- from Great Depression
The years from 1920 to 1929 are often called the Roaring ’20s. World War I had recently ended, and people just wanted to have fun.
Everyone danced wild new dances, such as the Charleston, and listened to a wailing new music called jazz. “Talkie” movies replaced silent films, and people crowded into theaters to see them. At home, they listened to an exciting invention called the radio. Business was booming. More and more new products were for sale. Instead of saving their money to buy new things, many people bought on credit. They paid a portion of the price with a promise to pay the rest in parts called installments.
In the fall of 1929, the good times came to a crashing halt. Many businesses closed or started producing less, and workers were laid off or saw their salaries lowered. Money was in short supply. Suddenly, a lot of people were much poorer than they had been. They couldn’t afford to make the payments on the things they had bought on installment plans. The Great Depression had begun.