The Great Depression was a disastrous time in history that affected millions of people through out the entire United States. It began in 1929 and continued on, to some point, until 1939. People lost their jobs, and families lost their homes. The country was in total chaos. The depression would have lasting impacts over the entire country. This research paper will examine the effect of the depression in eastern Washington State and the Inland Empire. The great depression most lasting impact in the Inland Empire would come about through President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal reforms. Although the depression meant hard times for people it would lead Washington State to greater prosperity. One attorney would write, "Sweet are the uses of adversity." "The big project that was just out of reach in a dozen years of prosperity became possible at last in the time of black depression. Food will grow in the place of sage brush"(Redfield A. Roy).
There were several factors that contributed to the start of the Great Depression. One of them is the crash of the stock market. It was 1929, and Republican Herbert Hoover had just been recently elected. During the previous few years, the stock market had been steadily rising, and everyone wanted his or her piece of the profits. By this time, over 1.5 million people owned stock in different companies. (Turner) People in every kind of financial situation owned stocks. It seemed that it was an easy way to make money, and most investors were getting rich. The stock market reached its all-time high on September 3,1929. This caused even more people to buy stock. In October of 1929, however, the stock prices slowly began to decrease. This did not bother the stockholders that much because they just figured that the stocks would go back up like they always did. Unfortunately, these predictions were terribly wrong. On the 29th of October known as the "Black Tuesday" was just the beginning of the great depression.