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

Year in Review


Politics & Society

  • Reconstruction Finance Corporation established by the Hoover administration as an attempt to restart the economy
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes resigns from the Supreme Court
  • Albany: FDR enters presidential race. Campaign Song "Happy Days Are Here Again"
  • Hattie Carraway becomes first woman elected to the U.S. Senate (Arkansas)
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo named to U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy is born
  • Charles Lindbergh's baby is kidnapped, and a ransom is demanded and paid
  • Four protesters are killed during a riot at the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan
  • The 20th Amendment, which will move the presidential inauguration to January 20, is sent to the states for ratification
  • The Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act is passed, marking a victory for labor
  • Daughters of American Revolution ask for deportation of jobless aliens
  • Thomas Massie pleads insanity at murder trial in Honolulu; troops guard city divided by verdict
  • Rep. Edward Eslick dies on floor of House while pleading for the passage of the bonus bill; legislation later defeated by Senate
  • Hoover re-nominated on Republican ticket
  • Federal gasoline tax takes effect
  • The Democratic Party nominates Franklin Roosevelt as its presidential candidate
  • In his acceptance speech, Roosevelt introduces the phrase "New Deal"
  • The Relief and Reconstruction Act is signed by President Hoover to support state and local relief agencies
  • Led by General Douglass MacArthur, U.S. army troops force the bonus marchers out of their camp, and two policemen and two marchers are killed
  • New York Mayor Jimmy Walker resigns under charges of corruption
  • 15,000 begin five-day work week at General Motors
  • Wisconsin passes first unemployment insurance law
  • Hoover lays cornerstone for Supreme Court Building
  • FDR urges five-day work week, federal aid for unemployed
  • Democratic candidate Franklin Roosevelt wins the presidential election over the Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover
  • First woman is elected to the U.S. Senate: Hattie Caraway of Arkansas (who was earlier appointed to fill the unexpired term of her late husband)
  • In the Supreme Court case Powell v. Alabama, the Scottsboro Boys are granted a new trial
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated in Arlington National Cemetery
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Science and Technology
  • Edwin Land invents polarizing glass
  • T.H. Morgan publishes The Scientific Basis of Evolution
  • RCA demonstratesTV using a cathode-ray tube receiver
  • February 27: James Chadwick publishes his discovery of the neutron in Nature
  • George Eastman, founder of Kodak, dies (suicide)
  • April 14: John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton split the atom's nucleus
  • Chemist C.C. King isolates vitamin C
  • First yellow fever vaccine announced; developed by Sawyer, Lloyd and Kitchen
Amelia Earhart
  • King Camp Gillette, inventor of the safety razor, dies at age 77
  • Auguste Piccard sets high altitude record of nearly 10 miles in a hot air baloon
  • Rome: Marconi successfully tests first short-wave radio
  • Millions in Maine watch solar eclipse
  • August 2: Carl Anderson discovers the positron
  • In Cleveland, Jimmy Doolittle is the first person to fly over 300 mph
  • Einstein places age of Earth at 10 billion years
  • Zippo lighter invented by George C. Blaisdell
  • Walter Heisenberg wins the Nobel Prize for his work in quantum mechanics
  • Charles Sherrington and Edgar Adrian share Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on the function of neurons
  • Irving Langmuir wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry
  • Telephone service established between Hawaii and U.S.
1932 January 1932 February 1932 March 1932 April 1932 May 1932 June 1932 July 1932 August 1932 September 1932 October 1932 November 1932 December 1932
Arts and Culture
  • USC wins the the college football national championship by defeating Tulane 21-12 in the Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl logo
  • In the Lake Placid, NY, Winter Olympics, the U.S. wins 10 gold medals and has the best overall team performance
Films Released in 1932
  • Shanghai Express starring Marlene Dietrich
  • The Music Box, featuring Laurel and Hardy
  • Scarface, directed by Howard Hawks
