Topic #1 Great Depression vs. Civil Rights Act of 1964
Great depression-worst economic depression in American history; it spurred by the stock market crash of 1929 & lasted until WWII.
the stock market crashed on October 27, 1929, "Black Thursday" struck Wall Street.
The depression steadily worsened year by year.
By spring of 1933, when FDR took the oath of office, unemployment had risen from 8 to 15 million (roughly 1/3 of the non-farmer workforce) and the gross national product had decreased from $103.8 billion to $55.7 billion. Forty percent of the farms in Mississippi were on the auction block on FDR's inauguration day. Although the depression was world wide, no other country except Germany reached so high a percentage of unemployed. The poor were hit the hardest.
By 1932, Harlem had an unemployment rate of 50 percent and property owned or managed by blacks fell from 30 percent to 5 percent in 1935. Farmers in the Midwest were doubly hit by economic downturns and the Dust Bowl. Schools, with budgets shrinking, shortened both the school day and the school year.
No one knew how best to respond to the crisis. President Hoover believed the dole would do more harm than good and that local governments and private charities should provide relief to the unemployed and homeless. By 1931, some states began to offer aid to local communities. FDR, then governor of New York, worked with Harry Hopkins and Frances Perkins to begin a direct work relief program. This helped only a very few. By 1932, only 1/4 of unemployed families received any relief. In 1932, only 1.5 percent of all government funds were spent on relief and averaged about $1.67 per citizen. Cities, which had to bear the brunt of the relief efforts, teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. By 1932, Cook County (Chicago) was firing firemen, police, and teachers (who had not been paid in 8 months). Breadlines and Homerville’s (homeless encampments) appeared across the nation.
Those hurt the most were more...