Great Depression era to the Start of World War Two


Stock Market Crash

October 29,1929

The economy had been growing fluidly for the Roaring Twenties. But the first sign of trouble was on Black Thursday. At that time, the stock exchange was around 4 million shares each trading day. But on Black Thursday, a record 12.9 million shares were exchanged. The systems for tracking the market prices could not keep up with trading volume, and that may have contributed to panic selling on that day. Panic selling brought the market to the ground. The simple laws of supply and demand were in place. With no one left willing to buy stocks, and everyone trying to sell at the same time, the market had nowhere to go but down. The significance if the Stock Market Crash because it marked the start of the Great Depression, the largest economic downturn in American history, causing millions to become jobless and thousands to lose their life savings. People began going starving and living in bad conditions, until a series of government decisions believe it or not, gave jobs to people, and so did WWII.

First Inauguration of FDR

March 4, 1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933. He was known as FDR. RDR was different from Hoover in two major ways: Pres. Roosevelt gave Americans hope and he was willing to try new ideas and change the way the government worked. Franklin D. Roosevelt carried all but six states which proved the Americans trusted him.

Bank Rush

March 12, 1933

Due to the stock market crash, people who borrowed money from the banks to buy stocks were unable to repay the loans. With no one paying the bank, the bank began to run short of money. Many banks, about 9,000, went out of business as people were running to the bank to withdraw their saving as they lost their jobs.

Wizard of Oz Realease

August 25, 1935

One of the escapes from the Great Depression was the movie theater. They wanted to come here for two reasons one for a stress relief and it was air conditioned. Most people wanted to see happy movies and soon the Wizard of Oz became a must see movie and one of the firsts with color. Along with the actual movie, some people came to see the news or cartoons.

FDR Supreme Court Packing

March 9, 1937

In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the Congress to pass a bill that would allow him, the president, to add six justices to the Supreme Court. But Congress did not pass the bill because they thought it interfered with the system of checks and balances. Even though the bill was not passed FDR did achieve his goal which was to have a more sympathetic Court.

Third Inauguration of FDR

January 20, 1941

In 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated for his third terms as the President of the United States of America. FDR is the first and only president to be inaugurated three time. He was the president for the rest of WW2 meaning he serves a fourth term. President Roosevelt at first wanted to stay neutral in the war and proposed the Lend-Lease Act.

Americas Entry into World War Two

December 7, 1941

When the war began, the United States had entered a period of separation. Americans viewed the conflict as Europe’s problem and wished to keep it that way. However, as the situation in Europe grew increasingly awful, the United States began to slowly edge toward war. The breaking point, of course, was the sudden attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. This was significant because it was a start to World War Two.


Hitler Elected Chancellor

January 30, 1933

The worldwide economic depression had hit Germany hard, and millions of people were out of work. Germany's humiliating defeat fifteen years earlier during World War I, and Germans lacked confidence in their weak government, known as the Weimar Republic. These conditions provided the chance for the rise of a new leader, Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a powerful and spellbinding speaker who attracted a wide following of Germans desperate for change. He promised the disenchanted a better life and a new and glorious Germany. The Nazis appealed especially to the unemployed, young people, and members of the lower middle class. This was an important event because it gave Hitler more power

Enactment of the Nuremberg Laws

September 15, 1935

At the annual party rally held in Nuremberg in 1935, the Nazis announced new laws which established many of the racial theories dominate in Nazi idea. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of "German or related blood."

Invasion of Poland

March 12, 1938

One of Adolf Hitler's first major foreign policy initiatives after coming to power was to sign a nonaggression pact with Poland in January 1934. This was not popular with many Germans who supported Hitler but resented the fact that Poland had received the former German provinces of West Prussia under the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. However, Hitler attempts the nonaggression pact in order to neutralize the possibility of a French-Polish military alliance against Germany before Germany had a chance to build up a new supplies.

German Unification with Austria

March 15, 1938

Adolf Hitler had threatened that the chancellor of Austria named Schuschnigg, resign or else he would invade Austria. Then Schuschnigg resigned because it was too much of a risk. Austria became part of the German Greater Reich.

Neville Chamberlain “Peace in our time"

September 30, 1938

“Peace in our time” was a phrase used by Neville Chamberlain the British Prime Minister in 1938 after signing the Munich Agreement by which Britain, France and Italy allowed Hitler to take control of a part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain got off the plane from Munich holding up a piece of paper which, he said, represented “peace in our time”. Many people at the time believed that he was right, and that the Munich Agreement had saved Europe from war, but in March 1939 Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia and in September World War II began when Poland was invaded, so that these phrases are now remembered with rather bitter feelings.

The Night of the Broken Glass

November 9, 1938

On the night of November 9, 1938, violence out against Jews broke out across the city of Reich. It appeared to be unplanned, set off by Germans' anger over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a 17 year old Jewish teenager. At least 91 Jews were killed in “The Night of the Broken Glass” and 30,000 were arrested in concentration camps. Jewish hospitals, schools, and homes were attacked. They demolished the buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,000 synagogues were burned, and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.

Anne Frank Family Flees Germany

December 8, 1939

Anne Frank was born in Germany. The Franks considered Germany their home, it was a very difficult decision for them to leave Germany in 1933 and start a new life in the Netherlands, away from the prejudice new Nazi leaders.