20 3rd Decade
20 th Century
Jan 21 John D. Rockefeller pledges $1,000,000 as relief for
Feb 12 Lenin has given his consent to move against rule in
Georgia by his old opponents within the socialist movement, the Social
Democrats (Mensheviks). The Republic of Georgia is invaded by the Red
Feb 20 Backed by the British, who are afraid of Bolshevik
expansion, a soldier in Iran, Riza Khan Pahlevi, marches into Tehran
with 2,500 soldiers and takes control of the government. Iran's corrupt
and ineffectual Qajar dynasty is abolished. In 1926, Riza Khan Pahlevi
is to be coronated King of Kings (Shahenshah).
Feb 21 Benito Mussolini joins his Fascist militia to Italy's
Feb 25 The Red Army enters the Georgian capital Tbilisi and
installs a Moscow-directed government.
Mar 4 Warren G. Harding is inaugurated as the 29th President
of the United States. Liberty and civilization were threatened he says,
but "we find them both now secure." He looks forward to America's new
era of Republican domination of the presidency and congress: "The
forward course of the business cycle is unmistakable. ... I know that
Congress and the Administration will favor every wise Government policy
to aid the resumption and encourage continued progress."
Mar 7 Hardship and Bolshevik authoritarianism is accompanied
by rebellion among the sailors at Russia's Kronstadt naval base. The
sailors call for "real Soviet power." After several days of fighting
the Red Army will crush the rebellion and chase surviving rebels across
the border into Finland.
Mar 13 A counter-revolutionary Russian army captures Mongolia
from China. Its leader, Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian von
Ungern-Sternberg, age 35, declares himself Mongolia's ruler.
Mar 16 The Soviets have decided to pursue trade opportunities
with the Western powers. A trade agreement is concluded with Britain.
Mar 18 The Bolsheviks want an end to the Polish-Soviet War.
They sign the Treaty of Riga, a settlement favorable to the Poles that
puts many Ukrainians and Byelorussians inside Poland. The treaty is to
be undone following the Hitler-Stalin Pact.
Mar 18 The Mongolian military leader Damdiny Sükhbaatar,
fighting on behalf of Mongolia's People's Part and heavily outnumbered,
defeats a Chinese force inside Mongolia. Into the 21st century this day
is to be a holiday in Mongolia..
Mar 21 For Lenin the Kronstadt rebellion is a sign of the
need to ease up wartime government authoritarianism. He begins what is
called the New Economic Policy. Lenin allows some free Markets to
reappear and small-scale capitalist industries to function. The Soviet
government stops forced confiscations of grain and allows peasants to
sell their surplus grain on the opened market.
Mar 23 A plebiscite in Silesia votes for re-annexation to
Mar 31 Abkhazia (in the Caucasus region) becomes an
autonomous republic within the Soviet Union.
Apr 1 Abdullah, a member of the Hashimite family, brother of
Faisal, becomes Emir of Transjordan.
Apr 11 Iowa becomes the first state to impose a cigarette tax.
Apr 14 In Britain, labour unions for mining, railway and
transportation workers call for a strike; the government threatens to
call in the army.
May 1 In Palestine, fighting breaks out between rival Jewish
socialist groups commemorating May Day (one of them belonging to a
communist party). Arabs hear of the fighting and assume Arabs are being
attacked. Within a week, in what will be known as the Jaffa Riots, 47
Jews and 48 Arabs will be killed. In the wake of the Jaffa Riot, Tel
Aviv will become a separate city, the first all Jewish municipality.
May 2 Poles in Silesia (an industrial area surrounded by
Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia) rise again against German rule.
They want to be a part of the new Polish republic. Uncertainty has
reigns among the Allies, France siding with the Poles and Britain and
Italy siding with the German claim that they could not pay war
reparations if they were to lose their Silesian industries. The crisis
will last to July. Silesia will be divided between Germany and Poland.
German-Polish hostility increases.
May 23 War crimes trials commissioned by the Allies of World
War I against Germans begins In Leipzig. Nine German veterans are
tried. Outside Germany the trials will be viewed as a travesty. In 1922
the trials will be quietly abandoned.
May 31 Tulsa has white migrants from the South. A prosperous
black community exists in the Greenwood district in Tulsa. An incident
escalates into an assault by whites into the Greenwood area. Businesses
will be set afire. There will be 39 official deaths and more than 800
Jun 30 The death penalty for all crimes in peacetime is
abolished in Sweden.
Jul 1 The Communist Party of China is officially founded in
Shanghai by a young librarian, Mao Zedung.
Jul 1 The Rif War (1920-26) is underway. In north-eastern
Morocco, Abd el-Krim's fighters present the Spanish with what will be
known as the disaster of Annua. Of some 20,000 Spanish troops an
estimated 8,000 are killed or disappear.
July 11 The Irish War of Independence (since January 1919)
comes to an end when a truce is signed between the British Government
and Irish forces.
Jul 11 Mongolian nationalists have asked for Red Army support
against anti-Communist (White) Russian troops. A combined Red Army
Mongolian force has defeated Baron Ungern von Sternberg's forces. The
Mongolian People's Party acquires political power. The country's
Buddhist spiritual leader and monarch, Bogd Kahn, remains as a
Faisal I, King of Iraq, formerly King of Syria, for three months in
1920. (Played by Alec Guiness in Lawrence of Arabia.)
He had wanted unity between Sunnit and Shiite in an Arab
state that would include Syria, Iraq and the rest of the
Fertile Crescent. But France and Britain had more
control in what had been part of the Ottoman Empire.
Jul 13 Famine in raging in Russia's Volga-Urals region.
Russia population this year will fall 3.8 percent. There will be
reports of cannibalism. The writer Maxim Gorky publishes an appeal "to
all honorable people" in the world for food and medicine.
Jul 28 Adolf Hitler becomes chairman of the National
Socialist German Workers' Party.
Aug 9 Albanian forces occupy Yugoslav territory, starting a
war to last into November.
Aug 21 After three weeks of difficult negotiations, the
Soviet Union agrees to allow the American Relief Administration to
function with some independence. Participants will include Herbert
Hoover's American Relief Administration, the American Friends Service
Committee and the International Save the Children Union. The first
feeding center will open in October.
Aug 23 Faisal, a brother of Abdullah I of TransJordan and an
ally with Britain against the Turks during World War I, is installed by
the British as King of Iraq. He is crowned in Baghdad.
Aug 26 Matthias Erzberger, an influential centrist Catholic
politician, who signed the armistice with the Allies, is hated by
German rightists. He is shot while on vacation. His assassins return to
Munich and are given false passports by the Bavarian Police.
Sep 2 At the Battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia an
army of 10 to 15 thousand miners and their families face a private army
of some 2,000 men and 2,100 state and federal troops. The fledgling US
Air Force drops a few bombs as a demonstration meant to overawe the
labor organizers. The death toll from the battle will be estimated as
fewer than 20 and more than 50.
Sep 3 In Horton Bay, Michigan, Ernest Hemingway (age 22)
marries Hadley Richardson, a wealthy debutante 8 years his senior.
Sep 16 The Greek army, favored by Turkey's World War I
enemies have been advancing, spreading their forces thin and extending
their supply lines. Kemal Ataturk checks the Greek advance at the
23-day Battle of Sakarya, which began on August 24. The morale of the
Turkish nation soars at Kemal's victory, adding to Kemal's strength.
Oct 1 An agreement concluded between the Soviet and the
Norwegian governments that regulates their relations, signed on
September 2, goes into effect. The Communist Party no longer faces an
acute military threat to its existence. The civil war in effect is
over. Russia is exhausted and its Great Famine continues, to last into
the spring of 1922.
Nov 9 In Italy, a paramilitary group declares itself a
political party: the National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale
Fascist). The party's leader (El Duce) is Benito Mussolini.
Nov 18 The war between Albania and Yugoslvia that began on
August 9 is resolved by a League of Nations conference that has defined
the border between these two powers.
Dec 6 British and Irish representatives sign a treaty in
London formally ending the Irish War of Independence. The treaty
provides for the creation of the Irish Free State. According to the
treaty, Ireland is to be a self-governing dominion within the
Commonwealth of Nations (a new term to replace the British Empire). Six
counties in north-east Ireland will have the option of withdrawing from
the Irish Free State within one month of the Treaty coming into effect
one year hence.
Dec 21 The US Supreme Court rules labor injunctions and
Dec 23 President Harding commutes the ten-year prison
sentence of the socialist and former presidential candidate Eugene
Debs, who has been in prison for the last four years for an anti-war
speech he had made in 1918. Harding disturbs some anti-Communists by
inviting Debs to the White House, where he shakes Debs' hand and says
Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo, the year he turns 24. He was
sobered as an ambulance driver during World War I.
Hemingway and his wife have been in Paris since December last year, in
a small apartment with no running water. By chance in February
he runs into the American poet Ezra Pound at a book store. Both believe
in writing that is clear, precise and economical.
They become friends. Hemingway writes an article for the Toronto Daily
Star, published on March 25, about the "scum of Greenwich Village,
New York" who hang out in Paris and condemn the work of
artists who have gained any degree of recognition.
Jan The year begins with the British Empire at its greatest
extent, covering one-fifth of the world's population.
Jan 7 The Anglo-Irish treaty, signed in December, is ratified
by Ireland's parliament, 64 to 57 votes.
Jan 12 The British government releases the remaining Irish
prisoners captured in the War of Independence.
Jan 26 Italian forces occupy Misrata in Libya, beginning a
reconquest of Libya. With tanks and aerial bombardment, Italian forces
will move deeper into Libya's interior, beginning an eight-year war.
Feb 6 The Washington Naval Treaty is signed by United States,
Britain, Japan, France and Italy. Its purpose is to prevent a naval
arms race. Japanese nationalist-imperialists are outraged. Japan's
Chief of the Naval Board, Commander Kato Kanji, claims that a war
between the US and Japan has begun. Among Japan's imperialists the view
of Britain as a potential enemy is enhanced.
Feb 8 President of the United States Warren G. Harding
introduces the first radio in the White House.
