Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Timeline of the Great Depression



c.1235 A.D. An evil genius gold-smith, whose name we know not, realized that the customers who left their gold on deposit in his vault did not come back to cash in their receipts and redeem their gold all at the same time.  His receipts were used locally as money ("good as gold"), and it occurred to him that he could issue receipts for more than the amount of gold he regularly kept on hand.  What the alchemist could not do with the philosopher's stone, the smith had achieved with the stroke of a pen, making gold out of thin air.  Fractional Reserve Banking was born.  

Date/U.S. President


The dates in the left hand column correspond to US presidential terms, although the presidential inauguration took place on March 4th until the second inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt on January 20th 1937 (changed by the 20th amendment)..

The statistics in the right hand column are for the year at the beginning of the period.  Economic purists will want to consider that the ratio of debt as a percentage of GNP is a sort of "negative double-dipping" in that GNP treats government expenditures as part of the product when they are,  more accurately, the consumption of resources produced in the private sector.  We are working on obtaining Gross Personal Product figures to re-compute the ratios.

I've quoted at greater length than might be normal in a time-line.  Of particular note are the writings of John T. Flynn, who wrote in 1948 after having been an eye-witness to the Depression and War era.  One can read this time-line without reading Flynn and the others quoted, but not without losing the unique "flavor" of the period.

National Debt
(in $ Billions)

(in $ Billions)

Debt as % GNP


Marginal Tax


The Progressive Era ~ 1890-1920?

1889 2 July 1890 Sherman Antitrust Law - "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal."

8 November 1892  Grover Cleveland elected President.  [Statistics]






3 November 1896  William McKinley elected President. [Statistics]






6 November 1900  William McKinley re-elected President.  [Statistics]




T. Roosevelt
6 September 1901  McKinley assassinated by Leon Czolgosz.

14 September 1901 Theodore  Roosevelt succeeds the assassinated President McKinley.

{Roosevelt] was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the dominant Republican Party into the Progressive camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved forty monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster". He was clear, however, to show he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle but was only against corrupt, illegal practices. His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen (through regulation of railroad rates and pure food and drugs) and the businessmen. He was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance. As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources. After 1906 he attacked big business and suggested the courts were biased against labor unions. In 1910, he broke with his friend and anointed successor William Howard Taft, but lost the Republican nomination to Taft and ran in the 1912 election on his own one-time Bull Moose ticket. He beat Taft in the popular vote and pulled so many Progressives out of the Republican Party that Democrat Woodrow Wilson won in 1912, and the conservative faction took control of the Republican Party for the next two decades. (Wikipedia s.v. "Theodore Roosevelt."

See also:   Thomas Woods, “Theodore Roosevelt and the Modern Presidency” 

1902 US government sues  Northern Security Company for anti-trust violations, the first major "trust-busting" case.

8 November 1904  Theodore Roosevelt wins re-election as President.  [Statistics]




T. Roosevelt
27 June 1905 - Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a.k.a "the wooblies" founded with intent to "take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth."

29 June 1906  Hepburn Act - Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to establish maximum rail rates   Gave ICC jurisdiction over non-railroad entities involved in interstate transportation of goods and information. Established uniform accounting carriers. Shifted "burden of proof" in legal cases from the government to the carrier.

30 June 1906 - Pure Food and Drug Act, and Meat Inspection Act - Government inspection of meat, prohibition of dangerous patent medicines, accurate labeling of contents

October 1907  Panic of 1907.  Economic recession and contraction after Treasury efforts to inflate during 1905-1907. New York and Chicago banks allowed by government to suspend payments in gold or cash.

1908  Noncontributory pensions were instituted in Great Britain by the Old-Age Pensions Act. [SOURCE]

3 November 1908  William H. Taft elected President.  [Statistics]





1909  The first Federal old-age pension bill was introduced in Congress. [SOURCE]

November 1910  Meeting on Jekyll Island, Georgia to lay plans for a U.S. banking cartel and central bank

1911  The National Insurance Act was passed in Great Britain. It provided for: 1) An unemployment fund from compulsory contributions by employees and employers, with the government contributing one-third; 2) A national health insurance system the cost of which was also shared by the workers, the employers and the government. [SOURCE]

5 November 1912 Woodrow Wilson elected President. [Statistics]




1912 The Progressive Party platform called for the protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old-age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use. [SOURCE]

25 February 1913 - Secretary of State Philander Knox proclaimed the 16th Amendment ratified, enabling the US government to levy an income tax, which it did in the form of the Revenue Act of 1913.  The act lowered the import tariff rate and imposed a tax on income that varied "progressively" between 0 and 7 percent.

8 April 1913 - the 17th Amendment was declared ratified, replacing Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution allowing the direct election of Senators by the people instead appointment by the state legislature; and in the event of a vacancy to call an election or for the governor to appoint a replacement for the remainder of the vacant term.

23 December 1913 - Congress established Federal Reserve (FED).  Understanding the Federal Reserve, its ability to create "money" without backing, and its mechanisms for controlling the economy is essential to understanding the Great Depression.  Many economics books describe the FED accurately enough but miss the ways in which its great powers can be misused.  A brief description "What is the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) and why do we have it?" is well worth the time to read it.  Those with more time will benefit from G. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island

28 June 1914 - Assassination of Franz Ferdinand ignites conflict that had been economic, with industrialized Germany building up a navy to protect trade with countries claimed by British Empire.

July 1914 - New York's J.P. Morgan made Britain and France's buyer of war supplies (est. $3 billion worth) and negotiator of contracts with American industrial firms.  To pay for these supplies Britain and France issued bonds, which were sold in the US.  Thus US exporters and investors had great interest in Britain and France not loosing to Germany (Rothbard, History of Money and Banking, pp.370-371).

October 1914 - President Wilson allowed a $500 Million dollar U.S. loan to the Allies of the Triple Entente (Britain, France, and Russia). In spite of American neutrality, the U.S. eventually loaned the Entente $2.3 Billion. U.S. loans to the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey, and (sometimes) Italy) were about 1 percent of that at $27 Million. (Ira Krakow, "World War I: The most unpopular war in our history)  The loan policy was hotly debated, as seen in an exchange of letters between President Wilson, Secretaries of State Bryan and Lansing, the Bankers.  Ultimately it came down to economics--exports to Europe were too valuable to curtail.  June 1915, Bryan resigned his position as Secretary of State in protest of Wilson's bellicosity. 

22 September 1915 New York Times article discusses the loans to the Entente and what they were used to purchase from a supposedly neutral U.S.

15 October 1914 - Clayton Antitrust Act - prohibited price discrimination, sales on condition of not dealing with competitor, interlocking directorates, and controlled mergers or acquisitions that might restrain trade.

7 May 1915 British Liner RMS Lusitania sunk carrying American passengers (and, most likely, military supplies) and acting as a Naval Auxiliary vessel) after warning by German Embassy that blockade running ships might be sunk.

February 1916 Benjamin Strong (US Federal Reserve), Walter Lord Cunliffe (Bank of England), and  the Bank of France agree to coordinated inflation to finance war (Rothbard, History, pp. 371-373)

7 November 1916 Wilson wins re-election with slogan "He kept us out of war."  [Statistics]





7% / $500K

January 1917  Wilson claims British have decrypted "Zimmermann telegram" proposing Mexican alliance with Germany if US entered war.  Americans conditioned to accept US involvement in war.

6 April 1917 U.S. Enters World War I

28 July 1917 - The War Industries Board

The War Industries Board (WIB) was a United States government agency established on July 28, 1917, during World War I, to coordinate the purchase of war supplies.[1] The organization encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency and urged them to eliminate waste by standardizing products. The board set production quotas and allocated raw materials. It also conducted psychological testing to help people find the right jobs.

The WIB dealt with labor-management disputes resulting from increased demand for products during World War I. The government could not negotiate prices and could not handle worker strikes, so the War Industries Board regulated the two to decrease tensions by stopping strikes with wage increases to prevent a shortage of supplies going to the war in Europe.  (Wikipedia, s.v. "War Industries Board")

August 1917 Food Administration created by the Lever Food and Fuel Act, headed by Herbert Hoover, had the authority to control prices, license distributors, negotiate prices, oversee exports, and control agricultural output.  Cut US domestic consumption of food by 15%.  Fixed domestic farm prices and coordinated exports. Remained in operation after the War, through the summer of 1921, feeding people in Europe and Middle East.  Hoover Museum

7 November 1917 V.I. Lenin begins the "October Revolution" (25 October using the Julian calendar).

8 January 1918  Wilson addressed Congress with his "Fourteen Points" intended to build a peaceful and prosperous Europe when WWI ended.  This was intended to be the basis for German surrender, but would be undercut by the treaty of Versailles, demanding German-Austrian ruination.

January 1918  Cunliffe Committee determined that post-war Britain would return to gold standard, (and did so by 1925) but the pound sterling must exchange at £1.00 = $4.86, when in reality it had dropped to lower than $3.50.  Low production and high unemployment, fueled by unrealistically high wage rates, government funded unemployment compensation, and social benefits, would keep the pound low until the US Federal Reserve agreed to domestic inflation and consequent devaluation of the US $  (Rothbard, History, pp. 356-367).

Did Britain return to "gold standard," "gold bullion standard' or "gold exchange standard"?  See Rothbard, Great Depression, p.148ff.

