Great Depression

The Great Depression was the great economic crisis that started after the U.S. stock market crash in 1929. The prices on the Wall Street stock market fell a lot from October 24 to October 29, 1929. This ended the wealth of the Roaring Twenties. Many people think that the Great Depression started on Tuesday, October 29, but economists think Black Tuesday was just one of the causes.

When the Great Depression started, Herbert Hoover was the president of the United States, and as a result, he was blamed for it. People voted for a new president in 1932. His name was Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Many people lost their jobs. By 1932, 25–30% of people lost their jobs. They became homeless and poor. Unemployment rates soared.  Unemployment rates didn’t even accurately depict the true levels of unemployment since married women who lost their jobs were not considered “unemployed.”  Roosevelt got the government to pass many new laws and programs to help people who were hurt by the Great Depression.

These programs were called the New Deal.  One of these programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC. The CCC put many young men to work in the outdoors. The men were paid thirty dollars a month, of which twenty five dollars was sent home to support their families, to work, and they got free food and shelter.

During the time of the CCC, enrollees planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed trails, lodges and related facilities in more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.

Another program was called Social Security. Social Security gave old people a small income so they had money for things they needed. The Great Depression was really bad, but with everyone’s help, it would get better. Between 1939 and 1944, more people had jobs again because of World War II, and the Great Depression came to an end.

Poor mother and children, Oklahoma, 1936 by Dorothea Lange

An impoverished American family living in a shanty, 1936


A “Hooverville” is the popular name for slum towns built by people without homes during the Great Depression. They were named after Herbert Hoover, who was the President of the United States during the start of the Great Depression and was given the blame for it.

Most Hoovervilles were made out of any materials people could find, including crates, cardboard, and scraps of metal. They usually had a small stove, a bed, and some cooking instruments. People who were living in Hoovervilles without jobs created public charities or asked for food from people with houses.

Adapted from Great Depression Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.   and Hooverville Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia. and Civilian Conservation Corps Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.