On This Day

Events in History in 1931

Historic Invention

Jan 6 Thomas Edison submits his last patent application

  • Jan 7 Guy Menzies flies the first solo non-stop trans-Tasman flight (from Australia to New Zealand) in 11 hours and 45 minutes, crash-landing on New Zealand's west coast.
  • Jan 22 French government of Steeg falls
  • Jan 22 Sir Isaac Isaacs is sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia
  • Jan 26 Hungary-Austria sign peace treaty
  • Jan 26 Lynn Riggs' "Green Grow the Lilacs" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 31 Philip Barry's "Tomorrow & Tomorrow" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 2 1st siyyum of Talmud celebrated by Daf Yomi students
  • Feb 2 1st use of a rocket to deliver mail (Austria)

Historic Event

Feb 3 Arkansas legislature passes motion to pray for soul of journalist H. L. Mencken, after he calls the state the "apex of moronia"

Hawke's Bay Earthquake

Feb 3 New Zealand's worst natural disaster, the Hawke's Bay earthquake, kills 256 and injures thousands, devastating Napier and the Hawke's Bay region

  • Feb 5 Maxine Dunlap becomes 1st US women to earn a glider pilot license
  • Feb 8 Gas explosion Fire in Fushun-coal mine, Manchuria kills 3,000
  • Feb 10 New Delhi becomes the capital of India
  • Feb 12 Vatican Radio begins broadcasting with the callsign HVJ
  • Feb 14 Spanish government of General Damasco Berenguer falls
  • Feb 16 Extreme right wing politician Pehr Evind Svinhufvud becomes President of Finland
  • Feb 17 Hockey's Hershey Bears (now with AHL) 1st game
  • Feb 20 Congress allows California to build Oakland-Bay Bridge
  • Feb 21 Alka Seltzer introduced
  • Feb 28 British politician Oswald Mosley founds the New Party
  • Mar 4 West Indies beat Australia for the 1st time, by 30 runs at SCG

Treaty of Interest

Mar 5 Gandhi & British viceroy Lord Irwin sign pact

  • Mar 10 Oswald Mosley leaves British Labour party and founds the "New Party"
  • Mar 11 Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR, abbreviated as GTO, is introduced in the Soviet Union
  • Mar 16 Genootschap Onze Taal (Our Language) organizes (Netherlands)
  • Mar 18 1st electric shavers go on sale in US (Schick)
  • Mar 18 Juan Bautista Aznar becomes premier of Spain
  • Mar 19 Nevada legalizes gambling
  • Mar 20 Bishop Schreiber warns against national-socialism in Berlin
  • Mar 21 KRO-broadcast studio initiated in Hilversum Holland

Execution

Mar 23 Indian independence fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged after conducting an assassination and a bombing. Their request to be shot by a firing squad is refused.

  • Mar 25 Scottsboro Boys arrested in Alabama, accused of raping a white woman
  • Mar 26 Iraq & Trans-Jordan sign peace treaty
  • Mar 26 Leo Bentley bowls 3 consecutive perfect games in Lorain, Ohio
  • Mar 26 New Delhi replaces Calcutta as capital of British-Indies
  • Mar 31 Brilliant Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne (43) is killed with 7 others when light plane crashes on trip from Kansas City to Los Angeles; record 105-12-5 @ .881 remains best ever
  • Apr 1 Earthquake devastate Managua Nicaragua, kills 2,000
  • Apr 6 1st Scottsboro (Alabama) trial begins - 9 blacks accused of rape
  • Apr 7 Seals Stadium opens in San Francisco
  • Apr 8 "White Horse Inn" opens in London
  • Apr 12 Spanish voters reject the monarchy
  • Apr 14 Spain becomes a republic with the overthrow of King Alfonso XIII
  • Apr 15 1st backwards walk across American begins
  • Apr 22 Egypt & Iraq sign peace treaty
  • Apr 27 100°F (38°C), Pahala, Hawaii (state record)
  • May 1 Empire State Building opens in New York City
  • May 1 Norway claims Peter I Island
  • May 4 Mustafa Kemal Pasja becomes Turkish president
  • May 8 Operette "Land of Smiles" premieres in London
  • May 11 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, fails, beginning financial collapse of Central Europe
  • May 13 Paul Doumer elected president of France
  • May 14 Ådalen shootings: five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration

