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1928

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 political prisoners.

Mar 22  Peasants in the Soviet Union are protesting food shortage.

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 him.

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 China.

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 emperor).

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 Jersey.

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, coast-to-coast network.

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.

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Copyright © 2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.