"There's nothing to fear but fear itself" was once stated boldly by a President faced with global upheaval and national economic depression. Programs were put in place that guaranteed a responsibility for the federal government as statistics indicated that our collective living conditions were abysmal. Surplus food and staples were made available at armories or other distribution points depending on the locality.
Soldiers returning from war had the G.I. Bill and other supports that enabled home ownership for many as America expanded and dominated the manufacturing world. Social Security and myriad other programs targeted the out of work American by creating projects that built parks and other infrastructure. As we entered our golden era of production, we made everything here: washing machines, air conditioning; the list would take pages.
Beneath the expanding nation were remnants of bondage which denied opportunity available to most Americans based on race. "Jim Crow" and "separate but equal" were calls of the day. Discrimination against blacks in voting rights, employment opportunities and the denial of basic Constitutional rights were sanctioned by state governments even as a prosperous nation moved forward.
African-Americans by the millions moved out of the segregated South in search of opportunity for a better life, not unlike those fleeing a terrorist regime. Laws were placed on the books that made many acceptable practices of the past illegal: voting rights laws were enforced, educational opportunities expanded for blacks and Affirmative Action throughout the military created diversity in workforce that became more representative of the nation we were.
Programs of the New Deal and the Great Society transformed a nation, made opportunity available to those who once were locked out. White women, the uneducated, and an assortment of "minorities" gained access. The uplifting of the American people was like a tide, and "a rising tide lifts all boats," as they say.