On October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday), the stock market crashed. Within just three years, stocks were valued at only 20 percent of their going prices in 1929. Nearly 50 percent of all U.S. banks were closed by 1933, and over 15 million people could not find jobs. No legislation for unemployment benefits existed. Flophouses, soup kitchens, and breadlines emerged as people relied on churches, the Salvation Army, and other private organizations to provide temporary food and shelter.
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