1933 (The People's Chronology)
Adolf Hitler begins 12 years as dictator of the German Reich; Franklin D. Roosevelt begins 12 years as president of the United States (he is inaugurated March 4 but the "Lame Duck" [Twentieth] Amendment ratified January 23 ends terms of all elected federal officers at noon January 20); Cuban army colonel Fulgencio Batista begins 12 years as president of that island republic after engineering a coup; Antonio de Oliveira Salazar begins 37 years as dictator of Portugal.
Adolf Hitler comes to power as chancellor January 30 on a rising tide of German nationalism and economic unrest (see 1932). Financier and former Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht, 56, has persuaded President Hindenburg to give Hitler the position that he sought last year, the Nazis celebrate with a torchlight parade at Berlin, Hitler appoints his devoted aide Rudolf Hess, now 38, to his cabinet, and Hess praises der Führer in a speech: "Do not seek Adolf Hitler with your mind. You will find him through the strength of your hearts! Adolf Hitler is Germany and Germany is Adolf Hitler. He who takes an oath to Hitler takes an oath to Germany!" But former Hitler supporter Erich Ludendorff, now 57, warns Hindenburg that Hitler will take Germany to the Abyss. Britain's 110-year-old Oxford Union votes 275 to 173 February 8 "that this House will in no circumstances fight for King and Country," creating anger and indignation at the university, where irate undergraduates storm the union and tear up the minutes of the debate, and in the British press. Winston Churchill denounces the vote as "that abject, squalid, shameless avowal" and "this ever shameful motion," but the common view in Britain is that Churchill is somewhat mad. Hitler and his associates Hermann Goering and Hjalmar Schacht attend a meeting February 20 of the Association of German industrialists that raises 3 million marks for the forthcoming election.
Fire destroys the Reichstag at Berlin February 27. The Nazis immediately accuse the communists of having started it and fabricate a case against Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, 23, who is tried and will be guillotined early next year, but Reichstag president Hermann Goering is accused at the trial of having set the fire himself (his accuser is Georgi Dimitrov, who will later be premier of Bulgaria; see 1946). Authorities arrest pacifist Carl von Ossietzky February 28 and send him to the Papenburg concentration camp (see 1927; see 1936).
The National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party receives 44 percent of the votes in the Reichstag elections March 5 after a reign of terror in which Adolf Hitler's storm troopers have rounded up anti-Nazi forces and seized newspapers and radio stations, thus stopping campaigns by opposition parties; the Nationalist Party wins only 8 percent despite support from industrialists who include Friedrich Flick, Fritz Thyssen, Alfried Krupp, and Albert Voegler. Now 49, Flick is a close friend of Munich-born elite corps head Heinrich Himmler, 32; he has made a fortune from a smelting process he invented, has become a director of the United Steel Works, and in the next 10 years will give the Nazi Party more than 7 million marks. Hitler proclaims the Third Reich March 15, the Nationalists throw their support to him by helping to pass an Enabling Act March 23, and the Nazi regime is given dictatorial powers; Hitler has adopted the Roman salute and the eagle-topped standard carried by Roman legions. Communist leader Clara Zetkin has denounced der Führer in the Reichstag and goes to Moscow, where she dies June 20 at age 75.
The Hitler Youth is reorganized by National Socialist Party member Baldur von Schirach, 26, who was elected to the Reichstag last year and now works to organize German children; like the Boy Scouts, the Hitler Youth puts emphasis on military drill (and soon has its members inform on parents who do not support der Führer). Schirach will head the organization until 1940, when he will be appointed gauleiter of Vienna.
Image Pop-UpAdolf Hitler's Nazis attracted young Germans with hate-filled propaganda and promises of "strength through joy."
Austria's Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, 40, proclaims a dictatorship March 7 and soon after dissolves the Bundesversammlung as antigovernment agitation increases following the Nazi success in Germany. Dolfuss prohibits parades and assemblies as of March 8, but Austrian Nazis stage a giant demonstration and riot March 29; when the government forbids wearing of uniforms by members of any political party, Hitler retaliates by imposing a tax of 1,000 marks on any German who visits Austria, thereby ruining Austria's tourist business (see 1934).
President Roosevelt appoints St. Louis-born diplomat Breckinridge Long, 52, ambassador to Italy. Long finds the embassy quarters "dingy," and he leases the splendid Villa Taverna; writing to the president June 27, he says, "Mussolini is an astounding character and the effects of his organized activities are apparent throughout Italy . . . Italy today is the most interesting experiment in government to come above the horizon since the formation of our Constitution 150 years ago . . . The Fascisti in their black shirts are apparent in every community. They are dapper and well dressed and stand up straight and lend an atmosphere of individuality and importance to their surroundings . . . The trains are punctual, well-equipped, and fast" (but see 1935).
Portugal's prime minister and finance minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, 44, drafts a new constitution that will make Europe's most backward country a "unitary and corporative republic" fascist dictatorship based on political repression that dictator Salazar will head for more than 37 years, keeping his country backward.
A Spanish Fascist Party (the Falange Española) is founded in October by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, 30, marqués de Estrela, son of the late dictator Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera (see 1931). A coalition of right-wing and centrist parties drives out Prime Minister Manuel Azaña y Díaz, but although he will be arrested next year on charges of having supported an uprising in Catalonia, he will win acquittal and in 1935 will form a left-wing coalition under the name Popular Front (see 1936). Right-wing forces defeat Catalonia's head of state Francesc Macià in a November 19 election and he dies at Barcelona December 25 at age 74.
Former French premier Paul Painlevé dies at his native Paris October 29 at age 69, having gained renown more for his talents as a mathematician and encouragement of aviation than for his political skills.
Iraq's Faisal I dies of a heart attack in a clinic at Berne September 8 at age 50 after a 12-year reign (see 1932). He has made Kirkuk-born nationalist Bakr Sidqi, 43, a general, Bakr massacres Assyrian tribesmen in the north to suppress a rebellion, the League of Nations reacts by trying to rescind full Iraqi independence, but Iraq's British protectors bar any such move. Faisal is succeeded by his 21-year-old Mecca-born son, who will reign until his death in 1939 as Ghazi I (see 1936).
Afghanistan's king Nadir Shah is assassinated at Kabul November 8 after a 4-year reign. His 19-year-old son succeeds to the throne and will reign until 1973 as Mohammed Zahir Shah (see 1964).
An international Disarmament Conference fails to produce any agreement, and Japan announces that she will withdraw from the League of Nations in 1935, having rejected the findings of the Lytton Commission with regard to Japan's invasion of Manchuria (see 1931). Yosuke Matsuoka, 53, went to live with relatives in America at age 13, graduated from the University of Oregon in 1900, and met with Karl Haushofer when Haushofer visited Japan in 1908. He has led the Japanese delegation that walks out in protest after hearing the Lytton Commission report. Japan has created the puppet state of Manchukuo and removes herself from the possibility of any sanctions from the League, which suffers its first serious setback. Berlin announces October 14 that Germany, too, will withdraw, but Welsh-born former House of Commons member and Great War veteran David Davies, 53, founds the New Commonwealth Society with the aim of creating a more effective League of Nations with a police force and an impartial tribunal to resolve international disputes. Former Japanese prime minister Gonnohyoe Yamamoto dies at Tokyo December 8 at age 81 as friction continues between China and Japan (see 1937).
Washington and Moscow establish relations November 16 for the first time since the 1917 revolution. President Roosevelt appoints former Brain Trust member John C. Bullitt as the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.
President Roosevelt commits himself in his inaugural address March 4 "to the policy of the good neighbor" toward Latin American countries. Tennessee-born Secretary of State Cordell Hull, 61, will implement the new policy, departing from traditional U.S. interventionism (which he renounces in December at the Montivideo Conference) and repudiating privileges that have offended countries to the south (see commerce, 1934).
Peru's president Sánchez Cerro is assassinated by an Aprista April 30 and succeeded by Oscar Benevides, who will declare the APRA illegal and thereby reduce its strength, settle a border dispute with Colombia, restore confidence in the nation's economy, and serve until 1939.
Paraguay issues a formal declaration of war against Bolivia May 10 (see 1932). Gen. José Estigarribia mounts a series of attacks along an extended frontier late in October and achieves such success that Bolivia's president Daniel Salamanca dismisses the German general Hans von Kundt, who has trained the army for this Chaco War, and replaces him with Gen. Enrique Peñaranda. U.S. bank loans have enabled the Bolivians to equip their army with modern weaponry, but morale among Bolivia's Indian conscripts has been low (see 1934).
Former Argentine president Hipólito Irigoyen dies at his native Buenos Aires July 3 at age 80.
New York-born under secretary of state Sumner Welles, 40, tries to mediate between Cuba's president Gerardo Machado y Morales and opposition forces. Machado's dictatorship has become more and more authoritarian since 1927, a general strike is called, the army demands Machado's removal, and he goes into exile August 12. A provisional government takes power under the leadership of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, but Col. Fulgencio Batista (y Zaldivar), 32, organizes the "sergeants' revolt," which topples the Céspedes regime in September. Batista will sponsor huge public works programs, encourage the growth of the economy, enrich himself in the process, expand the educational system, be elected president in 1940, and rule as dictator until 1944. Aristocratic career diplomat Welles joined the Foreign Service in 1915, was chief of the State Department's Latin American division at age 28, but will resign under pressure 10 years hence when his political foes argue that his flagrant homosexuality poses a threat to national security.
Former president Calvin Coolidge dies at Northampton, Mass., January 5 at age 60. Wit Dorothy Parker hears of his death and says, "How could they tell?" H. L. Mencken says, more charitably, that should the day ever dawn "when Jefferson's warnings are heeded at last, and we reduce government to its simplest terms, it may very well happen that Cal's bones now resting inconspicuously in the Vermont granite will come to be revered as those of a man who really did the nation a service." But the role of the federal government will soon grow to a size beyond anything Jefferson, Coolidge, or Mencken could have imagined.
The Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified January 23 directs that Congress shall convene in January following its election. Previous Congresses have waited 3 months before meeting, and outrage has grown at some of the measures put through during "lame-duck" sessions by members who have been voted out of office.
Czech-born Chicago mayor Anton J. (Joseph) Cermak, 59, is mortally wounded at Miami February 15 by an assassin thought to have been aiming at President-elect Roosevelt but possibly just a hired gangland hit man. Cermak is credited with (or blamed for) having built Chicago's Democratic political machine. Roosevelt has just come ashore from Vincent Astor's yacht Nourmahal after a pleasure cruise in West Indian waters and is motoring to the railroad station when the shots ring out, but a woman in the crowd seizes the arm of Hackensack, N.J., gunman Giuseppe Zangara and a Miami policeman promptly arrests him. Labeled an anarchist, Zangara is tried, convicted, and executed within a month.
Marine architect William F. Gibbs begins designing destroyers for the U.S. Navy in partnership with Daniel Hargate Cox, with whom he has built several yachts and luxury liners. They will develop an efficient high-pressure, high-temperature steam turbine that will make U.S. destroyers fast and maneuverable.
Congressman Fiorello H. La Guardia of 1932 Norris-La Guardia Act fame unseats Tammany Hall in a special mayoralty election that produces a record turnout. Tammany goon squads receive support from toughs working for mobster Dutch Schultz, who has paid $15,000 to get William C. Dodge elected Manhattan district attorney (Dodge wins by 12,000 votes). Flying squads of college athletes and Golden Glove boxers recruited by traction heir Clendenin J. Ryan, now 28, mix it up with the Tammany thugs; police make arrests, but the violence is widespread. Running on a Republican-City Fusion ticket, "the little flower" receives 868,522 votes, as compared with 609,053 for his Recovery Party challenger Joseph McKee.
