Jack Dempsey was a professional boxer in the 1920’s who was an icon in his era for his hard punches, good looks and popularity. He held the world heavyweight championship from 1919 to 1926. July, who mentions Jack Dempsey is 13 at the time of the play in 1933, so may well remember seeing or knowing of Jack Dempsey before she went into the orphanage.
John D Rockefella was a US business tycoon who made his money through oil and became the first Anericab to be worth one billion pounds in 1897. When he retired he used his wealth to form charities and trusts to support the weak and vulnerable.
Franklin D Rooservelt was Govenor of New York from 1929 to 1933 and then became President of the United States of America in 1933, holding the post until 1945. It may be the fact that he was New York Govenor that the New Yorkers in Hooverville mention him. However, he’s in the play because he became President in March 1933, 7 months before the play is set. He was known for his eternal optimism, a good match for Annie, and his New Deal plan not only got America out of depression but sowed the seeds for modern America today.
Herbert Hoover was President between 1929 and 1933, so taken over by Roosevelt. He was president when the Wall Street Crash kickstarted the Great Depression. His response was to initiate lots of state sponsored project like the building if The Hoover Dam. They cost more than first thought and helped America slip further into depression and many felt Hoover was to blame. The shanty towns build by the hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the Great Depression were named Hoovervilles, after Herbert Hoover.
Walter Winchell was an influential columnist in the 1920’s and 30’s. He was one of the first public spokesperson to voice criticism against Nazi America and supported Roosevelt and those, like Warbucks, who supported The New Deal.
Don Budge was a celebrated and succesful tennis player in the late 30’s early 40’s. He won several majors and grand slams, including Wimbledone twice. In 1933 he was a young exciting tennis player, which is why Annie might have heard of him and asks for him for tennis coaching.
Mahatma Gandhi was the leader of the group calling for Indian Nationalisation from the British Empire. Through non violent protest he led India to independence.
Harpo Marx was one of the Marc Brothers, a comedy act from Anerica that made numerous films and btv shows. Their slap stick style comedy inspired a generation of comedians.
Babe Ruth was one of the all time greats in American Baseball. He broke all records during his career from 1914 to 1935. In 1933 he played for the New York Yankees.
Bernard Burach was a financier and adviser to Roosevelt. He was much like Warbucks, a rich and influential man who liked philanthropy.
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. In 1928 he write one of his most famous works, An American in Paris, before returning to New York in the 1930’s as an A List socialite.
George Kaufman was a musical writer, director and actor who, in the 1930’s and with Moss Hart, wrote some of that eras most successful Broadway shows.
Ma Perkins, Fay Perkins, Carl Micheals and Dr Andrew are all characters from an American radio soap opera that spanned 27 years from 1933 to 1960 with a listenership of over half the population of America.
J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the FBI and its predecessor the Buraeu of investigation from 1924 to 1972.
Elliot Ness was a Prohibition Enforcement Officer during the time of prohibition in America. He was given direct orders from president Hoover to arrest the gangster Al Capone.
Al Capone was an American gangster in the 1920’s and 30’s. During prohibition he sold black market alcohol and rang a protection racket to those he supplied to. Eventually arrested by Elliot Ness he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
Harold Ickes was American Minister for Interior in Roosevelts cabinet in 1933.
Frances Perkins was American Minister for Labour in Rooservdlts cabinet in 1933.
Cordell Hull was American Secretary if State in Rooservelts cabinet in 1933.
Henry Morgenthau was American Secretary of the Treasury in Rooservelts cabinet in 1933.
Louis Howe was a political writer for The New York Times and advisor to President Roosevelt.
J.P. Morgon was an American financier. Who, along with his son as successor, financed numerous American companies and projects.
Madame Chiang Kai-shek, or Soong May-ling, married Chiang Kai-shek in 1920. They went on to become leader and first last of China over World War 2. But in the 1930’s they were still establishing themselves in world politics and stayed for much of the time in New York.
Hamlet is obviously the central character from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
F.W.Woolworth is the founder if the American chain of shops called Woolworths that made its name, and money, selling a wide range of cheap goods to everyone.
Orville Wright and his brother Wilber, better known as The Wright Brothers are accredited for inventing and flying the first plane.
James Farley, Homer Cummings, Daniel Rooer and Claude Swanson were also members if Roosevelts cabinet in 1933.