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Unemployment Climbs, Businesses and Banks Close
"The most urgent emergency in the history of our nation is at hand." So says W. A. Sheaffer, president of the Sheaffer Pen Company, who reports having had checks returned from banks in 24 states.

4,004 banks have failed in the first two months of 1933. $3.6 billion dollars in deposits have been lost.

As the banks close, business find themselves unable to meet their payrolls and stay open.

The country is in bad shape. Unemployment is now at an all-time high with 13 to 14 million Americans out of work. The breadlines grow longer, the shanty towns more crowded.


Source: T. H. Watkins, The Great Depression: America in the 1930s, Boston, MA: Back Bay Books (Little, Brown and Company), 1993.