Tom Kelly. Photo by Gayle Krughoff

Capitol Hill in the Jazz Age and the Great Depression

April 13, 2004
On April 13 Hill native and longtime journalist Tom Kelly offered vivid memories of his childhood on Capitol Hill in the 1920s and 1930s, during the Jazz Age and the Great Depression.

His descriptions drew from the early chapters of his memoirs – a work in progress. Kelly grew up on the 400 block of Constitution Avenue N.E. (then known as B Street), where he and his wife Marguerite later raised their family.

Tom Kelly’s first newspaper job was as a copy boy at the Washington Post in 1939. After serving in the Navy during World War II, graduating from Penn State, and reporting for two papers in Louisiana, he covered the White House during the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations for the old Washington Daily News. He later served in the federal Office for Economic Opportunity and as Director of National Affairs for the newly formed VISTA program. From 1970 to 1986 he worked as a freelance writer, and then reported part-time for the Washington Times until 1993, when he retired at age 70.

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