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


Year in Review



Politics & Society

  • The Great General Motors Strike starts and spreads to six states pulling 45,000 men off production lines
  • John D. Rockefeller appoints William S. Farish president and CEO of Standard Oil of New Jersey
  • FloodlineThe Great Flood of 1937 swamps areas along the Ohio River
  • Joseph Kennedy, Sr., is named U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. His sons, Joe Jr. and John, both work as international reporters for their father
  • Feb. 13: Progressive Senator Robert M. LaFollette, jr. speaks out against the actions of the Supreme Court
  • The United States' first foreign trade zone : Staten Island, City of New York, opened February 1
  • Because of the Supreme Court's failure to pass many of President Roosevelt's recovery he sends Congress a message proposing to reorganize the Supreme court his proposal is termed "court packing"
  • The first claims under Title II of the Social Security Act were adjudicated and forwarded to the Social Security Board on February 27
  • Dust Storm Strikes West and Midwest
  • Economic recovery stops
  • Economy enters a second depression
  • On May 1, Congress passes the second Neutrality Act it is quicky signed by Roosevelt
  • HindenburgOn May 6 the Hindenburg explodes at Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 people
  • The "little steel strike" shuts down dozens of plants in seven states affecting 90,000 workers
  • Ten are killed in Memorial Day massacre in South Chicago
  • The President approves the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937,on June 24
  • On June 30 unemployment insurance legislation becomes nationwide with approved laws in all States
  • July 22: The Senate Votes Down the Court Packing Scheme - Senate rejects FDR's proposals for court reform
  • Congress passes the Fair Labor Standards Act giving sanction to the minimum wage and maximum work week
    • We Work Again: Works Progress Administration (WPA) film focuses on the benefits of their programs to African-Americans
    • Work Pays: Another Works Progress Administration (WPA) film, this one describing the benefits of public works projects to a diverse cross section of citizens
    • Man Against the River: governmental action in the aftermath of disastrous spring flooding
Recession of 1937-38 begins  
  •    October 5 President Roosevelt
    delivers the "quarantine" speech in Chicago
  •   Oct. 12: Fireside Chat #10
    New legislation proposed for the Special Session of Congress Roosevelt has called

 Science and Technology
  • Dupont pattens nylon invented by Wallace H. Carothers on Februay 16
  •   May 6: The Zepplin Hindenberg crashes at Lakehurst Naval Station, N.J., killing 35
  • On the Air the science and technology behind radio broadcasting
Polystyrene is offered to consumers in the U.S. by Dow Chemical.        
  • Nobel Prize for Physics awarded American Clinton Joseph Davison for for the experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals
1937 January 1937 February 1937 March 1937 April 1937 May 1937 June 1937 July 1937 August 1937 September 1937 October 1937 November 1937 December 1937
Arts and Culture
  • The Good EarthPearl Buck's The Good Earthpremiers in Los Angelos on January 29 and on February 2 in New York.
  • Pittsburgh wins the NCAA Football Championship
  • Glenn Miller Orechestra Debuts in New York City
  •   The 30s Jukebox
  • Popeye the Sailor Man :Cartoon
  • The Fall of the City, Archibald Macleish
  • From Dawn to Sunset:
    a film created by General Motors that celebrates American industry and the industrial worker. Made during the decade's most intnse anti-industrial protests
  • Federal Council of Churches of Christ of America, a relatively conservative organization, gives qualified support to some measures of birth control