16 May 1918  Sedition Act made criticism of the government illegal under many conditions.  A few thousand were prosecuted before the law was repealed in 1921.

SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, ...or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct ...the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or ...shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States ...or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully ...urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production ...or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both....

1918 the Webb-Pomerene Act gave immunity to antitrust laws for companies that combined to operate the export trade that was essential to the war effort. Minimum prices were also placed on products.

11 November 1918 WWI ceasefire.

Of the roughly $33 Billion cost of war, $7.3 Billions were raised through taxes, $24 Billions were borrowed through bond issues, $1.6 Billion was created by the FED purchase of bonds.  The $1.6 Billion created by the FED (sometimes called "high powered money") was multiplied by the fractional reserve banking system to approximately $11.4 Billions.  The M2 money supply rose about 70 percent, from $20.7 Billion in 1916 to $35.1 Billion in 1920.  (Rockoff, Hugh. "US Economy in World War I". EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. February 10, 2008. URL

If we think of inflations as "too few goods chasing too many dollars," we can see how the 70 percent increase in the money supply would induce investors to fund enterprises to boost productivity.  But the growth in the money supply had been artificial, not being supported by a proportional increase in demand for consumer goods.  This already bloated money supply would be further enlarged (as we will see) in the 1920s, with additional inflation and lowered interest rates, in an attempt to boost the British Pound relative to the dollar.  Both served as false signals for investors to buy the shares of producing companies on the stock exchange, driving the stocks of producer goods far out of proportion to the real demand of consumers.

Before the cease-fire, agricultural production in the US grew at phenomenal rates in order to provide food for war-torn Europe.  American farmers cultivated more acreage using modern machinery.  With the end of the war and the resumption of farming in Europe, large US agricultural surpluses severely depressed prices paid to farmers at the market.  The problem of farm price supports would last all through the Depression, would return in the post-WWII era, and remains today.

8 January 1918: President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points delivered to joint session of US Congress outlining a peaceful, honorable, and non-vindictive basis for an armistice ending World War I.

28 June 1919 After the March resignation of the democratically elected chancellor, a German coalition government signed treaty of Versailles, and ratified it on 9 July.  [Complete Treaty]  [Treaty Highlights]  Quite at variance with Wilson's Fourteen Points, the treaty called for German-Austrian admission of war guilt, and responsibility to assume ruinous reparations payments. Hundreds of thousands of non-combatants were starved to death by blockades to force treaty ratification.  Germany lost 80% of her pre-war fleet, 48% of all iron production, 16% of all coal production, 13% of her 1914 territory, 12% of her population, 100% of her colonies, and the private property of German citizens in the colonies was confiscated (Patrick Buchanan, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, pp. 81-81).

October 28 1919  Volstead Act  "To prohibit intoxicating beverages, and to regulate the manufacture, production, use, and sale of high-proof spirits for other than beverage purposes...."  passes over presidential veto.

29 January 1920  Prohibition begins.

2 November 1920 Warren Harding elected President.  [Statistics]





67% /

1921-1929  Both Harding and Coolidge urged the Fed to keep interest rates low to encourage post-war business expansion.  Agriculture clamors for low interest easy credit.  Easy credit and inflation also benefit Great Britain with its high social welfare costs.

March 1921 Harding appointed Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce.

[Hoover] worked to gain the cooperation of people and businesses by offering guidance, information and service that they could use. He developed foreign markets for American products. He also worked to eliminate industrial waste (by this he meant time-wasting strikes, the waste of manpower and money in unemployment; the waste of effort and money in careless planning, to name a few).
   (Hoover Museum)

In reality, Hoover meddled. Although Harding and Coolidge are remembered as laissez-faire Presidents, Hoover was able to expand and thoroughly bureaucratize the Commerce Department. Hoover was at least partly responsible for the Fed's easy credit policy, inflating the money supply and misleading businessmen to make imprudent investments. He championed labor over business, artificially increasing wage rates above productivity levels, which led to unemployment. He sought to cartelize free enterprise, reducing competitive efficiencies and lower prices. Hoover urged high tariff rates to "protect" domestic industry from foreign imports.

May 1921  Britain demanded that German war reparations be paid in gold at the annual rate of Two Billion gold marks, plus 26% of the value of exports, beginning hyperinflation of the mark

6 February 1922 Washington Naval Treaty signed by US, UK, Japan, France, and Italy, restricting each nations naval Naval tonnage to a ratio of approximately 5, 5, 3, 1.75, and 1.75 respectively.  Fostered bad US, UK-Japan relations among previous allies.

1921-1929  Federal Reserve further loosens credit by discounting acceptances, and particularly foreign acceptances at low rates.  The Fed was advised by Paul Warburg of Kuhn, Loeb, and Company in his capacity as chairman of the Federal Advisory Council.   Warburg was one of the originators of the Fed, served on its board from 1914-1918, and was the founding Chairman of the International Acceptance Bank of New York  (Months before the Crash in '29 Warburg came out in favor of tighter money.)

1922, 1924, and 1927  The Fed engaged in large open market purchases of U.S. government securities, pouring money into the economy and inflating the currency.

4 November 1924  Calvin Coolidge elected President.  [Statistics]





73% /

1925 Old age pension benefits and compulsory insurance for widows and orphans were introduced in Great Britain with the enactment of the Contributory Pensions Act of 1925. [SOURCE]

1 July 1927 Benjamin Strong (US Federal Reserve), Montagu Norman (Bank of England), Charles Rist (Banque de France), and Hjalmar Schact (Reichsbank), meeting on Long Island, agreed that the US Fed would lower interest rates relative to the other three, so that gold would remain in England and British exports would remain competitive. 

Spring 1927 Mississippi River overflowed. 

Over a million people were driven from their homes, two million acres of crops, thousands of cattle and millions of dollars in buildings and property were destroyed. The governors of the six states along the Mississippi asked for Herbert Hoover in this emergency. President Coolidge sent him to mobilize state and local authorities, militia, army engineers, Coast Guard, weather bureaus, and the Red Cross. His work in the flood brought Herbert Hoover to the front page of papers everywhere. He also discovered while working on the flood problems that he might improve the general health of the people in the southern states. He set up health units, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, to work in the flooded regions for a year. These workers had stamped out malaria, pellagra and typhoid from many countries. Herbert Hoover also headed a drive which collected $15 million dollars for the Red Cross.
  (Hoover Museum)

6 November 1928  Herbert Hoover elected President.  [Statistics]

1928-1929  Fed tried to keep easy credit for industry, while urging banks not to loan for market speculation.  This "moral suasion" was largely unsuccessful, for money is money and tends to get used where its possessors see fit.






August 1929 The Fed belatedly raised the re-discount rate, tightening credit

24-29 October 1929  Black Thursday-Black Tuesday stock market crash.

Immediately after the crash, the FED took a wait and see attitude, resigned to let failed businesses liquidate.  But at the beginning of 1930 the government requested the FED to cut the re-discount rate from 4.5 percent to 2 percent in February.  Acceptance rates and call loan rates dropped accordingly. (Rothbard, America's Great Depression, p. 239-240)

1929-1932  Stalin deports Kulaks (farmers with minimal property) to Siberian prison camps and forces collectivization of farms.

17 June 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff enacted to keep foreign goods out of US markets in order to find domestic purchasers for the high capacity of production of which US industry and agriculture had become capable with modern methods.  Foreign retaliation damaged US export industry.  Relations with foreign governments damaged.  Hoover refused the request of Henry Ford and over 1000 economists to veto the tariff.

"U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934" (US Department of State).

20 June 1931 Hoover proposes a year long moratorium on WWI reparations to stave off economic collapse in Germany and Austria.  Britain willing, but France delayed.  Fear of return to hyperinflation precipitated run on German banks.

27 February 1932 First Glass-Steagall Act liberalized Federal Reserve rules for rediscounting commercial paper;  $750 million gold reserve for loans to business and industry.

22 January 1932 Hoover established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), providing about  $2 billion in aid to states and municipalities, and short term loans to banks, railroads, farm mortgage associations, and other businesses. 

Hoover therefore urged a reform in the banking structure and, when the situation grew worse, established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to aid banks threatened with runs and disaster. He provoked that investigation of the speculative markets which functioned until Roosevelt came into office and which most uninformed people imagine was set in motion by Roosevelt.

Hoover stood fast upon a group of propositions. For one, he insisted that the government expenses should be cut and he never faltered in this demand. Second, he demanded that Congress should balance the budget, and not expose the nation's credit to the hazards of the depression. Third, he insisted that aid to the distressed was primarily the function of the states and local communities as well as private organizations. The state and local governments should provide the funds. But he urged that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation should aid in this by lending federal money to the states upon the security of state bonds. Fourth, he believed that the federal government should stimulate the recovery of the economic system by expenditures on public works, but that these must be essential public works ­ roads, dams, necessary public buildings, etc. For that purpose, almost as soon as the depression assumed threatening proportions, he urged Congress to plan a program of public works amounting to $600,000,000, road construction of $75,000,000, the Colorado Dam at $65,000,000, river and harbors at $150,000,000. Actually he was a pioneer in proposing government intervention in the correction of cyclical economic disturbances. He proposed that the governments should accumulate public works and improvements during periods of prosperity in order not to accentuate its boom proportions and that these improvements should be launched at the appearance of a depression.