Catholic Encyclical

May 15 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno

  • May 19 Cruiser Deutschland launched in Kiel
  • May 22 Canned rattlesnake meat 1st goes on sale in Florida
  • May 23 Whipsnade Zoo opens in Bedfordshire, England
  • May 24 1st air-conditioned train installed-B&O Railroad
  • May 27 1st full scale wind tunnel for testing airplane at Langley Field, Virginia
  • May 27 Swiss Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer make 1st flight into stratosphere, by balloon from Augsburg, Germany
  • Jun 5 Jules Renkin becomes premier of Belgium
  • Jun 6 Belgian government of Henri Jaspar falls
  • Jun 8 Suriname Work Committee under Louis Doedel forms in Paramaribo

Historic Invention

Jun 9 First rocket-powered aircraft design patented by Robert Goddard

  • Jun 10 Norway occupies East Greenland

Historic Event

Jun 12 Al Capone is indicted on 5,000 counts of prohibition and perjury

  • Jun 14 French "St Philbert" overturns off St Nazaire France, drowns 450
  • Jun 15 Poland and USSR sign friendship and trade treaty
  • Jun 16 Austrian government of Ender falls
  • Jun 19 1st photoelectric cell installed commercially West Haven, Connecticut
  • Jun 20 Karl Buresch becomes chancellor of Austrian
  • Jun 22 RVU, Radio-Volks-University, forms

Historic Event

Jun 23 Wiley Post and Harold Catty take off for a flight around the world

  • Jun 24 USSR & Afghanistan sign neutrality treaty
  • Jun 29 109°F (43°C), Monticello, Florida (state record, until broken in 2015)

Catholic Encyclical

Jun 29 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical on Nun abbiamo bisogno (We do not need fascism and Mussolini)

  • Jul 1 Ice vending machines introduced in Los Angeles 25 lbs, 15 cents
  • Jul 1 Trans African Railway in use (Benguela, Angola-Jadotville, Congo)

Historic Event

Jul 1 US President Herbert Hoover places a one year moratorium on war debt payments

  • Jul 4 1st fireworks are held at Cleveland Stadium
  • Jul 4 1st trailside museum opens in Cleveland Metroparks
  • Jul 18 1st air-conditioned ship (Mariposa) launched
  • Jul 21 Reno race track, becomes 1st in US to use daily double wagering
  • Jul 23 Ashmore & Cartier Islands in Indian Ocean transferred to Australia
  • Jul 24 George Gunn gets 183 and son of a gunn George Vernon 100* same innings
  • Jul 24 A fire at a home for the elderly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania kills 48 people.
  • Jul 27 Chilean president Carlos Ibáñez forced out
  • Jul 27 Grasshoppers in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota destroyed thousands of acres of crops

Historic Event

Jul 28 Mob hitman Mad Dog Coll allegedly participates in a kidnapping attempt that results in the shooting death of a child, which earns him the nickname "Mad Dog"

  • Aug 2 Spanish Catalonia agrees (99+%) for autonomous status
  • Aug 12 Yangtzee River floods after heavy rain crumbles dikes in China
  • Aug 15 Ernest Lassy completes longest canoe journey without port (6,102 mi)
  • Aug 15 Roy Wilkins joined NAACP as asst secretary
  • Aug 19 Lefty Grove wins AL record tying 16th consecutive game
  • Aug 23 Count Gyula Károlyi becomes premier of Hungary
  • Aug 23 Philadelphia A's Lefty Grove, loses 1-0 (Browns) after winning 16 straight
  • Aug 24 France & USSR sign neutrality/no attack treaty
  • Sep 10 Lord Cecil of British government says War was never so improbable

Murder of Interest

Sep 11 Salvatore Maranzano is murdered by Charles Luciano's hitmen.

