Great Depression & New Deal

  • Agricultural Marketing Act

    The bill established a Federal Farm Board to create cooperatives for purchasing and distributing surplus crops. It issued $500 million in loans to stablize prices, but it did not limit production or dictate prices
  • Black Tuesday

    For 2 years, the stock market had experienced record highs. After peaking in September, it suffered several sharp checks. On Oct 29, panicky investors dumped their stocks, wiping out the previous year's gains in one day. Confidence in the economy disappeared, and the slide continued for months
  • Hawley–Smoot Tariff Signed into Law

    The tariff raised import duties to their highest level in history, thus making people buy American made goods. But other countries retaliated and placed huge tariffs on American made goods.
  • Congress Established Reconstruction Finance Corporation

    This agency lent federal funds to banks, insurance companies and railroads so that their recovery could translate into jobs for ordinary Americans. Hoover still opposed direct aid to the general public, although he finally allowed the RFC to lend small amounts to state and local government for unemployment relief.
  • Bonus Army Removed

    Unemployed veterans of World War I gathered in Washington, demanding payment of service bonuses no due until 1945. Hoover refused to meet with them. About 10,000 veterans erected a shantytown at the edge of Washington. Hoover decided to evict them and called in troops. General Douglas MacArthur led cavalry, infantry and tanks against them Bonus Army, dispersing the veterans and their families and lighting fire to their camp.
  • Election of 1932

    Herbert Hoover loses to FDR.
  • FDR in Inaugurated

    When FDR took office, there were 13 million people out of work, which was 1/4 of the workforce. He immediately reassured the people with the famous line, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
  • National Bank Holiday Declared

    One day after coming to office, FDR proclaimed a national bank holiday, closing all remaining banks . This move began the First Hundred Days.
  • Emergency Banking Act Passed

    Government inspectors were to check each bank’s records and to reopen only those banks that were in strong financial condition. Within a few days, half the nation’s banks reopened. These banks held 90 percent of the country’s total deposits. This action did much to end the nation’s panic. On the Monday when banks reopened their doors, deposits outranked withdrawals for the first time in months
  • Civilian Conservation Corps Created

    FDR was really enthusiastic about this program. He believed that life in the countryside and service to the nation would have a positive moral impact on young men from the cities. Their jobs tended to focus and reforestation and conservation projects like planting trees, building roads and trails, repairing dams. It continued on into 1942 having employed over 3 million teenagers and young adults.
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration Created

    Placed under the leadership of Harry Hopkins, a former social worker. Hopkins allotted over three billion dollars in direct dole payments or wages for work to the States. Many FERA clients received only food or clothing or specific food orders instead of cash to spend as they desired. Over time, FERA funds increasingly went for work relief projects, which would hire the unemployed for such projects as constructing road.
  • National Recovery Administration (NRA) Created.

    The NRA sought to stop the slide in prices, wages and employment by suspending antitrust laws and authorizing industrial and trade association to self-regulate under codes of fair competition. The bill called for individual industries to write up codes of fair competition, decided maximum hours of labor per person, and introduced minimum wages in order to spread work among the greatest number of people. The code had the force of law.
  • Agricultural Adjustment Act

    It sought to raise farm prices by limiting production. The AAA gave farmers “benefit payments” if they agreed not to produce as much as they had before and plant grasses on land that would provide protection for topsoil. It imposed taxes upon the processors of agricultural commodities like meat packers and millers, which then paid the subsidies. The plan increased farm income, but critics argued that farmers should not cut food and cotton production at a time when people were without food.
  • Tennesse Valley Authority Created

    Coordinating activities across 7 states, the TVA built dams to control flood, ease navigation and generate hydroelectric power. It affected 40,000 square miles. The project brought low-cost electric power, along with employment, housing, restoration of eroded soil, and reforestation, to a desperately poverty-stricken area. Electricity not only made life more comfortable, but it also made it possible for industry to move into these areas.
  • Securities Act Passed

    Also called the Truth-in-Securities Act, this law required all companies issuing new stocks to give investors full and accurate financial information.
  • Public Works Administration Created

    PWA was meant to increase employment and business activity by building roads, public buildings, and other works. The agency cooperated with state and local governments in the granting of contracts to private firms. Between 1933 and 1939, the PWA spent about $5 billion on about 35,000 construction projects while employing about half a million people.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Created

    Government agency designed to protect bank deposits in the event of a bank failure by insuring deposits up to a specified amount, which has increased over the succeeding decades. At that time, account were insured for up to $2,500; today it's insured up to $250,000
  • Home Owners Loan Corporation Created

