- Easier - The
'Great Depression' was a period in United States
History when business was poor and many people were
out of work.
- Harder - The Great
Depression began in October 1929, when the stock
market in the United States dropped rapidly.
Thousands of investors lost large sums of money and
many were wiped out, lost everything. The 'crash'
led us into the Great Depression. The ensuing
period ranked as the longest and worst period of
high unemployment and low business activity in
modern times. Banks, stores, and factories were
closed and left millions of Americans jobless,
homeless, and penniless. Many people came to depend
on the government or charity to provide them with
- The Depression became a worldwide business
slump of the 1930's that affected almost all
nations. It led to a sharp decrease in world trade
as each country tried to protect their own
industries and products by raising tariffs on
imported goods. Some nations changed their leader
and their type of government. In Germany, poor
economic conditions led to the rise to power of the
dictator Adolf Hitler. The Japanese invaded China,
developing industries and mines in Manchuria. Japan
claimed this economic growth would relieve the
depression. This militarism of the Germans and
Japanese eventually led to World War II
- In the United States, President Herbert Hoover
held office when the Great Depression began. The
economy continued to slump almost every month.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President in
1932. Roosevelt's 'new deal' reforms gave the
government more power and helped ease the
depression. The Great Depression ended as nations
increased their production of war materials at the
start of World War II. This increased production
provided jobs and put large amounts of money back
Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal
- from American Memory, Library of
- Here you can read life histories gathered and
written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the
Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works
Progress (later Work Projects). The
- histories describe the informant's family
education, income, occupation, political views,
religion and mores, medical needs, diet and
- Related Websites:
- 2) America from the Great Depression to World
War II: Photographs from the FSA-
- OWI, 1935-1945 from American Memory, Library
- 3) By the People, For the People: Posters from
the WPA, 1936-1943
- from American Memories, Library of
the Dust Bowl from PBS's The American
- This site includes a timeline of the disaster,
a map of the affected areas, and profiles of people
who were involved.
- More Dust Bowl Websites:
- 2) The Dust Bowl http://www.nasm.si.edu/ceps/drylands/dust.html
- 3) Drought from Discovery Channel Online
- 4) Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L.
Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection
from American Memory, Library of
Causes of the Great Depression
by Paul Alexander Gusmorino III : May 13,
- This is the site of a brief summary of the
causes of the Great Depression, includes a
- Similar Websites Provide Different
- 2) Causes and Effects of the 'Great Depression'
by Mike Noble
- 3) The Easy Life of the '20s Contributed to
Great Depression http://www.marist.edu/summerscholars/96/ovpe.htm
- New Deal
- This great website has lots of information on
the 'New Deal', photographs, articles, and lots
- Related Websites:
- 2) Great Depression and the New Deal http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/depression/
- After first visiting several of the
Great Depression websites, complete one or
more of the following activities.
- Write A Diary Set in the
Thirties. Imagine your self as a young
person living in the 1930s. Choose whether
you live in the city, on a farm, are
homeless, living 'on the road', or some
other possible situation (Your own
Choice). Select a setting location(s).
Then write your diary or journal
describing what your life might have been
like and what your thoughts and feelings
would have been. Get lots of ideas from
the websites like (1) American
Life Histories: Manuscripts from the
Federal Writers' Project,1936-1940,
Depression, (3) Great
Depression: Both Good and Bad, and
- Prepare a Depression Era Meal.
Go to Great
Depression Recipes. Select a menu for
a typical meal during the 'lean'
depression years. Then prepare the meal
and serve it to your family or friends.
Note that you may have to substitute for
some items, be creative and as accurate as
- Be a WPA Writer. Select an
authentic photograph from the Depression
Years. You can look at several at the
America from the Great
Depression to World War II website.
Then using the photograph as your focal
point, write a short story about it. Share
your photograph and story.
- Complete a Great Depression
WebQuest. Follow or adapt the
procedures found at one of these webQuest
- 1) Catastrophic Weather Event: Dust
Bowl 1936-40 (Grade 10-11) http://edweb.sdsu.edu/t2arp/quest/dustbowl/dust.html
- 2) What caused the Great Depression?
- 3) Federal Writersí Project and
the History of Everyday Life (Grade
- by R. Beilstein and K. Elmquist
- 4) Great Depression (Grade 6-9)
- 5) Great Depression (Grade 7) by E.
- 6) Great Depression (Grade 10-11) by
D. Brinker and A. Visker http://www.plainfield.k12.in.us/hschool/webq/webq1/webquest.htm
- 7) Life During the Great Depression
- Interview People Who Remember the
Great Depression. Before starting,
visit and explore another 42eXplore
History. Look for suggestions and
guidelines for conducting interviews. Then
find people who remember the Depression
years. You might interview members of your
extended family or neighbors and friends.
Put together a summary of what you found
out. You can also get some ideas from
websites like We
Made Do-- Recalling the Great
Depression and "I
remember . . .".
