The Great Depression
The Great Depression influenced American society and pop culture at a magnitude that no other event in history will ever be able to match up. Every area of life was affected, from small business to the large-scale business such as Wall Street. From 1929 to the beginning of the 1940's, life was rather miserable and dreary for all those involved. Practically over night, the stock market crashed and all the money a person had tied up into the bank was gone to never return again.
Unemployment rates of this time spiked to a massive 25%. This means that one in every four people that were able to work did not have a job. Oftentimes, husbands would go out all searching for a job any kind to be able to provide for his family and return later on that night to no money and no food to eat. Because of this, there was widespread homeless and an overall sense of despair that spread like wildfire.
Due to the invention of the elevator and the ever-expensive price of real estate, skyscrapers began to become a staple of nearly every American city. Instead of growing out, the build grew up into the sky with multiple floors that could house many occupants. This was beneficial because oftentimes cities were overcrowded and the ability to expand skyward allowed for more people to be able to find housing.
Skyscrapers were also a way to display wealth and power; both of which the United States severely lacked at this time. Through the production of these buildings, America was able to display that the country was on the mend and would soon be back to a healthy economic state. Economically, these skyscrapers produced jobs that otherwise would not be available to the public; overall, this helped to improve the economy, too.
At this time, the west of the United States was severely underdeveloped and in need of a means to expand. The Hoover Dam was a way to irrigate the west while also producing the necessary electricity to maintain life. Costing $165 million, the Dam was a massive project that became a symbol of the revival during the Great Depression.
The Dam brought fresh water and electricity to the dry desert/western landscapes of the United States, allowing for the West to become more populated. After the Great Depression, the Dam became a symbol of the revival of America. The curve of the Dam represented the image of the enduring America, which was shown through the Great Depression.