Onetime Populist Party leader Mary Elizabeth Lease dies at Callicoon, N.Y., October 29 at age 80.
The Depression forces South Africa's prime minister James Hertzog to form a coalition government with Jan Christiaan Smuts (see 1924). Former clergyman Daniel F. (François) Malan, now 59, edited Hertzog's daily Die Burger beginning in 1915, was in Hertzog's first cabinet 9 years later, but now breaks with his mentor over what he calls a betrayal of Afrikaner principles and starts a "purified" Nationalist Party (see human rights, 1942).
Former British foreign secretary Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, dies of heart disease at Christon Bank, Northumberland, September 7 at age 71; Gen. Sir Arthur W. Currie of pneumonia and a cerebral aneurism at Montreal November 29 at age 57. He was commander-in-chief of Canadian forces in France in 1918.
Human Rights, Social Justice
The Nazis open the first German concentration camp March 20 at Dachau outside Munich. The facility is for communists and other political prisoners, Jews, and Roms (gypsies) (see Buchenwald, 1937).
The Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, or secret police) is inaugurated by the Nazis under the leadership of Rudolph Dieles, 32, a brother-in-law of Hitler aide Hermann Goering, who has founded the organization. Industrialist Alfried Krupp, 26, joins the Schutz Staffeinel (SS), having been persuaded (along with his father, Gustav) by Hjalmar Schacht that the new Nazi regime will increase expenditures for armaments and outlaw trade unions.
German feminist Gertrude Baumer, now 59, loses the seat she has held since 1920 in the Reichstag, is interrogated by the new Gestapo, but continues to edit her newspaper Die Frau.
Turkey grants women the right to vote on the same basis as men.
Guatemala's president Jorge Ubico has 100 trade union, student, and political leaders shot (see politics, 1931). He has abolished debt slavery to appease Indian plantation workers, but the vagrancy law that he has pushed through has left their condition little altered, and he issues a decree permitting coffee and banana planters to kill their peons with impunity.
One of the alleged rape victims in the Scottsboro case of 1932 writes a note January 5 to her boyfriend Earl: "I want too make a statment too you," writes Ruby Bates. "Mary Sanders is a goddam lie about those Negroes jazzing me those policemen made me tell a lie that is my statement because I want too clear myself that is all . . . those Negroes did not touch me or those white boys I hope you will believe me the law dont . . . i was drunk at the time and did not know what i was doing i know it was wrong too let those Negroes die on account of me i hope you will believe my statement because it is the gods truth . . . i was jazzed but those white boys jazzed me i wish those Negroes are not Burnt on account of me it is those white Boys fault that is my statement and that is all i know i hope you tell the law." The "Scottsboro Boys" receive a new trial in Alabama (see 1932); it ends in conviction, and the Supreme Court will again reverse the convictions with a landmark ruling that blacks may not be systematically excluded from grand and trial juries. The International Labor Defense engages Romanian-born civil rights lawyer Samuel S. Leibowitz, 40, who comes down from New York with Shad Polier, 27, to take up the cause, a third trial with one black on the jury will end in conviction, but some indictments will be dropped, the sentences will be commuted to life imprisonment, and the defendants will serve a total of 130 years behind bars (one will not be paroled until 1951).
An Alabama court sentences black landowner Ned Cobb (originally Nate Shaw) to 12 years' imprisonment for exchanging shots with a white sheriff after coming to the support of a neighbor whose land was about to be possessed by deputies. Cotton prices have fallen so low that land farmed by black and white sharecroppers is worth even less than the crop grown on it, bankers and merchants loan the tenant farmers money based on the value of the crop, they take payment out of whatever cash the crop fetches, the farmers often have to use all their land for cash crops even if it means they do not have large enough gardens to grow food, and they have to borrow more money to keep their families fed. Now 48, Cobb has been relatively successful, plantation owners resent his success, he has organized a tenant farmers' union to fight against unfair treatment, but he will be imprisoned until 1945.
Lynchings spread across the South; lynch mobs kill 42 blacks.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd, U.S. Navy, leads a second Antarctic expedition with the aim of mapping and claiming territory around the South Pole (see 1929). He will spend the winter of 1934 from March to August alone in a hut; buried beneath the ice 123 miles south of Little America while temperatures plunge to between -58° F. and -76° F. (-50° C. and -60° C.)., Byrd will suffer frostbite and carbon monoxide poisoning before being rescued.
Explorer-colonizer Luigi, duca d'Arezzo, dies at Abruzzi City outside Mogadiscio (later Mogadishu) in Italian Somaliland March 18 at age 60.
German industrialist Fritz Thyssen flees to Switzerland after a falling out with Adolf Hitler; now 59, he loses all his money and property.
Michigan's governor William A. Comstock, 55, orders a bank holiday February 6 and about 20 other states follow suit, but Detroit defaults on its $400 million debt February 14 when bank closings prevent completion of a $20 million emergency loan. The city has been caught between reduced tax revenues and the need for greater welfare support arising from the collapse of the automobile industry, and the debt will not be fully repaid until 1963.
President Roosevelt enters the White House March 4 with more than 15 million Americans out of work and says, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Blacks, unskilled workers, and workers in heavy industry are especially affected by the widespread unemployment, but even Americans with jobs have had their wages and hours reduced. Wage-earner incomes are 40 percent below 1929 levels, and the new president embarks on a frenzied 100 days of activity aimed at improving conditions.
President Roosevelt's Boston-born secretary of labor Frances (originally Fannie Coralie) Perkins, 50, is the first woman cabinet member and for the next 12 years will oversee an unprecedented program of government interest in labor while the trade-union movement gains power and political influence. She directed studies of female and child labor as executive secretary of the Consumers League of New York from 1910 to 1912.
New York-born American Agriculturist editor Henry Morgenthau Jr., 41, gives up his job to become President Roosevelt's secretary of the treasury, working to finance ambitious New Deal programs despite his personal belief that a balanced budget is essential to the national welfare. In the next 12 years he will supervise the spending of $370 billionhree times the amount spent under all 50 previous secretaries of the treasury combined.
Executive Proclamation 2039 issued by President Roosevelt March 5 proclaims a nationwide bank holiday until March 9 and forbids gold exports. Falling real estate values have undermined bank loans; some 5,504 banks with total deposits of $3,432 million have closed their doors since January 1, 1930; more than 11,000 have failed or had to merge; the total number of banks has fallen 40 percent from 25,000 to 14,000; and fear of further closings has brought the country to the verge of panic. The Emergency Banking Act passed by Congress March 6 after just 1 day of deliberation gives the Treasury Department control over banking transactions and foreign exchange, forbids hoarding or export of gold, and authorizes banks to open as soon as examiners determine them solvent. The president's Executive Order 2039 extends the bank holiday indefinitely, but Executive Order 6073 issued March 10 requires the banks to reopen. They begin to do so March 13, and about 75 percent are open by March 16.
Reconstruction Finance Corp. (RFC) director Jesse Jones becomes RFC chairman, replacing Eugene Meyer (see 1932). Jones will head the RFC until 1939, forcing loan applicants to increase efficiency, obliging top executives to accept salary cuts and in some cases hire financial experts, putting pressure on corporate boards to replace inadequate CEOs, requiring Postal Telegraph to merge with Western Union in an industry that will no longer support both, and saving thousands of jobs by returning many companies to profitability. By the time it is dissolved in 1946 the RFC will have disbursed $50 billion in federal money, but every penny will be returned, and the RFC will serve as a model for future federal bail-out loan guarantees (see Federal Loan Agency, 1939).
The Economy Act approved by Congress March 20 reduces government salaries by 15 percent. Congress has convened March 5 for an emergency session that will continue for 100 days, during which time President Roosevelt will sign 15 historic bills.
President Roosevelt's Executive Order 6102 issued April 5 requires that all private gold holdings (gold coins, gold certificates, and bullion) be surrendered to Federal Reserve banks in exchange for other coin or currency. The United States abandons the gold standard April 19 by presidential proclamation, the last of the $20 gold pieces ("Double Eagles") minted since 1907 have been struck, owning such coins becomes illegal, and many bankers and financiers view the move with horror (see American Liberty League, 1934); a Joint Resolution to Suspend the Gold Standard and Abrogate the Gold Clause adopted by Congress June 5 nullifies all U.S. contracts that promise to repay interest or principal in gold, but Roosevelt rejects a currency-stabilization plan proposed by the gold-standard countries meeting in July at a World Monetary and Economic Conference at London. In October he authorizes the Reconstruction Finance Corp. to buy newly mined gold at $31.36 per ounce, 27¢ above the world market. Aiken, S.C.-born U.S. District Court judge John M. (Munro) Woolsey, 56, at New York upholds the constitutionality of the anti-gold hoarding provisions in the Emergency Banking Act in November (Campbell v. Chase National Bank).
Germany's new Nazi regime holds elaborate May Day celebrations but outlaws the nation's free trade unions May 2, throwing their leaders into prison. By late June the free unions will have been dissolved, replaced by a German Labor Front headed by Hitler's drunken henchman Robert Ley, 43, who will confiscate union funds and use the money to finance a Kraft durch Freude (or Strength through Joy, KdF) program intended to increase productivity.
A Federal Emergency Relief Act passed by Congress May 12 establishes a $500 million fund that can be distributed in grants to the states. Former social worker Harry (Lloyd) Hopkins, 43, is appointed federal administrator of emergency relief. The Thomas Amendment to the Emergency Banking Act allows direct purchase of federal securities by Federal Reserve Banks; adopted May 12, it also permits the Federal Reserve Board to double reserve requirements of member banks.
A U.S. Employment Service created June 6 tries to find jobs for the unemployed. Congress enacts the first minimum wage law July 12, setting the minimum at 38¢ per hour (see Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938).
The Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall Act) signed into law by President Roosevelt June 16 creates a wall between commercial banks and the securities industry. Banks have been investing their own assets in securities and making unsound loans to shore up companies or the prices of their shares. Glass-Steagall forbids banks to deal in stocks and bonds (J. P. Morgan Co. will split off Morgan Stanley to comply) and insures bank deposits. The diminutive Sen. Carter Glass (D. Va.), now 76, and Rep. Henry B. (Bascom) Steagall (D. Ala.), 60, have proposed the measure (Steagall agreed to co-sponsor it after Glass agreed to authorize bank deposit insurance for the first time). Senators opposed to the measure have filibustered for 3 weeks to block it, bankers denounce it, but it will not be totally repealed until 1999.
A National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) passed by Congress June 16 provides for "codes of fair competition" in 700 industries and for collective bargaining with labor, whose unions have dropped in membership from 3.5 million to fewer than 3 million (Section 7a of the new act gives workers the right to join unions). Industry agrees to shorten working hours, pay minimum wages of $12 to $13 per week, limit child labor to 40 hours per week, and in some cases limit production and fix prices. President Roosevelt appoints former U.S. Army Provost Marshal Hugh S. (Samuel) Johnson, 50, as National Recovery Administration (NRA) director (Johnson is a protégé of Bernard M. Baruch, with whom FDR frequently consults), and the first NRA Blue Eagle signs of cooperation with the National Recovery Administration appear in store and factory windows August 1: "We Do Our Part" (but see court decision, 1935).
U.S. textile companies adopt a fair practice code that reduces the workweek from 6 days to 5 and the workday from 12 hours to 8, but the companies will "chisel" on the code and start demanding that workers produce as much in 8 hours as they did in 12 (see strike, 1934).
