National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1931-1946: We meet crisis in the Depression, and again in World War II

October 29, 1931
The Depression hits hard, but Hoover’s against federal relief

Apple sellers on street

"This campaign is a contest…between two philosophies of government."
– Herbert Hoover

Two years ago today, our world turned upside down. Black Tuesday. The stock market crash.

President Hoover has tried everything he believes the Constitution allows—and more than any president before him—to fight the Depression. He’s sent $500 million to the states.

But he stops short of direct federal relief. That’s not the national government’s job, Hoover insists. Instead, he relies on local governments and private charities to deal with the people’s suffering.

It’s not enough.

Now people attach his name to every negative result of the Depression, like “Hoover blankets”…the newspapers the homeless use to keep warm.

Read about it in the New York times

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