Last week we continued a journey through a growth period of our great nation as it would have appeared during the lifetime of one individual.  We began the journey and are now at a growth point in the country where we began looking inward at our moral conscience.  Teddy Roosevelt had broken up the large monopolies that built the infrastructure of our nation; however, the breakup then allowed the entrepreneurial spirit of a new nation to continue the countries growth.

1917 was a world changing point in time for the United States.  America entered World War I. The United States enacted a law that became extremely controversial during the Viet Nam war fifty years later; the Selective Service Act was passed and men were drafted for war. That same year the Russian monarchy was overthrown and the USSR and communism was born. A year later it was determined that the sun was a part of the Milky Way galaxy.   Louisiana had a moral torchbearer in an unlikely source.  Huey Long was beginning his political run and focused on big oil.  He took on Standard Oil and chastised them for the way they neglected the small land owners and the state.  World War I ended in 1919 and a year later America’s conscience continued to question itself.  The Federal Government passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the sale and consumption of Alcohol.  That same year the 20th Amendment to the constitution was passed and for the first time in the history of our great nation, women were granted the right to vote. Fields was now 36 year old.

In 1921 Fields did not run for re-election to the Senate but did run for and was elected the District Attorney of Union Parish.  In 1924 the moral issues of a nation continued to surface.  The Democratic Convention pitted the Tammany Hall delegates against the KuKluxKlan at the Democratic convention and the Klan was narrowly kept from being written out of the Democratic Party.  Fields was there and one year later moral issues became an even more national issue as the world descended on small Dayton, Tennessee and the Scopes Monkey Trial.  The first live radio broadcast of a trial capture a worldwide audience as Clarence Darrow of the ACLU and William Jennings Bryant fought to determine if evolution could be taught in public school.  Fields was there also and watched his two friends launch a debate that lasted well into the 1960s; long after the trial was over.

In 1925 Fields became the head of the Louisiana Democratic party but it was apparent that the true power resided with a group of elites in New Orleans.  The following few years America continues a growth without major incident.  It was dubbed the roaring twenties as America was on a roll.  Easy money and easy credit was abundant.  Wall Street was making some people rich and other people richer.  Still, there were fighters for the small man that was being taken advantage of.  Fields joined the Huey and Earl Long law firm and they continued to take on the small clients while carving out a political career.  In 1928 Long was elected governor and Fields took Long’s place on the Louisiana Public Service Commission.  One year later the roaring twenties came to a screeching halt as the stock market crashed and America entered the Great Depression.  Once rich men on Wall Street leaped to their death from windows as they envisioned a life far from what they had grown use to. America had entered its darkest hour and what it needed was someone that could give it hope.

In 1933 Franklin Roosevelt became president and immediately began his New Deal Policy.  America took the moral road and halted selling Indian land that had been granted to the Indians in numerous treaties.  That same year Roosevelt’s friend took office.  Huey Long was elected to the Senate and the friendship soon ended.  Long felt that Roosevelt was not moving fast enough to help the oppressed and he began his own movement that threatened Roosevelt’s future.  This threat ended in 1935 as Huey Hong was assassinated in the Louisiana Capitol Building.  Soup lines lined the streets of the major cities, farms and homes were being foreclosed on and there was gloom and doom for everyone.  One year following Longs death, Fields was selected to the be Federal Prosecutor for the Western Region of Louisiana.

A year before Long died, a former Austrian paper hanger that began a movement referred to in the press as “nothing to take serious.  Like a group of boy scout” was elected to head a country more depressed than America.  A man promising the return of his country to past greatness, Adolph Hitler, took office as the Chancellor of Germany.

Next week we will complete our journey of one life span.  Since the birth of Christ there have been approximately 40 generations and this equates to an average of 20 lifespans.  At no time in the history of the earth has so much happened to the world as the life span that we are currently viewing.


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