But Hoover had against him, in addition to those natural, international and social disturbances, an additional force, namely a Democratic House of Representatives which set itself with relentless purpose against everything he attempted to do from 1930 on. It had a vested interest in the depression. The depression seemed to come to it as a gift from heaven. And as the campaign for the presidency got under way in its early stages in 1931, there was nothing that could have delivered a more staggering blow to its hopes than the success of Hoover's plans for stemming the tide.  (John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, Book II, Chapter 3, "The Forgotten Depression," pages 125-126)

1932 the Revenue Act was one of the largest tax increases in American History:

The range of tax increases was enormous. Many wartime excise taxes were revived, sales taxes were imposed on gasoline, tires, autos, electric energy, malt, toiletries, furs, jewelry, and other articles; admission and stock transfer taxes were increased; new taxes were levied on bank checks, bond transfers, telephone, telegraph, and radio messages; and the personal income tax was raised drastically as follows: the normal rate was increased from a range of 1½ percent-5 percent, to 4 percent-8 percent; personal exemptions were sharply reduced, and an earned credit of 25 percent eliminated; and surtaxes were raised enormously, from a maximum of 25 percent to 63 percent on the highest incomes. Furthermore, the corporate income tax was increased from 12 percent to 13¾ percent, and an exemption for small corporations eliminated; the estate tax was doubled, and the exemption floor halved; and the gift tax, which had been eliminated, was restored, and graduated up to 33⅓ percent.
     (Rothbard, America's Great Depression, p. 287)

1932 President Hoover recommended that the concentration of health education and recreational activities be incorporated into a single executive department. [SOURCE]

In the Campaign for the 1932 election, Roosevelt introduced what he called his "New Deal."  John T. Flynn describes the campaign promises in some detail, which description is worth reading at length:

   It would relieve the needy ­ but no doles. The government would prepare a program of useful public works, such as flood control, soil and forest protection and necessary public buildings. But it would immediately put a million men to work in the forests. This alone would provide the necessary employment. Where public works were self­liquidating ­ that is where they would pay for themselves ­ they could be financed by bond issues. But where they were not they must be paid for by taxes. Beyond that, the New Deal would seek to shorten the work week and reduce hours of labor to spread employment.

   For the farmer the New Deal would encourage cooperatives and enlarge government lending agencies. But the greatest enemy of the farmer was his habit of producing too much. His surplus ruined his prices. The New Deal would contrive means of controlling the surplus and ensuring a profitable price. But it denounced any proposals to have the federal government go into the market to purchase and speculate in farm products in a futile attempt to increase prices or reduce farm surpluses.

   As for business the New Deal proposed strict enforcement of the anti­trust laws, full publicity about security offerings, regulation of holding companies which sell securities in interstate commerce, regulation of rates of utility companies operating across state lines and the regulation of the stock and commodity exchanges.

   But greatest of all ­ the New Deal promised economy. The extravagance of the Hoover administration, its yearly deficits ­ these were at the bottom of all our ills. The New Deal would abolish useless bureaus, reduce salaries, cut federal expenditures 25 per cent. The New Deal would put an end to government borrowing ­ it would end the deficits. The New Deal would assure a sound currency at all hazards and finally a competitive tariff with a tariff commission free from presidential interference.

   There was nothing revolutionary in all this. It was a platform that Woodrow Wilson might have endorsed. It was actually an old­time Democratic platform based upon fairly well­accepted principles of the traditional Democratic party. That party had always denounced the tendency to strong central government, the creation of new bureaus. It had always denounced deficit financing. Its central principle of action was a minimum of government in business. The government might intervene, as in the anti­trust laws, not to manage business or tell business what it should do, but to prevent business from engaging in practices which interfered with the free action of others. It made war upon those who attempted to impose restraints upon commerce. It was always for a competitive tariff, save for the products of the Southern states which needed protection. And it always proclaimed loudly its solicitude for labor and for the "common man." It always attacked Wall Street, the Stock Exchange, the big bankers.

   Mr. Roosevelt in his pre-election speeches had stressed all these points ­ observing the rights of the states so far as to urge that relief, old­age pensions and unemployment insurance should be administered by them, that the federal government would merely aid the states with relief funds and serve as collection agent for social insurance. And above all he rang the changes upon the shocking spendings of the Republicans and the mounting public debt. He called Herbert Hoover "the greatest spender in history." He cried out against the Republican party: "It has piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission ... at the expense of the taxpayer." He told the people: "For three long years I have been going up and down this country preaching that government ­ federal, state and local ­ costs too much. I shall not stop that preaching." The statement is a curious one, since I can find among his published addresses while he was governor up until the time of his nomination, not one reference to government deficits. And for a good reason, of course, since as governor he took New York State from the hands of Al Smith with a surplus of $15,000,000 and left it with a deficit of $90,000,000. He was against Big Government. "We must eliminate the functions of government ... we must merge, we must consolidate subdivisions of government and, like private citizens, give up luxuries which we can no longer afford."

   He repeated this over and over: "I propose to you that government, big and little, be made solvent and that the example be set by the President of the United States and his cabinet." Toward the end of the campaign he cried: "Stop the deficits! Stop the deficits!" Then to impress his listeners with his inflexible purpose to deal with this prodigal monster, he said: "Before any man enters my cabinet he must give me a twofold pledge: Absolute loyalty to the Democratic platform and especially to its economy plank. And complete cooperation with me in looking to economy and reorganization in his department."

   This was the New Deal as it was described to the people in the fall of 1932. Practically any Democrat could subscribe to it. The only slightly radical feature was his declaration about government development of water power. But he was merely following the lead of Al Smith and he assured the people that he believed in private ownership and development of water power with the exception of Muscle Shoals and perhaps three others merely to be yardsticks as a means of checking the rates of private companies.

   This New Deal was a program for action strictly within the framework of the traditional American system of government, with emphasis on states' rights, opposition to too powerful central government, opposition to BIG government which should be cut down to its proper size, opposition to high taxes, unbalanced budgets, government debts. Where the name New Deal came from I do not know. Stuart Chase had written a book called "A New Deal" some time before in which he outlined a completely different program. Perhaps the name was swiped from this book. But in any case, the Roosevelt New Deal was as I have described it. This was what the people voted for in 1932. Now Mr. Roosevelt, in March, 1933, was in the White House. And there he proceeded to set up what he continued to call the New Deal. How much did it resemble the one voted on in November, 1932?

   In the first hundred days of his administration, Mr. Roosevelt put into effect a program of very large dimensions. But it was a program built on a wholly different principle from that which was described as the New Deal.

   First of all, his central principle ­ his party's traditional principle of war upon BIG government ­ was reversed. And he set out to build a government that in size dwarfed the government of Hoover which he denounced. The idea of a government that was geared to assist the economic system to function freely by policing and preventive interference in its freedom was abandoned for a government which upon an amazing scale undertook to organize every profession, every trade, every craft under its supervision and to deal directly with such details as the volume of production, the prices, the means and methods of distribution of every conceivable product. This was the NRA. It may be that this was a wise experiment but it was certainly the very reverse of the kind of government which Mr. Roosevelt proposed in his New Deal.
   John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, Book I, Chapter 4.

8 November 1932  Roosevelt elected for first term. [Statistics]

November 1932-February 1933  Rumors of Roosevelt's true monetary intentions, including his plan to go off the gold standard led to large gold purchases by foreigners and US citizens alike, reflecting a loss of confidence in the dollar.  Dollars flooded the market but bank deposits dropped, leaving many banks with inadequate reserves.  Failures of commercial banks went from 1,453 in 1932 to 4,000 in 1933--many before Roosevelt took office.  Attempting to protect the banks, state governments authorized "bank holidays," allowing banks to close for a period of time to keep depositors from withdrawing their money.  Such closures further reduced confidence, so that even more solvent banks were subject to withdrawal.  The bank holidays represented an innovation in American business, allowing businesses to remain in operation while refusing to honor their financial obligations-- a sort of "bankruptcy without going bankrupt."

1932-1933 Stalin starves 5 million to death in Ukraine "terror famine."  In Harvest of Shame, Robert Conquest reports deaths of 14.5 million peasants 1930-1937 as a result of sending the kulaks to Siberia and forced famines in Ukraine, North Caucasus and elsewhere within the Soviet Union (page 306).





25% /

F.D. Roosevelt
February 1933.  Hoover was President until Roosevelt's inauguration on 4 March 1933.  On 17 February, the "lame duck" Hoover wrote to Roosevelt outlining a plan which would require congressional approval, and implementation by the incoming President:

At the beginning of February, Hoover proposed to the Federal Reserve Board that every bank in the country should be closed for just one day. Each bank would then submit a statement of its assets and liabilities. It would list its live assets and its dying or dead assets separately. The Federal Reserve would accept the banks' own statement. The next day all solvent banks would be opened and the government would declare them to be solvent and would guarantee that solvency during the crisis. That would stop the runs. As to the banks with the large amounts of inactive assets, the live assets would be separated from the inactive ones. The banks would be reopened, each depositor getting a deposit account in proportion to his share of the active assets. The inactive assets would then be taken over to be liquidated in the interest of the depositors. This was an obviously sound and fair solution. Had it been done countless millions in deposits would have been saved and the banking crisis at least would have been removed from the picture. However, the Attorney General ruled that the President did not possess the power to issue such an order unless he could have the assurance of Congress that it would confirm his action by an appropriate resolution, and that this, as a matter of political necessity, would have to be approved by the new President who would take office in a month. It was some such plan as this which Hoover had in mind when he wrote Roosevelt on February 17. It had one defect from Roosevelt's point of view. It would not do to allow Hoover to be the instrument of stemming the banking crisis before Roosevelt could do it.

