In the early 20th century, trains in the US were destroyed in staged head-on collisions in front of live audiences for entertainment. This ended in the 1930s as it was seen to be wasteful of old but otherwise useful locomotives at the height of the Great Depression.
During the time of the Great Depression, a banker convinced struggling families in Quincy, Florida to buy Coca-Cola shares which traded at $19. Later, the town became the single richest town per capita in the US with at least 67 millionaires.
During the Great Depression, the Barter Theatre in Virginia paid royalties to Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward in ham. George Bernard Shaw, who was a vegetarian, got paid in spinach.
In the middle of the Great Depression, a man placed an offer in an Ohio newspaper, saying: If you’re in trouble, write me. Many people sent him desperate letters, needing things like shoes, a coat, mercy, food, and to save their family from despair. And back came checks, under a pseudonym.
John F. Kennedy enjoyed a “privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants and summer homes” during the Great Depression. He later claimed that he only learned about the Great Depression in the books he read while attending Harvard.
Sheep were grazing in Central Park until 1934, when they were moved during the Great Depression for fear they would be eaten.
Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey launched a ‘Great Building Campaign’ during the Great Depression with the aim of employing more people. When he was told that a steam shovel being used on a project did the work of 40 men, he instructed his foreman: “Take them off. Hire 40 men.”
In 2009, Detroit had a worse unemployment rate than during the Great Depression.
Conditions seemed so bleak in America during the Great Depression that people in Cameroon sent $3.77 to New York for food relief.
During the Depression, women would make clothing out of feed sacks. When the manufacturers found out, they started printing floral and geometric patterns on the inside of the sacks.