The many responses to Freedom magazine (published by the Church of Scientology) from local Clearwater residents show that our readers are interested in Clearwater and want to know more about it. Many residents expressed an interest in the colorful history of our city. Thus, Freedom magazine printed a multi-part series on the history of Clearwater, covering the discovery of what became known as Clear Water Harbor by early settlers through World War II. Because of the overwhelmingly popularity of that series, we are reprinting it in full on these web sites.
In spite of the economic adversity that gripped the nation in the 1930s, Clearwater continued to blossom.
Balmy skies and a temperate climate sustained the city as a destination for visitors the world over. A strong sense of community added to Clearwater’s drawing power in a time of growing international turmoil.
Reading the top stories from local newspapers of the era, one can see on a day-by-day basis how Europe’s troubles grew through 1935. Articles describe Hitler’s actions in Germany, Civil War in Spain and Stalin’s bloody purges in Russia. While Mussolini prepared to invade Ethiopia, China writhed in the throes of war between Nationalists and Communists.
President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was in full swing and, by 1935, the United States Congress had authorized creation of the Works Progress Administration, and passed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act.
The American economy continued on the road to recovery in 1935, with the Gross National Product growing 8.1 percent, while unemployment dropped to 20.1 percent.