Hoover told the nation: "Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive decision."
Many conservative Americans agreed with him. But not the millions of Americans who were hungry and tired of looking for a job. They accused Hoover of not caring about common citizens.
One congressman from Alabama said: "In the White House, we have a man more interested in the money of the rich than in the stomachs of the poor."
On and on the Great Depression continued. Of course, some Americans were lucky. They kept their jobs. And they had enough money to enjoy the lower prices of most goods. Many people shared their earnings with friends in need.
Years later, John Steinbeck wrote: "It seems odd now to say that we rarely had a job. There just weren't any jobs. But, he continued, Given the sea and the gardens, we did pretty well with a minimum of theft. We didn't have to steal much." Farmers could not sell their crops, he explained, so they gave away all the fruit and vegetables that people could carry home.
Other Americans reacted to the crisis by leading protests against the economic policies of the Hoover administration. In nineteen thirty-two, a large group of former soldiers gathered in Washington to demand help.
More than eight thousand of them built the nation's largest Hooverville near the White House. Federal troops finally removed them by force and burned their shelters.