Great Depression

The Great Depression is an adage not before heard until Herbert Hoover began broadly applying it in public speeches. Prior economic slumps were known as panics. An example would be the financial collapse of 1819 known as (The Panic of 1819). The adage ” The Great Depression ” was further popularized by a book published in 1934 titled “The Great Depression” written by Lionel Robbins whom had also directed the London School of economics.

The Great Depression was an economic depression which took place worldwide during the decade before World War II started. This economic depression started at the end of the 1920’s and lasted for over a decade.

The Great Depression started in the United States where stock prices fell in September 1929. On October 29, 1929, the stock market crash took place and that day got the name of Black Tuesday. The depression spread all over the world after that.

Below are a some interesting facts about The Great Depression.

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The United States president in rule when The Great Depression started was Herbert Hoover, a Republican. In 1930 he declared that the economy would soon fix itself, because the worst had passed. That was only the beginning though, the depression would last for another nine years.

A lot of people lost their homes during the Great Depression. Many of these people ended up in shanty towns, which were also called Hoovervilles after the name of the president. Other terms named after the president at that time were Hoover wagons (cars which used mules to pull them because they were broken), Hoover hogs (food which consisted of jack rabbits), Hoover blankets (people used newspapers as blankets) and Hoover stew (the food which was available at soup kitchens).

One of the most well known people of that period, Al Capone, tried to improve his public figure by opening a soup kitchen. A lot of people survived only because of the food offered by soup kitchens all over the country.

Some of the causes are thought to be the stock market crash of 1929, banking system which was weak, the overproduction, the credit bubble, the policies of the government and the fact that the boost of the 1920’s didn’t help industrial workers and farmers.

A lot of people committed suicide after the crash in the financial district of New York. It apparently became so bad that one hotel’s clerks were asking the guests if they wanted to rent a room for jumping or for sleeping.

• Coalition For the Homeless reported in March 2013 that one of every 100 New York city children are now staying in homeless shelters and that the number of homeless people overall staying in New York city homeless shelters has surpassed 50,000 per night and these numbers do not include the number of people displaced by hurricane Sandy. As of March 2013 we have more children, adults and families in New York city homeless shelters than any time since the great depression. 50,000 people homeless every night in one city of the United States is a scary fact.

• The height of the great depression is thought to have peaked between 1932-1933.

• At the height of the great depression the unemployment rate was documented at more than 20% and family income averaged half what they were making in 1929.

• By 1940 the unemployment rate was still just above 15% but between 1941-1942 dropped to just above 1% employment.

• During the peak of the depression, the stock market was down 75%.

• By mid 1932 an estimated 10,000 banks have closed since 1929.

• In 1930 there was an estimated 6,000 street vendors in New York trying to sell apples for 5¢ each.

• In 1933 for U.S  citizens in the United States under a newly implemented executive order, executive order 6102 stated that U.S citizens could no longer own more than 5 troy ounces or $100 worth of gold. Gold at the time was worth about $20 per ounce and the U.S government told everyone they would buy their gold from them for $20.67. If you were tried and convicted of owning more than the the allowed maximum you could be fined $10,000.00 and or up to ten years in prison. Some citizens were exempt from executive order 6102 if their profession required the use of more than the maximum amount of gold allowed.

• During the great depression, soup or stew was nicknamed Hoover stew and the slum towns were often called Hoovervilles and were often just makeshift shacks made of cardboard. Both of course named after Herbert Hoover.

Hoover Dam, Known then as Boulder dam was built between 1931-1936 during the great depression with putting people back to work in mind and eventually with much debate named after Herbert Hoover.

• World war 2 began in 1939 which created millions of much needed full time jobs putting tens of millions of people back to work and putting the United States back on top as an industrial power. Unemployment would drop to all time lows by 1944 to a low 1.2% with only 670,000 unemployed documented.

This concludes your interesting facts about The Great Depression.