Why did people want to keep out bums?
During the mid 1930s, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Many farmers met hard times, too. Los Angeles police chief James E. Davis ordered over 100 officers to patrol the borders surrounding Nevada, Arizona and Oregon to keep out bums. Residents of LA felt that bums would ruin their utopian society.
Bums treated unfairly
Although it was illegal, police made an attempt to keep bums out of California. The lucky few that were let in were charged a three dollar fee for a license. Bums had nothing to do with the economic struggles, but it was all their fault in the eyes of Californians.
Thousands migrate to California
After they lost their job, roughly 200,000 homeless people, or bums, left their homes and moved to California. This sudden immigration overwhelmed the state with hundreds of thousands of unemployed and homeless people. Some bums had no place to stay, so they would often sleep in a farmer's irrigation system.
Unemployed find work
Shortly after World War 2 ended, many unemployed people were able to find jobs. After a couple of years of work, many bums were able to find a place to live. Although many recovered, many stayed poor and homeless the rest of their life. The main idea of the Bum Blockade is that police attempted to keep bums out of the state of California.
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