US History/Great Depression and New Deal/Timeline

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Year Month Events
1929 October The stock market crashes, marking the end of six years of unparalleled prosperity for most sectors of the American economy. The "crash" began on October 24 (Black Tuesday). By October 29, stock prices had plummeted and banks were calling in loans. An estimated $30 billion in stock values "disappeared" by mid-November.
November "Any lack of confidence in the economic future or the basic strength of business in the United States is foolish."—President Herbert Hoover
1930 March More than 3.2 million people are unemployed, up from 1.5 million before the "crash" of October, 1929. President Hoover remained optimistic however stating that "all the evidences indicate that the worst effects of the crash upon unemployment will have passed during the next sixty days."
November The street corners of New York City are crowded with apple-sellers. Nearly six thousand unemployed individuals worked at selling apples for five cents apiece,

The bill fell to defeat in the Senate, however, 62 to 18. The vets maintained their determination to stay camped out until they got their pay.

1931 January Texas congressman Wright Patman introduces legislation authorizing immediate payment of "bonus" funds to veterans of World War I. The "bonus bill" had been passed in 1924. It allotted bonuses, in the form of "adjusted service certificates," equaling $1 a day for each day of service in the U.S., and $1.25 for each day overseas. President Hoover was against payment of these funds, saying it would cost the Treasury $4 billion.
February "Food riots" begin to break out in parts of the U.S. In Minneapolis, several hundred men and women blew up a grocery market with some C4[citation needed] and made off with fruit, canned goods, bacon, and ham. One of the store's owners pulled out a gun to stop the looters, but was leapt upon and had his arm broken. The "riot" was brought under control by 100 policemen. Seven people were arrested.

Resentment of "foreign" workers increases along with unemployment rolls. In Los Angeles, California, Mexican Americans found themselves being accused of stealing jobs from "real" Americans. During the month, 6,024 of them were deported.

March Three thousand unemployed workers march on the Ford Motor Company's plant in River Rouge, Michigan. Dearborn police and Ford's company guards attack, killing four workers and injuring many more.
December New York's Bank of the United States collapses. At the time of the collapse, the bank had over $200 million in deposits, making it the largest single bank failure in the nation's history.
1932 January Congress establishes the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The R.F.C. was allowed to lend $2 billion to banks, insurance companies, building and loan associations, agricultural credit organizations and railroads. Critics of the R.F.C. called it "the millionaires' dole."
April More than 750,000 New Yorkers are reported to be dependent upon city relief, with an additional 160,000 on a waiting list. Expenditures averaged about $8.20 per month for each person on relief.
May More than 300 World War I vets leave Portland, Oregon en route to Washington DC to urge Congress to pass the Bonus Bill. It took them eighteen days to reach Washington DC.
June Determined to collect their "bonus" pay for service, between 15,000 to 25,000 World War I veterans gather and begin setting up encampments near the White House and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. On June 15, the House passed Congressman Wright Patman's "bonus bill" by a vote of 209 to 176.

The bill fell to defeat in the Senate, however, 62 to 18. The vets maintained their determination to stay camped out until they got their pay.

July Hoover signs a $100,000 transportation bill to assist "bonus Army" demonstrators in getting home. Hoover set a July 24 deadline for the men to abandon their encampments. On July 28, when some "bonus Army" members resisted being moved from their camps. Violence erupted, leading to the deaths of two veterans. Hoover ordered Federal troops, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, to assist DC police in clearing the veterans.
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is authorized to lend needy states sums from the national Treasury. The money was to target relief and public works projects.
November Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected President in a landslide over Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt received 22,800,000 popular votes to 15,750,000 for Hoover.
1933 March Before a crowd of 100,000 at the Capitol Plaza in Washington DC, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated president. FDR tells the crowd, "The people of the United Slates have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it."

FDR announces a four-day bank holiday to begin on Monday. March 6. During that time, FDR promised, Congress would work on coming up with a plan to save the failing banking industry. By March 9, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933. By month's end, three-quarters of the nation's closed banks were back in business.

