The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
The Great Depression began with a stock market crash in 1929. After twelve years of stagnation, the U.S. was thrown into World War II. Final victory did not come until 1945.
The tradition of a toast before a meal is possibly from sixteenth century England, where diners floated toasted bread in a hot alcoholic drink.
- Liaquat Ahamed - Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World
- Amity Shlaes - The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
- David M. Kennedy - Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States)
- Cornelius Ryan - The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
- 1932 - Unemployment reaches 25% of the working population, the highest known level in American history.
- 1933 - A wave of bank failures exacerbates the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated and begins his New Deal initiatives.
- 1935 - The Social Security system is created to assist Americans in old age.
- 1935 - The Hoover Dam is opened in Arizona -- one of a series of massive public works projects to arise in this era.
- 1935 - The colorful populist -- and potential Roosevelt rival -- Huey "The Kingfish" Long is assassinated.
- 1938 - Orson Welles tricks many Americans into believing a Martian invasion is in progress with his "War of the Worlds" radio program.
- 1941 - Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese on December 7, drawing the U.S. into World War II.
- 1942 - The Battle of Midway ends with a decisive victory for the U.S.
- 1943 - A six month battle at Guadalcanal ends with a U.S. victory, as the momentum begins to turn in the Pacific.
- 1944 - United States, Britain, and Canada land in Normandy on June 6, press towards Germany.
- 1945 - The first nuclear weapon is detonated in New Mexico on July 16. On August 6, another one is used in Hiroshima.
- 1945 - World War II ends in Europe (May 8) and Japan (September 2).