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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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By Abba Bayer, '40
The Magpie, June 1939, v. 23, n. 2., p. 80.

Then the dawn came. Mankind stirred, awoke from its nightmare, and lifted itself from the depths to which it had fallen. Soon forty-five thousand ton battleships and billion dollar defense lines were allowed to decay; cabinets were without ministers of war; its nations no longer warred over petty arguments. Before long, schools, churches, and laboratories were everywhere and they were beautifully supplied with the best of educational materials and the highest of ideals. From these sources came people who could really think!

People began to want to understand the things they did, and thus they stopped interpreting Gertrude Stein and puzzling over Salvadore Dali.

* * *

Clothes became what they were originally meant to be—protections against the seasons, but examples still of a sane sort of attractiveness. Men began to get enjoyment again out of the simple pleasures like fishing, reading, and hiking and so no longer needed to practice greed to make money enough to buy the more stupid "entertainments."

Yes, all this came from that might of tossing and terror. With the rising of the sun, Man shook himself and went about seeking the better life. And there was sanity in the air, and common folks everywhere appreciated, above all other things, GOOD CHARACTER AND VIRTUE.

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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