Who rode the rails in the Great Depression?

Who rode the rails in the Great Depression?

Racial minorities and women were particularly vulnerable to dangers on the rails. Young women rode the rails in far fewer numbers than young men and often traveled disguised as males for safety reasons. Others traveled with one or two males, or with a group of boys.

Who were the hobos during the Great Depression?

Hobos were the nomadic workers who roamed the United States, taking jobs wherever they could, and never spending too long in any one place. The Great Depression (1929–1939) was when numbers were likely at their highest, as it forced an estimated 4,000,000 adults to leave their homes in search of food and lodging.

Who rode rails?

During the 1920s people who rode the rails were either seasonal workers or permanent transients called hoboes (or tramps or bums). The hoboes were not in search of jobs; instead they sought a detachment from mainstream American society. They were content to live a life of aimless wandering.

How many men ride the rails looking for work?

Riding the Rails during the Great Depression. Many people forced off the farm heard about work hundreds of miles away or even half a continent away. Often the only way they could get there was by hopping on freight trains, illegally. More than two million men and perhaps 8,000 women became hoboes.

Is riding the rails illegal?

Train hopping, sometimes referred to as freight hopping, is against the law in all US states. Homeless hobos, immigrant workers, mostly from South America, and thrill-seeking US citizens surreptitiously all hitch rides, despite the increased use of electronic surveillance and tightened security around rail yards.

How many people rode the rails in the Great Depression?

There was no particular hobo group in the Great Depression. There were four million people riding the rails. I concentrated on the 250,000 teenagers.

What is a female hobo called?

bo-ette – a female hobo.

Who was the most famous hobo?

Leon Ray Livingston
1. is arguably the most famous hobo in the United States. His given name is Leon Ray Livingston and he was born in 1872 and he was a lifelong wanderer. He was riding the rails, and stowing away on ships starting at the age of 11 and then he began to write about his journeys. He wrote about a dozen books on the subject.

Is riding the rails still a thing?

Very few people ride the rails full-time nowadays. In an ABC News story from 2000, the president of the National Hobo Association put the figure at 20-30, allowing that another 2,000 might ride part-time or for recreation. That’s a far cry from what it used to be.

Is it a crime to jump on a train?

What is a hobo dollar?

A hobo coin is a generic term applied a certain type of coin that has been altered to change the appearance of the subject on the coin. It may have been done artistically, or perhaps as a joke.

What is hobo short for?

Bill Bryson suggests in Made in America (1998) that it could either come from the railroad greeting, “Ho, beau!” or a syllabic abbreviation of “homeward bound”. It could also come from the words “homeless boy” or “homeless Bohemian”.

Who are some famous people who rode the rails?

The list of people who rode the rails includes many later became famous – Novelist Louis L’Amour; TV host Art Linkletter; Oil billionaire H. L. Hunt; Journalist Eric Sevareid; Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas; All, at one time, had been hoboes, looking for work. Riding the rails was dangerous.

What was the story of riding the rails?

Riding the Rails draws primarily on letters and oral histories of 3,000 men and women who hopped freight trains, their incredible journeys an unforgettable and moving story. Riding the rails was a rite of passage for a generation of young Americans which profoundly shaped their lives.

When did the boxcar boys and girls ride the rails?

I first became interested in the boxcar boys and girls when I read Boy and Girl Tramps of America by Thomas Minehan, who rode the rails with the young nomads in summer 1932. I suggested to my son, Michael, a film maker, that the subject would make a powerful documentary.

Who are the movie makers of riding the rails?

The suggestion led to the award-winning PBS “American Experience” film, Riding the Rails, made by Michael and Lexy Lovell. In the book, I draw on 3,000 letters from boxcar boys and girls sent to the documentary makers. I had access to 40 hours of filmed interviews with 20 men and women chosen as potential candidates for the film.