People got rich very fast in the 1920's because of the stock market. The stock market let you invest all of your money and lets you become rich. It was very simple. You put in $10 and if that company was doing well you could get $100's back with out even working. So every one was doing this. Until the stock market crashed. All the money went away and when people tried to get it back they couldn't because the banks didn't have the money. People also bought stocks on margin, meaning that they borrowed the money. And when the stock market crashed you had to pay the stockbroker back but you don't have any money. Now your broke and in debt. This was happening all across America.
<---- This is a hooverville. Hoovervilles were little shacks made out of metal and cardboard. They were named after the president Herbert Hoover because he didn't help out with the depression so people named these places after him.
Margins were very risky. They were risky because if the company wasn't doing well you would have to pay the Stockholder back and you lost the ten dollars that you put in to the company. Say that the stock market was a balloon. Whenever someone would by a stock the balloon would get a little bigger. Soon it is about to pop and when it does there will be no money left. When the "balloon" popped everyone went to the banks to withdraw all their money, but there was none. This left thousands homeless and hungry.
Can I withdraw my money? Why not?
No. Because the stock market crashed and the bank doesn't have any money to lend out.
While the stock market is down the farmers were in a rough time too. At this time in the western part of the U.S. there was a dust bowl. The dust bowl was when there was big storms of dust that would cover everything in dust and sand. Also farmers weren't getting their moneys worth for their crops. They were getting very mad and so they would throw all their crops away or burn them. This made people in cities very hungry.
FDR was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt's brother. People loved him. He was very popular. He started the New Deal which ended the depression. He was the 32nd President and people we're devastated when he died.