The first three-quarters of the year was quite robust. Hoover announced building the dam that would bear his name. Hollywood was spewing out movies. Bobby Jones was making a name for himself on the golf course, the Babe hit grand-slams in consecutive games, and the first roller-coaster was built. However, we should have had a clue that 1929 was going to be a bad year when Roy Reigels picked up a fumble on January 1st in the Rose Bowl and ran 60 yards the wrong way before being tackled by one of his own men.
On October 29th, “Black Tuesday,” the Dow fell 13%, and the world changed forever. The stock market crashed, falling 20% from January 2, 1929 to January 2, 1930. In 1928, the popular average topped out at 381, but by the time it hit bottom in 1932, it was mere 41. It had lost 89% of its value. From there, it rallied strongly to 194 in the winter of 1936-37 before a second decline that lasted until 1942 eroded 52% of the value to bottom out at 92.
It wasn’t a great year for collectors either. There was no Philadelphia mint Walking Liberty, no Peace Dollars from any mint, only “P” minted gold coins, no proofs of any kind, no commemoratives, and no pattern coins. But there were still 17 domestic issues and 15 coins the US minted for other counties giving numismatists plenty to acquire.