A National Labor Board established by President Roosevelt August 5 under the NRA works to enforce the right of collective bargaining under the chairmanship of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Wagner, 56 (D. N.Y.) (see NLRB, 1934; Wagner Act, 1935).
The U.S. national income falls to $40.2 billion, down from $87.8 billion in 1929; the national wealth falls to $330 billion, down from $439 billion.
Typical annual U.S. earnings: congressman $8,663, lawyer $4,218, physician $3,382, college teacher $3,111, engineer $2,250, public school teacher $1,227 (5,000 Chicago schoolteachers storm the banks for back pay April 24 after being paid for 10 months in scrip), construction worker $907, sleep-in domestic servant $260 ($21.66 per month), hired farm hand $216.
A Stetson hat sells for $5, a gas stove for $23.95.
Dun & Bradstreet is created by a merger of New York's R. G. Dun & Co. with Cincinnati's Bradstreet Co. Dun was founded in 1841, taken over in 1859 by mercantile authority Robert Graham Dun, and has published Dun's Review since 1893; Bradstreet was founded by John M. Bradstreet in 1849 under the name Bradstreet's Improved Mercantile Agency; Dun & Bradstreet will provide financial data and credit ratings of U.S. business firms and business executives, many of them now in dire straits.
A strike by cotton workers at Pixley, Calif., October 10 brings out some 18,000 employees demanding higher pay; they will win the strike, but only after four have been killed.
Harry Hopkins persuades President Roosevelt to establish a Civil Works Administration (CWA) November 9 to provide emergency jobs for 4 million unemployed Americans through the winter (see 1934; WPA, 1935)
Workers at the Hormel Packing Co. plant at Austin, Minn., stage the first sit-down strike November 13.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes December 30 at 99.90, up from 59.93 at the end of 1932.
Saudi Arabia's Abdul-Aziz ibn-Saud gives Standard Oil of California a 60-year exclusive concession to explore for oil on a 320,000-square-mile tract of desert (see 1932). English Arabist-adventurer H. St. John Philby has reminded the king of a phrase in the Koran: "God changeth not what is within people unless they change what is in themselves." Ibn-Saud replies, "Philby! If anyone would give me a million pounds I would give him all the concessions he wants." He receives a loan of $170,327 from SoCal, which has recently begun pumping oil on the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain and will find in 1938 that its concession overlies the world's richest petroleum reserve. To help exploit the Saudi Arabian reserve, SoCal makes a 50-50 arrangement with the Texas Co., forming Arabian American Oil Co. (Aramco) to produce the petroleum and CalTex to market it through Texaco outlets in Europe, Africa, and Asia (Aramco pays Philby $1,000 per month and will later take in other partners, including the Saudi Arabian government [see 1950], which will acquire full ownership in 1976) (see 1938).
Gasoline sells for 18¢ per gallon in America.
The Tennessee Valley Authority Act passed by Congress May 18 creates the TVA with a mandate to maintain and operate the power plant at Muscle Shoals, Ala. (see Wilson Dam, 1927) and to develop the economy of the 41,000-square-mile region that includes parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Sen. George W. Norris (R. Neb.) sponsored bills beginning a decade ago that would have created such an independent government corporate agency, former presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover vetoed the legislation in 1928 and 1931, respectively, but President Roosevelt has redrafted it and signs it enthusiastically, launching the federal government on a program that goes well beyond earlier proposals. The authority's mandate is to build 11 dams at strategic points on the Tennessee River and its tributaries for generation of power that will supply electricity to residents of the valley, only 3 percent of whose farmers have ever had it, and to control the rivers and improve "the economic and social well-being of the people living in said river basin," one of the nation's poorest regions (see Supreme Court decision, 1936).
Commonwealth & Southern Co. lawyer Wendell L. Willkie succeeds founder Bernard C. Cobb as president of the giant utilities holding company, which has had a monopoly on power in the Tennessee Valley but done little to help farmers (see 1929). Now 44, Willkie begins attacking the TVA and other New Deal policies on grounds that they represent unwarranted federal intrusion into private enterprise. Within 2 years he will be the utility industry's leading critic of the TVA, and he will guide the company effectively through the Depression.
Pennsylvania-born Secretary of the Interior Harold L. (LeClair) Ickes, 59, becomes administrator of the petroleum industry under the new National Industry Recovery Administration. Nominally a Republican, he has broken with his party and renames Hoover Dam, calling it Boulder Dam (see 1932). Six Companies president Warren A. Bechtel dies of an accidental prescription-drug overdose at Moscow's National Hotel August 29 at age 61. He is succeeded as head of Bechtel Co. by his son Stephen (Davison) Bechtel, 32, who served with the Army Corps of Engineers in France during the Great War and 4 years ago persuaded his father to go into the pipeline business. The younger Bechtel becomes chief engineer for the entire project, whose construction proceeds apace as 4,000 workers labor under the direction of Frank Crowe, who devises an ingenious aerial tramway to deliver men and wet cement wherever they are needed (see 1935).
Survey work begins September 3 on the Grand Coulee Dam, to be built in eastern Washington State for hydroelectric power, to control the rampaging Columbia River, and to provide irrigation. Private power companies have opposed the project, as did the Hoover administration, but President Roosevelt has favored it, and the Bureau of Reclamation has produced films designed to win public approval. Ten communities are evacuated, the remains of 700 Native Americans are relocated, and the river is diverted to expose bedrock, which is relatively close to the surface in the arid region (see 1941).
The Dnieper River Dam is completed in the Soviet Ukraine. Minnesota-born engineer Hugh Lincoln Cooper, now 68, built the Muscle Shoals Dam in Alabama and has directed construction of the 810,000-horsepower hydroelectric installation, which will save 3 million tons of coal per year.
The Baltic-White Sea Stalin Ship Canal opens in the Soviet Union to link Povenets on Lake Onega with Belmorsk on the White Sea. Slave labor has built the 140-mile canal in 2 years at a cost of some 250,000 lives, but its shallow draft and primitive wooden locks will soon make it obsolete (see 1923; Moscow-Volga Canal, 1937).
The Illinois Waterway linking the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River opens officially at Chicago June 22.
The S.S. Europa of the North German-Lloyd line crosses from Cherbourg to New York in 4 days, 16 hours, 48 minutes, breaking the transatlantic speed record set by her sister ship S.S. Bremen in 1929.
The Italian Line's new passenger liner S.S. Rex sets a new transatlantic speed record by crossing from Cherbourg to New York in 4 days, 13 hours, 58 minutes. Built at Genoa on orders from Benito Mussolini, she carries 2,100 passengers and wins the Hales Trophy, an enamel-and-gold award created by George Hales, MP, to be given to the fastest liner on the North Atlantic run.
The S.S. Queen of Bermuda goes into service for Furness, Withy & Co., whose 22,575-ton ship is slightly larger than the 2-year-old Monarch of Bermuda and will remain in service until 1966.
United Fruit Co.'s Great White Fleet grows to include 95 vessels (see 1899).
The Warsaw Convention signed by representatives of several European countries in October 1929 takes effect February 13, providing for a uniform liability code and uniform documentation on tickets and cargo for international carriers. It limits liability for loss of life or injury to $8,300 except where willful misconduct can be proved (the convention is designed to keep large damage claims from putting fledgling airlines out of business). Britain will not become a party to the convention until March 1934, the United States not until the end of July 1934.
Amelia Earhart flies from Los Angeles to Newark July 1, making the flight in 17 hours, 17 minutes.
Air France is founded August 30 by a merger of France's Aeropostale with an aircraft manufacturing company headed by Louis Breguet, 53, who built and flew his first plane in 1907.
General Motors assumes leadership in U.S. motorcar sales, with Chrysler second, Ford third, but Ford last year offered a redesigned Model A as a Model B with an optional V-8 engine and a $460 price tag (versus $410 for the four-cylinder model); it can reach a speed of 75 miles per hour (for the sedan, 80 for the roadster). Some 300,000 have been sold despite the depressed economy (see 1936).
A new Pontiac coupe sells for $585, a new Chevrolet half-ton pickup truck for $650, a 1929 Ford for $58.
Rolls-Royce cofounder Sir Henry Royce dies at West Wittering, Sussex, April 22 at age 70.
Adolf Hitler takes over Autobahn construction and claims it as a National Socialist Party effort (see 1932). "We are setting up a program the execution of which we do not want to leave to posterity," he says, and construction resumes in September with thousands of previously unemployed men working under the direction of engineer Fritz Todt (see 1935).
Raleigh bicycles are introduced in America (see 1888; Sturmey-Archer gears, 1902), but the lightweight bike costs substantially more than domestic makes.
Chicago bicycle maker Ignaz Schwinn, now 73, introduces sturdier-framed bikes with balloon tires based on motorcycle tires in an effort to revive flagging sales (see 1895). The streamlined new models attract youngsters (see 1938).
London's Underground displays a new subway diagram designed by draftsman Henry C. Beck, 29, that is geographically inaccurate but provides such a beautifully organized image of the city that it will be retained into the next century.
Osaka's first subway line opens May 20 between Umeda and Shinsaibashi with Japan's first publicly funded line, beginning a system that will grow by 1997 to be a 114-kilometer network carrying 957 million passengers per year.
New York's new Independent subway line begins the F train from 179th Street in Jamaica to Manhattan and thence to Coney Island's Stillwell Avenue. The trip takes 85 minutes. The A train goes into service on the BMT. The new express will be extended from 207th Street in Manhattan to Far Rockaway or Lefferts Boulevard journey of 100 minutes for 5¢ (see Popular songs, 1941). The D train goes into service on the BMT from 205th Street in the Bronx to Coney Island's Stillwell Avenuen 85-minute journey for 5¢.
Inventor Kate Gleason dies at her native Rochester, N.Y., January 9 at age 67, leaving an estate of $1.4 million.
Dow Chemical starts building a plant at Long Beach, Calif, to produce iodine from oil field brine. Dow will break the British-Chilean nitrate monopoly in iodine and bring the price down from $4.50 per pound to 81¢.
Weymouth, Mass.-born chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis, 57, at the University of California, Berkeley, prepares a pure sample of heavy water (deuterium oxide). He has been the first to isolate deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen (see Urey, 1931).
Physicist Philipp Lenard denounces "Jewish science," including Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Now 71, Lenard is an ardent supporter of Nazism, but the emigration of Jewish researchers will cripple Germany's scientific community for years to come.
The Steinheim skull unearthed along with elephant and rhinoceros bones from a gravel pit 12 miles north of Stuttgart dates to the Pleistocene era. It will be classified as belonging to an early subspecies of Homo sapiens called Homo sapiens heidelbergensis, and its discovery marks a step forward in the study of evolution.
Belgian biologist Albert Claude, 34, isolates the first cancer virus.
British biochemist Ernest (Lawrence) Kennaway, 52, isolates the first pure chemical carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) and shows that a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon from subtotal combustion will cause cancer in test animals (see 1915). Such hydrocarbons are found in air pollution, auto exhaust, and cigarette smoke (see 1936; Ochsner, 1945).
The influenza virus is isolated for the first time following a London epidemic (see pandemic, 1918; Goodpasture, 1931; Francis, 1934).
French researchers develop a neurotropic vaccine against yellow fever using a strain of attenuated yellow fever virus (see 1936; Walter Reed, 1900).
