Carter Hamel. Mrs. Day. Honors 9Th Literature And Composition

1402 WordsApr 25, 20176 Pages
Carter Hamel Mrs. Day Honors 9th Literature and Composition - 4 25 April 2017 Trials and Tribulations The Great Depression was the perfect breeding ground for fear and chaos. The United States was drastically impacted, and no one could escape its wrath! The Great Depression not only affected the nation’s economy and way of life, but it also had a huge impression on people’s beliefs and attitudes. Life was a daily struggle, and Americans had to adapt and cope during hard times. People feared the unknown and had to be very resourceful. A landmark trial made headlines because “riding the rails” became a popular means of transportation. Americans were hit hard during the Great Depression which lasted from 1929-1939. “The Great Depression…show more content…
Desperate times called for desperate measures! Over two million people went on the road to look for work, and they became known as hobos. They wandered from town to town, and the fastest way to get anywhere was to get on a train. “Riding the rails” became the transportation of choice because it was free. However, it was illegal and very dangerous! Hobos would jump, leap, or hop onto a moving freight train and take a ride for free in an open boxcar or on top. “Every time a hobo jumped at a moving train, he was taking his life into his hands” (Morgan). Many lost their limbs or even their lives. In addition, bulls, the railroad police, would beat or arrest hobos when they caught them riding the rails or hanging around the yards. They were vicious! It is reported that over 50,000 either died or were injured from 1929-1939 (Ganzel). The hobo life was very difficult, and finding food and work was a daily struggle. Since they were considered drifters or bums, they were not treated very nice. All they wanted was a better life. No matter where they went, they could not escape the Great Depression. Since hobos had to catch a train while it was moving, they waited on the outskirts of rail yards in what was known as “jungles”. They were makeshift camps (Ganzel). Hobos even had their own code or symbols to help one another find shelter, food and work (Morgan). Riding the rails became a popular way to travel and past time,

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