[Historian]
Kelly Siedhof
Block 2

The Great Depression was an economic slump in North America, Europe and other industrialized areas
of the world. It lasted from 1929 to 1939 and was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced
by the Industrialized Western World.
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From 1920 to 1921, the economic expansion from the war deflates, creating an economic recession.

From 1923 to 1924, another expansion peaks and recession hits the country. It ends in July of 1924. The
stock market begins to rise in 1924, although it has nothing to do with the rest of the economy.

In October of 1926, recession begins and continues until November of 1927.

In 1928, the stock markets rise artificially because market spectators push stock prices higher than they are
actually worth. Also, Herbert Hoover is elected president.

In 1929, the Great Depression officially starts. Over half of all Americans are living below the minimum
level of subsistence. The Agricultural Marketing Act is passed on June 15th to help farmers. Public
consumption of goods drops. Car sales slow by a third in the first nine months of the year. Construction has
dropped by $2 billion since 1926.The Stock Market crashes. Many people lose everything they have. This is
the worst historical event in the Great Depression.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff is passed in 1930. The first bank panic occurs, causing many bankruptcies. The
unemployment rate climbs from 3.2 to 8.7%. By the end of the year, 1,350 banks have closed.

In 1931, food riots begin occurring and grocery stores are looted. The second bank panic occurs. The
unemployment rate rises another 15.9%. The Bank of the United States in New York collapses in
December. 2,293 banks have closed during the year.
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Over 3/4 of a million people were on relief in New York City in 1932, with another 160,000 on a waiting list.
1,493 banks close. The unemployment rate rises another 23.6%. FDR is elected president.
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In 1933, FDR tries to create a plan for the failing banks. Congress then passes the Emergency Banking Act,
which called for a four day shut down of all banks so they could be inspected before opening again. 4,000
banks close anyway. Many acts and agency's are created to try to help the economy.

In 1934, the economy starts to turn. The GNP rises 7.7% and the unemployment rate falls to 21.7%

In 1935 the unemployment rate falls to 20.1%.

In 1936 the unemployment rate falls to 16.9%
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In 1937 FDR aimed for a balanced budget and cut spending for 1937, plunging the nation into a recession.
Unemployment continued to fall to 14.3%.
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In 1938 FDR lost some of his influence and the recession continues. FDR petitions congress to approve
$3.75 billion in federal spending to boost the economy. The unemployment rate rises to 19.0%.
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In 1939 the United States built its armed forces, the country began to recover from the Depression due to
borrowing and spending $1 billion. Manufacturing increases 50% between 1939 and 1941.
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Life in the Great Depression was hard economically, mentally and emotionally. People were constantly
evicted from their homes and thrown out on the streets. Families with little children were forced to live in
boxes and shanty's. People had to beg for food; some even tried to sell apples on the streets.
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Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929 when the New York Stock Exchange crashed. Stock prices were much
higher than they were actually worth and they fell sharply. Black Tuesday marked the beginning of the Great Depression, a period of economic hardship in the United States, lasting for ten years.
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The Dust Bowl years were the hard times when people lived in the drought-stricken region during the Great Depression. This time was also known as the "Dirty Thirties." The decade was full of extreme blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts and dirt storms. Severe drought hit the Midwestern region. Crops died and the land dried up and cracked, making them unable to be farmed.
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Black Sunday was the last major dust storm of the year of 1935. The swirling sand was so thick no light of any kind could penetrate it. People had to stop whatever they were doing and immediately run for the nearest building. The shelter of a car wasn't even decent.
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Woman's lives were very hard. They couldn't find jobs very easily at all. It was the woman's job to keep the family together while the men supported them financially. Few women worked as teachers and even then, they were paid next to nothing. Most other women were looked down upon because they were seen as taking the men's jobs away.