The Great Depression
Get writing ideas and topics with the Genealogy.com Biography Assistant
How was he/she affected by the 1929 Stock Market Crash and ensuing Depression? How did this experience influence his/her values? Use this Topic to describe his/her experiences during this period.
Would you like to recount his/her experiences from the 1929 Stock Market Crash and Great Depression?
- In later years, what was the first thing that came into his/her mind when he/she heard the word "Depression"? What feelings and memories did this word bring back?
- Did his/her family or friends invest in the stock market? Did he/she or anyone he/she knew lose money in the stock market? What did this money loss mean?
- How quickly were the effects of the stock market crash felt in his/her household, if at all? Did he/she notice what was happening because of the effects it had on his/her family or because of the effects it had on others?
- Did he/she experience bank panics? What happened at these times? Did he/she lose money or was he/she unable to get use of his/her money because of a panic?
- What did he/she have to do without during the Depression? New clothes? Money for entertainment? Meat? Or was his/her family still fairly comfortable?
- How did he/she feel when he/she became aware of the magnitude of the economic difficulties? Was he/she afraid for himself and his/her family or was he/she confident that he/she would make it through? How did his/her expectations measure up to reality?
- About 25% of the work force was unemployed at the height of the Depression. How were his/her family and friends affected in this aspect? Were they out of jobs for extended periods of time or did they have steady work?
- Without steady work, what was done to get money? Did he/she have to sell any of his/her possessions? How did it feel to do this? Was it hard to part with some items or was he/she just happy to have the money? What was sold first?
- Did his/her family move to find work in another part of the state or country? If so, were they successful? How did it feel to face the unknown?
- Did his/her family move in with relatives or did he/she take in relatives who were having difficulties? What was it like having extra people in the household? Was there any resentment among the different family members?
- Did he/she or anyone he/she knew become homeless? What happened? Did he/she or they move into a "Hooverville"? What were the conditions there? What was the mood of the inhabitants?
- What did his/her family think about accepting or giving charity? Did they not like to accept help from others? Did they think that people should fend for themselves? Were they happy to give or receive what they could?
- Even during the height of the Depression, many people who could scrape together enough money still went to the movies. Did he/she do this? Why? Was it a way to escape reality?
- In later years, what did he/she remember about the movie stars of the era? Did they seem as glamorous then as we tend to characterize them now? Did he/she or others resent their lifestyles when so many people were desperately poor?
- How were holidays celebrated during the Depression? Did he/she still eat special foods or give and receive gifts when appropriate? Did they pass by without anyone noticing? How had the mood changed?
- What did he/she think were some of the major causes of the Depression? Did he/she think that it was caused by over-speculation in the stock market or bad bank loans? What else might have added to the problems?
- Why did he/she think that it lasted for so long? Were the policies of Hoover and FDR effective or ineffective? What would he/she have done in the President's place?
- What were his/her opinions of Hoover and his/her policies? What was he/she doing right and what was he/she doing wrong?
- Did he/she think that FDR would do a better job than Hoover? Why or why not?
- Before the stock market crashed, were people generally optimistic about the future? How long was it after the Depression before optimism returned?