On This Day

Historical Events in 1937

  • Jan 1 Anastasio Somoza García becomes President of Nicaragua
  • Jan 1 Count Claus von Stauffenberg promoted to captain
  • Jan 1 US Army Air Corps physiological research laboratory completed, Ohio
  • Jan 1 Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in Great Britain.
  • Jan 1 23rd Rose Bowl: #3 Pittsburgh beats #5 Washington, 21-0
  • Jan 1 3rd Sugar Bowl: Santa Clara beats LSU, 21-14
  • Jan 1 3rd Orange Bowl: #14 Duquesne beats Mississippi State, 13-12

Sports History

Jan 5 Australian cricket batsmen Jack Fingleton (136) and Don Bradman (out 270 the following day) make then record stand of 346 for 6th wicket in 3rd Test vs England in Melbourne

  • Jan 5 Only unicameral state legislature in US opens 1st session in Nebraska
  • Jan 6 Bradman scores 270 Aust v England at the MCG, incl 110 singles
  • Jan 8 -50°F (-45.6°C), San Jacinto, Nevada (state record)
  • Jan 9 Italian regime bans marriages between Italians & Abyssinians

Theater Premiere

Jan 9 Maxwell Anderson's stage drama "High Tor" premieres at Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 171 performances, wins Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play

  • Jan 12 Plough for laying submarine cable patented
  • Jan 15 Spanish Civil War: Second Battle of the Corunna Road ends after both forces withdraw
  • Jan 17 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins inaugural event by 3 strokes ahead of Dorothy Kirby

Hall of Fame

Jan 19 Cy Young, Tris Speaker & Nap Lajorie elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Historic Event

Jan 19 Millionaire Howard Hughes sets transcontinental air record (7h 28m 25s)

  • Jan 20 -45°F (-43°C), Boca, California (state record)
  • Jan 20 1st US Presidential Inauguration day held on Jan 20th, (previously March 4th)

Historic Event

Jan 23 Karl Radek and sixteen others go on trial in Moscow as part of the Great Purge, many are sentenced to death

  • Jan 25 1st broadcast of "Guiding Light" on NBC radio
  • Jan 25 Miami-to-Tampa bus overturned in a canal, kills 13
  • Jan 30 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton wins her first of 6 Australian singles titles; beats Emily Hood Westacott 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
  • Jan 30 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Vivian McGrath wins his only Grand Slam singles event; beats fellow Australian John Bromwich 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1
  • Feb 1 Stapleton, Staten Island, becomes a customs-free port
  • Feb 3 Don Bradman scores 212 (in 441 minutes!) in 5th cricket test v England
  • Feb 4 Jim Margie, Philadelphia, bowls 900 in 3 (unsanctioned) games

Historic Event

Feb 5 FDR proposes enlarging Supreme Court, "court packing" plan failed

  • Feb 6 K Elizabeth Ohi becomes 1st Japanese-US female lawyer
  • Feb 8 Maxwell Anderson's "Masque of Kings" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 11 44-day sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint Mich ends
  • Feb 12 Cleveland (now Los Angeles) Rams granted an NFL franchise
  • Feb 13 "Prince Valiant" comic strip appears; known for historical detail
  • Feb 13 Maribel Vinson wins her 9th US figure skating championship
  • Feb 13 Boston Redskins receive approval from NFL to move to Washington, D.C; to share baseball's Griffith Stadium with first Washington Senators of the American League
  • Feb 13 US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
  • Feb 16 DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace Carothers

Historic Event

Feb 16 Jean Anouilh's "Le Voyageur Sans Baggage" premieres in Paris

  • Feb 20 1st automobile/airplane combination tested, Santa Monica, California
  • Feb 21 Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile
  • Feb 21 The League of Nations bans foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War
  • Feb 24 1st US group hospital-medical cooperative authorized, Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 26 Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden's "Ascent of F6" premieres in London
  • Feb 27 Bradman scores 169 in 5th Test Cricket v England in 223 minutes
  • Mar 1 1st permanent automobile license plates issued (Ct)
  • Mar 1 Governor Wouters innaugrates the radio station on the Dutch Antilles
  • Mar 1 US Steel raises workers' wages to $5 a day
  • Mar 2 Mexico nationalizes oil
  • Mar 3 Australia snatches series against England 3-2 after being 2-0 down

Academy Awards

Mar 4 9th Academy Awards: "The Great Ziegfeld", Paul Muni & Luise Rainer wins

  • Mar 7 Bucharin, Jagoda & Rykov pushed out of CPSU in USSR

Radio History

Mar 14 Battle of the Century: Fred Allen & Jack Benny meet on radio during their "feud"

