1st hour Cassandra Harris & Monica Evans 12-14-09

The 1930s, during the time of the Great Depression, was a difficult and somber time in the world, and the fashion of the time is reflective of the climate. Fabric was a commodity resulting in shorter lengths, minimal bulk, form fitting silhouettes, and huge innovations in synthetic textiles. These restrictions also encouraged a lot of creativity on the part of women who had to make due with what they had and still look fabulous. With lots of feminine details like bows, lace, ruffles, and decorative buttons, the 1930s house dress could be worn to work, or on a date today, and look rather dressy.

Though the Depression did change peoples lives, it did little to alter the role of women in the American workplace. Almost eleven million women, or 24.3% of all women in the country, were gainfully employed. Three out of every ten of these women were working in domestic or personal services. Of professional women, tree-quarters were schoolteachers or nurses. Women in the 1930s entered the workforce at a rate twice that of men.

The women in the 1930's were not treated well an did not have very much power over the men. Women in the 1930's were not actually considered people; if you were an unmarried woman during this time with no children then you were disrespected and considered useless. Women's jobs were to have children and stay at home cleaning and such; prearranged marriages were very common. Women worked in factories, shops, restaurants, and laundries. They also worked in domestic service, especially African American women because domestic work was the easiest to get. Some women were also secretaries, typists, switchboard operators, teachers, nurses, librarians, and social workers. There were some women doctors, though not as many as there are now. Women worked in journalism and in libraries.

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Other great women in the 1930's were Eleanor Roosevelt, who became the nation's first lady in 1932, forever changing the role of the president's wife.The issue of whether married women should work was chewed over constantly by the newspapers and magazines, with a consensus coming down on the side of not. A federal law, passed during the Depression, prohibited the employment of "married persons" whose spouses worked for the government. Of the people forced to quit, three-quarters were women; Eleanor Roosevelt called the law "a very bad and foolish thing." Legislators in the twenty-six states passed laws completely banning the hiring of married women, although only Louisiana actually passed a law, and it was quickly declared unconstitutional. More than three quarters of the nation's public school districts refused to hire married teachers-unless they were male. Replacing female workers with men also turned out to be harder than people imagined. The world was too clearly divided between male and female jobs. Despite all this, the number of married women who worked continued to increase throughout the decade.

"The Ninety-Nines, Incorporated" states, Amelia Earhart set the woman's world flying speed record in 1930, participated in the National Air Races in California, won the Harmon Trophy three years in a row, and disappeared on the round-the-world flight near Howland Island in 1937.
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According to the article "Margaret Mitchell," Margaret Mitchell wrote the famous book Gone With The Wind and died in a car accident in front of her own home.

The article of the "Brief Biography of Pearl S. Buck," Pearl S. Buck's first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published by the John Day Company in 1930. In 1931, John Day published Pearl's second novel, The Good Earth. This was the best-selling book of both 1931 and 1932 winning the Pulitzer Prize and the Howells Medal in 1935. The Good Earth would also be adapted as a major MGM film in 1937. in 1938, less than a decade after her first book appeared, Pearl won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first American woman to do so.
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These women were just a few of the 1930s era which changed the way the world views women today. These women showed that they could be more than housekeepers, child bearers, and homemakers. They also showed the desire to be a larger part of the workforce and let the world know that they wanted equality, not discrimination. We as today's women have a lot to thank the women of that era for.

The 1930's were a time when Depression-burdened Americans were distracted by Hollywood with stories of the rich and famous; one of the best suited to create a tale of wealth, adventure, and high fashion was Clare Booth Luce. Luce's personal empowerment and fast-lane circle of acquaintances made perfect basis for her memorable play The Women.
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3rd Hour
By: Sha'hada Artberry, Shelby Haydon, Terri Burden

The women of the 1930s had a hard time making it in the field of work. According to 1930s lifestyles and social trends “The Depression did little to alter the role of women in the American workplace.” In the 1930s 11 million women in the country were gainfully employed. Three out of ten women were assigned a job in the domestics or personal service field. Three quarters of the women were school teachers or nurses. The 30s were class of struggle and great advances for working. No decade before has witnessed such and expansion of labors influence and strength t in the U.S.( n.pag.)

FREE Working Women in the 1930s information says for the most part women worked long hours for low wages in the 1930s. More than half of all employed women work for more than 15 hours a week, and more than 1/5 work for more than 55 hours. In 1930 women in fact entered the work force at a rate twice that of men because employers were willing to hire them at reduce wages. In 1930, 81% of teachers had been women.

The 1930s had been called the “golden age for spinster’, some women had chose to remain single. These women expected to find spiritual and emotional or even sexual fulfillment from other women

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In the 1930s wealthy women had not really needed to wear practical day clothes. All those styles had been designated day styles if they were feminine, it had not really matter as long as maids took care of chores. Now women had productive and busier lives and simpler pared down clothes gave a freedom of movement women relished in daily life.

