# 3125339

# PM014319

Depression Era Timeline

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  • June 15th, Agricultural Marketing Act passed
  • Game of Bingo invented by Edwin S Lowe
  • August, economic expansion peaks
  • October 24th, "Black Thursday," Stock Market crashes thus putting the wheels in motion to send us into the DEPRESSION ERA of the 1930's


  • June, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act passed
  • Treatise on Money, by John Maynard Keynes, published
  • Ruth Nichols becomes 1st woman pilot to cross continent


  • March 31st, Davis-Bacon Act becomes law, requiring "prevailing" (union) wages to be paid on federal construction contracts
  • May 1st, New York's 102-story Empire State Building dedicated by President Hoover
  • September 21st, Britain goes off the gold standard.
  • October 17th, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. (He was released in 1939.)
  • October 18th, Thomas Edison dies - One of the world's most well known inventors
  • October 24th, George Washington Bridge connecting NY to NJ opens
  • December 11th, New York Bank of the United States collapses
  • Prices and Production, by F. A. Hayek, published
  • Ottawa branch of Royal Mint begins operation as Royal Canadian Mint.


  • January 22nd, Reconstruction Finance Corporation created
  • March 1st, Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son, Charles Augustus, Jr., is kidnapped from the family home in New Jersey.
  • May 20th, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland for Ireland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
  • June 6th, Revenue Act of 1932 passed
    • raised top tax rates from 25% to 63%
    • reduced personal exemptions from $1,500 to $1,000 for single persons
    • reduced personal exemptions from $3,500 to $2,500 for married couples
  • July, Emergency Relief Act passed
  • July 28th, Bonus Army Riot begins in Washington, D.C.
  • August 24th, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in just over 19 hours
  • October 24th 1932, British govt signs trade treaty with USSR
  • Norris-La Guardia Act passed, outlawing yellow-dog contracts and protecting unions from anti-trust actions, private damage suits and court injunctions
  • Glass-Steagall Act passed (liberalized the terms under which member banks could borrow from the Federal Reserve)
  • Tuskegee Syphilis Study begins
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Herbert Hoover to become the 32nd President


  • January, Adolf Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
  • January 23rd, 20th Amendment ratified
  • March, economic contraction ends; economy starts to recover
  • March 4th, FDR is inaugurated as president, declares a bank holiday
  • March 9th, bank holiday ends
  • March 9th, Emergency Banking Relief Act passed, providing for federal bank inspections
  • March 31st, Reforestation Relief Act passed, creating the Civilian Conservation Corps
  • April, New York becomes the first to pass a state law regulating minimum producer, wholesale, and retail milk prices (25 other states will take similar action by the end of the 1930s)
  • April 19th, America goes off the gold standard
  • May, Agricultural Adjustment Act passed, authorizing paying farmers not to grow crops
  • May, Federal Emergency Relief Adminstration created
  • May 12th, Farm Relief Act passed, creating the Farm Credit Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Adminstiration
  • May 18th, Tennessee Valley Authority created
  • May 27th, Federal Securities Act passed
  • June 16th, Farm Credit Act passed
  • June 16th, Glass-Steagall Act passed
    • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation established
    • Federal Reserve empowered to set maximum allowable interest rates on savings and time deposits accounts
    • Payment of interest on demand deposits (checking accounts) outlawed
    • Commercial banks were no longer allowed to engage in investment banking (underwriting securities)
    • Federal Open Market Committee established
  • June 16th, Home Owners Refinancing Act passed, establishing the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC)
  • June 16th, National Industrial Recovery Act passed
  • September 20th, Kermit Nordeen born
  • October 12th, Alcatraz is acquired by the Department of Justice from the Army.
  • October 17th, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
  • November 8th, Civil Works Administration (CWA ) created by executive order
  • December 5th, 21st Amendment ratified (repeals 18th amendment, ending alcohol prohibition)
  • December 5th, Jo Ann Arndt born


  • January 30th, Gold Reserve Act passed, (establishes Exchange Stabilization Fund and allows the U. S. Treasury to seize all gold held by Federal Reserve banks)
  • January 31st, FDR issues an executive decree, changing the price of gold from $20 an ounce to $35 an ounce
  • February 2nd, Export-Import Bank of Washington created, established under DC charter by Executive Order 6581, to assist in financing U.S. trade with the Soviet Union.
  • April 7th, Jones-Connally Farm Relief Act passed, bill effectively placing an expanded roster of farm products under the control of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA).
  • May 23rd, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, La.
  • June 6th, Securities Exchange Commission established
  • June 19th, Federal Communications Commission created
  • June 19th, Silver Purchase Act passed, empowering FDR to increase the Treasury's silver holdings to 1/3 the value of gold, nationalizing silver stocks and purchases (victory for Free Silverites)
  • June, Taylor Grazing Act passed
  • July 22nd, John Dillinger, Public Enemy Number One, shot by the FBI near a Chicago Theatre
  • August 2nd, German President Paul von Hindenburg dies, paving the way for Adolf Hitler's complete takeover.
  • August 13th, the satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, makes its debut
  • November 6th, Democrats gain 9 seats in the House of Representatives
  • Anti-Rackateering Act passed
  • Commodity Credit Corporation created
  • Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act passed
  • Federal Surplus Relief Corporation created
  • National Firearms Act passed
  • Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act passed
  • Bankhead Cotton Control Act passed


