In Chapter 12 of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch leaves for Birmingham, Alabama because the state legislature was called into emergency session. Scout says,
“The Governor was eager to scrape a few barnacles off the ship of state; there were sit-down strikes in Birmingham; bread lines in the cities grew longer, people in the country grew poorer. But these were events remote from the world of Jem and me.”
Scout's description portrays how the Great Depression negatively affected the citizens of Alabama. To “scrape a few barnacles off the ship of the state” refers to the legislature’s important process of making decisions, possibly cutting funding to programs, in order to maintain Alabama’s financial affairs. Since Atticus was Maycomb’s representative, he was forced to attend to the urgent session for two weeks. Shortly after he left for Birmingham, Calpurnia took Jem and Scout to church on Sunday.