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Elm Farm Ollie

The first cow to fly in an airplane in 1930.


Clyde Tombaugh

The American who discovered Pluto in 1930.


Clarence Birdseye

Invented Bird's Eye Frozen Vegetables in 1930, father of the frozen food industry.


Motion Picture Production Code

AKA the Hays Code, it was created in 1930 to tame motion pictures now that they had gotten a bit too risqué. It's a continued point of controversy, regarding how it has stifled American filmmaking when compared to the films of other countries.


Chrysler Building

An Art Deco New York skyscraper. Tallest building in the world for less than a year in 1930, usurped by the Empire State Building.


Sergei Eisenstein

A Soviet Russian film theorist and director, his abstract concepts proved too on-the-fringe for American audiences.


Charlie Chaplin

A "silent comedian," this movie star continued to lengthen the silent film style and offer an alternative to the sound film with his trademark tattered suit, derby hat, and cane, playing the "little tramp" who made audiences laugh with his silent jokes.


Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

1930- U.S. legislation that raised import duties by as much as 50%, adding considerable strain to the worldwide economic climate of the Great Depression. Hoover signed the act with the intention of protecting farmers. It contributed to the early loss of confidence on Wall Street and signaled U.S. isolationism. Other countries retaliated with similarly high protective tariffs, and overseas banks began to collapse. In 1934, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Trade Agreements Act, which reduced such tariffs.


The Shadow

A popular radio serial during the 1930s.


Joseph Force Crater

In 1930, this New York City judge disappeared never to be heard from again. This incident added to public disquiet about corruption in city government and was a factor in the downfall of the Tammany Hall political machine.


Betty Boop

A highly sexualized cartoon character, whose creation inspired several lawsuits including some filed under the Hays Act.


Helen Kane

This singer was the inspiration for Betty Boop, she sued the Boop animators but lost her case when it was revealed that Kane, in turn, had stolen her style from a black singer.


Clara Bow

The It Girl, a leading sex symbol of the Roaring Twenties, she was a silent film actress who retired in 1931.


Baby Esther

An African-American Cotton Club singer, her style was stolen by Helen Kane, and then stolen once more and used to create the character of Betty Boop.


Scotch Tape

An important American invention, introduced in 1930 by 3M.


jake leg

A disease caused by abuse of an extract found it bootlegged liquor, an outbreak of it occurred in the year 1930.


He Dog

A close associate of Crazy Horse, and leader of the Lakota during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877.


Ernest Lawrence

An American scientist known for his work on the cyclotron and on the Manhattan Project.


Scottsboro Boys

Nine black boys falsely convicted of rape by an all-White jury in 1931.


Castellammarese War

A bloody 1931 power struggle over control of the Italian-American mafia which resulted in the creation of the Five Families.


Salvatore Maranzano

Instigated the Castellammarese War and briefly ruled over the entire Italian-American mafia before being taken out by a younger faction in 1931, leading to the creation of the Five Families.


The Five Families

The five ruling Italian-American mob families since the Castellammarese war


Empire State Building

Built in 1931 it took the title of tallest building in the world from the Chrysler Building.


Hoover Moratorium

Hoover's ineffective 1931 public statement pleading for an indefinite holding on the paying back of war debts to stave off the impending financial collapse, went ignored.


John Haven Emerson

Greatly improved the Iron Lung in 1931 just in time for a huge polio outbreak.


Bible Student movement

A Millenialist Restorationist Christian movement during the 1930s from which Jehovah's Witnesses were born.


George Washington Bridge

Connects Manhattan to New Jersey and built during the architectural boom of the 30s.


Phi Iota Alpha

First Latino fraternity since 1931.


Harold Urey

An American chemist who did pioneering work on isotopes in the 30s and discovered the deuterium.


Hattie Caraway

An Arkansas Democrat, the first woman elected to serve a full term as a Senator in 1932.



The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was started by Hoover in 1932 and gave loans to banks, railroads and other businesses, and aid to struggling local and state governments.


Lindbergh kidnapping

Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped and murdered in 1932, the story was a sensation that lead to federal anti-kidnapping legislation.


Bonus Army

A 1932 assemblage of some 43,000 marchers who wanted fair payment for their service in World War I were driven out by Hoover's administration with tanks and firehoses.


