Great Depression/WWII Era Timeline

U.S. Events

Stock Market Crash

10/28/1929 - 10/29/1929

The Stock Market Crash was the event on Black Monday and Tuesday when the Dow dropped 23% and continued to plummet. The Dow dropped 89% before bottoming out in July 1932. The Stock Market Crash was significant because it played a major role in The Great Depression, which was America's worst economic crisis in history.


Bank Rush

10/29/1929 - 1933

A bank rush is when a great number of people go and take out a large amount of money from the bank at the same time. This event occurred in the U.S. after the stock market crash and continued until 1933. It was significant because it forced many banks to close and was a leading cause of the Great Depression.


First Inauguration of FDR

March 4, 1933

The inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was significant because it gave Americans new hope during the Great Depression. FDR also delivered a famous speech at the inauguration in which he stated, "The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself".


FDR Supreme Court Packing

February 5, 1937 - August 26, 1937

FDR wanted to pass many new reforms to put an end to The Great Depression. Although he soon realized that it would not be possible with The Supreme Court striking down many of the New Deal measures he had in store. To pass his reforms, Roosevelt proposed a legislation initiative that would allow him to appoint a new justice for every existing justice over the age of 70. The plan was struck down in a 70 to 20 Senate vote. This was significant because it showed the American people that Roosevelt would go pretty far to get his laws passed.


The Wizard of Oz Release

August 15, 1939

The release of The Wizard of Oz attracted many moviegoers. It was a very popular film and is known for being one of the first colored movies ever. It is significant to this time period because it gave people a way to escape and forget about their troubles by entering into the mythical land of Oz.


The Third Inauguration of FDR

November 5, 1940

This event was significant because it was the first time in American history that the president was elected for a third term. Other presidents followed George Washington's tradition of two terms. FDR was the first and last president to do this. Now the 22nd Amendment limits a president to two terms. With another World War brewing in Europe, and the Great Depression coming to a close, the U.S. needed a leader and FDR was willing.


U.S. Entry Into WWII

December 8, 1941

The Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii at 7:55 am on December 7, 1941. This event brought the U.S. into World War II. America was trying to avoid the war but after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, the U.S. declared war. This event was significant because it led to U.S. involvement in World War II, and created war jobs for many Americans. This helped to end The Great Depression.


German Events

Hitler Elected Chancellor

January 30, 1933

Adolph Hitler was a decorated World War I veteran and gained popular support by attacking The Treaty of Versailles. Hitler was the head of the Nazi party and was appointed Chancellor by Paul von Hindenburg. This event was significant because under Hitler's leadership and ideas of expansion, Germany started World War II.


Anne Frank Family Flees Germany

February 1, 1934

After Hitler rose to power in Germany, Anne Frank's family fled to The Netherlands because of anti-Semitism. They were safe until Germany invaded The Netherlands. For two years they remained in hiding there until they were caught and put into concentration camps. Out of eight family members, Otto Frank was the only one to survive. This event was significant because it shows the terrible treatment Jews were receiving during this time period.


Enacment of Nuremburg Laws

15 September 1935

The Nuremburg Laws were two laws passed in Germany that made Jewish discrimination legal and encouraged. Before this event Jewish discrimination was already huge. The first law made marriage and sexual actions between a German and Jew illegal. The second law classified Jews as state subjects, and Germans as citizens of the Reich. This event was significant because it was one of the beginning events in the inhumane treatment of Jews that followed.


German Unification With Austria

March 12, 1938

Hitler, along with many other Nazi's wanted Austria to become part of Germany. Austria's Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was determined to remain independent, but when German soldiers entered the country to enforce the annexation, Schuschnigg's plan failed. This event was significant because it made Germany a bigger threat by growing larger and stronger. Germany even broke The Treaty of Versailles by doing this.


The Night of Broken Glass

November 9, 1938 - November 10, 1938

This event was triggered by the assassination of a German official in Paris by a Jewish teenager. Many Jews were killed because of this. In just two days over 250 synagogues were burned and over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted. It gets its name from the broken glass of all the Jewish homes and stores that were damaged. Law enforcement officials didn't do anything to stop the racist rampage. This event was significant because it foreshadowed the mass killing of Jews in concentration camps that began soon after.


Invasion of Poland

September 1, 1939 - September 27, 1939

Germany wanted back land lost with The Treaty of Versailles after World War I. To gain it back, Germany teamed up with The Soviet Union, took over Poland, and split the land. The invasion of Poland dragged in other nations such as Britain and France because of their loyalty to Poland. This event was significant because it started World War II.


Britain Events

Neville Chamberlain "Peace In Our Time"

September 30, 1938

When Neville Chamberlain came back from Munich after making an agreement with Hitler along with France and Italy, he had good news. The nations allowed Germany part of Czechoslovakia. He said, "I have returned from Germany with peace in our time." Germany had agreed not to go to war with Britain after making the Munich Agreement. This event was significant because it gave people hope that there would not be any war anytime soon.