What Did People Do for Fun in the 1930s?

The 1930s was an era of the Great Depression; however, people and families still devised ways to have fun and be entertained through radio, music, dancing, football and movies. Comedies became specifically popular films, as they provided an escape from the grim realities of the time and brought momentary happiness that was much needed.

Radio was a major part of entertainment for Americans during the 1930s. People listened to free shows, such as soap operas, swing music, sports news, radio theaters and general newscasts. Radio also broadcasted the “Grand Ole Opry” and popular shows for children, such as “Little Orphan Annie.”

Movies became increasingly popular as sound was introduced, giving people a complete visual and audio experience. Some of the most iconic films were made during this time by pioneer animators, such as Walt Disney. Animations like “Three Little Pigs” became cultural entertainment pieces that were watched by children and adults alike.

Swing music and bands headed by famous artists like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington also became major sources of amusement for people. Homemade entertainment allowed people to sing, dance on portable dance floors and enjoy artists who were willing to produce shows for free or for a very cheap price. In addition, Action Comics featuring Superman and rodeos held across the West and Great Plains were other sources of fun for the public.