The Way It Was

The Great Depression, 1930


Published:

Photograph Courtesy of The Walter P. Reuther Library Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University (The Detroit News)

1930The Great Depression hit the world like a sucker punch, but it slammed Detroit like a tsunami. Cars being more or less a luxury than a necessity back then, the manufacturing of automobiles narrowed to a wafer-thin production, and countless workers lost their jobs. The Motor City had lost its horsepower almost overnight after the stock market crash of October 1929. Those lucky enough to keep their employment experienced a precipitous drop in their earnings. According to The Detroit Free Press book The Detroit Almanac, the average annual earnings of an autoworker were $1,600 in 1929, but plummeted to about $1,000 in 1933. But many in the labor force were not fortunate enough to keep — or even find — a job, and Detroiters went threadbare and hungry. However, thanks to organizations like the Volunteers of America, life’s deprivations weren’t as severe. Though they had just meager things to be grateful for, this counter of unemployed men enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in 1930, served by the Volunteers of America, a group founded in 1896. The nonprofit continues its good work today. The Michigan chapter aids anyone who needs assistance, particularly the hungry, veterans, and the elderly. To donate or to volunteer, go to voami.org or call 248-945-0101.

 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Meet the Makers: The Empowerment Plan

How the non-profit’s coat, sleeping bag project continues to expand

For MLN8, the Magic Started With a Subscription Service

Meet the forthcoming conglomerate using unconventional ways to celebrate and support Detroit’s African-American community

What’s the Source of the Steam Pouring Out of Detroit’s Sidewalks?

Environmental groups want to clear the air about the fuel behind a little-known power system

The Way It Was

1975, The Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Netflix Set to Bring Local Author’s Horror Novel to Life

Sandra Bullock stars in the film adaptation of Ferndale author/musician Josh Malerman’s original thriller
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Fisher Building Is a One-Stop Shop for the Alternative Bride
    Plus, bridal looks with vintage flare
  2. 2018 Restaurant of the Year: Parc
    Excellent food, exceptional service, and a crisp and formal but distinctly unstuffy atmosphere...
  3. What’s the Source of the Steam Pouring Out of Detroit’s Sidewalks?
    Environmental groups want to clear the air about the fuel behind a little-known power system
  4. An Hour With ... Angela Aufdemberge
    President and CEO, Vista Maria
  5. Local Winter Activities Worth Bracing the Cold
    Metro Detroit’s parks are prime for winter adventures
  6. Love at First Sip
    Michiganders dish about their love affairs with local wine
  7. Cocktail Recipe: Man on the Moon
  8. Meet the Makers: The Empowerment Plan
    How the non-profit’s coat, sleeping bag project continues to expand
  9. Netflix Set to Bring Local Author’s Horror Novel to Life
    Sandra Bullock stars in the film adaptation of Ferndale author/musician Josh Malerman’s...
  10. Making the Case for a Less Sedentary Lifestyle
    Martial arts instructor trains people to defend themselves and take a stand against dangerous...