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Key: Politics and Society, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, World

Year in Review

Politics & Society

  • U.S. Senate ratifies Kellogg-Briand anti-war pact; Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. born
  • Members of New York Stock Exchange asked to authorize 275 additional seats; U.S. Congressman Oscar W. Underwood dies
  • Seeing Eye opens; it is the nation's first training school for seeing eye dogs.
  • Wyatt Earp dies in his sleep at 80.
  • Wyatt Earp
    Wyatt Earp

  • Henry Stimson accepts the position of Hoover's Secretary of State; a New York City report says the average girl, working 50 hours per week, earns $33.50
  • U.S. Congress authorizes the building of one aircraft carrier and 16 naval cruisers Valentine's Day Massacre
  • Seven Chicago gangsters killed by a firing squad of rivals by Al Capone's gang in an incident dubbed the "Valentine's Day Massacre"
  • U.S. Federal Reserve council favors a curb on stock speculation, but takes no concrete steps to limit it
  • A $2 billion merger creates the largest American bank, the National Bank of Commerce and Guaranty Trust
  • Herbert Hoover sworn in as President and gives his acceptance speech
  • Massive floods in Alabama
  • Prisoners riot at Leavenworth protesting overcrowding, graft by the guards, inedible food and unsanitary conditions.
  • 13 people are killed when a Ford air transport crashes
  • Stocks hit downturn in an 8.2-million-share day but rally.
  • Congress adopts an immigration policy that sets ratios for different countries of national origin
  • stocks drop as interest rates climb to 15 percent
  • U.S. Supreme Court upholds oil mogul Harry Sinclair's three-month sentence for contempt of Senate when he refuses to answer questions regarding the Teapot Dome scandal; his sentence begins on May 6
  • At the request of President Hoover, Congress meets in a special session to discuss tariffs and farm aid. Hoover favors an experimental farm board; Margaret Sanger's Birth Control Clinical Research Center in New York City is raided by police (newsclip )
  • As part of the ongoing battle between Governor Huey Long and the Standard Oil Company, the Louisianna House of Representatives passes an article of impeachment, threatening to reveal that a prominent newspaper publisher's brother was in an insane asylum, against the governor.
  • Textile mill strikes flare across the South
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  • An explosion in a Cleveland hospital leads to the death of 124 people to poison gas
  • Charles Lindbergh marries Anne Spencer Morrow
  • Despite a major stock market plunge in late March, the Hoover Economic Committee delivers a report -- started in 1921 -- states that there seems to be no limit to U.S. Consumer to consume. The keynote seems to be 1929 and All's Well
  • Use of the pocket veto by the president to prevent enactment of legislation is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Al "Scarface" Capone is arrested in Philadelphia for carrying a concealed weapon

    Al Capone
    Al Capone

  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. marries Joan Crawford
  • Florenz Ziegfeld signs deal with Goldwyn to produce movie musicals
  • President Hoover signs a farm relief bill, the Agricultural Marketing Act, establishing the Federal Farm Board to stabilize prices and fund farm cooperation
  • Hoover declares effective the water rights compact on the Colorado River thus removing the last obstacle to the construction of a dam near Boulder or Black canyons.
  • Ambassador to the Court of St. James and former Vice President Charles Dawes refuses to wear silk knee breaches to a reception at Buckingham Palace, instead favoring American-made long pants
  • 1924 Immigration Act goes into effect; quotas to be based on 1920 census population.
  • Women's Bureau of Labor Dept. demands housewives be included in federal census on employment.
  • Hoover formally proclaims that the Kellogg-Briand Pact, stating that all nations renounce war as an instrument of national policy, is in effect.
  • 1700 inmates riot and torch Albany, NY prison; 4 escape.
  • Speaking at Tammany Hall on Independence Day, Franklin Delano Roosevelt calls for a Declaration of Independence against Centralized Industrial Control in the form of corporate mergers.
  • Tamany Mayor James John Walker beats Republican Congressman Fierello LaGuardia by an 8-3 margin.
  • Leavenworth prison riot leaves one dead, many injured.
  • Eliot Ness, at the age of 26, forms "The Untouchables" in order to try to nab Al Capone.

