Deadly Mistakes During the Great Depression: Lessons Learned

Deadly Mistakes During the Great Depression: Lessons Learned

Deadly Mistakes People Made During The Great Depression


The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939, was one of the most challenging economic periods in American history. During this time, many people made mistakes that had deadly consequences. In this article, we will explore some of these mistakes and what we can learn from them.

Mistake #1: Hoarding Food

During the Great Depression, there was a scarcity of food, which led people to panic and hoard whatever they could get their hands on. However, hoarding food can have deadly consequences. Here’s why:

• It can attract rodents and pests. When food is stored improperly, it becomes an open invitation for rats and mice. These pests not only contaminate the stored food but can also carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

• It can lead to food spoilage. Some foods, like fruits and vegetables, have a limited shelf life. When stored for too long, they can spoil and become unsafe to consume. This not only leads to wastage but can also result in food poisoning.

• It can create a false sense of security. Hoarding large quantities of food might make you feel prepared, but it can create a false sense of security. What happens when your hoarded food runs out? It’s essential to have a sustainable plan for sourcing food beyond your stockpile.

Mistake #2: Neglecting Personal Hygiene

During the Great Depression, personal hygiene took a backseat as people focused on surviving the economic crisis. However, neglecting personal hygiene can have serious health consequences. Here are some reasons why it’s crucial to prioritize hygiene, even in difficult times:

• It can lead to the spread of diseases. Poor hygiene practices, such as not washing hands regularly, can contribute to the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid. Maintaining good hygiene can help prevent the transmission of harmful bacteria and viruses.

• It impacts mental health. Neglecting personal hygiene can have a detrimental effect on mental health. When we take care of our physical appearance, we feel better about ourselves, which can boost self-confidence and overall well-being.

• It can attract pests and insects. Poor hygiene practices can create an ideal environment for pests and insects to thrive. For example, not properly disposing of waste can attract flies and rodents, bringing with them the risk of diseases.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Financial Planning

One of the biggest mistakes people made during the Great Depression was ignoring financial planning. Many people failed to save money or invest wisely, which left them vulnerable when the economy collapsed. Here’s why financial planning is essential:

• It provides a safety net in times of crisis. Having savings and a well-thought-out financial plan can provide a safety net during challenging times. It can help you weather unexpected expenses, job loss, or economic downturns.

• It allows for long-term goals. Financial planning is not just about surviving day-to-day; it’s also about achieving long-term goals. By prioritizing saving and investing wisely, you can build a secure future for yourself and your family.

• It reduces stress. Financial stress can take a toll on mental well-being. By having a solid financial plan in place, you can reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life.

My 2 Cents

The Great Depression was a difficult time in American history, and many people made mistakes that had deadly consequences. However, we can learn from those mistakes and apply them to our own lives. Here are my two cents on how to avoid these deadly mistakes:

1. Don’t panic, but be prepared. Instead of hoarding food and supplies out of fear, focus on creating a well-rounded emergency plan. This includes having a stocked pantry, practicing sustainable food sourcing, and learning essential survival skills.

2. Prioritize personal hygiene. Even in challenging times, maintaining personal hygiene should be a priority. Practice good handwashing, keep your living environment clean, and ensure proper waste disposal to prevent the spread of diseases.

3. Embrace financial planning. Take control of your finances by creating a budget, saving money, and investing wisely. Prioritize long-term goals and prepare for unexpected expenses or economic downturns.

By learning from the mistakes of those who lived through the Great Depression, we can better prepare ourselves for future challenges. Let’s use this knowledge to create a resilient and secure future for ourselves and our loved ones.


– The Great Depression
– National Geographic: Surviving the Dust Bowl
– HuffPost: Life During The Great Depression: – Tough Times Or A New Deal?
– CDC: Hygiene-related Diseases

Note: The above sources are for reference purposes only and do not constitute financial or medical advice. Please consult appropriate professionals for advice specific to your situation.