Archive for April 26th, 2009


“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.”    –Harry S. Truman  




1958 recession

Unemployment-- Fueled by a drop in unfulfilled orders for durable goods and a declining demand for commodities and other raw materials, the recession of 1958 forced over five million people — nearly 7% of the labor force — out of work. In the photo above, Illinois residents line up at an unemployment office in Chicago.


1958 recession

Voter's Fears-- As the nation grew anxious, Congressmen used a recess to return to their districts to sound out their constituents on their concerns. Life photographer Walter Sanders traveled with Representative Edwin H. May, Jr. as he met with farmers in Connecticut.


1958 recession

Seed Money-- The Life team found that many merchants tried to take matters into their own hands. A Hampton, Iowa banker named Dana Bramwell distributed $1,100 in bonuses (represented by the clutch of $1 bills he holds in this photo) to his employees, with the stipulation that they spend it on nonessential items.



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