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The Newark Experience: Newark History: The 30s through the 50s


Newark, 1938

Newark, 1944.
Place cursor anywhere on map and click on the zoom icon in the lower right to open map to full size.

What it Looked Like

Photojournalist Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) worked for the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s, documenting the effects of the economic depression around the country.
Slums, Newark, New Jersey April 1939
Gardens for the Unemployed, Newark, New Jersey. Squatters Houses in "Jersey Meadows" on City Dump 4 photos. April 1939
Newark Housing Authority Homes
34 photos; 1944 & 1946. From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection.
Newark Theaters
5 drawings of Newark theater facades from the 1930s.

Living with War

Training High School Boys to Identify Planes
5 photos. Weequahic High School basic aviation class.
Empty Collapsible Tubes: A Tin Mine for War Industry
14 photos. Salvaging tin from empty metal tubes.
Women Workers at the Federal Shipyard, Newark, 1943
Molly Pitcher Brigade Holds Drill
Photo. 1940. Women of the newly formed Molly Pitcher Brigade march in their first uniformed drill.

The 1930s

1930s Newark
A list of books and other materials in the New Jersey Historical Society Library "pertaining to life and people in Newark in the age of the Great Depression."
The WPA Guide to 1930's New Jersey
Compiled and written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1986.
Originally published (1939) as New Jersey, A Guide to its Present and Past. Chapter on Newark: pp. 312-338. Available?
Findings Resulting from a Study of the New Jersey Relief Census as to the Employment Status of Persons on Direct Relief on November 30, 1937, and, Number of Persons at Work With the Works Progress Administration on November 12, 1937
Works Progress Administration, May 1938.
Data for municipalities with populations of 40,000 and over.
Five Newark WPA Projects. [Photographs]
From the collection of the New Jersey Historical Society.
Articles from the Newark Evening News about the WPA and WPA projects in Newark.
Miscellaneous WPA Projects. [Photographs]
Depression and Decline, Newark, New Jersey, 1929-1941.
Paul A. Stellhorn. Thesis (Ph.D.), Rutgers University, 1982. Available?
Nazis in Newark.
Warren Grover. New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction Publishers, c2003.
The Minutemen, a group of boxers and bodyguards from Newark's Third Ward Gang, and the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, led by physician S. William Kalb, led the opposition to Nazi activities and recruitment efforts in Newark between 1933 and 1941. Available?
Newark's Nazi Spy: Pastor Carl Krepper
Rev. Dr. J. Francis Watson. Newark History Society program, January 25, 2010.
"Toward Unionization: The Newark Ledger Strike of 1934-35"
Daniel J. Leab. Labor History 11(1), 3 22, Winter 1970.
The strike by the staff of the Newark Ledger was the first strike against a large circulation daily and the first major action against a newspaper by editorial workers.
Dana Call Number: Periodical, Shelved by Title
"The Struggle to Desegregate Newark: Black Middle Class Militancy in New Jersey, 1932-1947"
Clement A. Price. New Jersey History 99(3/4), 1981, 215-228.
Dana Call Number: Periodical, Shelved by Title
Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation
Robert Curvin. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 2014.
An insider's history of Newark from the 1950s to the 21st century. Available?
Inside Newark: Interviews
The Newark Public Library has 40+ DVDs of interviews that Curvin conducted in preparation for his book; they have digitized a number of these.

World War II

Newark Defense Council Reports (1940-1941)
In the collection of the Newark Archives and Records Management Center. More...
"To the Citizens of Newark"
December 10, 1941 letter from Mayor Vincent J. Murphy on behalf of the Newark Defense Council.
Battle Stations! : The Homefront World War II.
Nan Heacock. Ames : Iowa State University Press, 1992.
One woman's experience working in a Newark shipyard during World War II. Available?
Migrant War Workers in Newark.
Housing Authority of the City of Newark. Newark, 1944. Available?
To Secure These Rights : A Study of the Political Concerns and Development of the Black Community in Newark, New Jersey, During the Second World War, 1941-1945.
William C. Martucci. Thesis (B.A.), Rutgers University, 1974.
A Henry Rutgers thesis. Available?
Minutes from the October 28, 1949 Displaced Persons Committee meeting in Newark.
New Jersey Welfare Council. Displaced Persons Committee.

The 1950s

New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of '58.
Sherry B. Ortner. Durham, N.C., Duke University Press, 2003.
In-depth look at Newark's Weequahic High School class of 1958. Available?
"Ethnography Among the Newark: The Class of '58 of Weequahic High School,"
Sherry B. Ortner. Michigan Quarterly Review 32, Summer 1993, pp.411-429. Rutgers-restricted Access
Planning, Slum Clearance and the Road to Crisis in Newark.
David Levitus. Looks at how Newark politics and policies of the 1940s and 1950s contributed to the conditions that resulted in the riots of 1967.

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