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macrohistory & world timeline

1931

Jan 2  In the U.S., the stock market's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes the day at 169. It will close the year at 77.9, less than half today's values.

Jan 5  Hjalmar Schacht, recent president of Germany's central bank, the Reichsbank, meets with Hitler and is impressed by Hitler's eloquence and the strength of his convictions. He will telephone politicians, urging that Hitler's political party, the National Socialists, be included in a coalition government.

Jan 11  In the U.S. analysts are looking at previous economic crises and predicting a rapid recovery. An editorial in the New York Times claims that the worst is over and, with weaknesses having been squeezed out of the economy, a slow but sure recovery is imminent.

Jan 24  The League of Nations rebukes Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.

Jan 26  In India, Britain releases Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other Congress Party members from prison.

Feb 1  The Hoover administration has added 245 agents to help deport 500,000 foreign-borns, to rid the country of agrarian protesters, subversives, communists and Mexicans, to improve Hoover's popularity and as one remedy for the Depression. (Wikipedia.) Law-abiding and hardworking Mexicans, men and women, well settled in the United States are rounded up with their children in police operations and dumped in Mexico. In Los Angeles County a Citizens Committee for Coordination for Unemployment Relief warns of 400,000 "deportable aliens," declaring: "We need their jobs for needy citizens." California will offer an apology in 2005, considered meaningless.

Feb 4  Stalin delivers his speech on industrialization. "To slacken the tempo," he says, "would mean falling behind. And those who fall behind get beaten."

Feb 9  President Hoover opposes a bill that would allow veterans to borrow against a pension fund. He calls the legislation a "breach of fundamental principle."

Feb 20  The Republican dominated U.S. Congress gives California the approval it needs to start building a bridge from San Francisco to Oakland.

Mar 3  A legislative attempt to create a federal unemployment insurance program is rejected. President Hoover signs legislation that makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem.

Mar 5  The British viceroy of India and Mohandas Gandhi sign an agreement that civil disobedience is discontinued, political prisoners are to be released, and the salt tax lifted.

Mar 16  In India a peaceful protest march by 250 Muslims is fired upon. Three demonstrators are killed on the spot. It will be known as the Kanpur Massacre.

Mar 17  Nevada legalizes gambling.

Mar 20  In the U.S. a new Congress is seated. In the November elections the Republicans lost 52 seats in the House and 8 in the Senate, but they still lead in both bodies, 218 to 216 and 48 to 47, with one senate seat belonging to a member of the Farmer-Labor Party.

Mar 23  Britain hangs three revolutionaries fighting for India's independence: Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. They believed that violence was more effective than Gandhi's non-violence. They were charged with killing a British police officer.

Apr 6  A trial begins in Alabama for nine blacks, the Scottsboro Boys, accused of raping two white women, while riding on the freight train.

Apr 14  Elections have given anti-monarchists a majority in parliament. A republican government is formed, and King Alphonso flees to France.

May 1  In New York City, the 1-year and 45-day construction of 102-story Empire State Building has been completed, and the building is dedicated.

May 4  Speaking in private to Nazi party members, Hitler says, "We can achieve something only by fanaticism."

May 11  Credit Anstalt, Austria's biggest bank, declares bankruptcy.

Jun 17  Ho Chi Minh is in exile in Hong Kong, organizing against French rule in his Vietnam. British authorities imprison him.

Jun 20  President Hoover proposes that payments of all inter-governmental war debts and reparations be held up for one year in order to give European countries a "breathing spell."

Jun 24  Germany and the Soviet Union renew their Nonaggression Pact of 1926.

July  Farmers are getting less for their crops because demand has decreased – people having less money to buy. Farmers are getting the lowest price for their wheat crop since 1895. Many people are not eating enough.

Jul 16 Flooding begins in China that will last months, to be called the deadliest natural disaster. Many will die and tens of millions will be homeless.

Jul 14-15   German banking suffers from the banking disaster in Austria. German banks are suffering from too little cash. Money has been fleeing to safety abroad. Mistrust of banks has been growing. A run on banks has begun. The government stops the run by closing down all banking for two days. The Bank of England rescues German banking. The French are alarmed and withdraw their gold from Britain.

Jul 26  With the powers of God in mind, a Christian "restorationist" movement in the U.S. changes from calling itself The Bible Students and adopts the name Jehovah's Witnesses.

Aug 1 In the Soviet Union the collectivization program continues. Fifty-eight percent of farmer holdings are collectivized compared to 24 percent at the first of the year. Peasants are resisting, and they and their families are being rounded up and sent into exile. Such families are to number around 300,000 for the year.

Aug 24-25  Because of the financial crisis, Britain's Labour government resigns.

Sep 18  From their base in Manchuria, where they had been stationed to protect Japanese industries, Japanese army officers send their troops on an offensive. Within three months, with support from common Japanese, Japanese troops will advance throughout Manchuria. It is a rude shock to the world, including China's neighbor, the Soviet Union. Some will describe this as the beginning of World War II.

Sep 21 The Bank of England quits the gold standard. Britain's currency, the pound, will no longer be backed by gold. Britain's gold supply had been dwindling and Britain had been suffering from a trade imbalance, and, on the gold standard, countries with little gold had difficulty buying British goods. Creating a cheaper pound should make British goods more competitive on the world market and as a result thre can be more business done with other countries. Most of the world's gold supply has been in the United States. The severe imbalance in gold distribution combined with a gold standard of monetary exchange has been inhibiting world trade, along with high tariff barriers.

Oct 9  In the U.S. deflation, not inflation, is a problem. High interest rates will be a tool used to end inflation. The Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates in order to end more withdrawals of funds and gold from the U.S. by Europeans. Rather than contribute to economic recovery, higher interest rates will make borrowing money more difficult. It contributes to bank failures, and, during October, 522 commercial banks will close their doors. The money supply declines and a decline in output and prices will become more virulent.

Oct 10  Adolf Hitler meets President Hindenburg for the first time. Hindenburg does not like Hitler but he dislikes Social Democrats more. To prevent them from forming a government in Germany's parliamentary system, he is considering adding the Nazi party to an anti-left anti-Marxist, coalition.

Oct 17  In the U.S., Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.

Oct 25   In New York the George Washington Bridge is dedicated and opens for traffic.

Oct 27  In Britain a national coalition government drawn from all political parties forms under the previous prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald. The bulk of the Labour party does not follow MacDonald into the coalition government.

Nov 20  AT&T begins its teletype service.

Nov 29 The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany holds that it is impossible to defeat fascism without first defeating the Social Democrats. Comintern policy has denounced the Social Democrats as "social fascists." The Social Democrats are under attack by Hitler and his party for being Marxists and traitors. And the Social Democrats are seeking an anti-fascist alliance.

Dec 8  President Hoover delivers his State of the Union message. He says "...we find fundamental national gains even amid depression. In meeting the problems of this difficult period, we have witnessed a remarkable development of the sense of cooperation in the community. For the first time in the history of our major economic depressions there has been a notable absence of public disorders and industrial conflict. Above all there is an enlargement of social and spiritual responsibility among the people. The strains and stresses upon business have resulted in closer application, in saner policies, and in better methods."

Dec 11  The British parliament makes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland and Ireland "fully independent dominions equal in status to but closely associated with the mother country" and part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Dec 13  Japan goes off the gold standard.

Dec 28  In Italy a new law requires school teachers and college professors to take an oath of allegiance to Mussolini's fascist state. In the US, Time magazine writes that In the past week 1,138 of Italy's 1,225 school teachers and college professors have done so." Only twelve professors in all of Italy refuse to do so.

to 1930 | to 1932

Copyright © 2006-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.