Stock Market Crash, Great Depression: Oct. 29, 1929

Washington, DC

The massive loss of lives in Europe during World War I meant many consumers were gone, and by 1929, there wasn’t enough demand to absorb American production. On October 29, 16.3 million stock shares sold at an estimated loss of $10 billion. As investment value disappeared, production halted. By March 1930, 3.25 million American workers were unemployed. By 1932, the number was 13 million, with 27% unemployment. Franklin Roosevelt, promising a “New Deal” to help the economy, was elected president in 1932. He sponsored government interventions to restart the economy. Still, unemployment remained high. World War II revived consumption and production, dropping unemployment to 9.9% in 1941, ending the Great Depression.

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