Essay on The Train Kept Shaking

1036 Words 5 Pages
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “A date which will live in infamy”. On that date Japan attacked on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. However a date which will in infamy can be any tragic or dramatic date in US history.
October 29, 1929 was Black Tuesday because on that day the Stock Market crashed. On that date was the birth of the infamous Great Depression. Stock prices continued to go down. The crash was the accelerator of the world economic down fall. By 1932 the stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value than in 1929. By 1933, almost half of the banks in America were broken. Unemployment was close to 15 million people, 30 percent of the national workforce. Millions of people lost their homes. They couldn’t
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The Hobo created, developed, and established his own unique culture. By necessity and by accident, this sub culture of the American culture had its own traditions. A spoken and written language was practice by all those millions who rode the train. For example bindle meant a bedroll; bridge and plank gang meant a railroad maintenance crew; bull meant a policeman; catch the westbound meant die; courtesy call meant a night's stay in the town jail without being arrested; dick meant a detective; dumpster diving meant rummaging through dumpsters for food or other needed items , were words of common use among them. The written language was nothing more than signs. These signs were more like warnings with their own original meaning. Only those that belong to the hobo culture were able to read them. For example, some of these were simple, a triangle upside down meant tramps here; a horizontal line meant doubtful; two diamonds meant so quick; a Christian cross meant talk religion get food; a rectangle with a line at the bottom left hand corner meant no alcohol town; a rectangle with a line at the top right hand corner meant town allows alcohol; three circle together horizontally meant chain gang and two meant don’t give up. This language of the helpless formed a brotherhood with strong bounds among their community. At least they were able to maintain hope by sharing their misfortunes and

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