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The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the global economy can decline.

The Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II.

The Great Depression had devastating effects in both rich and poor countries. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade fell by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 23% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

Cities around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most.

Great Depression Media

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Saying grace before the barbeque dinner at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair
Truck trailers line up at a freight house to load and unload goods from the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, Chicago, Ill.
Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on "Jockey St.," near the Court House, Campton, Wolfe County, Ky.

Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on "Jockey St.," nea...

Photograph shows Sign on building: Wolfe County Office WPA Project Superintendent; sign on car: Jesus saves.

Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass.
Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant Avenues, Hamtramck, Wayne County, MI

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant...

Significance: It served as the major manufacturing and assembly plant for the Dodge automobile and is the last large reinforced concrete automobile plant left in the Detroit area. The Dodge factory led to the ... More

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant Avenues, Hamtramck, Wayne County, MI

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant...

Significance: It served as the major manufacturing and assembly plant for the Dodge automobile and is the last large reinforced concrete automobile plant left in the Detroit area. The Dodge factory led to the ... More

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant Avenues, Hamtramck, Wayne County, MI

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant...

Significance: It served as the major manufacturing and assembly plant for the Dodge automobile and is the last large reinforced concrete automobile plant left in the Detroit area. The Dodge factory led to the ... More

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant Avenues, Hamtramck, Wayne County, MI

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant...

Significance: It served as the major manufacturing and assembly plant for the Dodge automobile and is the last large reinforced concrete automobile plant left in the Detroit area. The Dodge factory led to the ... More

Shelf Clock, American art collection
The family of Mr. Leroy Dunn, chopping cotton in a rented field near White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, June 1941.
Arkansas cotton pickers - early morning.
Parade of unemployed men, New York
Parade of unemployed men, New York

Parade of unemployed men, New York

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... More

CCC, engineers splanning construction operations.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
Bowery men waiting for bread in bread line, [New York City]

Bowery men waiting for bread in bread line, [New York City]

Title and other information transcribed from unverified, old caption card data and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Caption card tracings: NY NYC Bowery; Bread lines...; NY NYC Misc.... More

[Men in bread line on 41st St., New York City]

[Men in bread line on 41st St., New York City]

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). No. 5367-3. Caption card tracings: Geogr.; Bread lines.

NPS Individuals, CCC, Bruce Becquette.
Guard Wall - Hawaii free images

Guard Wall - Hawaii free images

Crater Rim Historic District. The stone guard wall at Puu Puai parking lot was once along the Crater Rim Drive alignment. The metal guard rail behind was installed after the period of significance. This is one ... More

CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects at Tunnel Rock.
CCC, informal portraits.

CCC, informal portraits.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC enrollees landscaping highway.
CCC enrollees landscaping highway.
CCC workers moving trees

CCC workers moving trees

Section 2-C, Milepost 237-248, Blue Ridge Parkway

CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC, washing machine setup.

CCC, washing machine setup.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, road grader pulled by a tractor.
CCC, CCC Camp.

CCC, CCC Camp.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, CCC Barracks and tents.

CCC, CCC Barracks and tents.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
Courtyard Garden - laying brick pavers

Courtyard Garden - laying brick pavers

The New Deal era prompted funding for projects including construction of the courtyard garden.

Haleakala Crater from the Halemau'u Trail

Haleakala Crater from the Halemau'u Trail

CCC Haleakala Crater Trails District. A view of the Haleakala Crater from the Halemau'u Trail. Here, the trail crosses Rainbow Bridge, a natural feature of the landscape that was improved by the CCC during the ... More

CCC, Salt Creek CCC Camp. Interior of Recreation Hall.
CCC, The cooks and bakers school.
CCC, Cain Flat CCC Camp. Civilian Conservation Corps.
CCC, The cooks and bakers school.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC Cain Flat camp. [8x10 print]
Switchbacks and Retaining Walls on the Halemau'u Trail

Switchbacks and Retaining Walls on the Halemau'u Trail

CCC Haleakala Crater Trails District. The Halemau'u Trail is marked by switchbacks and associated stone retaining walls as it ascends out of the crater. Note how it follows the natural topography, blending in w... More

Great Smoky Mountains Ravensford Nursery

Great Smoky Mountains Ravensford Nursery

A CCC enrollee cleaning plant seeds for revegetation projects at the Ravensford Nursery.

CCC, Salt Creek CCC Camp.

CCC, Salt Creek CCC Camp.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, Leg and foot guards.

CCC, Leg and foot guards.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC enrollees landscaping highway.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
Relaxing at camp

Relaxing at camp

The enrollees of Camp NP-7, Mount Sterling, Company 415, enjoy in some "horse play" in front of their tents.

