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1929-1945 the Great Depression and World War Two


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Herbert Hoover, The White House, August 30, 1932, to Edward W. Pou.

Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the bank failures, unemployment, and economic disasters at the beginning of the 1930s, the federal government made efforts at economic recovery. President Hoover favored government loans to banks and railroads which he hoped would help control deflation in agriculture and industry and eventually increase employment. In December 1931, Hoover proposed a government agency to extend credit and lend money via tax-exempt bonds. The bill was signed January 22, 1932, and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation was established on February 2. In this letter to Congressman Pou of North Carolina, Hoover admits he lacks authority over the work of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation but promises to support Pou because of his work for passage of the program.


Franklin D. Roosevelt, The White House, March 8, 1934, to Governor John C. B. Ehringhaus.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, The White House, March 8, 1934, to Governor John C. B. Ehringhaus.

In this letter, President Roosevelt explains to Governor Ehringhaus that an additional feasibility study must be made before the Administration for Public Works can decide on an application for a $425,000 loan to provide terminal facilities at Morehead City. Roosevelt emphasizes that guarantees that the channel to the terminal point would be continuously maintained and navigable for large ships must be made before an affirmative action would be taking on the loan. In June, 1934, the Marine Terminal Project was approved, but work was delayed for some time pending allocation of additional public works funds by Congress.

Franklin Roosevelt was elected President in November 1932, to the first of four terms. By March there were 13,000,000 unemployed unemployed and many banks were closed. In his first "hundred days," President Roosevelt proposed, and Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in danger of losing farms and homes. Part of this program of recovery was an ambitious series of public works such as the terminal facility at Morehead City.

Last Modified: 11/10/2010