Polish neurophysiologist and psychiatrist Manfred J. Sakel, 33, at Vienna's University Neuropsychiatric Cinic reports the treatment of schizophrenia by repeatedly using insulin to induce coma (see Wagner-Jauregg, 1917). He has used insulin to tranquilize morphine addicts, one of whom received an accidental overdose and went into a coma; his mental state seemed better after he recovered, Sakel has theorized that inducing convulsions in schizophrenics might be beneficial, his initial experiments show that 88 percent of patients improve, Sakel will emigrate to America in 1936 and publish The Pharmacological Shock Treatment of Schizophrenia in 1938, but later studies will find that his treatment is less effective than was first thought (see Meduna, 1935).
The United States has 5,000 new cases of infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) (see Roosevelt, 1921). Some victims suffer respiratory failure and can be kept alive only with the Iron Lung invented in 1927 (see March of Dimes, 1938).
"Sister Kenny" opens her first clinic for treating victims of poliomyelitis. Australian Army Nurse Corps war veteran Elizabeth Kenny, 47, (the "Sister" denotes the rank of second lieutenant given her in 1916) has an income derived from royalties on the patent for a stretcher equipped with shock-treatment appliances that she invented for patients en route to hospital. Polio has no known cure, but physicians have been immobilizing patients with splints and casts, which cause their muscles to atrophy. Sister Kenny uses warm wool compresses to relieve pain and spasms plus limb manipulation therapy. The medical establishment disdains her methods, especially in Australia, but she will open a facility in Britain in 1937 and one at Minneapolis in 1940 as she travels the world demonstrating her treatment.
Pathologist William T. Councilman dies at York Village, Me., May 26 at age 79; bacteriologist Albert Calmette at Paris October 29 at age 70, His BCG vaccine against tuberculosis will not be used in America until 1940 (it will be administered widely to physicians, nurses, and others at particularly high risk of contact with the disease); Emile Roux dies at Paris November 3 at age 79.
The University of Frankfurt bars German theologian-philosopher Paul Johannes Tillich, 46, on orders from Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi movement Tillich has criticized. He has held professorships at Marburg, Dresden, and Leipzig, but none will have him now, so he emigrates to America and teaches at the Union Theological Seminary in New York.
President Roosevelt goes on the radio March 12, begins, "My friends . . .," and urges listeners to have faith in the banks; he tries to calm Depression fears and win support for New Deal measures being undertaken to restore the nation's economic health. Washington, D.C.-born CBS announcer Robert Trout (originally Robert Albert Blondheim), 23, calls the president's radio talks "fireside chats."
Bell Telephone Laboratories engineer and high-vacuum radio tube inventor Harold DeForest Arnold dies of a heart attack at Summit, N.J., July 10 at age 49.
Radio set ownership reaches 63 percent of U.S. households, up from 10 percent in 1925.
Frequency modulation (FM) provides static-free radio reception. Edwin H. Armstrong of 1917 superheterodyne circuit fame proved in 1915 that radio waves and static have the same electrical characteristics; having insisted that any attempt to eliminate static without some radically new principle would be fruitless and that hundreds of patents for static eliminating devices are worthless, he now perfects FM (see Zenith, 1940).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers develops the first "walkie-talkie" portable two-radio sets with help from Paul V. Galvin of Motorola (see 1929).
IBM enters the typewriter business by acquiring a firm that has been trying for 10 years to perfect an electric office typewriter (see 1924). Gambling that the Depression would be short lived, CEO Thomas J. Watson has continued production unabated, warehousing unsold machines, hiring engineers laid off by other countries, and building a research and development facility at Endicott, N.Y. (see IBM Selectric, 1961).
Newsweek magazine has its beginnings in a 10¢ magazine published at New York February 17 under the name News-Week by English-born journalist Thomas J. C. (John Cardel) Martyn, 41, who has been foreign editor for Henry Luce's 10-year-old Time; calling Luce's magazine "too inaccurate, too superficial, too flippant and imitative," he has raised $2.25 million in startup money from 120 investors who include Paul Mellon and John Hay Whitney (see 1937; 1961).
The Catholic Worker begins publication May 1 with the aim of uniting workers and intellectuals in joint efforts to improve farming, education, and social conditions. Founder Dorothy Day, now 35, has since 1922 supervised a shelter in New York's Bowery and published a penny newspaper that expresses her religious commitment to human rights. She receives support from French-born editor Peter (Aristide) Maurin, 55, who has developed a program of social reconstruction he calls "the green revolution." The new monthly will be a voice for pacifism and social justice; circulation by year's end is 100,000.
The Reader's Digest publishes its first original signed articles; departing from its 11-year-old policy of condensing pieces from other publications, it begins to plant feature stories for subsequent publication in Digest versions (see 1922; 1955).
Esquire magazine begins publication in October. Editor-publisher Arnold Gingrich, 29, is a former copywriter who has been editing Apparel Arts at Chicago since 1931. Intended initially to be a men's fashion quarterly distributed through retail stores, Esquire publishes a story by Ernest Hemingway in its first issue, features risqué cartoons and drawings of scantily clad women, quickly sells out on newsstands despite its high 50¢ cover price, begins monthly publication, and in its first 3 years will sell 10 million copies with help from good writing by Albert Camus, Clarence Darrow, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aldous Huxley, H. L. Mencken, Dorothy Parker, Damon Runyon, William Saroyan, Georges Simenon, John Steinbeck, and other leading writers.
Denver Post publisher Frederick G. Bonfils dies at Denver February 2 at age 72 in the midst of a libel suit against Roy W. Howard's rival Rocky Mountain News; magazine publisher-philanthropist Cyrus H. K. Curtis dies at Wyncote, Pa., June 7 at age 82.
The Washington Post changes hands June 1 as millionaire Eugene Meyer outbids Evalyn Walsh McLean, wife of owner Edward B. (Ned) McLean, whose father, John R. McLean, bought the paper in 1905 (see 1877). A heavy drinker, Ned has owned the paper since his father's death in 1916 but has let it dwindle to a sheet of only 12 to 14 pages. His wife wears the Hope Diamond but cannot match Meyer's auction bid of $825,000 for the bankrupt paper, which has a true circulation of less than 50,000, is in fifth place among the city's five dailies, and has been losing $1 million per year. Now 57, Meyer offered $5 million for the Post 4 years ago; he has quit government service because of his opposition to the New Deal, but his daughter Katharine, now 15, will marry Florida-born New Dealer Philip L. Graham, now 17, in 1940, circulation of the Post will reach 165,000 by 1943, advertising linage will increase from 4 million to 12 million, and the paper will become a progressive force in U.S. journalism (see Times-Herald, 1954; Newsweek, 1961).
The comic strip "Alley Oop" by cartoonist Vincent T. Hamlin, 34, begins appearing in U.S. newspapers August 7. Hamlin has worked for an oil company in southwest Texas, developed an interest in fossils, and dreamed up a Stone Age hero who lives in the Kingdom of Moo and rides on the neck of his pet dinosaur Dinny (ignoring the fact that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted). The strip will continue into the next century.
The American Newspaper Guild is founded at Washington, D.C., in December to protect city-room employees. New York World-Telegram reporter Heywood C. Broun, 45, is elected president.
Kirkus Reviews has its beginnings in January as former Harper and Bros. children's book department head Virginia Kirkus, 38, sends out review bulletins to 10 subscribing booksellers who pay $10 per month for her Bookshop Service. Harper's discontinued its children's department last year and gave the Meadville, Pa.-born Kirkus 6 months to look for a new job; she visited her family in Europe (her clergyman father had been assigned to the American Church at Munich), and on the return voyage she decided to start the New York-based service for which she changes her fee schedule in April, charging the smallest book stores $2.50, the largest $15; by year's end she has reviewed nearly 1,000 books, will expand her customer-base to libraries in 1935, will have more than 1,500 subscribers by 1950, and by the mid-1950s will be charging libraries $19 to $32 per month as publishers supply her with galley proofs and she adds book clubs, literary agents, radio stations, and even publishers to her subscriber list.
Nazis stage a May 10 torchlight parade in Berlin's Obernplatz with a speech by Adolf Hitler's minister of popular enlightenment and propaganda Joseph Goebbels to a crowd of about 40,000. The parade ends with students burning about 25,000 "subversive" books looted from libraries and bookstores across the country; destroyed in the pyre are "un-German" works not only by Jewish and Marxist authors such as Sholem Asch, Albert Einstein, Lion Feuchtwanger, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx but also by writers such as Franz Boaz, John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway, Helen Keller, Sinclair Lewis (who says it should be considered a "tribute"), Jack London, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair, and Franz Werfel.
Nonfiction: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, whose book is actually her own autobiography rather than that of the woman who has been her companion and secretary since 1907. "Rose is a rose is a rose," writes Stein, who is famous for being more concerned with the sound and rhythm of words than with intelligibility; Down and Out in Paris and London by English writer George Orwell (originally Eric Blair), 30, whose health was broken by the climate while serving in the Burma Imperial Police and who has experienced poverty as a struggling writer; English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century by Connecticut-born Harvard historian (Clarence) Crane Brinton, 35; Orthodoxy in Massachusetts by Chicago-born historian Perry (Gilbert Eddy) Miller, 28; Life in Lesu by Philadelphia-born anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker, 32, examines life in a tiny village on the southwest Pacific island of New Ireland. Having studied under Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics, Powdermaker wins funding from the Social Science Research Council to study the community of Indianola, Miss. (see 1939); Baghdad Sketches by British travel writer Freya (Madeline) Stark, 40, who has become fluent in Arabic and Turkish and will go on to master other languages and dialects; Congo Solo: Misadventures Two Degrees North by Emily Hahn, who has worked with the Red Cross in the Belgian Congo.
Philosopher George Herbert Palmer dies at Cambridge, Mass., May 7 at age 91; philosopher Irving Babbitt at Cambridge, Mass., July 15 at age 67; lexicographer H. W. Fowler at Hinton St. George, Somerset, December 26 at age 75.
Fiction: Man's Fate (La Condition Humaine) by French novelist André Malraux, 32, deals with the undercover struggle against imperialism in Indochina; Saint Manuel the Good, Martyr (San Manuel Bueno, martír) by Miguel de Unamuno; The Tales of Jacob (Die Geschichten Jaacobs) by Thomas Mann; The Hangman (Bödeln) by Pär Lagerkvist; The Bark Tree (Le Chiendent) by French novelist Raymond Queneau, 30; La Chatte by Colette; Barnabo of the Mountains (Barnabo delle montagne) by Italian journalist-novelist Dino Buzzati, 26; Fontamara by Italian novelist Ignazio Silone (originally Secondo Tranquili), 33, whose anti-Fascist work exposes the plight of Italy's southern peasants (the author helped to found the Italian Communist Party in 1922, settled in Switzerland 3 years ago, and will soon become disillusioned with communism); The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh) by Austrian poet-novelist Franz (Viktor) Werfel, 43; All Night at Mr. Stanyhurst's by English novelist Hugh Edwards, 35; Water on the Brain by Compton Mackenzie, whose satire attacks the British secret service for having prosecuted him last year in connection with alleged violation of the 1911 Official Secrets Act; Opening Day by English novelist David Gascoyne, 17; A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys; A Nest of Simple Folk by Sean O'Faolain; Lost Horizon by English novelist James Hilton, 33, who fascinates readers with a fictional Shangri-la in the Himalayas of Tibet; Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West, whose advice-to-the-lovelorn newspaper columnist becomes involved with some of his correspondents; God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell; The Last Adam by James Gould Cozzens; Rebecca by English novelist Daphne du Maurier, 26, a granddaughter of the late novelist and Punch caricaturist George du Maurier; Frost in May by English journalist-novelist Antonia White (née Botting), 34; Cold Comfort Farm by English novelist Stella Dorothea Gibbons, 31, satirizes rural melodramas; Daffy Boy (Doidinho) by José Lins do Rego; The Fault of Angels by Buffalo, N.Y.-born novelist Paul Horgan, 30, who was raised in New Mexico; Imitation of Life by Fannie Hurst; Let the Hurricane Roar by South Dakota-born novelist Rose Wilder Lane, 46; The Frontenac Mystery (Le Mystère Frontenac) by François Mauriac; Hag's Nook by Pennsylvania-born mystery novelist John Dickson Carr, 27; Murder Must Advertise: A Detective Story and Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers; Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back by H. C. McNeile.
