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<p>Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone, 1931 (U.S. Information Agency&nbsp;via <a href=",_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>)</p>

Economic downturns in American history have ranged from mild recessions to severe depressions.

A bread line at Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City, during the Great Depression
Great Depression

The worst downturn in U.S. history lasted from 1929 to 1941

Store closing signs at a furniture store in 2009
Great Recession

This 2007-09 economic downturn was the longest since WWII

Job seekers line up to apply for positions at an American Apparel store April 2, 2009, in New York City.
Great Recession and After

The deep, protracted downturn in 2007-09 was followed by an unusually slow recovery

Unemployed Chicagoans line up to apply for insurance at the Bureau of Unemployment, 1981.
Recession of 1981-82

This economic downturn was triggered by tight monetary policy in an effort to fight inflation

Men wearing sandwich boards reading "I voted for ham and eggs" and "I believed the banks" walk down a Los Angeles street,&nbsp;Oct. 24, 1938.&nbsp;
Recession of 1937-38

America’s third-worst downturn of the 20th century