Appalachia, Great Depression and New Deal

Course Dates: 
4 weeks: October 10, 17, 24, 31
Thursdays, 9-11 a.m.
Bob Rietz
Course Catalogs: 
2019 Fall

Appalachia is a diverse and complex region of America. We will seek to understand how Appalachia developed, the impact of the Great Depression on the region and how it affected individual Appalachian states. Without romanticizing the region, the Great Depression or the New Deal, we will explore how the First New Deal provided lifelines to the different sub-regions of Appalachia. We will utilize several short videos in each class session to show life as it was actually lived. We will also explore the enduring success stories from this era.

Course outline

Week 1

Week 3

Week 4

Instructor: Bob Rietz ( is a retired pension actuary, was Deloitte’s Chief Pension Actuary and held leadership positions in the actuarial profession. Two governors of Michigan appointed him to sit on the boards of state-wide governmental retirement systems. Bob graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics.