The Spirit of 32.
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The Spirit of 32.

To raise commodity prices during the Great Depression, some midwestern farmers enforced “Farm Holidays,” blocking rural highways to prevent milk, corn, and other farm products from going to market. This 1932 photograph shows three striking farmers as they mimic Archibald Willard’s “The Spirit of ’76,” the popular 1876 painting celebrating the American Revolution. When asked by a reporter how he justified Farm Holiday protest actions that broke the law, one elderly man replied, “Seems to me there was a Tea Party in Boston that was illegal, too.” The following year, the Roosevelt administration also sought to raise the purchasing power of farmers by curbing agricultural production, and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) paid farmers to reduce the size of their crops.

Source: August 31, 1932—Scott Molloy Labor Archives.