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Subject From Iconic Great Depression Photo Recounts Impact

This picture is in just about every American history book and has become an iconic image of the Great Depression. And while it reminds me of The Grapes of Wrath, it was intended to let Depression-era Americans understand they were not alone. Maybe now it can tell our 2008 recession woes that throwing a party with dollar-store finds is not the same thing?

Seventy-six-year-old Katherine McIntosh, the girl to our left in the photo, told CNN it brought shame and determination to her family. She now owns a home in central California and uses her obsession with cleanliness, a trait learned early on, to make a comfortable living cleaning homes. "I wanted to make sure," she said, "I never lived like that again."

Photographer Dorothea Lange took the photo late in the winter of 1936. She was on a photography assignment for the Resettlement Administration, a federal agency that relocated struggling families to government-planned communities. Katherine's mother, though embarrassed, agreed to have her photo taken on the condition of anonymity because it had the potential to help others. It ran in a local newspaper the next day, but the migrant family didn't see it, having already moved on.

After they inevitably learned of the photo, they worked their whole lives not to let it define them. Though "it was always talked about," Katherine said. To listen to her now,

.

Source

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CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Its okay.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Its okay.
stephley stephley 7 years
I'd have to draw you a diagram to help you focus, so never mind.
stephley stephley 7 years
I'd have to draw you a diagram to help you focus, so never mind.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I wish we had an ignore feature. "CG, that might work if I had no knowledge of comments you've made on other hard luck stories" I was commenting on THIS ONE..." Then "I was referring to your comment on the welfare post from earlier yesterday" make up your mind. Was it this one, or the other one? food stamps or depression? cause neither of them were cause to get snarky. IMO.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I wish we had an ignore feature. "CG, that might work if I had no knowledge of comments you've made on other hard luck stories" I was commenting on THIS ONE..."Then "I was referring to your comment on the welfare post from earlier yesterday"make up your mind. Was it this one, or the other one? food stamps or depression? cause neither of them were cause to get snarky. IMO.
stephley stephley 7 years
what comments on other hard luck stories stephley? I was commenting on THIS ONE, you really want to play that game of "I am going on what i have seen you post before" little immature dont you think?I was referring to your comment on the welfare post from earlier yesterday. It'd be weird if people didn't learn something about each other from reading these threads, so I don't agree that it would be immature or a game - I'm not sure why anyone would bother to post if we all ignored each other.
stephley stephley 7 years
what comments on other hard luck stories stephley? I was commenting on THIS ONE, you really want to play that game of "I am going on what i have seen you post before" little immature dont you think? I was referring to your comment on the welfare post from earlier yesterday. It'd be weird if people didn't learn something about each other from reading these threads, so I don't agree that it would be immature or a game - I'm not sure why anyone would bother to post if we all ignored each other.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 7 years
When I look at that picture, and I recall having seen it before - one thing comes to mind.We have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of how hard - how brutally, mindlessly HARD people had it in this country through that time.We have no idea what that generation really endured...take my grandpa, who is a prime example. He was the son of Bluegrass mountain people. His father left them. He went to work at 6, barefoot in a Greek restaurant like my grandfather did - who even when he became an extremely successful professor and author, was so unable to throw away food that he would peruse grocery dumpsters to rescue bruised produce and "just expired" frozen foods. He did this until he died....he was wealthy and well-travelled, but practically driven to keep things (usually too long).Some part of me knew despite his education, his (eventual) wealth and success and his common sense that something in him had been SO scarred, SO wounded by this experience that all of that fell by the wayside when it came to survival, and sustenance.We - in comparison to that generation - do not have a f'ing CLUE what hardship is.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 7 years
