The Great Depression
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1929: The Great Depression Begins
March 4: Herbert Hoover becomes the 31st President of the United States.
September 3: The stock market reaches its peak, but there are signs that the economy is slowing.
October 24: The stock market begins to crash.
October 29: The stock market plunges. This day will became known as "Black Tuesday."
1930: Banks Begin to Fail
June 17: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is passed. Many economists say this act contributed to the Great Depression.
1931: The Depression Worsens.
February: Food riots begin to break out in parts of the United States.
April 11: The Empire State Building is completed.
1932: Unemployment Rises to 23.6 percent and over 10,000 banks have failed since 1929.
July 2: Presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt makes his "New Deal" speech.
July 28: The Bonus Army of U.S. veterans march on Washington and demand their bonus pay. They are removed by the U.S. Army by force.
November 8: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president.
1933: The First New Deal Begins
March 4: The "First One Hundred Days" of Roosevelt's presidency begins. Over 15 new laws are quickly enacted to fight the Great Depression.
March 5: Roosevelt calls for a "bank holiday" where all banks are closed.
March 9: The Emergency Banking Act becomes law.
March 12: President Roosevelt gives his first Fireside Chat. He explains the new banking laws.
April 19: The United States moves off the gold standard.
May 12: The Federal Emergency Relief Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act are signed into law.
May 18: The Tennessee Valley Authority is established to build dams on the Tennessee River.
May 27: The Federal Securities Act establishes rules and regulations for the stock market.
June 16: The National Industrial Recovery Act, the Farm Credit Act, and the Banking Act of 1933 are all passed by Congress. The Public Works Administration (PWA) is established.
December 5: Prohibition is repealed by the 21st Amendment.
1934: More Laws are Passed
February: Huey Long, Governor of Louisiana, establishes the "Share Our Wealth" movement.
June 6: The SEC is established to regulate the stock market.
June 7: The Corporate Bankruptcy Act becomes law.
Jun 28: The Federal Housing Administration is established by the passing of the National Housing Act.
1935: The Second New Deal Begins
April 8: The Works Progress Administration is established. It will employ 8 million workers over the next several years building things like roads, bridges, and airports.
April 14: A huge dust storm envelops much of the Midwest. This day is called "Black Sunday."
August 14: The Social Security Act is signed into law.
1936: Unemployment Falls to 16.9 percent.
1937: More FDR
January 20: Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to his second term as president.
May 24: The Supreme Court rules that the Social Security Act is constitutional.
1938: Unemployment Rises to 19 percent.
1939: World War II and the End of the Great Depression
April 14: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is published. It tells the story of the hardships of a migrant farming family during the Great Depression.
September 1: World War II begins when Germany invades Poland. The depression ends over the next several years as the U.S. builds up its armed forces.
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History >> The Great Depression