83 Years Ago, Tommorrow Was A Thursday

I know what you’re thinking, “she’s fallen off the wagon”. Not true my friends.

October 24th, 1929 was a Thursday. Eighty-three years ago the markets came tumbling down. It was the first day of a Stock Market Crash that would begin The Great Depression. The following Tuesday, would be forever more known as Black Tuesday, the most catastrophic day in market history.  Lasting  for over 10 years. It only really ended as the world went to war in 1941.

Some of us had parents who grew up during The Depression.  I remember Dad, who never complained about anything,  talking about how times were pretty hard. Most everything was a luxury, including nice school clothes.  My Dad, with his brothers John and Metro, is the second from the left in this school picture from the late 30’s.

After the economic mess hit the fan in 2008, I wondered if people have the backbone to make the kind of sacrifices our parents endured during the biggest economic collapse in American history.  I know people who can’t even live a single day without their iPhones.  It’s terrible how thousand of people have lost their homes or jobs, or worse case scenario, both. What if?  What would I be willing to live without?

What I don’t quite understand, is how some people continue to spend like drunken sailors. A news report last week talked about how the average household in Canada is 163 % in debt. That is to say, for every $1.00 they earn, they spend $1.63.  I don’t believe it’s entirely because of the cost of living.

What I do believe is, we’ve not learned from the past.  We’re not good at denying ourselves much of anything, even if it means going in debt.  We’ve made living beyond our means a habit.

I’m going to use this dark anniversary to think about how I can spend money more wisely and live like I’m more thankful for the sacrifices daddy made along the way.

Related Stories:

Canadian Household Debt

A Short History Of The Great Depression

All photos: Wikimedia Commons (Except Dad)

“I would get these newspapers from 1929. I couldn’t get enough of it. I read everything – not just the business and stock-market stories. History is interesting, and there is something about history in a newspaper, just seeing a place, the stories, even the ads, everything. It takes you into a different world, told by someone who was an eyewitness, and you are really living in that time.”- Warren Buffett

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23 thoughts on “83 Years Ago, Tommorrow Was A Thursday

  1. This is a topic that fascinates me. I would have no problem living without almost everything honestly but when everyone else has it why should i? This is the way I look at it now. We pay cash for everything but I do still feel guilty for having as much as I do. I keep telling myself to stop feeling guilty. It is hard to explain. I feel worse for those who don’t plan for the future when they should – it’s too bad that no one talks about money in real terms either…


    1. I hear that Sunshine. Sounds like you really have good control. You’re very kind to feel sorry for overspenders, truthfully, I just think they’re short sighted, unfortunately it’s their kids who also pay the price and that’s hardly fair. I think everyone is watching too much Access Hollywood and are trying to live rock star lives. I saw a $500.00 Gucci purse at Costco the other day and said ‘what? That’s just crazy’. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.


    1. Thanks for that Sheryl, I think when I was in grade 8, overalls came back in style, mine were royal blue corderoy, but I think dads were probably hand-me-downs from someone, and yep he was adorable 🙂


      1. 🙂 I have a sweet image of you in overalls. My mom also lived through the depression. She lived a simple, contained life. No car, one small TV, only half a closet full of clothes. She was happy to the end, too. Stuff is stuff. As a professional organizer, I help people sort through and rid themselves of the excesses, while at the same time finding ways to keep it out of the house in the first place.


        1. Awww, thanks Alys, I’ll have to post that pic on FB, it’s with my friend Debbie from BC, I think we’re 14.
          I can only imagine how people lived with so much less at one time because a lot of older homes have absolutely no closet or storage space. Thank goodness there’s folks like you who can get people going in the right direction. Those hoarder shows are just too creepy, I can’t watch them. There was just a news story locally about a young woman who had to move her mom out of her house and had a charity come help her empty masses of garbage and clean up. Obviously her mom is ill, so luckily she’ll get some help. I can’t imagine. Have you ever been somewhere that out of control?


        2. I have been in a few homes that were pretty bad off. It’s very sad. I was only able to scratch the surface before they gave up. It is an illness when people reach that level. It’s very sad, too. I watched the show once or twice (one of my list colleages did an episode), but honestly it seems voyeuristic to watch it. These people are really suffering. It’s nearly impossible for them to change without intense intervention from a therapist and an organizer specializes in the population.

          I’ll go look foryour BC pic.


        3. I saw an Oprah episode that made me sick to my stomach. There were bugs and mice in garbage 10 feet deep in her basement. You’re so right, intense therapy would be the only defence against repeating that kind of behaviour. I’ll go look for that pic and get it on FB.