However, Hoover took the view that, as the ultimate responsibility would fall upon Roosevelt, although Roosevelt was without power to act being still a private citizen, he, Hoover, would issue any orders Roosevelt would approve, provided he could do so in conscience and Roosevelt could assure approval by Congress.

But Roosevelt did not answer that letter of February 17....  (John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth,   Book I, Chapter 3 "The banking Crisis" page 22.

See also Larry LaBorde,"The 1933 Banking Crisis."

6-10 March 1933  Roosevelt orders banks closed - "Bank Holiday"

The Great Gold Robbery

9 March 1933  Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act without the opportunity for members to read or debate its provisions  Granted ex post facto authority for Roosevelt's closure of the banks (Title I, Section 1), amended the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917 to say:

   During time of war or during any other period of national emergency declared by the President, the President may ... investigate, regulate, or prohibit ... any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit between or payments by banking institutions as defined by the President, and export, hoarding, melting, or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency, by any person within the United States....
   Whoever willfully violates any of the provisions of this subdivision or of any license, order, rule or regulation issued thereunder, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both. As used in this subdivision the term 'person' means an individual, partnership, association, or corporation.  (Title I, Section 2.)

 and amended the Federal Reserve Act to say:

... the Secretary of the Treasury, in his discretion, may require any or all individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations to pay and deliver to the Treasurer of the United States any or all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by such individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations.... Any individual, partnership, association, or corporation failing to comply with any requirement of the Secretary of the Treasury made under this subsection shall be subject to a penalty equal to twice the value of the gold or gold certificates in respect of which such failure occurred, and such penalty may be collected by the Secretary of the Treasury by suit or otherwise.  (Title I, Section 3.)

5 April 1933    Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 requiring US citizens to turn over their gold to the government at the artificially set price of $20.67 per ounce.

12 May 1933  Agricultural Adjustment Act (Thomas Amendment) "(named for its sponsor, Senator Elmer Thomas), which had two pertinent provisions. First, all U.S. coins and currencies were made full legal tender (money for payment of an obligation in any amount). This meant in particular that silver coins had the same status as gold. Second, the president was given authority to fix the weight of the gold dollar to stabilize domestic prices or protect foreign commerce. This was an unprecedented transfer of congressional power over coinage and currency to the president. However, the present weight of the dollar could not be reduced by more than 50 percent. This meant that the price of gold could be set no higher than $41.34 per ounce." (

5 June 1933  A joint resolution of Congress HJR-192: which voided all private and public contractual obligations requiring payment in gold   Contracts entered into with the security of gold would now be repaid with paper at a value determined by the government and the Federal Reserve.

... Every obligation, heretofore or hereafter incurred, whether or not any such provisions is contained therein or made with respect thereto, shall be discharged upon payment, dollar for dollar, in any such coin or currency which at the time is legal tender for public and private debts. Any such provision contained in any law authorizing obligations to be issued by or under authority of the United States, is hereby repealed.... (Section 1a)

At least as radical was the departure from the Gold Standard by making paper government, Fed, and bank currencies legal tender for all debts public and private.  One could not refuse to accept payment in paper notes, no matter how worthless the government and the Fed allowed them to become:

... the term "coin or currency" means coin or currency of the United States, including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banking associations. (Section 1b)

   All coins and currencies of the United States (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banking associations) hereunto and hereafter coined or issued, shall be legal tender for all debts, for public and private, public charges, taxes, duties, and dues, except gold coins, when below the standard weight and limit of tolerance provided by law for the single piece, shall be legal tender only at valuation in proportion to their actual weight. (Section 2)

30 January 1934  The Gold Reserve Act ended the manufacture of gold coins, and authorized conversion of existing coins into bars.  Dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, this completely terminating the gold standard.  The weight of a (theoretical) gold dollar was reduced to 60 percent or less of the current weight or $34.45 per ounce.

31 January 1934 Roosevelt set price of gold at $35 to the ounce, roughly a 40 percent devaluation of the US dollar.. 

   The series of acts and proclamations over 1933 to 1934 had several effects. First, there was a large inflow of gold into the United States, in part because of the fixed, high price of gold. Second, the Treasury made a huge profit—almost $3 billion—by acquiring gold at $20.67 prior to its revaluation to $35.00. Third, the United States readopted the gold standard, but of a limited kind. From January 31, 1934, to August 15, 1971, the Treasury purchased gold from all sellers at $34.9125, but sold gold only to foreign monetary authorities and licensed industrial users at $36.0875. However, from 1973 onward, the official gold price has significance only for valuation of the U.S. official gold stock. Fourth, with holdings of gold forbidden to U.S. residents, Americans could not readily invest in the metal or speculate on the gold price. Removal of all restrictions on private ownership of gold did not occur until December 31, 1974.   (

Historical Gold Prices

Alphabet Soup Agencies

   The literature of the Great Depression abounds with with agencies created ad hoc to deal with this or that problem, usually abbreviated to three or four letters.  Without an overall plan, the agencies sometimes duplicated each others' efforts or worked at cross purpose.  Roosevelt used the agencies and their employees like a "ward boss" only at the federal level. 

   In the first WPA district of Kentucky, one WPA official went to work on Governor Chandler. He took his orders from the administration political headquarters in Kentucky. He put nine WPA supervisors and 340 WPA timekeepers on government time to work preparing elaborate forms for checking on all the reliefers in the district. Having done this they then proceeded to check up on the 17,000 poor devils who were drawing relief money to see how they stood on the election. The Senate committee got possession of these forms.
   In the second WPA district, another WPA official who was the area engineer, managed a thorough canvass of the workers in Pulaski and Russell counties. The WPA foremen were given sheets upon which they had to report on the standing of the reliefers in the political campaign. It became a part of Mr. Hopkins' WPA organization in Kentucky to learn how many of the down­and­out had enough devotion to Franklin D. Roosevelt to be entitled to eat. It was not sufficient for an indigent Kentuckian to be just down and out and hungry. He had to believe that the President of the United States was his redeemer and had to be ready to register that belief at the polls. The reliefers were asked to sign papers pledging themselves to the election of the senior senator from Kentucky. They were given campaign buttons and told to wear them and there were instances where, if they refused, they were thrown off the WPA rolls.
   All this, of course, was in a Democratic primary where only Democrats could vote. But there were a lot of poor Republicans in Kentucky who couldn't vote in the Democratic primary so long as they were Republicans. So they were told to change their registration and become Democrats, or no WPA jobs for them.  (Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, Book 2, Chapter IV, p. 134)

   Revelations that relief and public works money was often being used to serve the interests of FDR and state politicians led Congress to pass the Political Activity Act (1939), better known as the Hatch act after New Mexico Senator Carl Atwood Hatch.  It prohibited Federal employees, employees of the District of Columbia government, and state and local employees who administer federal programs from trying to influence the outome of a political campaign, offer jobs to political campaign workers, or manage a political campaign (FDR's Folly p. 99)

New Dealers did not necessarily feel constrained to use agency resources for things that the agency was supposed to do, but felt free to divert them to what they felt were more worthwhile social programs:

...The First Lady lobbied vigorously to make her friend, Fiorello La Guardia, the pint-sized effervescent mayor of New York head of the Office of Civilian Defense....  The First Lady immediately began bombarding La Guardia with ideas on how to run the agency....  La Guardia suggested Mrs. Roosevelt become his assistant director....  Eleanor Roosevelt was, to put it mildly, not a clear thinker.  She found fault with the OCD because it concentrated on things like producing gas masks and training air-raid wardens and volunteer firemen.  Mrs. Roosevelt thought its goals should be broader.  She wanted civilian volunteers to be trained to work in nursery schools, housing projects, and other "meaningful jobs."  (Fleming, The New Dealers' War,  p. 105.)

One agency might fund another, perhaps requiring political connection, and perhaps without direct Congressional oversight:

   Where did PWA [Public Works Administration] money come from?  As previously noted Congress appropriated some.  Hundreds of millions more came from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which bought bonds issued by the PWA  The FRC turned out to be the behind-the-scenes banker of the New Deal.  Soon after its powers were expanded by the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, it became clear to many in Congress "that here was a device that would enable them to provide for activities that they favored for which government funds would be required, but without any apparent increase in appropriations," reported Chester Morrill, secretary to the Federal Reserve. "After they had done that, there need be no more appropriations and its activities could be enlarged indefinitely, as they were almost to fantastic proportions."  Historian James S. Olson noted that "the Reconstruction Finance Corporation financed a host of other New Deal agencies, because its huge reserves and fiscal independence gave Roosevelt the power to act without specific congressional authorization. 
   The RFC provided $40 million to the Farm Credit Administration, $44 million to the Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation, $55 million to the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation, $83  million to the Federal Housing Administration,$125 million to Federal Home Loan banks, $145 million to the federal Farm Loan Commissioner, $175 million to the Resettlement Administration, $200 million to the Homeowner's Loan Corporation, and $246 million to the Rural Electrification Administration.  The RFC supplied $1 billion dollars to the Works Progress Administration, so that it could begin work soon after it was set up in 1933.  (Flynn, FDR's Folly, p. 92-93.)

