Fact or Fiction: The Great Depression


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Are today's economic woes going to spiral us into another one? We wouldn't touch that issue with a 10-foot pole, frankly -- so we're just going to stick with history for this quiz. Can you separate Great Depression fact from fiction?

Contrary to popular belief, the Great Depression didn't originate in the United States. It started with the economic collapse of Great Britain, which then caused the American stock market to crash.

Nope. It was obviously a very complex situation, and the United States certainly wasn't the only country having economic trouble, but the Depression did originate in the States.


The stock market crash on Oct. 29, 1929 -- "Black Tuesday" -- wasn't really a sudden, one-day event.

True. After a peak in September, the market had been heading downhill for weeks and finally crashed on \"Black Thursday,\" October 24. The collapse continued, and the next Tuesday was when people really started to panic and get out of the market.


A group of powerful Wall Street bankers tried to halt the collapse by buying huge blocks of blue-chip stocks at high prices.

Yes, the president of the Stock Exchange used the banks' money to buy up the stocks at inflated prices. It didn't work.


Because of the Soviet Union's isolationist policies, it wasn't really affected by the Great Depression.

The Soviets had plenty of problems during this period, but because the country was basically cut off from the rest of the world, its issues weren't really related to the Great Depression.


At the height of the Great Depression in 1935, the unemployment rate in the United States was almost 50 percent.

The unemployment rate hit its peak in 1933 -- but it was \"only\" 25 percent.


The biggest "Hoboville" in the United States was a massive encampment on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

That's right about the \"Hooverville\" thing. But St. Louis actually had the biggest one, with about 1,000 residents.


"The Grapes of Wrath," perhaps the defining novel of the Great Depression, follows the Clampett family on their journey from Oklahoma to California.

D'oh. It was the Joads, not the Clampetts from \"Beverly Hillbillies.\"


The first part of FDR's New Deal was a restructuring of the economy.

Yes, FDR started off in 1933 by reworking the economy, and then in 1935 the \"Second New Deal\" focused on job creation.


When World War II ended, so did the Great Depression in the United States.

The upswing in manufacturing that came with the United States' entry into WWII is what finally brought the country out of the Depression.


It wasn't until 1971 that the Dow Jones returned to its pre-crash levels.

It was 25 years before the Dow got back up to 1929 numbers -- so that was in 1954.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!