Déjà Vu: the Panic of 1873
A Wall Street panicmeltdown? We've been through this before. Tired of 1930s breadline comparisons, Jennifer 8. Lee takes us back to the Panic of 1873 on the NYT's City Room. Some historians think it's eerily comparable to the current situation: it "came after a building boom created by easily obtainable mortgages and an ensuing banking crisis." The Stock Exchange had to close for the first time ever to control the crisis, and a four-year depression ensued. What did the Times headlines look like at the time? Panic, although not quite as hysterical as the Post and the Daily News's "You're gonna need a bigger mattress!" and "Your $$ Burned."Even in 1873, they were using the phrase "fine-ass." This cartoon refers to "inflationary proposals" formed as a response to the panic.
September 19, 1873
September 20, 1873
September 21, 1873
September 22, 1873
An October 1873 cartoon from Harper's showing President Grant helping America—embodied by a lady—out of the "wreckage of Wall Street." It's captioned, "I am glad to see that you are not seriously hurt. The houses in this 'Street' have been shaky and on false bases for a long time’.” [Sherman Square]
Home forclosures followed. From the Brooklyn Eagle, 1873. [Brownstoner]
Finally, here's how the Times explained the Panic of 1873, thirty-four years later, in 1907.
They were so interested in exploring the causes of the 1873 panic that year because another one occurred: