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When it all came crashing down: Lorenzo Cultural Center events explore the causes and impact of the 1929 stock market collapse

– Monday, April 21, 2014 12:00AM

Several other free events remain before the center’s exploration of the Jazz Age wraps up on May 4

The boom of the 1920s came to an abrupt stop in October 1929 when panic gripped Wall Street. On Oct. 28 – Black Monday – the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 13 percent. The next day – Black Tuesday – it dropped nearly 12 percent more.  Although stock prices recovered for a few months, the crash preceded a period of turmoil that would see the Dow Jones average lose 89 percent of its value by July 1932.

Two free events at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township will take a hard look at the causes of the crash and the lasting impact it had on the United States and the world. 

  • The U.S. Economy in the Late 1920s, April 24 at 11 a.m.:  Mark L. Trueman, instructor of economics at Macomb Community College, discusses the economic climate leading up to the crash of 1929. The presentation will separate fact from fiction and include a look at the Florida real estate boom of that era and the key players, companies and investment trusts involved in the drama of October 1929.
  • Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929, May 3, 1 p.m.:  Maury Klein, professor emeritus at the University of Rhode Island and Pulitzer Prize finalist, explores the social, political, cultural and economic events that led to the 1929 crash, its relation to the Great Depression and its parallels to the Panic of 2008.

The other remaining presentations in the final days of the cultural center’s program series, The Roaring Twenties: From Riches to Rags, are:  

  • Prohibition: How Did THAT Happen? April 26, 1 p.m.: Daniel Okrent, historian and author of the national bestseller “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” will cover the rise and fall of that “Noble Experiment.” Okrent describes the Prohibition era from start to finish, including the reasons it was passed, what it was like and its impact even after its repeal in 1933.
  • Jazz and Blues in Detroit in the 1920s, April 27, 2 p.m.: Just as Detroit was booming in the 1920s, so was its nightlife. Jazz and blues were a major part of it. Lars Bjorn and Jim Gallert, authors of the book, “Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit,” will discuss the major artists and venues found in Detroit during the Roaring Twenties.
  • Black Resorts in Michigan During the “Nervous Generation,” April 30, 11 a.m.:  Benjamin Wilson, professor emeritus at Western Michigan University, describes how African-Americans in Michigan developed rest and relaxation spots – such as resorts like Idlewild, Woodland Park and Rainbow Inn – far from the racism of the “nervous generation.”
  • Real to Reel Film Series: “M,” May 1, 2 p.m.: The 1931 German film “M, “set in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party, has been described as a “portrait of a diseased society.” Gary Flemming, professor of international studies at Macomb, presents this classic film, which remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller. In German with English subtitles.
  • Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the 1920s, May 4, 2 p.m.: Patrice Petro, professor of English and film studies at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and author of the book “Idols of Modernity,” will explore cinema and stardom in the U.S. during the 1920s and look at the careers of both well-known and now-forgotten stars of the silent and early sound eras.

 All presentations are free but require preregistration at or by calling 586.445.7348.

Viewing of the exhibits does not require pre-registration.  The exhibits include a speakeasy room with artifacts loaned from several area museums; We Don’t Want Them: Race and Housing in Metropolitan Detroit, 1900–1968, which uses reproductions of historic documents and photographs to illustrate the history, causes and effects of residential segregation in Detroit; and The Power of Refined Beauty: Photographing Society Women for Pond’s, 1920s–1950s, which features examples from J. Walter Thompson Co.’s distinctive ad campaign for Pond’s cold cream. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday –Saturday, and 1- 4 p.m. Sundays. School and group tours are available.


About The Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center ( explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment. Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities. 

Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271;