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Profile America — Sunday, September 14th. The stubborn economic difficulties the nation is experiencing began six years ago today, and may seem unique. But they have their antecedents in history. Most of us are familiar with the Great Depression of the 1930s, But 141 years ago, the nation was struck by the Panic of 1873, now called the Long Depression. It started because of a collapse in the demand for silver in Europe and spread around the world. In the U.S., banks failed, railroads went bankrupt, factories closed, and unemployment soared. The chaos caused the New York Stock Exchange to close for 10 days in late September that year. The depression dragged on until 1879. Demand for silver rebounded, and today in the U.S., nearly a half-billion dollars worth of silver ore is mined annually. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov
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