Depression and Unemployment

When Herbert Hoover was elected President in November of 1928, Americans were generally optimistic. Many people believed that the prosperity of the 1920s, which felt rather like the upbeat 1990s, would continue indefinitely. The horrors of World War I were behind them, new conveniences such as cars, radios, and electrical appliances were becoming common, and new possibilities were opening up for women and small entrepreneurs.

The stock market crash of October 1929 therefore came as a surprise, and drastically curtailed a creative period of economic growth throughout the nation. In Wisconsin, people turned from sneaking bootleg beer into jazz halls... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: The Progressive Party is born in 1934The Progressive Party is born in 1934
Link to article: The Sheboygan Press covers the strike in Kohler, 1934The Sheboygan Press covers the strike in Kohler, 1934
Link to article: The CCC tackles forest fires in Northern Wisconsin, 1934The CCC tackles forest fires in Northern Wisconsin, 1934
Link to article: A farm family untouched by depression in 1933A farm family untouched by depression in 1933
Link to artifacts: A Frank Lloyd Wright "dream house" made of paper, 1938A Frank Lloyd Wright "dream house" made of paper, 1938
Link to artifacts: A hand-made prom dressA hand-made prom dress
Link to artifacts: Flour and feed sacks become a State Fair quilt in 1931Flour and feed sacks become a State Fair quilt in 1931
Link to artifacts: A block-print wall hanging from the Milwaukee Handicraft ProjectA block-print wall hanging from the Milwaukee Handicraft Project
Link to artifacts: A miniature kit teaches mothers about safe homebirths, 1938A miniature kit teaches mothers about safe homebirths, 1938
Link to book: The Kohler Company celebrates industrial progress, 1934The Kohler Company celebrates industrial progress, 1934
Link to book: A look at Wisconsin industry on the eve of the DepressionA look at Wisconsin industry on the eve of the Depression
Link to book: How the Depression Affected Rural Wisconsin, 1936.How the Depression Affected Rural Wisconsin, 1936.
Link to book: A Guide to CCC Camps in Wisconsin, 1937A Guide to CCC Camps in Wisconsin, 1937
Link to book: A short history of prison industries, 1852-2002A short history of prison industries, 1852-2002
Link to book: Annual summaries of Milwaukee industry, 1919-1929Annual summaries of Milwaukee industry, 1919-1929
Link to book: A report on unemployment relief in Northern Wisconsin, 1933A report on unemployment relief in Northern Wisconsin, 1933
Link to book: A history and statistical summary of dairying, 1860-1931.A history and statistical summary of dairying, 1860-1931.
Link to book: Kenosha men and women recall the Great DepressionKenosha men and women recall the Great Depression
Link to book: The Wisconsin author of the Social Security Act appears before Congress.The Wisconsin author of the Social Security Act appears before Congress.
Link to book: The federal government uses cartoons to explain Social Security.The federal government uses cartoons to explain Social Security.
Link to book: The first years of Social Security evaluated.The first years of Social Security evaluated.
Link to book: The new Social Security Act is explained by the federal government.The new Social Security Act is explained by the federal government.
Link to book: A WPA guide to Wisconsin's edible mushroomsA WPA guide to Wisconsin's edible mushrooms
Link to book: Arts and crafts from the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, 1939Arts and crafts from the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, 1939
Link to book: An album of 450 Wisconsin teachers, 1927An album of 450 Wisconsin teachers, 1927
Link to images: Images of the planned community in Greendale, WisconsinImages of the planned community in Greendale, Wisconsin
Link to images: Wisconsin officials cope with unemployment during the 1930'sWisconsin officials cope with unemployment during the 1930's
Link to manuscript: W.P.A. interviewers collect stories, jokes and other Wisconsin folklore, 1936-1938W.P.A. interviewers collect stories, jokes and other Wisconsin folklore, 1936-1938
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Adams - Burnett counties)WPA Project Cards (Adams - Burnett counties)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Chippewa - Crawford)WPA Project Cards (Chippewa - Crawford)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Dane - Douglas)WPA Project Cards (Dane - Douglas)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Dunn - Iron)WPA Project Cards (Dunn - Iron)
Link to manuscript: Working-class women describe their jobs, 1938-1941.Working-class women describe their jobs, 1938-1941.
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Marquette - Milwaukee)
WPA Project Cards (Marquette - Milwaukee)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Monroe - Pepin)
WPA Project Cards (Monroe - Pepin)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Pierce - Washington)WPA Project Cards (Pierce - Washington)
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Waukesha - Statewide)WPA Project Cards (Waukesha - Statewide)
Link to manuscript: Suburban high school students try to interpret Menominee culture in 1936Suburban high school students try to interpret Menominee culture in 1936
Link to manuscript: WPA Project Cards (Jackson - Marinette)WPA Project Cards (Jackson - Marinette)
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