The booming economy led in 1929 to a backlog of business inventories which was three times larger than the year before. As a result a recession began in August 1929, two months before the stock market crash. During this two month period, production declined at an annual rate of
20 percent. This decline resulted in the stock market crash which began October 24, followed by Black Tuesday on October 29. Losses for the month amounted to $16 billion, an astronomical sum in those days.
1932 and 1933 were the worst years of the Great Depression. Industrial stocks lost 80 percent of their value since 1930. 10,000 banks failed , or 40 percent of the 1929 total. GNP fell 31 percent since 1929 and over 13 million Americans lost their jobs between 1929 and 1932. In 1933 unemployment did rise to 24.9 percent.
The desperation of many people and especially veterans from WW I resulted in spectacular events, the most dramatic the so-called Bonus marches in 1932.