Revenue Act of 1932

Under Hoover, the Estate Tax was doubled and for the first time a tax was placed on gas.


Vic and Sade

An influential radio program that aired during the 1930s.


Flowers and Trees

A short 1932 Disney cartoon, the first film to be released in full Technicolor.


Strange Interlude

An experimental and controversial four-hour long New York City play performed in 1928 and written by Eugene O'Neill.


Fred Allen

An American humorist whose absurdist and topical jokes made him among the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio


United States presidential election, 1932

Roosevelt crushed Hoover by avoiding all divisive cultural issues on the campaign and running with Southern conservative Dem. John N. Garner.


Palace Theatre

A New York City theater. In 1932 it stopped Vaudeville shows, which is seen as the death knell of that form of entertainment.


Dust Bowl

An increase in cultivation lead to soil erosion, in this natural disaster which crippled the midwest during the 1930s.


Golden Gate Bridge

A suspension bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County, built during the 1930s architectural craze.


20th Amendment

1933- Moved the beginning and ending of the terms of the President and Vice President from March 4 to January 20, and of members of Congress from March 4 to January 3. Passed so the new president can deal with grave issues more expeditiously, (like Roosevelt and the Great Depression).


Lone Ranger

A masked former Texas Ranger who fights evil in the Wild West with his Indian friend Tonto. An American cultural icon with a radio show.


Anton Cermak

Served as mayor of Chicago until he was assassinated by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933, whose intended target was FDR.


Giuseppe Zangara

It's believed this assassin intended to kill FDR in 1933 when he accidentally shot, like, five other people that were standing next to him.


Blaine Act

Repealed Prohibition laws in 1933, but not made official until the 21st Amendment.


King Kong

An iconic 1933 American film.


Fay Wray

A successful American actress most identified with her culturally iconic role in the film King Kong.


Frances Perkins

The first women in the cabinet. She was secretary of labor and treated very harshly by the press, but was successful in pulling the labor unions into the New Deal.


Bank holiday

A public holiday in which the banks are closed, FDR declared one which lasted eight days shortly after his inauguration.


First inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.


Fireside chats

A series of thirty evening radio addresses given by FDR during his presidency. His cheery voice and disposition allowed him to become one of the most popular presidents ever and hide the ravaging side effects of his polio.


Mount Rushmore National Memorial

A sculpture carved into granite. It remains unfinished because of the Great Depression.


William A. Moffett

An American admiral who was a big supporter of the use of airships until he was killed in 1933 when the airship USS Akron exploded.


Executive Order 6102

FDR's 1933 executive order which criminalized the possession of gold. He claimed possessing gold was worsening the Depression. Shortly after, America moved off the Gold Standard.


Sacred Cod

A large effigy of a cod fish hanging in the Massachusetts State House. In 1933, editors of the Harvard Lampoon briefly "cod-napped" it.


Karl Guthe Jansky

First discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way in 1933. Father of radio astronomy.



1933- The Agricultural Adjustment Act was a New Deal law, it reduced agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies not to plant on part of their land and to kill off excess livestock. Its purpose was to reduce crop surplus and therefore effectively raise the value of crops. The money for these subsidies was generated through an exclusive tax on companies which processed farm products. The Act created a new agency, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, to oversee the distribution of the subsidies.



1933- The Tennessee Valley Authority was a New Deal program whose purpose was to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley.


Securities Act of 1933

This New Deal law was the first federal act to regulate the trade and seal of securities.


Kansas City massacre

The 1933 shootout and murder of four law enforcement officers and a criminal fugitive.


Charles F. Urschel

A Texas oilman kidnapped by Machine Gun Kelly in 1933.


Tillamook Burn

A series of 1933 forest fires in Northern Oregon that destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of old growth timber.


1933 United Airlines Boeing 247 mid-air explosion

The bombing of this small plane is the first known act of air terrorism.



The Civil Works Administration, this New Deal program created many short lived construction jobs which helped many survive the tough winter of 1933-34.



The Federal Emergency Relief Administration. This program gave grants and loans to states to give jobs to citizens. Active from 1933-1935.



1933- The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal work relief program which gave millions of young men the opportunity to work outside.


