"It's worthwhile to get something from your holiddy" VACATIONING DURING the DEPRESSION
The depression would seem an inhospitable climate for vacations. The economy was in a shambles. Millions of Americans were out of work. Many of those lucky enough to keep their jobs saw significant reductions in their hours. From an average fifty-hour work week in 1929, the number dropped to below thirty-five by 1935 as the depression created a crisis of unemployment, overproduction, and underconsumption. 1 People worried not about taking more time off from work, but about finding enough work to guarantee support for themselves and their families.
Given these conditions, a few voices argued for the suspension of anything as frivolous as vacationing. In August of 1931 the Literary Digest, for example, ran an article called "Should Ministers Have a Vacation?" Those who answered "no" pointed to the problems caused by the depression -- "lack of work, despondency, and all that goes with discouragement of this kind." During such times ministers needed to give their complete attention to parishioners: "Can one imagine Christ taking a vacation in the midst of such despondency and discouragement as we have now?" Others defended the traditional practice of granting ministers a two- to four-week vacation. Pointing to the wide range of important functions beyond "sermon-preach-