1930s: Our Nation's First Stimulus Package
In 1893, there was a depression; we got out of it without a stimulus package. There was a major recession of 1920-21; though sharp, it quickly reversed itself into what has been call the "Roaring Twenties."
In 1929, there was an economic downturn, most notably featured by the stock market collapse, after which came massive government intervention -- you might call it the nation's first stimulus package. President Hoover and Congress responded to what might have been a two- or three-year sharp downturn with many of the policies President Obama and Congress are urging today. They raised tariffs, propped up wage rates, bailed out farmers, banks and other businesses, and financed state relief efforts.
When Roosevelt came to office, he became even more interventionist than Hoover and presided over protracted depression where the economy didn't fully recover until 1946.
~George Mason economist Walter Williams