Catholic Encyclical

Mar 14 Pope Pius XI publishes anti-nazi-encyclical Mit brennender Sorge

  • Mar 15 First American blood bank in a hospital is opened at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
  • Mar 15 1st state contraceptive clinic opens in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Mar 18 Gas explosion in school in New London, Texas: 294 die
  • Mar 18 The human-powered aircraft, Pedaliante, flies 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) outside Milan.
  • Mar 19 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini redemptoris against communism
  • Mar 19 Astronomer Fritz Zwicky publishes his research on stellar explosion in which he coins the term "supernova" and hypothesizes that they were the origin of cosmic rays
  • Mar 19 96th Grand National: With King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in attendance, aptly-named Royal Mail ridden by jockey Evan Williams wins at odds of 100/6; estimated crowd, 300,000

Battle of Interest

Mar 20 Franco offensive at Guadalajara, Spain

  • Mar 20 England beats Scotland, 6-3 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh to clinch the Home Nations Rugby Championship and Triple Crown
  • Mar 21 Ponce massacre, police kill 19 at Puerto Rican Nationalist parade
  • Mar 23 LA Railway Co starts using PCC streetcars
  • Mar 24 Bus carrying a roller skater troupe to Cincinnati from St.Louis crashes into a bridge abutment in Salem, Illinois, killing 21 people
  • Mar 24 National Gallery of Art established by Congress

Sports History

Mar 25 It is revealed Quaker Oats pays Babe Ruth $25,000 per year for ads

  • Mar 25 Italy & Yugoslavia sign non-aggression treaty (Pact of Belgrade)
  • Mar 25 Lionel Conacher misses on 1st Stanley Cup penalty shot
  • Mar 25 Washington Daily News is 1st US newspaper with perfumed advertising page

Sports History

Mar 26 Joe DiMaggio takes Ty Cobb's advice and replaces his 40 oz bat with a 36 oz one

  • Mar 26 Spinach growers of Crystal City, Texas, erect statue of Popeye
  • Mar 26 William H. Hastie becomes 1st black federal judge (Virgin Islands)
  • Mar 27 Feijenoord Stadion, home ground of Dutch football club Feyenoord Rotterdam and nicknamed De Kuip opens after 2 years in construction
  • Apr 1 Aden becomes a British crown colony

US Masters Golf

Apr 4 4th Augusta National Invitation Tournament (Masters) Golf: Byron Nelson wins first of his 5 major titles by 2 strokes ahead of Ralph Guldahl

  • Apr 12 Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at Rugby, England.
  • Apr 15 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings beat New York Rangers, 3-0 for a 3-2 series win; back-to-back titles for Red Wings
  • Apr 19 41st Boston Marathon won by Walter Young of Canada in 2:33:20
  • Apr 22 NYC college students stage 4th annual peace strike

Sports History

Apr 23 New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell's first start of season, a 3-0 win over the Boston Bees, is his 17th straight win; streak continues for league record 24 victories in a row

  • Apr 26 German Luftwaffe destroys Basque town of Guernica in Spain
  • Apr 27 1st US social security payment made
  • Apr 28 1st animated cartoon electric sign displayed (NYC)
  • Apr 28 1st commercial flight across Pacific operated by Pan Am
  • Apr 29 Symbolic 'Golden Rivet', completing the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, is driven (later replaced with a more structurally sound steel version)
  • Apr 30 The Philippines holds a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; over 90% would vote in the affirmative
  • May 1 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, banning travel on belligerent ships and imposes an arms embargo on warring nations

Historic Event

May 3 Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for "Gone With The Wind"

The Age of Zeppelins

May 6 German airship Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 of the 97 on board and 1 on the ground

  • May 8 63rd Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on War Admiral wins 2:03.2
  • May 9 Reds beat Phillies 21-10 (Ernie Lombardi goes 6 for 6)
  • May 10 Busmen strike in London
  • May 12 St Louis Cards beat Philadelphia Phillies, 15-3

Royal Coronation

May 12 Coronation of King George VI of Great Britain (and his other realms and territories beyond the sea) at Westminster Abbey, London

  • May 15 62nd Preakness: Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral wins in 1:58.4
  • May 17 Juan Negrin succeeds Largo Caballero as Spain's premier
  • May 19 John Murray and Allen Boretz's "Room Service" premieres in NYC
  • May 25 1st airmail letter to circle globe returns to NY
  • May 26 Dutch Rail NV at law forms
  • May 27 New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell wins his MLB record 24th consecutive game in a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field; streak starts July 17, 1936
  • May 27 Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to pedestrians
  • May 28 Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to vehicular traffic

Election of Interest

May 28 Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

PGA Championship

May 30 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Pittsburgh Field Club: Defending champion Denny Shute defeats Jug McSpaden in 37 holes

