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
World War I veterans, who in 1924 had been promised a bonus for their military service to be paid in 1945, marched on Washington, DC, to demand immediate payment of their bonuses. The Great Depression had taken a huge economic toll on the veterans, and many were unemployed and unable to find work. Though the House approved their request, the Senate defeated the Bonus Army bill, sparking a weeks-long protest in the capital. Eventually, troops were sent to disperse the “Bonus Army.”
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.
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.
The German passenger airship Hindenburg was destroyed in a disastrous fire as it tried to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-seven aboard were killed. A radio broadcaster assigned to cover the ship’s arrival described the disaster as it happened, declaring, “Oh, the humanity!”
The Hoover Dam (originally called the Boulder Dam) was constructed on the Colorado River downstream from the Grand Canyon.
John Collier persuaded Congress to pass the Indian Reorganization Act, which terminated the allotment program of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887; provided funds for tribes to purchase new land; offered government recognition of tribal constitutions; and repealed prohibitions on Native American languages and customs. Later the same year, federal grants were provided to local school districts, hospitals, and social welfare agencies to assist American Indians.
The economy relapsed in the “Roosevelt Recession.” Encouraged by the successes he saw resulting from New Deal programs, President Roosevelt felt the economy had turned around and he cut spending. At that point, companies failed, unemployment rose, and the stock market fell. Roosevelt responded with a new spending program, and the economy largely returned to pre-1937 levels by the middle of 1938.