ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
LETTER CONCERNING A BANK CLOSING IN CHICAGO
February 13, 1934
Nationally a general collapse of the banking structure was feared in early 1933. Franklin Roosevelt was sworn into office on March 4, 1933. Beginning March 6 by executive order he closed all of the country's banks for a period of four days. By the terms of the Emergency Banking Act of March 9 they were allowed to reopen beginning March 10 as soon as they could prove that they were solvent. Within three days more than 1,000 had done so. Over March 1933-July 1935 the Reconstruction Finance Corporation loaned over one billion dollars to 6,468 banks from coast to coast. These loans restored lending institutions' abilities to meet their obligations. For the same period the U.S. Treasury Department liquidated another 2,352 banks which could not be made whole by reasonable federal loans. Thus the nation's banking system, a central underpinning of the economy itself, had been saved.
The governor's administrative assistant replied to this inquiry on February 13. He stated that the governor had no jurisdiction in regard to banks and suggested that Marion Suranoric contact the state's auditor of public accounts.
Points to Consider
What was Marion Suranoric asking Governor Horner to do?
Why was Mr. Suranoric willing to settle for forty percent of his bank deposits?
Why did Mr. Suranoric want his money "at once"?
Was Mr. Suranoric making a reasonable request?