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New York City During The Great Depression part3

The first session of the Communist National Convention, at the Manhattan Opera House on June 24, 1936.

As the Great Depression put more and more people out of work and plunged them into poverty, communism became an increasingly attractive ideology.

Leading New York gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano in his 1931 mugshot following an arrest on charges of leading a prostitution ring.

After the Prohibition of the 1920s allowed organized crime to thrive behind illegal alcohol sales, gangsters entered the 1930s with a new level of wealth and power. It was during this time that Luciano and several other key crime figures, including Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, helped establish the Five Families and bring the New York mafia into its modern form.

Angry crowds gather outside lower Manhattan's Bank of United States following its devastating collapse, 1931.

A woman on strike stands on Manhattan's 7th Avenue, 1936.

Weighing the catch at the Fulton Market in lower Manhattan, 1934.

Pushcart market in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, 1939.

Inside McSorley's Old Ale House -- which opened its doors in the mid-19th century and remains one of New York's oldest operating pubs today -- in the East Village, 1937.

A family gathers on their stoop on Jay Street in Brooklyn, 1936.

Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx, an area popular with federal subsistence homesteaders coming in from New Jersey, 1936.

Young men gather in front of re-election signs for President Franklin D. Roosevelt -- whose federal relief programs helped the city through the Great Depression to a great extent -- in Midtown Manhattan, 1936

Elected in 1933, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia helped New York weather the Great Depression as best it could. The city's first ever mayor of either southern or eastern European descent, he unified the city's poor immigrant populations (most of which came from that region). Given his close association with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he also enacted scores of social and economic relief programs.

Pictured: LaGuardia giving a radio broadcast, 1940.

Ultimately, the Great Depression exposed just how bad poverty in much of the city had already been for decades. In response, LaGuardia's initiatives saw thousands of slums and tenements fixed, torn down, or rebuilt, making way for a newer, better New York that would see extraordinary economic growth in the coming decades.

Pictured: Lower Manhattan, circa 1931.

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