- 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 flocked to theaters to watch them. At home, they listened to an exciting invention called the radio. Business was booming, with more and more new products coming to the marketplace. Instead of saving their money to buy new things, many people bought on credit instead. They paid a portion of the price, with a promise to pay the rest in parts called installments.
In the fall of 1929, however, the good times came crashing to a halt. Many businesses closed or started producing less, and workers were laid off from their jobs or had their salaries reduced. Money was in short supply, and a lot of people were suddenly much poorer than they had been before. They couldn’t even afford to make the payments on the products they purchased on installment plans. The Great Depression had begun.