By Michael Dennis (auth.)
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Extra resources for The Memorial Day Massacre and the Movement for Industrial Democracy
In 1932, though, it was more image than reality. Beneath the scene of city residents rushing up State Street and traffic furiously crossing Wacker Drive was remarkable social distress. By October 1931, 40 percent of workers—some 624,000 people— had been idled by the crisis. Most of the distress was concentrated in areas of the city that few visitors would ever see. Markey observed that “the quarter million of Negroes in South Chicago” had traded in their “Southern carelessness” for the “hurrying stride” of the city of big shoulders.
1 percent cast a ballot for Roosevelt. 4 percent supporting the governor for president that year. The pattern was consistent throughout the major urban centers. Urban, working-class voters had shifted their allegiance to the Democratic Party. 23 Roosevelt had promised bold action and delivered it, helped along by a Democratic Congress champing at the bit for reform.
1 36 The Memorial Day Massacre The cloak of jobless despair seemed to suffocate any hope for recovery. Observing the area around Hull House, writer Edmund Wilson noted that “all around . . ”2 Despite the evidence of calamity, President Herbert Hoover assured the American people that the system was fundamentally sound. He took at least some steps toward remedying the blight of unemployment and the collapse of institutions ranging from banks to municipal governments. Yet neither his actions nor the nostrums of business leaders were enough to rally the ailing economy.