hooverville's or shanty towns appear around the country built by homeless people using wood from crates, cardboard, scraps of metal, or whatever materials were available to them
13 million Americans unemployed and 10s of thousands load up all belongings and live in cars going from place to place looking for work.


november 8, 1932

•Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins a landslide presidential election on November 8th
Towards the end of the year in November the American voter used the power of Democracy to show Herbert Hoover what they thought of his term of presidency during these bad times and voted strongly in favor of Franklin D Roosevelt by 472 electoral votes to 59.

The new deal (National Industal Recovery Act)

June 1933

The decline in the industrial prices in 1930s caused business failures and unemployment. The NIRA was formed in order to boost the declining prices, helping businesses and workers. The NIRA also allowed trade associations in many industries to write codes regulating wages, working conditions, production, and prices. It also set a minimum wage. The codes stopped the tailspin of prices for a short time, but soon, when higher wages went into effect, prices rose too. Thus, consumers stopped buying. The continuous cycle of overproduction and underconsumption put businesses back into a slump. Some businesses felt that the codes were too complicated and the NRA was too rigid. Declared unconstitutional later on.

World War 2

1939 - 1945

The modern world is still living with the consequences of World War 2, the most titanic conflict in history. 73 years ago on September 1st 1939, Germany invaded Poland without warning sparking the start of World War Two. By the evening of September 3rd, Britain and France were at war with Germany and within a week, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa had also joined the war. The world had been plunged into its second world war in 25 years. Six long and bloody years of total war, fought over many thousand of square kilometres followed. From the Hedgerows of Normandy to the streets of Stalingrad, the icy mountains of Norway to the sweltering deserts of Libya, the insect infested jungles of Burma to the coral reefed islands of the pacific. On land, sea and in the air, Poles fought Germans, Italians fought Americans and Japanese fought Australians in a conflict which was finally settled with the use of nuclear weapons. World War 2 involved every major world power in a war for global domination and at its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives and most of Europe and large parts of Asia lay in ruins.

Attack on Harbor

december 7, 1941

Of the more than 90 ships at anchor in Pearl Harbor, the primary targets were the eight battleships anchored there. seven were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island while the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) lay in drydock across the channel. Within the first minutes of the attack all the battleships adjacent to Ford Island had taken bomb and or torpedo hits. The USS West Virginia (BB-48) sank quickly. The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) turned turtle and sank. At about 8:10 a.m., the USS Arizona (BB-39) was mortally wounded by an armorpiercing bomb which ignited the ship's forward ammunition magazine. The resulting explosion and fire killed 1,177 crewmen, the greatest loss of life on any ship that day and about half the total number of Americans killed. The USS California (BB-44), USS Maryland (BB-46), USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS Nevada (BB-36) also suffered varying degrees of damage in the first half hour of the raid.