    Eliot Ness
    Eliot Ness

  • Stock Market reaches all-time high of 381.
  • The construction contract for the Empire State Building is awarded.
  • Waves of selling drives stock market down.
  • The President of NY's National City Bank states: "I know of nothing fundamentally wrong with the stock market or with the underlying business and credit structure."
  • The trial of 16 men in Gastonia, Ga charged with the murder of a police officer during a melee between workers and the police. Seven were eventually found guilty and sentenced to 17-20 years.
  • Stocks crash in massive liquidations; total losses in the billions.
  • Black Thursday some 13,000,000 shares are sold in panic (see newsclip).
  • Fmr. Interior Sec. Fall sent to prison and fined for his part in the "Teapot Dome" scandal.
  • Stocks fall again.
  • Henry Ford announces he will raise wages in all of his factories in an attempt to bolster the economy.
  • US Sec. of State Stimson writes to both USSR and China in an appeal to them to stop fighting in the spirit of the Kellogg-Briand Pact they both have signed.
  • Hoover speaks to Congres. He declares that confidence in business has been reestablished and asks them for 1931 budget of $3.8 million.
Science and Technology
  • Sheffield farms, in New York, begins using wax paper cartons for milk instead of glass bottles; the Army aircraft Question Mark lands in Los Angeles after a record-breaking 11,000-mile,150-hours-and-40-minute flight
  • Commander Byrd explores 1,200 miles of Antarctica by plane
  • Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, proves that the Milky Way is not the only galaxy in the universe.
  • Albert Einstein announces a new theory relating gravity and electromagnetism
  • Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein

  • Universal Air Line offers the first in-flight movie
  • Copies of Einstein's Coherent Field Theory sells for 24 cents each
  • Lindbergh named aviation adviser to aeronautics branch of Dept. of Commerce

    Charles Lindbergh

  • Auto pioneer David Buick dies
  • Major Seagrave breaks the auto speed record, reaching 232.2 mph
  • General Motors buys the largest German car company, Opel AG
  • Twenty-one are killed in a Pittsburgh mine blast
  • Greyhound buys a fleet of double-deckers and plans to offer sleeping accommodations on the upper level
  • Auto pioneer Carl F. Benz dies
  • Racer Williams wins the first Grand Prix race at Monaco
  • American engineering Council announces plan for uniform traffic signals across the county
  • British pilots make record nonstop flight: the 4,130-trip from London to India
  • Twenty-five killed as tornadoes ravage the South
  • Frenchman Alain Gerbault completes a lone trip around the world in a sailboat
  • U.S. Army announces plan to use talkies in training
  • New York begins construction on the elevated West Side highway
  • Henry Ford signs an agreement with Soviet officials to build an automobile factory at Nizhni Novgorod

    Henry Ford
    Henry Ford

  • French Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel emerges as the queen of fashion
  • Bell Laboratories in New York demonstrates a system for color TV
  • German Institute for Physics awards Max Planck medal to Planck and Einstein
  • N.Y. Telephone records 100 phone calls/second.
  • First air service coast to coast. From Penn Station, NYC to LA, by both train and plane. Total travel time 3 days/3 nights.
  • Graf Zeppelin takes off from NJ on round-the-world flight.
  • Graf Zeppelin finishes round-the-world flight in NJ.
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh makes first solo flight.
  • Radio service opens between Costa Rica and NY.
  • Charles Lindbergh starts 10,000 mile air tour of South America.
  • First rocket plane makes successful test flight.
  • US Army pilot James Doolittle makes first flight using only radio controlled instruments for guidance.

