During the 1930s, millions of Americans lived awash in the misery of the Great Depression. Poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness broke the ties of some families, and nearly 250,000 teens left home during these desolate times. Braving danger and railroad bulls, many of these homeless teenagers crisscrossed the United States by illegally hopping freight trains. Visit this PBS site to learn the story of the teen hobos, from the reasons they left home to their experiences on the rails.
Destination Title: Riding the Rails
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Start at the Riding the Rails Web site.
- Click on the Special Features section and select the Tales from the Rails, Striking A Chord, and Added Obstacles topics. You may also select The Film and More to read an "Enhanced Transcript" of the film made about this subject.
- Browse through the site, taking notes as you go.
After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.