21st Amendment

1933- Repealed the 18th Amendment, and in turn repealing Prohibition.


The Business Plot

A 1933 scheme in which wealthy business owners created a fascist league of war veterans for the purpose of overthrowing President FDR.


It Happened One Night

A 1934 romantic-comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, it swept at the Academy Awards and was an insanely popular film.


Frank Capra

A director who produced numerous American classics and during World War II directed propaganda films.


Apollo Theater

A music hall which is a noted venue for African-American performers.


John Dillinger

An extremely violent Depression-era bank robber, a particular foe of J. Edgar Hoover.


Commonwealth of the Philippines

The status of Commonwealth was given to the Philippines from 1935-1946 to transition the territory to independence.


Tender Is the Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald's bleak popular 1934 novel told in flashbacks.


Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Two storied Depression-era gangsters.


Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934

Teamsters violently striked against trucking companies, they were organized and lead by socialist and Trotskyist groups.


Auto-Lite strike

Regarded as an extremely important labor strike, this five-day 1934 battle in Toledo by the AFL against the Electric Auto-Lite company resulted in widespread unionization.


Blue sky laws

A state law in the United States that regulates the offering and sale of securities to protect the public from fraud, eventually umbrellaed by federal legislation under FDR.


Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Picks up on where the Securities Exchange Act of 1933 left off, this act regulates the secondary trade and sale of securities (like through a broker). The Act also established the Securities and Exchange Commission


U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Established by FDR in 1934 to enforce the federal securities laws and regulate the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges.


Hardin County onion pickers strike

A 1934 strike in Ohio by agricultural workers which resulted in the Ohio Guard being called and a partial victory for the pickers.


SS Morro Castle

A luxury ocean liner on which a fire broke out mysteriously leading to over 130 deaths in 1934.


Anything Goes

A Cole Porter musical which premiered on Broadway in 1934 starring Ethel Merman.


Louise Beavers

An African-American film and television actress who had a starring role in the groundbreaking 1934 film Imitation of Life.


Ma Barker

The mother of several criminals during the "public enemy era," although she was shot by the FBI and painted as a brutal crime matriarch these claims are probably untrue.


Black Sunday

A particularly severe 1935 Dust Bowl topsoil storm.


Woody Guthrie

An American singer-songwriter whose songs exposed the horrors of the Dust Bowl to the whole nation.



Formed 1935- The Works Progress Administration was the largest New Deal agency, it employed millions of unemployed people to carry out public works projects but also employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.


A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States

(1935) This Supreme Court decision declared the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional.



The National Industrial Recovery Act, a major component of the New Deal found unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), authorized the President to regulate industry in an attempt to raise prices after severe deflation and stimulate economic recovery.


Alcoholics Anonymous

An international mutual aid fellowship founded in 1935.


1935 Labor Day hurricane

The strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States it killed hundreds of World War I veterans that were housed in work camps.


National Labor Relations Act

(1935) Also known as the Wagner Act, it guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strike if necessary.


Leo Burnett

An advertising executive and was among the most 'creative' men in the advertising business. He'd be a key player in the 1960's Creative Revolution.


Social Security

FDR's 1935 social program gives checks to those in old age and is funded through payroll taxes.


Will Rogers

An American cowboy and vaudeville performer, a well known 20 and 30's celebrity.


Carl Weiss

The assassin who murdered Sen. Huey Long, Weiss's funeral was attended by thousands.


Huey Long

Advocated Share Our Wealth programs, but eventually split from FDR after being influenced by Father Coughlin and finding him to be too friendly to bankers. He was planning a presidential run in 1936 before he was assassinated.


Father Coughlin

This controversial Roman Catholic priest used the radio to his advantage to garner support for his social justice programs involving increased union rights and nationalization. He was also extremely anti-banker, due to the association of banks with Jewish people.


Mary McLeod Bethune

A leader in the struggle for women's and black equality. She founded a school for black students and served as an advisor to President FDR.


National Council of Negro Women

Founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935


The Phantom

The first American prototypical superhero, wearing tights and a cape, from 1936.


Dorothea Lange

An influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration.


The Super Chief

This 1936 train set a new standard for American rail travel.


