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Great Depression: Hard Times for Americans

Did You Know . . .

As Americans dealt with the crushing financial crisis, loss of jobs and homes, they coined terms directed at President Hoover's ineffective efforts to help the unemployed. One was Hooverville.

Other derogatory Hooverisms:

  • Hoover wagons (horse or mule-pulled trucks)
  • Hoover heaters (campfires)
  • Hoover houses (cardboard boxes)
  • Hoover blankets (newspapers)
  • Hoover flags (empty pockets turned inside out)
  • Hoover shoes (worn-out shoes)
  • Hoover hogs (wild rabbits killed for food)

Great Depression Maps

The following Great Depression maps were retrieved from the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies at Portland State University site. 

The maps are part of its Teaching American History Project.

Map 1
1928 – 1933
Bank Failures (as a % of total banks) by County

Map 2
Unemployment (as a % of potential gainful workers) by County

Map 3
% Urban Population (by County)

Map 4
% Change in Urban Population (by County)

Map 5
% Change in Home Ownership

Map 6

% of Farm Acres with Crop Failure (by County)

Map 7
1920 – 1940
% of Families/Dwellings with Radio (by County)

Interactive Map - Graph

'Hooverville' Shanty

Outside his "Hooverville" shanty home, an unemployed worker sells apples , 1930s.
Unemployed Worker Selling Apples Outside Of His 'Hooverville' Shanty Home, 1930s . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 11 Jan 2012.