Depression Generation

Popular student hangout Drake’s Sandwich Shop on North University Avenue is pictured in the 1930s. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

The Great Depression tore a hole in the University of Michigan. Thousands of students had to leave school. Thousands more who might have thrived at U-M never got the chance to try. In the “Roaring Twenties,” college had been a golden age of good times and great expectations. But the students who went to college in the 1930s lived in a realm of scarcity and fear. Author Edmund Love wrote that small savings allowed many strapped students to keep up a social life, and they borrowed clothes and burrowed in trunks to pull off the appearance of stylishness.

—  From “Depression Generation” by James Tobin, presented at the University of Michigan Heritage Project website, celebrating U-M’s 2017 bicentennial


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