With Good Reason

10 Cents a Dance
December 28th, 2013

Image courtesy Library of Congress

Image courtesy Library of Congress

During and despite the Great Depression, the entertainment industry produced what some consider the greatest era of popular music. Elliot Majerczyk (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) looks at the songs that became the soundtrack of the ‘lost generation’ and helped pull America through hard times. Also: Nigel Sellars (Christopher Newport University) explains that Roosevelt’s New Deal originally focused on regulation and stimulating the industrial economy. It was not until 1935, when the Second New Deal began putting millions of people to work, that most Americans felt relief from the Great Depression.

Later in the show: Give peace a chance.  Teaching kids about peace might be just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Elavie Ndura-Ouedraogo (George Mason University) believes peace-building should be a part of school curricula and is using her country of Burundi to show how such programs can work.  Also featured: A game that encourages students to change the world.  Elementary school teacher John Hunter has created what he calls his “World Peace Game,” and it asks students to solve everything from oil spills to insurgencies and border disagreements.  With Good Reason visits a class.  And: Refugees founded this country, but historically America has had a complicated relationship with its refugee population.  The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 codified our commitment to help refugee populations – from Cuba, Vietnam, and elsewhere.  But since then, David Haines (George Mason University) says, the American people have been both generous in their welcome but at times also disinterested and hostile.  Haines has three decades of experience in refugee research and policy and is the author of a new book, Safe Haven?

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Post offices around the nation bear the mark of the Great Depression in the form of murals.  Nearly eight decades ago, President Roosevelt used public works projects to get unemployment rates down, but the New Deal also accomplished broad cultural goals.  Allison Quantz reports some of those New Deal cultural efforts are still in evidence in Virginia.