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The Great Depression Historical Documents


Federal Home Loan Bank Board – Annual Reports (1933-1952)
Includes links to the annual reports by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board between 1933 and 1951(1952), a special report on Social and Economic Effects of Existing Foreclosure Procedures and Emergency Moratorium Legislation in 1936, and the Final Report of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation in 1952. This Board was established by Congress in 1932 when it created the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Subsequent legislation, some based on President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program, created subsidiaries that included the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, the Federal Savings and Loan Association, and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. The purpose of the Board and its subsidiaries was to facilitate refinancing of homes to stem the tide of mortgage foreclosures, to make mortgage loans more affordable, and to provide supervisory and regulatory oversight for thrift institutions. (go to the reports)

Missourians on the Move: A Study of Intra-State Transient Men and Boys Applying at St. Louis April, 1934-August, 1935
Published by the St. Louis Bureau for Men, formerly the Bureau for Homeless Men, this 1938 publication analyzes the transient and homeless population of men and boys in Missouri at the end of the Great Depression. (download .pdf)

Non-Family Boys on Relief: A Study of Non-Family Boys, Age 16-21, on Relief in St. Louis prior to August 31, 1933
Published in 1937 by the Bureau for Homeless Men, this study analyzes why young men were homeless or living independently. (download .pdf)

Statistical Analysis of Non-Family Men on Relief in St. Louis 1925-1936
This 1937 publication by the St. Louis Bureau for Men summarizes 12 years of of statistical information on men and boys who filed for relief and indicated that they had no family during the Great Depression. (download .pdf)

Letters and memories

Turning Points in Wisconsin History: “The Crash on Wall Street”
Memories of Great Depression days.  From the Wisconsin Historical Society Digital Collection.

U.S. Department of Agriculture History Collection
Draft of a memo on unemployment, with a chart, to Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, from his Economic Adviser, Mordecai Ezekiel (May 9, 1933).

"We have lived thru about everything now."
1931 letter to Otis Preston, a Federal Reserve banker, from Mrs. William J. Murphy, describing the plight of her South Dakota farm family from 1904 to 1931. (download .pdf)