Worse Way to End the 1920’s

People are waiting on line for food. Ironically, they stand under a poster glorifying the American standard of living.

People lined up in London to protest about the Great Depression

The Great Depression not only hit the United States but effected the global economy. In the first picture there are people waiting on a line to get food. During this period, most people couldn’t afford anything and even the wealthy became poor in one day. Ironically, the pictures shows a poster saying how great the standard of living the United States is. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter where they are and how prosperous the country was, the Great Depression was affected globally.  The second picture shows another line of people in London where they protested about the lack of food and to get relief from this disaster. In both pictures, it shows that both countries had obstacles in fighting the Great Depression.


The Rich Man’s Choice becomes “Poor”

The Great Depression scared all, including the rich. The Stock Market crash and other economic struggles forced Americans to stop purchasing! This in result led to much less production of goods and directly decreased the amount of human labor needed. People continued to loose their jobs and used places like “The POOR MAN’S STORE” as their last resort for trading, buying and selling what goods they did or did not need. On the contrary the first picture on the left, represents a normal environment inside of a store before all economic hell breaks out. Once people begin to refrain from buying because of a shortage of jobs and income, even those people who bought items on installment plans are unable to pay their dues and stores are forced to stock up on inventory: thus putting store owners to a loss.


Hard life during the Great Depression

Picture above: Free food was distributed  in some urban centers to large numbers of the unemployed.

Picture on the left: Number of people who were unemployed and looking for a job.

During the Great Depression,the unemployment rate reached a extremely high point. Ten of thousand of people lost their jobs and they were just kept looking for a job. However, it was impossible to satisfy everyone. The amount of unemployed people were so great meanwhile the job opportunity was so less. When the people lost their job, they could not provide food to their families, not even themselves. Therefore, the government provided free meals to those people. The Great Depression made a terrible effect on everyone and it took a more than ten years to recover the society.


Life During the Great Depression


The Great Depression was one of the hardest times in the United States history for farmers as well. With the stock market crash in 1929 and American economy crushed, the farmers couldn’t make money on their crops, so they also lost $1.50 per acre of land they planted. Having no mercy on the farmers, the elements took their toll. As giant dust storms destroyed fields, it left farmers broke with no way to repair the damage, forcing many to leave their homes in search of different work.


Bread Lines During The Great Depression

"Breadline" sculpture by George Segal in the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC.

Bread line during the Great Depression

During the Great Depression thousands of unemployed residents who could not pay their rent or mortgages were evicted into the world of public assistance and bread lines. Unable to find work and seeing that each job they applied for had hundreds of seekers, these shabby, disillusioned men wandered aimlessly without funds, begging, picking over refuse in city dumps, and finally getting up the courage to stand and be seen publicly – in a bread line for free food. To accommodate them, charities, missions, and churches began programs to feed them. Men who experienced the waiting in line recall the personal shame of asking for a handout, unable to care for oneself or to provide for others. On the first picture, you can see  the “Breadline” sculpture by George Segal in the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC. The sorrowful faces of the life-size statues are a powerful expression of the times, showing the inactivity and troubles of everyday citizens during the Great Depression. On the 2nd picture, you can see a real bread line in NYC during the Great Depression.


Give Me Bread or Give Me Death!

Unemployed men waiting on line for food.

The Great Depression had a pervasive and profound impact on American life. When the stock market crashed, everything began to crumble and fall. Millions were without jobs, therefore, resulting in people relying on bread and soup lines to bring food to the table. In the two photographs, it depicts different groups of people waiting on line for food. In the first photograph, it is a picture of a group of men, most if not all white, on a line for free coffee and doughnuts. This line is targeted to the unemployed individuals. In the second picture, it shows African Americans on a soup line. These two pictures show how the depression negatively affected diverse segments of the population and that starvation was a widespread problem. In addition, the second picture has an ironic poster advocating the American life in the background. American dream? It did not exist anymore.

People waiting on the soup line.


Look What Great Depression has Caused

The image of waiting on line were the people who looked for food that was provided by the government and the image that has people sleeping in the public were the homeless who had no money to pay their rent or mortgage.  These two images are showing the immediate result of the Great Depression that started on Black Friday when the stock market crashed. People were jobless and they were not able to support their family because they have no money. They had to rely on government aid which was so little that they barely had any basic food for living. People who were homeless did not have a safe and warm place to live in. They have to face the cold winter outisde in the cold or on the street, and government up to that point still didn’t do much to help those poor or unemployed people. Great Depression caused more people to be jobless and homeless.


The times are hard…

A "Hooverville" home, located in a shanty town during the late 20s early 30's.

A bread line during the Great Depression.

The first photo shows a house made of salvaged boards and planks that poor Americans who lost everything during the Depression lived in.  Many families lost all of their money in the stock market and were left homeless, so they moved into parks, under bridges and into the woods where they formed little communities.  These towns became known as Hooverville’s, because many people blamed the President (Herbert Hoover) for the economic collapse.  These communities began popping up all over the nation as more and more of its citizens fell upon desperate times.  The second photo shows a bread line in a major city.  In an attempt to provide some relief, the government provided food to the most needy of its citizens.  Bread, stew, soup and water were the most common commodities handed out to starving men women and children.  It was not uncommon to see thousands of people waiting on one of these lines hoping to get a few scraps of food to get them through the day, because they did not know when their next meal might be.


Great Depression

A Normal Stock market, Just what he wanted. Wish denied. This Cartoon is fro 1929.
Artist: William Kemp Starrett, appeared in Life Magazine.

The Stock Market crash in New York of 1929.

The Great Depression started in October 1929 with the stock market crash in New York.
The first image shows how people wanted the stock market to go back to normal. Like shown on the picture, they wanted it as a gift just like how Santa Claus would be able to give them that. The second picture is more of a realistic form of the stock market crash. All the people in front of the Stock Market wanting to take back their money. These two pictures show how the Stock Market Crash was the very cause of the Great Depression.


The Celebrities of 1920s

The Great Depression

The United States hit the so called  “great era” in the 1920s, Americans suddenly took an interest in the stock market. Many ordinary people believed the stock market was the place to seek for wealth. For almost eight years the stock value has been raising, stocks represented opportunities and dreams. Rich stock investor like Jesse Livermore and Charles Mitchell persuaded many  middle and lower classes to buy and sell stocks. Banker, broker and speculators were celebrities of the day, they represented the wealth of the economy. It was not until 1929 until the when the crash of stock market that led the nation into a tremendous downfall.


Not Dissimilar To Our MIstakes…

I think this picture pretty much speaks for itself - an image we came a little bit too close to in the past couple of years...

I’m posting here a very famous picture from The Wall Street Journal of what looks like a stock broker or investor who lost it all the day after the crash of October 29, 1929. This picture, to me, represents a hard fall very similar to the one that many of us felt just a few short years ago with the failure and bailing out of companies like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, AIG, and countless monstrous financial institutions. I’ve als0 posted a video that may be a little bit on the lengthly side, and much of it may sound rather elementary and pretty redundant to many of you; but I think that the person who made it simplifies very clearly the true causes of The Great Depression, puts into perspective just how close we actually came after the financial meltdown of 2008 to another one, and how we actually made MANY of the same mistakes this time around:

Video: What Caused The Great Depression

-C. Salama