Forgotten Men

in Citizen Hobo

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780226143781
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226143804 | DOI:
Forgotten Men

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This chapter describes the New Deal for the American hoboes and folkloreness of homelessness. Three weeks after a buoyant Franklin Roosevelt rode to his inauguration with a dour-looking Herbert Hoover seated beside him, Nels Anderson supervised a one-day census of the nation's homeless population. Catching those who fell between the cracks of local and state relief systems became the mission of the federal Transient Program, one of the most imaginative and ambitious measures of the early New Deal. Despite the relative familiarity of the transient population, the publicity campaign orchestrated by the NCCTH, a campaign that included congressional hearings and numerous journalistic exposés, gave rise to sensationalized accounts of lady hoboes and wild boys wandering the nation. The easing of the homelessness crisis and the dissolution of the Transient Program paved the way for a popular revival of hobo folklore at mid-decade.

Keywords: New Deal; American Hoboes; homeless; hobo folklore; lady hoboes

Chapter.  10475 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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