America before 1929

Essay Question:

Was the time before 1929 a time of happiness and prosperity for your family, or a time of significant difficulties?

(Those whose family cannot remember any family stories from before 1929 should write an essay on this question: What is the oldest story repeated in your family, and what does it reveal about how your family sees itself?


To support your argument, get some family stories about this era. The following questions should elicit family stories that will be useful to you. Composing your own questions might be even more successful, especially if you base those questions on your knowledge of your family chronology and history.

For those who know stories about World War I:

For those who know stories about the 1920s:


More general questions for further conversation:

Ask your informant to think about the grandparents or great-grandparents that he or she knew personally.