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There had been depressions (or "panics" as they called them in the 1800s) earlier in American history. However, the depression that began in 1929 was catastrophic. The Great Depression, like most major events, was caused by a many factors; but the Stock Market Crash of October 1929 was clearly the tipping point. On the worst of the days of the crash, approximately 16 million shares of stock were offered for sale, but no buyers were available. As confidence in the economy eroded, companies cut back; workers lost their jobs or were offered fewer work hours. As more people lost their jobs, fewer people bought products, which led to more job layoffs. By 1932 the unemployment rate in the United States was twenty-five percent. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, banks were failing, and people lost the savings they had invested in those banks. These were desperate times.