Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Jacques Kelly: Recalling the Great Depression 'holiday' that was no picnic for Baltimore banks

Jacques Kelly: Recalling the Great Depression 'holiday' that was no picnic for Baltimore banks

An empty bank building at the northeast corner of Charles Street and North Avenue is a landmark of a tattered financial history.

The old Park Bank, once an institution popular with Baltimore savers and shoppers, was a casualty of Great Depression of the 1930s. Its failure — and the loss of millions of depositors’ dollars — played a role in taking down banking throughout the state.

On Feb. 25, 1933, all banks in Maryland were closed by order of then-Gov. Albert C. Ritchie. On March 6, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a similar shutdown nationwide, and banks remained shuttered until the Emergency Banking Act, passed by Congress on March 9, allowed them to reopen March...

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