On October 29, 1929, the “Roaring Twenties” came to an abrupt stop.
October 29, 1929 is better known as Black Tuesday. This is the stock market crashed, kickstarting the Great Depression. Life in the Great Depression was no easy feat. Not a day would go by without the thought of getting laid off or starving to death. In the economic slump that rocked the world, The Great Depression carried a huge burden for thousands of Americans. For the Middle Class, every day in the Great Depression was a struggle. Living was hard with the threat of unemployment looming over you. According to Ruggiero, “By 1930, hundreds of businesses were closing and laying off their workers” (Ruggiero 6).
When the banks failed, the world seemed to stop. People were being laid off here and there, wondering how they would support their families. Some even resorted to suicide, too overwhelmed to face this fear. Also, as if this weren’t hard enough, finding food was even harder.
A young woman recalls, “My father could always get something to feed us kids. … We lived on fried noodles, ..
. we lived on Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies” (Wormser, 113). Although this family was able to find sufficient food, many weren’t as lucky. Both children and adults starved to death on the streets. Without money, there was no food to buy. Although the middle-class had it hard, the wealthy lived a posh life. For some of the wealthy, The Great Depression seemed to happen under them.
They were very well off in in terms of financial status. In fact, “Many rich people felt no impact at all, and were oblivious to the suffering of others” (The Great Depression). In the 30’s, various wealthy people threw extravagant parties and balls.
They threw away their money selfishly instead of giving it to those who were in dire need of support. Although several of the rich kept their money, some lost everything. Some families, no matter their status, were wiped out completely, and many more were facing unemployment (History.com Staff).
The Great Depression was a riches to rags story. Lots of the wealthy went from having everything to nothing. It goes to show that you should savor every moment of your life because it could take a turn for the worst at any moment. Although the wealthy lived a very lavish life, you cannot say the same about the lives of farmers. The Farmers were never wealthy to begin with, putting an even larger load on their shoulders when the Depression started. In terms of income, the farmers were definitely not wealthy at all. Without the money coming in from people buying their crops, they didn’t even have the means to buy just a small amount of food.
Without this money, they could not save enough to pay for their house, meaning the bank would take back their land. When the Depression started to take effect, the farmers didn’t lose much. They could not afford to buy any stocks (Himmelberg 50). Also, the farmers were hit hard with drought and famine. “When crops failed, .
.. they had no place to turn” (Ruggiero, 50). They would move all the time and harvesting crops provided them with a meager amount of money to clothe or feed their families.
Still, this wasn’t enough to get by, roughly Although the Great Depression for the farmers, it is crazy to think about the terrible lives of children in this era.Life of a child in the Great Depression was anything but fun. Various children had to go to work to support their families. Children were forced to work at dangerous machines (Dudley 101,108).
Children worked long and painful hours full of tedious work, only to receive a scant amount of money. This money would be used to buy food or clothes. Additionally, many children worked in awful conditions. A factory girl remembers, “Many factories were filthy, with toilets that didn’t work … They were infested with rats, mice, and bugs” (Wormser, 58).
Child labor was a way to get money for their families. Usually, the hazardous conditions caused several children to get injured or to, in worse cases, die. One story states that a tobacco truck was driving on the road. Then, the truck flipped over, causing several kids to be injured.
Three children were trapped under the tobacco truck. They were burned to death. The Great Depression took away the happy parts of being a kid, making them like adults fairly quicker. Even through the hardships of the Great Depression, people remained optimistic about it coming to an end. When the Great Depression started, the whole world seemed to stop. Through the ten long years of ruin, the world slowly seemed to turn again. From 1929 to 1939, America experienced a tidal wave of destruction. A world of huge economic growth was no more.
The Great Depression was an event that made thousands suffer, but the brave were the ones to rise above it.