We know for sure the exact year of the novel when Atticus declares that it is "our year of grace, 1935..." during the trial of Tom Robinson. It is still at the height of the Great Depression (1929-1945). There are many references to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal administration (1933-1945). Scout reminds us that the county has been told that it has "nothing to fear but fear itself"--one of Roosevelt's most famous quotes--and that there was "nothing to buy and no money to buy it with." There is the mention of the National Recovery Act (1933-1935)--"killed by nine old men--and the Works Progress Administration (1935-1939), from which Bob Ewell is fired. Additionally, Jem has a picture of Dixie Howell, an All-American football player for the University of Alabama (1932-1934)
thanks for posting this! i was still a bit fuzzy on why "maycomb had nothing to fear but itself" in the early chapters.