Dear Author Writing About Captain America (MCU),
When you’re going to be using references to his past, to the time in which he grew up and lived in, the experiences he might of had as a young boy, and/or the ones he would of had after he was infused with the super solider serum please keep in mind that it was the 20s-40s.
Things that happened in the 20s-40s: (Keep in mind that Steve was born in 1917, the same year the US entered into WW1 and he lost his father sometime before he turned 2.)
- Commercial radio like NBC (26) and CBS (27) owned and operated radio broadcast entertainment programs that were being funded by outside companies for advertising spots; this broadcast is brought to you by (your ad here + jingle often sung live right there in the studio) KDKA began it all with the presidential election results: 1920.
- In 1917 there was a law that went into effect that made immigration a little harder (mandatory reading comprehension and new taxes chief among the written letter of) which paved the way for the Immigration Act of 1924; this limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the US. (Ask about the Asian population of the US. Go on. Educate yourself.)
- Immigration was NOT an easy process for those trying to come into America even if getting steerage tickets were (usually those that were already in America would get a ticket and send it ‘home’); obtaining a passport, which was NEEDED, often kept entire families stuck in their home country for awhile. (Look into passports and the immigration policies of the time. Oh, and looking into the joys of overcrowding, disease, and the medical exams/questions.)
- Most of the immigrants already in America during the 20s were not just Irishmen and women. Germans, Asians (which were very few comparatively, thanks to laws and general backward, prejudiced thinking of the American forefathers), Italians, Englishmen, French, and Polish. There were a smattering of other peoples that fled to America for a variety of reasons but people get caught up with the famine (which happened in 1845, dear Lord crack a History book please!) in Ireland or the citizens of Germany (not all of whom were, in fact, German) fleeing from their government and the war.
- 1929 the stock market crashed and collapsed a good portion of the national economy that didn’t start to show signs of recovery until early 30s and lasted well into the 40s. This is called THE GREAT DEPRESSION.
- The First and Second New Deal. Look this shit up, please.
- Movies in the 20s
- The Hepburn Steve would possibly know is Katherine and not Audrey since Audrey didn’t start getting big until the 50s. And no, Katherine and Audrey are not related.
- Prohibition ended in 1933.
- Movies in the 30s
- The Empire State Building was opened in 1931 and was used, mainly for business offices with a sideline into tourism. (please note that only a few suicides actually occurred there in Steve’s (then) lifetime. And the plane crash happened in 1945 and well after Steve was ‘lost’.)
- Neutrality Acts (Again, please open a history book or use Google.)
- Cash and Carry Policy in 1939
- The World’s Fair 1939 (Some argue that the world’s fair was replaced with the Stark Expo in the timeline so or ran concurrent so, whatever. To each their own.)
- World War II starts in 1939 and in 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US enters the war effort. A side-effect: The Great Depression is ended completely with the industrial boom the war effort brought.
- Steve goes down thereabouts in 1942. (FULL STOP)
What else you should keep in mind in regards to Steve himself:
- He was raised by his mother, who was a nurse, and never knew his father.
- Growing up he and his mother were very poor and probably lived in a boarding house with dozens of other people in those early years which turned into apartment living with just as many people in the building. (Overcrowded apartments was a thing since sometimes whole families lived in a one or two bedroom place.)
- He was a very sickly child and medication was not only not widely available but expensive so home remedies (alternative medicines) were most likely often employed to help ease his suffering and get him back on the path of recovery. More than likely some of these ‘remedies’ did lasting damage to his organs, most notably his lungs and kidneys.
- His mother was a nurse, as stated earlier, and nursing practices were not as safe as they are today. Gloves and masks weren’t widely used in general cases and sometimes weren’t even thought about until a patient showed outward signs of disease or obvious sickness. This is most likely how she contracted Tuberculosis which later died from.
- This means Steve had household contact with tuberculosis and most likely contracted it himself but didn’t develop the disease; if he hadn’t of had the serum there is a chance he would have developed the disease later in life.
- He lost his mother young and as an orphan was sent to an orphanage which was most likely overcrowded, underfunded, and didn’t have set policies about ‘violent children’ beyond sending the absolute worst cases to institutions for treatment (which did a hell of a lot more harm than good)..
- He and Bucky formed a friendship during his young years that lasted [until Bucky was lost during the war (i.e. fell from the HYDRA train). Even then Steve still considers Bucky to be his best friend despite the man being (dead)] well into their twenties. (Steve would have been 24 in 1941, 25 when he was lost.)
- New technology might have been strange while Steve was growing up but it was the innovation was wonderful and spread across the country like every new and wonderful thing usually did. Washing machines were around, y’all, and were complicated pieces of equipment despite their ‘ease of use’. Not to mention cars, phones, and televisions. (None of which I personally think Steve had ready access to as a child or used very often. The radio and cinema were probably Steve’s main and often only access to entertainment outside of bars/dances.) [Side note: New technology wouldn’t scare him or confuse him for very long. He was injected with a ‘miracle’ serum and enclosed in a coffin of metal, then subjected to ‘vita rays’ to become the perfect soldier. He fought agents of HYDRA that wielded ADVANCED/ALIEN weaponry that disintegrated people. He flew planes, used advanced weapons, drove advanced tanks/automobiles. The man might be momentarily confused about modern technology but he picks things up QUICKLY and was even using a touch screen sheet of GLASS to read files on other Avengers Initiate candidates on his way up to the Helicarrier. He is not stupid.]
- Growing up he learned to scrap but had zero formal combat training nor did he get much of it during his enlistment; he was trained right alongside the rest of the ‘serum’ candidates but with his sickly nature, small stature, and general brittleness I doubt he got the full impact training. That being said, the man learned everything ‘on the fly’ which included flying driving tanks/cars/boats, advanced hand to hand combat, and how to handle not only regular weapons (i.e. guns, bombs, grenades, etc) but also his SHIELD. (Throwing that disc around and having it come back? Takes practice. And there wasn’t a whole lot of time to learn that little skill, yo.)
By all means, PLEASE, keep writing stories about Steve/that include Steve in them. I want to read them! But, I beg, do your research. Look things up and get your facts straight.
And, dear GOD, do not write about the idealized fifties when you really need to be writing the hard truth and grittiness of the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Thank you and (bless) happy, more accurate, writing!
This is a good post in substance, and now I am going to be overly pedantic about dates, because this post has them wrong and that makes me a little itchy.
According to the movie, Steve was born in 1918 (if he’s not lying about his birthdate in addition to being from Paramus, it’s listed as July 4, 1918 onscreen) and he gets the super soldier serum on June 22, 1943 (the newspaper Sen. Brandt holds up the next day is dated June 23, 1943).
According to the MCU timeline in the Avengers art book (see here, and a text version here [grey canon but sensible, so I choose to accept it]), Steve’s plane goes into the ice in 1945 (sometime before May 8), very shortly after Bucky falls and Zola is captured. /pedantry