  • Horse Feathers, featuring the Marx Brothers
  • I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, starring Paul Muni
  • The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff
  • A Farewell to Arms, starring Gary Cooper
  • Writer John Updike is born on March 18
  • Composer and "March King" John Philip Sousa dies at 77
  • Olympian Johnny Weismuller stars in the first Tarzan film
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs win the NHL Stanley Cup by defeating the New York Rangers
  • Paul Debruyn wins the Boston Marathon
  • Jack Benny broadcasts his first radio program: sponsored by Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Benny's radio career will span four decades
  • Pulitzer prizes given for Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth (fiction), Henry Pringle's Theodore Roosevelt (biography), John J. Pershing's My Experiences in the World War (history), George Dillon's The Flowering Stone (poetry), and the musical Of Thee I Sing (drama) by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Ira Gershwin
  • Burgoo King wins the Kentucky Derby
  • Gene Sarazen wins the U.S. Open golf tournament
  • Jack Sharkey defeats Germany's Max Schmeling to win the heavyweight boxing championship
  • Lou Gerhig ties record with four straight homeruns
  • Zippo lighter introduced
River Rouge Plant by Charles Sheeler River Rouge Plant by Charles Sheeler
  • 1932 Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles
    • The U.S. teams win 16 gold medals in the Summer Olympics (July 30-Aug. 14) in Los Angeles
    Books Released in 1932
    • Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway
    • Light in August, William Faulkner
    • 1919, John Dos Passos
    • The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett
    • Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell
    • Young Lonigan, James Farrell
    • Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
      Songs Released in 1932
    • John Wayne stars in Hurricane Express
    • Charles W. Chesnutt, author of stories such as "The Goophered Grapevine," dies
    •   Buck Rogers airs on CBS radio (Origin story broadcast April 4, 1938)
    • Cole Porter's Gay Divorcee opens on Broadway to limited success; features hit song "Night and Day"
    • Ubi Iwerks cartoon: Flip the Frog and the Depression
    • Charles U. Yeager introduces Bank Night in a Colorado theater; the idea of presenting a lottery for money and prizes along with the movie spreads rapidly across the nation
    • December 27: Radio City Music Hall opens
    • Academy Awards given to Grand Hotel (best picture), Fredric March for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (best actor), Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (best actress), and Walt Disney, for inventing the character Mickey Mouse
    • Army beats Navy 20-0 in football match held annually since 1890
    •   Fred Allen's Linet Bath Club Review Christmas Program
    • Japan invades China after the murder of a Japanaese Buddhist priest in Shanghai, takes control of Manchuria
    • U.S.S.R signs non-aggression pact with Poland
    • Unemployment reaches 6,000,000 in Germany
    • Ethiopia: Haile Selassie abolishes slavery
    • Hitler loses run-off election for the German presidency to Paul von Hindenberg
    • French President Paul Doumer assassinated; succeeded by Albert Lebrun
    Girl Before a Mirror?0?3Pablo Picasso Girl Before a Mirror, by Pablo Picasso
    • The Nazi party wins control of the Reichstag
    • After three weeks of negotiations, German reparation payments are suspended.
    • Turkey becomes 56th member of League of Nations
    • China: 10,000 die as Chiang opens campaign against Communists
    • U.S.S.R. signs non-aggression pact with Poland, Japan
    • German Chancellor von Papen bars Hitler from German government; Hitler predicts the Nazi Party's "total victory"
    • Germany: Hermann Wilhelm Goring is elected as Speaker of the Reichstag; Von Papen dissolves Reichstag after vote of no confidence
    • World Peace Conference convenes in Vienna Austria, attended by 80 delegats from 14 countries
    • Gandhi 5-day hunger strike in prison to protest separate electorate for untouchables; ends when Hindus and untouchables sign Poona Pact, allowing increased representation for untouchables
    • Iraq joins League of Nations
    • U.S.S.R. signs non-aggression pact with France
    • Germany lifts its ban on Nazi storm troopers as violence between rival political groups grows
    • 70,000 killed in massive earthquake in China