Feb 11 "April Showers" sung by Al Jolson leads in music
popularity in the US.
Feb 28 Britain unilaterally declares Egypt a sovereign state.
Egypt is no longer considered a British protectorate. Egypt's ruler,
Anglo-friendly Sultan Faud, will declare himself "King" on March 15.
The British are to continue controlling Egypt's foreign relations,
communications and military matters and to continue control over the
Sudan - considered a part of Egypt. British troops will continue to be
stationed in Egypt.
Mar 3 Mussolini's fascists occupy Fiume (on the north eastern
Adriatic coast and belonging to Hungary until the end of World War I).
The occupation is an appeal to Italian patriotism and in the weeks
ahead will be backed by regular Italian troops.
Mar 11 Mohandas Gandhi is arrested in Bombay for sedition
because of two articles he has written in his paper "Young India"
promoting boycotts and civil disobedience. He is to be given a six-year
sentence on March 22.
Mar 14 In British ruled Kenya, Harry Thuku (1895-1970), an
English speaking Kikuyu, former newspaper typesetter and telegrapher
and pioneer of modern African nationalism, has been arrested and
imprisoned. Two days later outside a police station, colonial police
clash with as many as 8,000 of his followers. Twenty-one are reported
killed. Thuku is exiled to today is Somalia.
Apr 3 Communist Party leadership chooses their comrade Joseph
Stalin as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet
Union's Communist Party, a position that Lenin wanted created, with the
recommendation that it be filled by Stalin.
Apr 7 The United States Secretary of the Interior Albert B.
Fall gives leases to drill at the Teapot Dome naval oil reserves in
Wyoming to two of his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair (Mammoth Oil
Corporation) and Edward L. Doheny (Pan-American Petroleum and Transport
Company), without open bidding.
Apr 16 The Treaty of Rapallo marks a rapprochement between
the Germany's Weimar Republic and Bolshevik Russia. Each renounces all
territorial and financial claims against the other. They agree to
normalise their diplomatic relations and to co-operate in meeting the
economic needs of both countries.
May Hostility toward Jews has been on the rise in the United
States. This month the President of Harvard University, A.L. Lowell,
advocates restricting Jewish applicants to his university. If higher
Jewish enrollment provokes greater prejudice against Jews, he asks,
"How can we cause the Jews to feel and be regarded as an integral part
of the student body?"
May 19 The 39-day conference at Geneva ends with the 34
participating countries failing to establish an agreement that would
improve the economic catastrophe created by the Versailles Peace Treaty
May 26 Lenin suffers his first stroke.
Jun 28 In Northern Ireland, members of the Irish Republican
Army have been responsible for numerous murders, bombings, shootings
and incendiary fires. They oppose the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in
December. They don't want a settlement that compromises the
independence of a unified Ireland. Today Ireland's civil war begins in
Ireland's capital, Dublin, when Ireland's government (which made the
treaty with Britain) using artillery loaned by the British, begins to
bombard the Irish Republican Army forces occupying government
buildings. The fighting in Dublin will last until July 5. The civil war
will extend well into 1923.
Jul This month, 563 German marks will buy one US dollar,
almost double the 263 needed eight months ago and dwarfing the 12 marks
in April 1929. The inflation had begun as a way to pay for the nation's
war effort. British and French economic "experts" are claiming that
Germany is destroying its economy with the purpose of avoiding
reparations. Others find fault with inadequate German government
intervention or German bankers and foreign investors finding wealth
enhancing opportunities. In August it will take 1000 marks for one US
Jul 20 What had been German rule in Togoland (in West Africa)
is divided into League of Nations mandates of French Togoland and
Jul 15 In Japan a small Communist Party sf founded. It's an
underground (secret) organization. But the government is aware of it
and outlaws it under its Peace Preservation Law. It would be the only
political party in Japan to opposed Japan's involvement in World War II.
Jul 31 In Italy, an attempt at a show of force by the
Socialist Party and Railwaymen's Union produces their call for a
general strike. The strike will give the fascist leader Benito
Mussolini renewed opportunity to posture as Italy's savior.
Aug This month, the presidents of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El
Salvador will meet on the USS. Tacoma in the Gulf of Fonseca (where
these three countries meet). The United States has economic interests
in the region, and the presidents will pledge to prevent their
territories from being used to promote revolutions.
Aug This month The Chamber of Commerce in Sharon Connecticut
is distributing leaflets urging property owners not to sell to Jews.
Aug 7 At the Waterville landing station in southwestern
Ireland, the Irish Republican Army cuts the Atlantic cable link between
the United States and Europe. This will serve nobody's interests.
Aug 22 Michael Collins, the hero of Ireland's war of
independence, is killed in an ambush by an IRA force.
Aug 26 The last battle of the Greco-Turkish war begins, the
Battle of Dumlupinar, to end September 9. The Turks are to suffer 2,318
killed, the Greeks nearly an equal number.
Aug 27 A large-scale attack by Turkish forces opens in
mountainous Afyon Province, in central Turkey, which has been occupied
by French, Italian and Greek forces since the end of World War I.
Aug 28 Diplomatic pressure by the United States and Great
Britain on Japan, plus increasing domestic Japanese opposition due to
the economic and human costs, results in the administration of Prime
Minister Kato Tomosaburo agreeing to withdraw its troops from Siberia.
Japanese casualties from its Siberian Expedition included some 5,000
dead from combat or illness and expenses in excess of 900 million yen.
Sep 9 Turkish forces pursuing withdrawing Greek troops enter
the city of Izmir (Smyrna) on the Aegean coast, effectively ending
Turkey war with Greece which began in 1919.
Sep 11 Britain's Mandate of Palestine is approved by the
Council of the League of Nations. The mandate makes legal Britain's
administration of territory, including Jerusalem, that had been a part
of the Ottoman Empire.
Sep 14 Greece's army has been pushed bact to Smyrna. The
Great Fire of Smyrna rages. The Greeks are forced to evacuate that city
on Greek ships under the supervision of Allied destroyers.
Sep 18 Hungary, what is left of it after the Treaty of
Trianon, joins the League of Nations.
Fascists marching to Rome with medals proudly displayed.
Mussolini is second from the left, wearing a sash.
Marching toward Rome to put Italy right. The Fascists have adopted the
movement tactics of the socialist left, where Benito (named after
Mussolini identified himself before the "glory" of World War I.
Oct This month 3,000 German marks will equal one US dollar.
Oct 1 George Ivanovich Gurdjieff opens his Institute for the
Harmonious Development of Man, at Fontainebleau in France. Gurdjieff is
a mystic who endeavors to take humanity to a higher state of
consciousness and achievement. He claims to have learned his wisdom
while traveling and studying in Central Asia. Signs of success in
harmony in societies in Central Asia did not exist. Nor would success
in harmony be forthcoming in Europe. He will attract admirers, and his
success will be in accumulating wealth.
Oct 18 The British Broadcasting Company is formed. It is
owned by the British General Post Office and six telecommunications
Oct 22 The fascist's seven-day march on Rome begins. It will
be described as having fewer than 30,000 participants. It is led by
bemedaled men expressing the machismo involvement in war.
Oct 28 Mussolini has the support of Italy's military,
business class and rightists. Prime Minister Luigi Facta is prepared to
stop the fascist insurrection and arrest its leaders. He has a state of
emergency drawn up for this, but King Emmanual III (barely five feet
tall) refuses to sign it. Instead he chooses Mussolini as Prime
Minister. Mussolini will form a cabinet of fascists and rightwing
Nov 1 In Turkey, the Ottoman Empire's Sultan Mehmed VI
abdicates, clearing the way for the creation of Turkey as a republic.
On the 17th he will leave for exile in Italy.
Nov 4 In the United States the Postmaster General orders all
homes to have a mailbox. Those preferring not to take orders from the
government are free not to have a mailbox, but they will have to
relinquish delivery of mail.
Nov 19 His cousin Sultan Mehmed VI having abdicated, Abdul
Mejid II, an avid collector of butterflies, carries on the tradition of
rule be accident of birth. He becomes Islam's Commander of the Faithful
on Earth (caliph).
Nov 24 Italy's parliament gives Mussolini dictatorial powers
for one year.
Dec 6 The treaty creating the Irish Free State, signed in
London on this day in 1921, becomes official.
Dec 7 Parliament for the six counties in north-east Ireland
takes the option accorded them in the Treaty of London (signed on
December 6, 1921) to remain associated with the United Kingdom, making
them apart from the Irish Free State.
Dec 11 Independence for Poland, previously ruled by tsarist Russia, has
been taking shape following World War I. Poles have been returning.
Today one of them, Gabriel Narutowicz, a professor of hydroelectric
engineering, who returned from Switzerland in 1920, takes the oath of
office as Poland's first president.
Dec 16 In Poland, Eligiusz Niewiadomski, a fervent rightwing
nationalist who had fought for Poland's independence, a modernist
painter and art critic, assassinates President Gabriel Narutowicz with
a handgun. Rightists were complaining that the president's election had
come with the support of Reds (communists), Jews and Germans. The
assassination accomplishes nothing for the rightists. The new president
will be Stanislaw Wojciechowski, a scientist.
Dec 30 Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Transcaucasia come
together to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It consists
of peoples who had been within the tsarist empire. This includes the
republics of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
The Bolsheviks (Communists) ruling what was now the USSR are
ideologically anti-empire, and they consider the republics equal
participants in the union.
Jan 2 In Florida a white woman fearful of being caught in an
affair has falsely claimed that she was raped and beaten by a black
man. The local Ku Klux Klan takes action and attacks the residential
town of 120 black people: Rosewood. At least eight people in Rosewood
are killed. The town is burned to the ground and abandoned.
Jan 4 In New York City a psychologist and pharmicist from
France, Emile Coué, proclaims that positive thinking can cure diseases.
He recommends chanting "every day, in every way, I'm getting better and
better." He believes in the efficacy of medicines but also in will
power. He will die in 1926. Whether he died chanting is unknown.