        4. I may have seen the same show a few years back. She ran a series with Peter Walsh. The woman’s son wanted an intervention. Many people die in homes like that. Their are pests, mold, and dangerous towers of stuff. Very, very sad.


  2. Great topic! History continues to repeat itself and eventually, we will learn. Some of us slower than others. My sister came to borrow books and DVD’s yesterday as she gave up her cable box. Mine may go after the holidays. I love my holiday movies. My daughter has had a temp job for the last 6 months after being out of work for over 2 years. I’m living on just social security. We are all learning to live with so much less stuff, but live bigger lives. We need those reminders to keep us focused on what’s really important. Thanks.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m sorry things are so challenging for you both right now. If there’s any silver lining in ‘hard times’, it’s the way it rallies people together. My Aunty had that to convey about the time, family’s stuck together and enjoyed life in a different way. I came across this quote by Winston Churchill, “the farther back you can look, the farther forward you will see”, he was talking about learning from others mistakes and I think he made an important point. Take good care, I really appreciate your message.


      1. No need for sympathy. We are all doing so much better than when we were flush with money. The lessons teach us what strong fiber we are made of and how resourceful we can be. it’s an esteem builder. I don’t think I’ve been this happy in many, many years. It’s a lesson I’d like to pass on. I think times like the depression brought out the best in people as well as their creativity.


  3. I really like the Warren Buffett quote at the end. He is definitely a person who has learned from the past and applied it to the future. Especially when it comes to financial decisions.


    1. You know if you visit the Book Depository in Dallas Texas, they offer a replica newspaper from the day President Kennedy was shot. Mr Buffett is so spot on with his observation. Reading it, I felt like I was looking threw the window into 1963. I saw a 60’s Minute piece about Warren Buffett and his company. His office looks exactly like it did when they first opened for business, he doesn’t waste money that’s for sure. Thanks for visiting and your comment Steven, have a fun day!


      1. This has been such a thought-provoking post. So many people have been hit hard by these economic times. My sister, who is disabled with MS, lived on savings for almost a year after returning to California as she looked for a job. She took classes, did training programs, and registered with Project Hired, a support organization for folks with disabilities. She landed a few seasonal temp jobs, but they went away after the holidays. She is now working a temporary position at the VA and continues to apply over and over again for positions. She’s grateful for what she does have, but it’s scary without much of a safety net.


        1. It’s a sad truth, Sharon’s story really hits home for so many. I hope she finds something permanent so she can feel secure and save for the future. We always try and spend conservatively. We live a full life, but we certainly don’t go crazy. I’m very very lucky to have started work when I was 18 and was able to earn a good pension with the same company for 25 years. They don’t do that at many places anymore. Lets hope Obama can continue his mandate, I see things turning around and I’m hopeful. Thanks for your thoughtful message and sharing your story. Big hugs to you both. ❤


  4. Great story – guess I was born after that time but not too long after, I remember during the 30’s that we didn’t have much, but there were still good times, and family units stuck together and we knew most of our relatives, and always had time for others, wheres in this era people just don’t have time even though they have all sorts of conveniences to make live easier they still don’t have time. Just doesn’t make sense. Too busy ‘keeping up to the Joneses – as the saying goes????? LUL &
    see u Thurs.


    1. Hi Aunty, you’re so right, take away all the conveniances and luxuries and maybe people would see what really counts the most. I imagine life would have been fuller in a much different way. Yep, can’t always have everything the Jones have if you want to save any money for a rainy day. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m looking forward to lunch together too! xoK


  5. What a fantastic post, but so true. I lost my job back in 2009, moved in with my boyfriend and now take care of our ebay business from home while taking care of the dogs and the household. We do what we can to just get by, and if one day I can actually purchase something so simple like my favorite chips & salsa, I feel like I have splurged so much on myself. It is amazing how things have changed through the years, and although our present time differs from the great depression, we are not too far off. Depending on what is going to happen in two weeks for the election, the middle class could cease to exist. Great post all the way around, as it got me thinking on this cold rainy morning.


    1. Thanks for sharing your story Nikitaland! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been a victim of the econimic slow down. While it seems things are going in the right direction, one never knows what lies in the future. I think reflection is time well spent. It’s cold here to this morning but luckily, not snowing, yet. 😛


  6. I suppose it’s hard to learn from someone else’s past. Experience is the best teacher, and we just have never experienced this before.

    Love the pictures. Made me want to go back in my family album.


    1. Hi Jean, you make a great observation. I’m sure that’s true for a good chunk of the population. Bit of a shame. I don’t have too many old photo’s, but my Aunty shared some of her’s and I love this one. I can totally see my dads face in that little boy. Thanks for your comment.


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