During the Great Depression, the Barter Theatre in Virginia paid royalties to Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward in ham. George Bernard Shaw, who was a vegetarian, got paid in spinach.
In the middle of the Great Depression, a man placed an offer in an Ohio newspaper, saying: If you’re in trouble, write me. Many people sent him desperate letters, needing things like shoes, a coat, mercy, food, and to save their family from despair. And back came checks, under a pseudonym.
John F. Kennedy enjoyed a “privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants and summer homes” during the Great Depression. He later claimed that he only learned about the Great Depression in the books he read while attending Harvard.
Sheep were grazing in Central Park until 1934, when they were moved during the Great Depression for fear they would be eaten.
Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey launched a ‘Great Building Campaign’ during the Great Depression with the aim of employing more people. When he was told that a steam shovel being used on a project did the work of 40 men, he instructed his foreman: “Take them off. Hire 40 men.”
In 2009, Detroit had a worse unemployment rate than during the Great Depression.
Conditions seemed so bleak in America during the Great Depression that people in Cameroon sent $3.77 to New York for food relief.
During the Depression, women would make clothing out of feed sacks. When the manufacturers found out, they started printing floral and geometric patterns on the inside of the sacks.
Even though he was teenager during the Great Depression of the 1930s, John F. Kennedy said in an interview with TIME that he “didn’t really learn about the depression until [he] read about it at Harvard.”
Gangster Al Capone started one of the first Soup Kitchens during the Great Depression for the unemployed.