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Historical Era

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Recommended

Jobless Men Lined up for the First Time in California to File Claims for Unemployment Compensation

Jobless Men Lined up for the First Time in California to File Claims for Unemployment Compensation

ca. 1938
Records of the Social Security Administration

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Influence and Legacy

Dorothea Lange believed that her role as a photographer was to promote political and social change by documenting compelling scenes as in this signed, vintage print of jobless men lined up to claim unemployment benefits. Lange worked as a photographer for several government agencies, including the Resettlement Administration (the predecessor to the Farm Security Administration) and the War Relocation Authority. Her photographs of the rural poor and migrant workers during the Great Depression, notably her “Migrant Mother,” are iconic.

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