I couldn’t resist making Alex’s grandpa have a similar hairstyle. Originally he was going to look a bit more like William Howard Taft. I just love that kind of nonsense.
The depression Alex references is not the “Great Depression”. I’ve heard a few people call the economic downturn the new great depression, but I don’t think that’s correct. It could have been much worse, but I won’t get in to that… No, the depression she’s talking about WAS originally called the great depression, but it was overtaken by the one we call the great depression, and is now known as the Panic Of 1873. It took place after the American Civil War. Just so you get an idea of when Alex’s ancestor founded the library.
Alex likely didn’t call it the Panic Of 1873 because she realizes that John is not very savvy, from a historical perspective, so calling it the First Great Depression would have greater impact. It’s pretty clear that she idolizes her grandfather and wants him to sound appropriately impressive.