Jan 10 Poland and Lithuania have recently regained their
independence and have conducted territorial war against each other.
Both have claimed the region around the city of Vilnius, which has a
mixed population. Polish occupational forces there have been deeply
resented by Lithuanians. Unfruitful negotiations have taken place in
the League of Nations, and today Poland annexes the area.
Jan 11 Germany has been defaulting on its reparation payments
in coal to France. Britain favors limits on reparations from Germany
for the sake of reconstruction and economic growth for everybody.
France has been taking a hard line, and France's President Raymond
Poincaré has decided to occupy Germany's Ruhr, the center of Germany's
coal and steel production, to force coal deliveries to France. Germany
responds with passive resistance, The orator Adolf Hitler will feed off
outrage among the Germans. His political party, or movement, will be
growing rapidly. A police report to be issued in the summer of will
estimate that the party rose from 6,000 to 35,000 in Munich alone, and
to approximately 50,000 in all of Bavaria.
Jan 24 The United States withdraws the last of its troops
from Germany, from the Rhine, vacating the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress,
which is promptly occupied by the French.
Feb 2 Britain's Air Commodore Charlton takes up the post of
Chief Staff Officer at the headquarters of the RAF's Iraq Command.
Within a year he will resign in opposition to the bombing of Iraqi
Feb 16 Bessie Smith (1898-1937) makes her first recording,
"Down Hearted Blues."
Mar 2 In Italy, Mussolini says that women have a right to
vote, but he declares that the time is not right for it.
Mar 3 The US Senate rejects having the US as a member of the
International Court of Justice.
Mar 5 Montana and Nevada pass the first old age pension
grants in the US, grants of $25 per month, $333 in 2012 dollars..
Mar 9 Vladimir Lenin suffers his third stroke, which renders
him bedridden and unable to speak. He will now be retired from his
position as Chairman of the Soviet government.
Mar 31 In New York City, the first US dance marathon ends.
Alma Cummings (age 32) sets a world record of 27 hours on her feet. Six
younger male partners helped her.
Mar 31 In the Ruhr, French soldiers fire on workers at the
Krupp factory. Thirteen die.
Apr 6 Louis Armstrong makes his first recording, "Chimes
Blues," with King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
May 24 In Ireland, Irish Republican Army (IRA) fighters, who
oppose the 1921 treaty with Britain, have been told by their leader,
Frank Aiken, to "dump arms" and return home. They are told that
"further sacrifice on your part would be in vain." The Irish Civil War
May 15 Britain convinces the Abullah, second son of the
Hashimite Emir of Mecca, not to attack the French. Abdullah agrees.
Britain rewards him with rule in the area to be called the Transjordan.
On this day, Britain recognizes Transjordan as a state.
May 27 in Bavaria, Heinz Alfred Kissinger is born.
Jun 9 Prime Minister Aleksandar Stamboliyskii has signed the
Treaty of Niš with the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes – to
correct instabilities created by World War I. Today, Stamboliyski and
his government are overthrown by right wing factions of the Military
League, the National Alliance and the army, with Aleksandar Tsankov, a
Professor of Political Economy, as leader. He becomes Prime Minister.
In five days, Stamolisyski will be arrested, brutally tortured, his
hand that signed the treaty cut off, and his head sent to Bulgaria's
capital, Sophia, in a box of biscuits.
Jun 9 In the US, Brinks unveiled its first armored security
Jul 20 Pancho Villa is assassinated at Hidalgo de Parral,
Chihuahua, by a team of gunmen waiting for him while he is driving his
Dodge roadster home from the bank.
Jul 24 The Treaty of Lausanne is signed. It officially ends
the war between Turkey and Allies (Britain, France, et cetera). It
defines the borders of the modern Turkish state except for its border
with Iraq. Turkey gives up all claims to the empire beyond these
borders, bringing an end to the Ottoman Empire after 624 years.
Jun 28 Pope Pius XI criticizes the French for their
occupation of the Ruhr. He sees international relations as having grown
Jul 31 Inflation in Germany has seen the number of marks
needed to purchase a single American dollar reach 353,000 – more than
200 times the amount needed at the start of the year. With Germany's
industries idle, scarcity has added to the increase in inflation, and
Germany is printing money to pay its bills and to give to people out of
Aug 2 Warren Harding dies of a heart attack. Vice President
Calvin Coolidge becomes President.
Aug 13 Gustav Stresemann is named Chancellor of Germany.
Aug 17 Britain has been uneasy about Japanese imperialism.
Today the Anglo-Japanese Alliance is officially terminated, a step in
the direction of war in 1941.
Aug 25 In Britain a ten-man committee headed by a
conservative Member of Parliament, Sir Frederick Sykes Sykes, rejects
advertising for the BBC, believing it would lower standards. The
committee recommends a 10 shillings licence fee to fund broadcasts.
Aug 27 In Ireland a general election goes to the political
party that has favored the 1921 treaty with Britain – the Cumann na
nGaedheal. It has won 63 seats in parliament. The party opposed to the
treaty, Sinn Féin, wins 44 seats. Political Power in the Irish Free
State will remain with the Cumann na nGaedheal and its leader, WT
Aug 27 An Italian general and three of his assistants are
assassinated by unknown assailants in Kakavia, on the border between
Albania and Greece. In two days Mussolini sends an ultimatum to Greece
demanding reparations. None is received and on the 31st Italy bombs and
occupies the Greek island of Corfu, killing at least fifteen civilians.
Sep 1 An earthquake – 7.9 on the Richter scale – hits Tokyo
and surrounding areas. Rampaging flames follow that destroy 694,000
homes. Unfed homeless people roam the city. They include people of
Korean descent. Pacts of Japanese attack and murder the Koreans – men,
women and children – wherever they can find them. Some Chinese are also
slaughtered. Police with a conservative and national security
orientation take advantage of the quake and fires to strike against
people with dangerous ideas. Police swoop down on hundreds of labor
leaders and known socialists, communists and anarchists.
Sep 10 Ireland joins the League of Nations.
Sep 13 An aristocratic military officer, Miguel Primo de
Rivera, has the support of Spain's king, Alfonso XIII, and the army. He
takes power in a military coup, overthrowing the Liberal Party's
somewhat progressive Prime Minister Manuel García-Prieto. Many in Spain
who are not a part of the labor movement are tired of turmoil and
economic problems and look for a strong leader to produce clarity and
order. Primo de Rivera promises to eliminate corruption and to
regenerate Spain and to serve only ninety days. He sets up a
dictatorship, bans trade unions, censors the press and stays in power
for years. His government will also do a
lot of investing in infrastructure. Barcelona will have its Metro in
1924. By 1930, Spain will have Europe's best network of automobile
Sep 20 In Bulgaria, the Communist Party allied with the
Agrarian Patry and others rise against the illegal rightists government
led by Alexander Tsankov. Tsankov does not have popular support but he
has the military. He crushes the uprising quickly with outrages against
populations in regions that have revolted against him, with
particularly large atrocities around the town of Ferdinand. Communists
and Agrarians are massacred, including some not taking part in the
uprising. Casualties among the civil population will amount to more
Sep 26 Germany's Chancellor Stresemann announces the end of
passive resistance against the French occupation of the Ruhr. He argues
that there was no other way to get hyperinflation under control. This
provokes hostility toward him from the extreme right. The government In
Bavaria declares a state of emergency and installs a dictatorship led
by Ritter von Kahr. Von Kahr wants to imitate Mussolini's march on
Rome. In collaboration with Hitler's followers he plans a march on
Berlin to install a dictatorship at the national level.
Sep 27 Greece has appealed to the League of Nations regarding
Italy's occupation of Corfu. Italy and Greece have agreed to be bound
by the decision of the League's Conference of Ambassadors. The
Conference orders Greece to apologise and pay reparations. Greece
accepts, and today Italian forces leave Corfu.
Oct 23 Unrest rising from France's occupation of the Ruhr
continues. The Communist Party in Hamburg (around14,000 members)
doesn't have the votes to win power in Hamburg, but it moves to
overthrow Hamburg's government. They attack twenty-four police stations
in and near the city. In some areas street barricades are built. Most
of the uprising is quelled within a few hours, but street fighting
continues into the next day. The uprising adds to the antagonism
between Germany's Communists and Social Democrats, who a decade later
might have benefitted from unity against the political Right and
Hitler. The uprising alarms Germany's middle class and helps give
credence to claims from Hitler concerning a communist menace. Stalin
has been urging restraint by Germany's Communists. His rival in Moscow,
Trotsky, is eager for armed revolution.
Oct 25 A United States Senate Subcommittee reveals what will
become known as the Teapot Dome scandal. It's about corruption
regarding oil reserves. Albert B. Fall, former Secretary of the
Interior in the Harding administration, will be found guilty of
conspiracy and bribery and will serve one year in prison.
Oct 29 An African-American show called "Runin' Wild"
introduces the Charleston, a dance seen by whites as cheerfully
Nov This month the Social Democratic Labour Party of Norway withdraws
from the Comintern (Communist International). A minority of its
membership forms the Communist Party of Norway and stays associated
with the Comintern. The Social Democrats are on their way to becoming a
dominant political party, describing its policies as in the interest of
working people. The Communist Party will be described as playing "an
important role in the resistance to German occupation during the Second
World." Then it will decline.
Nov 8 In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads his followers in an
unsuccessful attempt to take charge of the Bavarian dictatorship and
planned coup for Berlin. The Munich coup will be known at the Beer Hall
Putch. Hitler has as an ally the former general and war leader Erich
Nov 9 Police and army forces crush the Hilter-Ludendorff coup
attempt. Four policemen and fourteen of Hitler's supporters – mostly
youths – have died. Hitler has promised to shoot himself if his coup
failed, but he reconsiders. In two days Hitler will be arrested. Hitler
will stand trial. Ludendorff, considered a millitary hero, will not.
Nov 15 Inflation in Germany peaks. One United States dollar
is worth 4,200,000,000,000 marks.