    James Doolittle
    James Doolittle

  • Cmdr. Byrd begins exploration of Antarctica.
  • Edison, Ford and Hoover celebrate 50 years of electric light in Washington.
  • First transcontinental all-air service begins from NY to LA (with one overnight stop).
  • Patent for a coin-operated vending machine awarded to Sebastiano Lando.
  • Byrd returns from first flight over South Pole.
  • Inventor Vladimir Zworykin demonstrates cathode-ray electronic television receiver developed at RCA; 60 scan lines

    Vladimir Zworykin
    Vladimir Zworykin

1929 January 1929 February 1929 March 1929 April 1929 May 1929 June 1929 July 1929 August 1929 September 1929 October 1929 November 1929 December 1929
Arts and Culture
  • Georgia Tech beats California 8-7 in the 15th Rose Bowl game (see newsclip).
  • George Antheil's music premiers in Germany
  • Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band" (featuring "I've Got a Crush on You") opens in New York
  • Jazz opera "Jonny Spielt Auf" is a big hit at New York's Metropolitan Opera
  • Little, Brown, & Company publishes 150 previously unknown Emily Dickenson poems
  • Newspapers introduce readers to a new comic strip character, Popeye—the brainchild of Elzie Segar
  •   The 30s Jukebox
  • actress and social belle Lily Langtry dies at 74
  • Maribel Vinson wins the women's U.S. figure skating championship; Roger Turner wins the men's competition, and Vinson and Thornton Coolidge win in pairs
Books Released in 1929
  • The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
  • Red Harvest and The Dain Curse, by Dashiell Hammett
  • A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemmingway
  • Dear Judas and Other Poems, by Robinson Jeffers
  • Dodsworth, by Sinclair Lewis
  • Cup of Gold, by John Steinbeck
  • Look Homeward Angel, by Thomas Wolfe
  • Is Sex Necessary?, by E.B. White and James Thurber
  • Street Scene, by Elmer Rice
  • first musical comedy, The Broadway Melody is released
  • New Yorker Jules S. Bache purchases the only privately owned Raphael, "Giuliano de Medici," for $600,000
  • Coca-cola founder Asa G. Candler dies at 77
  • Metropolitan Opera baritone Titta Ruffo quits and signs contract with talkies
  • Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup
  • The popularity of baseball-player-turned-preacher Billy Sunday reaches fever pitch
  • Coquette, starring Mary Pickford, opens in New York
  • Johnny Miles of Hamilton, Ontario, wins the Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 33 min, 8.8 seconds
  • Madame X, starring Ruth Chatterson opens in New York
  • Art for Trades Sake: Commerce and Culture 1927-1934
  • Audrey Hepburn is born
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art acquires Jean Goujons "Descent From the Cross"; Pulitzer Prizes awarded to Scarlet sister Mary by Julia Peterkin (fiction), Life and Letters of Walter H. Page by Burton J. Hendrick (biography), The Organization and Administration of the Union Army 1861-1865 by Fred Albert Shannon (history), John Brown's Body by Stephen Wincent Benet (poetry), Street Scene by Elmer L. Rice (drama)
  • The first Academy Awards are held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Wings wins best picture, Emil Jennings wins best actor, and Janet Gaynor best acctress
  • L. McAtee rides Clyde Dusen to victory at the Kentucky Derby
  • Ray Keech, driving Simplex Special, wins the Indy 500.
  • Anne Frank is born
  • General Bramwell Booth, head of Salvation Army, dies
  • R.H. Macy & Co. announces its purchase of L. Bamberger & Co. of Newark
  • Bobby Jones wins U.S. Open golf tournament, beating Al spinosa by 23 strokes in a playoff
  • Frank Daredevil Jack Litkowski dives 138 feet from the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River, sprains thumb
  • Hoagy Carmichael writes Star Dust
  • "Showgirl" opens on Broadway starring Jimmy Durante.
  • Colleen Moore opens on Broadway in "Smiling Irish Eyes."
  • Mickey Mouse speaks his first words, "Hot dog!" in the short "The Karnival Kid."
  • At Wimbledon, American Helen Wills and Henri Cochet win their respective singles titles.
  • Helen Wills
    Helen Wills

