It has happened before. Massive government debt leading to hyper-inflation of a nation's currency. Two examples are the Weimar Republic of Germany and modern-day Zimbabwe.
In Germany's post World War I Weimar Republic, Germany was saddled with large debt payments as a result of the Victorious allies making it pay for the cost of war. (See Photo Above - A German Citizen pushes a wheelbarrow of currency to purchase goods) Thus Germany printed huge amounts of currency, and this led to hyper-inflation which in turn drove up the cost of all goods. Five years after the conflicts, and inflation was running a disastrous 23 billion percent. Eventually the Weimar Republic gave way to the Nazi Third Reich.
Zimbabwe had several factors which led to massive debt and hyper-inflation. Government run enterprises went bankrupt at the same time the national government borrowed heavily to increase social services led by education. Since 2013, government spending has been increasing yearly. Several years ago the Zimbabwean currency collapsed and was replaced by a basket of international currencies. At one point citizens were only allowed to withdraw twenty U.S. dollars a day. (See photo above of world's first 100 trillion dollar note)
The United States currently has a national debt, on and off the books, conservatively estimated to be over $70 trillion. Interest expense on our nation’s treasury bills and notes will exceed $1 trillion per year on or about 2030. Is America headed for the status of a third world country?