Alcatraz: An island in San Francisco Bay, California. It was first used as a lighthouse, then became a military base. During the Great Depression it was a federal prison – the last stop for America’s biggest criminals. It was nicknamed the “Rock”. Famous criminals of the Public Enemy era like Al Capone were given life sentences.
Checkout this website: http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/mainpg.htm
Black Tuesday: October 29, 1929. The day the stock market crashed. Everyone started to panic because they realized they were losing money. Black Tuesday is one of the big things that led to the Great Depression.
Buy on margin: This is a way to buy stock from the stock market. Someone can buy stocks by borrowing money from someone else. This way, even if you don’t have a lot of money, you have the chance to make money faster. The problem is, if the stock does not do well, you end up owing the broker more money. This can be very dangerous.
Bread Line: Private groups, usually religious organizations, would distribute free food for the unemployed. People would wait in long lines for food.
Hooverville: towns of shacks formed during the Great Depression. People lost their homes and didn’t have money, they formed communities and made their houses out of whatever junk they could find – boxes, scraps of metal, wooden crates, etc. People blamed President Herbert Hoover for the Depression and poverty, so these towns become known as “Hoover”villes.
Louisville Slugger: The most famous and widely used brand of baseball bat. The story of its origin goes that John Hillerich, a young boy whose father owned a woodworking shop, was watching a his major league baseball team, the Louisville Eclipse, when batter Pete Browning broke his bat. With Browning’s help, John made a bat. The next day, Browning got three hits with the bat and the Louisville Slugger’s popularity expanded.
Public Enemy: term used to describe people who actions were dangerous to the public; criminals. Became popular when used to describe Chicago gangsters, like Al Capone, and fugitives.
Public Enemy #1: The fugitive, or criminal, most wanted by the police. America’s #1 most wanted criminal.
Shares: Is one of the equally divided parts of the capital (the worth: money, or property) of a company. Companies divide their worth into equal parts that others can buy. Each part is called a share. By owning shares of a company, the owner makes money when the company makes money.
Six-shooter pistols: a type of gun that can be loaded with 6 bullets.
Jack Robinson: Idiom used to mean “it happed very fast” or “it happened suddenly”. For example: “It happened faster than you can say Jack Robinson” or “Before you could say Jack Robinson…”
On the lam: Used to describe someone moving from place to place trying to avoid being caught (usually to avoid the police)
Real McCoy: the real thing, not a copy or something similar.
Thought that black-Canadian inventor Elijah McCoy (1844-1929) made a steam-engine lubricating system. Many other tried to make copies of it, but they weren’t as good. The “real McCoy” was used to refer to the authentic “real” product.
Pretty Boy Floyd:
J. Edgar Hoover:
Birth to Death:
History: In 1925 entered the Lewisohn Stadium competition. She beat 300 other singers and was put under contract. After studying and singing all over Europe, Marian came back to the US.
Stand against racism: In 1939, Marian’s managers were not able to use a concert hall. The manager of the concert hall said “No Negro will ever appear in this hall while I am manager.” Americans, musicians and even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt were angry. They organized a free open-air concert for Marian. On April 9, 1939, 75,000 people attended the concert, and millions of people listened over the radio.
President Herbert Hoover:
Birth to Death:
“Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country, and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you.”
Baby Face Nelson:
Blind Lemon Jefferson:
Birth to Death: Sept 1893 – Dec. 1929
Famous because: One of the most popular blues singers in the 1920’s. He was blind from a young age. His music was highly influential for blues singers and guitarist. Not much is known or clear about Jefferson’s past. There is only one known picture of him.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Benny Goodman: “King of Swing” started playing clarinet at age 10. Started joining jazz bands at age 14, and by age 25 was considered a seasoned professional. He changed jazz music history. A new type of music and dance that inspired the youth of America.
Joe Louis Barrow (boxer): “Brown Bomber”
Jesse Owens (track Olympics):
Babe Didrikson Zaharias (woman Olympics):
Joe DiMaggio (baseball): the “Yankee Clipper”
Lou Gehrig (baseball): the “Iron Horse”
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