1936 North American heat wave

The most severe heat wave in the modern history of North America at the time. It took place in the middle of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and caused catastrophic human suffering and an enormous economic toll.


Triborough Bridge

This bridge connecting Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx was opened in 1936.


Jesse Owens

As an African-American, his victory in the Berlin 1936 Olympics was of high symbolic significance.


Rainey Bethea

A black man hanged for rape in Kentucky in 1936. Mistakes in performing the hanging and the surrounding media circus contributed to the end of public executions in the United States.


Earl W. Bascom

An American painter and rodeo performer who depicted his own experiences in the West.


United States presidential election, 1936

Dem. FDR was resoundingly re-elected over moderate Republican Alf Landon, the public was pleased with unemployment benefits and social security. Not a competitive election.


The Abraham Lincoln Brigade

The collective term for all American soldiers who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War fighting against the Franco and Spanish Nationalists.


Flint Sit-Down Strike

1936-1937 A fringe group called the United Automobile Workers went against General Motors by refusing to work and, as a result, the U.S. auto industry became unionized.



A bi-weekly general interest magazine similar to Life.



Began in the 1880s as a general humor magazine, a takeover in the 1930s rebranded it with an increased focus on photojournalism.


Martin and Osa Johnson

American adventurers and documentary filmmakers, popular in the first half of the 20th century.


Howard Hughes

An American Renaissance man, he directed numerous films but is most remembered for setting numerous speed records.


Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937

FDR's court-packing plan, a huge scandal and one of the least popular decisions during his presidency, he tried increasing the size of the Supreme Court so he could get a majority on the court that are lenient to his views.


William H. Hastie

First black federal, and federal appellate judge. Appointed in 1937.



An American comic book superhero who appeared in 1937.


New London School explosion

A school explosion in Texas in 1937 left 295 dead.


National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation

(1937) Declared the Wagner End, signaled an end of the Lochner Era and an end to the Supreme Court knocking down New Deal legislation.


Hindenburg disaster

There were 35 fatalities when this stupid blimp thing caught on fire in 1937. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era.



Cheap, pre-cooked meat in a can. American cultural icon.


Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

This act placed a tax on the sale of cannabis.


To Have and Have Not

(1937) An Ernest Hemingway novel about a man forced into illegal smuggling due to the Great Depression.


USS Panay incident

(1937) A Japanese attack on a docked U.S. gunboat, which the Japanese claimed they didn't know was American. Japan apologized and paid restitutions, nonetheless, U.S. opinion against them fell.


Mae West

An American sex symbol who was the first person ever banned from radio, because of her proclivity for double entendres.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

(1937) The first full length animated film.


Arturo Toscanini

Became a household name in America after he lead a symphony on live radio.


Of Mice and Men

(1937) A Dust Bowl-set novella by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck.


March of Dimes

A nonprofit organization began by FDR in 1938 to treat polio victims.


The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman and his orchestra became the first jazz musicians to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall.


Our Town

(1938) A three-act metaplay by Thornton Wilder about an American small town. The main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience, and fills in playing some of the roles. The play is performed without a set on a mostly bare stage.


Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins

(1938) Decision by the Supreme Court in which the Court held that federal courts did not have the judicial power to create general federal common law when hearing state law claims under diversity jurisdiction.The Court overturned almost a century of federal civil procedure case law, and established the foundation of what remains the modern law of diversity jurisdiction as it applies to United States federal courts.



Billed as "the world's first oceanarium," since 1938.



A fictional character and an American cultural icon who emerged when superheroes were very popular during the 1930s.


Haggar Clothing

The clothing company which introduced slacks in 1938.


1938 New England hurricane

A very powerful and costly storm which struck the Northeast.



(1938) Written by John Olsen and Harold Johnson, this romp was one of the most popular plays of the 1930s. It was absurdist, and constantly rewritten to remain topical, featuring skits that were abandoned halfway through, and newsreels of Mussolini in blackface.


Non-Intervention Committee

From 1936-1939 this committee advocated a withdrawal of war material, and international influence, from the Spanish Civil War. England and the U.S. do so, but Germany and Italy do not.


Douglas Corrigan

Wrong Way Corrigan, "accidentally" flew from the U.S. to Ireland when he meant to fly West in 1938.


