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Improvising Their Fun: the Depression Era at Whitworth College
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Improvising Their Fun: the Depression Era at Whitworth College
Perhaps each of us remembers a time when our purses and pocketbooks looked a little leaner than normal. Any event that cost extra gas money or had an admission fee was quickly pruned from the schedule and was replaced with a card game or an out-of-doors activity. Similarly, during the post-"Black Tuesday" depression era, the students of Whitworth College were inventing ways to divert their minds from the worries of biology exams and Greek translations. It was during this time that the students became particularly creative in improvising their own social diversions. In fact, Alfred O. Gray, in his book detailing Whitworth’s history, states that clubs and other extra curricular activities saw a time of expansion during the 1930’s. While these clubs were a constructive excuse for social get-togethers in and of themselves, it was actually the activities that these groups sponsored that brought the most attention. New events such as the Green Derby were added to old activities like the annual Open Dorm as pupils sought to fill their time with good ol’-fashioned fun that did not exert any pressure on the billfold.

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