This category reflects the fact that certain periods of American history have had a significant effect on the history of social welfare policies and programs. Two of the sub-categories include entries describing many of the advocates, events, organizations and historical developments connected to the national and long time movements for Woman Suffrage and Civil Rights.  The other two sub-categories reflect significant periods of time that resulted in a number of important changes in national social welfare policies and programs: the Great Depression and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation.

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  • "Report, Flint, Michigan, November 30, 1934What to me was of outstanding interest here is the way the unemployed are behaving about relief. The workers on the whole are "hard babies," the living conditions are bad, the struggle for existence has been terrible even before the depression, but the place is to a certain extent a yardstick of behavior in depressed, deflated conditions....I spent a day visiting homes with investigators. They tell me that relief is actually raising standards in some of these shack lives. One of the leading doctors told me that medical care in the City was now better than it had ever been before. In the homes that I visited less than 25 per cent were "unemployables." All, except a very few, asked for clothing or other articles such as a new stove, that neighbors had received from relief. I certainly had a feeling that few would choose to stay on relief but there was little feeling that it was a painful process to ask for relief.
  • "United We Eat" What of the pressure groups among the unemployed? Starting with barter and a naive faith in their own scrip, moving on to group protest against niggardly relief, some of them have reached a stage of acting with strikers. They keep their members from becoming strikebreakers and join the strikers as pickets. They throw their full weight into any handy unrest
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  • 5,000 Women March for Equality: 1913In a woman's suffrage demonstration to-day the capital saw the greatest parade of women in its history. In the allegory presented on the Treasury steps it saw a wonderful series of dramatic pictures. In the parade over 5,000 women passed down Pennsylvania Avenue. Some were riding, more were afoot. Floats throughout the procession illustrated the progress the woman's suffrage cause had made in the last seventy-five years. Scattered throughout the parade were the standards of nearly every State in the Union. It was an astonishing demonstration.
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  • A Synopsis of the Great DepressionLater generations of Americans have no first hand experience of the depths of despair into which the depression, beginning in 1929, had thrust the nation, and the excitement and eagerness with which people greeted the New Deal. You know many critics not only have denied that anything constructive could have come from the New Deal but they have even succeeded in creating the impression in the prosperous years since 1945 that the depression really did not amount to much.
  • Abernathy, Ralph D. Rev. Ralph Abernathy continued to lead SCLC until growing tensions over the direction of the organization forced to his resignation in 1977. Later that year he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. Three years later Abernathy became the most prominent civil rights leader to endorse Ronald Reagan for President.
  • African American SlaveryFrom about 1619 until 1865, people of African descent were legally enslaved in the United States. The economic prosperity of early America and the accumulation of wealth by some families was made possible in large part by the free labor afforded by slavery.

The Great Depression

The “Great Depression,” the start of which historians usually associate with The Stock Market Crash of 1929, threatened all three of America’s major institutional sectors…

Harry Hopkins and Work Relief During the Great Depression

Harry Hopkins’ New Deal work relief and jobs programs, designed to overcome the economic devastation wrought by the Great Depression during the 1930s, included the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA)…