Segments in this Video

"Recent Social Trends" (02:24)


William Ogburn tried to separate social science from politics and ideology in his report; scientific racism influenced the dialogue. By 1930, the number of employed married women was 12% and the divorce rate was 8%.

Dust Bowl Migration (05:11)

Approximately 375,000 people headed West in the 1930s; most had no association with the Dust Bowl region. Travel was not a hardship for most migrants and two thirds went to cities.

Great Depression (05:22)

Net migration to the U.S. in the 1930s was negative and the unemployment rate averaged 18%. The Depression affected every sector of the economy and over half of all Americans lived in poverty. President Roosevelt's New Deal introduced major federal programs.

Public Opinion Polls (03:09)

"America Speaks!" appeared in newspapers across the country. The Gallup poll covered a wide range of issues including the New Deal.

George Gallup (06:33)

Gallup legitimized the public opinion poll. He predicted the 1936 presidential election using quota sampling. Gallup believed polls were vital to democracy.

World War II (04:52)

America was emerging from the Depression at the start of the 1940s. The war was an engine of social and economic change; eight million people moved to the west coast.

Social Change (07:00)

Labor demand during WWII broke social barriers. President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 and by the end of the war, African Americans held eight percent of defense industry jobs. The war created opportunities for women.

Post-War Era (04:50)

After WWII, the U.S. was the only remaining first class economy. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill in March 1944. Veterans married and started families, creating a baby boom.

Housing Developments (05:54)

By 1947, families struggled to find accommodations. The G.I. Bill helped spark a housing boom. Suburbanites faced criticism in the years following WWII.

American Sexuality (04:57)

Discussion and display of sex was limited until Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote two books. He found a wide discrepancy in what people thought was normal and what occurred, and faced criticism.

Dr. Alfred Kinsey (05:29)

Kinsey was born in 1894 to a strict religious family. He was married to Clara until his death but had homosexual and sadomasochistic experiences. Kinsey did not knowingly alter study information, but there were problems with statistical procedures.

Human Sexuality (03:21)

An American Statistical Association panel found Kinsey's data favorable. A later analysis cited over-stated statistics on homosexuality; his work became a piece of social reform.

Credits: The First Measured Century: 1930-1960 (02:09)

Credits: The First Measured Century: 1930-1960

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The First Measured Century: 1930-1960

Part of the Series : The First Measured Century – The Other Way of Looking at American History
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The three-hour PBS program The First Measured Century, tells the story of America by the numbers through the eyes of those who did the measuring and the interpreting, often in highly controversial and unusual circumstances. Part Two includes: The Great Depression, The Gallup Poll, World War II, Suburban Nation, and Sexual Behavior.

Length: 65 minutes

Item#: FPT169065

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

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