Nov 23 Germany's Social Democrats are upset with Chancellor
Gustav Stresemann. Stresemann's coalition government ends. After three
months as chancellor, Stresemann resigns. Wilhelm Marx of the Centre
Party becomes chancellor, with Stresemann hanging on as Foreign
Dec 21 Nepal's status changes from a British protectorate to
an independent naton.
Dec 31 The Sahara desert is traversed by an automobile.
Dec 31 Norway's Labour Party, founded in 1887, has been a
member of the Comintern (Communist International) since 1918. This year
it leaves the Comintern and establishes its identity more clearly as
Social Democratic. A minority of its members leave the party and form
the Communist Party of Norway.
Dec 31 This year, North Dakota has outlawed dancing on
Jan 21 Vladimir Lenin, age 53, has been mute and bedridden
since March last year. Today he dies.
Jan 23 Russia changes Petrograd to Leningrad.
Jan 23 Lenin is moved from Petrograd to Moscow. Mourners
gather at every station along the way. His body will be put on display
at the House of Trade Unions, and in the coming days a million mourners
from across the Soviet Union will wait in line for hours in the
Jan 25 The French government signs a treaty of mutual aid
with Czechoslovakia regarding the possibility of an unprovoked attack
by a third country, i.e. Germany.
Jan 27 Lenin's body is put in a wooden tomb by the Kremlin
Wall in Moscow's Red Square. A granite Mausoleum will soon be built, in
which Lenin's head and hands will be visible to visitors.
Jan 31 A constitution is ratified by the Congress of Soviets.
It is a treaty that embodies separate nations – Belorussian, Ukrainian,
Transcaucasian – into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Feb 1 The new British labour government, led by Ramsey
McDonald, recognizes the Soviet Union.
Feb 2 The Turkish National Assembly formally abolishes the
caliphate that for more than four centuries had been claimed by sultans
of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire ends. The caliphate's
authority and properties are transferred to Turkey's Grand National
Feb 3 Woodrow Wilson dies
peacefully after a long illness. A former opponent in politics,
Republican President Calvin Coolidge, and Mrs Coolidge, express their
condolences and will attend the funeral.
Feb 7 Prime Minister Mussolini's government recognizes the
Feb 24 After servicing less than two years of a six year
sentence for sedition, the British release Mohandas Gandhi from prison
due to ill-health following surgery to treat his appendicitis. Gandhi
wants to avoid political action and focus on writing about improvements
Mar 8 At the coal mine near Castle Gate Utah, an employee
investigating gas near the roof of the mine attempts to relight his
lamp with a match which ignites the gas and coal dust, setting off an
explosion powerful enough to launch a mining car, telephone poles, and
other equipment nearly a mile from the entrance to the mine. The steel
gates of the mine are ripped from their concrete foundations. Recovery
of the bodies will take nine days. All 171 miners, ages 15 to 73, die.
Most (126) are immigrants: 50 native-born Greeks, 25 Italians, 32
English or Scots, 12 Welsh, 4 Japanese, and 3 Austrian or Southern Slav.
Mar 9 Squabbling over the Adriatic port city of Fiume (today
Rijeka and a part of Croatia) has had some resolution. A city of mostly
Italians (24,000 in 1910) but also Hungarians, Croatians and others has
been settled by diplomats and their Treaty of Rome, giving the city to
Italy. Today, Italy annexes it.
Mar 15 A presidential election is won by Horacio Vásquez
Lajara, an American ally. With his inauguration in July the United
States will end its eight-year occupation of his country, the Dominican
Mar 25 Greece proclaims itself a republic. Greece's king has
been George II, 33, the grandson of a Dane, George I (r. 1863-1913) and
the son of Sophia of Prussia. Parliament asked His Majesty to leave
Greece so the nation could decide what form of government it should
adopt, and George II did so late last year, to his wife's home country,
Romania, but he refused to abdicate. A referendum on April 13 will
express the public's desire to have a republic rather than a monarchy.
Apr 1 Adolf Hitler is sentenced to 5 years in jail for his
participation in an attempt with General Ludendorff to take power in
Munich, late last year. Hitler had promised to shoot himself if his
coup failed – mere bombast. Ludendorff, seen as a military hero, has
not been charged or tried. Germany's judiciary is conservative and has
great respect for its veteran generals. Hitler was a mere corporal.
Apr 27 A group of Alawites kill several nuns in Syria. French
troops retaliate and kill Alawites.
April 28 The Benwood Mine Disaster in West Virginia kills 119
men. Another coal mine has exploded. The majority of the miners killed
are recent immigrants from Poland, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Serbia,
Hungary, Austria, Russia, the Ukraine and Lithuania.
May 31 Lenin's widow has mailed his testament to the Communist Party's
Central Committee. Contrary to Lenin's wishes before his final stroke,
a Party Congress ends without the document having been read to the
delegates. The document is critical of Stalin and his allies Kamenev
and Zinoviev. These three, the most influential members of the Party,
are protecting their status in the Party by keeping the document
secret. It will be published in 1925 in the United States by Max
Eastman, an admirer of Stalin's rival, Leon Trotsky.
May 24 President Coolidge signs into law the Immigration Act
of 1924. It includes the Asian Exclusion Act which bars immigration
from Japan, China, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia,
Singapore, Burma, Malaya, India and elsewhere in Asia. In Japan,
anti-American rises. Some newspapers in Japan denounce the law as an
"insult" or "a slap in the face." Japan lodges a formal protest through
its embassy in Washington and declares May 26, the effective date of
the legislation, a day of national humiliation.
Jun 2 Coolidge signs a bill making all Native Americans born
within the territorial limits of the United States citizens of the
United States. Accompanying this act is the Revenue Act of 1924.
Jun 10 Mussolini's Fascists kidnap and kill Italian socialist
leader Giacomo Matteotti. Prime Minister Mussolini is perplexed. He
Jun 12 Ho Chi Minh has left Paris and is in Moscow. He
attends the Fifth Comintern Congress and urges Communists from West
European countries to agitate more against the evils of colonialism.
Aug 16 A plan by an international commission chaired by a
Chicago banker, Charles G. Dawes, has been accepted by the former
allies of the last great war. The plan provides for France ending its
occupation of Germany's Ruhr region and for a staggered payment plan
for Germany making its reparation payments. Many French people believe
their government is being too lenient with the Germans. Many Germans
think their country paying reparations to France is nonsense.
Aug 28 In Georgia, one of the republics within the Soviet
Union, an insurrection against Soviet rule has been organized across
the country. In one area the rising starts today, a day early, and
alarms Moscow. Stalin, a Georgian, immediately sends the Red Army
against the insurgents. A book published in 1999, The Black Book of
Communism, by Harvard University Press, will describe the Soviet regime
as having killed 12,578 between August 29 and September 5 and as having
deported about 20,000 people to Siberia and Central Asian deserts. The
failed insurrection will leave pro-independence Georgians either
exterminated or powerless. Georgia's Tiflis University will be purged
of "unreliable" elements and placed under the complete control of the
Communist Party, with substantial changes made to its curriculum.
Sep 9 In the Hawaiian Islands, Filipino agricultural workers
are on strike demanding a wage of $2 per day and reduction of the
workday to eight hours. Plantation owners have been employing strike
breakers, and strike leaders have been arrested and people have been
bribed to testify against them. Outraged strikers seize two strike
breakers and prevent them from going to work. The police, armed with
clubs and guns, arrive at union headquarters to "rescue" the strike
breakers. Strikers are armed with homemade weapons and knives. The
reported result is sixteen Filipinos and four policemen killed, to be
known as the Hanapepe massacre. The police round up protesting workers
and arrest 101 Filipinos. Seventy-six will be brought to trial and of
these sixty will receive four-year jail sentences.
Oct 19 Hussein bin Aii, of the Hashimite family that claims
direct descent from Muhammad the Prophet and a family that has ruled
the Hejaz in unbroken succession since 1201 (to be played by Alec
Guiness in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia), has declared himself
Caliph. He has lost the Battle of Mecca against the Saudi warlord Ibn
Saud. On this day, Ibn Saud declares himself protector of the holy
places in Mecca.
Nov 4 President Coolidge, of the Republican Party, who had
stepped into the presidency from the vice presidency, wins the
presidency in his own right. The Democratic Party had split between a
conservative, John Davies, and Robert LaFollete, who ran as a
progressive. Coolidge wins in a landslide, running like Davis on a
platform of limited government, reduced taxes and less regulation. The
public has given Coolidge credit for a booming economy. Coolidge didn't
leave the Whitehouse to campaign. Davis is described as having lost
votes because of his denunciation of the Ku Klux Klan and his defense
of black voting rights when he was Solicitor General in the Woodrow
Nov 11 Ho Chi Minh arrives in Guangzhou, China. This is where
Vietnamese running from the French go. Ho becomes an assistant to
Michael Borodin, the Soviet Union's advisor to Sun Yat-sen. Ho begins
organizing Vietnamese in exile and directing rebel activities in
Nov 27 New York City has its first Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Dec 1 A coup attempt in Estonia staged by Communists, most of
them from the Soviet Union, fails. Of the 279 actively participating in
the coup, 125 are killed in action. Later, more than 500 people will be
arrested. Government forces lose 26 killed.
Dec 15 In a letter to Prime Minister Baldwin, Winston
Churchill considers the chance of a war against Japan. Churchill
writes: "I do not believe there is the slightest chance of it in our
lifetime." (Modern Times, by Paul Johnson, p.175.)
Dec 20 Hitler is released from prison after 8 1/2 months of
comfort and book writing. His failed coup attempt in 1923 has turned
out to be a success. He has made a name for himself. The book is Mein
Kampf (My Struggle).
Dec 31 Earlier this year, Stalin wrote a book titled
Foundations of Leninism, supporting Lenin's position that the Bolshevik
revolution of 1917 needs revolutions in other countries. A second
edition of the book is published that deviates from Lenin's position.
Stalin goes along with a Party theoretician, Nikolai Bukharin, who is
arguing that socialism could be built in a single country, even an
underdeveloped one like Russia. Stalin would rather have better
relations with capitalist powers rather than antagonize them with
Soviet sponsored subversion. Stalin favors Communist Parties in
capitalist countries joining forces with non-communist "bourgeois"
parties. This puts him opposite Leon Trotsky, who will be the champion
of "Permanent Revolution".
