24 Photos Of The Great Depression That Show Our Current Recession Could Be So Much Worse

Published March 4, 2016
Updated October 2, 2018

Look back on some of the darkest years in American history with these twenty-four humbling Great Depression photos.

Without a doubt, the Great Depression was one of the darkest, most catastrophic times the United States has endured.

The decade-long depression “officially” began on October 29th, 1929, when the stock market crashed, causing the Gross Domestic Product to drop a whopping 15% worldwide. To put that into perspective, during the recession of the late 2000s, the world’s GDP dropped less than 1%.

It would take World War II and the reform efforts of a new president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to pull the world out of a devastating economic hole left by a financial market in crisis — one which remains the largest worldwide financial crisis to date.

83 years ago today, Roosevelt entered the Oval Office as President of the United States. In the first 100 days of FDR’s presidency, Congress passed 15 major pieces of legislation to help implement “New Deal” programs that would stimulate employment and thus the economy.

But as the following Great Depression photos show, the road back to economic health would be long, and nothing short of agonizing:

Great Depression Photos Bank US
Great Depression Photos American Union
Great Depression Photos Despair
Great Depression Photos Down Out
24 Photos Of The Great Depression That Show Our Current Recession Could Be So Much Worse
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If you enjoyed these photos, be sure to check out what child labor at the turn of the 20th century and haunting images of America's dust bowl.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.