By Robert S., Editor McElvaine
Vol. 1. A-K -- vol. 2. -- L-Z, index
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Additional info for Encyclopedia of the Great Depression. L-Z
Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, Minnesota. JOHN SILLITO LEDBETTER, HUDDIE (“LEADBELLY”). See MUSIC. ( “ L E A D B E L L Y ” ) structures for implementing the New Deal’s programs and defend those programs against constitutional attack. Substantial numbers of young lawyers joined the administration in Washington, ﬁnding in the new regulatory programs legal opportunities they lacked in private practice and hoping to fulﬁll the professional ideal of public service. Harvard law professor Felix Frankfurter channeled some of his most accomplished students toward government service in Washington.
In 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) received the mandate to create meaningful jobs for unemployed citizens. To assist young people, the Roosevelt administration created the National Youth Administration (NYA), which employed thousands of young men and women across the nation. To provide leisure outlets, the government also built parks, playing ﬁelds, and recreational areas around the country. Many cities constructed municipal golf courses and softball became popular; late in the decade, ﬁve million Americans were playing softball regularly, and almost a quarter of them were women.
But it was not until the 1930s that American literature began to reﬂect and, indeed, to glory in that diversity. In fact, one of the most signiﬁcant literary consequences of the Great Depression was the way the atmosphere of crisis and, more importantly, the federal funding for the arts ﬁrst provided by the New Deal, brought to prominence many new authors, from previously neglected segments of the population. During the 1930s, those writers contributed to the creation of a new, populist vision of America as, at its best, a multiethnic and fraternal society.