The Wall Street Crash of October 1929 was a trigger that quickly plunged the United States from economic prosperity to the depths of the Great Depression.
Millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes, and many were forced to live in shanty towns, nicknamed Hoovervilles after the country's president Herbert Hoover.
Through this collection of archive photographs, Professor David Reynolds, presenter of Radio 4's landmark series America, Empire of Liberty looks at what happened when the United States went from boom to bust.
Click 'show captions' for photograph information.
Music: Hot Foot Stomp, composed by Tony Kinsey / Speakeasy, composed by Richard Myhill / Happy Ending, composed by James Dooley / Lonnie's Jug Blues composed by Richard Etheridge. Photographs courtesy Getty Images / AFP / AP.
Slideshow by Paul Kerley. Publication date 23 February 2009.
Professor David Reynolds presents America, Empire of Liberty- a landmark series on the history of the United States. This slideshow features extracts from the episode From Boom to Bust, which broadcasts on Monday 23 February at 1545 GMT on BBC Radio 4.
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