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May 8, 1912

Dear Lord,
Please could you help make my dreams come true to
live in New York one day and be a fashion designer.
I've never dreamed of something so bad, I think about
it all day while my teacher is teaching. Also, thank
you for my loving family. I don't know where I would
be without them,


January 28, 1919

I guess I should start off by saying hi, my name is Ruth
Greening. I live in New York City, New York as of now, but way
back when, I lived in Concord, Michigan with my family. My
brother, mom, and I lived at home surviving without my father.
He died when I was the age of two from electrocution, so I have
had to carry heavy duties around the house. Living without my
father has been quite a job, but it's made me a stronger gal. My
brother, Bruce, also worked hard for our family on a farm down
the road for 1$ a week. I moved to New York City hoping to
fulfill my dreams of becoming a fashion designer for Abraham &
Straus. When I arrived to New York though, I realized how much
money I could make being a stockbroker and people weren't able
to afford expensive clothes. So that is what I'm doing now. I
live in a row house in the middle of the city with my dog named
Honey, and I couldn't be more happy where I am. I happened to be
going steady with a guy, but he ended up to be a dew dropper and
I had no time for that. My life has changed a lot since the end
of the war. My brother went off to war and I had no one to fall
back on while he was gone. Because there wasn't enough goods to
help with the war, I had to eat very little helpings. Ice cream,
cookies, and other fun foods were banned to produce in shops. I
also found extra jobs to help with the war process. The flu
epidemic spread and I of course caught it. There wasn't enough
doctors to help, so I had to find a new one. I think these next
few years will bring prosperity. People will be making a lot of
money and buying extravagant things. I'm looking forward to the
roaring 20's.
Diary 2&3

October 5, 1919

These past few months have been quite interesting. The
Red Scare came which was a scare that communists will
take over the world. The development of the Palmer
Raid targeted the Reds, or communists and was the
height of the red scare. I don't like that innocent
people are being interrogated to find out if they're
communist. Some people are afraid of the anarchy and
the over throw of the government. Also, many immigrants
are being labeled communists when they aren't. This all
scares me. Another tragedy was that our president died
on a trip to Alaska; Warren Harding. I remember when
Harding was elected president, he was going to try to
stop the progressive movement but then he seemed to
have many scandals. I wasn't a fan of Hardings in
the first place because I was disappointed in the
corruption that happened under his rule. For example, I
couldn't believe powerful positions he gave to his
friends called the Ohio Gang. Another scandal was the
teapot dome scandal having to do with oil, causing
Harding's secretary to go to prison. Sacco and Vanzetti
were two Italian immigrants and they were found guilty
for murder and accused of trying to start anarchy in
our government. This led to nativism which was a
belief that native land needed to be protected from
immigrants. Many immigrants were coming into our country
so the National Origins Act so only 2 % of national
groups could migrate. Part of the act I didn't agree
with was the banning if Asian people because I have
a Chinese friend and some of her relatives couldn't
move here. Harding promised normalcy, or the return to
better times, after the war. I liked Calvin Coolidge
because he wanted to save money in our government. He
was known as "Silent Cal" because he was very well
spoken but only said something if it was totally
Diary 4&5

Dear diary,

We've all been really busy these past few days. The 18th
Amendment was passed and I don't think it's necessary that the
government can now control the distribution and consumption of
alcoholic beverages. Many speakeasies have been created which
are illegal bars in secret places. I've tried to stop them
because I understand that people want to drink but I disagree
with them doing it illegally. It's against the law and
unnecessary. Although I disagree with that, I think prohibition
should end because crime and bootlegging have taken over. It's
not effective in any way because as much danger as it was with
people coming to work drunk, now they're just doing it in secret
but can still be drunk at places. Also, the scopes trial took
place because a teacher, John Scope was teaching evolution in
his classes and he was charged for illegal teachings. Clarence
Darrow was Scope's attorney. Evolution is the belief that humans
developed from lower forms of life over a million years, and
Billy Sunday was a preacher who preached a lot on this. The
origins of man was the biggest argument; evolution versus
creationism. I think that Children should be exposed to all
theories, and then they have the decision to decide what to
believe in. There shouldn't be something set for what they have
to believe in. Another thing is there are issues involving
African Americans. The KKK has formed and it targets African
Americans, or people who are un-American in general. The African
Americans moved north to look for jobs, but it's quite hard when
everyone is targeting them. The Chicago Riot last 2 weeks and
killed 38 people, and this happened because whites were throwing
rocks at a young African American boy for swimming in a whites
only beach and he drowned. The only thing that did help was the
UNIA in order to help the African Americans. This organization
promoted black pride and unity, and also their education. To
help the African Americans, the NAACP is created. This
organization helps them by fighting for racial rights in all
ways. The UNIA also helps, and so can the back to Africa
Movement because this encouraged the African Americans to go
back to the homelands of their ancestors.
Diary 6&7

