Coit Tower mural. Circa 1934

This mural gives a flavor of just how unsettled things were in the US during the Depression. It’s part of a public mural completed in 1934 at city-owned Coit Tower in San Francisco. The newspaper says “Home Foreclosures. Banks refuse US home loan bonds. Oil magnates arrested.” The man in green is pulling a copy of Das Kapital by Karl Marx off the bookshelf.

My great-aunt once told me when she and her Army husband were returning from China in 1933 friends told them not to settle in San Francisco because they were afraid there would be a revolution there.

It is, I think, a tribute to the free and open spirit of San Francisco that this mural survived the McCarthy Era, the Cold War, and the neocons.

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