Novelist George Moore dies at London January 21 at age 80; mystery writer Earl Derr Biggers suffers a heart attack in March at Palm Springs and dies at Pasadena, Calif., April 5 at age 48; Sir Anthony Hope dies at Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, July 8 at age 70; Publishers Weekly editor-publisher Richard R. Bowker at Stockbridge, Mass., November 12 at age 85.
James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses is acceptable for publication in the United States, rules Justice John M. Woolsey of the U.S. District Court at New York December 6 (United States v. One Book Called "Ulysses"). Customs officials at New York seized a copy of the book last year as it was being sent to Random House, the press has raised an outcry, and Judge Woolsey decides that the "dirty" words in the 11-year-old book "are old Saxon works known to almost all men and, I venture, to many women, and are such words as would be naturally and habitually used, I believe, by the types of folk whose life, physical and mental, Joyce is seeking to describe." They are, in short, appropriate in context and not gratuitous, says Woolsey. The federal government will lose on appeal in August of next year, and Random House will then publish the first authorized U.S. edition. British authorities will legalize it in 1936, but U.S. Post Office authorities continue to seize copies of the 1928 D. H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover (see 1959).
Poetry: Residence on Earth (Residencia en la tierra) by Pablo Neruda, who has published the work in individual pieces between 1925 and 1931 during a period of spiritual nihilism; The Winding Stair by William Butler Yeats; Mount Zion by London-born poet John Betjeman, 27; Now With His Love by John Peale Bishop.
Poet Sara Teasdale dies of a sleeping-pill overdose at New York January 28 at age 48; Greek poet C. P. Cavafy at his native Alexandria, Egypt, April 29 at age 70; Anna, comtesse de Noailles, at her native Paris April 30 at age 56.
Painting: The Dance by Henri Matisse; The Street by French painter Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski), 25; Departure (triptych) by Max Beckmann; Apotheosis of the Family (mural) by artist-illustrator N. C. Wyeth (for the Wilmington Savings Fund Society building in Delaware); Child Psychology by Norman Rockwell (cover illustration, Saturday Evening Post, November 25). Painter-craftsman-decorator Louis Comfort Tiffany dies at New York January 17 at age 84 (his Tiffany studios filed for bankruptcy last year); Elizabeth Thompson Lady Butler dies at Gormanston, Ireland, October 2 at age 86; George Luks at New York October 29 at age 66.
Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Arts opens under the name William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts in the mansion of the late Kansas City Star editor-publisher William Rockhill Nelson surrounded by 20 acres of lawn. The trust fund set up in Nelson's will has grown to have $13 million; the museum will be noted for its Oriental collection, but the benefactor's will stipulated that no work could be purchased until the artist had been dead for at least 30 years.
Germany suppresses all modernistic painting in favor of superficial realism.
Murals: Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera for New York's Radio City Music Hall. When Rockefeller Center officials notice that the 63-foot-by-17-foot mural incorporates a small portrait of V. I. Lenin, Nelson A. Rockefeller asks that it be removed, Rivera refuses, the incident creates a furor in the art world, Rivera is paid in full and dismissed, his mural is destroyed the night of February 10 and its pieces carted away, Rivera uses the proceeds of the work to pay for the expenses of frescoes that he executes gratis for New York's New Workers School; Quetzelcoatl and the Old Order, The Legend of the Races, Stillborn Education, and Latin America by José Clemente Orozco for Dartmouth College.
Sculpture: The Palace at Four A.M. by Swiss sculptor-painter Alberto Giacometti, 31; Roverato by Italian sculptor-painter Marino Marini, 32; Cone of Ebony (mobile) by Alexander Calder.
Corning Glass executive Arthur A. (Amory) Houghton Jr., 26, takes over as president of the 30-year-old Steuben Glass Co. from its cofounder Frederick Carder, now 80. Corning acquired Steuben in 1918; under Houghton's direction it will produce clear, pure glass museum pieces, many of them designed by prominent artists.
Photographs: Paris de Nuit by Hungarian-born photographer Brassaï (originally Gyula Halasz), 34, includes "L'Avenue de l'Observatoire in Autumn" and creates an international sensation with its night shots of prostitutes, transvestites, and other nocturnal creatures of the Paris night. Born in the ancient city of Brasso, Brassaï has been in Paris since 1924, photographing for the art magazines Minotaure and Verve.
Theater: Design for Living by Noël Coward 1/24 at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater, with Coward, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, 135 perfs.; Alien Corn by Sidney Howard 2/20 at New York's Belasco Theater, with Katharine Cornell, 98 perfs.; The Enchanted (Intermezzo) by Jean Genet 2/27 at the Comédie des Champs-Elysées, Paris; Forsaking All Others by Edward Roberts and Frank Cavett 3/1 at New York's Times Square Theater, with Alabama-born actress Tallulah Bankhead, 30, Ilka Chase, Cora Witherspoon, 110 perfs.; Both Your Houses by Maxwell Anderson 3/6 at New York's Royale Theater, with Morris Carnovsky, Walter C. Kelly, Mary Philips, Jerome Cowan, Jane Seymour, Shepperd Strudwick in a polemic against political corruption, 120 perfs.; Men in White by New York-born playwright Sidney Kingsley, 27, 9/26 at New York's Broadhurst Theater, with Morris Carnovsky, Luther Adler, Elia Kazan, Sanford Meisner, Clifford Odets, East Cleveland-born actor Alan Baxter, 24, directed by Lee Strasberg, 367 perfs.; Ah, Wilderness by Eugene O'Neill (his only comedy) 10/2 at New York's Guild Theater, with George M. Cohan as Nat Miller, William Post, Jr., Elisha Cook, Jr., Gene Lockhart, Philip Moeller, Ruth Gilbert, 289 perfs.; The Pursuit of Happiness by Alan Child and Isabelle Louden 10/9 at New York's Avon Theater, with Peggy Conklin, Charles Waldron, 252 perfs.; Tovarich by French playwright Jacques Deval (Jacques Boularan), 42, 10/13 at the Théâtre de Paris, 800 perfs.; The Wind and the Rain by New Zealand-born playwright Marten (originally Horace Emerton) Hodge, 29, 10/18 at St. Martin's Theatre, London, with Mackenzie C. Ward, 30, Celia Johnson, 24 (to the Queen's Theatre 2/18/1935), 993 perfs.; Her Master's Voice by Clare Kummer 10/23 at New York's Plymouth Theater, with Laura Hope Crews, Roland Young, 224 perfs.; Mulatto by Langston Hughes 10/24 at New York's Vanderbilt Theater, with Rose McClendon, 270 perfs.; Mary of Scotland by Maxwell Anderson 11/27 at New York's Alvin Theater, with Helen Hayes, Helen Menken, Philip Merivale, George Coulouris, Cecil Holm, 248 perfs.; Tobacco Road by director-writer Jack Kirkland, 31, 12/4 at New York's Masque Theater, with Henry Hull as Jeeter Lester, Ashley Cooper, Indiana-born actor Will Geer, 31, Margaret Wycherly, in an adaptation of last year's Erskine Caldwell novel, 3,182 perfs.; Twentieth Century by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur 12/29 at New York's Broadhurst Theater, with Eugenie Leontovich as Lilly Garland, Moffat Johnston as Oscar Jaffe, Clare Woodbury, 152 perfs.
London's Old Vic Theatre engages Tunbridge Wells-born director (William) Tyrone Guthrie, 33. The youngest director in its history, Guthrie will work at the Old Vic off and on into the early 1950s.
Playwright-novelist John Galsworthy dies at London January 31 at age 65; Wilson Mizner of a heart ailment in his apartment at Hollywood's Ambassador Hotel April 3 at age 56 (he turned to writing screenplays 6 years ago with the advent of sound films); playwright Winchell Smith dies of cancer at Farmington, Conn., June 10 at age 61; theater architect and scenic designer Joseph Urban of a heart attack in his suite at New York's St. Regis Hotel July 10 at age 61; playwright-story writer Ring Lardner of a heart ailment in his sleep at his East Hampton, N.Y., home September 25 at age 48; actor Edward H. Sothern at New York October 28 at age 73.
Radio: Jack Armstrong the All-American Boy 7/31 on Chicago's KBBM with St. John Terrell, who is soon replaced by Jim Ameche. Creator of the show is Robert Hardy Andrews, its sponsor is the 9-year-old General Mills "Breakfast of Champions" Wheaties, and the theme song begins, "Wave the flag for Hudson High, boys/ Show them how we stand,/ Ever shall our team be champions,/ Known throughout the land" (to 6/28/1951); The Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters 9/25 on NBC (cowboy actor Mix has no connection with the children's show except to lend his name)(to 6/23/1950); The Romance of Helen Trent 10/30 on CBS is a soap opera created by Anne Ashenhurst with E. Frank Hummert, whom she has known since 1927 and whom she will marry next year; Ma Perkins 12/4 on NBC is another Ashenhurst-Hummert creation, continuing the soap opera serial genre with daily 15-minute shows sponsored by Procter & Gamble's Oxydol. Actress Virginia Payne, 23, plays the title role that she will continue for 27 years (to 11/25/1960).
Sally Rand attracts thousands to the Chicago World's Fair that opens May 27 to celebrate "A Century of Progress." Originally named Harriet Helen Gould Beck, the 29-year-old Missouri-born fan dancer gets star billing at the "Streets of Paris" concession on the Midway, does a slow dance to Debussy's "Clair de Lune" wearing only her birthday suit but coyly using two pink, seven-foot ostrich plumes to conceal her nudity (she actually wears a body stocking or at least a coat of white theatrical cream). Her act draws the ire of community leaders, who call it "lewd, lascivious, and degrading to public morals," but Superior Judge Joseph B. David rules July 19 that "there is no harm and certainly no injury to public morals when the human body is exposed. Some people would probably want to put pants on a horse . . . Case dismissed for lack of equity." The five-foot-one-inch ecdysiast (measurements: 35-22-35) plays to packed houses, she will invent a bubble dance for next year's fair, using a 60-inch transparent balloon, and will be credited with making the fair a success as jobless Americans flock to Chicago in search of fun (attendance will total 22 million).
