America’s Time – Stormy Weather Video and Questions

The Century, America’s Time Part 4: Stormy Weather (1929-1936)

Directions: Answer the following questions based on the movie. The questions are listed in the order they appear in the film. You do not need to use complete sentences.

Part 1:

  1. How many “Bonus Marchers” (army veterans) poured into Washington in May of 1932? How did President Hoover handle this “Bonus Army”?
  2. What event in 1929 shattered America’s confidence in its economy?
  3. What happened to Miriam Johnson’s father’s store after the Depression began? How many workers did US Steel lay off during the Depression?
  4. What happened to the money in Clara Cox’s piggy bank? What did her father promise her?
  5. How many savings accounts were wiped out because of bank closures during the Depression? What did the janitor George Gallies who lost his $1,000 savings do when his bank closed?
  6. How many home mortgages across America were in default by 1930?
  7. How many American families had no means of support by 1930? What did American people have almost no sense of in 1930?
  8. In 1931 where could Americans enter into a glamorous world where the Roaring 20’s had never ended? What was the new generation of Jazz music that was sweeping the nation in the 1930’s called?
  9. What was the one appliance no home could do without during the Depression?

Part 2:

  1. What did 25,000 square miles of farmland become known as during the 1930’s? What did farmers who lived her do to escape the devastation?
  2. What kind of people did the actor Robert Mitchum meet when he rode the rails in 1932? Who did President Hoover send to assess the threat the rail-road rider might represent?
  3. What happened to the membership of the Communist Party during the Depression? How many Americans moved to the Soviet Union at this time?
  4. What did the Depression cause in Germany? Who came to power in Germany as a result of the Depression?
  5. Who discovered in his 1932 campaign that his name had become synonymous with failure? Who won this election?
  6. How many million people were unemployed by 1933? What percentage of the American workforce did this represent?
  7. What did Roosevelt do to the nation’s banks when he first came into office? What happened to deposits when they reopened?
  8. What happened to the “wild boys of the road” under Roosevelt?

Part 3:

  1. What was Roosevelt the first American President to say about labor? Did most business owners at the time agree with him?
  2. How many people went to the funeral of the two murdered strikers in San Francisco in 1934? What happened to the city of San Francisco until the Longshoreman Strike ended?
  3. How many strikes for union recognition were there in 1934?
  4. What was Louisiana Senator Huey Long called? What was his basic message or plan?
  5. By 1935 what did Franklin Roosevelt call Huey Long? What happened to Mr. Long in September of 1935?
  6. Where did Miriam Johnson’s father finally find work 6 years after he lost his store? What did Miriam feel the Roosevelt era revolutionized?
  7. How did Roosevelt do in the election of 1936?
  8. What had happened to the Depression in Germany by 1937? What was the secret of Germany’s success?
  9. After Hitler delivered on his promise to get Germany out of the Depression, what second promise did he make to the German people?

Short Essay

Episode 4 of The Century, America’s Time documents the years 1929-1936, the Great Depression, some very stormy years of our nation’s history. One of the primary themes of this film is fear; Many of the narrators recall their feelings of fear and desperation, and Roosevelt’s famous statement, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” is shown here as well. After watching the key events of the Great Depression in some detail, write a short essay of 1-2 paragraphs explaining the psychological effect of this traumatic time in our nation’s history.


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