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Stock market crash history series #1: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 is without a doubt the most devastating in U.S. history, in terms of duration and extent.
On Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929, the Dow dropped 12% (30 points) and 16 million stock shares exchanged hands - although for some, there were absolutely no buyers. When the dust settled, more than $30 billion (roughly $350 billion in today's dollars) in wealth had been obliterated. The Dow sank a total 48% from September to November 1929 and kicked off the 10-year-long Great Depression. It lost another 86% from April 1930 to July 1932 in the crash's aftermath.