We tend to perceive The Great Depression in a gray vision, which symbolically is correct, because this period, in fact, was the grayest in the economical History in the United States. The Great Depression was the longest and most dreadful economic downturn in American History (1929-1941).
The common view among economic historians is that the Great Depression ended with the advent of World War II. Many economists believe that government spending on the war caused or at least accelerated recovery from the Great Depression, though some consider that it did not play a very large role in the recovery. It did help in reducing unemployment.
The Library of Congress recently released an amazing collection of color photos (not colorized), showing the end of The Great Depression in 1940.
Sylvia Sweets Tea Room, corner of School and Main streets, Brockton, Mass
Railroad worker for 25 years
A woman’s work is never done Mrs Viola Sievers, one of the wipers at the roundhouse, giving a giant ‘H’ class locomotive a bath of live steam in Clinton, Iowa, April 1943
At the Vermont state fair, Rutland, 1941
At Vermont state fair, Rutland, 1941
Bayou Bourbeau plantation
Children with adult in the tenement district, Brockton, Massachusetts
Boy near Cincinnati, Ohio
Boys sitting on truck parked at the FSA labor camp, Robston, Texas
Brockton, Mass., Dec. 1940, second-hand plumbing store
Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains, Greene County, Georgia
Co-op orange packing plant, Redlands, Calif. Workman is doing the preliminary sorting, picking out the discards. Santa Fe, 1943
Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma [1939 or 1940]
The rearmament policies leading up to World War II helped stimulate the economies of Europe in 1937–39. By 1937, unemployment in Britain had fallen to 1.5 million. The mobilization of manpower following the outbreak of war in 1939 ended unemployment.
The U.S.’ entry into the war in 1941 finally eliminated the last effects from the Great Depression and brought the U.S. unemployment rate down below 10%.In the U.S., massive war spending doubled economic growth rates, either masking the effects of the Depression or essentially ending the Depression. Businessmen ignored the mounting national debt and heavy new taxes, redoubling their efforts for greater output to take advantage of generous government contracts.
Distributing surplus commodities, St. Johns, Arizona
Farm Penny auction. Derby, Connecticut
Fertilizer wagon at an arid farm.
Garden adjacent to the dugout home of homesteader Jack Whinery, in Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940
Georgia, ca. 1940
Getting ready to serve the barbecue dinner at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, 1940
Grand Grocery Company. Lincoln, Nebraska
Harvesting corn, Pie Town, New Mexico
Harvesting oats, southeastern Georgia
Homesteader and his children eating barbecue at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair
Houston, Texas , 1943
Jack Whinery and his family, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico
Jim Norris and wife, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940
Joseph Klesken washing up after a day’s work at the rip tracks at Proviso yards of the C & NW RR., Chicago, Ill., 194
Rodeo at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair
Saying grace before the barbecue dinner at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, 1940
Schools did not open until the potatoes are harvested
Scrap and salvage depot, Butte, Montana
Sugar cane workers, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Trucks outside of a starch factory, Caribou, Aroostook County, Me
Tying a ribbon on a calf’s tail was one of the feature attractions at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair rodeo, 1940
Vermont state fair, Rutland, 1941