October 29, 1929

Stock Market Crash Heralds Great Depression


On this day in 1929, stock markets in Boston, New York, and other major American cities tumbled so dramatically that the day was named Black Tuesday. Capping five days of frenzied panic selling, Black Tuesday marked the beginning of the nation's — and the state's — slide into the Great Depression. By 1934, Massachusetts cities that had once been prosperous centers of textile, shoe, and garment manufacturing were places of desperation. Unemployed workers wandered barefoot outside of shoe factories that had failed. Soup kitchens and bread lines offered food to the starving, but at a high cost to their self-esteem. A Washington relief worker wrote to her boss that "the picture is so grim that whatever words I use will seem hysterical and exaggerated."

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