1930s Timeline
Timeline Description: The 1930s were a very difficult time in the United States. After the stock market crashed in 1929, the country was on its way to the worst financial crisis in U.S. history. It was not all bad, though, and there were also many great achievements in the 1930s.

Date Event
October 24, 1929 The stock market crashes when Wall Street investors take their money out of the market.

The stock market loses over 11 percent of its value after heavy trading. Five days later, the stock market loses $14 billion, sending the economy into a depression that lasts for over ten years.
March 1930 Unemployment rises in the U.S.

Over 3.2 million Americans are unemployed, more than twice as many than in October 1929. President Herbert Hoover says that the worst of the financial crisis will be over within 60 days.
May 1, 1931 The Empire State Building opens.

The tallest building in the world, the Empire State Building opens in New York City. It is 1,250 feet tall and remains the tallest building until the World Trade Center opens in New York in 1972.
May 22, 1932 Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean.

After leaving from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland on May 20, Amelia Earhart lands her red Lockheed Vega 5B airplane in a pasture in Ireland. The 15-hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean was the first solo flight over the Atlantic by a woman.
November 1932 Franklin Roosevelt is elected president over Herbert Hoover.

With millions of Americans wanted a change, Democrat Franklin Roosevelt easily wins the presidential election over Herbert Hoover. It is the first of four times that Roosevelt will be elected.
March 9, 1933 The Emergency Banking Act is passed.

After many banks are forced to close, Congress passes the Emergency Banking Act. Only banks with the backing of the federal reserve are allowed to open and many of the nation's banks will be open again by the end of the month.
December 5, 1933 Prohibition comes to an end with the 21st Amendment.

Prohibition began was alcohol was banned in the U.S. starting in January 1920. It did little to prevent Americans from drinking and Prohibition ends when the 21st Amendment is ratified on December 5, 1933.
April 1935 The Works Progress Administration is created.

Part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program, designed to help the economy, the Works Progress Administration is created. Thousands of Americans work for the government doing things such as building roads and parks and photographing the Depression.
April 14, 1935 "Black Sunday" causes 20 massive dust storms.

The Dust Bowl, caused by over plowed land and drought, leads to several years of huge dust storms in the Great Plains. One of the worst days was "Black Sunday," when 20 massive storms roll through the Plains and turn the sky black.
September 30, 1935 President Roosevelt dedicates Hoover Dam.

President Roosevelt attends a ceremony to dedicate the Boulder Dam at the Arizona-Nevada border. The dam, which is renamed Hoover Dam in 1947, is one of biggest man-made structures in the world at 726 feet high.
August 3, 1936 Jesse Owens wins the first of four Olympic gold medals.

African American track athlete Jesse Owens shocks the world by winning four gold medals at the Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler, who does not believe that African Americans are equal to whites, is there to see it.
May 6, 1937 The Hindenburg catches on fire and crashes in New Jersey.

A German airship called the Hindenburg catches on fire while it tries to land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. The airship crashes to the horror of those watching and 36 people die.
May 27, 1937 The Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco.

After four years of construction, the Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco, connecting San Francisco to Marin County. It is the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964.
1939 "The Grapes of Wrath is published."

John Steinbeck's novel about a poor family forced to leave Oklahoma because of the Dust Bowl is published. "The Grapes of Wrath" is considered one of the most important novels in American history.
September 1, 1939 World War II begins.

Hitler orders Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. Two days later, France and England declare war on Germany, beginning World War II.