After World War I, America emerged as a world power. The 1920s seemed a time when the United States was unbeatable, but then it all changed. On October 29, 1929, the stock market crashed. Billions of dollars of stocks were lost, and the effects were felt throughout the country. The most desperate time in America's history began: the Great Depression. By 1932 banks were closing daily, the lines at soup kitchens were becoming longer and longer, and more Americans than ever were out of work.