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.
Dorothea Lange’s photo of Florence Thompson with several of her children has become a moving symbol to the Great Depression.In the photo, Florence Thompson was age 32 with seven children. She was a migrant pea picker in California.
- Average Rate of Unemployment during the Great Depression
in 1929: 3.2%
in 1930: 8.9%
in 1931: 16.3%
in 1932: 24.1%
in 1933: 24.9%
in 1934: 21.7%
in 1935: 20.1%
in 1936: 16.9%
in 1937: 14.3%
in 1938: 19.0%
in 1939: 17.2%
- 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.
- As money became scarce, gangsters began to surface. Some infamous gangsters of the 1930s included:
- John Dillinger
- “Baby Face” Nelson
- Machine Gun Kelly
- Pretty Boy Floyd
- Ma Barker and her Boys
- Bonnie and Clyde
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)
Average Wages during the 1930s
|Public School Teacher||$1455/year|
|Health Services Worker||$933/year|
Because buttons were too expensive, Americans began using zippers during the Great Depression.
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.
- 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