    An agency created to provide more than $2 billion for people to refinance their mortgages for those threatened with foreclosures. It was around until 1936 and it helped about 1 million homeowners keep their houses.
  • Civil Works Administration Created

    Temporary jobs program that employed about 4 million people. During the winter of 1933-1934, the CWA built or renovated over half a million miles of roads and tens of thousands of schools and other public buildings. The CWA was eliminated in the spring of 1934.
  • First Dust Storm Reported

    Between 1930 and 1936, the Great Plains, Southwest and South suffered terrible drought. Decades of wasteful farming practices caused the earth dried up and blew away. Huge dust storms carried topsoil hundreds of miles through the air. It affected about 50 million acres creating a Dust Bowl. Many farm families left the land for California searching for work.
  • Huey Long Created Share Our Wealth Society

    As governor of Lousiana, Huey Long ushered in educational reforms and extensive public works program. As Senator, he proposed a more comprehensive social-welfare policies, such as guaranteeing all families an annual income of $2,000-$3,000 and make sure that everyone's home is worth at least $5,000. These incomes would be paid for by heavy estate and income taxes that would prevent any family from enjoying an annual income of more than $1 million.
  • Congress Passed the Securities and Exchange Act

    This law regulated the markets that sold stocks, prohibiting inside trading and other forms of manipulation. It gave the Federal Reserve Board the power to control how much credit was available. It created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which consisted of five members appointed by the president and approved by the Senate, was authorized to license stock exchanges and regulate securities trading.
  • Charles Coughlin Formed the National Union for Social Justice

    Roman Catholic priest from the Detroit area. He had a radio show which at its height had over 30 million listeners. Initially he was very supportive of FDR, but late in 1934, he began denouncing the New Deal calling it the Pagan Deal He felt that the New Deal didn't go far enough, and blamed that on Communists and Jews. His solution was to nationalize the banking system and inflate the currency. He created this organization to put pressure on Congress.
  • Works Progress Administration Founded

    This set up work relief programs to assist the unemployed and boost the economy. Before its end in 1943, the WPA gave jobs to 9 million people and spent nearly $12 billion. Three-fourths of the expenditures went on construction projects that could employ manual labor: 125,000 schools, post offices and hospitals; nearly 100,000 bridges were built. Enough roads and sewer systems were built to circle the early 30 times. The WPA laid much of the infrastructure on which the US still relies.
  • Rural Electrification Association

    It made insured loans and loan guarantees to rural electric and telephone cooperatives and companies in 47 states and many U.S. territories. The loans financed the construction, operation, and improvement of electric and telephone service.
  • Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States

    Nicknamed the "sick chicken case", the Supreme Court declared the U.S. National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional. The case arose from alleged violations by a small NY poultry company of the city's code for fair competition for the live poultry industry; the code, established under the NIRA, regulated hours, wages, and local sales practices
  • National Youth Administration Created

    gave part-time jobs to students, enabling 2 million high school and college students to stay in school, learn new skills and do productive work. At the University of Nevada, NYA students built an observatory. At Duke University, a law student by the name of Richard Nixon earned 35 cents an hour doing library research. Lyndon Johnson, a Texas NYA official, praised the program saying that even if FDR did nothing else, this program saved a generation
  • Wagner Act

    Wagner National Labor Relations Act guaranteed workers the right to organize unions and prohibited employers from adopting unfair labor practices, such as firing union activists and forming company unions. It also set up the National Labor Relations Board to enforce these provisions, protect workers from coercion, and supervise union elections.
  • Social Security Act Passed

    Established a system of old age, unemployment, and survivors insurance funded by wage and payroll taxes. It established matching grants to states that set up their own systems of workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and aid to families with dependent children. The federal government guaranteed pensions to millions of elderly Americans.
  • United States vs. Butler

    Supreme Court decided that the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress possessed no authority to tax for the benefit of a particular segment of society and that agriculture was within the jurisdiction of state governments.
  • Roosevelt Introduces Procedures Reform Bill or "Court-Packing Plan"

    After FDR's landslide election in 1936, he decided to restructure the federal judiciary. He proposed that he President be able to appoint a new Supreme Court justice who each one who is over the age of 70. His goal was to appoint new justices more sympathetic to the New Deal. Many in Congress attacked this as a plan to subvert the separation of powers among the 3 branches of government.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act Passed

    This law required the payment of overtime after 40 hours of work in a week, established a minimum wage and eliminated child labor.