Sports during the 1930's

How sports affected Americans during the Great Depression


When the Great Depression began everyone was almost hopeless. Out of know where, the American Dream had shattered like a precious vase once the Depression began (Corbett). Americans did not know what to do.

Sports on the other hand, brought happiness to Americans and a peace at mind.“'Like many other recreational activities, people did go to the ballpark to get away from the economic horrors of empty wallets and ice boxes' said Ray Robinson" (Bell). Sports were almost a warm hug that make you feel happy after.

It was not only the sports that brought happiness it was the athletes that became role models. "Sports heroes provided our daily emotional bread; for 60 minutes or three hours, the world was right again" (Corbett). For Americans to just witness these athletes was just like they were in the paradise there country used to be.


For the nation to begin cherishing sports more it would be easy to think that attendance would increase, but that is not how this story plays out. Major League Baseball was the most popular sport of the decade, but the attendance decreased by 8.2 million between 1930 and 1931 (Corbett). This Decline was because people simply did not have any money.

Since Sports needed more attendance, they had to try there best to make it more

trendy. To do this the National Football League made a rule allowing a forward pass from the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage, doing this separated NFL from college football (Bell). Doing all this was in goal of getting the sport more exciting.

Sport corporations did anything they could to increase the viewership. For instance, the MLB allowed women into events for free in effort to encourage families to come to ball games (Bell). This is a prime example of how desperate times were.

Big image


The athletes of this time period were so important to Americans. "We didn't want our sports heroes during the 1930s to be human beings, we wanted them to be gods" (Corbett). Athletes were worshiped as if they were Gods.

Jesse Owens a African-American track star was worshiped by many fans of his."To see Jesse Owens run in Michigan, Chicago or St. Louis during the Depression was better than medicine. It didn't put money in your wallet. It didn't help you get a job"(Corbett). This shows how they almost healed fans hardships.

Big image


Bell, Travis. "Sports & Entertainment during the Great Depression." Cultural History of the United States. Dr. Robin O'Sullivan, June-July 2008. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

Corbett, Jim. "Search." Sports During the Depression. Westchester Journal News, 16 May 1999. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.