October 24, 1929 – Crash of the stock market.
On “Black Thursday,” stock market prices begin to decline. When prices continue to fall, the stock market “crashes,” and by the end of November, the market had lost $30 billion.
March 1930 – Hoovers asserts that the worst has passed.
President Herbert Hoover informs the American people that the economy would recover within the next 60 days. The Great Depression has just merely begun.
February 1931 – In the United States, food riots erupt.
In cities throughout the United States, food riots begin. Hungry Americans break grocery store windows, steal goods, and flee because they have no other source of sustenance.
1932 – Roosevelt makes a “new deal” pledge.
Franklin Roosevelt offers Americans “a new deal” while running for President of the United States. His post-election plans will be dubbed The New Deal.
November 8, 1932 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected the US President.
For the first time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected President. Many Americans believed President Hoover did not do enough to assist them and hoped Roosevelt would end the Depression.
March 9, 1933 – Adoption of the Emergency Banking Act.
The Emergency Banking Act is enacted by Congress. By the end of the month, almost all banks that had been shuttered when the Depression began are reopened.
April 1933 – Inauguration of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the first New Deal program, is established. Thousands of young men attend camps to work on initiatives like as park construction, road construction, and forest fire suppression.
May 1933 – Inauguration of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, another New Deal initiative, provides energy and employment to southern Americans.
April 1935 – The Works Progress Administration (WPA) employs Americans.
The federal government establishes the Works Progress Administration. It employs Americans in a variety of fields, including writing, acting, bridge construction, and airport construction.
August 1935 – A system of social security is established.
The Social Security Act of 1935 is signed into law. The Act gives money to elderly people on a monthly basis.
March 1936 – Dorothea Lange takes the photograph “Migrant Mother.“
Dorothea Lange photographs an impoverished family laboring in a California pea-picking camp. “Migrant Mother,” one of the pictures, is one of the most iconic images from the Great Depression.
March 1937 – The economy enters a new recession.
After a brief period of recovery, the economy begins to deteriorate once again as more Americans lose their employment. Many individuals begin to lose faith in the possibility of things ever improving.
April 1939 – The publication of “The Grapes of Wrath.”
John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is released. The novel follows a family forced to leave their home and seek employment in California during the Great Depression.
December 7, 1941 – Japan launches an assault on Pearl Harbor.
Japan attacks American ships in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor. The attack kills thousands of Americans.
December 1941 – The Great Depression comes to an end.
The US declares war on Japan and enlists in World War II. Because war generates so much revenue and employment for the economy, the Great Depression ends shortly after the United States enters the war.