While the newspapers reported on the stock market crash on October 29 and October 30, 1929, it’s clear that they didn’t know what was in store for them. (Some of the papers downplayed the events, and even showed outright optimism.) Ultimately, the Great Depression hit the country hard, and its effects were felt for many years.
The Great Depression began in 1929 when, in a period of ten weeks, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange lost 50 percent of their value. As stocks continued to fall during the early 1930s, businesses failed, and unemployment rose dramatically. By 1932, one of every four workers was unemployed. Banks failed and life savings were lost, leaving many Americans destitute. With no job and no savings, thousands of Americans lost their homes.
The poor congregated in cardboard shacks in so-called Hoovervilles on the edges of cities across the nation; hundreds of thousands of the unemployed roamed the country on foot and in boxcars in futile search of jobs. Although few starved, hunger and malnutrition affected many. – The Library of Congress
So what were media outlets reporting at the time? Here’s a look back at some of the front page newspaper headlines reporting the ups and downs that heralded the beginning of the historic stock market crash.
VIDEO: Headlines from the start of the Great Depression