Friday, January 29, 2010

Young Historians: 1933 and Rag Rugs

This week’s timeline is 1933. In March of that year, President Roosevelt became President of the United States. He brings in new ideas to help people. This is called “The New Deal.” Taking advantage of the radio, he talks to the public in his “fireside chats.”

Many people are still looking for work and times are hard. If you lived in a farming community, such as Cavendish, you would be able to eat what you grew and canned, as well as what you could hunt.

As we’ve talked about, everything was reused as much as possible. This week we’re going to learn what was done when the bed sheets were no longer usable.

Gloria Leven told us that her mother would take worn out bed sheets and cut out the bad parts and sew them together to make a new one. Sometimes bed sheets can’t be fixed. They could then be used for rags. Another way to use them was to make a “rag rug.”

This week we will be learning how these rugs were made. We will show different ways the rugs were made, and teach you how to make one by braiding. Below are some links you might enjoy on rag rug making.

How to make a rag rug with a toothbrush

Rag Rug Instructions

History Timeline 1933

Movies: King Kong starring Fay Wray; Duck Soup by the Marx Brothers; The Three Little Pigs produced by Walt Disney; 42 Street starring Julian Marsh; She Done Him Wrong starring Mae West

Songs: Stormy Weather by Ethel Waters; Sophisticated Lady by Duke Ellington; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Paul Whiteman Orchestra; Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf by Harry Resor and His Eskimos with Loretta Clemons

Books: God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell; The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett; Lost Horizon by James Hilton; Ulysses by James Joyce

• Former President Calvin Coolidge dies. Coolidge was the only president from Vermont. You can see where he grew up in Plymouth VT. He also went to school in Ludlow.
• Sir Malcolm Campbell sets land speed record of 272.1 mph at Daytona Beach Florida.
• Charles Darrow invents Monopoly
• Adolph Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany

• An attempt is made to assassinate (kill) Franklin Roosevelt, who is about to become the President

• Inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as President
• Roosevelt begins the first of his “fireside chats.” He spoke to the country via radio about the banking crises. You can listen to this radio broadcast at
• Reports of Nazi mistreatment of Jews in Germany

• It is legal to drink beer after 15 years of Prohibition
• The Senate passes a bill limiting 5-day workweek and a six-hour workday. The goal is to offer work to more people.

• President Roosevelt outlines his program for “The New Deal,” A chicken in every pot.

• The Chicago Fair opens “A Century of Progress. Learn more about the fair by going to
• Hitler outlaws all political parties other than the Nazi party.

• The National Recovery Administration is formed
• Wiley Post completes solo flight around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes

• Dictograph Products and Sonotone each announce improvements in hearing aids.

• Scientists determine the cause of Dutch Elm Disease

• Alcatraz opens to house the nation’s worst criminals
• 2,000 rural schools do not open for the fall semester. 2.3 million children are not in school.
• Marconi announces discovery of microwaves
• The New York Giants (National League) defeat the Washington Senator (American League) in the World Series

To learn more about 1933, go to

Listen to 1933 Year in Review at

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