In the 1930s were years of fierce class struggle and great advances for the working class. Probably no decade before or since has witnessed such an expansion of labor’s influence and strength in the U.S. from. The beginning, women were deeply involved in these struggles. As the decade opened in the midst of the Great Depression, Unemployed councils brought working-class men and women together.(n.pag.)

In the 1930s there was a return to a more genteel, ladylike appearance. Budding rounded busts and waistline curves were seen and hair became softer and prettier as hair perms improved. Foreheads which had been hidden by cloche hats were revealed and adorned with small plate shaped hats. Cloths were feminine , sweet and tidy by day with a return to real glamour at night. Right-fashionable shee day dress of 1936.

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James Addam became the first women to win the Nobel Peace Prize because of the work she did with people who were poor in Chicago. Also another famous women is Amelia Earhart who was the first person to fly alone across the ocean. Hatti Wyatt was the first women to be elected in the U.S. Senate. There are a lot more women who did great thing for our country.

4th Savannah Patterson, Natasha Trout, Tevin Laskey 12-14-09

Women in the 1930s did not have as many leagal rights and career options as men did. They were
mainly stay at home mothers and house wifes. "Since early times women have been uniquely viewed as
a creative source of human life. Historically, however, they have been considered not only intellectually
inferior to men but also a major source of temptation and evil." The men "owned" the women, just like
he owned his clothes. I a poor man wanted to send his children to the poor house then the woman
could not object. For education women learned to read and write at dame schools, they were not
allowed to go to secondary school like men.

external image 2179048633_d864708635_o.jpgEmma Tenayuca

"The 1930s were years of fierce class struggle and great advances for the working class. Probably no decade before or since has witnessed such an expansion of labor’s influence and strength in the U.S.
From the beginning, women were deeply involved in these struggles. As the decade opened in the midst of the Great Depression, Unemployed Councils brought working-class men and women together. The National Unemployed Council, with chapters in scores of cities and towns and all but four states, successfully fought evictions and utility shutoffs.
Paralleling unemployed organizing was the growth of the militant, communist-led Housewives’ Leagues. According to the Web site of the National Women’s History Museum:
“The Detroit Housewives’ League took on the meatpacking industry itself. In 1935, the group burned a huge packinghouse in protest of high prices, and they joined thousands of Chicago housewives in a march that shut down that city’s entire meat industry. The Detroit black women’s Housewives’ League was founded in 1930 by Fannie Peck, and by 1935, the League had over 10,000 members. Nationwide, these Leagues created 75,000 jobs for African Americans, overcoming racial discrimination and ameliorating some of the devastating effects of the Depression.” (www.nwhm.org)
In 1937, while great struggles were already in motion, the historic victory of the Flint sit-down strike emboldened the whole working class to take things further. The first big sit-down of a mainly female workforce involved cigar workers in Detroit. There were 4,000 women, most of them Polish, working in six shops. Their grievances—confirmed by a fact-finding commission—included working six and seven days a week for a pittance, poor ventilation causing women to faint, and inadequate toilet facilities.

Management had told workers at Bernard Schwartz, makers of R.G. Dunn cigars, to form a committee to present their concerns. On Jan. 7, 1937, Schwartz fired the entire committee. By Feb. 16 a sit-down was in progress. On Feb. 19, some 2,500 cigar rollers were sitting down.
Just as the Women’s Emergency Brigade in Flint had to win over irate wives, so too did the cigar strike have to deal with raging husbands, but the spouses came around. By March 5 strikers at two plants were leading a victory march of 1,000 people through the Polish community.
On March 20, however, Detroit Mayor Couzens launched a counterattack. Detroit’s police broke down the doors of the Bernard Schwartz plant, dragging the fighting women out by their arms, clothing and hair. Police beat sympathizers, even throwing a pregnant woman off her porch. Three days later, 200,000 people protested in Cadillac Square. Feeling labor’s outrage, Michigan Gov. Frank Murphy called the two sides together on April 22. The next day every cigar shop in Detroit had a union contract.
These women cigar workers had, meanwhile, inspired other women in Detroit. Women led takeovers at Ferry-Morse Seed and Yale and Towne Lock.

