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The Great Depression

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FC: The Great Depression | Made by: Rachel Duryea rd144139 American History

1: It all started on Tuesday, October 24, 1929. This day, now called Black Tuesday, marked the beginning of the Great Depression. Why is this Tuesday so important? It all evolved around the stock markets. In the 1920’s, many people seeing how prosperous America was at the time, bought many things with money they did not have, producing what we call a credit. Not only were the people using it on “material things”, but there was a great surge to buy stocks, thinking that the economy was going to stay the same. This was not going to be. On Black Tuesday, many owners of the stocks saw rising interest rates, making them nervous. This lead many of them to sell their stocks. So many of them were sold that day, it literally crashed the market. Prices soared down, leaving many people without money. The brokers or owners of the market, called up their customers asking for the money that they had to pay back. Many people did not have this money. Due to this, many people had to sell their stocks at extremely low prices. By November, the price of stocks had been cut in half, and $30 billion dollars had been lost. This amount was exceeding what the US had spent during World War I. This was the main even that caused the Great Depression to begin.

2: A police officer guards the doors of a bank on Black Tuesday. | A picture of when the Stock Market crashed.

3: The Great Depression lasted from 1930-1939. Not until the US was involved in World War II, did America start getting out of the crisis that she was in.

4: Life in the Great Depression was hard for every class in the United States. Though some suffered more than others, everyone suffered the consequences of it. During this time, unemployment reached the high of 25%. This caused many people to lose their homes, belongings, etc.. Due to this, many families were homeless. This lead many of them to go and live in what were called,"Hoovervilles". These were little "towns" built of houses that were made of tents, cardboard, and other things that were thrown out.

5: Here is a eye witness account of what most Americans at the time were living through. "I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it." (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960).

6: The daily life of a person in the Great Depression varied. Many times, due to the unemployment, one would spend all day in a food line. Others would try to sell their belongings in order to buy the things that were needed. Though most families were homeless, the few that had homes, were suffering just the same. Many times they would sell all that they had just to be able to pay the bills that came to the house, such as heat, electricity, etc..

7: Pictures: Life in the Great Depression.

8: Many times, due to lack of work, people moved out west in search for something better. To their amazement, they found that the west was in no better shape than the east.

9: Top Left: Family living in a shanty in the city dump in Herrin,Illinois. | Middle Right: Woman pumping water to use for laundry in shanty town. Bottom Right: Two children who live in Hooverville.

10: The Great Depression ended in President FDR's term. FDR closed all the banks that were still in business, waiting until they were stable, and then reopened them. The next thing that FDR did was to make the New Deal. Top left picture: People wait outside for the reopening of a bank. Bottom right picture: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

11: The New Deal consisted of government funded programs that would help citizens of the United States. For example the AAA and the WPA, were made by FDR to help people become more financially stable. This not only helped the people in the cities, but also the farmers throughout the nation.

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  • Title: The Great Depression
  • American History rd144139
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  • Published: almost 8 years ago