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"First Meals Served Transients in Renovated Pullman Hotel" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This article in the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette describes the creation of a living space for the "transient" unemployed in an old hotel. The plight of transient workers and farmers, who traveled the nation's highways and roads in search of jobs, was a major local problem during the Depression. Transients created large ramshackle settlements, often called "Hoovervilles," on the edges of cities. Local governments resisted helping the transient poor for fear that aid would attract more "hobos." The New Deal established a special transient program in 1934 that centered on the construction of camps and facilities like the one described in this article. The popular movie "The Grapes of Wrath" (1936) ends with refugees from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl being welcomed into a New Deal transient camp.
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