1930s – The Great Depression

We have selected a featured story from the 1930s.  We hope you enjoy it.  Be sure to look at our other pages to view additional stories and photos from the 1930s. Visit our “Images of the Great Depression” photo gallery under the 1930s heading this site, or by clicking here: http://americansremember.com/?page_id=1271.

Featured Story: My Eighth Birthday Present

I was in the third grade and always either carried my lunch to school or walked home–down the hill and across the creek–for lunch.  But some of the other kids whose parents could afford it would go to Mrs. Taylor’s store across the road from the school and buy lunch.

She would make them bologna or pickle loaf sandwiches, or maybe they would have just cheese and crackers and a soda pop and candy bar.  I wanted so badly to do this too, but my parents could not afford it, especially with four other kids at home.  Those sandwiches were ten cents each and the soda pop was a nickel, unless you got a four ounce Grapette which was two cents.  A candy bar was five cents.  This was in the deepest part of the Great Depression.

Well, on the morning of my eighth birthday my mother said: “Happy Birthday!  Today  you can go Mrs. Taylor’s and have a sandwich, a candy bar and a Grapette!”  I later  learned that Mama had traded two dozen eggs and a pound of butter to Mrs. Taylor to pay for my lunch.  To me that store-bought lunch was better than a party or any other present.

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