Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI

Benito Mussolini

Prime Minister Mussolini, a proud and self-described advocate of fascist totalitarianism


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 experienced at the age of nineteen. It had taken the rah-rah out of him. One of the book's lines: "I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory."

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 signatories.

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 Massacre.

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 parliament.

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 price.  

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.

to 1928 | to 1930

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