The Great Depression was a worldwide economic depression. In most countries it began in 1929 and lasted until 1941. One of the major factors that led to the depression was the American Stock Market Crash of 1929, which occurred after a period of economic prosperity and excess that resulted from a financial boon in the aftermath of World War I. Another financial boon during World War II led to the end of the Great Depression in most countries.
The Great Depression led some people to attempt to commit suicide. At some point in 1929, the ladder on the Hill Valley Courthouse was removed after a number of jumping incidents.
After the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression, Sarah Brown developed a distrust of banks — and even safes — and began keeping her money in her house. Some time after her husband died, she began seeing a new suitor. Her son, Dr. Emmett Brown, feared that he might be solely dating her for her money. Thus, he took her money and buried it in the woods, leaving a map to the money on the back of a painting of his mother commissioned by his father.
Some time later, Doc realized that he needn't be worried once he discovered that his mother's suitor was J. Carlton Ellsworth, from the wealthiest family on the western coast of the United States. Doc needed money to finance his time machine experiments, so he dug up the money himself, without telling his mother.
- Back to the Future novelization (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future: The Game
- Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen! (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
- Issue 25: "Time Served Part 4" (Mentioned only)