In 1932, the U.S. economy reached its nadir during the Great Depression. Unemployment had risen to more than 20 percent, or 11 million Americans, matched by a similar number of the underemployed as factories and businesses closed their doors. Banks were closing at an alarming rates as people instantly lost their life savings. Hundreds of thousands of farmers and urban dwellers alike were suffering forecloses and lost their homes. Breadlines were long and strained the resources of private charities and local governments.