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The Great Depression

  • The Crash

    The Crash
    On October 24, 1929 Wall Street's Stock Market, in New York, New York, "crashed" the prices of stocks fell overwhelmingly quick and caused the United States and many other countries to go into a Recession which then became a recession
  • Period: to

    The Great Depression

  • Hoover

    President Herbert Hoover says, "Any lack of confidence in the economic future or the basic strength of business in the United States is foolish."
  • March

    March 1930
    More than 3.2 million people are unemployed, up from 1.5 million before the October, 1929 crash. President Hoover remains optimistic, however, stating that "all the evidences indicate that the worst effects of the crash upon unemployment will have passed during the next 60 days."
  • Selling Apples

    Selling Apples
    The street corners of New York City are crowded with apple-sellers. Nearly 6,000 unemployed individuals work at selling apples for five cents apiece.
  • Congressman

    Texas congressman Wright Patman introduces legislation authorizing immediate payment of "bonus" funds to veterans of World War I. The "bonus bill" had been passed in 1924. It allots bonuses, in the form of "adjusted service certificates," equaling $1 a day for each day of service in the U.S., and $1.25 for each day overseas. President Hoover is against payment of these funds, saying it would cost the Treasury $4 billion.
  • Food Riots

    Food Riots
    "Food riots" begin to break out in parts of the U.S. In Minneapolis, several hundred men and women smash the windows of a grocery market and make off with fruit, canned goods, bacon, and ham. One of the store's owners pulls out a gun to stop the looters, but is leapt upon and has his arm broken. The "riot" is brought under control by 100 policemen. Seven people are arrested.
    Resentment of "foreign" workers increases along with unemployment rolls. In Los Angeles, California, Mexican Americans ar
  • Marching

    Three thousand unemployed workers march on the Ford Motor Company's plant in River Rouge, Michigan. Dearborn police and Ford's company guards attack the workers, killing four and injuring many more.
  • New York's Bank Failed

    New York's Bank Failed
    New York's Bank of the United States collapses. At the time of the collapse, the bank had over $200 million in deposits, making it the largest single bank failure in the nation's history.
  • Reconstruction

    Congress establishes the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The R.F.C. is allowed to lend $2 billion to banks, insurance companies, building and loan associations, agricultural credit organizations and railroads. Critics of the R.F.C. call it "the millionaires' dole.
  • Unemployment going up

    Unemployment going up
    More than 750,000 New Yorkers are reported to be dependent upon city relief, with an additional 160,000 on a waiting list. Expenditures average about $8.20 per month for each person on relief.
  • Veteran's

    More than 300 World War I veterans leave Portland, Oregon en route to Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to pass the Bonus Bill. It will take them 18 days to reach Washington, D.C
  • Storming the Capitol

    Storming the Capitol
    Determined to collect their "bonus" pay for service, 15,000 - 25,000 World War I veterans gather and begin setting up encampments near the White House and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. On June 15, the House passes Congressman Wright Patman's "bonus bill" by a vote of 209 to 176. The bill falls to defeat in the Senate, however, 62 to 18. The vets maintain their determination to stay camped out until they get their pay
  • Lending Money to Needy States

    Lending Money to Needy States
    The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is authorized to lend needy states sums from the National Treasury. The money is to target relief and public works projects.
    President Hoover signs a $100,000 transportation bill to assist "bonus Army" demonstrators in getting home. He sets a July 24 deadline for the men to abandon their encampments.
    On July 28, when some "bonus Army" members resist being moved from their camps, violence erupts, leading to the deaths of two veterans. Hoover orders Federal
  • F.D.R. WINS!

    F.D.R. WINS!
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president in a landslide over Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt receives 22.8 million popular votes to Hoover's 15.75 million.
  • Inauguration of F.D.R.

    Inauguration of F.D.R.
    Before a crowd of 100,000 at the Capitol Plaza in Washington, D.C., Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated. FDR tells the crowd, "The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it."
    FDR announces a four-day bank holiday to begin on Monday, March 6. During
  • Emergency Banking Act

    Emergency Banking Act
    President Roosevelt, under the Emergency Banking Act, orders the nation off of the gold standard.
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is established. Designed as a relief and employment program for young men between the ages of 17 and 27, the CCC is made up of groups of young men who work in national forests, parks, and federal land for nine-month stints. FDR envisions the program as a kind of volunteer "army." The first 250,000 young men are housed in 1,468 camps around the country. At its p
  • Appointing Harry

    Appointing Harry
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration is created by Congress. President Franklin Roosevelt appoints Harry L. Hopkins as its chief administrator. By the end of his first day on the job, Hopkins has issued grants totaling more than $5 million.
    The National Industrial Recovery Act is introduced into Congress. Under Title I of the act, the National Recovery Administration is designated to maintain some form of price and wage controls. Section 7(a) of the act guarantees labor the right to orga
  • Glass-Steagall Act

    Glass-Steagall Act
    Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act that separates commercial from investment banking and sets up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits
  • Soil Conservation

    Soil Conservation
    With an eye toward organizing farmers into soil conservation districts, the federal government establishes the Soil Erosion Service. The creation of this service was made necessary by the years of drought and dust that plagued the Southwestern Panhandle states
  • Federal Agricultural Program

    Federal Agricultural Program
    In an effort to stabilize prices, the Federal Agricultural Program orders the slaughter of more than 6 million pigs. Many citizens protest this action since most of the meat went to waste
  • Civil Works Administration

    Civil Works Administration
    The Civil Works Administration is established. Devised as a wide scale program that could employ up to 4 million people, the C.W.A. is involved in the building of bridges, schools, hospitals, airports, parks and playgrounds. Additionally, C.W.A. funds go toward the repair and construction of highways and roads. Early in 1934, Congress will authorize $950 million for the continued operation of the C.W.A
  • Three-Day Dust Storm

    Three-Day Dust Storm
    A three-day dust storm blows an estimated 350 million tons of soil off of the terrain of the West and Southwest and deposits it as far east as New York and Boston. Some east coast cities are forced to ignite street lamps during the day to see through the blowing dust
  • Union for Social Justice

    Union for Social Justice
    Father Charles E. Coughlin establishes the Union for Social Justice. Using the radio airwaves as his pulpit, Father Coughlin railes against "predatory capitalism." His criticism of the banking industry and disdain of communism soon dovetails into a troubling gospel of anti-Semitism.
  • The Ending

    The Ending
    The Great Depression ended at daybreak on the first day of September, 1939, the German army invaded Poland.