The Great Depression wasn’t the only crisis facing the country when Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933. Following a decade-long drought that had shriveled crops, massive dust storms were pummeling huge swaths of the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Northwest. Years of poor harvest practices had worsened the crisis, pushing farmers already strained by the financial hit of the Great Depression off their land. Only when a lifelong soil scientist made a dramatic testimony before Congress did the government finally begin to develop a solution. Many of those unmoored by environmental calamity searched for opportunity elsewhere — particularly in California. But when a controversial Los Angeles police chief sent armed officers to block access to the Golden State, he would launch a constitutional crisis and a showdown with a rural sheriff. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Quip - Order and get your first refill pack free at
Introducing Unknown History: 75 Years Since D-Day
This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the longest day in military history. For the first time, you can hear perspectives on the conflict from all sides on the podcast Unknown History. Bestselling historian Giles Milton shares stories from pilots, sailors, soldiers and bystanders. Subscribe at .
The Great Depression - A New Deal | 3
With the country was still hobbled by the Depression, New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a “New Deal” for the American people. That vow handed Roosevelt a contested Democratic nomination and helped him crush Hoover in the general election. Roosevelt began his presidency with a flurry of policy proposals and legislative efforts focused around three priorities: relief, recovery, and reform. These new efforts saw millions of young men put back to work preserving natural areas as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps and undertaking a massive rural electrification project in the Tennessee River Valley. And the country’s first female cabinet member led the creation of Social Security, one of the crowning achievements of Roosevelt’s administration. Meanwhile, a reckoning was in order for Wall Street. Years after the stock market crash, a raucous senate investigation would unveil egregious abuses by financiers. Support us by supporting our sponsors! LightStream - To save even more, go to
The Great Depression - Brother, Can You Spare a Dime | 2
Factories have shut down, banks have failed, and millions are out of work. As the Depression worsens, public opinion sours toward President Hoover. Hoover’s allies attempt to counter criticism of the President by galvanizing anti-foreigner attitudes. They devise a scheme to frighten immigrants from Mexico and other countries with the specter of mass immigration raids in the hopes they’ll leave the country on their own, as hundreds of thousands do. Meanwhile, an unemployed cannery worker from Portland, Oregon leads tens of thousands of World War I veterans on a march to Washington, D.C., to demand payment of wartime bonuses. A deadly showdown looms as this “Bonus Army” wears out its welcome in the capital. You can find new episodes of American History Tellers, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code ‘WONDERY’. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Robinhood - Robinhood is giving listeners a FREE stock to help build your portfolio! Go to to get 40% off your first order!
The Great Depression - The Crash | 1
The Roaring Twenties came to a screeching halt on October 29, 1929, with the collapse of the U.S. stock market. A year earlier, president Herbert Hoover had coasted to victory by promising the American people “a chicken for every pot” and “a car in every backyard.” Lured by the promise of skyrocketing markets, many first-time investors got caught up in margin trading, borrowing money to make bigger stock purchases than they could actually afford. It was a foolproof way to make money, so long as stock prices kept rising. But then, on the morning of Tuesday, October 29, more than sixteen million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. By the market’s close, investors had lost tens of billions of dollars — and kicked off a decade that would reshape American institutions, even as labor unrest, racial tensions, and the dark shadow of nativism pushed back from all sides.