Ramsey County History – Fall 1989: “Boom, Boom, Bust! The ’29 Crash”

Woodrow Keljik

Boom, Boom, Bust! The ’29 Crash
Author: Woodrow Keljik

“Were the 1920s really prosperous?” Woodrow Keljik asks. In retrospect, signs of problems abounded, such as trouble on the farm, the situation in Europe, and reckless speculation. Words of caution were ignored. Another Republican victory in the 1928 elections encouraged the expanding bubble. The tumble began in early October; prices and confidence fell quickly. On October 24, St. Paul brokerage houses were crowded until long after dark. Four days later, “the plug was pulled and the shares of America’s most prominent corporations went down the drain,” according to the author. Things got even worse “as the terrible Black Tuesday of October 29 dawned.” St. Paul at first held up better than many, bolstered by its insurance and government payrolls, and it initially escaped the sharp declines seen in manufacturing. The full force of the Depression struck St. Paul in 1932. Every train brought more destitute men to the city, and New Deal programs provided some amelioration.

PDF of Keljik article