Jan 3 Benito Mussolini dissolves parliament and becomes a
Feb 19 President Coolidge (1923-29) proposes phasing out the
Feb 27 In Munich, Adolf Hitler resurrects his political party.
Mar 2 Japan's House of Representatives recognizes male
Mar 4 The inauguration of Calvin Coolidge's for his first
full four-year term as president is broadcast live on twenty-one radio
stations coast-to-coast. Many homes now have radio receivers. Dance
bands broadcast from dance halls, radio stations and hotels.
Mar 12 Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen dies of
cancer. Within the Guomintang, Within the Guomindang, rivalry between
moderates and leftists will now intensify. Youthful Guomindang
political organizers will begin extending Guomindang authority
May 12 Germany's President Ebert, a Social Democrat, has
died. Germans elect the conservative and mendacious 81 year-old wartime
national hero General Paul von Hindenburg. He hates the Social
Democrats and will do what he can to keep the government out of their
hands despite their size in parliament. In eight years he will appoint
Adolf Hitler as Germany's chancellor.
Mar 23 Tennessee's Governor Austin Peay signs a law that
prohibits the teaching of evolution. He states that "the very integrity
of the Bible in its statement of man's divine creation is denied by any
theory that man descended or has ascended from any lower order of
May 31 For sixteen weeks, Kurds in the Kurdistan region of
Turkey have been in rebellion against Turkey's effort to repress
Kurdish identity. The rebellion also opposes Turkey's secularism and is
to be described as nationalist dressed in religious garb. It is the
first large scale rebellion of the Kurdish national movement, and the
rebellion's 15,000 fighters are crushed militarily. Sheikh Said and all
the other rebel leaders will be hanged on June 29.
May 5 The American Civil Liberties Union wants to test
Tennessee's new law against teaching evolution. A group of businessmen
in the town Dayton, Tennessee, has been looking for publicity for their
town, and they have talked a local teacher into using a textbook that
has a chapter on evolution. The teacher, John T. Scopes, is arrested
for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
May 30 In China, students and labor unionists associated
within the Guomindang have been directing their energies against
British and Japanese commercial interests in China and a boycott of
British and Japanese goods. A strike for higher wages at a Japanese
owned cotton mill in Shanghai results in the mill's management
committing brutalities against strike supporters. British municipal
police fire on and kill thirteen demonstrators. China's Communist
Party, fervently anti-imperialist, expands from a few hundred members
to more than 20,000.
Jul 18 Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) is published.
Jul 21 In Tennessee the so-called "Monkey Trial" ends. John
T. Scopes is convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's
theory of evolution. Scopes is fined $100.
Aug 8 As many as 40,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan parade in
Washington DC. The Klan has an estimated 5 million, making it the
largest fraternal organization in the United States. The Klan has
claimed that the Bible, the United States flag and the Constitution are
their keystone principles. They believe that to be one hundred percent
American one must be white and Protestant.
Aug 25 Diplomacy has convinced the French to evacuate the
Ruhr region of Germany.
Sep 3 Near Caldwell, Ohio, the navy-built 682-foot dirigible
"Shenandoah" breaks apart in mid-air and crashes. Thirteen die.
Sep 4 Turkish women enter a beauty contest for the first time.
Oct 16 At Locarno, Switzerland, an eleven-day gathering of
foreign ministers attempts to normalize relations between the two sides
who fought in World War I.
Oct 16 The Texas School Board prohibits the teaching of
Oct 19 A greek soldier runs after his dog and crosses into
Bulgaria. Border guards shoot the Greek soldier. Greece's dictator,
Theodoros Pangalos, sends soldiers into Bulgaria. Bulgaria orders its
troops to provide only token resistance, trusting the League of Nations
to settle the dispute. The fighting will ends on the 29th. Bulgarians
suffer less than a dozen casualties, the Greeks around four hundred.
Oct 27 In the United States, water skis are patented by Fred
Nov 16 In New York, the American Association for Advancement
of Atheism is formed.
Nov 25 in Turkey, President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk outlaws
religious dress, including the tasseled fez headwear for men and the
wearing of veils by women. Atuturk has told conservatives that the Fez
is of Venetian origins.
Dec 3 The League of Nations orders Greece to pay an indemnity
for its October invasion of Bulgaria.
Dec 17 Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell has accused
US Army and Navy leaders of an "almost treasonable administration of
the national defense." He is court martialed for insubordination and
reduced in rank to colonel.
Dec 18 At the 14th Communist Party Congress, Soviet leader
Lev Kamenev, a former ally of Stalin against Trotsky, sides with
Lenin's widow and calls for Stalin's removal as Party General
Secretary. His old ally Grigori Zinoviev is with him, as is Grigori
Sokolnikov, an alliance known as the New Opposition. Stalin appears to
the Party rank and file as the reasonable leader and his opponents as
quarrelsome. Stalin survives and his opponents are headed downward.
Dec 26 Six US warships are ordered from Manila to China to
protect US interests there.
Dec 31 Immigration to the United States from Italy drops from 56,246 in
1924 to 6,203. Immigration from Britain has dropped from 59,490 in 1924
Jan 4 In Bulgaria, people have tired of Prime
Minister Tsankov's reign of terror. Bulgaria is crippled by debt.
Tsankov steps down after having failed to secure a loan for the
country. Andrey Lyapchev replaces him and will remove some of Tsankov's
restrictions and allow trade unions to form. The Communist Party will
remain banned. In 1932 Tsankov will imitate the Nazi Party with his own
National Social Movement. At the close of World War II Tsankov he will
flee to Argentina.
Jan 16 Britain is on the gold standard and its currency is
over valued. Coal exports are down and mine owners want to cut the
wages of coal miners. Labor unrest is on the rise. In London, a BBC
radio play about a revolution by workers creates panic.
Jan 27 The US Senate agrees to have the United States join
the World Court.
Jan 31 Britain and Belgium remove their troops from Cologne,
the foremost city in Germany's Rhineland. The people of Cologne are
joyous. Their occupation of a defeated Germany has accomplished nothing.
Feb 9 Teaching theory of evolution is forbidden in schools in
Feb 11 The Mexican government nationalizes all property
belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.
Feb 23 US President Calvin Coolidge opposes a large air
force. He believes it would menace world peace.
Mar 2 The Conservative Party's Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Winston Churchill, denies "that foundations of British commerce and
industrial greatness have been sapped, that the stamina of our people
has been impaired, that our men are mutinous and lazy, that our
employers are indolent." He agrees that times are difficult but says
they are slowly getting better. To think otherwise, he concludes, was
Apr 2 More riots begin in India. In Calcutta riots begin that
are to last to May 9, with an eight day break between April 13 and 21.
The number killed will be 110, and injured 975. From the year 1923 to
August 22 of 1926, 76 riots will have been officially recorded across
the sub-continent, 23 of them in 1926. In recent rioting the military
will be put on the streets. Nationalist sentiments have been on the
rise in India.
Apr 24 With their Treaty of Berlin, Germany and the Soviet
Union pledge neutrality in the event in of an attack on the other by a
third party for the next five years.
May 1 Satchel Paige begins as a pitcher in the Negro Southern
May 3 US Marines return to Nicaragua, after having been away
for nine months. There the Liberals, supported by Mexico's leftist
government, are threatening US supported Conservative rule of Adolfo
May 4 A general strike begins in Britain in support of coal
miners. Britain's conservative government, led by Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin declares martial law. The strike is to last nine days.
A member of Baldwin's cabinet, Winston Churchill, is to argue that
"either the country will break the General Strike, or the General
Strike will break the country." He claims that Benito Mussolini has
shown "a way to combat subversive forces."
May 5 Sinclair Lewis refuses his Pulitzer Prize for
"Arrowsmith." He complains that "The seekers for prizes tend to labor
not for inherent excellence but for alien rewards; they tend to write
this, or timorously to avoid writing that, in order to tickle the
prejudices of a haphazard committee."
May 9 The French are still waging the war against Syrians
that began in July 1925. The French have upset the Syrians by an
attempt to control at the local level more than had their Turkish
overlords prior to World War One. The French navy bombards Damascus in
response to rioting there by its Druze population. In ten days the
French air force will bomb in Damascus.
May 13 In South Africa, Prime Minister Herzog has introduced
a Mines and Works Amendment Act, which excludes blacks and people of
Indian heritage from all skilled and some semi-skilled mining jobs.
After months of debate the act finally passes, by a majority of 16
May 14 Józef Pilsudski has returned to power with a
coup d'etat. He is to refuse the presidency but remain the power
"behind the throne." The coup wins the support of the Polish Socialist
Party, which calls for a general strike, and it is supported by the
Railwaymen's Union, which prevents pro-government military
reinforcements from reaching Warsaw. Pilsudski wants to stabilize
Poland politically by reducing the influence of political parties, whom
he blames for corruption and inefficiency, and he wants to strengthen
the army. He will quickly distance himself from his leftist supporters.
May 26 In Morocco, French and Spanish forces have been using artillery
barrages, aerial bombardment and the use of chemical bombs against a
rebellion by Rifian tribes and their recently establish Rif Republic.
The popular leader of the rebellion, Abd el-Krim, surrenders. The
French want Krim to be forgotten rather than honored as a martyr. They
will exile him and his family to an estate on a French Island in the
Indian Ocean, Réunion, and give them an annual stipend. Spain wants
revenge against Krim and will view France's treatment of him as a
May 28 A miliary coup d'etat in Portugal installs what coup
leaders call a National Dictatorship. Portugal's First Republic, which
began in 1910, becomes history.
