This chart is an offshoot of my Four Bad Bears. It shifts the point of alignment from the pre-bear highs to the bear bottom in the Oil Crisis and Tech Crash, the first major low in the 1929 Dow, and the March 9th closing low for our current Financial Crisis.
As the chart illustrates, the S&P 500 lows in 1974 and 2002 marked the beginnings of sustained recoveries. The Dow low in 1929 failed 11 months later.
Here is the same chart adjusted for inflation.
For a more optimistic alternative view, suggested by an investment professional and visitor to this website, see this post.