October, 29. Just 3 days ahead of us, almost 80 years ago. Up till now, October 10, 2008 – Black Friday – was the worse. On that day the biggest DJIA point drop in history was found. A collection of these photos (below) are available at “A Photo Essay on the Great Depression“. Plus, to compare what happened in 1929 versus today I vividly recommend you this New York Times Journal graphic comparing severity versus time for several historical crashes.

Dorothea Lange‘s “Migrant Mother,” destitute in a pea picker’s camp, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Most of the 2,500 people in this camp were destitute. By the end of the decade there were still 4 million migrants on the road. (Source)

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the crash of 1929. On Black Tuesday, October 29, the market collapsed. In a single day, sixteen million shares were traded -a record- and thirty billion dollars vanished into thin air. Westinghouse lost two thirds of its September value. DuPont dropped seventy points. The “Era of Get Rich Quick” was over. Jack Dempsey, America’s first millionaire athlete, lost $3 million. Cynical New York hotel clerks asked incoming guests, “You want a room for sleeping or jumping?” (Source). Finally (photo below): Bud Fields and his family. Alabama. 1935 or 1936. Photographer: Walker Evans. (Source)