left scroll 1930-1939 right scroll


As the crash of '29 devastates the American financial market, money becomes scarce.
The income of the average family is reduced by 40% and one out of four families is on relief.
Unemployment soars to 25%, and the average worker earns $16.89 weekly. The annual income is $1,368.

FDR In 1933, FDR's "New Deal" promises new hope to the depression weary, including large-scale work programs for the unemployed. But it isn't until 1937 that the unemployment compensation program is created by the Illinois General Assembly.

In one of his first acts as president, Roosevelt repeals Prohibition,
and in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous is founded.

Many of the nation's skyscrapers are completed in the early 1930s. The Empire State Building opened to the public in 1931. Standing 1,250 feet high, with 102 stories, it's the tallest building in the world.

Spanning the Colorado River, Hoover Dam is completed in 1933.
And, with the aid of government funding, Mount Rushmore Memorial is finished in 1937.
Empire State Building, NYC
May 1, 1931
The Empire State Building opens in NYC.
As America works feverishly to regain her financial footing, a storm is brewing . . .
A storm so powerful that many believe the world is coming to an end.

April 14, 1935 - Black Sunday
A giant dust storm engulfs Boise City, Oklahoma, turning day into night.

OK-dust storm

A drought, combined with misuse of the land, turns the Great Plains into a desert.
Large dust storms ravage 100 million acres - the Great Plains become known as "The Dust Bowl",
and this decade will be known as "The Dirty Thirties".

What's New In The '30s
Tape Monopoly Helicopter
  • Scotch Tape (1930)
  • Analog Computers (1930)
  • Polaroid Photography (1932)
  • Stereo Records (1933)
  • Drive-in Movie Theaters (1933)
  • Monopoly (1934)
  • Nylon (1935)
  • Canned Beer (1935)
  • Jet Engines (1937)
  • Helicopters (1939)
- 1937 -

The airship Hindenburg bursts into flames and crashes in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 37 of the 91 passengers on board. The news is broadcast from coast to coast.

Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler comes into power in Germany in 1933. By 1935, Nuremberg Laws deprive Jews of citizenship. When Germany invades Poland in 1939, Great Britain declares war. Nazi Flag
During the Great Depression, the American Dream has become a nightmare.

Soup Kitchen Line Shanty Shanty Town

What was once the land of opportunity has become the land of desperation --
with soup kitchens and shanty towns populated by migrant workers . . .
SURVIVAL is the keyword.


You have been listening to a medley of Glenn Miller Hits.


Kingwood College Library, American Cultural History, 1930-1939
Then and Now: Prices
20th Century Inventions 1926-1950
1860-2000 General History, 1930s
The History Place


Sign/View Our Guest Book

Guest Book