  • Detroit Red Wings win the NHL Stanley Cup
  • Laurel and Hardy star in Way out West
Books Published in 1937
  • Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • The Good Society, Walter Lipmann
  • The Citadel, A. J. Cronin
  • The Rains Came, Louis Bromfield
  • Drums Along the Mowhawk, Walter D. Edmunds
  • War Admiral wins the Kentucky Derby. The son of Man O' War will go on to win the Triple Crown War Admiral
  • Pulitzer Prizes awarded: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for its exposure of wholesale fraudulent registration in St. Louis, Public Service; Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, Novel; You Can't Take it With You, by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, Drama; The Flowering of New England 1815-1865, Van Wyck Brooks, History; Hamilton Fish, by Allan Nevins, Biography; A Further Range, by Robert Frost, Poetry
  • At Wimbledon Dorothy Round defeats J. Jedrzejowska (6-2 2-6 7-5) and Don Budge defeats G. von Cramm (6-3 6-4 6-2)
  • A Day at the RacesOn June 11 The Marx Brothers release A Day at the Races
  • July 2: Amelia Earhart's plane goes down some 35-100 miles off the coast of Howland Island. She is presumed to have died attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world
  • Billy Burke wins golf's U.S. Open title by defeating George Von Elm by one stroke after two 36-hole playoffs
Songs Released in 1937
  • September 26, 1937 Bessie Smith dies of the injuries she received in a car crash.
  • NY Yankees d. NY Giants (4-1)to win World Series
  •    FBI Director Hoover blasts Lenient parole boards
  • Films Released in 1937
    • Dead End, Humphrey Bogart
    • The Good Earth, Paul Muni and Louise Rainer
    • Lost Horizon, Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt
    • Captains Courageous, Spencer Tracy Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleepy, Sneezy, et al
    • Grand Illusion, directed by Jean Renoir
    • The Prisoner of Zenda, Ronald Coleman
    • The Life of Emile Zola, Paul Muni
    • A Day at the Races, the Marx Brothers
    • Shall we Dance, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
    • Stage Door, Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers
    • A Star is Born, Janet Gaynor and Frederick March
    • Stella Dallas, Barbara Stanwyck
    • Topper, Cary Grant and Constance Bennett
  • The Life of Emile Zola wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, Spencer Tracy Best Actor in Captain Courageous; Luise Rainer as Best Actress in The Good Earth; Leo McCarey Best Director forThe Awful Truth
  • On January 2 Britain and Italy sign Mediterranean agreement.
  • January 23-30 The second Stalinist trial of "counterrevolutionaries" (treason trials) is held in Moscow. Thirteen of the fifteen defendents receive death sentences.
  • January 24 Goering sorders Heydrich to organize emigration of Jews still residing in Germany.
  • On January 27 Chancellor Hitler demands return of German colonies
  • Hitler formally abrogates the Treaty of Versailles.
  • On February 4 President Roosevelt begins an effort to "pack" the Supreme court
  • On March 21 Mit brennender Sorge, is read from the pulpits of all Catholic Churches in Germany on Palm Sunday.
  • The March of Time: U.S. claims Jarvis, Baker and Howland Island in mid-Pacific, locations crucial to trans-Pacific air travel
  • A decision is made that all German colored children are to be illegally sterilized.
  • The Duke of Windsor visits Germany at the invitation of Adolf Hitler. Windsor meets privately with Rudolf Hess
  • April 11 A new order from the German Ministry of the Interior deprives all Jews of municipal citizenship
  • April 20 General Franco declares Spain a totalitarian state and assumes dictatorial power.
  • April 26 German warplanes from the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion destroy the Spanish (Basque) town of Guernica during what is described as the first air bombardment of an undefended town in history. More than 1,600 civilians are killed.
  • On May 26 Egypt becomes a member of the League of Nations
  • On June 25 British Foreign Secretary Eden repeated statement of Nov. 20, 1936, that Britain would aid France and Belgium, if victims of unprovoked aggression.
  • June 3 Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson (Warfield) in Tours, France.
  • June 11 The Soviet "Generals' Trials," the third Stalinist purge trial, opens in Moscow.
  • July 7: The Chinese-Japanese military conflict at Marco Polo Bridge near Peking inaugurates Japan's all-out campaign to conquer in China.
  • Germany and Russia sign naval treaties with Britain on July 17.
  • July 19 Ettersberg, a new concentration camp, originally designed for professional criminals, is opened in central Germany. Its name is changed to Buchenwald on July 28.
  • July 28 Japanese troops occupy the Chinese capital of Peking.
  • The March of Time: Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
  • August 13 The German Ministry of Education orders all Germans knowing a foreign language to register with the government.
  • British Embassy cars attacked by Japanese in China on August 26.
  • August 29 China and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of nonagression.
  • Japan invades Manchuria, violating the Kellogg-Briand pact, setting it on the path to World War II
  • September 25-28 Mussolini and Hitler meet in Berlin.
  • Following a pervazive anti-semetic campaign Anti-Jewish riots break out in Danzig on October 23-24.
    • The March of Time: bodies of German volunteers in the Spanish Civil War are returned home
    • The United States attends the Nine-Power Conference on Sino-Japanese dispute at Brussels on November 3.Germany, Japan, and Italy refuse to attend.
    • On November 6 Italy joins the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern pact.
    • On November 15 Nine-Power Conference adoptd Anglo-Franco-Ameri­can declaration chiding Japan as aggressor.
    • November 9 Japanese troops occupy Shanghai.
      • The March of Time: Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War -- and what it portends
      • The March of Time: As the threat of war builds, Britains remember the armiswtice that ended WWI