Christmass in NY during Great Depression

Photographer: Russell Lee. Unemployed workers in front of a shack with Christmas tree, East 12th Street, New York City. December 1937.
Alternative take of Migrant Mother by D. Lange taken in March 1936, Nipomo, California

The pictures were taken in very different parts of the US, one in New York City, another in California, the two business centers of the two coasts. Both photos from the both coasts convey the same great deal of hopelessness and insecurity. The scenery is similar: temporary shelters made of various scrap materials in the middle of a field with debris and garbage spread around, and in the middle people, all look haggard, exhausted and depressed. The Christmas Three by the shelter looks very dramatic, as the picture was taken in December. The similarities in the two photos show that Great Depression did not spare either part of the US, including large cities like NYC.

2 thoughts on “Christmass in NY during Great Depression

  1. The two pictures show that the great depression had spreaded out the whole country. During the depression, people had a lot of difficulties; they even could not enjoy Christmas.All of these were due to Hoover policies that he did not want to give welfare program to citizens because he believed that dole would only reduce motivation of working.

  2. These two pictures really do speak a thousand words, and as an important turning point in American history, the Great Depression should certainly appear on the mid term exam.

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