The Great Depression lasted for approximately 10 years, from 1929 to 1939. The stock market crash in October 1929 wiped out millions of investors and sent Wall Street into a panic. By 1933, 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed, and almost half of U.S. banks had failed.
Franklin Roosevelt became president in 1933, and he launched new programs and reforms to bolster the economy. Roosevelt's New Deal eased the hardships of the Great Depression by creating jobs and helping farmers. However, it was not until war broke out in Europe in 1939 and the United States increased its defense manufacturing that the country began to see an end to the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States entered the war. The government hired millions of defense workers, imposed rationing, drafted 6 million soldiers and spent heavily on the war effort, which finally put an end to the Great Depression.