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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940

A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives


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DOCUMENT 16
LETTER FROM THE U.S. RECONSTRUCTION FINANCE CORPORATION CONCERNING FEDERAL DOLLARS MADE AVAILABLE AS OF APRIL 15, 1933



Explanation

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been inaugurated as the nation's thirty-second president on March 4, 1933. He, much more so than Herbert Hoover had been, was open to massive infusions of federal assistance to help redress the worst abuses of the failed economy. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was the channel for federal relief funds for the period July 27, 1932-May 29, 1933. During that time Illinois received a total of $55,443,721 in assistance. Cook County alone was allocated $41,604,477 while the balance went to those sixty-one downstate counties which had applied for these monies (see document 15).

Henry Horner, the state's first Jewish governor, had been a progressive Cook County probate court judge. He and fellow Democrat Franklin Roosevelt had been elected on November 8, 1932. Governor Horner had taken his oath of office on January 9, 1933.

Points to Consider

What was R. J. Lindquist asking Governor Horner to do?

Document 15 is dated October 27, 1932 and document 16 is May 6, 1933. What had happened in the interval?

Convert 1933 dollars to dollars today.

How far would roughly forty million 1933 dollars go today in meeting the state's welfare expenditures?


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