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Child Study Association: History 1928

“The Last decade of the nineteenth century witnessed the beginning of educational experimentation based on an awakening interest in child psychology. Gradually invasions were made in the old academic curricula as the needs and nature of childhood became more evident.”Continue Reading »

Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

On May 24, 1937, President Roosevelt sent the bill to Congress with a message that America should be able to give “all our able-bodied working men and women a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” He continued: “A self-supporting and self-respecting democracy can plead no justification for the existence of child labor, no economic reason for chiseling worker’s wages or stretching workers’ hours.” Continue Reading »

Glenn, Mary Wilcox

Mrs. Glenn’s move to New York coincided with the growing awareness for the need for professional training for charity workers and the importance of trained caseworkers. It was also a time when social welfare advocates and charity workers were beginning to realize the necessity for more efficient organizations of “good will” and better means for dealing with the conditions of a society where large numbers of able-bodied workers were being compelled to seek handouts, depend on breadlines and soup kitchens. Mrs. Glenn became an active participant in discussions about the possibilities of a larger, national movement that would bring together local agencies and advocates into some form of national organization.Continue Reading »

Coughlin, Father Charles

Father Coughlin’s influence on Depression-era America was enormous. In the early 1930s, Coughlin was, arguably, one of the most influential men in America. Millions of Americans listened to his weekly radio broadcast. At the height of his popularity, one-third of the nation was tuned into his weekly broadcasts. Continue Reading »

Committee on Economic Security – 1934

The President’s Committee on Economic Security (CES) was formed in June 1934 and was given the task of devising “recommendations concerning proposals which in its judgment will promote greater economic security.” In a message to Congress two weeks earlier President Roosevelt spelled-out what he expected the CES to achieve. “. . . I am looking for a sound means which I can recommend to provide at once security against several of the great disturbing factors in life–especially those which relate to unemployment and old age.”Continue Reading »

Wright, Helen R.

Helen Russell Wright was a pioneer social researcher, economist, and social work educator. She was the first president of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). She also had the formidable task of becoming dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Chicago in1941, a position she held until 1956. Following in the footsteps Edith Abbott, Grace Abbott and Sophonisba Breckenridge she became an important transitional figure in the emerging profession of social work, one who often went against the then current trends by advocating for social reform supported by research as opposed to the total emphasis on the primacy of casework within the profession.Continue Reading »

Educational Alliance

“Educational Alliance: A History of a Lower East Side Settlement House,” by EJ Sampson. “The Educational Alliance…balanced the growing professionalization of settlement house work by becoming community-based, and kept its emphasis on encouraging public civic culture even as in other ways it aligned with a social service “agency” model. And it kept it eyes on its Jewish origins not only in its neighborhood work, but in negotiating its internal ethos. “Continue Reading »

Long, Huey

As the Great Depression worsened, Long made impassioned speeches in the Senate charging a few powerful families with hoarding the nation’s wealth. He urged Congress to address the inequality that he believed to be the source of the mass suffering. How was a recovery possible when twelve men owned more wealth than 120 million people?….In 1934 Long unveiled a program of reforms he labeled “Share Our Wealth” designed to redistribute the nation’s wealth more fairly by capping personal fortunes at $50 million (later lowered to $5 – $8 million) and distributing the rest through government programs aimed at providing opportunity and a decent standard of living to all Americans. Long believed the programs he initiated in Louisiana were effective in lifting people out of poverty, and he wanted to implement this philosophy nationally.Continue Reading »

The New Deal: Part II

The public’s acceptance of New Deal programs and services initiated by President Roosevelt in his first term was to a large extent a result of the pain and fear caused by the Great Depression. How bad the conditions were is worth remembering, since this is a means of gauging the enormous pressure for significant changes in government policy. One of the worst thing about the 1929 depression was its length of time. Men who had been sturdy and self-respecting workers can take unemployment without flinching for a few weeks, a few months, even if they have to see their families suffer; but it is quite different after a year, two years, three years. Among the miserable creatures curled up on park benches, selling apples on the street corner or standing in dreary lines before soup kitchens in 1932 were white men who had been jobless since the end of 1929. This traumatic experience marked millions of people for the rest of their lives, and made them security conscious.Continue Reading »

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan

This entry was copied with permission from the book “This Far By Love: The Amazing Story of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan” by Nancy Manser. Motivated to serve others as an expression of the love of Christ, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan continues today to help those in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or national origin.Continue Reading »

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