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.
#1 On Black Tuesday, which took place on October 29, 1929, the investors lost $14 billion – around $209 billion in 2020 dollars
#2 11,000 of banks failed during the Depression, which left millions of people without their life savings
#3 "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange became one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression. Florence Owens Thompson, the subject of the picture, was a mother of seven who lived in a camp of jobless field workers
#4 During the peak of the Depression in 1932-33, the USA didn't mint nickles as the money circulation was too low
#5 Americans began using zippers during the Depression because the buttons were too expensive
#6 Between 1933 and 1934, one in four people in the US was unemployed and unable to pay mortgages, so many of them had to leave their homes
#7 In the US, the average family income dropped from $2,300 to $1,500 per year
#8 During the depression, manufacturing employees made around $17 per week ($262 in 2020 dollars)
#9 Many people were hopping on freight trains to travel hundreds of miles in search of a job. Two million men and around 8,000 women became hoboes. 6,500 were killed in railroad accidents
#10 The stock market returned to pre-depression levels only in 1954
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