- Websites By Kids For Kids
of 1929 from The Jazz Age Page
- This website account provides an economic
summary of the crash and its causes.
Depression: Both Good and Bad
- This Canadian student's essay contrasts the
tragedies of this era with the positive memories
that many who lived through it share.
- This site features a time-line and biographies
of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt. It was created
by high school students as a class project.
Depression, a Great Disaster (2000
ThinkQuest Junior Project)
- This site focuses on the causes of the Great
Depression (Part of a 1996 ThinkQuest
Project titled 'Recent History')
- The website contains a brief summary of the
Depression, plus a few memories added by visitors
to the site.
Depression: A Decade of Hardship (Museum
in the Classroom Project)
- This website has information about the Great
Depression, pictures of some art and artifacts, and
interviews with people who experienced this
difficult time in American history.
Made Do-- Recalling the Great Depression
(Mooresville High School, Mooresville, IN)
- This site presents first-person accounts and
images of the era. Readers are invited to submit
their own Depression memories.
- More Websites About the Great
- This site examines the years between Black
Tuesday and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, through
the film, print, radio, and design of the era.
- Related Website:
- 2) 20th Century: 1930-1939 Decade (Links-site)
from Chico High School Library
News: The 1930s (Michigan Historical
- This is an online tour of the 'Great Depression
- Not To Be Missed Section:
- 2) "I remember . . ." (Reminiscences of the
- In the United States, the people reacted to
this crisis by electing Roosevelt into office who
vowed to experiment with unorthodox solutions for
the economic dilemma. Other countries, however,
reacted differently. This comprehensive website
examines public policies chosen during the early
thirties and American reactions to the crisis.
Depression of Canada
- This project describes events in Canada during
the Depression in the 1930's.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Great Depression http://www.swil.ocdsb.edu.on.ca/SWLCanMu/30shome.html
- 3) Great Depression by J. Struthers from The
Depression from The WritingDEN
- WritingDEN is designed for students seeking to
improve their English reading,comprehension, and
writing skills. Multimedia presentations are
divided into three levels of difficulty: words,
sentences and paragraphs. This is the section on
the Great Depression. To learn more about the
WritingDen, visit http://www2.actden.com/writ_den/.
Depression and New Deal History Forum from
- This is a discussion forum. To post to the
forum from this web site you will need to select a
password and wait for e-mail verification. But you
can visit the archives and search by topic.
Tree Army: Michigan's Civilian Conservation
- Here is a historical summary of the development
of the CCC program in the state of Michigan.
the Rails from PBS's The American
- At the height of the Great Depression, more
than a quarter million teenagers were living on the
road in America, many crisscrossing the country by
illegally hopping freight trains. This site
designed to accompany the film of the same name
includes program description, a timeline, a
teacher's guide, and more.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Hobo History http://members.tripod.com/HoboJeepers/hobo.htm
- 3) Hobo Signs http://www.worldpath.net/~minstrel/hobosign.htm
- 4) Hobo Signs & Symbols http://www.slackaction.com/signroll.htm
- 5) Riding the Rails http://www.erroluys.com/frontpage.htm
of the Great Depression
- Here you can read lyrics to popular
Depression-era songs including 'We're In the Money'
and 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?'
District: Shantytown: Looking
- This site includes a photograph of a
"Hooverville" in Pittsburgh during the Depression
era. You will also find a quote from a guide book
of the era about these shantytowns.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Hooverville, 1937 (Photograph) http://www.washington.edu/uwired/outreach/cspn/hstaa432/lesson_19/hooverville.html
- 3) Hooverville: Oakland, CA, 1937 (Click arrow
to see photograph collection)
- 4) Hooverville: The Great Depression in Seattle
- 5) Hooverville: Shantytown of Seattle's Great
- 6) Hoovervilles During the Great
and Now Prices
- How much did toys and clothing cost during the
Great Depression of the 1930s? What would they cost
- Websites for Teachers
Can You Spare a Dime': The Effects of The New Deal
on the Great Depression
- Investigate the circumstances and lives of
those who endured this time of distress using their
oral histories recorded by the Federal Writer's
Project. Site contains ideas for teaching, an
activity for students, and links to resources.
Deal: North Carolina's Reconstruction?
- This lesson plan is a guide for teachers that
will result in imaginary Works Progress
- Another Great Depression Lesson-site at
American Memory, Library of Congress:
- 2) The Great Depression and the 1990s
for the Classroom
- This extensive guide has been prepared to
accompany the 'Riding the Rails' from PBS and to
facilitate its use in educational settings. It has
lots of good stand-alone classroom ideas.
Great Lessons for Teaching the Great
Depression from Education World
- Here are twelve activities for use across the
curriculum and across the grades!
Was Life Like During the Great Depression?
from Michigan Historical Museum
- Life during the Great Depression was difficult
for everyone. By asking questions and listening to
stories from older relatives and friends, students
can understand how much life has changed since the
- Created by
1/99, Update 1/02.
Update by Nancy