When I look at that picture, and I recall having seen it before - one thing comes to mind. We have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of how hard - how brutally, mindlessly HARD people had it in this country through that time. We have no idea what that generation really endured...take my grandpa, who is a prime example. He was the son of Bluegrass mountain people. His father left them. He went to work at 6, barefoot in a Greek restaurant like my grandfather did - who even when he became an extremely successful professor and author, was so unable to throw away food that he would peruse grocery dumpsters to rescue bruised produce and "just expired" frozen foods. He did this until he died....he was wealthy and well-travelled, but practically driven to keep things (usually too long). Some part of me knew despite his education, his (eventual) wealth and success and his common sense that something in him had been SO scarred, SO wounded by this experience that all of that fell by the wayside when it came to survival, and sustenance. We - in comparison to that generation - do not have a f'ing CLUE what hardship is.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Should I have a disclaimer "FYI what I am about to comment in no way mirrors the supposed snarkiness of any other previous comment on the sugar networks or the whole internet for that matter including any paper I wrote willy nilly in High School or college or beyond, this is a serious comment full of good intentions"
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
what comments on other hard luck stories stephley? I was commenting on THIS ONE, you really want to play that game of "I am going on what i have seen you post before" little immature dont you think?
stephley stephley 7 years
CG, that might work if I had no knowledge of comments you've made on other hard luck stories. But congratulating people for learning to stick with it, or learning personal responsibility, from a time of hardship, suggests they lacked it beforehand.
janneth janneth 7 years
I always thought the woman was beautiful.I never paid any attention to the little children, until now.
janneth janneth 7 years
I always thought the woman was beautiful. I never paid any attention to the little children, until now.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Those were her words Steph ..the woman in the videos words, to the question of "did that photograph change your life" "IT sure did, I wanted to make sure never lived that life again..." "we made sure our children didnt have to live like that""we all worked hard, we all had good jobs, and we all stayed with it""when we got a home we stayed with it"So what I said was exactly what she said, and the personal responsibility? It sounds like her and her siblings took that and taught it to thier children...Its not saying that the mom didnt work hard..or didnt have responsibility at all so stop with the looking for cynical comments and pouncing on them please.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Those were her words Steph ..the woman in the videos words, to the question of "did that photograph change your life" "IT sure did, I wanted to make sure never lived that life again..." "we made sure our children didnt have to live like that" "we all worked hard, we all had good jobs, and we all stayed with it" "when we got a home we stayed with it" So what I said was exactly what she said, and the personal responsibility? It sounds like her and her siblings took that and taught it to thier children... Its not saying that the mom didnt work hard..or didnt have responsibility at all so stop with the looking for cynical comments and pouncing on them please.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 7 years
wow that picture is heartbreaking...
stephley stephley 7 years
"they learned to be strong and to work hard and to "stick with it""I think we found some personal responsibility here."
stephley stephley 7 years
"they learned to be strong and to work hard and to "stick with it" "I think we found some personal responsibility here."
kranky kranky 7 years
"Yeah, they probably were poor because the parents didn't have any personal responsibility or work hard enough. Because bad things never happen to people who have a good work ethic."Who said anything like that?
kranky kranky 7 years
"Yeah, they probably were poor because the parents didn't have any personal responsibility or work hard enough. Because bad things never happen to people who have a good work ethic." Who said anything like that?
stephley stephley 7 years
Yeah, it's clear the mom didn't work hard and had no personal responsibility (obviously: why'd she have babies if she couldn't educate them???):"It was nearly impossible to get an education. Children worked the fields with their parents. As soon as they'd get settled at a school, it was time to pick up and move again.Her mom would put newborns in cotton sacks and pull them along as she picked cotton. The older kids would stay in front, so mom could keep a close eye on them. "We would pick the cotton and pile it up in front of her, and she'd come along and pick it up and put it in her sack," McIntosh says."
stephley stephley 7 years
Yeah, it's clear the mom didn't work hard and had no personal responsibility (obviously: why'd she have babies if she couldn't educate them???): "It was nearly impossible to get an education. Children worked the fields with their parents. As soon as they'd get settled at a school, it was time to pick up and move again. Her mom would put newborns in cotton sacks and pull them along as she picked cotton. The older kids would stay in front, so mom could keep a close eye on them. "We would pick the cotton and pile it up in front of her, and she'd come along and pick it up and put it in her sack," McIntosh says."
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
Good one Stephley, most people were homeless back then did work hard they just weren't lucky.
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