A Nation in Despair

© Photographed June 13, 2015
Wyalusing State Park
Bagley, Grant County, Wisconsin
42.98923,-91.115608 (marker location inside park)
42.977781,-91.113915 (entrance to the park)
Google Map

A Nation In Despair
On October 29, 1929, the stock marker crash called Black Tuesday signaled the state of the Great Depression. Unemployment rates soared. Many people who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs experienced cuts both in hours and hourly wages. In Wisconsin, people in the metalworking, machinery, automobile, and lumber industries were hit the hardest.

Declining incomes left many Wisconsin families unable to pay their bills. Many could not purchase enough food. Others had no coal to warm their homes. Some families were even evicted from their homes.
"Work is what I want and not charity.
Who will help me get a job?"

The Milk Strike
Dairy farmers were hit hard by the Great Depression. Milk prices dropped by more than half between 1919 and 1932. Demanding higher prices, Wisconsin dairy farmers went on strike three times in 1933. Striking farmers refused to sell their milk, blocked roads to markets, dumped milk jugs, and bombed at least seven cheese factories. Each of these strikes was short lived, and Wisconsin's dairy farmers continued to struggle to make ends meet.
The marker is located at The Paul Lawrence Interpretative Center at Wyalusing State Park, on northbound State Park Lane, a couple of miles north of its intersection with County Road Cx, Bagley, Wisconsin 53801.

NOTE: The marker is located inside a fee area. Vehicle admission sticker or daily pass fee is required.



Wisconsin State Park System: Wyalusing State Park

These markers are also at this location:



President Roosevelt:
Please sir, I'm writing you because I need help. I don't have a place to sleep except beside the lake under the rocks out in the park. Sometimes my friend lets me sleep at the garage. I'm 18 years old and I want to work -- I will do anything -- I will go anywhere -- I want to go to school, but I don't have raiment to wear.

I am asking you to please help me -- I don't want anyone to give me anything -- just a job -- I can't find a job anywhere because I don't have sufficient clothes. 

Unemployment Rates
1933
Unemployment rates skyrocketed
during the Great Depression
During the time of the CCC,
the economy begins to recovery

The Youth of the Depression
Unemployment rates were particularly high for people between 16 and 14 years old. Unable to find work and not wanting to burden their family, some youth left their homes. They would hitchhike or ride the trains for months.

Opportunities for education were reduced during the Depression. Schools were closed or the school day shortened. Some children were unable to attend school because they lacked the shoes, clothing, books, and transportation necessary.

The marker is located at The Paul Lawrence Interpretative Center.

The marker is located inside Wyalusing State Park.

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