Films: Frank Lloyd's Cavalcade with Diana Wynyard (Dorothy Cox), 27, Clive Brook, Ursula Jeans; William Wyler's Counsellor-at-Law with John Barrymore, Bebe Daniels (Mrs. Ben Lyon); George Cukor's Dinner at Eight with Marie Dressler, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, screenplay by Frances Marion; Leo McCarey's Duck Soup with the Marx Brothers; Frank Capra's Lady for a Day with May Robson (as "Apple Annie"), Warren William, Guy Kibbee in a plot based on a Damon Runyon story; George Cukor's Little Women with Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee, Butte, Mont.-born actress Jean Parker (originally Luise-Stephanie Zelinska), 21, Paul Lukas; Alexander Korda's The Private Life of Henry VIII with English actor Charles Laughton, 34; René Clair's Quatorze Juillet (July Fourteenth) with Annabella; Rouben Mamoulian's Queen Christina with Greta Garbo, John Gilbert in a largely fictional version of the life of the 17th-century Swedish queen; Lowell Sherman's She Done Him Wrong with Mae West, now 41, as Diamond Lil ("Come up'n see me sometime"), Cincinnati-born actress Louise Beavers, 25, as her sassy maid Pearl, Cary Grant; Jean Vigo's Zero for Conduct (Zero de conduit) with Jean Daste, Robert le Flon. Also: Victor Fleming's Bombshell with Jean Harlow, Milwaukee-born actor William Joseph "Pat" O'Brien, 34, Frank Morgan, Louise Beavers; Marcel Pagnol's César with Raimu, Pierre Fresnay; Ernst Lubitsch's Design for Living with Gary Cooper, Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins; Stuart Walker's The Eagle and the Hawk with Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie, Indiana-born actress Carole Lombard (originally Jane Alice Peters), 24; Gustav Machaty's Ecstasy with Viennese-born beauty Hedy (originally Hedwig Eva Maria) Kiesler (later Hedy Lamarr), 19, who creates a sensation with closeups of her face expressing erotic passion plus long shots that show her swimming in the nude and running naked through the woods; Wesley Ruggles's I'm No Angel with Mae West, Cary Grant; A. Edward Sutherland's International House with W. C. Fields, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Stuart Erwin, George Burns, Gracie Allen; Michael Curtiz's The Kennel Murder Case with William Powell, Quincy, Ill.-born actress Mary Astor (originally Lucile Vascincellos Langhanke), 33; Frank Borzage's Man's Castle with Spencer Tracy, Salt Lake City-born actress Loretta (originally Gretchen) Young, 20; Robert Z. Leonard's Peg o' My Heart with Marion Davies, screenplay by Frances Marion; W. S. Van Dyke's Penthouse with Columbus, Ohio-born actor Warner Baxter, 44, Helena, Mont.-born actress Myrna Loy (originally Myrna Adele Williams), 28; William A. Seiter's Sons of the Desert with Laurel and Hardy; King Vidor's The Stranger's Return with Lionel Barrymore, Miriam Hopkins, Franchot Tone; John Cromwell's Sweepings with Lionel Barrymore, William Gargan; Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse with Rudolf Klein-Rogge; Francis Martin's Tillie and Gus with W. C. Fields, Alison Skipworth, Baby LeRoy.
Twentieth Century Pictures is organized by Hollywood film producers who include Darryl Zanuck of Warner Brothers (see Twentieth Century Fox, 1935).
London-born journalist Sheila Graham (née Lily Shiel), 25, comes to New York and begins the syndicated gossip column "Hollywood Today" that will eventually appear in 180 newspapers, rivaling Louella Parsons (see 1925) and Hedda Hopper (see 1936). Married at age 17 to John Graham Gilliam, a man of 42 who encouraged her to perform in musical comedies, she debuted in the 1927 revue One Damned Thing after Another and has lately been writing theater articles for London periodicals (see Nonfiction, 1958).
Motion picture pioneer Lewis J. Selznick dies of a heart attack at his Beverly Hills home January 25 at age 62; Fatty Arbuckle of a heart attack at New York's Park Central Hotel June 29 at age 46 (three juries acquitted him of any wrongdoing in connection with the 1921 San Francisco scandal but bad publicity ended his career); Renée Adoree dies of tuberculosis at her Tujunga, Calif., home October 5 at age 35, having made 45 films between 1918 and 1930.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is founded in September at a private men's club (The Masquers) in Los Angeles with a board of directors that includes James Gleason, Lucille Gleason, Ralph Morgan, and Alan Mowbray. The Guild's goal is to negotiate fair wages and working conditions for all performers, "from the highest-salaried star to the struggling extra." Actors' Equity tried to organize Hollywood performers in 1929 but had no success; Lew Ayres will join SAG in November of next year, the new group will gain American Federation of Labor (AFL) recognition in 1935, but the studios will not accept SAG's jurisdiction until 1937 and meanwhile will use detectives to sniff out members, who risk suspension.
The Screen Writers' Guild is organized at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel by Frances Marion and others to represent writers whose salaries have been cut by New York studio owners from $50 per week to $25. M-G-M pays Marion $3,000 per week, she and others set up headquarters at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cherokee to begin a process of seeking protection for all writers under the new U.S. Labor Codes. But collective bargaining with the producers will not begin until 1939, the first Guild contract will not be signed until 1942, and in 1954 the Guild will become part of the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
New York's Radio City Music Hall gets a new lease on life as the Rockefellers hire Kansas City-born vaudeville and movie-house treasurer Gustav S. "Gus" Eyssell, 32 (see 1932). He transforms it from a vaudeville house to a movie palace, charging 35¢ until 1 o'clock, 50¢ in the afternoon, and 75¢ in the evening. The Music Hall will start booming next year when S. L. "Roxy" Rothafel brings over his high-kicking "Roxyette" chorus girls from the Roxy Theater and renames them "Rockettes" (the first such chorus line, they were organized at St. Louis by Russell Markert, now 33, in 1925 as the Sixteen Missouri Rockets; see 1978).
Hollywood musicals: Lloyd Bacon's 42nd Street with Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, Nova Scotia-born dancer Ruby Keeler, 23, George Brent, music and lyrics by Al Dubin and Harry Warren, songs that include "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me"; Mervyn LeRoy's Gold Diggers of 1933 with Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, choreography by Busby Berkeley, music and lyrics by Al Dubin and Harry Warren, songs that include "We're in the Money," "Shadow Waltz," "Remember Your Forgotten Man"; Raoul Walsh's Going Hollywood with Bing Crosby, Marion Davies, music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed, songs that include "Temptation"; Lloyd Bacon's Footlight Parade with James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, choreography by Busby Berkeley, music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Irving Kahal, songs that include "By a Waterfall," "Honeymoon Hotel"; Thornton Freeland's Flying Down to Rio with Dolores Del Rio, Gene Raymond, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (a new dance team, with Rogers doing everything that Astaire does except backwards, wearing high heels), choreography by Nashville, Tenn.-born dancer Hermes Pan (originally Panagiotopulos), 28, music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Gus Kahn and Edward Eliscu, songs that include "Carioca," "Orchids in the Moonlight," and the title song; Walt Disney's The Three Little Pigs (animated) with music and lyrics by Frank E. Churchill, songs that include "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" by Ann Ronell (Disney's animated Mickey Mouse character receives 800,000 fan letters).
Warner Brothers arranges with animated-film producer Leon Schlesinger to release his cartoons on a regular basis as showcases for the studio's large music library (see Looney Tunes, 1930). Having produced 39 Looney Tunes films (one per month), Schlesinger produces Merrie Melodies films (directed by Kansas City-born Disney veteran Fritz Frelung, 27) that compete with Disney's Silly Symphonies but are more adult in content. His animators Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising quit Schlesinger over a budget dispute and take their Bosko and Honey characters to M-G-M, where they make Happy Harmonies cartoons, but most of his staff will soon return, and he will build a staff of outstanding musicians and animators (see 1936).
Broadway musicals: Strike Me Pink 3/4 at the Majestic Theater, with Lupe Velez, Jimmy Durante, Hope Williams in a show backed by bootlegger Waxey Gordon with opening-night tickets priced as high as $25 (printed on gold stock), music by Ray Henderson, lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and Lew Brown, 105 perfs.; Murder at the Vanities 9/8 at the New Amsterdam Theater (to Majestic Theater 11/6), with Janet Abbott, James Rennie, Olga Baklanova, Frank Kingdon, Bela Lugosi, book by Earl Carroll (who makes a cameo appearance on stage) and Rufus King, music by Richard Myers, Victor Young, Herman Hupfeld, John J. Loeb, and others, lyrics by Edward Heyman, Ned Washington, Paul Francis Webster, and Hupfield, 207 perfs.; As Thousands Cheer 9/30 at the Music Box Theater, with Marilyn Miller, Clifton Webb, Ethel Waters, New York-born actor Jerome Cowan, 35, book by Irving Berlin and Moss Hart, music and lyrics by Berlin, Edward Heyman, and Richard Myers, songs that include "Easter Parade," 400 perfs.; Let 'Em Eat Cake by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind 10/21 at the Imperial Theater, with William Gaxton as John P. Wintergreen, Victor Moore as Alexander Throttlebottom, Philip Loeb, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, 90 perfs.; Roberta (initially Gowns by Roberta) 11/18 at the New Ambassadors Theater, with Ray Middleton, George Murphy, Bob Hope, Fay Templeton, Tamara Geva, Sydney Greenstreet, book from the Alice Duer Miller novel, music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Otto Harbach, songs that include "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "The Touch of Your Hand," ("Lovely to Look At" will be added for a 1935 film version), 295 perfs.
Lyricist Adrian Ross dies at London August 10 at age 73.
Opera: Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence, 24, makes her debut 2/25 at the Paris Opéra as Ortrud in the 1850 Wagner opera Lohengrin. She will be the only singer to ride a horse on stage, as Richard Wagner intended, in the finale of Die Götterdämmerung; Belarus-born soprano Jennie Tourel (Davidovich), 32, makes her Opéra-Comique debut in the title role of the 1875 Bizet opera Carmen (Tourel is an anagram based on Anna El-Tour, her teacher in Paris); Arabella 7/1 at Dresden's Staatsoper, with music by Richard Strauss, libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Ballet: Les Presages (Destiny) 4/13 at Monte Carlo's Théâtre de Monte Carlo, with music by Petr Ilich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Leonide Massine.
First performances: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 by Béla Bartók 1/23 in a Frankfort radio broadcast; Concerto in C major for Two Pianos and Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams 2/1 in a BBC broadcast; School for Scandal Overture by U.S. composer Samuel Barber, 23, 8/30 at Philadelphia's Robin Hood Dell; Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich 10/15 at Leningrad; Charterhouse Suite by Vaughn Williams 10/21 at the Queen's Hall, London.
Stereoscopic sound fills Constitution Hall at Washington, D.C., April 27 as members and invited guests of the National Academy of Sciences hear music transmitted over wires from Philadelphia's Academy of Music while Leopold Stowkowski at Washington fiddles with the controls of three speakers (see 1932). EMI engineer Alan Blumlein receives a British patent for his monaural system June 14, it employs two widely spaced loudspeakers, and he will use it in January of next year to record a performance of Mozart's 1788 Symphony No. 41 in C major (Jupiter) conducted by Thomas Beecham, employing a stylus that vibrates in two directions to record one channel of sound in a groove laterally and then recording another sound in the same groove vertically, but Blumlein's system is flawed and it will be some years before it can be perfected.
Popular songs: "Basin Street Blues" by Spencer Williams, whose work was published in small orchestra parts 4 years ago; "Only a Paper Moon" by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E. Y. Harburg, Billy Rose; "Lazybones" by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by vocalist Johnny Mercer, 23; "Love Is the Sweetest Thing" by Ray Noble; "Stormy Weather--Keeps Rainin' All the Time" by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler; "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" by U.S. songwriter Billy Mayhew; "Dolores" by Paramount songwriter Frank Loesser, 23, lyrics by Louis Alter (for the film Las Vegas Nights); "Sophisticated Lady" by Duke Ellington, lyrics by Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish; "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?" by Harry Revel and Polish-born songwriter Mack Gordon (originally Morris Gittler), 29 (for the film Sitting Pretty); "Everything I Have Is Yours" by Burton Lane, lyrics by Harold Adamson (for the film Dancing Lady); "Let's Fall in Love" by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler (title song for film); "I Wanna Be Loved by You" by Johnny Green, lyrics by Billy Rose, Edward Heyman; "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town" by Joe Young, John Siros, Little Jack Little; "I Cover the Waterfront" by Johnny Green, lyrics by Richard Heyman; "It Isn't Fair" by bandleader Richard Himber, Frank Warshauer, Sylvester Sprigato, lyrics by Himber; "Minnie the Moocher" by band leader Cabell "Cab" Calloway, 26, who plays at gangster Owney Madden's Cotton Club in Harlem, lyrics by Irving Mills (when Calloway forgets the lyrics he "scat" sings "Hi-de-hi-hi" and gets an enthusiastic audience response); "The Old Spinning Wheel" by Billy Hill; "I Like Mountain Music" by Frank Weldon, lyrics by James Cavanaugh.
