The Great Depression

October 24, 1929, marked the beginning of a four-day stock market crash in the United States that had global ramifications.

September 11, 2019

October 24, 1929, marked the beginning of a four-day stock market crash in the United States that had global ramifications. Canada, with its resource-based economy, suffered immensely. The pain was amplified by a drought that plagued Western Canada during the dirty thirties. The depression ended in 1939 with the advent of the Second World War, which kick-started the world’s economies.

16,410,030

Number of shares sold on October 29, 1929, by panicked New York Stock Exchange investors. Today known as “Black Tuesday,” the final day of the stock market crash wiped out billions of dollars of share value.

30%

Canada’s national unemployment rate in 1933.

1935

Year that relief camp workers in Western Canada launched the On-to-Ottawa Trek to protest poor working conditions. The trek ended in Regina with a police crackdown that left one officer dead and injured hundreds of protesters.

20

Amount in cents paid per day to men working in federal unemployment relief camps, which operated from 1932 to 1936.

250,000

Approximate number of prairie homesteaders who, due to drought, abandoned their farms during the dirty thirties and relocated to other provinces.

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This article originally appeared in the October-November 2019 issue of Canada’s History.

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