Glossary Term – Event
American unemployment rose to 19 percent.
By 1930, more than 3.2 million people were unemployed, up from 1.5 million before the Stock Marked Crash of October 1929
In 1932, George Barnett, a prominent economist and president of the American Economics Association, forecasted a bleak future for organized labor: “The changes, occupational and technological, which checked the advance of unionism in the last decade, appear likely to continue in the same direction.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibited child labor and established a minimum wage.
Thousands of unemployed workers marched at the Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn, Michigan, plant to demand hunger and job relief. Police fired on the crowd, killing three demonstrators.
The Glass-Steagall Act encouraged credit expansion by increasing bank reserves.
John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath was published. The book told the story of an Oklahoma sharecropper family forced to migrate to California in search of work. The book instantly became a literary emblem of the Great Depression and soon earned the Pulitzer Prize and was instrumental in his selection for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which established benefits for the elderly, the blind, the handicapped, dependent women and children, and the unemployed.
Congress passed the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allocation Act to limit overproduction by paying farmers to reduce the cultivation of soil-depleting crops.
As the Depression dragged on, bitter labor-management warfare erupted. In 1934, 1.5 million American workers went on strike. Auto and steel workers and longshoremen became involved in violent strikes. In Minneapolis, police shot sixty-seven striking Teamsters. In August, textile workers staged the largest strike the country had ever seen. 110,000 workers struck in Massachusetts, 60,000 in Georgia. While some of the strikes aimed at higher wages, fully a third demanded union recognition.