Michigan-born jazz trumpeter Melvin James "Sy" Oliver, 22, joins the Jimmie Lunceford dance band and begins to develop a reputation for innovative arrangement and a distinctive "growl" sound. Mississippi-born band leader Lunceford, 31, started his professional career 4 years ago, having organized a student orchestra at Memphis; his band's renditions of "Organ Grinder's Swing" (1936) and "For Dancers Only" (1937) will help make it a rival of the Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman bands, but after Oliver joins Tommy Dorsey as arranger and singer in 1939 the Lunceford band's popularity will begin to decline.
Songwriter-journalist Stoddard King dies of sleeping sickness at Spokane, Wash., June 13 at age 43.
The Augusta National Golf Club course designed by Scottish golf-course architect Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones opens on what once was a Georgia indigo plantation and will be the scene of major tournaments for generations (see Masters, 1934). The 365-acre course will be redesigned in 1947 by English-born golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, now 26, who is no relation to Bobby but will often collaborate with him.
Former heavyweight champion James J. Corbett dies at Bayside, N.Y., February 18 at age 66.
Italian prizefighter Primo Carnera, 26, of Argentina wins the world heavyweight title June 29. The 260-pound fighter knocks out Jack Sharkey in the sixth round of a championship bout at Long Island City, N.Y.
John Herbert Crawford, 25, wins in men's singles at Wimbledon, Helen Wills Moody in women's singles; Frederick J. "Fred" Perry, 24, (Br) wins in men's singles at Forest Hills, Helen Jacobs in women's singles.
An American League team wins baseball's first All-Star Game July 6 at Chicago's Comiskey Field, defeating the National League 4 to 2.
The New York Giants win the World Series, defeating the Washington Senators 4 games to 1.
The Philadelphia Eagles football team is founded by entrepreneur Bert Bell, 38, who heads a syndicate that has paid $2,500 for the National Football League franchise owned by the 9-year-old Frankford Yellowjackets; the Pittsburgh Steelers team has its beginnings July 8 in the Pittsburgh Pirates team founded by local horserace bettor and boxing promoter Arthur Joseph "Art" Rooney, 32, who has won $2,500 in one weekend at the track and uses it to buy the National Football League franchise. His team loses to the New York Giants 23 to 2 before a crowd of 25,000 in its opener at Forbes Field.
The first All-American Soap Box Derby is organized at Dayton, Ohio, by local newspaper photographer Myron E. Scott, 26, whose editor has told him to get pictures of children at play. Scott finds two boys coasting down Big Hill Road on wooden platforms which they have mounted on baby carriage wheels. He asks them to gather some of their friends who have made similar contraptions for a race, sees one rig that reminds him of a soap box, and comes up with the name. He persuades the paper to sponsor a series of local races during the summer, and next year the event will attract 40,000 spectators to watch more than 300 contendersll boysace down Burkart Hill. The Chevrolet division of General Motors will agree to sponsor the event, and it will be moved in 1935 to Akron, partly because that city's four big tire manufacturers want it and partly because the people of Dayton have found it disrupting (see 1972).
Helen Jacobs is the first woman to wear shorts in U.S. tournament play (see Alvarez, 1931). Others still wear skirts knee-length or longer.
The mesh polo shirt invented by French tennis star René Lacoste is made of a piqué mesh cotton fabric and will become a classic (see Izod, 1951).
YKK slide fasteners begin to compete with Talon fasteners (see Sundback, Talon, 1913; "zipper," 1926). Finding himself out of a job because his employer has gone out of business after being charged with tax evasion, Japanese entrepreneur Tado Yoshida, 26, invests the equivalent of $170 to start a new company under the name Yoshida Kabushiki Kaisha, employs two former associates, and within a few months has hired 10 girls to run his machines, imitating U.S.-made zippers for the growing Japanese clothing industry. YKK will grow to become the world's largest producer of zippers.
The Dy-Dee Doll that sucks water from a bottle and wets its diaper is introduced by New York's Effanbee Doll Co., which has acquired patent rights from the doll's Brooklyn inventor Marie Wittman. More than 25,000 are sold in its first year and production will continue through the 1950s.
Vaseline inventor Robert A. Chesebrough dies at Spring Lake, N.J., September 8 at age 96 (he retired in 1909, dove from the springboard of the Beach Club pool 2 years ago, and ascribed his longevity to the fact that he ingested some of his product each day).
Dreft goes on sale October 10; introduced by Procter & Gamble for dishwashing in hard-water areas west of the Appalachians, the first hymolal-salt detergent is costlier than soap but will prove a popular addition to Ivory soap, Oxydol, Camay, and Crisco (see Persil, 1907; Tide, 1946).
Windex for cleaning windows is introduced by Cincinnati-based Drackett Co. of 1921 Drano fame.
Roto-Rooter Services Co. has its beginnings in the world's first electric drain-cleaning machine, invented by Des Moines plumber-engineer Samuel O. Blanc, 50, who 6 years ago helped his son clear a clogged drain at the young man's apartment. Determined to find a better and faster way, he has used a one-sixth horsepower washing machine motor, roller-skate wheels, and a length of 3/8-inch wire to create a device whose blades cut tree roots out of sewer lines without digging up the ground. Blanc sells his machine for $250 each to people who take them to their home towns and go into business.
Philip Morris cigarettes go on sale in the United States (see 1858; 1902). The musical Ferde Grofé Show that airs on radio beginning April 17 features a commercial opening in which four-foot-tall New Yorker Hotel bellboy Johnny Roventini, 22, cries, "Call for Phil-lip Mor-ris" over a portion of Grofé's 2-year-old Grand Canyon Suite.
Chicago gangsters kidnap St. Paul, Minn., brewer William Hamm Jr., 39, of the Theodore Hamm Brewing Co. June 15 and hold him for a ransom of $100,000. The ransom demand is lowered, money is paid, Hamm is released unharmed June 19, he helps police find his abductors, and four men are indicted. One of them, Willie Sharkey, hangs himself in his St. Paul prison cell December 1 at age 39.
Gangsters thought to include Charles A. "Pretty Boy" Floyd open fire with machine guns June 17 in front of Kansas City's 16-year-old Union Station and kill bank robber Frank Nash together with four federal agents who were escorting Nash to Leavenworth Prison; it will turn out that Floyd, a member of the John Dillinger gang, was not involved in the "Kansas City Massacre" (see 1932; 1934).
Architecture, Real Estate
New York's 70-story RCA Building (GE Building beginning in 1990) opens in May at 30 Rockefeller Plaza as Rockefeller Center construction proceeds under the direction of Reinhard and Hoffmeister, Corbet Harrison and MacMurray, and Hood and Fouilhoux, who will design all the Rockefeller Center buildings put up in this decade. The small British building opens in May, La Maison Française in September, both on Fifth Avenue.
Congress establishes the Home Owners Loan Corp. (HOLC) June 13 as mortgage foreclosures average 1,000 per day (see 1932). HOLC will grant emergency loans of more than $4 billion in the next 4 years to avert foreclosures.
Sheraton Corp. of America has its beginnings at Cambridge, Mass., where Boston entrepreneur Ernest Henderson, 36, and his Harvard classmate Robert Lowell Moore take over the Continental Hotel that opened the day the stock market crashed in 1929. By 1937 Henderson and Moore will have bought up stock for as little as 50¢ a share in Standard Investing Corp., used the firm's capital to finance acquisitions that include a small Boston residential hotel called the Sheraton despite its Hepplewhite decor, and used the name Sheraton to identify all their properties.
Architect Adolf Loos dies at Kalksburg outside Vienna August 23 at age 62; Addison Mizner has died of heart disease at Palm Beach February 5 at age 60, having created $50 million worth of flamboyant structures for jaded millionaires.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created by Congress March 31 under the Unemployment Relief Act (Reforestation) will enlist more than 3 million young men in the next 8 years. The CCC will plant more than 2 billion trees, build small dams, aid in wildlife restoration, and tackle erosion problems not only in the continental United States but also in Puerto Rico and other U.S. possessions (see 1935).
Drought continues on the southern plains, and dust storms increase in number and intensity (see 1932). Strong winds blow away topsoil and drive sand into houses, obliging desperate families in rural areas to hang wet sheets over windows and make other efforts to keep out the dirt, which still gets into food and lungs (see agriculture [dust storms], 1934).
A Soil Erosion Service started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps farmers learn tilling methods that will minimize erosion. The seriousness of the problem gains recognition when a great dust storm November 11 to 13 sweeps South Dakota topsoil as far east as Albany, N.Y. (see 1909; 1935).
The new Tennessee Valley Authority will erect dams to control floods in the Tennessee Valley region, and the federal government will build 24 new dams and cuts on the upper Mississippi River between Minnesota and Cairo, Ill., to reduce flooding (see Flood Control Act, 1928; but see also 1993).
An earthquake in Japan's Sanriku prefecture March 2 leaves 2,990 dead; a quake in China August 25 kills an estimated 10,000.
China's Huanghe (Yellow River) floods its banks, as it does most years, but this time it creates such devastation that 18,300 are killed (see 1957).
Oregon's Tillamook Burn in August wipes out 12 billion board feet of virgin timber. Friction from a falling tree has touched off the fire that advances along an 18-mile front, littering beaches for 30 miles with charred fragments and raining still smoldering debris on ships 100 miles at sea.
U.S. farm prices drop 63 percent below 1929 levels as compared with 15 percent for industrial prices since industrialists can control production more effectively than can farmers (see 1932). Cotton sells in February at 5.5¢/lb., down from a 1909-1914 average of 12.5¢, and wheat sells for 32.3¢/bushel, down from an average of 88.4¢.
The Tennessee Valley Authority will improve agriculture in the Tennessee Valley region, making Alabama's backwoods Sands Mountain region the nation's most profitable small-farming area, with the emphasis on raising corn and feeding it to chickens for production of poultry and eggs.
The Jones-Costigan Act (Sugar Act of 1934) signed into law by President Roosevelt May 9 protects beet growers without raising tariffs by requiring that at least half of all U.S. sugar needs be supplied by domestic producers and grants subsidies to those producers. The Sugar Act allows prices far above world levels to help friendly nations that sell to the United States. Quotas are assigned to offshore producers, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, and the Department of State will use those quotas over the years to reward or punish foreign nations depending on how cooperative they are to U.S. interests (see Cuba, 1960).
An Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) voted by Congress May 12 authorizes establishment of an Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) within the Department of Agriculture (see 1938).
A Farm Credit Act passed by Congress June 16 consolidates rural credit agencies under a Farm Credit Administration.
