Why did people ride the rails in the 1930s?

Why did people ride the rails in the 1930s?

Some left to escape poverty or troubled families, others because it seemed a great adventure. At the height of the Great Depression, more than 250,000 teenagers were living on the road in America. Many criss-crossed the country by hopping freight trains, although it was both dangerous and illegal.

When did hobos ride rails?

During the 1920s people who rode the rails were either seasonal workers or permanent transients called hoboes (or tramps or bums). The hoboes were not in search of jobs; instead they sought a detachment from mainstream American society. They were content to live a life of aimless wandering.

What were hobos and why were they hopping on trains?

Sometimes, they missed. Many lost their legs or their lives. As the train was reaching its destination, the hoboes had to jump off before a new set of bulls to arrest them or beat them up.

What were hobos in the 1930s?

During the Great Depression, millions of unemployed men became “hobos,” homeless vagrants who wandered in search of work. Once-proud men, the hobos rode the rails or hitchhiked their way across America, in search of jobs and a better life.

Why did Walter Ballard begin riding the rails?

Walter Ballard on Riding the Rails. Walter Ballard was one of six displaced farm workers photographed by Dorothea Lange in 1937 in Hardeman County, Texas. Walter couldn’t find a job and began riding the rails across the Great Plains to find any job he could. Later, he began working for the WPA.

What was the 1930s Dust Bowl?

The Dust Bowl was the name given to the drought-stricken Southern Plains region of the United States, which suffered severe dust storms during a dry period in the 1930s. As high winds and choking dust swept the region from Texas to Nebraska, people and livestock were killed and crops failed across the entire region.

What did it mean to ride the rails during the Great Depression?

During the Great Depression, people went across the country in search of work. But without a job, they didn’t have money to pay for transportation. The only way to get across the country, and potentially get the job, was riding the rails. This is how the hobos of the Great Depression lived from day-to-day.