Depths of Despair: 35 Insightful Facts About The Great Depression

- Sponsored Links -

1Arkansas During Great Depression

Arkansas During Great Depression

During the Great Depression, the state of Arkansas was in such bad financial shape that the treasurer at one point reported a balance of just $4.62 for the entire general revenue fund of the state.

2. Many things were named after President Hoover during the Great Depression. Shanty towns were named 'Hoovervilles', an empty out-turned pocket was a "Hoover flag," worn-out shoes patched with cardboard were known as "Hoover leather," and a horse-drawn automobile was called a 'Hoover wagon.'

3. Ritz crackers were first released during the Great Depression. They chose the name 'Ritz' (as in the Ritz hotels) so that people would perceive the crackers as high class and fancy. They were in fact very affordable.

4. During the Great Depression, Clifton's Cafeteria eateries boasted the slogan "Dine free unless delighted." In the original restaurant's first three months of business, 10,000 customers took him up on the offer. Enough customers paid their bills to make them a success.

5. The 1993’s New Deal Legislation, especially the Agricultural Adjustment Act, set production quotas on food during the Great Depression. It led to 6 million pigs being slaughtered and not made into bacon. This caused a public outcry from starving Americans.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Dance Marathons

Dance Marathons

During the Great Depression, there were 'Dance Marathons' in which desperate couples danced for days on end just to have a roof over their head and food to eat. Dance partners took turns sleeping while the other one held them up and continued dancing.

7. Twin popsicles were created during the Great Depression so that two children could share a treat for just a nickel.

8. Soap operas get their name from radio series sponsored by soap manufacturers during the Great Depression, which were aimed primarily at housewives working alone at home.

9. Until the Great Depression, a man could be sued for monetary damages if he broke off an engagement. If he'd already had sex with his fiancé, damages were "greatly increased."

10. During the Great Depression Al Capone started one of the first soup kitchens, called "Free Soup Coffee & Doughnuts for the Unemployed." Capone's soup kitchen served breakfast, lunch, and dinner to an average of 2,200 Chicagoans every day.

- Sponsored Links -

11The Stock Market Crash

The Stock Market Crash

The Great Depression was not caused solely by the Stock Market Crash. It was caused by people panic-pulling all of their money out of the bank, defaulting on their loans, and crashing the bank's infrastructure. In turn, people lost jobs and went broke.

12. During the Great Depression, banker Mark Welch Munroe convinced struggling families in Quincy, Florida to buy Coca-Cola shares that traded at 19 dollars. Later, the town became the single richest town per capita in the US with at least 67 millionaires.

13. Peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches were a thing and at one point as popular as PB&J. They were created during the Great Depression as a cheap protein-rich alternative to meat which became too expensive at the time for most people.

14. 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.

15. 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.

- Sponsored Links -

16The Chicken Ranch

The Chicken Ranch

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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21Soccer in USA

Soccer in USA

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.

22. 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.

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

24. 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.

25. 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.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here