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The Great Depression Began 85 Years Ago Today. Photos From That Era Are…Wow.

This week marks 85 years since the official start of the Great Depression. For us in 2014, it’s hard to imagine what it was like to live through that period, especially when the years leading up to it were so prosperous.

Looking at photos from the day the stock market collapsed, October 29, 1929 (AKA Black Tuesday) is a bit surreal. The fear and disillusionment is obvious on people’s faces. Let’s take a quick walk through history.

As the saying goes: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Starting October 24th, 1929, the U.S. stock market began to wildly fluctuate. This was the beginning of the collapse.

Starting October 24th, 1929, the U.S. stock market began to wildly fluctuate. This was the beginning of the collapse. Tumblr

By October 29th, the market had fully collapsed. It was so bad that it was dubbed “Black Tuesday.”

By October 29th, the market had fully collapsed. It was so bad that it was dubbed "Black Tuesday." Tumblr

Many people were caught off guard by this sudden collapse, as preceding years were good for the market.

Many people were caught off guard by this sudden collapse, as preceding years were good for the market. Tumblr

At this point, people knew things were going to be bad. But they had no idea how bad.

At this point, people knew things were going to be bad. But they had no idea how bad. Tumblr

Some people lost everything in the stock market that day. They had to make some tough choices.

Some people lost everything in the stock market that day. They had to make some tough choices. Tumblr

Others took another way out. This is one stock trader who jumped to his death after losing everything on Black Tuesday.

Others took another way out. This is one stock trader who jumped to his death after losing everything on Black Tuesday. Tumblr

This is the floor of stock market on Black Tuesday. It was chaos.

This is the floor of stock market on Black Tuesday. It was chaos. Tumblr

The collapse absolutely destroyed consumer confidence in the economy, which impacted consumer spending and further accelerated the downward spiral.

The collapse absolutely destroyed consumer confidence in the economy, which impacted consumer spending and further accelerated the downward spiral. Tumblr

Although it took until fall 1930 for the first bank to fail, there was a run on banks with people trying to withdraw their savings.

Although it took until fall 1930 for the first bank to fail, there was a run on banks with people trying to withdraw their savings. Tumblr

This is a shanty town that sprung up in Central Park in New York City during the early years of the Depression.

This is a shanty town that sprung up in Central Park in New York City during the early years of the Depression. Tumblr

Jobs were scarce during this time. Here are hundreds of men lined up to apply for just a single position.

Jobs were scarce during this time. Here are hundreds of men lined up to apply for just a single position. Imgur

At the same time, the midwest was also devastated by severe drought and dust storms known collectively as “The Dust Bowl.” Here is a dust storm blowing in over the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1935.

At the same time, the midwest was also devastated by severe drought and dust storms known collectively as "The Dust Bowl." Here is a dust storm blowing in over the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1935. Tumblr

In the years following the stock market collapse, sights like this were increasingly common.

In the years following the stock market collapse, sights like this were increasingly common. Tumblr

It would take until 1932 and the election of FDR for meaningful reforms to be implemented to combat the Depression.

It would take until 1932 and the election of FDR for meaningful reforms to be implemented to combat the Depression. Tumblr

I really feel for this man. His sign is heartbreaking.

I really feel for this man. His sign is heartbreaking. Tumblr

I can’t even imagine the desperation and helplessness that these people felt during the Depression. Let’s take this as a lesson and remember to appreciate how good we have it. 

Read more: http://viralnova.com/when-the-great-depression-began/

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