  • May 30 Memorial Day Massacre: Chicago Police Department shoot and kill 10 unarmed demonstrators during the "Little Steel Strike" in the United States
  • May 30 42nd Men's French Championships: Henner Henkel beats Bunny Austin (6-1, 6-4, 6-3)
  • May 30 42nd Women's French Championships: Hilde Sperling beats Simonne Mathieu (6-2, 6-4)
  • May 31 Second largest crowd in Polo Grounds history (61,756) sees Brooklyn Dodgers beat NY Giants, 10-3, ending Carl Hubbell's record consecutive-game winning streak at 24
  • May 31 1st quadruplets to finish college (Baylor University)
  • May 31 German warships bombard Almeria, Spain
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw and riding mechanic 'Jigger' Johnson win race from Ralph Hepburn by 2.16 seconds, closest finish to that point; Johnson last winning riding mechanic
  • Jun 1 Chicago White Sox pitcher Bill Dietrich no-hits St Louis Browns, 8-0 at Comiskey Park, Chicago
  • Jun 1 Prince Konoye becomes Japanese premier

Historic Event

Jun 1 Edith Wharton suffers a heart attack and collapses at the French country home of Ogden Codman

  • Jun 3 Josh Gibson HR's just 2 feet below rim of Yankee Stadium (580' drive)
  • Jun 4 Léon Blum becomes premier of People's front government of France
  • Jun 5 69th Belmont: Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral wins in 2:28.6

Historic Event

Jun 5 Henry Ford initiates a 32 hour work week

  • Jun 6 Philadelphia Phillies trailing 8-2 to St Louis, forfeit game

Very Rare Photo of the Supreme Court

Jun 7 Time magazine publishes the second of the only two known photos taken of the United States Supreme Court in session

  • Jun 8 World's largest flower blooms in NY Botanical Garden, 12' calla lily
  • Jun 11 Marx Brothers' "A Day At The Races", directed by Sam Wood, is released in the US

US Golf Open

Jun 12 US Open Men's Golf, Oakland Hills CC: Ralph Guldahl wins first of his 2 consecutive US titles, 2 strokes ahead of Sam Snead

  • Jun 12 After a one-day show trial, eight Soviet generals are sentenced to death and executed by the NKVD
  • Jun 13 Joe DiMaggio hits 3 consecutive HRs against St Louis Browns
  • Jun 19 Francisco Franco's troops conquer the Bilbao Basques
  • Jun 19 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Beverly CC: Helen Hicks wins the first of her 2 major titles, defeating amateur Bea Barrett 6 & 5 in the final

Music Recording

Jun 19 Second of two legendary recording sessions by Delta Blues musician Robert Johnson with producer Don Law at the Vitagraph Studios, Dallas, Texas

  • Jun 21 French People's Popular Front government of Socialist Léon Blum falls

Boxing Title Fight

Jun 22 Challenger Joe Louis KOs James J Braddock in the 8th round at Chicago's Comiskey Park for the world heavyweight boxing title

  • Jun 25 Cub Augie Galan becomes 1st player to switch hit HRs in a game
  • Jun 26 Test cricket debut of Len Hutton v NZ at Lord's, scores 0 & 1
  • Jun 30 The world's first emergency call telephone service is launched in London using the number 999
  • Jul 1 Rev Martin Niemöller arrested in Nazi Germany for activities against the State
  • Jul 1 Spanish bishops support Francisco Franco and his fascist movement
  • Jul 2 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Don Budge beats Germany's Gottfried von Cramm 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 for first of back-to-back titles

Historic Event

Jul 2 Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappear flying over the Pacific Ocean en route to Howland Island. Noonan is declared dead the following year, and Earhart is declared the year after (1939)

  • Jul 3 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Dorothy Round of England beats Poland's Jadwiga Jędrzejowska 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 for her second Wimbledon title

Music History

Jul 3 Del Mar Turf Club, with crooner Bing Crosby as president and actor Pat O'Brien as a club officer, opens for racing

  • Jul 5 117°F (47°C), Medicine Lake, Montana (state record)
  • Jul 5 NY Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio hits 20th HR of the season but 1st career grand slam in 8-4 win vs Boston Red Sox
  • Jul 5 Republican offensive by Brunete in Spain
  • Jul 5 Spam, the luncheon meat is first introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation

Sports History

Jul 7 5th MLB All Star Game, Griffin Stadium, Washington: AL wins 8-3, Lou Gehrig drives in 4 runs with HR & double

  • Jul 7 Japanese and Chinese troops clash at the Marco Polo Bridge, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War
  • Jul 9 British Open Men's Golf, Carnoustie: Henry Cotton wins second of his 3 Open titles, 2 strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Reg Whitcombe

