America was in a depression in the 1930s. The average annual salary was $1,368 and unemployment was at 25%. Milk was 14¢ a quart, bread was 9¢ a
loaf and round steak was 42¢ a pound. Many family farmers caught in a desperate drought called the "dust bowl" packed their families and few possessions and moved west to work the fields of the large company farms. Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany.
With money scarce, people sought simple entertainments that took them away from their daily problems. They gathered around the radio to listen to Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and
Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy. At the movies Clark Gable, Bette Davis, W.C. Fields, Bob Hope
and Shirley Temple helped the people to escape their worries, while Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced them away.
In 1935: Social Security was enacted. Slcoholics Anonymous was founded. The new DC-3 airplane traveled non-stop across the country in 15 hours. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck and Butterfield 8 by John O'Hara were popular books. Actress Claudette Colbert, actor Clark Gable and director Frank Capra all received Oscars for their work in the 1934 film "It Happened One Night.” On the radio Flash Gordon, Fibber McGee & Molly, and Your Hit Parade were the hot programs. Babe Ruth retired with 714 home runs. And that year, in a simple two-room home in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Aaron Presley was born on the morning of January 8.