The Day by Day History of the
The Stock Market Fell To Its Lowest Point During the
July 8, 1932
George Mehales lost everything in the stock
market crash of 1929, including his restaurant. "The first day
of October in 1929 made me feel like I was rich . . . (then,) I
was wiped out . . . I had nothing left." Mehales, a Greek
immigrant who lived in South Carolina, was just one of many
inexperienced investors who hoped to get rich quick in the
rapidly growing market of the 1920s. The stock market can be a
good place to invest some of your money, but it is also risky,
especially if you do not know much about stocks.
Great Crash affected everyone, even those who had not bought
stocks. People ran to their banks to get their savings, fearing
the banks would run out of money.
Many banks had also
invested in the stock market and lost money. W.W. Tarpley, a
bank officer in Georgia, remembered the mob of people who came
to his bank, fearful of losing everything, " . . . people were
losing their homes and some their savings of a lifetime. The
saddest part of it was to see widows who probably had been left
a little insurance and had put it all in the bank."
crash triggered the Great Depression. People all over the
country not only lost their money, but also they lost their
jobs. Businesses closed because they could not afford to pay
their workers. Stock prices continued to fall, and on July 8,
1932, the market hit its lowest point during the Depression.
Many lives were drastically changed, but only a few for the
Tarpley, the bank manager, was forced to sell
his belongings and leave his hometown to look for work, but he
was fortunate, as the Great Crash was only a minor setback for
him. "Of course I felt like I was ruined at the time," he told
an interviewer in 1940, "but if the crash had not come, I might
have still been down in that little South Georgia town working
for a small salary."
When Franklin Roosevelt was elected
president at the end of 1932, he promised Americans a New Deal
to bring economic relief. The government created many agencies
to revive industry and agriculture and create jobs to help
Americans get back on their feet. Important reforms to the
banking and investment industry were made. The Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established to insure bank
deposits, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was
formed to protect against stock market fraud. It took a long
time though for the American economy to emerge from the Great
Depression. The depression continued for 10 more years and
didn't end until the military buildup of the early 1940s, as the
United States geared up to enter World War ll.