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Photos: America's WORST economic disaster!

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 10:24 IST

America's WORST economic disaster!

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The Great Depression, that began almost 10 years before World War II broke out, is said to be the worst-ever financial crisis that the United States and many other nations ever witnessed.

This was the longest, most severe, most extensive and deepest economic depression that mankind has seen.

The planet's worst economic crisis spread from the United States -- on October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday) -- following a bloodbath on American stock markets as prices crashed leading to many investors being rendered penniless and several brokers committing suicide.

Soon the world was in the grip of what was to be called the Great Depression that led to unemployment rates skyrocketing, bankruptcies soaring, people's incomes eroding, international trade plummeting, and demand dropping.

It left millions of people in penury and many nations struggling to come to terms with the crisis. Those were tough times the current debt crisis that has gripped the world might not be as severe -- at least it does not appear to be so at the moment -- but it still has sent shivers down the spine of many a nation and individual.

Here are some exceptional photographs from the days of the Great Depression. Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: 1931: Poor people queuing for free coal in New York.
Photographs: General Photographic Agency/Getty Images
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Circa 1935: Farmer John Barnett and his family, who are struggling to survive during the Great Depression on their farm in Woodward, USA.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images
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Circa 1931: The menu of the first ever Penny Restaurant in New York, operating as a measure of relief for those in need during the Depression.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licences to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition.

The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945, the Democratic politician and 32nd President of the United States of America) making a speech during the toughest economic crisis that the United States faced in the 1930s.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images
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Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of prohibition.

The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images
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Carrying kitbags young men are off to work camps in California as part Roosevelt's 'New Deal' which included a Social Security Act.

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Photographs: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images
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Police forcibly remove World War I Bonus March demonstrators from their shanty campsites in Washington, DC, July 1932:

The Bonus Marchers were comprised of unemployed World War I veterans waiting for the monetary bonus promised by the U.S. government and not delivered.

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Photographs: Gabriel Hackett/Getty Images
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A breadline at the intersection of 6th Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City during the Great Depression that followed the Wall Street Crash.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Unemployed men on a hunger march pass through a British town, circa 1935.

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Photographs: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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A group of unemployed men queuing for clothing at a relief depot in Salem, Virginia, USA, circa 1935.

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Photographs: Herbert/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Circa 1935: A farmstead in the United States of America during the Great Depression.

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Photographs: Three Lions/Getty Images
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Circa 1937: Children gathered around a motor car during the American Depression.

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Photographs: Three Lions/Getty Images
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Circa 1937: Four elderly men sitting on a step reading a newspaper during the Great Depression.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images
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October 31, 1936: The month-long march from Tyneside to London raised public awareness concerning the effects of America's Great Depression in the poverty stricken Tyneside area, where unemployment reached 75%.

Men wearing raincloaks marching along a London street under police escort at the end of the Jarrow March.

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Photographs: E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
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August 1936: Farmers in Oklahoma sitting in the shade while their crops burn in the fields during the Depression.

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Photographs: Dorothea Lange/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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January 1939: Evicted sharecroppers and their possessions along Highway 60 in New Madrid, Missouri, during the Depression.

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Photographs: Arthur Rothstein/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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January 1939: Jobless men throng an employment agency in New York during the Great Depression as businesses collapsed leaving thousands without any means of earning a livelihood and supporting their families.

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Photographs: Arthur Rothstein/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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An old woman receives her Thanksgiving ration of food in New York, during the Great Depression, 7th November 1930.

Tons of food were distributed nationwide to the starving populace.

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Photographs: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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A man drinks a cup of water as a young boy refills his cup from an open fire hydrant near the 28th Street Freght Station, New York, New York, 1930s.

The Empire State Building is visible in the background.

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Photographs: Ruth Cushman/Getty Images
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Circa 1930: An unemployed man washing his hair over a bucket during the Great Depression.

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Photographs: Three Lions/Getty Images
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Circa 1935: Food handouts during the Depression.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Circa 1935: Unemployed men sit on the riverside, drinking bottles of milk, during the Great Depression, USA.

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Photographs: Three Lions/Getty Images
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Circa 1935: Two unemployed men sit drinking amongst old tin cans and bottles during the Great Depression, USA.

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Photographs: Three Lions/Getty Images
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A family of migrant workers fleeing from the drought in Oklahoma camp by the roadside in Blythe, California.


Photographs: Dorothea Lange/Getty Images
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