World War I was the first “modern” war on earth. It was likewise the most destructive war in history at that time. For survivors of the war, many fought with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
For the Hungarian city of Budapest, the issue wasn”t only among soldiers returning home; the whole city coped with melancholy. Based on newspaper reports, 1930s Budapest suffered from an outbreak of suicides. It was so awful that residents began calling their city “The City Of Suicides.”
Drowning was the preferable approach to suicide at that time. Patrol boats were stationed close to the city”s bridges in an attempt to save as many individuals as they could. Some considered the tide of suicides was due to a favorite Hungarian tune from 1933, “Gloomy Sunday.”
While this fact is terrible, the city authorities”s answer to the disaster is simply weird. They created a “Smile Club.”
The concept behind the “Smile Club” was to enhance the setting of town by teaching individuals to smile more. Their self-stated aim was to turn Budapest from “The City Of Suicide” into “The City Of Smiles.”
A school started where citizens were instructed the best way to grin.
The school educated the Loretta Young grin, the Mona Lisa smile, the Clark Gable grin, the Dick Powell grin, as well as the Roosevelt grin with guaranteed results. Rates were based how much time it took someone to learn their grin that is favorite.
They even used a particular type of face cassette to educate individuals the “appropriate smiling techniques.”
This resembles a scene from an episode of The Twilight Zone.
While this notion does appear weird (and it’s), the city claimed some success from their Smile Club. They said the grins, as well as an improved business climate in town reduced the amount of suicides. Still, I don”t believe walking down the road and seeing individuals with their faces taped into grins would make me less depressed.