The Great Depression doesn’t need too much of an introduction since we all learned about it extensively during history class in high school. It was the longest and deepest economic depression of the 20th century, and while it was worldwide, it started in the United States.
Worldwide GDP fell 15% between 1929 and 1932. Just for the sake of comparison, during the 2008 crash, the worldwide GDP fell less than 1%. So it’s safe to say it was horrible. Unlike most economic downturns, this one significantly affected the rich almost as much as it affected the poor. Every level of society took a hard hit. But, in hindsight, many useful developments and lessons occurred because of the Depression.
Al Capone, The Savior?
Photo Credit: MPI / Getty Images
In an attempt to gain public popularity, notorious gangster Al Capone opened up a soup kitchen in Chicago. It was one of his sporadic tries to get the average citizen on his side, and while many of them didn’t work, this one did.
For many Chicagoans, Capone’s soup kitchen provided the only meal they would have that day. It was a place where the homeless and the poor could get free food and some rest from the daily struggle of living on the streets.