  • April 8th, Emergency Appropriations Relief Act passed, creating the Works Progress Administration
  • June, National Youth Adminstration created by executive order
  • June 3, Farm Credit Act passed
  • July 5th, National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) passed
  • August 14th, Social Security Act passed
  • August 28th, Public Utility Holding Company Act passed
  • August 30th, Revenue Act (Wealth Tax Act ) passed.
    • Increased the surtax rate on individual incomes over $50,000, the estate tax on individual estates over $40,000 and graduated steeply taxes on individual incomes over $1 million until the rate was 75% in excess of $5 million.
    • Decreased the small corporation tax rate to 12% while increasing the corporate tax, on incomes above $15,000 to 15%.
    • Some excess profits over 10% were taxed at a 6% rate and in excess of 15% at a 12% rate.
  • August, Neutrality Act passed
  • September 8th, Huey Long assassinated
  • Bituminous Coal Conservation Act passed
  • Davis-Bacon Act amended, lowering contract threshold to $2,000
  • Federal Power Act passed
  • Motor Carrier Act passed, extending federal regulatory authority to motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce
  • Rural Electrification Administration established
  • Soil Conservation Act passed
  • Supreme Court declares National Recovery Act to be unconstitutional, in Schecter Poultry Corporation v. United States


  • August 1st, Olympics open in Berlin
  • Supreme Court declares (6 to 3) the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act (1935) to be unconstitutional in Carter vs. Carter Coal Co.
  • General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money , by John Maynard Keynes, published
  • Robinson-Patman Act passed, effectively outlawing price cutting by permitting price discrimination (charging different prices in different markets) only if it can be justified by differential costs of serving different markets, or if a price reduction is made "in good faith'' to meet the price reduction of a competitor.
  • Rural Electrification Act passed, authorizing loans to qualified borrowers, with preference given to nonprofit and cooperative associations and public bodies, to construct and operate electric systems and generating plants
  • Domestic Allotment Act passed
  • FDR defeats Alfred M. Landon, Governor of Kansas, to win second term as President
  • Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of TVA in Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Bell Labs tests coaxial cable for TV use.


  • February 5th, FDR introduces the Judiciary Reorganization Bill (FDR's infamous court packing scheme):
    • It proposed to add judges at all levels of the federal courts, assign judges to the more congested courts and adopt procedures to expedite the appeals process by sending lower court cases on constitutional matters directly to the Supreme Court
    • Justices of the Supreme Court who reached age 70 could retire
    • When a Supreme Court justice, age 70, did not retire, FDR could add an additional judge up to 6, potentially increasing the court to 15 members.
  • March 1st, Supreme Court Retirement Act passed, permitting Supreme Court Justices to retire at age 70 with full pay, after 10 years of service
  • April 12th, Supreme Court declares (5 to 4) provisions of NLRA (1935) that guaranteed worker rights to unionize to be constitutional in National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation
  • May, economic recovery stops; economy enters a second depression
  • May 6th, Hindenberg disaster
  • May 24th, Supreme Court declares (5 to 4) that the unemployment compensation provision of the SSA is constitutional in Steward Machine Co vs Davis
  • May 24th, Supreme Court declares (7 to 2) that the old age benefits provisions of the SSA are constitutional in Helvering vs Davis
  • July, Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act passed
  • September 1st, National Housing (Wagner-Steagall ) Act passed, creating the US Housing Authority (USHA) to administer low-interest 60-year loans to small communities for slum clearance and construction projects and to grant subsidies for setting rent geared to low-income levels in areas where local agencies provided 25% of the federal grant.


  • February 16th, 2nd Agricultural Adjustment Act passed
  • June, economic contraction ends, economy begins to recover
  • June 23rd, Civil Aeronautics Authority established
  • June 25th, Fair Labor Standards Act passed, enacting first national minimum wage law
  • October 30th, Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the Worlds" persuades thousands of Americans that the United States is being invaded by Martians
  • Supreme Court decides NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph, finding that employers have an undisputed right to hire permanent replacement workers for striking workers in an economic strike.
  • Democrats lose 71 Congressional seats during November elections
  • Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed


  • August 2nd, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.
  • September 1st, Germany invades Poland
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, published
  • (??? Act), an all-risk crop insurance program was initiated for interested farmers to prevent economic distress in case of crop failure for hail, floods, and other natural disasters.


  • September 16th, Selective Training and Service Act passed, requiring men between the ages of 21 and 35 to register for military training
  • How to Pay for the War, by John Maynard Keynes, published
  • Investment Advisers Act passed, allowing SEC to supervise the activities of investment advisors
  • Investment Company Act passed, allowing SEC to supervises the activities of mutual funds and other investment companies
  • Transportation Act passed, giving ICC authority to regulate common carriers operating in interstate commerce in the coastal, intercoastal, and inland waters of the U.S.
  • FDR defeats Wendell Willkie to win third term as President


  • Davis-Bacon Act amended to include military construction
  • March, Lend-Lease Act passed, giving the president the authority to aid any nation whose defense he believed vital to the United States and to accept repayment "in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory."
  • May 1st, the Orson Welles motion picture "Citizen Kane" premiered in New York
  • December 7th, Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
  • December 8th, U.S. declares war on Japan
  • December 11th, Germany and Italy declare war on U.S.
  • The Pure Theory of Capital, by F. A. Hayek, published

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