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

Year in Review


Politics & Society

  • Congress passes Adjusted Compensation Act for immediate redemption of WWI bonus certificates.
  • New Jersey mother Mabel Eaton loses custody of her children due to her affiliation with the Communist Party.
  • Second Neutrality Act passed, adds prohibition of granting US loans to belligerents
  • Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act replaces Agricultural Adjustment Act
  • Bruno Richard Hauptmann executed for kidnapping and killing Lindbergh baby in 1932
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  • Socialist Party nominates Norman Thomas, Pres. Candidate
  • Eleanor Roosevelt hosts White House garden party for black female students of Washington's National Industrial School. School principal praises Roosevelt while Southern newspapers denounce her
  • Republicans nominate Alfred M. Landon & Frank Knox; Democrats nominate FDR & John Nance
  • Robinson-Patman Act prohibits price-lowering and monopolies
  • US Act passed granting Virgin Islands right to elect its own legislature
  • Mary McLeod Bethune named director of Negro affairs in the National Youth Administration. She is the first black woman to receive a major federal appointment
  • Walsh-Healet Public Contracts Act sets minimum wages, 8 hr days, 40 hr weeks, no child labor for companies with gov. contracts
1936 Miscellaneous
Educator Robert M. Hutchins publishes The Higher Learning in America
Gross national debt is $34 billion; gov. expenditures rise for relief programs
T. S. Eliot begins Four Quartets, finishes 1942
Electric guitars gain increasing popularity
38% of US families have annual incomes of less than $1000; poverty line is $1330 BBC broadcasts 1st world TV service with 3 hrs/day programming
Riefenstahl directs Nazi films Triumph of the Will and Olympia
General Mills introduces fictional "Betty Crocker"
  • FDR and New Deal attacked. Eighty percent of Americans endorse Rep. Party; The Literary Digest predicts a landslide by Landon
  • Boulder (Hoover) Dam on Colorado River completed creating Lake Mead, largest reservoir in US
  • San Francisco transbay bridge completed linking SF and Oakland
  • Luce publishes Life, weekly photographic news and feature magazine
  • FDR defeats Landon by landslide: 27,751,612 popular votes to 16,681,913; 523 to 8 electoral college votes
  • United Auto Workers begin sit-down strike at GM plant in Flint, Michigan; ends Feb 1937
sScience and Technology
  • The first building to be completely covered in glass is completed in Toledo, Ohio, for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company.
Science and Technology Advances
Chemist Robert R. Williams synthesizes thiamine (vitamin B)
Radium E. becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically Carrel & Lindbergh invent perfusion pump, first artificial heart used during cardiac surgery
Electroluminescence, later used for fluorescent lighting, is discovered
  • Hoover Dam Completed
Science and Technology Advances
Elec. engineer George H. Brown invents turnstile antenna, a standard for TV & fm broadcasting
US Weather Bureau begins showing fronts & isolines on weather maps
Carl Anderson wins Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the positron
Health Advances
Tampax, Inc. founded in New Brunswick, NJ; produces first commercial tampon
  • Generators at Hoover Dam begin to transmit electricity from the Colorado River 266 miles to Los Angeles, California.
January 1936 February 1936 March 1936 April 1936 May 1936 June 1936 July 1936 August 1936 September 1936 October 1936 November 1936 December 1936
Arts and Culture
  • Baseball Hall of Fame is established at Cooperstown, NY
  • The Green Hornet radio show debuts
  • Billboard magazine publishes its first music hit parade
  • Triple-A Plowed Under, the Federal Theater Project's first Living Newspaper opens in New York
  • The first stock car race is held in Daytona Beach Florida
  • Orson Welles directs all black cast in Macbeth for Negro People's Theatre, part of the Federal Theatre Project
  • Robert Frost's A Further Range, Robert E. Sherwood's Idiot's Delight, and Harold L. Davis' Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis win Pulitzer Prizes
  • George Kaufman and Moss Hart write Pulitzer Prize winning play You Can't Take it With You
Films Released in 1936
Camille -- Greta Garbo
Fury -- dir. Fritz Lang
The Great Ziegfeld -- Best Picture winner
Modern Times -- dir. Charlie Chaplin
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town -- dir. Frank Capra
Swing Time -- Astaire & Rogers
  • Benny Goodman becomes first bandleader to integrate racially his band by hiring pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton
  • Rose Coyle of Pennsylvania wins Miss America pageant
  • Playwright Eugene O'Neill is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

Songs Released in 1936

  • Edward VIII becomes King of England
  • The 1936 Winter Olympic Games opens in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
  • Germany denounces the Treat of Lacarno and reoccupied the Rhineland
  • US signs treaty with Panama enlarging Panama's authority in Canal Zone
  • Ethiopia falls to Italian Army. Haile Selassie flees
  • Hindenburg arrives at Lakehurst, N.J., the first scheduled transatlantic dirigible flight
  • S.S. Queen Mary, the largest liner afloat, arrives in NYC from England on its first voyage
  • Spanish Civil War begins when insurgents led by General Francisco Franco revolt against Spain's weak government in Madrid.
  • US announces it will not interfere in Spanish Civil War
  • Summer Olympics, Berlin, American Jesse Owens wins fours gold medals in track and field
  • Hitler and Mussolini sign the Rome-Berlin axis accord
  • FDR opens Inter-American Conference at Buenos Aires, nations will consult with US for "mutual safety"
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  • King Edward VIII abdicates his throne for American divorcee, Wallis Warfield Simpson
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