Depression A First Hand Account

Depression A First Hand Account - Constan 1 John Constan...

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Constan 1 John Constan Felix Medina Evolution of American Thought 9 March 2010 Depression: A First Hand Account The Great Depression was without a doubt the most severe economic depression ever experienced by the Western World . The Depression has been characterized by high unemployment rates, low number of middle class citizens, and millions of people living in poverty across the United States . It was not positive time in the United States; people were living day by day, unsure of where their next meal would come from . Sights of citizens selling apples on street corners to get by were commonplace . And it was during this time of economic chaos, and political change brought on by President Franklin Roosevelt, that Clarence R . Constantakis grew up. It was on October 29, 1929 that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) crashed . As soon as the market opened, at 10:03am, 650,000 shares of U .S. Steel had been put up for sale on the market . This caused the share price to plummet from $205 dollars per share to $179 dollars per share (Feinberg 7) . General Electric’s share price had dropped a dollar every ten seconds, and Westinghouse’s stock lost 2 dollars a minute during the first 15 minutes the market was opened (Feinberg 7) . After just 30 minutes of opening, the NYSE sold 3,259,800 shares for a loss of more than $2 billion dollars (Feinberg 7) . Wall Street was in trouble, and people were in panic .
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Constan 2 Clarence was just 4 years old at the time, and doesn’t recall much of the terror and chaos that enveloped Wall Street . According to Clarence, people were screaming in the streets . Some even went as far as throwing themselves from the tall, New York skyscrapers that lined Wall Street . It was as if it was the beginning of the apocalypse, and things looked bleak . The economy was on a steep, downward spiral with no indication of a rebound . It wasn’t until 1933 with the election of President Franklin D . Roosevelt, that the United States got its first ray of hope during these harsh economic times . Clarence described the mood on that day as, “Genuine euphoria . People were happy, it was the first bit of hope they’ve seen since the Depression began .” And the people were right to hope in Roosevelt because as it turned out he was one of the most capable leaders our country has ever seen . Franklin D
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course WRA 150 taught by Professor Vetne during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Depression A First Hand Account - Constan 1 John Constan...

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