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 municipal elections.

Mar 28  In Turkey, following a Postal Service Law, authorities request that foreigners change what had been called Constantinople to Istanbul.

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 Boeing tri-motor.

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 several die.

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 insurgents.

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 Leguia.

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 president.

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 for days.

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.

to 1929 | to 1931

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