Jul 18 According to a coming Cairo newspaper article, a ten
day battle in Damascus beings today, involving 18,000 French troops,
without a decisive victory for the French. Also the French will be
described as razing several villages and bombarding the Kurdish quarter
Aug 23 The sudden death of popular Hollywood actor and sex symbol
Rudolph Valentino at the age of only 31 years creates mass grief and
Aug 24 A bloodless coup d'etat in Greece ousts a dictator,
Theodoros Pangalos, from power. Parliamentary elections will be held on
November 7th. A coalition government will be formed consisting of the
Liberal Union, the Democratic Union, the People's Party and the
Sep 1 From an area that Arabs consider part of the Arab Kingdom of
Syria, France creates the Republic of Lebanon with a parliamentary
system of government. Lebanon is largely Christian (Maronites with some
Greek Orthodox enclaves) and a sizeable Muslim population, including
Sep 8 Germany joins the League of Nations.
Sep 14 Reconciliation with Germany appears to have been established.
France has promised to remove its troops from the Rhineland and the
last of its troops will leave in 1930. Today, participants in the
Locarno Treaties of 1925 ratify the seven treaties and the treaties
become effective. Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy have
agreed to respect each other's borders and to cooperate against any
aggressor so far as military capabilities allow. The Soviet Union is
feeling ignored and isolated.
Sep 23 In the US, Gene Tunney defeats Jack Dempsey and
becomes heavyweight champion of the world.
Sep 25 The League of Nations Slavery Convention abolishes all
types of slavery.
Oct 1 In California five gasoline distribution companies announce they
will lower the price of their gasoline to 18 cents a gallon to compete
with the Richfield Oil Company having cut its price to 19 cents – $2.34
and $2.47 is 2012 dollars.
Nov 21 In Lithuania, nationalistic students organize an illegal march
to protest the liberal government's soft policy regarding Communists.
Dec 17 In Lithuania a military coup d'etat takes place under
the pretext that a Communist plot to take over Lithuania was imminent.
The coup brings the president in 1919-20, Antanas Smetona, back to
power. He is a member of the right-wing Lithuanian Nationalist Union
Party, another political party that believes in the nation having a
strong leader. His party had managed to win only 3 of 85 seats in
parliament in Lithuania's May elections. He will take office the 19th.
Members of his party have sympathies and contacts with Mussolini's
fascist regime in Italy, but the party will distance itself from
Europe's fascists (Italian and German) as early as 1932. The deposed
president, Kazys Grinius, will migrate to the United States in 1947.
Dec 25 Japan's Emperor Taisho dies of a heart attack.
Tomorrow he will be succeeded by his son, Hirohito, 25. Emperor
Hirohito favors peace and cooperation with foreign powers. The
political party in power, the Democratic (Minseito) Party, will express
Jan 7 In Mexico the Cristero War begins. Catholics who call
themselves Cristeros take up arms against anti-clerical provisions of
Mexico's 1917 Constitution. Trains will be blown up. Public schools
will be attacked and burned and teachers killed. The government will
Jan 7 The first transatlantic telephone call is made, from
New York City to London, via radio waves.
Jan 19 Advancing Guomindang forces under the influence of
Leftists have taken over the British concession in the cities of Hankow
and Kiukiang. Britain sends troops to Shanghai to prevent the same from
happening there and to save lives and property. In February the British
will conclude an agreement with the Guomindang.
Jan 30 In Schattendorf Austria, 100 miles south of Vienna,
right-wing veterans shoot and kill two Social Democrats, one an
eight-year old boy, on their way to the train station after a
demonstration. Outrage erupts among the Social Democrats.
Feb 19 A general strike in Shanghai protests the presence of
Mar 5 Some 1,000 US Marines arrive in Shanghai to "protect
Mar 7 The US Supreme Court rules as unconstitutional a Texas
law that bans Negroes from voting.
Mar 9 Italy's fascist government decides to revoke
self-government in Libya.
Mar 10 In Bavaria, the ban against National Socialists
(Nazis) is lifted. Adolf Hitler is now allowed to speak in public. In
his first speech, Hitler attacks agreements that Germany made at
Mar 12 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's army pushes into the
Chinese section of Shanghai. They won't molest foreigners or their
property and in a couple of days the foreigners will relax.
Mar 19 Bloody street fighting between Nazis and Communists
takes place in Berlin.
Apr 12 The Guomindang's movement northward from Canton has
been accompanied by a wave of strikes that bring production in China to
a standstill, and peasant unrest has been encouraged, raising fears
among landowners across China. Warlords have been going over to the
side of the Guomindang's leader, Chiang Kai-shek. Wealthy Chinese
businessmen offer moderates within the Guomindang their support if they
rid the Guomindang of its leftists. Chiang Kai-shek has developed a
dislike for Communists. His forces take control of Shanghai and turn
against the Guomindang's Communists and against labor unions. In
Shanghai, Chiang Kai-shek rounds up Communists and other Leftists.
Hundreds of union supporters are murdered.
Apr 14 In Gothenburg Sweden, the first Volvo car rolls off
the production line.
Apr 19 In China, Communists declare war on Chiang Kai-shek.
Apr 21 Japan's prosperity has been in decline. Factories have
been closing and unemployment rising. Falling silk and rice prices have
hurt Japanese farmers, and starvation became a real threat to millions
of people in Japan's rural areas. A banking crisis has hit Japan – the
Showa Financial Crisis. A run on banks has caused thirty-seven smaller
banks to fold. A new prime minister, Tanaka Giichi, declares a
three-week bank holiday. Large financial branches of the five great
zaibatsu houses will survive and dominate Japanese finances until the
end of World War II.
Apr 27 Actress Mae West is released after ten days in jail.
She and the entire cast and producers of her Broadway play "Sex" had
been imprisoned after 375 performances of their comedy-drama.
May 1 Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin. The Jazz
Age has spread to Germany. Hitler is a provincial who dislikes Berlin
and the new hedonism.
May 8 French pilots Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli take
off from Paris in their airplane named the White Bird in an attempt to
cross the Atlantic. The Pilots and plane will vanish.
May 20 The Treaty of Jeddah is signed between King Ibn Saud
and Britain. It recognizes the sovereignty of Saud in the territories
known as Hejaz and Nejd.
May 16 The US Supreme Court rules that illegal income can be
taxed. With this the US government will prosecute the Chicago area
gangster Al Capone for tax evasion. Capone controls gambling,
prostitution, distilleries and has a large share in a cleaning and
dyeing plant chain. His income is estimated at $105 million per year.
May 18 In Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, Andrew Kehoe,
age 55, kills his wife, blows up an elementary school, killing 38, two
teachers and four other adults, and then kills himself. Kehoe is
described as a sore loser following an election for township clerk. He
is described as having been intelligent, easily angered and impatient
with people who disagreed with him, and fastidious about keeping
himself clean and maintaining a neat appearance.
May 21 Joy erupts in response to the first non-stop solo
transatlantic flight – from the US to France – by Charles Lindbergh.
May 22 A conference between the Liberals and
Conservatives, brokered by the US, has produced a settlement. Within a
week the Liberals will turn in 11,600 rifles, 303 machine guns and more
that 5 million rounds of ammunition. But not everyone on the Liberal
side goes along with the settlement and the occupation of their country
by the US Marines.
May 24 The Mississippi has been flooding. It kills some 500
people and displaces thousands.
May 27 An earthquake in China's Qinghai (Xining) Province
kills a reported 200,000 people.
Jun 1 André Gide has ended his travels through central
Africa, including French Equatorial Africa. He publishes his journal,
Travels in the Congo. It creates indignation in France regarding the
mistreatment of blacks forced to work on the construction of 300 miles
of railroad from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire – a project that over a
ten-year period killed nearly ten thousand.
Jul 15 In Vienna, two are acquitted of killing two Social
Democrats on January 30. Demonstrators chase away a small group of
policemen. Police on horseback with their sabres drawn charge the
demonstrators. The angry crowd storms the Palace of Justice and set
fire to files, with flames leaping from building windows. Eighty-nine
people are killed, five of them policemen. Six hundred are seriously
wounded. It is a prelude to a civil war in 1934.
Jul 16 Augusto Sandino begins a war against the US occupation
of Nicaragua. It starts with something like 500 of his men attacking a
unit of 41 US Marines and a Nicaraguan garrison at Ocotal – a battle
lasting no more than 24 hours. The Marines respond with airpower: seven
planes. Sandino is said to have lost from 40 to 80 men. But
they live-on and fight for another five years.
Sep 14 On a summer day In Nice, France, Angela Isadora
Duncan, age 50, American dance pioneer and bisexual leftist, says
goodbye to friends and gets into the passenger seat of a sports car. As
the car is driven off by a her handsome young companion, her long scarf
gets caught in the car's rear wheel spokes and axle. She is partially
decapitated and instantly killed.
Oct 6 The era of talking pictures begins with the opening of
"The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson singing and dancing in
black-face. The movie features both silent and sound-synchronized
Nov 12 The battle for toleration of continued disagreement
and more Party democracy has been defeated. The "Left Opposition"
within the party, including Leon Trotsky, has lost. Trotsky and Grigory
Zinoviev are expelled from the Communist Party.
Nov 21 Unarmed coal miners on strike at the Columbine Mine in
northern Colorado are fired up upon with machine guns. Six miners are
Dec 19 A Communist Party Congress in December closes. Party
delegates have condemned all deviation from what the Party in general
has chosen as its positions and policies – a belief in closing ranks
and in group-think. Party members who have supported the Opposition
have been expelled from the Party. They are now to be seen as traitors
and as threats to the development of proper ideas. Expelled Party
members are to be fired from their regular jobs and their families are
to be hounded. Trotsky will soon be sent into exile. Joseph Stalin has
emerged as the Party's undisputed leader.
Dec 30 The Japanese are building what will be their great
rail system. Today in Tokyo they open a commuter metro line, the Ginza
Jan 7 During the first week of the year, President Coolidge
says he is not worried about a recent rise in the use of borrowed money
(broker's loans) in buying stocks. Coolidge has been pursuing a hands
off policy regarding regulation of the financial industry.
Feb 20 In Japan, the first General Election following the
passage of universal male suffrage produces no clear winner and
nervousness among conservatives. No party will be able to organize a
majority – a hung parliament.