An Emergency Farm Bill becomes law in June, and the AAA sets out to restore farm income by reviving 1909-1914 average prices for wheat, dairy products, cotton, tobacco, corn, rice, sugar, hogs, and peanuts. Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, now 44, orders limitation procedures to compensate for the fact that the AAA was established after most crops were planted and pigs were farrowed. He has some 400,000 farrowed pigs destroyed and 330,000 acres of cotton plowed under. His action raises prices but outrages many farmers, who consider it virtually a sacrilege, and the resulting redundancy of labor on Southern plantations initiates a movement of black and poor white sharecroppers and tenant farmers to northern cities (see cotton picker, 1949).
Congress creates the Commodity Credit Corp. in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy surpluses, supervise loans, and handle any subsidies payable to farmers for reducing their crop acreage (see 1930; 1935).
Midwestern farmers strike in October to force up prices by withholding products from market. They complain that the AAA has no real power (see 1932).
The world wheat price falls to an historic low of £4 per cwt, where it will remain through 1934. An International Wheat Agreement approved at London in August establishes country-by-country export quotas for the 1933 and 1934 harvests and provides for a 15 percent worldwide reduction in wheat acreages for next year; representatives of Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the United States sign the agreement, but Argentina exceeds her quota by 1 million tons, enforcing the acreage limitations will prove impossible, and the IWA will soon collapse.
The Roca-Runciman Agreement signed by Britain and Argentina guarantees the latter a fixed share in the British market for meat and bars any tariff on imports of Argentine cereal grain imports. Argentina agrees in return to some stipulations with regard to trade, currency exchange, and British business interests in Argentina.
At least a million destitute U.S. farm families receive direct government relief. While farm prices begin to inch up, a farmer must pay the equivalent of nine bushels of wheat for a pair of work shoes, up from two bushels in 1909.
Roughly 25 percent of U.S. workers are engaged in agriculture, down from nearly 50 percent in 1853 (see 1950).
Golden Cross Bantam corn permits U.S. farmers to increase their yields, which still average only 22.8 bushels per acre of land (see East, Shull, 1921; Pioneer Hi-Bred, 1926). The first commercial hybrid grain to be planted on a large scale, Golden Cross Bantam meets with resistance from farmers accustomed to open-pollinated corn. Farmers balk at buying hybrid seed, especially for plants which require far more work (every other row must be detasseled, and that can mean 5,000 to 8,000 tassels per acre). Those who do plant hybrid seeds increase their yields dramatically.
Anaheim, Calif., grower Walter Knott, 43, rediscovers the boysenberry developed in 1920 and makes it the basis of Knott's Berry Farms. He harvests five tons of the long, reddish-black berries per acre but will later turn the place into a 190-acre amusement park.
Farm families on the southern plains are reduced for the most part to subsisting on cornbread and beans as they go through a third consecutive drought year.
Switzerland prepares for a possible war: a federal decree reduces the size of cattle herds to make the nation independent of foreign grain imports. Further decrees will forbid the sale of hard cheese, including Emmenthaler (the oldest, most important Swiss cheese, generally exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 to 220 pounds each) until it is at least 1 year old and, later, 2 years, in order to build a large emergency stock of cheese as a source of protein.
U.S. biochemist Robert R. Williams, 47, isolates an antiberiberi vitamin substance from rice husks. Born in India, Williams began his professional career at Manila, where beriberi is a major health problem, but it takes a ton of rice husks to produce less than 0.2 ounce of the vitamin substance (see Suzuki, 1912; vitamin B1hiamine, 1936).
Austrian chemist Richard Kuhn, 33, at Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute isolates a heat-stable B vitamin (see 1932; vitamin B2iboflavin, 1935).
Polish-born Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichenstein, 36, and his colleagues at the University of Basel synthesize vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (see King, 1932). Synthesis will lead to mass production of the vitamin (see Haworth 1934).
Borden Co. introduces the first vitamin-D fortified milk (see 1930). Children are the chief victims of vitamin D deficiency and the chief consumers of milk.
British Colonial Medical Service physician Cicely D. Williams, 40, describes a deficiency disease with symptoms that include edema, bloated stomach, cracked skin, red or dirty gray hair, and even dwarfism. The disease is common among infants at Accra in the Gold Goast, and Williams will use its African name, kwashiorkor, in a 1935 report for the British medical journal Lancet, calling it the disease "the deposed baby gets when the next one is born," indicating that it may be caused by a lack of mother's milk. It will later prove to be a worldwide protein-deficiency disease that goes under different names in different countries.
Illinois-born physician H. Trendley Dean, 40, of the U.S. Public Health Service undertakes epidemiological studies that will relate a lack of fluoride intake to tooth decay (see McKay, 1916). Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa) hired Illinois-born chemist Gerald J. (Judy) Cox, now 38, in 1930 to investigate the possibility that ingesting aluminum in drinking water might contribute to mottled teeth by interfering with the metabolism of lime and phosphorus in foods to form insoluble phosphates. He reported 2 years ago that this association was likely, but it will soon be proved erroneous (see Cox, 1939).
Columbia University economics professor Rexford Guy Tugwell wins appointment as assistant secretary of agriculture and head of the Food and Drug Administration. Now 42 and a self-proclaimed socialist, Tugwell vows to give "human rights" priority over "property and financial rights"; he begins campaigning for a new pure food and drug law (see 1938).
"Reg. Penna. Dept. Agr." appears on packages of crackers, pasta, snack foods, and similar foods following adoption of a Pennsylvania state law ordering that bakeries and other premises producing such foods be licensed and inspected periodically for minimum cleanliness and worker health. Any company producing such foods must have its production facilities inspected, wherever they may be, if the foods are to be sold in Pennsylvania.
Food And Drink
Ritz crackers are introduced by National Biscuit Co. and will be the world's largest-selling crackers within 3 years. Crisper and less fluffy than soda crackers. They are butter crackers made with more shortening, no yeast, spread with a thin coating of coconut oil and sprinkled with salt after baking. Nabisco bakes 5 million of the new crackers; by 1936 production will be at the rate of 29 million per day.
Ford Motor Company's Industrialized American Barn at the Chicago fair demonstrates margarine made from soybeans. Ford chemical engineer Robert Boyer, 34, has developed soy plastics for horn buttons, gearshift handles, and control knobs and is working on ways to substitute soybean forms for conventional foods (see 1937).
Kraft Miracle Whip Salad Dressing is introduced by National Dairy Products. A spoonable product with a unique taste, it combines the best features of two existing products, boiled salad dressing, which is usually homemade, and mayonnaise, creating a new product category. Fancy cooks have for years gone to great labor to make boiled dressing for use on coleslaw, fruit salads, and the like; Miracle Whip will come to be used on sandwiches, tomatoes, and the like and will grow to outsell mayonnaise in the United States.
Typical U.S. food prices: butter 28¢/lb., margarine 13¢/lb., eggs 29¢/doz., oranges 27¢ /doz., milk 10¢/qt., bread 5¢ per 20-oz. loaf, sirloin steak 29¢/lb., round steak 26¢, rib roast 22¢, ham 31¢, bacon 22¢, leg of lamb 22¢, chicken 22¢, pork chops 20¢, cheese 24¢, coffee 26¢, rice 6¢, potatoes 2¢, sugar 6¢.
The wholesale price of sugar falls to 3¢/lb. on the New York market; Puerto Rico has widespread hunger as wages are reduced (see 1920).
More than 11 percent of U.S. grocery store sales are made through 18,000 A&P stores (see 1929; 1937).
Canned pineapple juice is introduced to Americans at the Chicago World's Fair. Dole experimented with pineapple juice as early as 1910, but without a process to rupture pineapple cells and release their flavor and aroma the product was poor. Two Dole engineers developed such a process last year, increasing recovery of juice from the fruit and opening up new horizons for pineapple growers and canners.
Sunsweet Prune Juicehe first commercial prune juices introduced by the Duffy-Mott Co. under an agreement with Sunsweet Growers (see 1932; apple sauce, 1930; apple juice, 1938).
Congress legalizes sale of 3.2 beer April 7 and the first team of Clydesdale horses to promote Budweiser Beer appears a day later (the eight bay-colored Clydesdales used to pull the Budweiser Wagon are the idea of Augustus Busch II, whose Anheuser-Busch has survived Prohibition by producing commercial yeast and sarsaparilla).
Brewing Corp. of America is founded by Cleveland entrepreneurs who take over an abandoned auto plant with money received in the liquidation of Peerless Motor Co. They will introduce Carling's and Black Label beers next year.
The prohibition against sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States that began early in 1920 ends December 5 as Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the Twenty-First Amendment repealing the Eighteenth Amendment after an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of hard liquor have been sold illegally. Former speakeasy hostess "Texas" Guinan has died of an internal infection at Vancouver, British Columbia, November 5 at age 49, leaving an estate of only $28,173, although she is known to have banked well over $1 million in the mid-1920s (see 1922). Twenty-two states and hundreds of counties remain dry by statute or local option, some states will permit sale only in stores controlled by a state monopoly (Pennsylvania will open the first state package store January 2 of next year), but U.S. per-capita consumption of beverage alcohol will increase in the next decade to 1.54 gallons per year, up from .90 gallons during Prohibition, and will rise in subsequent years to more than 2.4 gallons.
Repeal finds roughly half the whiskey aging in U.S. rack warehouses owned by National Distillers (Old Grand Dad, Old Taylor, Old Crow, Old Overholt, Mount Vernon).
Brewery trucks roll out December 5 with barrels bound for taverns, restaurants, hotels, and the like (most beer is still sold by the glass); only 31 U.S. brewers are ready to ship beer as Prohibition ends, but more than 100 new breweries will open in the next year (see cans, 1962).
Repeal of Prohibition dampens the boom in most soft drinks and in ice cream sodas.
7-Up is promoted as a mixer for alcoholic beverages by Charles Grigg of St. Louis, who renames his Lithiated Lemon and sells 681,000 cases of the soft drink (see 1929).
Coca-Cola sales tumble to 20 million gallons of syrup (2.5 billion drinks), down from a 1930 peak of 27.7 million gallons (3.5 billion drinks). A new automatic fountain mixer introduced by Coca-Cola Co. at the Chicago fair mixes the exact amounts of syrup and carbonated water, eliminating the chance of error by a counterman.
Pepsi-Cola is acquired by Loft candy store chief Edward Guth, who begins to market the drink in 12-ounce bottles (see 1920; Mack, 1934).
The E. and J. Gallo winery founded at Modesto, Calif., will become the largest U.S. wine maker. The father of Ernest Gallo, 24, and his brother Julio, 23, has committed suicide 6 weeks earlier after killing their mother with a shotgun. The two brothers have learned about winemaking from a book in the public library and they sink their savings of $5,900 into an operation that will grow to mammoth proportions.
Grape production in the Chautauqua-Erie grape belt of New York State declines precipitously as the repeal of Prohibition reduces consumer demand for grapes to be used for home wine making.
New York's Stork Club reopens with a liquor license in a five-story townhouse at 53½ East 51st Street (see 1929). A union controlled by mob boss Dutch Shultz runs Sherman Billingsley's dining room and harasses him for payoffs, but Billingsley obtains police protection, fires the employees, recruits new people, and will move next year to larger premises at 3 East 53rd Street, where his exclusive Cub Room will attract celebrities (see 1965).
Adolf Hitler outlaws abortion, orders the execution of abortionists, suppresses information about contraception, and encourages production of more "Aryans" by offering cash incentives to Germans who will marry and cash awards for each new infant born (see Lebensborn, 1935). Nazi authorities carry out 56,000 sterilizations of the "unfit" this year and will have sterilized 250,000 by 1940. German birthrates will increase in the next few years, but so will birthrates elsewhere as the world begins to climb out of economic depression.