50 Strangest Facts About The Great Depression

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26Depression Scrip

During the Great Depression, a fake currency called Depression Scrip (which were things such as shells, wood, paper, etc) was used as local currency instead of US dollars due to banks being closed.


27. Mexicans were scapegoated for taking jobs away from "real" Americans during the Great Depression and so state and local governments in the USA illegally forced hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens into forced exile simply for having Mexican ancestry.


28. The Chicken Ranch was the oldest continually operating whorehouse in the United States when it closed in 1973. During the Great Depression the "house of ill repute" offered time with a "lady of the evening" in exchange for a chicken. The brothel was listed on the tax rolls as a poultry farm.


29. The Federal Theater Project was a program to employ artists during the great depression. The Federal Theatre Project was distinguished for its focus on racial injustice. In its conclusion, 65% of its productions were still presented free of charge.


30. The "Bum Blockade" was an unconstitutional program enacted during the Great Depression by the Los Angeles Police Department to place officers at the California state lines to keep migrant workers (Okies) from crossing over to find work or housing.


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31IBM During Great Depression

During the Great Depression, IBM laid off no employees and closed no factories. Despite collapsing sales, production continued with years of surplus machines being stockpiled. The gamble paid off when the Social Security Act was signed, starting an unprecedented demand for accounting machines.


32. During the great depression people thought that they will die faster because of the shortage of food but in reality, their life expectancy rose because of fasting.


33. The reason soccer lost popularity in America was primarily due to the Great Depression which caused many clubs to default, which led to shutdown of the American Soccer League.


34. Many people from capitalist countries illegally immigrated to the USSR during the great depression because the steadily-growing socialist economy of USSR was virtually unaffected by the stock market crash.


35. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Canada had zero bank failures compared to over 9,000 failed banks in the USA.


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36Franksgiving Day

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt moved the Thanksgiving holiday one week earlier to help boost retail sales during the final year of the Great Depression. People were outraged and began naming the holiday "Franksgiving." In 1941, Congress reversed the move back to the 4th Thursday of Nov.


37. Lysol was the best-selling method of contraception during the Great Depression because birth control was illegal in the U.S. until 1965 for married couples and 1972 for single people.


38. During the Great Depression, to help combat further Dust Bowls, the Forest Service started the "Shelterbelt Project." They planted a line of trees that ran vertically across the US. It ran from southern Texas up through North Dakota, to help block the wind.


39. Armadillos were hunted for their meat during the Great Depression. Those who blamed President Hoover for the crisis referred to them as "Hoover Hogs."


40. Jigsaw puzzles soared in popularity during the great depression, as they provided a cheap, long-lasting, recyclable form of entertainment.


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41Long Depression

The longest financial downturn in the history of the United States wasn't The Great Depression but took place about 50 years earlier. The "Long Depression" was nearly two years longer than the Great Depression, and caused 18,000 business bankruptcies, and the failure of 89 railroads.


42. During the Great Depression, politicians and the wealthy feared chaos and revolution. Joseph Kennedy Sr. said later that he had been willing to give up half of his fortune "if I could be sure of keeping, under law and order, the other half."


43. Empire State Building's opening coincided with the Great Depression in the United States, and as a result, much of its office space was vacant from its opening. The lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the "Empty State Building."


44. During the Great Depression, UNC Asheville accepted vegetables, eggs, and milk as tuition payments.


45. The Civilian Conservation Corps was a US Government-sponsored work program that provided training and income for young men and their families during 'The Great Depression.' The program is credited for having improved morale, physical health, and employability for those who participated.


46Oil Price During Depression

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, massive oil discoveries in Texas, alongside falling global demand for energy, sent oil prices tumbling downwards. A barrel of oil cost only 65 cents.


47. The Great Depression was one of the few if not the only times that emigration from the USA was greater than immigration.


48. Water Pie is a Great Depression-era pie that has water as the main filling ingredient.


49. Bonus Army was a group of homeless World War 1 veterans who camped in Washington D.C. during the Great Depression to demand their service bonuses. After police failed to dislodge the 43,000 demonstrators, in 1932 General Douglas McCarthur took in soldiers with tanks and burned the camp down.


50. In 1933, US government seized all gold bullion in personal ownership under ‘Executive Order 6102.’ The seizure was enacted to mitigate the economic hardship of the Great Depression using a wartime "trading with the enemy" law from 1917 which is still in force today. Franklin D. Roosevelt went against the wishes of all of his economic advisors and took the US off of the gold standard. Today this move is credited as being 90% of the reason the US got out of the great depression.

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