  • Thorstein Veblen, social critic and author of "Theory of the Leisure Class," dies at 71.
  • Babe Ruth hits 500th home run against Cleveland Indians.
  • Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander breaks Christy Matthewson's games won record with 373.
  • US Open Tennis Championships are won by William Tilden and Californian, Helen Wills.
  • The comedy series, "Amos & Andy," makes its first appearance on NBC radio.
  • Amos & Andy
    Amos & Andy

  • Arnold Palmer born.
  • In Jackson, TN, a man told his wife not to put the cat out. She did; he shot her
  • Eugene O'Neill's play "Strange Interlude" is banned in Boston. It is then moved to the suburb of Quincy for its run.
Songs released in 1929
  • Philadelphia Athletics defeat the Chicago Cubs in five games to win World Series.
  • Thomas Wolfe's "Look Homeward, Angel" is published.
  • Fox Film Corp. sells first national holdings to Warners, says talkies have made slient films obselete.
  • NY's Museum of Modern Art opens its first exhibit featuring European Impressionists.
  • Count Basie makes his first record, "Blue Devil Blues," with Walter Page's Blue Devils, in Kansas City, Mo., for Vocalion Records.
  • Grace Kelly born.
  • NY radio station WEAF broadcasts first Puccini opera heard on air, "Madame Butterfly".
  • Cole Porter's "Fifty Million Frenchmen" opens on Broadway.
  • Paul Robeson, returning to Carnegie Hall after a three year absence in Europe, is received enthusiastically by the audience. He plans to return in January to play the Moor in Shakespeare's Othello
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  • German Thomas Mann awarded Nobel Prize in Literature for Buddenbrooks"
  • Walt Disney incorporates Walt Disney Studios, Disney Film Recording Co., and Walt Disney Enterprises into the company Walt Disney Productions, Ltd.
  • "Babes in Toyland" opens on Broadway.
  • The American Birth Control League holds it first conference in five years in Manhattan.
  • PGA Golf Tournament is won by Leo Diegel for the second year in a row.
  • Leo Diegel
    Leo Diegel

  • Georgia O'Keefe included in Museum of American Art exhibition Paintings by 19 Living Americans
  • S. Parker Gilbert, a reparations official, reports a stabilized German economy; headlines scream Germany Can Pay! and the long journey to WW II begins
  • Bolivia and Paraguay turn to Pan-American Union for arbitration of border dispute
  • Russia's Grand Duke Nicholas dies; King Alexander of Yugoslavia dissolves Parliament
  • Turkey adopts European metric system; in Russia, Bolsheviks reduce work day to 7 hours
  • Afghani King Amanullah abdicates, and Inayatullah assumes the throne
  • Soviet police arrest 150 followers of Leon Trotsky's for an alleged civil war plot
  • In Calcuta, the Hindu National Congress meets. Mahatma Gandhi demands that Britain grant India full and free Dominion or face a full but non-violent boycott of all British goods. Crowds burned huge piles of Made-in-England goods in the street
  • Joseph Stalin banishes Leon Trotsky

    Leon Trotsky
    Leon Trotsky

  • Germany accepts Kellogg-Briand Pact providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.
  • Mussolini signs the Lateran Treaty, recognizing the sovereignty of the Vatican
  • Chinese Rebels seize Hunan
  • 6,000 Fascists and 18,000 socialists march through Vienna
  • Negro singer Josephine Baker is banned from Munich stage for "indecent public behavior."
			  Josephine Baker
    Josephine Baker

