FDR cartoon “Sweeping Changes”, 1933

Incoming president Franklin D. Roosevelt took office at a troubled time in US history. Hoover had failed to fix the economic problems facing the nation.

This cartoon shows Uncle Sam and Hoover watching as Congress hands FDR a broom for making sweeping changes to the nation.

We have included a copy of the cartoon as well and questions and answers ready for your classroom use.

For more on this era check out our US History PowerPoint:

The Great Depression and the New Deal 

Classroom history games:

A Study of Negro Artists, 1930s silent film

This silent film covers some of the greatest artists during the Harlem Renaissance.

Although there is no narration, it is provides an excellent window in the the exciting artistic happenings in the African American community.

For more educational materials for Black History month check out our PowerPoints:

History of San Francisco

This film, made in the 1960s, traces the history of San Francisco.

America in color photos, 1939-1943

The Library of Congress is a national treasure as far as we’re concerned. So many amazing resources for teaching students about the American experience over the years.

We came across this amazing online exhibit, Bound for Glory: America in Color, and wanted to highlight a few as well as providing the link to the entire exhibit.

Taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI), there are 70 amazing images of the effects of the Great Depression and WWII available online.

For more resources on teaching this era check out our resources:

US History PowerPoints – 1930s | WW II Causes | WW II

Simulation games:

World History PowerPoints –

The First Hundred Days under FDR

This fantastic cartoon from 1933 allows for deep analysis by students.

The cartoonist depicts FDR as TR, attacking the nation’s problems with “The Big Stick”.

We have included a copy of the cartoon with questions and answers.

So many concepts at work here, this could spark an amazing classroom discussion!

For more resources on this era check out our 1930s PowerPoint, as well as our FDR and the New Deal simulation game.

Opening of the Golden Gate bridge, 1936

This historical footage shot from an airplane, shows the airplanes, ships, cars, bikes, and pedestrians that came out to celebrate the opening of the Gold Gate bridge.

Interestingly the bridge was built by 10 different contractors; for more information about the bridge check out this website: http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php

It is really neat to see an important event from the 1930s!

For more on this era check out our 1930s and Europe Between the Wars PowerPoints.

The 1930s

The Great Depression and New Deal characterized the decade and left a permanent mark on the American landscape both physically and psychologically.

Our 1930s PowerPoint details the major causes and events during the era.

We have included in this post a copy of some of the lecture terms and two crossword puzzles (puzzle 1, puzzle 2) linked to the lecture terms from the PowerPoint presentation.

Munich Pact, 1938


The conference in September of 1938 resulted in the Munich Agreement signed by France, Britain, Italy, and Germany.

A classic case of appeasement, it did not prevent war.

We have included a transcript as well as questions and answers.

Check out our PowerPoints on WWII: Europe Between the WarsCauses of World War IIWorld War II (US History), World War II(World History).

National Housing Act, 1935

This newsreel-style video details the benefits of the National Housing Act for workers and the economy during the Great Depression. We are given a tour of a house built as a result of the program, which highlights the new innovations in construction. A couple interested in the home can now afford to buy as a result of the legislation.

This seems timely given the mortgage crisis we are facing.

Financing the American Family in the Great Depression

We have been getting great feedback from our recent posts on the Great Depression, so today’s is in the same vein.

The Household Finance Corporation was started in 1878 by Frank J. Mackey to offer loans. They were one of the first companies to offer installment repayments, rather than owing the entire balance at the end of a loan period. The company went public on the NYSE in the 1920s and made many loans throughout the Great Depression.

This film from 1935 shows that the answer to a family in debt was to borrow money from HFC.  After a home inspection deems them worthy, they received the $300 loan. The loan officer, when asked what might happen if they are unable to make a payment, explains that HFC wouldn’t expect them to do the impossible as long as they were paying whatever they could. Jump ahead to the 8 minute mark to see the loan approval scene.

Given our current banking and mortgage crises we thought this video might highlight the deep roots of our cycle of borrowing.

Does history repeat itself? You decide.