CCC, hewing redwood into beams.
CCC, informal portraits.

CCC, informal portraits.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, informal portraits.

CCC, informal portraits.

SEKI Historic Image

Signs, Historic Individuals, entrance sign and Mrs. Ella Foster, wife of CCC Foreman Foster.
Sculpture of a breadline at the FDR Memorial.

Sculpture of a breadline at the FDR Memorial.

Sculpture depicting a Great Depression breadline at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.

CCC, military leaders of the CCC Camps. Individuals unidentified.
CCC, informal portraits.

CCC, informal portraits.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, The cooks and bakers school.
CCC, CCC Barracks and tents.

CCC, CCC Barracks and tents.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
CCC, Roads, CCC road work projects.
South Fork Kaweah River, Tulare Co. CCC camp and barracks. Maxon Ranch. [8x10 print]
NPS Individuals, CCC, Robert Barton.
Exum Mountain Guides Office

Exum Mountain Guides Office

Exum Office in old CCC Bathhouse around 1975

CCC, hewing redwood into beams.
CCC, informal portraits.

CCC, informal portraits.

SEKI Historic Image

CCC camp and barracks. [8x10 print]
CCC, Salt Creek CCC Camp.

CCC, Salt Creek CCC Camp.

SEKI Historic Image

Striking miners drawing rations, West Virginia. Group of miners playing cards
Striking miners drawing rations, West Virginia. Miners ration line III
Great Dupont Ammonia Corp., Belle, West Virginia. General view of Great Dupont Ammonia Corp.
Charleston, West Virginia. Shipyards at Charleston
West Virginia trip. Woman at gate on dirt road with car in background
West Virginia trip. Two small girls
Richardson department store, Charleston, West Virginia. Exterior of Richardson department store
Kanawha Bank, Charleston, West Virginia. Twenty-story building in Charleston
Mine tipple in West Virginia. Typical mine tipple
Kelly Creek, West Virginia. View of dirt road
West Virginia trip. Cross-timbered structure supported by exterior logs
Charleston and Blaine Island, West Virginia. General view of Charleston I
West Virginia trip. Three children
Kelly Creek, West Virginia. Oil and gas wells
Charleston, West Virginia. View of business section in Charleston
George L. Coyle. Portrait of George L. Coyle at desk I
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. factory no. 12, Clarksburg, West Virginia. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. factory interior
West Virginia trip. Small girl with hands behind back
Charleston and Blaine Island, West Virginia. General view of Charleston II
West Virginia trip. Mining buildings
Striking miners drawing rations, West Virginia. Miners ration line I
Map 6:  Features Constructed During Period 3 of Truman’s Life: Developing Political Skills and Associations, 1920-1933

Map 6: Features Constructed During Period 3 of Truman’s Life: Develop...

Features Constructed During Period 3 of Truman’s Life: Developing Political Skills and Associations, 1920-1933. These features were constructed between 1920 and 1933, the years that Harry Truman first became in... More

George L. Coyle. Portrait of George L. Coyle at desk II
Striking miners drawing rations, West Virginia. Miners ration line II
New Kanawha Power Co. tunnel construction. Construction of 16,250 ft. tunnel
George L. Coyle. Portrait of George L. Coyle at desk III
Kelly Creek, West Virginia. Coal mine tipple
Bromide Community House, 1922

Bromide Community House, 1922

Pre-dating the Great Depression and the CCC-led building program by a decade, the community houses at Bromide and Cold Springs are early examples of rustic design in Platt National Park.

A Consignment recently received from Phila., Pa. 749 cases of beer (18,000) bottles were today destroyed in the District of Columbia
Boys hopping freight
[Calvin Coolidge, Andrew Mellon and Herbert Hoover. White House, Washington, D.C.]
[Crowd of people gather outside the New York Stock Exchange following the Crash of 1929]

[Crowd of people gather outside the New York Stock Exchange following ...

Title devised by Library staff. Photograph by Pacific & Atlantic Photos, Inc. Forms part of: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).

Mrs. Hoover presents cup to boy winner at National 4-H Club Camp. Mrs. Hoover presenting to John C. Jackson of East Baton Rouge Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the cup known as the Secretary of Agriculture Trophy, at the National Boys' and Girls' 4-H Club Camp held on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture in Washington. This award is made to the biy and girl selected as best typifying 4-H club work of the 700,000 rural boys and girls enrolled in the 4-H farm and home making clubs in the 48 states and Hawaii. Secretary of Agriculture Arthur M. Hyde can be seen next to Mrs. Hoover
Nihkoyak, men's house at winter camp--Nunivak
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