Great Depression

1940s

Overview The 1940s witnessed the worst military conflict in world history.  Out of more than 70 million combatants from 70 different countries, the editors at Digital History estimate about 17 million dead, including about 400,000 American military personnel out of…

1930s

Overview When Franklin Roosevelt took the oath of office as president on March 4, 1933, the nation’s economic crisis had become the most severe in its history.  Not only was unemployment rising and poverty widespread, but the banking system appeared…

1920s

No matter how you try to capture the spirit of the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, nothing looms larger in a discussion of that fast-paced decade than the Great Crash of 1929.  The collapse of Wall Street stock prices on…

ESSAY –Norman Thomas in 1932

In Fall 2010, Dickinson College student Leah Kaplan reminded readers that Socialist Norman Thomas performed exceptionally well in the 1932 presidential contest –even better perhaps than the official results indicated.  She suggests that Thomas and the Socialists may have received over…

MAP –Growing Up

This map built from snippets from Russell Baker’s memoir Growing Up (1981) offers a vivid snapshot of life in early twentieth century America.  Additional resources for this map can be found at the US Since 1877 course site. Growing Up resources