  • Sep 13 Capt G H Stainworth flies world speed record (655 kph)
  • Sep 13 Right-radical coup of Dr Pfrimer fails in Austria
  • Sep 15 British naval fleet mutinies at Invergordon over pay cuts
  • Sep 15 Philadelphia A's clinch pennant, beating Cleveland
  • Sep 16 Blimp is moored to Empire State Building (NYC)
  • Sep 17 1st LP record demonstrated (RCA Victor, NYC), venture failed
  • Sep 18 To create a pretext for the invasion of Manchuria, China, a railway explosion is faked by the Japanese
  • Sep 19 Japanese troops conquer Mukden, South Manchuria
  • Sep 21 Britain abandons gold standard; pound devalues 20%
  • Sep 22 Coalition Government forms in New Zealand to combat the Depression (their lack of success led to the election of the First Labour Government in 1935)
  • Sep 28 200,000 demonstrators demand declaration of war on Japan in Peking
  • Sep 30 Start of "Die Voortrekkers" youth movement for Afrikaners in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • Oct 1 Spanish Cortes accept general female suffrage
  • Oct 1 The second (and current) Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is opened in New York.
  • Oct 2 Pope Pius XI encyclical On economic crisis
  • Oct 4 Dick Tracy comic strip by Chester Gould debuts
  • Oct 4 Juan Esteban Montero becomes President of Chile
  • Oct 5 1st nonstop transpacific flight, Japan to Wash (Herndon & Pangborn)
  • Oct 5 Paul Green's "House of Connelly" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 6 Joris van Severen forms Verdinaso (Union of Flemish National Solidarists)
  • Oct 7 1st infra-red photograph, Rochester, NY
  • Oct 10 A J Bennett hits H Garbarino for 1st scoring pass in Canada's Big 4
  • Oct 10 William Waltons "Belshazzar's Feast" premieres in Leeds
  • Oct 11 100,000 extreme-right Germans form "Harzburger Front"
  • Oct 12 1st International Conference on Calendar Reform

Christ the Redeemer

Oct 12 Christ the Redeemer statue opens standing 30 meters high (98 ft) on top of Mount Corcovado overlooking Rio de Janeiro, built by engineer Heitor da Silva Costa

  • Oct 14 1st broadcast of Dutch Radio Peoples University
  • Oct 14 Spanish Cortes agrees to separation of Church & State
  • Oct 16 US trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd murders two friends then dismembers one of them in Phoenix
  • Oct 17 Gangster Al Capone is convicted on five of the 23 counts of tax evasion against him, later fined $50,000 and sentenced to 11 years in jail
  • Oct 18 American gangster Al Capone convicted of tax evasion
  • Oct 20 Frankie Frisch of the Cards named MVP
  • Oct 24 George Washington Bridge linking New York City and New Jersey dedicated, opens the next day
  • Oct 24 Gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years for tax evasion

Theater Premiere

Oct 26 Eugene O'Neill's play cycle "Mourning Becomes Electra" premieres in NYC

  • Nov 1 Dupont introduces synthetic rubber
  • Nov 3 First commercially produced synthetic rubber manufactured

Theater Premiere

Nov 4 Jean Genet's play "Judith" premieres in Paris

Historic Event

Nov 7 Chinese People's Republic proclaimed by Mao Zedong

  • Nov 13 Hattie Caraway (D-AK) appointed first US woman senator
  • Nov 14 Ottawa Mint Act is proclaimed in Britain

Historic Event

Nov 17 Charles Lindbergh inaugurates Pan Am service from Cuba to South America in the Sikorsky flying boat "American Clipper"

  • Nov 20 Commercial teletype service begins (AT&T)
  • Nov 22 1st performance of Ferde Grofé's "Grand Canyon Suite" given by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra at Studebaker Theater, Chicago
  • Nov 23 Nationally Crisis Committee forms in The Hague
  • Nov 30 His Master's Voice and Columbia Records merge into EMI
  • Dec 1 Ottawa branch of Royal Mint begins operation as Royal Canadian Mint
  • Dec 3 Alka Seltzer goes on sale
  • Dec 8 Coaxial cable patented
  • Dec 9 Benn W Levy's "Springtime for Henry" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 9 Japanese army attacks Chinese province of Jehol
  • Dec 9 Spain becomes a republic

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Jane Addams named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize; 1st American woman Nobel laureate [1]

Election of Interest

Dec 10 Manuel Azaña becomes Prime Minister of Spain with Niceto Zamora as President

  • Dec 11 Japan leaves the Gold Standard
  • Dec 11 Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (not then part of Canada)
  • Dec 12 Japanese government of Imukai forms
  • Dec 14 1st assembly of Anton Musserts NSB in Utrecht
  • Dec 16 German SPD begins Iron Front against fascism

Historic Event

Dec 17 First meeting of the Indian Statistical Institute organized by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in Calcutta

  • Dec 19 Joseph A Lyons (C) becomes premier of Australia

Historic Event

Dec 22 Retrospective show of Mexican artist Diego Rivera opens at The Museum of Modern Art in New York

  • Dec 25 Albert Lonergan scores 137 SA v Qld at Adelaide before 5,697
  • Dec 25 Fleetwood-Smith takes 5-69 Victoria v Tas at Hobart

Historic Event

Dec 28 Lin-Sen succeeds Chiang Kai-shek as President of Nanjing-China

  • Dec 29 Identification of heavy water publicly announced, HC Urey
  • Dec 29 Victoria score 7 for 435 in second innings to beat NSW