Sometimes the division of responsibility between agencies was obscure:

...Senator Harry S. Truman, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate the War Program  ... told his readers that the Committee's investigation of the rubber shortage forced them to visit seven separate agencies, the War Production Board, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Office of Petroleum Coordinator, the Office of Defense Transportation, the Price Administrator, the Board of Economic Warfare, and the Department of Agriculture.  All had a finger in the mess.  Again and again, Truman said the blame lay not with the fumbling quarreling bureaucrats.  The problem was "lack of courageous unified leadership and centralized direction at the top."  All Americans wanted or needed to win the war is "that we be inteligently and resolutely led."   (Fleming, The New Dealers' War, p. 155-156.)

Sometimes the agencies were run by bureaucrats with no knowledge of what they were handling:

.... Harold Ickes, present as the petroleum czar, chimed in with a declaration that the [rubber] shortage could easily be solved by collecting a million tons of scrap rubber from junkyard owners and other patriotic Americans.
   The director of the WPB's rubber program, Arthur Newhall, was a former rubber manufacturer.  He goggled at Ickes's figure and told him that it was "fantastically high."  He was the only rubber expert in the room but that did not matter to FDR, who was thinking politically, not realistically.  Roosevelt knew that Ickes required careful handling.  If Honest Harold did not get his way, Drew Pearson and other columnists would soon be hearing about ineptitude in the Oval Office.  A beaming president announced the rubber problem was solved and told Ickes to launch a nationwide scrap rubber collection immediately.
   The drive was a fiasco,  At the end of five frantic weeks, in which the President made a statement and Ickes ran around like an out-of-control windup toy, the nation had collected only 335,000 tons of scrap rubber.  Ickes was reduced to trying to confiscate the rubber mats on the floors of the Interior Department buildings.  The Public Buildings Administration blocked him, saying that it would lead to an epidemic of broken hips when people started falling on the slippery marble floors.  In the last gasp, Ickes was caught stealing a rubber mat from the White House.  Compounding the petroleum czar's folly was the fact that rubber mats were made from recycled rubber and were useless in the production of tires.  (Fleming, The New Dealers' War, p. 141-142.)

A fundamental flaw in the creation of most "alphabet soup agencies"--a flaw which plagues many government agencies today--was the lack of legislative direction as to how the agency was to function.  In the Constitution, the people delegate all legislative power to the Congress.  But since the 1930s most agencies were created with a broad mission, and told to write their own rules, which then acquired the force of law.  Congress abdicated its law making responsibility to the agencies, which were run by the executive department, and which has no constitutional authority to make laws. (US Constitution, Article I, Section 1.)

12 May 1933 The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was created with an appropriation of $500,000,000. It was authorized to match the sums allotted for the relief of unemployed by State and local governments with Federal funds. The measure providing for the first direct grants to States for unemployment relief was expanded to provide medical attention and medical supplies to recipients of unemployment relief programs. [SOURCE]  [TEXT of the EMERGENCY RELIEF ACT]

12 May 1933 The Agriculture Adjustment Act created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.  In an effort to raise farm prices, the AAA created artificial shortages by purchasing and destroying vast quantities of food--at a time when many Americans were doing without, or living on higher priced imports.

   Curiously enough, while Wallace [named FDR's Secretary of Agriculture in 1933] was paying out hundreds of millions to kill millions of hogs, burn oats, plow under cotton, the Department of Agriculture issued a bulletin telling the nation that the great problem of our time was our failure to produce enough food to provide the people with a mere subsistence diet. The Department made up four sample diets. There was a liberal diet, a moderate diet, a minimum diet and finally an emergency diet ­ below the minimum. And the figures showed that we did not produce enough food for our population for a minimum diet, a mere subsistence.

   The AAA [Agricultural Adjustment Administration] produced all sorts of dislocations in our economic system. For instance, we had men burning oats when we were importing oats from abroad on a huge scale, killing pigs while increasing our imports of lard, cutting corn production and importing 30 million bushels of corn from abroad.

   Wallace himself said: "It is a shocking commentary on our civilization." That was not so. That kind of thing was no part of our civilization. It was, rather, a shocking commentary on the man who engineered it. It was a crime against our civilization to pay farmers in two years $700,000,000 to destroy crops and limit production. It was a shocking thing to see the government pay one big sugar corporation over $1,000,000 not to produce sugar.
   John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (Book I, Chapter 5)

16 June 1933  Second Glass-Steagall Act (Banking Act of 1933), separated commercial from investment banking, founded the Federal Deposit Insurance Company--occasioned by Morgan-Rockefeller rivalry.  The act was intended to protect depositors from the uncertainty of investment markets, and to protect them from unscrupulous sales attempts.  The act did nothing to eliminate unit banks or allow nationwide banking.  The small banks, with smaller, less diversified assets were more prone to failure in bad times.

16 June 1933  National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) set up the National Recovery Administration (NRA).   NIRA gave the President the power to set up industrial cartels and fix minimum prices, minimum wages, and maximum working hours within an industry group (code). Overturned by unanimous vote of the US Supreme Court on May 27, 1935.

May 1933 The TVA  President Roosevelt's Message to Congress on the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1933  Tennessee Valley Authority Act, 18 May 1933

16 June 1933  The Public Works Administration (WPA) was established. [SOURCE]

Included in the WPA were work making programs for artists, musicians, actors, writers and historians.  This Roosevelt friendly link will give an idea of the enormous scope of these programs, and help to explain why Roosevelt and his programs received such favorable media and coverage and textbook presentation.

November 1933  The Civilian Works Agency (CWA) was set up. [SOURCE]

5 December 1933  Prohibition repealed.

31 January 1934 Gold Reserve Act demanded that remaining gold and US gold certificates be surrendered to the Treasury, and nullified any private or government contract clause agreeing to payment in gold.  Roosevelt devalued dollar from $20.67 to $35.00 per gold ounce.

February 1934 A bill was introduced in Congress which provided for a Federal excise tax on employer payrolls, to be offset by employer contributions to State unemployment insurance funds. [SOURCE]

6 June 1934 Congress established the U.S. Employment Service which, jointly with the States, established and maintained employment agencies. [SOURCE]

8 June 1934 Federal legislation to promote economic security was recommended in the President's Message to Congress which stated: "Among our objectives I place the security of men, women and children of the nation first." [SOURCE]

26 June 1934 The Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 was approved, making it possible to establish federally-chartered credit unions in all of the United States. The Federal Credit Union Section was established in the Farm Credit Administration. [SOURCE]

27 June 1934 The Railroad Retirement Act of 1934 was approved by the president. The Act, to be administered by the Railroad Retirement Board, provided for retirement and disability annuities and lump-sum payments to survivors. [SOURCE]

The Taxman Commeth
Some of these will be out of chronological order, but it is necessary to see the great burden of taxation that was laid upon the depressed economy, in addition to the burden of debt.  Most of these (in quotes) are taken from Jim Powell's FDR's Folly, pages 77-87.

22 March 1933 - The Beer-Wine Revenue Act

12 May 1933 - The Agricultural Adjustment Act. 25% of the cotton crop, 6,000,000 baby pigs, and 220,000 pregnant cows destroyed to raise agricultural prices.  Punitive taxes were levied on "overproduction." The Thomas amendment provided for debasement of the currency through Federal Reserve open market operations, printing greenbacks, and the minting of coins with low weight of gold or silver.

Excess profit taxes were also levied, but were coupled to the expected repeal of Prohibition.

16 June 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act  "imposed a 5 percent tax on corporate dividends and reduced deductions for business and capital losses."    

11 January 1934 - Liquor Taxing Act $1.10 per gallon becomes $2.00 per gallon

1 June 1934 Revenue Act of 1934 revision of the 1932 Act taxed toothpaste, soap, furs, refrigerators, matches, candy, chewing gum, fountain syrups, CO2, electricity....

The Revenue Act of 1934 also rearranged income tax rates, "a decrease of taxes for those with incomes between $5,000 and $9,000, and an increase for those with incomes above $9,000 ... there wasn't any provision for carrying forward net losses to future years ... an additional surtax was levied on undistributed net income of personal holding companies ... 30 percent of the first $100,00 ... 40 percent of the amount in excess of $100,000.  The federal estate tax ... to 60 percent ... tariffs on coconut and other oils imported from the Philippines."

January 1935  FDR: "No new taxes!"

19 July 1935  FDR called for a "wider distribution of wealth" via graduated taxes on individuals and corporations.  He denounced "the transmission from generation to generation of vast fortunes."  Accordingly he proposed that death taxes should take as much as 86.88 percent of estates ... confiscatory taxes had already been paid on incomes before any proceeds could go into an estate.  On income above $100,000 the top rate went up to 75 percent.

