Today is the 86th anniversary of Black Thursday, which launched the 1929 Stock Market crash—the most devastating financial collapse in U.S. history—and ushered in the decade-long Great Depression.
On this day, investors traded a record 12,894,650 shares, following a precipitous market decline that kicked off in September. Panic seized Wall Street traders, with photographers capturing crowds gathering outside the New York Stock Exchange and the Sub-Treasury Building, which is now the Federal Hall National Memorial.
Though the stock exchange rallied a bit on Friday, it began crashing again on Monday, eventually leading to Black Tuesday's total collapse. That collapse truly kicked off the Great Depression—stock market prices didn't climb back up to pre-crash numbers until 1954.