The resulting panic generated a public run on banks and a wave of bankruptcies. Ten thousand banks failed across the country while national productivity plummeted. Industrial stocks lost 80 percent of their value. Unemployment soared to 23.6 percent of the population, with as many as 13 million Americans out of work.
Not until 1932 did the nation begin its long trek to recovery.
For Clearwater and Florida, times were austere. Many residents today recall what those days were like.
Caring for your neighbor was not just a motto—helping one another became a matter of survival and a way of life. The train that pulled into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad depot, distributing flour straight from the boxcar to needy families, became a familiar sight.