Dear diary,

Times are rough now. I was shocked when the margin
calls came in and I couldn't cover the margin. I
began to lose everything because I didn't have that
cash. I lost my home, and I can barely afford food.
I also lost my job, and I am now living in my
parents house back in Concord. For far too long, we
speculated that the stocks would keep going up, up,
up. When Black Tuesday happened, people were in shock
and some people were committing suicide because they
were losing their whole life's earnings. Machines are
producing too much and this causes overproduction but
now people can't afford anything. People are running to
the bank to get their money out, but the bank has
already loaned out all of their money. So now the
banks are closed. The only things I didn't lose was
my car, which I had already paid for and the clothes
on my back. There's been many things going on around
the country as well. Not only were farmers struggling,
but then the dust bowl came and wiped out many farms
in the plains forcing them to move to California. As
I was going back to Concord, I noticed all the
people living in Hoovervilles. They are named this
because people blame all of this on our president,
Herbert Hoover. Its so hard for me to see our
country like this.
Diary 8

Dear diary,

Hoover hasn't been doing enough. Our country just
keeps getting worse and worse under his leadership.
It's so bad that the world war 1 veterans don't
have any benefits. The bonus army was a group of
veterans who set up a big camp and protested
because they didn't have any food or a place to
live. They had sacrificed for our country and were
promised good things. I feel very awful for them
because they gave our country their lives. General
MacArthur used the military forces to drive these
Veterans out of D.C and this is causing Hoover's
reputation become even worse. Many people already
dislike him, including me, and now it's worse.
One thing I do like about Hoover is his saying
"pick yourself up by your bootstraps". I believe
that the people of our country should try to
help themselves without the government. Hoover tried
to encourage businesses to not lay off their
workers. He wants private intervention not
government. He also encourages government loans,
called the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which
gives many loans to businesses, railroads, and
banks but this failed. Hoover is trying to his
best it seems like, but things just aren't getting
better. Hoover tried to help people through the
public works, to provide jobs for people but this
didn't help either. Only few actually got them.
Now FDR, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt from New
York ran against Hoover. He had polio, which was
a deadly disease and this showed he was very
dedicated and determined. Our country is really
hoping for something good to come.
Diary 9

Dear diary,

As a stockbroker, I am in favor of FDR. He is a
driven man and shows he will do anything for our
country. He overcame polio and shows he is brave and
strong. Frances Perkins is the first cabinet woman and
I thought that was pretty cool that FDR took this
step. No woman has ever been able to be that high
up. FDR also brought the New Deal which was his plan
to end the depression. The Hundred days helped people
in many ways. During this the congress passed 1 5
major acts to fix the economy. I was very impressed
with this deal. My friend, Carl, worked in the CCC,
which was the Civilian Conservation Corps, and made
bridges, and trails and sent home money back to me.
The FDIC guaranteed money in the bank up to
1 0 0 ,0 0 0 dollars. So if the bank is to close
again, I don't have to worry about my money. The AAA
now limits what livestock and crops farmers can
produce. This provides government money for them but
doesn't produce as much. The government wants less
supply and more demand. This takes money out of my
paycheck but it's helping our country for the better.
I don't work very much anymore, so money is very
little for me now. The WPA employed workers to help
with construction. They would work on roads, highways,
women in knitting and sewing. I didn't agree with
this because I worked a hard job and didn't get paid
much, and these people do little tiny jobs and the
government pays them a decent amount. The FHA allowed
for people to get cheaper loans for homes. This
helped me because I bought a new home and sold my
apartment for a cheaper interest rate.
Diary 10: EC

Dear diary,

Recently, I've bought a few new items. Of course
I don't have much money so I had to be smart.
I only spend money now that I know I have.
Using credit, I can't keep track of how much
money I have to spend so I choose not to. I've
decided to make the most of my life and what I
have, so I'm doing things I never have. For
example, I've gone to movies, flew to New York,
and watched shows. These have all made me look
at my life and just smile. It really helps to
do enjoyable things. When I flew to New York, it
was the first time I had ridden on the airlines.
I was quite nervous, but Charles Lindbergh made me
sure that I could do this. He was the first man
to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The night I
arrived, I went to watch the flappers, a jazz
and blues concert, and a soap opera all at the
same place. I guess it was a "special deal", but
I had never seen something so amazing. The
flappers were sparkly and looked so fun, and the
jazz and blues players were wonderful. The soap
opera was also an amazing experience but I didn't
enjoy that as much. Being in New York I also
learned about many things. I was able to learn
more about radios, and how they operate, and more
about electricity and how life would be without
it. While I was there I went to my first movie
ever, which was produced in Hollywood. This created
entertainment and many people went. The next day I
went to a candy shop and they made the candy
using Henry Ford's Assembly Line, creating it much
faster. This candy shop was advertised all over
the city so it really attracted me. I think all
of the new changes are very different, but I
like them. I think they're good for our city to
prosper and change. The Jazz Singer brought many
good tunes to me and I'll never forget listening
to him sing. Because indoor plumbing was created,
it also makes things easier in the winter. We
don't have to go outside as much anymore to use
the restroom. These days of new prosper and change
are known now as the Harlem Renaissance. This
generation has quite a bit of money now so they
go to baseball games and watch Babe Ruth play,
and watch Red Grange play football. As where the
lost generation doesn't have as much from world
war 1 . Women now wear their hair in a bob,
which is very short. So I decided to cut my
hair like that as well. I loved walking through
Greenwich Village and looking at the art that was
posted. It was all so immaculate and I'm so glad
I was blessed with this experience.
Diary of Ruth Greening
Copyright 2013 by Laura HoIton

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