Music History

Jul 10 Dutch Django Reinhardt's "Quintette, premieres in du Hot Club"

  • Jul 12 -13) Tupolev ANT-25 non-stop flight Moscow to San Jacinto, California
  • Jul 15 Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens
  • Jul 15 Japanese attack Marco Polo Bridge, invade China
  • Jul 19 Entartete Art Fair opens in Munich
  • Jul 19 Joris Ivens' "Spanish Earth" premieres in Hollywood

Election of Interest

Jul 22 Irish premier Eamon de Valera wins elections

  • Jul 22 US Senate rejects FDR's proposal to enlarge Supreme Court
  • Jul 23 Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University)
  • Jul 24 Alabama drops charges against 5 blacks accused of rape in Scottsboro
  • Jul 25 31st Tour de France won by Roger Lapebie of France
  • Jul 26 End of the Battle of Brunete in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Jul 27 32nd Davis Cup: USA beats Great Britain in Wimbledon (4-1)
  • Jul 27 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Wimbledon: GB 4 title streak ends as American Frank Parker beats Charles Hare 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 for an unbeatable 3-1 lead; ends 4-1
  • Jul 28 Eddie Paynter scores 322 for Lancashire against Sussex
  • Jul 28 Richard Moore scores 316 for Hampshire against Warwickshire
  • Jul 29 Japanese troops occupies Peking and Tientsin
  • Jul 29 Tongzhou Incident: East Hopei Army mutinies against Japanese troops and civilians
  • Jul 30 Phillies Dolph Camilli, plays 1st base and registers no put outs
  • Jul 30 Russian Politburo issues NKVD Order no. 00447, to repress former kulak and anti-soviets, 269,100 to be arrested, 76,000 to be shot. Part of the Great Purge.
  • Aug 2 Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, essentially rendering marijuana and all its by-products illegal
  • Aug 6 Franco's artillery fires on Madrid
  • Aug 6 MLB overturns New York Yankees' 7-6 win over Cleveland Indians because of umpire error
  • Aug 6 US and USSR sign trade treaty
  • Aug 8 Bonneville Dam on Columbia River begins producing power
  • Aug 9 Ranger (US) easily beats Endeavour II (England) in race 4 to wrap up the 17th America's Cup yachting series, 4-0; it's the final competition for 21 years
  • Aug 10 5th Venice Film Festival opens
  • Aug 11 "The Life of Emile Zola" directed by William Dieterle and starring Paul Muni premieres in New York (Best Picture 1938)
  • Aug 13 Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese forces begin the Battle of Shanghai, a conflict that will last 3 months and involve 1 million troops
  • Aug 14 China declares war on Japan
  • Aug 14 Detroit Tigers score MLB record 36 runs in double header vs St. Louis Browns at Navin Field; win 16-1 & 20-7
  • Aug 14 Appalachian Trail is formally completed, traversing 2,000 miles and 14 US States, Georgia to Maine
  • Aug 18 1st FM radio construction permit issued (W1X0J (WGTR) in Boston MA)
  • Aug 24 Republican offensive near Belchite, Spain
  • Aug 24 In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrenders to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.
  • Aug 25 Japanese fleet blockades Chinese coast
  • Aug 26 General Franco's Nationalist troops conquer Santander during the Spanish Civil War
  • Aug 26 Pumping to build Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay is finished
  • Aug 27 Brooklyn Dodger Fred Frankhouse no-hits Cin, 5-0 in 7 2/3 inn game
  • Aug 27 George E T Eyston sets world auto speed record at 345.49 MPH
  • Aug 28 Toyota Motors becomes an independent company.
  • Aug 29 MLB Philadelphia A's Bob Johnson is 2nd to get 6 RBIs in an inning (1st)
  • Aug 30 Joe Louis beats Tommy Farr in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Aug 31 Det's rookie Rudy York sets record for HRs of 18 HRs in August
  • Sep 1 4th Chicago College All-Star Game: All-Stars beat Green Bay, 6-0; 84,560 at Soldier Field
  • Sep 1 Battle of Gijon in Spain begins
  • Sep 2 US Housing Authority created by National Housing Act

Historic Event

Sep 2 Film "The Prisoner of Zenda" based on the novel and play by Anthony Hope, starring Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is released

  • Sep 4 15 year old cyclist Doris Kopsky becomes 1st Amateur Bicycle League of America woman's national champion in 4:22.4 in Buffalo, NY
  • Sep 5 Spanish Civil War: Llanes falls
  • Sep 6 Spanish Civil War: The start of the Battle of El Mazuco
  • Sep 8 Pan Arab conference about Palestine opens