My Look Back: 1931

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fitzgeralds boating in France, 1931
Photo from LIFE Photo Archive
Spring is in the air here in California, so I'm thanking my lucky stars for that, as other parts of the country are not experiencing a spring bloom yet. This time around I'm looking back at 1931 and learning that although the Great Depression was spreading, there were also some pretty neat innovations and happenings that took place in this early part of the 1930's.  The photograph above depicts a happy time for Scott, Zelda and their daughter "Scottie" (Frances) Fitzgerald as they were boating in Annecy, France in 1931. Happy Spring everyone!
  • The Empire State Building is completed and is the world's tallest building in the world at 102 stories high. The record stands for 40 years until the World Trade Center's North Tower is finished in 1972. After September 11th 2001, it is once again the tallest building in New York until 2012 when One World Trade Center is completed. Check out the YouTube slideshow below for some pretty amazing photographs of the construction of the Empire State Building.
  • Little Orphan Annie debuts on the radio as the first children's serial radio show.
  • Unfortunately the unemployment rate doubles to 16.3% as the great depression spreads.
  • A loaf of bread cost 8 cents and a new car costs $640 dollars.
  • New Delhi becomes the capital of India.
  • Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in Alcatraz for tax evasion.
  • Nylon, the electric razor, and the aerosol can are invented.
  • The first Dracula movie is released, starring Bela Lugosi and Helen Chandler.
  • A teenage girl strikes out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during an exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • Ice vending machines are introduced in Los Angeles. You can buy 25 lbs. of ice for 15 cents.
  • France announces that they cannot afford to send a team to the 1932 Olympic Games.
  • Alka Seltzer is introduced. It is first marketed by the Dr. Miles Medicine Company.
  • James Dean, Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall, Mamie Van Doren, Mickey Mantle, Rita Moreno, and James Earl Jones are born. 


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