East Texans who lived through Depression sound off on financial crisis - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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East Texans who lived through Depression sound off on financial crisis

With the current U.S. financial crisis, we wanted to hear from some east Texans who lived through the Great Depression. Does what we're going through now bring back memories, and is history beginning to repeat itself? KLTV 7's Courtney Lane takes us back to those troubling times through their eyes, then and now.


October 29th, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday - the worst stock market crash in our history.

Photographs forever capture the devastation of the hardest of times for American families.

"If you didn't work, raise your living, you had to do without."

Louis Bell, now 92, grew up on a Texas farm, growing everything from cotton to pumpkins to survive.

"When you started getting hungry, I said awhile ago, lots of them started making whiskey. There's good living in that if you didn't get caught," laughed Bell.

Bell remembers how much things improved after the war, and getting the protection of unions.

"The unions, they were really good for us. Helped us salvage what we could...people started turning loose more money, the government."

Now, nearly 80 years later, some economists say we're seeing the worst financial crisis since then. 90 year old Hubert Rackets says the recent mortgage meltdown shows just how much times have changed.

"People were buying things they knew they couldn't afford they're buying houses they couldn't afford...which my daddy didn't teach me that. He taught me to work hard and get paid for it."

Lessons that Rackets says have been forgotten by younger generations.

"Living through the good times and not having any problems or any tough times," said Rackets.

And now, like all of us, they wait to see if Washington's final plan can keep history from repeating itself.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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