January 1, 1936 The Federal unemployment tax of one percent became applicable to employers of eight or more, with a credit offset for contributions paid to State unemployment funds. [SOURCE]

1936 "a graduated undistributed profits tax that penalized companies for building up savings essential for investment.  Companies that retained 1 percent of their net income would see 10 percent of it taxed away.  Companies that retained 70 percent of their net income would see 73.91 percent of it go to the government."  Retaining income for investment was vital to smaller companies that were unable to borrow, sell stocks, or issue bonds 

June 1937 The Revenue Act of 1937 "increased taxation of personal holding companies, limited deductions for corporate yachts and country estates, restricted deductions for losses from sales or exchanges of property, reduced incentives for creation of multiple trusts, and eliminated favors for nonresident taxpayers ... Moreover the government began collecting payroll taxes for Social Security in 1937 -- as a withholding tax it set a precedent for the withholding of federal income taxes in 1943.  Fro the very beginning, Social Security wasn't deductible from the federal income tax."

29 June 1937  The President approved the Carriers Taxing Act of 1937, which repealed the Act of August 1935. The Act provided for income taxes on railroad employees and employee representatives and for excise taxes on carriers. [SOURCE]

1 January 1938  The Federal unemployment tax payable by employers of eight or more employees was increased to three percent of payroll. Unemployment benefits first became payable in 22 States [SOURCE]

"New Deal taxes came on top of increasing state taxes during the Great Depression.  Sixteen states enacted personal income taxes, and fifteen enacted corporate income taxes.... In addition, states introduced or raised excise taxes on gasoline liquor, tobacco, soft drinks, and oleomargarine (this last, of course, a special benefit for dairy farmers concerned about losing butter business).  Overall, state taxes doubled during the Great Depression:  State tax revenues soared from $2.1 billion in 1930 to $4.1 billion in 1940."

27 April 1942  Roosevelt asks Congress to tax personal  income at 100% (yup! one-hundred-percent!) above $25,000 per year.  Congress sets top personal tax rate at 91%, and corporate "excess profits" at 95%.

3 October 1942  Roosevelt issues executive order setting top personal tax rate at 100% above $250,000.

4 April 1935 The Social Security Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives with a report. This bill (H.R. 7260) replaced the Economic Security Bill. [SOURCE]

8 April 1935 The Works Progress Administration created by the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, established a Resettlement Administration and a National Youth Administration to administer emergency work relief programs for the unemployed. [SOURCE]

6 May 1935 The Railroad Retirement Act of 1934 was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. [SOURCE]

6 May 1935 The President signed an Executive Order terminating the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and creating the Works Progress Administration. [SOURCE]

27-29 May 1935 The National Industrial Recovery Act was invalidated by the Supreme Court.

   Opposition to the NRA grew stronger and stronger by the time the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional on May 29, 1935   Economists at the Brookings Institution declared that "the NRA on the whole retarded recovery."  Raymond Moley was among the framers of the NRA who later acknowledged the error of his ways: "Planning an economy in normal times is possible only through the discipline of a police state.... Economic planning on a national scale in a politically free society involves contradictions that cannot be resolved in practice.  The bones of the Blue Eagle [symbol of the NRA] should be a grim reminder of this reality. (FDR's Folly, p. 127 emphasis added).

19 June 1935 The Social Security Bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 77 Yes, 6 No, and 12 Not Voting. [SOURCE]

5 July 1935 The National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act was enacted.

14 August 1935  The Social Security Act (H.R. 7260, Public Law No. 271, 74th Congress) became law with the President's signature at approximately 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. [SOURCE]

15 August 1935  The President created the Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities. The committee was composed of the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman, Assistant Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, and the Second Assistant Secretary of Labor (Arthur J. Altmeyer). [SOURCE]

29 August 1935 The Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 was approved by the President. [SOURCE]

27 September 1936 In his presidential campaign, Governor Alfred M. Landon denounced the old-age insurance system. He spoke of Social Security as being a "cruel hoax." [SOURCE]

3 November 1936  Roosevelt elected for second term. [Statistics]

7 December 1936  Judge George C. Sweeney of Massachusetts upheld the right of Congress to levy a payroll tax on employers--Title IX of the Social Security Act. [SOURCE]

15 December 1936  A three-judge Federal Court in Alabama granted a permanent injunction restraining the State from collecting the tax provided by the State Unemployment Compensation law. [SOURCE]





63% /

F.D. Roosevelt
1 January 1937  Workers began to acquire credits toward old-age insurance benefits. Employers and employees became subject to a tax of one percent of wages on up to $3,000 a year. Lump-sum payments were first made payable to eligible workers, their survivors or their estates. The Federal unemployment tax payable by employers of 8 or more was increased to two percent of payroll. [SOURCE]

14 January 1937  Judge David J. Davis of Alabama upheld the right of Congress to levy a payroll tax on employers--Title IX of the Social Security Act. [SOURCE]

22 February 1937 The Senate Finance Committee ordered a study of whether the accumulation of reserves for old-age benefits was necessary and recommended the establishment of an Advisory Council to study the problems and report to the Senate Finance Committee and the Social Security Board. [SOURCE]

They are already asking the question: "Do we really have to keep a Social Security trust fund, or can we just spend the money as we collect it, and let someone in the future pay the benefits?"

12 April 1937 The Wagner Labor Act was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. [SOURCE]

24 May 1937  In three decisions, the Supreme Court validated the unemployment insurance provisions of the Social Security Act and ruled old-age pensions were constitutional, (301 U.S. 495, 548, 619) in Steward Machine Company v. Davis; Helvering v. Davis; and Carmichael v. Southern Coal Company. [SOURCE]

9 March 1937  "Court Packing."  Roosevelt, in one of his "fire side chats" announced his  plan to add fifty new federal judges, including seven additional Supreme Court Justices.  He claimed that the judiciary was overworked.  14 June the Senate Judiciary Committee  issued a scathing report that called FDR's plan "a needless, futile and utterly dangerous abandonment of constitutional principle … without precedent or justification."  K. Daniel Glover, "FDR's court-packing fiasco."

24 June 1937 The Railroad Retirement Act of 1937, which amended portions of the 1935 Act, was approved by the President. [SOURCE]

16 June 1938 Roosevelt established the Temporary National Economic Committee (TNEC)  to deal with the problem of monopolies in business.  Somehow, government sponsored monopolies were good, but private monopolies bad. For example the Committee indicted Socony-Vacuum Oil Company for practices that were mandated under the NRA. The "sin" seems to have been bigness rather than market control leading to exorbitant prices. Smaller companies clamored for investigation of larger firms. (Jim Powell, FDR's Folly, pp.236-240)  A little less than three years, and a little more than a Million dollars later, the Committee closed its activities with a great deal of data on American business, but without substantial recommendations.  (Time Magazine, "Twilight of TNEC," 14 April 1941)

25 June 1938  The Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted. It provided for minimum wages, child labor standards, and time and one-half for hours over 40 in a workweek, for workers coming under interstate commerce. [SOURCE]

25 June 1938  The Crosser-Wheeler Act was enacted. It was to become effective July 1, 1939. State unemployment compensation agencies were to transfer to the Railroad Retirement Board the benefit rights and contributions for workers covered by the Railroad Insurance Act. [SOURCE]

28 February 1939 Senator Robert Wagner introduced S.1620 to create the National Health Act of 1939. A national compulsory health insurance for almost all employees and their dependents was proposed by this bill. Benefits were to include physician's services, hospitalization, drugs, and laboratory diagnostic services. Costs were to be covered through employer and employee contributions which were to have been deposited in a health insurance fund. The plan was to be administered through the States. No final action was taken on the bill--although hearings were held April 29-July 13. The bill died in committee. [SOURCE]

1 July 1939  The Federal Reorganization Act of 1939 became effective. Under this act, the Social Security Board was made part of the newly established Federal Security Agency. The United States Employment Service was transferred from the Department of Labor to the Social Security Board, consolidating the Employment Service with the unemployment compensation functions of the Social Security Board to become the Bureau of Employment Security. In the Federal Security Agency, the Social Security Board, the Public Health Service, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration, and the Office of Education were integrated into one administrative unit. [SOURCE]

When in doubt, reorganize!  Printing all that stationery makes jobs!

1 January 1940 Monthly benefits first became payable under old-age and survivor's insurance to aged retired workers and their dependents and to survivors of deceased insured workers. The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund was established as a separate account in the United States Treasury to hold the amounts accumulated under the old-age and survivors insurance program. [SOURCE]

So, there is a Social Security trust fund?

