A federal inspector commenting on youthful transients, ca. 1935

. . . [T]he worst thing is that the boys may turn into bums. This year, already, they are tougher than they were last year. If hard times last much longer and nothing is done for these boys, things will be pretty bad for them. They won't get an education. They'll form the habit of getting by without working. They'll get used to going for days without taking their clothes off, and they'll learn stealing and vice from the old bums that are always on the road. Take it from me, an awful lot of young people in America are growing up to be criminals.

Source: Kingsley Davis, Youth in the Depression, 6

Copyright Digital History 2021