Morning Star, June 28, 1994, pg 17
Following the stock market crash in 1929, major financial reverses occurred in this country. There were bank failures, mortgage foreclosures, and large unemployment. The U.S. Congress passed the National Recovery Act of 1933 which was a national program of public works designed to end the depression.
A most unusual entry in the parade was a black coffin, marked “Depression,” which was followed by 200 boys with shovels in hand.
On September 20, 1933, Albion held a mile-long parade signaling its participation in the NRA program. Schools were closed that day, and various groups and organizations joined in the parade. In addition to the normal participants to the parade, it also included local businesses and industries. 150 Union Steel employees marched that day, followed by 10 City of Albion trucks, upon which employees rode. A most unusual entry in the parade was a black coffin, marked “Depression,” which was followed by 200 boys with shovels in hand. This was supposed to represent the funeral and burial of the Depression. Quite an unusual parade theme, indeed.
From our Historical Notebook this week, we present a photograph taken from a window above present-day showing this most unusual Depression parade. Notice the diagonal parking on Superior Street. Also note on the far right, that there were few spectators–that’s because everyone in Albion was in the parade itself, it seems.
An Albion native, Frank Passic is a 1971 graduate of Albion High School and has been writing Albion history articles since 1976. He is the author of several books including Albion in Review, and Growing Up in Albion.
This story is reprinted with permission from Frank Passic.
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Michigan Prints website offers prints and notecards of Albion, and other places.
Each print has a legend.
The legend for “Saturday in Town” begins like this:
“Before the days of paved roads and motorized vehicles, it was common practice to make due with what was on hand and to limit visits to town to once a week or even less than that.
Since weekdays were for farm chores, and Sundays for church, that left Saturdays to come to town to pick up needed items, and perhaps to sell some items also.”