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Jul 11

Ten Interesting Facts . . . . The Great Depression

Ten Interesting Facts . . . .
The Great Depression

  1. Black Tuesday

     On October 29, 1929, the stock market lost $14 billion. During the week of Black Tuesday, the stock market lost $30 billion. This would be equivalent to $377,587,032,770.41 today.
  2. Photos

    Dorothea Lange’s photo of Florence Thompson with several of her children has become a moving symbol of the Great Depression.
    In the photo, Florence Thompson was age 32 years old. She had seven children. Florence was a migrant pea picker in California. This photo was taken in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California.
     Migrant Mother
  3. Unemployment Rate

    Average Rate of Unemployment during the Great Depression

1929: 3.2%
1930: 8.9%
1931: 16.3%
1932: 24.1%
1933: 24.9%
1934: 21.7%
1935: 20.1%
1936: 16.9%
1937: 14.3%
1938: 19.0%
1939: 17.2%

  1. Monopoly

The board game Monopoly became a big success when it first went on the market in 1935. Players could pretend to be rich. This was a nice break from the reality of the depression.

  1. Gangsters

As money became scarce, gangsters began to surface. Some infamous gangsters of the 1930’s included:

  • John Dillinger
  • “Baby Face” Nelson
  • Machine Gun Kelly
  • Pretty Boy Floyd
  • Ma Barker and her Boys
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  1. Movies

    Going to the movies was a favorite pastime during the Great Depression.

    Approximately 60 to 80 million Americans went to the movies weekly. Hit movies included: 

    • Tom Sawyer (1930)
    • Frankenstein (1931)
    • King Kong (1933)
    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    • Gone with the Wind (1939)
    • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
    The Wizard of Oz
  2. Income

    Average Wages during the 1930’s

Occupation Income
Industries $1388/year
Government Workers $1517/year
Public School Teacher $1455/year
Building Trades $1233/year
Health Services Worker $933/year
Doctor $3172/year
  1. Cutting Costs

    Because buttons were too expensive, Americans began using zippers during the Great Depression.
  1. Roosevelt’s New Deal

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a “New Deal for the American People” when he became President in 1933. He established a number of federal organizations such as TVA, NRA, CCC, and WPA to get people back to work.
  2.  Price of Goods

    Product Price in the 1920s Price in the 1930s Price in the 1940s Prince in the 1950s
    Butter (Pound) $ .70 $ .46 $ .42 $ .74
    Eggs (Dozen) $ .78 $ .52 $ .45 $ .67
    Rice (Pound) $ .17 $ .09 $ .08 $ .17
    Washing Machine (Electrical) $ 85.00 $ 74.50 $ 48.00 $ 65.00
    Bicycle $ 43.00 $ 32.00 $29.00 $45.00

     

    Information Sources

    50 Interest Facts about the Great Depression

    The Great Depression Statistics

    The Depression Facts

    Facts and Figures” Income and Prices 1900-1999

    Photo Credits

    Mother and Children

    Migrant Mother

    The Wizard of Oz

     

     

     

     

    Learn facts about the Great Depression. This is a great non-fiction supplement to several novels including Out of the Dust, ECHO, and Esperanza Rising.

    Gay Miller

     

     

     

1 comment

  1. Audry

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further post thanks once again.

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