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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | October 29, 2008

On this day in 1929, the stock market crashed and Black Tuesday brought Wall Street and this country to its knees, taking us and world into the Great Depression.

During the 1920s, the U.S. stock market underwent rapid expansion, reaching its peak in August 1929, a period of wild speculation. By then, production had already declined and unemployment had risen, leaving stocks in great excess of their real value. Among the other causes of the eventual market collapse were low wages, the proliferation of debt, a weak agriculture, and an excess of large bank loans that could not be liquidated.

Stock prices began to decline in September and early October 1929, and on October 18 the fall began. Panic set in, and on October 24–Black Thursday–a record 12,894,650 shares were traded. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock, producing a moderate rally on Friday. On Monday, however, the storm broke anew, and the market went into free fall. Black Monday was followed by Black Tuesday, in which stock prices collapsed completely.

After October 29, 1929, stock prices had nowhere to go but up, so there was considerable recovery during succeeding weeks. Overall, however, prices continued to drop as the United States slumped into the Great Depression, and by 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929. The stock market crash of 1929 was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse of which it was also a symptom. By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce. It would take World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering.
(H/T: History Channel)

My grandparents, who grew up in different parts of North America, told me stories about their Great Depression experiences: wealth gone, food was slim, and as we all know, so many suffered because of joblessness.

I have my own personal theory about the Great Depression and the events that led to it: Had our country not experienced such hardship at the heels of the decadence of the ’20s, we would not have had the mindset put in place necessary to endure the hardships of World War II.

The generations of the Depression and the following 10-15 years are what made our country great. Sometimes I don’t think we honor those generations enough.

(Posted by RT.)

Topics: HHH | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. Randal Graves Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    WORLD CHAMPIONS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. RT Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Woooooooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

    Uh…was trying to avoid that on here, since Wyatt isn’t real thrilled with the Phillies.

    However, YAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  3. Doghouse Says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Now why, as a Philly guy, aren’t you glad the hometown team won the big one?

  4. USA_Admiral Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I think he wanted to avoid any victory celebrations.