Mar 12 Malta, which has been a part of the British Empire and
an important stop for British ships between Gibraltar and Suez, becomes
a British dominion (autonomous under British sovereignty) .
Mar 15 Despite repression since its founding in 1922, Japan's
now underground Communist Party has been growing. The Party was visible
in its support of the legal socialist and labor-oriented political
parties. Alarmed by gains these parties made in the recent elections,
the government begins a propaganda campaign that associates the
pro-labor left in general with the Communist Party. The government
begins a new repression that will include arrests, show trials and
Mar 22 Peasants in the Soviet Union are protesting food
Apr 12 An attempt in Milan, Italy, to blow up Prime Minister Mussolini
kills 17 bystanders.
Apr 13 Speaking to members of the Central Committee, Stalin says,
"Agriculture is developing slowly, comrades." He complains that the
Soviet Union's roughly 25 million individually owned farms are a most
primitive and undeveloped form of economy. "We must do our utmost to
develop large farms," he says, "and to convert them into grain
factories for the country to be organized on a modern scientific
basis." He speaks of opponents "internal and external" of Party
policy." He adds, "Our task is to exercise the maximum vigilance and to
be on the alert." His speech ends with stormy and prolonged applause.
May 19 An article in the Jesuit newspaper Catholic
Civilization (La Civiltà Cattolica) which publishes an article only
after approval from the Secretariat of the Holy See, writes that the
Church will continue to protect "even its most relentless enemies and
persecutors, who are the Jews," and that it will also labor to procure
for them "the greatest possible good, individual conversion and eternal
salvation." The article goes on to describe a decisive role of Jews in
the triumph of Bolshevism in Russia and Jewish control over
international banking, finance, and politics.
May 23 Another politically ineffective bomb attack against
occurs against Italian fascism, this one at the Italian consulate in
Buenos Aires. It kills 22 and injures 43.
May 31 The first flight across the Pacific, from California
to Australia, begins. It's a three-stop, 7,000-mile flight in a Fokker
F.VIIb/3m, led by two Australians and joined by two Americans. It
becomes a difficult flight and takes ten days.
Jun 2 In China the Nationalist army's Northern Expedition
ends with its arrival in Beijing (Peking). The warlord of northern
China, Zhang Zuolin, hands Beijing over to the leader of the
Nationalist army, Chiang Kai-shek. The Japanese see the Nationalist
advance as a threat to their interests in China. Zhang Zoulin will be
killed by a Japanese warplane bomb on June 4 as he is fleeing Beijing
and moving north to his territory in Manchuria.
Jul 2 In Britain, the voting age for women is lowered from 30
to 21, effective from today, giving them equal suffrage with men.
Jul 6 In the Soviet Union the Shakhty trial ends. It has been
underway since May 18. It's about sabotage in the mining industry.
There are 53 defendants, primarily engineers and technicians. They had
been charged as taking part in a "wrecking campaign" that is linked to
the governments and intelligence services of capitalist countries. Four
defendants are ordered to be shot; 40 persons are sentenced to
imprisonment for one to ten years. Four others receive suspended
sentences, and four are acquitted.
Jul 12 An Italian North Pole expedition has been stranded. A
Swedish airplane has rescued some of the expedition. Today a Soviet
icebreaker saves the rest.
Jul 17 In Mexico, Alvaro Obregon, president from December
1920 to November 1924, is about to be president again. A Catholic
partisan in the Cristero War (1926-29), Juan Excapulario, assassinates
Jul 25 The Calvin Coolidge administration recognizes Chiang
Kai-shek's Kuomintang government as the legitimate government of China.
It signs a tariff treaty with the Chinese and it recalls troops from
Jul 28 The Summer Olympic Games open in Amsterdam. Track and
field events are open for women for the first time despite objections
from Pope Pius IX. Germany is allowed to participate for the first time
since World War One. During the games, several women will collapse at
the end of the 800-meter run. For some the earnestness of the women
runners will result in a view by paternalist men that female delicacy
needs protection. Women will be banned from running in Olympic races of
a distance greater than 200 meters. The ban will last 32 years.
Aug 2 Italy has given Ethiopia's regent, the future Emperor
Haile Selassie, a luxurious Isotta-Fraschini limousine and other gifts.
Today Ethiopia signs a treaty with Italy. Mussolini sees the treaty as
an opening for Italy penetrating Ethiopia economically.
Aug 16 In Washington DC, Carl Panzram is arrested for
burglary. He is to confess to killing 22 people and to having sodomized
over 1,000 males. He is to be hanged in 1930. He would spit in his
executioner's face and declare, "I wish the entire human race had one
neck, and I had my hands around it." When asked by the executioner if
he had any last words, Panzram would say, "Yes, hurry it up, you
Hoosier bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you're screwing
around." Eventually a book would emerge: Killer: A Journal of Murder.
Aug 22 At its national convention the Democratic Party dares
to nominate a Catholic, the governor of the great state of New York,
Alfred E. Smith, for President of the United States.
Aug 27 France wants assurances of US help should another war
erupt in Europe. The US Secretary of State, Frank B. Kellogg, wants to
avoid US involvement in another European War. He does this by turning
an agreement with France into a grandiose renunciation of war. His
Kellogg-Briand Pact is signed by sixty-three nations, including Italy,
Germany and Japan.
Oct 7 In Ethiopia, Haile Selassie is crowned king (not yet
Oct 10 Chiang Kai-shek has acquired dictatorial powers and
takes office as Chairman of the National Government of China.
Oct 12 At Children's Hospital in Boston an iron lung
respirator is used for the first time.
Oct 15 Following its first commercial flight across the
Atlantic, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin lands in Lakehurst, New
Oct 22 Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover speaks
of "our insistence upon equality of opportunity" in a speech at New
York's Madison Square Garden. He complains of "our opponents" thrusting
government into "certain national problems – that is prohibition, farm
relief, and electrical power." He adds: "We are nearer today to the
ideal of the abolition of poverty and fear from the lives of men and
women than ever before in any land."
Nov 3 Turkey switches from Arabic to the Roman alphabet.
Nov 6 Herbert Hoover wins the presidency with 58.2 percent of
the popular vote. Alfred E. Smith gets 40.8 percent, mainly in the deep
South, which is still anti-Republican. The Socialist Party candidate,
Norman Thomas, wins 0.7 percent of the popular vote, and the Communist
Party candidate wins 0.1 percent.
Nov 18 Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie," starring Mickey
Mouse, premiers in New York City. It is the first successful
sound-synchronized animated cartoon.
Nov 26 Telegrams are pouring in from numerous parts
of the Soviet Union with the news of arson and murders by enemies of
collectivization. There are reports that Soviet farms, village
libraries and Soviet bureaus have been burned down. Murderous attacks
are described as having been perpetrated against Communist village
school teachers and social workers, women as well as men. These acts
are attributed to relatively wealthy peasants called Kulaks. The Soviet
newspaper Izvestia declares that "A destructive blow at the Kulaks must
be delivered immediately!"
Dec 21 The US Congress approves the construction of Boulder
Dam, to be renamed later as Hoover Dam.
Dec 23 The National Broadcasting Co. sets up a permanent,
Dec 28 Louis Armstrong makes a 78-rpm recording of "West End
Blues,." The "West End" refers to the westernmost point of Lake
Pontchartrain in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.
Pope Pius XI
Prime Minister Mussolini, a proud and self-described
Hemingway, living in Florida, writes the novel A Farewell to Arms,
published in Scribner's Magazine
. It's about man-woman romance and mainly about World War I, which he
at the age of nineteen. It had taken the rah-rah out of him. One of the
"I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no
Jan 6 King Alexander proclaims a dictatorship and changes the
name of his kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes to Yugoslavia.
Jan 17 Edwin Hubble communicates his discovery that galaxies
are moving away from each other.
Feb 9 In Moscow, the Soviet Union, Poland, Estonia, Romania
and Latvia sign the Litvinov Protocol renouncing war among these
Feb 11 The Holy See, represented by Pope Pius XI's secretary
of state, signs an agreement with the Kingdom of Italy, their first
agreement since the birth of Italy in 1861. It is the Lateran Accords,
a treaty of reconciliation that is part of Prime Minister Mussolini's
drive for a totalitarian Italy under his dictatorship. Mussolini signs
for the government and for King Victor Emmanuel III (son of Victor
Emmanuel II, who had deprived the Holy See of its vast territories on
the Italian Peninsula). With the accords the monarchy hangs on to its
rule in the city of Rome; the Holy See is recognized as an independent
state on the Vatican's 109 acres; Roman Catholicism is to be Italy's
only religion (no separation of church and state); the Italian state
recognizes Catholic feast days as public holidays; the Italian state
begins to recognize church marriages; the church is allowed to extend
religious education in secondary schools; Italy is obliged to prosecute
those who offend the honor and dignity of the pope.
Feb 11 Pope Pius XI has been eager that Italy be run according to
Church principals. He sees himself and his position as superior to that
of Mussolini, but he recognizes Mussolini's role in the Lateran Accords
and he describes Mussolini as a man sent by Providence - a comment to
be repeated often in the coming years during Mussolini's dictatorship.
Feb 14 Gangster competition in Chicago results in seven
people gunned down in what will be known as the Saint Valentine's
Mar 4 Herbert Hoover, a Republican, is inaugurated President
of the United States. Hoover expresses concern about economic
instability abroad and about weakness in banking.
Mar 7 The Scottish chemist Alexander Fleming identifies the
mould juice he is working with as penicillin.
Mar 17 Mussolini's fascism is associated with hostility to
the liberalism that had been involved in the unification of Italy and
hostility to the Church (including dissolution of the papal states in
the 1860s). With gratitude regarding the Lateran Accords of February 11
and fascism's hostility to communism, the Vatican supports Mussolini's
plebicite: people voting yes or no to a Grand Council of fascists
nominating a single list of candidates for parliament. (Italy had been
made a single-party state in 1928.) The newspaper of the Holy See,
L'Ossevatore romano calls for all Catholics to vote yes.
Mar 18 Mussolini's plebecite wins 98.3 percent of the vote.
