Historical Events  General
Wall St crash



How many deaths?

It happened just before the Great Depression. Starting in the summer of 1929, and slowly gathering momentum to reach a peak in October, it became known as the Wall Street crash. Peaking on Black Thursday - October 24th, 1929, stories of ruined traders jumping out of the windows to their death have widely circulated since, but how accurate is this?

It tuns out not only were they wrong, they were completely wrong and no-one died that way on the day, although there were stories of suicides by other means following Black Thursday.

Only decades later, once all the chaos had settled down, could the truth be uncovered.

In the United States the suicide wave that followed the stock market crash is also part of the legend of 1929. In fact, there was none.

--  John Kenneth Galbraith, "The Great Crash of 1929"

Winston Churchill

It's also widely assumed the crash came suddenly, wheras in fact it took place over several months, and followed the one in London.

There's even a darkly comical story about it. Winston Churchill wrote about his visit to New York at the time when a workman was enjoying a cigarette 400 feet about the streets, on a girder protruding from an unfinished building. The crowds thought he was on of the suicidal stockbrokers, and were waiting to see how things played out.

The likely explanation for this MMDE is the "wow" factor of the suicides being used to embellish, or emphasise the darkness of the crash itself. This would have seemed probably at face value atthe time, so passed on almost as in a Chinese Whisper style down the years. The fact no individual knew someone who died this way becomes irrelevant. It's a good dramatic addition to the narrative, and one of the first things which comes to mind when thinking of The Wall Street Crash.