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The Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression

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    World War I

    World War I begins in Europe, leading to sharp declines in world stock prices. The N.Y.S.E. and exchanges throughout the world temporarily suspend trading in order to stop prices from dropping further. Ultimately, the United States emerges from World War I as a creditor nation and a rising global force
  • US Enters WWI

    Following a series of German provocations, President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress for a formal declaration of war. The U.S. enters World War I.
  • Beginning of "Roaring '20s"

    Beginning of "Roaring '20s"
    In the 1920s, there was a rapid growth in bank credit and loans. Encouraged by the strength of the economy people felt the stock market was a one way bet. Some consumers borrowed to buy shares. Firms took out more loans for expansion. Because people became highly indebted, it meant they became more susceptible to a change in confidence. When that change of confidence came in 1929, those who had borrowed were particularly exposed and joined the rush to sell shares and try and redeem their debts.
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    Bull Market State of the US Economy

    Continually grew from 1923-1929. A period of rising stock prices.
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    Herbert Hoover's Presidency

  • Mini-Crash

    A mini-crash begins as investors start to sell, revealing the market’s shaky foundations. For the many people playing the market with borrowed money, the day is a disaster, as margin calls wipe out their holdings. While the investors seek to borrow more money, interest rates soar to 20 percent. The New York Daily News calls it a “selling avalanche."
  • The Market Reaches its Peak

    After a surge of optimism, the bull market reaches its peak — the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 381.17. A newspaper headline trumpets, “Public Demand for Stock Appears Insatiable.”
  • Stock Market Activity Hits All-Time High

    Stock Market Activity Hits All-Time High
    Banks were heavily invested in stocks, and individual investors borrowed on margin to invest in stocks, due to a staggering increase in economic activity.
  • Black Thursday: "The Stock Market Crash of 1929"

    Black Thursday: "The Stock Market Crash of 1929"
    The stock market crash did not happen over night. In fact, it happened over a five day period. The first sign of trouble in the Stock Market occured on this day. Typically at this time period the stock exchange traded 4 million shares each day, but on this day, a record bracking 12.9 million shares were sold/exchanged. The systems could not handle the trading volume, which led to panic selling. At one point, the ticker was 90 minutes behind. By the end of the day, the market fell 33 points (9%)
  • Black Monday

    The market seemed to bounce back on Friday (Oct. 25). This led to a false sence of security. On this day, trading volumes were about 9.25 million shares. By the end of the day, the market was down another 13%.
  • Black Tuesday Stock Market Crash

    Black Tuesday Stock Market Crash
    On Black Tuesday a new record 16.4 million shares were exchanged. The ticker tape was now 3 hours behind. All hope of a market recovery was lost, which led to a panic. Stock prices led to losses estimated at $50 billion This day the DOW average dropped by 11.5%. ( 39.6% fall from Sep.4) ("Black Tuesday")
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    Dust Bowl

    The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains region devastated by drought in 1930s depression-ridden America. The 150,000-square-mile area, encompassing the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and neighboring sections of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, has little rainfall, light soil, and high winds, a potentially destructive combination.
  • Riots begin

    Riots begin
    Food riots broke out, workers marched in protest and "foreign workers” were deported so Americans could have their jobs.
  • Dow Jones Reaches a Low

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest point of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22, down 89 percent from its peak in 1929.
  • Reconstuction Finance Corportation (RFC) created

    Reconstuction Finance Corportation (RFC) created
    Congress established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to lend $2 billion to banks, insurance companies, building and loan associations, and farming organizations.
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    Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Presidency

  • Fireside Chat

    Fireside Chat
    President Roosevelt delivers his first radio "fireside chat," explaining to America what has happened in the U.S. banking system
  • CCC - Civilian Conservation Corps

    The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat unemployment. This work relief program had the desired effect and provided jobs for many Americans during the Great Depression. The CCC was responsible for building many public works and created structures and trails in parks across the nation.
  • TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority

    The Tennessee Valley Authority was established in 1933 to develop the economy in the Tennessee Valley region which had been hit extremely hard by the Great Depression. The TVA was and is a federally owned corporation that works in this region to this day. It is the largest public provider of electricity in the United States.
  • HOLC - Home Owners' Loan Corporation

    The Home Owner's Loan Corporation was created in 1933 to assist in the refinancing of homes. The housing crisis created a great many foreclosures, and Franklin Roosevelt hoped this new agency would stem the tide. In fact, between 1933 and 1935 one million people received long term loans through the agency that saved their homes from foreclosure.
  • NRA - National Recovery Act

    The National Recovery Act was designed to bring the interests of working class Americans and business together. Through hearings and government intervention the hope was to balance the needs of all involved in the economy. However, the NRA was declared unconstitutional in the landmark Supreme Court case Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US. The Supreme Court ruled that the NRA violated the separation of powers.
  • PWA - Public Works Administration

    The Public Works Administration was a program created to provide economic stimulus and jobs during the Great Depression. The PWA was designed to create public works and continued until the US ramped up wartime production for World War II. It ended in 1941.
  • CWA - Civil Works Administration

    The Civil Works Administration was created in 1933 to create jobs for the unemployed. Its focus on high paying jobs in the construction arena resulted in a much greater expense to the federal government than originally anticipated. The CWA ended in 1934 in large part due to opposition to its cost.
  • FHA - Federal Housing Administration

    The Federal Housing Administration was a government agency created to combat the housing crisis of the Great Depression. The large number of unemployed workers combined with the banking crisis created a situation in which banks recalled loans. The FHA was designed to regulate mortgages and housing conditions.
  • WPA - Works Progress Administration

    The Works Progress Administration was created in 1935. As the largest New Deal Agency, the WPA impacted millions of Americans. It provided jobs across the nation. Because of it, numerous roads, buildings, and other projects were completed. It was renamed the Works Projects Administration in 1939. It officially ended in 1943.
  • SSA - Social Security Act

    The Social Security Act was designed to combat the widespread poverty among senior citizens. The government program provided income to retired wage earners. The program has become one of the most popular government programs and is funded by current wage earners and their employers. However, in recent years concerns have arisen about the viability of continuing to fund the program as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age.
  • FSA - Federal Security Agency

    The Federal Security Agency established in 1939 had the responsibility for several important government entities. Until it was abolished in 1953, it administered social security, federal education funding, and food and drug safety.
  • Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, ending the Depression

    Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, ending the Depression
    Japan's December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. will enter the war in the Pacific and in Europe. The war effort will jump-start U.S. industry and effectively end the Great Depression.