From 1930 to 1933, prices of industrial stocks fell about 80 percent. Banks and individuals with investments in the stock market lost large sums. Banks had also loaned money to many people who could not repay it. The deepening depression forced large numbers of people to withdraw their savings. Banks had great difficulty meeting the withdrawals, which came at a time when the banks were unable to collect on many loans. Between January 1930 and March 1933, about 9,000 banks failed. The bank failures wiped out the savings of millions of people.
Ben Isaacs, who lived in Chicago during the depression, described what happened to him: "I was in business for myself, selling clothes on credit.. . . But. . . banks closed down overnight. We lost everything.... I couldn't pay the rent.. . . I sold it [the car] for $15 in order to buy some food for the family.... I would bend my head low [in the relief line] so nobody would recognize me.-. . ." (The quotations in this article are from Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression © 1970 by Studs Terkel, published by Pantheon Books, a Division of Random House, Inc.)
Bank failures made less money available for loans to industry. The decline in available money caused a drop in production and a further rise in unemployment. F; am 1929 to 1933, the total value of goods and services pro-duced annually in the United States fell from about $104 billion to about $56 billion. In 1932, the number of business closings was almost a third higher than the 1929 level.
In 1925, about 3 percent of the nation's workers were . unemployed. The unemployment rate reached about 9 percent in 1930 and about 25 percent-or about 13 million persons-in 1933. Many people who kept or found jobs had to take salary cuts. In 1932, wage cuts averaged about 18 percent. Many people, including college graduates, felt lucky to find any job. In 1932, the New York - City Police Department estimated that 7,000 persons over the age of 17 shined shoes for a living. A popular song of the 1930's called "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" expressed the nationwide despair.
Foreign trade also fell greatly during the Great Depression. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 contributed to the drop. This law greatly increased a number of tariffs. President Hoover signed the law because he thought it would reduce competition from foreign products. But tariffs rose so high that other nations reacted by raising tariffs on U.S. goods.
From 1929 to 1933, prices of farm goods fell about .30 percent. This drop occurred partly because high tariffs madeexports unprofitable. In addition, farmers produced a surplus of crops. The surplus pushed prices down because there was more food than people could buy.
The name Great Britain is also sometimes used to mean the country of the United Kingdom. For location and detailed information on the country and the island, see United Kingdom. Peter r. Mounfield Great-circle route is the shortest, most direct route between two points on the earth's surface. A great circle is any circle that divides the globe into equal halves. Its length is the same as that of the equator. On most flat maps, a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between two places. A great-circle route often appears as a longer curve. But maps are not true pictures of the surface of the earth. Maps are flat, but the earth is a sphere. The shortest distance between any two points on the earth can be found easily only on a globe. The shortest distance lies along the great circle passing through the two points. A special kind of map called a gnomonicprojection shows a great-circle route as a straight line.
To follow a great-circle route exactly, a ship must constantly change the compass direction in which it is heading. A ship's navigator would find it hard to follow a rapidly changing course. Instead, the navigator can plot a course with a series of connected lines, each line following a constant direction. These lines, called rhumb lines, join selected points along the great-circle route. By following the compass directions that are indicated by the rhumb lines, the ship can sail a course that is close to the shortest possible route. Airplanes can follow great-circle routes more easily than can ships. Many airplanes use a method of navigation known as inertia! guidance, which allows aircraft to follow great-circle routes accurately. Ballistic missiles also use inertial guidance systems to follow great-circle routes (see Inertial guidance).
A great-circle route is the shortest distance between two points on the earth's surface. A kind of map called a gnomonic projection, top, shows a great-circle route as a straight line. Any other map, including the Mercator map, bottom, does not.
In 1537, Pedro Nunes, a Portuguese navigator, wrote about the advantages of great-circle-route navigation. Most ships did not sail great-circle routes until the 1800's, when navigation improved. In the 1900's, great-circle routes have determined the major air routes.