Thousand Islands Bridge

An international bridge system, construction of which began in 1938, connecting upstate New York to Canada.


Munich Agreement

(1938) A settlement permitting Germany annexing portions of Czechoslovakia. Winston Churchill declared the agreement to be a defeat and called upon America to prepare to battle Hitler.


The War of the Worlds

Orson Welles's 1938 radio adaptation of this H.G. Wells novel on Halloween lead to widespread panic.



A small horse which became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to Americans during the Great Depression.


War Admiral

An American thoroughbred horse which was defeated by the much smaller Seabiscuit in the Pimlico Special race in 1938.


Kate Smith

The First Lady of Radio she had a radio career which spanned decades, she's most famous for her on-air performance of God Bless America.


Chiang Kai-shek

A Chinese political leader FDR agreed to lend money to in 1938 angering the Japanese.


Recession of 1937-38

An economic downturn which occurred during the Great Depression, the cause is to-this-day uncertain, but FDR launched a rhetorical campaign against monopolies.


Thurman Arnold

FDR looked to this man, who was in charge of FDR's administration's antitrust division, to bust up some trusts and solve the Recession of 1937-38. He was ineffective.


Dictionary of Occupational Titles

A publication produced in 1938 by the United States Department of Labor which matched job seekers to jobs.


National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation

(1939) The Court found that the NLRB has no right to force businesses to reinstate workers fired during a sit-down strike.


Richard Halliburton

An attention seeker most known for swimming the Panama Canal, he disappeared and probably died in 1939 after attempting to sail a Chinese junk across the Pacific Ocean.


Marian Anderson

A wonderful African-American singer. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution after they refused to let her perform at Constitution Hall in 1939. Anderson then gave a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for 75,000 people.


The Grapes of Wrath

(1939) A John Steinbeck realist novel set during the Great Depression about a family driven from their Oklahoma home to California by drought, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes and bank foreclosures.


Lou Gehrig

The Iron Horse, This Yankee was reknown for his hitting prowess and durability.


The Voyage of the Damned

The 1939 voyage on the MS St. Louis of over 900 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. They were refused entry in Cuba, and then in Florida. They were forced to return and it is estimated that roughly one quarter of these passengers died in the Holocaust.


National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

A Cooperstown, New York baseball museum opened in 1939.


1st World Science Fiction Convention

A 1939 groundbreaking New York convention which included the first-ever known example of cosplay.


Manhattan Project

Code name for the U.S. effort during World War II to produce the atomic bomb. Much of the early research was done in New York City by refugee physicists in the United States. The program was began by Albert Einstein in 1939 after he wrote a letter to FDR saying he thinks he could create an atomic bomb using uranium.


The Wizard of Oz

A groundbreaking culturally iconic 1939 film based on L. Frank Baum's famous novel and starring Judy Garland.


Dr. Gerald J. Cox

The first person to publicly propose fluoridating the public water supply in 1939.


Wallace Carothers

An American chemist at DuPont credited with the invention of nylon in 1939.



A stretchy material which was invented by the company DuPont. In it's early years it was used only for stockings. But it rose in popularity as an alternative to cotton during World War II, and was used in parachutes, tents, and even guns and sausage casings.


The Time of Your Life

(1939) A Pulitzer Prize winning five-act play by William Saroyan. The play is set in a run-down dive bar during the Depression.


Neutrality Act of 1939

FDR championed this law, which allowed for arms trade between America and Britain and France, and forbid the travel of Americans to locations FDR designated as war zones.


Hedda Hopper

A member of the Hollywood elite, her radio gossip show pioneered the entire gossip news genre. During the McCarthy Era, she named many suspected Communists.


Gone with the Wind (movie)

An epic 1939 film starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard. It held a very romantic view of the Confederate South in the Civil War and at four hours it was the longest film in American history at the time and immensely popular.


Gone with the Wind (novel)

An immensely popular 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell depicting the experiences of spoiled daddy's girl Scarlett O'Hara who finds herself in poverty after Sherman's "March to the Sea."



This house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, is a beautiful example of modern American architecture.



General Motors pioneered this, the first fully automatic mass-produced transmission option, in 1939.