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Great depression

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Great depression

The 1930's

An Age of Depression

The Great Depression was started on October 24th also known as 'Black Thursday' when the Stock Market crashed. When this happened many thousands of banks failed, sending millions of people to the unemployment line. Also at the time there was an extensive drought in the United States of America.

The Hindenberg was another disaster that happened in the 1930's, the Hindenberg was the length of three football fields and was held aloft by 7 million cubic feet of hydrogen gas. It also had giant Swastika's painted on the tail fins. The Hindenberg was coming in to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Onlookers spotted flames near the stern of the enormous zeppelin. In seconds the blimp was a gigantic fireball in the sky. The extremely flammable hydrogen the blimp was filled with exploded instantly sending the blimp to the ground tail first with flames shooting out of the nose, with all 97 people still aboard. No one knows why this happened, they just know that it did happen. Many people believe that it was a terrorist act used to discredit the Nazi regime. Others believe it to have been caused by nature during an electrical storm that night and that the hydrogen was ignited by a spark.

For a legal look on the 1930's lets look to the Scottsboro trials. This trial was held against nine Negro boys who were accused of raping two white women on a train. The women were arrested, probably on charges of vagrancy. The women remained under arrest in jail for several days, pending charges of vagrancy and possible violation of the Mann Act. The Mann Act prohibited taking a minor across state lines for immoral

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purposes. The trial of the nine men began April 6, 1931 only twelve days after the arrest and continued through April 9, 1931. On that day eight of the nine men were sentenced to death. A mistrial was declared for the ninth because of his youth. November 7, 1932 the Supreme Court ordered new trials for the Scottsboro defendants because they had not had adequate representation. On March 27, 1933, the new trials ordered by the Court began in Decanter, Alabama. Now involved were two distinguished trial participants: a famous New York City defense lawyer named Samuel S. Leibowitz, who would continue to be a major figure in the various Scottsboro negotiations for more than a decade; and Judge James E. Horton, who would fly in the face of community sentiment by the unusual actions he took in the summer of 1933.

On April 9, 1933, the first of the defendants, Haywood Patterson, again was found guilty of rape and sentenced to execution. The execution was delayed, however; and six days after the original date set for Patterson's execution, one of the most startling events of the trial took place. Judge James Horton effectively overturned the conviction of the jury and, in a meticulous analysis of the evidence presented did not warrant conviction.

Despite Judge Hortons unprecedented action, the second defendant, Clarence Norris, was

tried in late 1933 and was found guilty as charged; but his execution was delayed pending appeal.

During this time all the defendants remained in prison, and not for two more years was any further significant action taken as Attorney Leibowitz filed appeals to the higher

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courts. Finally, on April 1, 1935, the United States Supreme Court reversed the convictions of Patterson and Norris on the grounds that qualified African-Americans had been systematically excluded from all juries in Alabama, and that they had been specifically excluded in this case. However, even this decision by the Supreme Court was not the end of the trials, for on May 1, 1935, Victoria Price (one of the white women that was accusing the men of rape) swore out new warrants against the nine men.

On this note of legality I would like to bring up a famous man in the history of the USA his name is John Dillinger. John Dillinger, Public Enemy No. 1, lived up to the title bestowed upon him by J. Edgar Hoover's Division of Investigation and cemented his national notoriety when on March 3, 1934, he broke out of the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana. Dillinger had been in Crown Point since his extradition from Arizona in January awaiting trial for murder. On that morning, using a gun which had been carved of wood, he took two of his keepers hostage. After locking up the warden, Lou Baker, and getting the drop on the turnkey and one of the national guardsmen there to prevent such a breakout, he commandeered two machine guns. After freeing a fellow inmate, he

ultimately made his way out a side door of the 'heavily fortified' jail and proceeded to make his getaway in the sheriff's V-8 Ford. Dillinger's bold escape set off a flurry of reports of sightings in the Midwest in the days that followed. The escape caused a political uproar. In the escape he ...

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