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What life was like during the Great Depression – 10 devastating facts

Even decades later, the consequences of the most severe economic depression in the Western world still affect our lives. Here are some of the most shocking and interesting facts about the Great Depression.


The crash of the stock market on Wall Street in October of 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression. It lasted until WWII and affected every industrialized country of the world. While the reasons behind this devastating crisis are still debated, some confirmed facts about life back then are horrifying.


Was this information new for you? Do you know any other shocking facts about the Great Depression?

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
35 Comments
Pravin Shastri
I feel sad that the the stellar role played by President Roosevelt in helping America to come out of depression is not highlighted. Using Keynesian economic strategy, he took measures to boost Govt. spending in building infrastructure and public works. This increased the aggregate demand thereby inducing investments and creating jobs. Difficult to believe that in just 100 days the process of recovery began and America started to regain it's primacy in the world. Sad to see that today's America has forgotten such a great person.
11
Feb 16, 2020 10:35PM
cynthiawpowell
I am shocked that the lives of people of color were not included in any of these photos. Our people were here too and survived the horrors of this time period in even more challenging ways. As someone has said, "when white America has a cold, people of color have the flu". This was a major oversight.
6
Feb 19, 2020 9:35AM
Cathy McCay Kocsuta
After that, people during that period tended to hoard, especially paper products and non-perishables. Does that sound familiar..toilet paper??
6
Apr 4, 2020 4:48PM
flanderschristy
A horrible time in our country. So sad. My Mom was born in 1927 & even though she was very young, she said that she would never forget how hard it was. She grew up to be a food hoarder & constantly reminded us to shut the lights out when we left a room, quit running so much water, etc. I think many grew up to be that way.
2
Sep 18, 2021 9:44AM
Bruce Lebowitz
Peter Marchese, two nuclear bombs, a promise of a different city to be destroyed each week and the fact that with Soviets entering the war would mean a permanent end to Japan. Once the Soviets took territory, they never left. All those factors led the Japanese to surrender.
1
Feb 3, 2021 8:32PM
Peter Marchese
It was the entrance of the USSR into the pacific war that bought it to an end the two nuclear bombs had little effect the USA could do more damage with conventual bombing.
2
May 9, 2020 1:49AM
Rafi Manory
Christina Birnie, The greed is very much the same everywhere. In America there were development opportunities that Europe lacked, but greed is part of human nature.
1
Apr 1, 2020 1:47AM
Rafi Manory
Much info was left out...but the info was intersting. Btw, in Europe the depression was not felt as such. In Germany there was much poverty because of the reparations Germany had to pay after WW1. This eventually brought Hitler to power.
1
Apr 1, 2020 1:45AM
Bill Rainey
The above was in Scotland .
0
Feb 26, 2020 11:10AM
Bill Rainey
My father was a minor inventor and got paid from a well known technology magazine which helped to pay his rent and put a little food on the table . Before I was born but I still have some of the mags and what he was paid for his inventions .
4
Feb 26, 2020 10:50AM
Stewart Dean Martin
I believe that people of the status of the Kennedy family and others were not in anyway affected by the depression but still made more money
3
Feb 23, 2020 4:33AM
Pat Welch
Christina Birnie, you obviously don't know what caused the great depression. The run on banks was a reaction to the drop in the market.
0
Feb 21, 2020 10:14AM
jacki grabow
Some new information, always educational information
0
Feb 19, 2020 8:32AM
Judy Bond
#8 is just about the social security average now.....and this insurance is on the chopping block again.
1
Feb 17, 2020 8:51PM
Cheryl McMeekin
It was a terrible time for so many.
3
Feb 17, 2020 4:04PM
julieamy
Interesting info. My mom lived on a farm during that period of time. She mentioned to me that though hard she and her siblings had it somewhat easier then others. She also told me that her family sometimes fed hoboes that passed through. Wish my daughter would read things on the depression. MAYBE be more frugal with the $ she has and how lucky she is to have a nice job.
3
Feb 17, 2020 3:27PM

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