Before the Great Depression the stock market was flourishing, many average citizens had invested money in the stock market and installment buying was the rage.
This video tells about how the 1929 stock market crashed.
Even though October 29 is regarded as the day the stock market crashed, the day before had seen even larger drop than on Black Tuesday. On October 28 the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell from close to 300 points, to $260.34 for a fall of 38 points and stocks decreased in value by 12.82 percent.
Some investors who lost large sums of money took their lives when the stock market crashed:
After the initial crash, there was a wave of suicides in the New York’s financial district. It is said that the clerks of one hotel even started asking new guests if they needed a room for sleeping or jumping. – Randomhistory.com
Then on Black Tuesday stocks dropped another 30 points to 230.07, losing another 11.73 percent in value. Even though the stock market was a major factor in the resulting Great Depression falling real estate prices in 1925, had caused rumblings, about the economy not being strong.
The smart investors had bailed out of the stock market when they saw the writing on the wall and knew it had reached the top.
The Great Depression as bad as it was, did not affect 40 percent of the population. The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1941. World War II spurred the economy as workers were needed for defense plants and for other war-connected industries.
President Herbert Hoover sealed his fate when he said the worst was over in 1930 when in fact it wasn’t over till 1941.
My dad was 15 years old when the stock market crashed and lived through the Great Depression.
Unemployment was a major problem with Toledo, Ohio having an unemployment rate of 80 percent at one point.
Randomhistory.com has an excellent list of 50 interesting facts, about the Great Depression, that shed more light on the tenor of the times.