Mid-20th Century

  • The Great Depression Begins

    The Great Depression Begins

    The fast lifestyles and excessive spending of the 1920s couldn’t last forever. Too many people had bought stocks on margin (taken loans to buy stocks). Most Americans already owned cars and household goods, yet factories kept pumping out more products that no one was buying. Prices for food dropped and…

  • The Gold Rush

    The Gold Rush

    In 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, found flakes of gold in a river near Sacramento, California. He was building a saw mill for John Sutter. Although Sutter and Marshall tried to keep the find a secret, word quickly got out when Sam Brannon, a local shopkeeper,…