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1930's Farmer's Wife: Caroline

The Caroline block can be found on page 60 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 179 for template instructions.)

The Caroline block can be found on page 60 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 179 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by What-Is-Man in Montana can be found on page 12.

July 1933

A governmental decree made it illegal for a parent to name their Hitler, or any variant of Hitler. This decree came at an interesting time, just days before an Austrian newspaper printed a three page story claiming proof that Hitler had Jewish heritage on his mother’s side, and still had Jewish family members in the city of Polna. Other rumors have been added to the mystery surrounding Hitler’s family origins, including a debate on whether he is the product of an incestuous relationship between his mother and her uncle, which some scholars believe to be substantive. Either way, it is interesting to note that Alexander Basch, the Polna city registrar had died around the time of the newspaper’s publication. Hitler also ordered the destruction of all official documentation regarding his heritage, so it is very unlikely that historians will ever have any solid evidence to validate or refute these rumors.

The United States was experiencing it’s own bit of rumor as a bizarre event was unfolding, known as the Business Plot. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, at the time the highest ranked and most decorated Marine, claims to have been approached by a number of wealthy business men with the intention of creating a fascist veteran’s organization that would launch a coup against the United States government and overthrow President Roosevelt.

At the time, the Business Plot was dismissed as a hoax, but historians now agree that something was afoot even if a coup never actually materialized. It’s believed that Roosevelt’s decision to end the gold standard, the Securities Act of 1933, and the promise of government subsidized jobs were the main motivating factors for the alleged coup. Those reconstructions of the US economy lead to inflation and the undermining of personal and corporate wealth (the value of the dollar dropped 30% practically overnight), and were seen as socialist expansion of government control over private business. In 1934 it was decided that a Congressional investigation was necessary, although the investigation found there was no evidence to substantiate the claims make by Butler.

 But what I find interesting is that as events were taking place world wide that set the groundwork for some of the most life altering, atrocious events in history, everyday Americans were focused on living and life. The early thirties were the height of the Great Depression and Americans like What-Is-Man were counting their blessings. All things necessary for the sun to rise, or snowflakes to fall, or bodies to form and function are amazing if you just take the time to think about them.


The Block

 While writing this blog post I couldn’t find any pictures or notes I usually take while making each of the Farmer’s Wife blocks. So that means there’s no paper template or pre-cut sizes for you today. I would suggest, as always, to color your paper template so that it’s easier for you to keep fabrics in order. There are lots of pieces that are the same shape and size and it’s better to be prepared than it is to rip seams!


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita