The Great Depression marked an era of substantial financial and emotional difficulties for Americans, both individually and as a broader society. Following the crash of the stock market in 1929, the Depression had worldwide impacts that left millions in dire circumstances through the late 1930s. Detroit was not immune to the challenges of this era, but life didn’t stop entirely when the markets crashed. Here are nine fascinating photos that show what it was like to experience the Great Depression in Detroit.
1. Snapped in 1930, this photo shows a Detroit fire truck that crashed en route to a fire.
2. A simple but beautiful glimpse of the Detroit skyline in 1929.
3. The arts have always played a significant role in the history of Detroit, and this was true even during the Great Depression.
4. Farmers and rural residents were hit especially hard by the economic and social challenges that accompanied the Depression.
5. Metro Detroit residents have always appreciated spending time in the great outdoors.
6. This image was snapped more recently, but it offers insight into a must-visit spot for those who are fascinated by the history of Detroit: an exhibit at Lansing’s Michigan History Museum detailing the realities of Depression life in the region.
7. True Michigan Wolverines fans know that the university’s football team has been a point of pride for generations.
8. While the Great Depression affected residents from many social and economic brackets, it’s impossible to deny that class played a role in how Detroiters were affected by the aftermath of the stock market crash.
9. Captured in 1929, this photo shows Bucky Harris of the Detroit Tigers and Walter “Big Train” Johnson, then affiliated with the Washington Senators.
Have you seen any family photos from the Great Depression? What do you know about the Great Depression in Detroit and its broader effects throughout Michigan? We’re always eager to hear from you, so share your thoughts by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another historical era you’d like to learn more about by filling out our nomination form here.
Looking to explore even more history? You’ll want to check out these photos from the 1940s in Detroit.
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