home | many pasts | evidence | www.history | blackboard | reference
talking history | syllabi | students | teachers | puzzle | about us
search: go!
advanced search - go!

No laughing matter.

Many Americans blamed themselves for their troubles during the early years of the Great Depression. Middle-income workers, while financially better prepared for the economic hard times than were most workers, were psychologically vulnerable and often felt shame at even modest economic setbacks. With men out of work and deeply depressed, women also found it difficult to keep going. “Mama,” runs the caption of this illustration published in the December 12, 1930, issue of the humor magazine Life, “it’s so nice to have Daddy home all the time now.” By the winter of 1930, the situation was too grim a subject to lampoon, even for a magazine that favored arch commentary and collegiate humor. Life itself would become another victim of the Depression; Henry Luce quickly adopted its name in 1936 for his new photo-journalism magazine.

Source: Victor Anderson, Life, December 12, 1930—American Social History Project.