Pius XI responds to critics who complain of his coming to terms with
the Mussolini regime. He says, "It was like saying that you should stop
breathing because you are in a room where the air is polluted." (The
Pope and Mussolini, by David Kertzer, p119-20.)
Mar 19 Mussolini has been angered by hearing that some are
whispering that he has been the pope's patsy, and he is upset over his
plebiscite victory described as having ushered in a "Christian
restoration of society." (Kertzer, p120.)
Apr 3 Persia (to be recognized internationally as Iran in
1935) joins in signing the Litvinov Protocol.
May 7 Drug dealing gangsters battle in Sidney, Australia, in
"The Battle of Blood Alley," a thirty-minute brawl with razors -
handguns having been outlawed.
May 16 In Hollywood, the County of Los Angeles, the first
Academy Awards are presented. The winning picture is Wings, a silent
film that turns World War One into a soap opera with a tiny bit of
nudity and big name stars: Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and
Richard Arlen. Clara Bow had complained that she was just whipped cream
on top of the pie - poor thing.
Jun 1 In Buenos Aires, thirty-eight delegates gather for the
First Conference of the Communist Parties of Latin America. Argentina,
Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador,
Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela are represented.
Repression prevents Chile's Communist Party from participating.
Jun 7 The Lateran Accords are ratified by Mussolini's
Jul In 1929 (date unknown) the first known HIV virus jumps
from an animal to a human. (Said by epidemiologist Larry Brilliant on
the PBS program Now, May 8, 2009)
Jul 27 The Geneva Convention creates a standard for the
treatment of prisoners of war, to become effective in 1931.
Aug 16-30 Jews are accused of having seized Muslim holy
places in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem enraged mobs attack Jews and loot
their homes. The attacks spread to other cities. With massacres on the
23rd and 24th, a Jewish settlement in Hebron comes to an end. By the
end of the month 133 Jews have been killed by Arabs and 110 Arabs have
been killed by the British police. The uprising helps convince Jews of
the need for a separate state.
Sep 3 In the United States hyper-optimists about gaining
wealth and the US economy push the Dow Jones Industrial average to a
new high, 381.17.
Oct 18 Women are proclaimed as legal "persons" by the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain. In Canada, women
can be appointed to the Senate, an achievement by five Canadian women
called the Famous Five.
Oct 29 In the United States, investing in stocks has been encouraged by
a rising stock market, which has created a lot of dreams of wealth and
more investing. Investing has become a craze, too much of it on
borrowed money. The reality of limitations has been ignored. A few
investors have begun to withdraw from the market. Today the bubble
bursts. Many want to sell and can do so only at a terribly reduced
Nov 15 Pius XI exclaims: "Rome is mine." An Italian
ambassador: "Rome is the capital of Italy, home of His Majesty the king
and the government." Pius: "Rome is my diocese." Ambassadory:
"Certainly in matters of religion." Pius: "Yes. "All the rest is just a
matter of keeping the streets clean." (Kertzer, p127.)
Dec In Kenya, missionaries have been critical of the Kikuyu
custom of female circumcision. The Kikuyu claim that it is an essential
part of their culture, and they have accused missionaries of
undermining their rights. Many Kikuyu have been breaking away from the
Christian churches and mission schools. In the place of mission schools
the Kikuyu are developing their own schools.
Dec 28 In Western Samoa, New Zealand colonial police kill 11
unarmed demonstrators, an event followed by Samoans creating a
non-violent independence movement.
Dec 29 The All India Congress demands Indian independence
from British rule.
Jan 16 Frank Whittle of Britain becomes the first
to register a patent on a gas turbine for jet propulsion.
Jan 26 Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru organize a
Declaration of Independence, or Purna Swaraj, by the people of India.
Across India are great gatherings of people solemnly taking the pledge
of independence by their presence – unrecognized by Britain.
Jan 28 The Great Depression is hurting Spain. Its dictator,
Miguel Primo de Rivera, in power since 1923, has lost support of the
king and military. He voluntarily steps down. Military men will succeed
him. His son, José Antonio Primo de Rivera (1903-36), will play a role
in the development of fascism in Spain.
Jan 31 The 3M company markets Scotch Tape.
Feb 20 In the Soviet Union, 50 percent of peasant farms have
been collectivized. The goal has been to move farming from small
holdings to large-scale mechanized farms, increase agriculture
production and to feed an enlarged work force in the cities – part of
the Five Year Plan begun in 1928. Peasants resisting collectivization
have been labeled kulaks, forced from their homes, with little time to
prepare for the unknown, put into thousands of freezing freight cars,
bound for resettlement under police control. The number of labor camps
continue to rise.
Mar 6 In Massachusetts an inventor, Clarence Birdseye,
markets the first frozen foods.
Feb 10 Vietnamese soldiers in the French colonial army, in
collaboration with members of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party, mutiny
– the Yen Bai mutiny.
Mar 20 Women in Turkey are given the right to vote in
Mar 28 In Turkey, following a Postal Service Law, authorities
request that foreigners change what had been called Constantinople to
Mar 31 The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted in
the United States. They will impose strict guidelines on the treatment
of sex, crime, religion and violence in motion pictures.
Apr 4 France begins building the Maginot Line, intended as a
barrier against German aggression.
Apr 6 A Gandhi led 24-day 200-mile march to sea has ended.
Gandhi purposely breaks a British law that prohibits people in India
from making salt. In one month Gandhi will be arrested and thrown into
prison, already filled with prisoners.
Apr 18 In India's Bengal province, the Chittagong Rebellion
begins with the Chittagong armoury raid. Some sixty-five insurgents are
seeking weapons for a violent overthrow of British rule. The insurgents
also cut telephone and telegraph lines, disrupt the movement of trains
and capture the European club headquarters. The plan is to assassinate
the club's members, but the members are away for Good Friday. Their
uprising is over in a few days. Several thousand soldiers surround them
in the Jalalabad hills, to which they had run. Eighty soldiers and
twelve insurgents are killed.
Apr 30 Seeking national security, the Soviet Union addresses
Britain and France with a proposal for a military alliance.
May 15 Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess, on
a flight from Oakland, California, to Chicago, Illinois, aboard a
May 16 General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo is elected president
of the Dominican Republic. He was the only candidate allowed to
actually campaign, and army harassment forced the other candidates to
withdraw. He is to take office on August 16.
May 17 In a speech to his fascist blackshirts, Mussolini says
"Words are beautiful things, but rifles, machine guns, ships and
airplanes are more beautiful still." (Human Smoke, p. 19)
May 21 In India thousands have been arrested, including
Gandhi, and jails are packed. More than 2,500 Indians have "raided" the
Dharasana salt works, a salt production facility controlled by the
British. Column after column of Indians advance toward the facility's
gates and are beaten by the Indian police under British direction. Not
one of the advancing Indians raises a hand to defend himself as the
clubs rain down. Skulls are fractured. Many lose consciousness, and
Jun Beginning in May, strikes erupt on French-owned
plantations and peasant unrest continues through June, with peasants
demonstrating against taxes.
Jun 17 With the failure of the mutiny, Nguyen Thai Hoc,
leader of Nationalist Party, and others are executed. His nationalist
movement is destroyed, providing opportunity for a movement directed by
Ho Chi Minh.
Jun 17 US President Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley
Tariff Act into law.
Jun 21 One-year conscription begins in France.
Jun 30 France's government withdraws remaining French troops
from Germany's Rhineland.
Jul 7 In the United States, the building of Boulder Dam (now
known as Hoover Dam) is started.
Aug 12 Turkish troops move into Persia to fight Kurdish
Aug 27 The Great Depression has increased unrest in Peru, a
military junta takes power, led by Genera Luis M. Sanchez Cerro. The
junta overthrows another military man and dictator, Augusto Bernadino
Sep 6 In Argentina, General José Félix Uriburu carries out a
successful military coup, overthrowing a democratically elected
president, Hipólito Yrigoyen.
Sep 9 In Vietnam, French planes bomb a column of thousands of
peasants headed toward the provincial capital. Security forces will
round up all those suspected of being communists or of being involved
in rebellion. The French will stage executions and conduct punitive
raids on rebellious villages.
Sep 14 German manufacturing has fallen 17 percent since 1927
and its unemployment has skyrocketed to 3,000,000. The National
Socialist (Nazi) Party win 107 seats in Germany's parliament (18.3% of
all the votes), making them Germany's second largest party after the
Social Democrats (with 24.5% of all votes).
Oct 27 Ratifications exchanged in London on the first London
Naval Treaty signed in April modifying the Washington Naval Treaty of
1925. Its arms limitation provisions go into effect immediately, hence
putting more limits on the expensive naval arms race between its five
signatories: the United Kingdom, the United States, the Japanese
Empire, France, and Italy.
Nov 2 Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia. In
Jamaica a new religion arises. These are the Rastafarians. They have
roots in a black-empowerment back-to-Africa movement. They proclaim
Selassie as God incarnate and the Messiah who will deliver believers to
the Promised Land, identified by as Ethiopia. They trace their religion
bake to Abraham.
Nov 3 Brazil is hurting from the Great Depression. The
military installs Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, a wealthy politician, as
Nov 4 Against President Hebert Hoover's urging,
manufacturers have been responding to an economic down turn by laying
people off, which has decreased private spending and has sent the
economy into further decline. Bank failures have increased and people
have rushed to withdraw their money. The party in power, the
Republicans, are swept from Congress.
Dec 2 President Herbert Hoover goes before the US Congress to
ask for a $150 million public works program to help create jobs and to
stimulate the American economy.
Dec 5 The movie All Quiet On the Western Front has won praise
from Los Angeles to Paris. It opens in Berlin and a group of Nazi
Brownshirts led by Joseph Goebbels create a disturbance that shuts down
the theater showing the film. Disturbances at the theater will continue
Dec 31 The Papal encyclical Casti Connubii issued by Pope
Pius XI stresses the sanctity of marriage and strengthens the Church's
centuries-old ban of "artificial" birth control, including condoms,
diaphragms and cervical caps.
Educational videos offered
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