On March 12, FDR delivers the first of what came to be known as his "fireside chats." In his initial "chat" he appealed to the nation to join him in "banishing fear."
April President Roosevelt. under the Emergency Banking Act, orders the nation off of the gold standard.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is established. Designed as a relief and employment program for young men between the ages of 17 and 27, the CCC was envisioned by FDR as a kind of volunteer "army" that would work in national forests, parks, and federal land for nine-month stints. The first 250,000 young men were housed in 1,468 camps around the country- At its peak in 1935, the CCC would include 500,000 young men.
May The Federal Emergency Relief Administration is created by Congress. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Harry L. Hopkins as its chief administrator. By the end of his first day on the job, Hopkins had Issued grants totaling more than $5 million.
The National Industrial Recovery Act is introduced into Congress. Under Title 1 of the act, the National Recovery Administration was designated to maintain some form of price and wage controls. Section 7(a) of the act guaranteed labor the right to organize and bargain collectively. As part of the act. The National Labor Board was set up to negotiate disputes between labor and management.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is created. A federally run hydroelectric power program, the TVA act was considered a huge experiment in social planning. The TVA also built dams, produced and sold fertilizer, reforested the Tennessee Valley area and developed recreational lands.

Opponents of the TVA called it "communistic to its core."

June Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, separating commercial from investment banking and setting up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits.
August With an eye toward organizing farmers into soil conservation districts, the federal government establishes the Soil Erosion Service. The creation of this service was made necessary by the years of drought and dust that plagued the Southwestern Panhandle states.
September In an effort to stabilize prices, the federal agricultural program orders the slaughter of more than 6 million pigs. Many citizens protested this action since most of the meat went to waste.
October The Civil Works Administration is established. Devised as a wide scale program that could employ up to 4 million people, the C.W.A was involved in the building of bridges, schools, hospitals, airports, parks and playgrounds- Additionally, C.W.A. funds went toward the repair and construction of highways and roads. Early in 1934, Congress authorized $950 million for the continued operation of the C.W.A.
1934 May A three-day dust storm blows an estimated 350 million tons of soil off of the terrain of the West and Southwest and deposits it as far east as New York and Boston. Some East Coast cities were forced to ignite street lamps during the day to see through the blowing dust.
November Father Charles E. Coughlin establishes the Union for Social Justice. Using the radio airwaves as his pulpit. Father Coughlin railed against "predatory capitalism." His criticism of the banking industry and disdain of communism soon dovetailed into a troubling gospel of anti-Semitism.
1935 April FDR signs legislation creating the Works Progress Administration. (Its name would be changed in 1939 to the Work Projects Administration). The program employed more than 8.5 million individuals in three thousand counties across the nation. These individuals, drawing a salary of only $41.57 a month, improved or created highways, roads, bridges, and airports. In addition, the WPA put thousands of artists — writers, painters, theater directors, and sculptors — to work on various projects. The WPA would remain in existence until 1943.
Business Week magazine announces that "Depression is a forgotten word in the automobile industry, which is forging ahead in production, retail sales, and expansion of productive capacity in a, manner reminiscent of the 'twenties.'"
June The National Youth Administration is set up to address the needs of young men and women (who were not allowed in the CCC). The NYA worked on two levels: a student work program and an out-of-school program. The student work program provided students with odd jobs that paid them enough to stay in school. The out-of-school program set young people up with various jobs ranging from house painting to cleaning local parks, and eventually came to include vocational training.
July FDR signs the Wagner National Labor Relations Act. The goal of the act was to validate union authority and supervise union elections.
August The Social Security Act of 1935 is signed into law by FDR. Among the most controversial stipulations of the act was that Social Security would be financed through a payroll tax. Historian Kenneth S. Davis called the signing of the act "one of the major turning points of American history. No longer could 'rugged individualism' convincingly insist that government, though obliged to provide a climate favorable for the growth of business profits, had no responsibility whatever for the welfare of the human beings who did the work from which the profit was reaped."