A mother in front of outdoor stove near Hammond, Louisiana strawberry center - Historical Exposition

A mother in front of outdoor stove near Hammond, Louisiana strawberry center

1939 in Louisiana: Life at the Strawberry Center

In 1939, Louisiana was a place of vibrant cultures and diverse communities, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the state. Amidst the challenges of the Great Depression, life went on, with families and communities finding ways to thrive. One poignant scene from this era captures a mother at the strawberry center near Hammond, Louisiana, standing resolute in front of an outdoor stove.

The Strawberry Fields of Hammond

Hammond, Louisiana, known as the “Strawberry Capital of the World,” was home to expansive strawberry fields. These fields provided not only economic sustenance for many families but also a sense of community and purpose. Strawberry farming was a labor-intensive industry, involving whole families in the planting, tending, and harvesting of the delicate berries.

A Mother’s Role

The image of a mother at the strawberry center is emblematic of the era. She stands by an outdoor stove, a crucial tool for preparing meals for her family and possibly for the workers who toiled in the fields. This scene underscores the multifaceted role of women during this time – caretakers, cooks, and essential contributors to the family’s economic well-being.

Outdoor stoves were common in rural Louisiana, providing a practical solution for cooking large quantities of food. These stoves were often used to prepare hearty meals that could sustain laborers through long days of work. The aroma of home-cooked food mingled with the scent of strawberries, creating a unique sensory backdrop to the rhythm of life in Hammond.

The Broader Context of 1939

The year 1939 was significant globally, marking the beginning of World War II. In the United States, the effects of the Great Depression were still being felt, though there were signs of economic recovery. In Louisiana, the agricultural sector remained a cornerstone of the economy, with strawberries being a major crop in the Tangipahoa Parish.

Families in Hammond, like many rural areas across the country, relied on each other and their communities to weather economic hardships. Barter systems were common, and community gatherings often revolved around food, whether it was a communal meal or a social event like a strawberry festival. These festivals celebrated the harvest and provided a brief respite from the daily grind.

Cultural and Social Life

Despite economic challenges, 1939 in Louisiana was a time of rich cultural expression. Music, particularly jazz and blues, was an integral part of life. In towns and cities, people gathered to listen to local musicians, dance, and enjoy the sense of community that music fostered.

For the children of Hammond, the strawberry fields were both a playground and a place of learning. They learned the values of hard work, family solidarity, and the importance of contributing to the community. Education, though not as accessible as it is today, was still a priority, with many parents striving to ensure their children had opportunities for a better future.


The image of a mother at the strawberry center near Hammond, Louisiana, in 1939, encapsulates the resilience and resourcefulness of families during a challenging period in American history. It is a snapshot of a community bound together by hard work, shared experiences, and the hope for a brighter future. Through the lens of this mother’s daily life, we gain a deeper appreciation for the enduring spirit of Louisiana’s people and the vital role of agriculture in sustaining their livelihoods.

Some of most important history events

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Turning Point in Modern History

In the annals of history, few events have had as profound and wide-reaching an impact as the fall of the Berlin Wall. This momentous event, which occurred on November 9, 1989, not only marked the reunification of Germany but also symbolized the end of the Cold War, reshaping the geopolitical landscape of the 20th century and heralding a new era of global relations.

The Construction of the Wall

To fully grasp the significance of the Berlin Wall's fall, one must understand its origins. In the aftermath of World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. Berlin, although situated within the Soviet sector, was similarly divided among the four powers. Tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies soon escalated into the Cold War, a period characterized by ideological conflict and political rivalry. On August 13, 1961, the East German government, backed by the Soviet Union, erected the Berlin Wall to prevent East Germans from fleeing to the West. The Wall, stretching approximately 155 kilometers (96 miles), became a stark symbol of the Iron Curtain that separated Eastern and Western Europe.

Life Divided by the Wall

For nearly three decades, the Berlin Wall stood as a physical and ideological barrier. Families were torn apart, and lives were drastically altered. The Wall was fortified with guard towers, barbed wire, and a "death strip" where escapees were often shot on sight. Despite the dangers, many East Germans attempted daring escapes, some successful, many tragically not. Life in East Berlin and East Germany under the communist regime was marked by limited freedoms, economic hardship, and pervasive surveillance by the Stasi, the secret police. Conversely, West Berlin thrived as a beacon of democracy and prosperity, starkly contrasting the grim realities of life on the other side of the Wall.

Winds of Change

By the late 1980s, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, began implementing policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), aiming to modernize the Soviet system and reduce Cold War tensions. These reforms had a ripple effect throughout the Eastern Bloc, inspiring movements for political change and greater freedom. In East Germany, growing public unrest and a wave of protests demanded democratic reforms and the right to travel freely. On November 9, 1989, faced with mounting pressure, the East German government announced that citizens could cross the border freely. Miscommunication and confusion led to thousands of East Berliners rushing to the Wall, where border guards, overwhelmed and unsure how to respond, ultimately opened the gates.

The Fall of the Wall

That night, jubilant crowds from both East and West Berlin gathered at the Wall, celebrating and tearing down sections of the barrier with hammers and chisels. The images of ecstatic Berliners dancing on the Wall and embracing one another were broadcast worldwide, becoming iconic symbols of freedom and unity. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the end for the Eastern Bloc. Within a year, Germany was officially reunified on October 3, 1990. The collapse of communist regimes across Eastern Europe soon followed, culminating in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

A New World Order

The fall of the Berlin Wall not only signaled the end of a divided Germany but also the conclusion of the Cold War. It paved the way for the expansion of the European Union and NATO, bringing former Eastern Bloc countries into the fold of democratic governance and market economies.

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