The retailer equivalent of Wal-Mart of those days was Woolworth’s. On Feb. 27, from a balcony of the Woolworth chain’s four-story establishment at Woodward and Grand River, an organizer for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) blew a whistle and yelled, “Strike! Strike!” Immediately, women servers stopped serving and cash registers went silent.
When the store manager pulled the workers into a huddle, his pleas that they end their strike were met with a resounding, “No!” The daring action made national news. Two days later a second Detroit store was taken, and HERE threatened to strike all 40 Woolworth’s in the area. After seven days inside, the youthful women had won raises, seniority rights, shorter hours, company-provided uniforms and future hiring through the union.
The fever spread, as department store workers throughout Detroit and across the country struck for and won union recognition. Now there was proof that service workers could wield the sit-down weapon as effectively as factory workers.
It was not only in the workplace that the sit-down became the weapon of choice. In many cities families on relief sat down in government offices to demand better treatment. In San Antonio they were led by the young Emma Tenayuca, described by Time magazine as “a slim, vivacious labor organizer with black eyes and a Red philosophy” known by “everyone in San Antonio as ‘La Pasionaria de Texas.’” Frequently jailed, Tenayuca led many labor struggles, including a strike at the Finck cigar factory. One key demand of her Workers Alliance was the right to strike without fear of deportation.
Tenayuca is best known for her leadership in the 1938 pecan shellers strike. San Antonio was the world pecan capital. Mexican women worked 70 hours a week for as little as 30 cents a day picking nut meat from shells by hand. The 147 shops, where 12,000 workers produced 21 million pounds of shelled pecans per year, were closed by the strike.
One thousand strikers and supporters, including Tenayuca, were jailed. After thirty-seven days the owners agreed to arbitration. Tenayuca later said, “What started out as an organization for equal wages turned into a mass movement against starvation, for civil rights, for a minimum-wage law, and it changed the character of West Side San Antonio.”
By September 1937 the two-year-old Committee on Industrial Organization (CIO—later changed to Congress of Industrial Organizations), had more than 3.7 million members. Among them were half a million Black workers and hundreds of thousands of Asians and Latin@s. There were immigrants from all over—some 400,000 from Poland alone—and many, many women.

These women still inspire the women of their class seven decades later. As Workers World leader Teresa Gutierrez wrote in 1999 on the occasion of Tenayuca’s death, “Her image—striding in front of a line of marchers or standing at a microphone shaking her fist as she stirred the strikers to struggle on—inspires the oppressed workers of SanAntonio .” n.page.
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5th Hour: Lensi Luther, Chelsea Smith, and Zach Smith

Women of the 1930s loved to dress up and wear their best evening gowns at night. “1930s Fashion History Stylish Thirties” states that in the 1930s there was a return to a gentler, ladylike appearance. Their hair became very soft and prettier as the hair perms and hair products improved. Foreheads that had been hidden by hats were revealed and adorned with smaller plate shaped hats. Clothes were very feminine, sweet, and tidy by day with a return to real glamour at night.(n.pag.) One of the lady’s that really brought out this elegant fashion was Mrs. Wallis Simpson. According to “1930s Fashion History Stylish Thirties,” “In 1936 Edward VIII abdicated his right to the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson. On marriage she became the Duchess of Windsor, but was never ever granted the title H.R.H. However they self styled themselves as Royal Highnesses and the Duke bought her vast quantities of jewelry.”(n.pag.)


Mrs. Wallis Simpson and her husband

Many of the women also worked many hours in the 1930s, even though they did not receive very much pay. “Working Women in the 1930s” explains that over 24.3 percent of all women in the country were gainfully employed. Three out of every ten working women were in domestic or personal services. Women constituted seven percent of all workers in the automobile industry and 25 percent of all workers in the electrical industry. The integrated International Ladies Garment Workers Union had 200,000 members with wages of 45 to 50 dollars per week. Also the women had taboos, which consisted of them not working outside of the home, having affairs, having relationships before marriage, or paying bills. They were also not allowed to vote until 1933.(n.pag.)


As implied, women of the 1930s were hard workers. There were also many famous women of the 1930s, such as, Gertrude Stein, Jane Addams, and Margaret Mitchell. According to “Gertrude Stein, Books and Writers,” Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1893 Stein entered Harvard Annex in Cambridge. She studied psychology under William James and experimented with automatic writing under his direction. In 1934 Stein traveled to New York. Her opera about Spanish saints had a huge success. The opera ran for sixty performances. Stein later toured America and taught for several weeks at the University of Chicago. Another woman with great success was Jane Addams. “Jane Addams Biography” states that she won worldwide recognition in the first third of the twentieth century as a pioneer social worker in America, as well as a feminist, and as an internationalist. She was born in Cedarville, Illinois.(n.pag.) Last but not least is a very well known woman from the 1930s. “Biographical Dictionary” explains that the American novelist Margaret Mitchell was the author of one of the most famous novels ever written. Her novel Gone With the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. It has sold more than 30 million copies.(n.pag.)


Gertrude Stein


Jane Addams


Margaret Mitchell

6th hour Nechelle Bradley & Cara Vinci 12/14/09

Women of the 1930's

In the 1930's women were pretty much treated the same after and before The Great Depresssion.
The role of women in world war two was to help at home. many of them toke their husbands place in the war, some were actually in the war. they would be the nurses to help out the wounded soilders or some fought in the war!
They had the right to vote, and some women were working outside the home at that time.In Steinbeck's book, 'Of Mice And Men', set in California in the 1930's, he implies that jobs, even for men were very scarce. The only job that is mentioned for women is a prostitute. It suggests of how life was so much better around 1910 and women had much better jobs. However, in the 1930's, all the woman in the book work in "cat houses" or are married to men with jobs.

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Women enter the workplace ...
Women enter the workplace ...

Even though women weren't allowed to do alot they still kept there girlish style. Budding rounded busts and waistline curves were seen and hair became softer and prettier as hair perms got better. The new improved fabrics like rayon had several finishes and gave various effects exploited by designers eager to work with new materials.