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    34 Photos From The Great Depression That Will Leave You Humbled

    October 29th marks the anniversary of the start of The Great Depression.

    August 2015 was not a happy month for Wall Street when the Dow Jones fell 1300 points over a three-day period sparking significant media attention and economic anxiety. While U.S. politicians work to determine the cause, effect, and preventative measures needed to prevent a new recession, today serves as an important reminder for one of the hardest and most influential decades in American history.

    October 29th, 1929, coined Black Tuesday, was the most devastating day in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which to this day is the worst stock market crash in United States history.

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    View of crowds of people on Wall Street during the stock market crash, known as Black Tuesday, New York, New York, October 29, 1929.

    The Wall Street Crash of 1929 saw a loss of over $25 billion – or the equivalent of $319 billion in dollar value today.

    The Crash marked the start of a decade long economic depression which has become famously known as The Great Depression.

    Photo 12 / Getty Images

    City council man, Mr. Barlow, and Treasury Secretary, Mr. Jil Martin, burning 100,000 dollars of "scrip money" (after the banks' closure), April 1933, United States, National archives. Washington.

    As employers began to lay off workers to meet financial demands, the national average unemployment rate jumped from just 3% to 25%.

    Photo 12 / Getty Images

    Employment office full of men looking for work, c.1930, United States, National archives. Washington.


    Robley D. Stevens, 30-year-old victim of the Depression, wears a sign that reads: "I am for sale. I must have work or starve," while standing on a sidewalk in Baltimore, Md., in Aug. 1931.


    Fred Bell, a one-time millionaire and now unemployed, sells apples at his stand on a busy street corner in San Francisco, Ca., on March 7, 1931 during the Great Depression. Bell, known as "Champagne Fred" in the earlier days, has nothing left of his share of the Theresa Bell fortune as a result of the stock market crash in 1929.

    With few available jobs, workers sought out any opportunity for pay, despite safety hazards.


    With the Chrysler Building to his left, a steel worker rests on a girder at the 86th floor of the new Empire State Building during construction in New York City, in this Sept. 24, 1930 file photo.

    Birth rate fell as families held off from raising additional children and women entered the labor force.

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    Unemployed women learning typewriting in a house for employment in Berlin in the Thirties.

    Meanwhile in the Mid-U.S., agricultural industries suffered as drought and poor farming methods caused uncontrollable dust storms which destroyed farmlands. This period became known as The Dust Bowl.

    Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images

    Postcard showing an approaching dust storm somewhere in the midwest, ca.1930s.

    American Stock Archive / Getty Images

    View of the roof of a house, which has been buried by a dust drift from a Dust Bowl storm in Dallas, South Dakota.

    Bert Garai / Getty Images

    Three girls modelling various dustbowl masks to be worn in areas where the amount of dust in the air causes breathing difficulties, circa 1935.

    The Dust Bowl forced countless workers out of the midwest in search of agricultural work in more prosperous areas.

    History Archiv / History Archiv/REX Shutterstock

    Vegetable workers, migrants, waiting after work to be paid. Near Homestead, Florida.

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    Map of California showing proposed rural rehabilitation camps.

    At this time, over one million farms were lost and two million homeless people were migrating throughout the country.

    History Archiv / History Archiv/REX Shutterstock

    Arthur Rothstein photograph of a migrant female worker picking cranberries, Burlington County, New Jersey, 1938 during the American Great Depression.

    Universal History Archiv/REX Shutterstock

    Housing for migrant fruit workers in a tourist and trailer camp near Belle Glade, Florida.

    Perhaps the most iconic and symbolic image of the time period is this photo of Florence Owens Thompson, Migrant Mother.

    Dorothea Lange / Library of Congress

    Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.

    Migrant workers typically resorted to living out of vehicles or in tented camps.

    Universal History Archiv/REX Shutterstock

    The only home of a depression-routed family of nine from Iowa.

    As the homeless population escalated uncontrollably, shantytowns known as Hoovervilles, named after then-president Herbert Hoover, began popping up near urban areas.

    New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

    Central Park Hooverville with Central Park West in the background.

    AP Photo

    This is the Sleeping quarters of the municipal lodging house at the foot of 26th Street and East River in New York City on Nov. 27, 1931 during the Great Depression.

    The Great Depression was not limited to the U.S. alone–economic depression was simultaneously being experienced in all of the industrialized Western world.

    Newspix / Newspix/REX Shutterstock

    Ouse, Tasmania. The Pearce family at their house at the height of the Depression.

    General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

    January 1932: Clutching her handbag a homeless, elderly woman huddles on a doorstep in London, a sack by her side.

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    A woman who has been injured in an unemployment demonstration during the Depression in Bristol.

    Low employment caused turmoil between the U.S. government and the working immigrant population in the U.S. which at this time saw more emigrants leaving the country than immigrants arriving to it.

    Dorothea Lange / Library of Congress

    Migrants, family of Mexicans, on road with tire trouble. Looking for work in the peas. California.

    Despite relief efforts during the Hoover administration, the reforms needed to completely resolve these economic hardships did not arrive until Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency in 1934.

    AP Photo

    President Herbert Hoover signs the unemployment and drought relief bills providing a total of $161,000,000 for providing work for the jobless and seed fertilizer and, possibly, food for farmers of the drought area, Dec. 20, 1930. The unemployment bill creates an emergency fund of $116,000,000 to be expended on the construction of federal buildings, road and waterways. The $45,000,000 carried in the drought relief bill is for loans to farmers.

    Newspix / Newspix/REX Shutterstock

    Depression Housewife dispairs at lack of food and money.

    AP Photo

    Gertrude Haessler, 38, put up a battle with police in Washington, Nov. 24, 1932, when they tried to arrest her for creating a disturbance along with others, near the White House on Thanksgiving Day. She was one of four adults and a half dozen children who were taken into custody when they tried to force an entrance to the White House to present a petition to the president. No one was injured, but Haessler was escorted away by two officers by picking her up bodily.

    AP Photo

    Thousands of unemployed workers, who marched from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., are gathered in front of the Capitol to ask the Congress and the U.S. President for aid, in January 1932, during the Great Depression in the United States.

    AP Photo

    A mother and children rest as they and over 40 men, women and children camp out at City Hall in St. Louis, Mo., April 29, 1936. When a St. Louis alderman took no action to increase relief appropriations, protesters descended upon City Hall and threatened to stay "'til hell freezes over or we get relief." They started their second day in the building today.

    AP Photo

    In this Feb. 13, 1932, file photo a long line of men wait along Broadway for their ration of a sandwich and a cup of coffee in Times Square, New York City during the Great Depression.

    AP Photo

    During the great depression, rioting farmers dumped cans of milk rather than sell for two cents a quart. In this image babies and small children of relief workers in Kansas City, United States, protest cuts in funds in the Wyandotte county court house on August 7, 1930. During this dark period in American history, millions of people could not afford butter at 39 cents a pound or roast at 21 cents.

    Amongst many of the programs FDR introduced in the New Deal, the Works Progress Administration enabled artists to be paid by the government in exchange for distributing public service announcements.

    Library Of Congress

    With expensive entertainment out of the question, people found solace in local gatherings and viewing cheap movies also funded by the WPA.


    A segment from the popular song "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?" from The Three Little Pigs.

    Library Of Congress

    After controversial political shifts in response to the Depression, World War II begins, effectively recruiting the unemployed population and ending the 10 years of economic strife.

    Fox Photos / Getty Images

    16th October 1942: A World War II pilot gives the thumbs up sign from the cockpit of his aeroplane.

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