31 January 1940 Ida M. Fuller became the first person to receive an old-age monthly benefit check under the new Social Security law. She paid in $24.75 between 1937 and 1939 on an income of $2,484. Her first check, dated January 31, was for $22.54. [SOURCE]

But, finally, Roosevelt ran out of things on which to spend money.  By 1940 the municipalities had more hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, dams, and so forth than they could maintain.  They could afford no more "free" public works in their jurisdictions

But how would he spend and on what? Bridges, roads, a few more dams? These would consume a few billions at most. On what, then, could it be? He already had a definite idea in his mind on what it would be. He had denounced Hoover, among other things, for spending so much on the military establishment. He had warned that if the Republicans were not stopped, they would soon expose the people to the burden of "a billion dollars a year on the military and naval establishment." Now, looking up at the world from the hole in which he found himself, he had to swallow all that too. Half thinking aloud in a chat with Farley he said "The danger of war with Japan will naturally cause an increase in our armaments program, which cannot be avoided." He had only recently warned Americans against those politicians who would tell them that a military industry would produce work for the people and profits for business. But it would be hard, he had said at Chautauqua only two years before "for Americans to look beyond, to realize the inevitable penalties, the inevitable day of reckoning that comes from a false prosperity." Yet now he was playing with that very war motif.
   John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (Book II, Chapter 3)

April 1940  Naval ships based on the West Coast joined the ships of the Hawaiian Detachment for their annual training exercise.  In spite of a number of practical difficulties, of which he advised Roosevelt, Admiral James O. Richardson was ordered to keep all ships at Pearl Harbor.  On 7 May 1940, Richardson was ordered to tell the press that keeping the ships at Pearl was his decision. (Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit, p. 17 [on-line])

8 July 1940  Adminal Richardson met personally with Roosevelt to explain that Pearl had inadequate facilities for training, repair, fueling, munitioning, parts fabrication, and dry docking, as well as being a morale problem for sailors whose families remained at West Coast bases.  He also cautioned Roosevelt that such a build up of force would appear aggressive to the military minded Japanese government.  Richardson lost the argument. (Day of Deceit, p. 18‑19)

Mid-summer 1940  Roosevelt issued licensing plan to control exports of oil and scrap metal, but ignored violations of his order by shipments to Japan.

Early September 1940 Roosevelt asked Congress to instate a peace-time draft, called up the National Guard, traded 50 old destroyers to Britain in exchange for leases on Atlantic bases, and signed $5 Billion legislation for a two-ocean Navy. (Day of Deceit, p. 25, 121)

September-October 1940  US Cryptanalysts cracked Japanese diplomatic codes and some military codes.  Oil supplies cut to Japan. (Day of Deceit, p. 21‑23; 39‑43)

7 October 1940  Lt. Cdr. Arthur McCollum, Fare East Desk, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) issues memo through Capt. Walter S. Anderson, Chief of ONI to Roosevelt, detailing the steps necessary to provoke Japan to War. (Day of Deceit, p. 7‑9; photocopy of memo 272‑277)

8 October 1940  Roosevelt ordered the fleet to remain at Pearl for the foreseeable future.  Richardson burst out, telling Roosevelt that "senior officers in the Navy do not have the rust and confidence in the civilian leadership of this country that is essential for the successful prosecution of a war in the Pacific."  He urged Roosevelt not to leave the fleet at Pearl as a provocation to the Japanese, and a mortal danger to the fleet.  26 October 1940 the rumor that Richardson is to be replaced circulated in the Kiplinger Newsletter.  (Day of Deceit, p. 10‑11)
Roosevelt maintained that basing entire Fleet at Pearl served as a deterrent against Japanese aggression.

5 November 1940  Roosevelt wins election to third term. [Statistics]





79% /

F.D. Roosevelt
January 1941  Roosevelt promoted Captain Walter Stratton Anderson (McCullom's boss at Navy Intelligence) to Rear Admiral in command of Battleships in the Pacific Fleet.  Headquartered at Pearl Harbor, Anderson nonetheless took off base quarters at Diamond Head, thereby not not being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the attack came on Sunday morning, 7 December 1941.  (Day of Deceit, p. 36‑37; 111)

1 February 1941  Admiral Richardson replaced by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel as commander of Pacific Fleet. (Day of Deceit, p. 11, 33)

26 February 1941 The Bureau of Public Assistance was designated a defense agency. [SOURCE]

March-May 1941.  Admiral Kimmel and Army Lt. General Short complain of not receiving intelligence information concerning Japanese espionage, and troop and ship movements.  Complaints are stonewalled. (Day of Deceit, p. 37‑38; 130)
Official Navy position
is that Kimmel and Short received adequate intelligence.

11 April 1941 The Social Security Board was designated a defense agency. [SOURCE]

14 August 1941  In the Atlantic Charter, Roosevelt and Churchill included among the common principles in national policies of the two countries the desire "to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security." [SOURCE]

But Flynn says of the Atlantic Charter:

In the meantime, the war engrossed the attention of the people. And very soon after the election, stories about the conference at Teheran, details of which had been guarded very carefully, began to appear. It was being said that all the little liberated countries to which Roosevelt had made such definite promises and whose nationals in this country had been so solicitously courted during the campaign had been betrayed at Teheran. The dominant note in these criticisms was that at Teheran Roosevelt had scrapped the Atlantic Charter. That bold document had asserted that the high contracting parties "desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed desires of the peoples concerned, that they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live and they wish to see sovereign rights and self­government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them." The Teheran agreement violated every phrase and syllable of this pledge.

What had become of the Atlantic Charter? On December 20, 1944, the President at a press conference was asked about the Charter which he and Churchill had signed. His reply literally bowled over the correspondents. There was not and never had been a complete Atlantic Charter signed by him and Churchill, he replied. Then where is the Charter now, he was asked. He replied: "There wasn't any copy of the Atlantic Charter so far as I know." It was just a press release. It was scribbled on a piece of paper by him and Churchill and Sumner Welles and Sir Alexander Cadogan. It was just handed to the radio operator aboard the British and American warships to put on the air as a news release. Further inquiry revealed that Stephen Early had handed it out on his own with the signatures of Churchill and Roosevelt attached. And over on the wall of the National Museum in Washington, beautifully framed and illuminated after the manner of an ancient document ­ like Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence ­ was the great Atlantic Charter itself, with the signatures of Roosevelt and Churchill. Daily visitors stood before it as before some great historic document. John O'Donnell, of the New York Daily News, asked the curator where he got it. He answered that it came from the Office of War Information. They had "loaned" the precious document to the National Museum. By inquiry at the OWI ­ that prolific fountain of phony news ­ O'Donnell learned that OWI had gotten it up and affixed the names of Roosevelt and Churchill. They had printed 240,000 copies of it. O'Donnell went back to the Museum with this information. And lo! the great Charter was gone. An attendant told him it had been ordered off the wall twenty minutes before. Thus ended the story of this wretched fraud. The fake document which was never signed and was nothing more than a publicity stunt to conceal the real purposes of the Atlantic meeting had been slain by its chief sponsor and, of course, all its high­sounding professions, after Teheran, had become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal

3 September 1941 The Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services was established by the President to supersede the Office of Coordinator of Health, Welfare, and Related Defense Activities (November 28, 1940). [SOURCE]

Fall 1941 Army and Navy standing orders in the Pacific were to assume a defensive posture until the Japanese committed an act of aggression.  Training, rather than reconnaissance, was of first priority.  Patrol planes, spare parts, and anti-aircraft guns had been promised to Pearl Harbor but were delivered elsewhere or not at all.  (Pearl Harbor Myth, p. 86ff,).
Intercepted Japanese radio messages suggesting an invasion of Pearl Harbor were not sent to Kimmel or Short. (Pearl Harbor Myth, p. 92-105).
National Parks Service denied permission to establish radar rurvailence stations on Par properties! (Pearl Harbor Myth, p.111).
Codebooks and instructions for decoding the Japanese military "5-NUM" code were sent to Hawaii by courier from Washington.  They arrived after the December 7th attack!  (Day of Deceit, p. 76).

4 December 1941  Chicago Tribune and Washington Time-Herald leak Roosevelt "Rainbow-5" plan for war against Germany, even though "when he ran for a third term in 1940, the president had vowed that he would never send American soldiers to fight beyond America's shores."  (Thomas Flemming, The New Dealer's War, pp. 1-2)
“We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our army, naval, or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack. ... The direction and aim of our foreign policy has been, and will continue to be, the security and defense of our own land and the maintenance of its peace.”

2 & 6 December 1941  Captain Johan Ranneft, Dutch naval attaché, visiting Cdr. McCollum and Capt. Theodore Wilkinson at Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington was shown plots of Japanese ships approaching Hawaii.  He assumed, incorrectly, that Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Short had been notified.  (Day of Deceit, p. 43-45, 59)

7 December 1941  Japanese attack Pearl Harbor  Honolulu Star-Bulletin account.   US Navy official account (good pictures)..  Eye-witness account.

A President Who Will Live in Infamy
John T. Flynn on Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor. Article by Laurence Vance.

February 6, 1942 President Roosevelt issued an order to the Federal Security Agency to create the Civilian War Benefits and Civilian War Assistance programs and for aid to enemy aliens (principally, to remove them to internment sites [below, 18 March]). The President's order allocated $5,000,000 from the President's Emergency Fund for these purposes. The Social Security Board was delegated this responsibility by the FSA. [SOURCE]

18 March 1942  Roosevelt creates the War Relocation Authority (WRA) to remove American citizens of Japanese ancestry  from the Pacific coast states.  "The relocation centers, however, are NOT and ever were intended to be internment camps or places of confinement."  But  "Before any evacuee is permitted to leave a relocation center for the purpose of taking a job or establishing normal residence, however, certain requirements must be met:

   A careful check is made of the evacuee's behavior record at the relocation center and of other information in the hands of the WRA. In all questionable cases, any information in the possession of the federal investigative agencies is requested and studied. If there is any evidence from any source that the evacuee might endanger the security of the Nation, permission for indefinite leave is denied. 
   There must be reasonable assurance from responsible officials or citizens regarding local sentiment in the community where the evacuee plans to settle. If community sentiment appears so hostile to all persons of Japanese descent that the presence of the evacuee seems likely to cause trouble, the evacuee is so advised and discouraged from relocating in that particular area. 
   Indefinite leave is granted only to evacuees who have a definite place to go and some means of support. 
   Each evacuee going out on indefinite leave must agree to keep the WRA informed of any change of job or address.

