Great Depression Timeline
Timeline Description: The Great Depression lasted from 1929 until 1942. It was a very difficult time in the United States. Banks and businesses closed, leaving millions of Americans without a job. With no way to earn money, many people could not pay their bills or buy food and needed help from the government to survive.

Date Event
October 24, 1929 The stock market crashes.

On a day called "Black Thursday," stock market prices start to drop. The stock market "crashes" when prices keep dropping and by the end of November, the stock market loses $30 billion.
March 1930 Hoovers says the worst is over.

President Herbert Hoover tells Americans that the economy will start to improve within the next 60 days. The Great Depression is actually just getting started.
February 1931 Food riots break out in the United States.

Food riots start in cities across the United States. Hungry Americans smash grocery store windows, take food, and run away because they do not have any other way of getting food to eat.
1932 Roosevelt promises a "new deal."

While campaigning for president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt promises Americans "a new deal." The programs he creates after he is elected will be called The New Deal.
November 8, 1932 Roosevelt is elected president.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president for the first time. Many Americans did not think that President Hoover did enough to help them and hope that Roosevelt will end the Depression.
March 9, 1933 The Emergency Banking Act is passed.

Congress passes the Emergency Banking Act. By the end of the month, almost all of the banks that had closed when the Depression started are open again.
April 1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps is created.

The first New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is created. Thousands of young men go to camps to work on projects such as building parks, building roads, and fighting forest fires.
May 1933 The Tennessee Valley Authority is created.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, another New Deal program, brings electricity and jobs to Americans living in the southern part of the United States.
April 1935 The Works Progress Administration puts Americans to work.

The Works Progress Administration is created. It puts Americans to work doing many types of jobs such as writing, acting, building bridges, and building airports.
August 1935 Social security is created.

The Social Security Act is signed. The Act provides money every month for senior citizens.
March 1936 Dorothea Lange takes the Migrant Mother photo.

Photographer Dorothea Lange takes photographs of a poor family working at a pea-picking camp in California. One of the photos, called "Migrant Mother," is one of the most famous photographs to come from the Great Depression.
March 1937 The economy goes through another recession.

After showing some improvement, the economy starts to suffer again when more Americans lose their jobs. Many people begin to lose hope that things will ever get better.
April 1939 "The Grapes of Wrath" is published.

The book "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck is published. The book is about a family that is forced to leave home and try to find work in California during the Great Depression.
December 7, 1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

Japan bombs American ships at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Thousands of Americans are killed in the attack.
December 1941 The Great Depression ends.

The United States declares war on Japan and joins World War II. Because the war creates so much money and jobs for the economy, the Great Depression ends soon after the U.S. goes to war.