  • Mexican Army rebels in eight northern cities challenging the anti-Catholic, largely Socialist Government.
  • Student protestors force Madrid University to close
  • In an article in the New York Times the exiled Leon Trotsky explains how Stalin seized power over the Russian state
  • Norwegian Prince Olaf marries Swedish Princess Martha
  • Chiang Kai-shek faces rebellion in two provinces only one year after uniting all China under the Nationalist banner. The rebellion in Shantung and Hunan provinces will be put down two months later
  • Roger Bannister is born; the British athlete will later become the first person to break the four minute mile.
  • First English translation of Erich Remarque's classic, All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • The Mexican revolt collapses, and four days later, Hoover asks War Department to protect Americans at Naco, Arizona
  • Persia signs Litvinov Protocol, calling for the abolition of war
  • Germany rejects new war debt totals
  • Mussolini's fasces incorporated into Italy's national coat of arms
  • Marshal Ferdinand Foch lies in state under the Arch of Triumph
  • Erich Muhsam stages a new play in Berlin, Sacco and Vanzetti
  • Prokofiev's The Player debuts in Brussels
  • in Berlin a police-Communist clash results in eight deaths
  • Owen Young's $27-billion war debt plans satisfy Germany and Great Britain, which is officially accepted on May 29
  • Thirty-three nations participate in Paris Fair
  • Austrian politician and founder of the Social Democratic Party, Adolf Braun, dies
  • Lord Rosberry, former Prime Minister and celebrated orator, dies at 82
  • In Britain, the Labor Party wins plurality, but not the majority
  • World's Fair opens in Barcelona.
  • World's Fair in Barcelona
    World's Fair in Barcelona

  • With Hoover's help, Peru and Bolivia settle 46-year border dispute-Tacna to Peru and Arica to Chile
  • Allies readjust the total sum of Germany's reparations. The new plan saves Germany millions and covers the Allies' war debts but not the total cost of reconstruction
  • The new, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald introduces his new Labor Cabinet, including its first woman, Margaret Bondfield
  • Seven die when a British Imperial Airways plane crashes into the English Channel
  • International conference on working women opens in Berlin
  • Mexican government signs peace treaty with Catholic Church, altering anti-religious laws
  • At London arms talks, U.S. urges Britain to show good faith by scrapping West Indian Naval Base
  • US Sec'y of State Stimson warns China and Soviets that, under the Kellogg-Briand Pact, they must settle dispute peacefully.
  • 48 nations sign Geneva Convention papers regarding treatment of war prisoners.
  • Pope Pius XI becomes the first pontiff in 59 years to leave the Vatican.
  • Pope Pius XI
    Pope Pius XI

  • Chiang Kai-sheck seizes the 1,200 mile long railway through Manchuria built -- and owned -- by the Soviets. Two months later the Red Army will drive Nationalist Chinese forces out of Manchuria
  • The Hague in Holland hosts International Conference on Young Plan for German reparations.
  • Soviets and China on verge of war over Manchuria situation.
  • Border skirmish breaks out between Soviets and Chinese
  • Young Plan adopted at The Hague.
  • Months of incessant fighting between Jews and Muslims culminates in the Hebron Massacre.
  • French Premier Briand makes first proposal of a European Union at the League of Nations.
  • Heavy fighting reported on Manchuria border between Soviets and Chinese.
  • Voldermaras, dictator of Lithuania, is overthrown.
  • Fighting breaks out between Jews and Muslims at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall followed by mass demonstrations in Syria, Iraq, Arabia and Transjordan calling for a Holy War
  • Yugoslavia founded
  • Hitler and Nationalist leader Hurenberg head massive demonstration against the Young Plan on WWI reparations.
  • The Soviet Union and Britain re-establish diplomatic relations.
  • Allies remove some of their troops occupying Germany's Rhineland.
  • Stalin expels Bukharin and other leaders from the Soviet Communist party.
  • Nikolai Bukharin
    Nikolai Bukharin

  • Stalin claims the successful beginning of the first 5-year plan, the movement toward industrialization, electrification, and mechanization and the eventual defeat of Capitalism
  • The Soviet Union and Turkey sign a non-aggression pact.
  • A group of scientists working near Peking find the skullcap of a prehistoric humanoid; it is one of the most significant anthropological finds ever.
  • The Soviet Union and China agree to a truce to end their war.
  • Miners in Britain gain the 7.5 hour workday.
  • Turkey allows women to vote.