And what of the Italians and the Germans on the Atlantic coast?

27 April 1942  Roosevelt asks Congress to tax personal  income at 100% (yup! one-hundred-percent!) above $25,000 per year.  Congress sets top personal tax rate at 91%, and corporate "excess profits" at 95%.

23 June 1942  The Servicemen's Dependents Allowance Act of 1942 was approved. It provided family allowances for dependents of enlisted men of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard. [SOURCE]

Why not just put enough money in their paychecks and avoid the bureaucracy?

3 October 1942  Roosevelt issues executive order setting top personal tax rate at 100% above %25,000.

4 December 1942  President Roosevelt ordered the liquidation of the W.P.A., and termination of project operations by February 1, 1943, or as soon thereafter as feasible. [SOURCE]

7 January 1943  A post-war world which would furnish "assurance against the evils of all major economic hazards - assurance that will extend from the cradle to the grave" was envisioned by President Roosevelt in his message on the State of the Union, as one of two broad aims beyond the winning of the war. [SOURCE [Emphasis supplied]

24 January 1943  At Anfa, a resort to the south of Casablanca, after meeting with Churchill, Roosevelt announced that the U.S. would demand unconditional surrender of Axis powers.  This derailed German attempts to remove Hitler, and gave Germany adequate time to place troops in Italy while the Italians pondered surrender.  (Fleming, New Dealer's War, pp. 171-188, 203-212). Even the Versailles treaty had not been unconditional.  The demand for unconditional surrender, and the fear that the Japanese emperor would be consequently treated as a war criminal prolonged the war in the Pacific. providing the excuse to use atomic bombs against civilian populations.  One must assume that this demand damaged the moral of Americans with family or cultural ties to the Axis powers--particularly those Americans who languished in internment camps.  In all cases, Roosevelt's demand prolonged the war.  An earlier German surrender would have limited the number of those killed in extermin

3 June 1943  The first "Wagner-Murray-Dingell" bill was introduced. The bill provided for major changes in the Social Security Act, including disability benefits, and creation of a compulsory national health insurance program for all people. The program was to have been financed through a payroll tax. Congress took no action on the proposal. [SOURCE]

22 November 1943  Federal agencies were ordered to use Social Security account numbers for identifying Government workers whenever they established a new permanent system of numerical identification of employees. (Executive Order No. 9397.) [SOURCE]

January 11, 1944 President Roosevelt outlined in his State of the Union Message, an "economic bill of rights," which included "the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health." However, he did not make any subsequent proposal for health insurance. [SOURCE]

January 19, 1944 The Social Security Board, in its Eighth Annual Report to Congress, specifically called for compulsory national health insurance program to be incorporated into the Social Security system. [SOURCE]

April 24, 1944 In ruling that newsboys are employees within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, the United States Supreme Court declared that the meaning of "employee" as used in the act must, in doubtful situations, be determined broadly by underlying economic facts rather than technically and exclusively by previously established legal classifications. If the Court ruled that the result of applying wholesale the traditional common-law conceptions as exclusively controlling limitations on the scope of the statutes effectiveness would hardly be consistent with the statute's broad terms and purposes. [SOURCE]

What about baby-sitters?

7 November 1944  Roosevelt elected to fourth term.  36 States with 432 electoral votes (81%)  to Dewey's 99, but with a margin of only 3.5 million popular votes (53% of total). [Statistics]  But see below!

Roosevelt was reelected [in 1944]. The results justified, from a political consideration, the wisdom of his alliance with Hillman and Browder. During the campaign, Roosevelt had denied vehemently that he had sought the support of Communists. Actually his name appeared as the candidate of the American Labor Party dominated by Browder and Hillman entirely. And he had accepted its nomination. He had also accepted nomination at the hands of the American Liberal Party, the pink fringe dangling somewhere between the fascist planned society and Stalin's proletarian dictatorship. In the election, Thomas E. Dewey actually got over 500,000 more votes on the Republican ticket than Roosevelt got on the Democratic ticket in New York State. It was Roosevelt's 490,000 votes from Browder and Hillman's American Labor Party and the 339,000 votes from the Pinkos that gave him his majority. While Dewey carried only 12 states in the North, the Roosevelt majority in many of those he carried was thin and would have been wiped out if the Browder ­ Hillman votes had not been given to Roosevelt. The administration was now the hopeless prisoner of these demanding and ruthless radical labor leaders, who had shown their ability to elect or defeat the Democratic party, who had filled all the departments and bureaus with their agents and who had insinuated their experts into the CIO labor unions and their propagandists into the radio, the movies and all the great instruments of communication and opinion ­ a fact which Mr. Roosevelt's successors would have to face when the war ended.
Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (Book II, Chapter 12):





81% /

F.D. Roosevelt
H.S. Truman
February 1945  terror bombing with incendiaries and high explosives.  Euphemistically called "morale bombing"--an attempt to terrorize German and Japanese civilians to demand Hitler's and Hirohito's unconditional surrender. 13-15 February Dresden;  24-25 February Tokyo; 17 March Kobe; 6 August Hiroshima; 9 August Nagasaki.

12 April 1945  Roosevelt died.  Truman took oath of office that evening

September 5, 1945 The Social Security Board approved a proposal to terminate on June 30, 1946, the program for aid to enemy aliens and others restricted by governmental action. [SOURCE]

September 6, 1945 President Truman, in a special message to Congress, proposed an Economic Bill of Rights containing certain rights which were to be assured to every American citizen, including the Nation's health objectives. [SOURCE]


November 19, 1945 In a special message to Congress, President Truman proposed a comprehensive, prepaid medical insurance plan for all people through the Social Security system. The plan would have covered doctors, hospital, nursing, laboratory and dental services for people covered by the Social Security program; it would also have provided benefits financed from Federal Revenues for needy people. A revised Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill providing for National Health Insurance was immediately introduced. [SOURCE]

July 3, 1946 The National Mental Health Act authorized the establishment of a National Institute of Mental Health and increased Federal grants to States for public health services, with special emphasis on mental health problems. [SOURCE]


May 19, 1947 President Truman, in a special health message to Congress, again requested a compulsory national health program. Senate Bill 1320 was introduced by Senators Wagner and Murray. Senator Taft's bill was also reintroduced. [SOURCE]

2 November 1948  Truman re-elected President.  [Statistics]





94% /


January 5, 1949 In his State of the Union Message, President Truman again called for compulsory national health insurance for persons of all ages, financed by a Federal payroll tax. [SOURCE]

April 22, 1949 In another special message, President Truman called for National Health Insurance. [SOURCE]

4 November 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower elected President. [Statistics]




82.13% /



6 November 1956  Dwight D. Eisenhower re-elected President  [Statistics]





92% /


Related Post-Depression and Post-War Events

1979 President Jimmy Carter ordered hundreds of thousands of Japanese Naval messages decrypted by the US Navy be declassified.

27 April 1995 Hearing held to review the posthumous restoration of Admiral Kimmel to four star rank.

A 1995 Pentagon study concluded there were other high-ranking officers responsible for the failure at Pearl Harbor, but did not exonerate him. On May 25, 1999, the United States Senate, by a vote of 52-47, passed a nonbinding resolution exonerating Kimmel and Short, and asking the President to posthumously promote Kimmel, and others, to full admiral. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC), one of the sponsors of the resolution, called Kimmel and Short "the two final victims of Pearl Harbor." However, neither President Clinton nor his successor, President George W. Bush, have undertaken to do so.  (Wikipedia s.v. "Husband E. Kimmel)

July 1995  National Security Agency begins to release messages decrypted from Russian diplomatic traffic by the Venona Project from February 1943 through 1980, revealing depth of Soviet espionage activities within the U.S. government





Unemployment and Dow Jones Statistics
(Source:  Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A new History of the Great Depression)

  Period Unemployment Dow Jones Industrial Average  
  January 1927 3.3% 155  
  July 1927 3.3% 168  
  October 1929 < 5% 343 (October 1)  
  September 1931 17.4% 140  
  October 1933 22.9 93  
  November 1933 23.2% 90  
  January 1934 21.2% 100  
  November 1934 23.2% 93  
  July 1935 21.3 119  
  Decmber 1936 15.3 % 182  
  January 1937 15% 179  
  August 1937 13.5% 187  
  January 1938 17.4% 121  
  January 1940 14.6% 151  


Buchanan, Patrick, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers: 2008 [Print]

Conquest, Robert, Harvest of Shame, New York: Oxford University Press 1986 [Print]

Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealer's War: FDR and the War Within World War II, New York, Basic Books, 2001 [Print]

Flynn, John T. The Roosevelt Myth, New York: Devin Adair, 1948  [Online]  [Print]

Powell, Jim, FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression
New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003 [Print]

Rothbard, Murray N., A History of Money and Banking in the United States., Auburn: Mises Institute 2005  [Print]

Stinnett, Robert B.  Day of Deceit: New York, Touchstone Press, 2000 [on-line]  [Print]

Tax History Project:   The Price of Civilization: Document Archive

Victor, George, The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable, Washington D.C.: Potomac, 2007  [Print]






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