The Great Depression Ends

World War II pulled the nation out of the Great Depression.


The New Deal spent billions of dollars and provided thousands of jobs, but as late as 1940 there were many people out of work and many sections of the country still suffered hard times. During this time, the government also turned its attention to events in Europe. A second world war had broken out, and the United States was slowly becoming involved.

Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan.

When the United States finally became part of the big war, thousands of men volunteered for the armed forces. Factories turned out planes, ships and ammunition. In Iowa manufacturers of farm machinery geared up to produce the tools of war. Farmers could once again grow larger crops to feed the men overseas and millions of people found jobs in support of the war. After 20 years of hard times, billions of dollars of New Deal money, it finally took a war to pull the nation out of economic depression. Although the depression was over, it was not forgotten. The laws, which had bound the country's wounds in the '30s, are still with us. Laws that prevent bank closings, laws that help farmers, laws that protect the elderly. For better or for worse, the American government had taken upon itself the daily welfare of its people like never before and there was no turning back. The bread lines are gone now, but the faces speak of the deeper meanings of the time known as the Great Depression.

Iowa Heritage Hard Times

Iowa PBS