Signs of the Times: World Events during Bridge Construction

1933  |  1934  |  1935  |  1936  |  1937

1933

Politics/World Affairs

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated as 32nd U.S. President
  • Unemployment in the U.S. peaks at 25%
  • New Deal launched in the midst of Great Depression, with FDR’s famously declaring: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
  • Nazi leader Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany
  • Alcohol legalized, with the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition
  • Tennessee Valley Authority was established
  • Mohandas Gandhi began three-week hunger strike
  • Nazi leader Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany

Arts/Entertainment

  • The original film King Kong premiered
  • Screen Actors Guild established
  • Walt Disney won an Academy Award for his cartoon, The Three Little Pigs

Sports

  • First Major League Baseball game played

Pop Culture/Inventions

  • Newsweek magazine published for the first time
  • Ritz crackers introduced
  • First singing telegram introduced
  • First drive-in theater opened
  • FM radio broadcasting is born (Edwin Armstrong)

 

1934

Politics/World Affairs

  • First general strike in American history took place in San Francisco, in support of 12,000 striking members of International Longshoremen Association
  • Securities and Exchange Commission established
  • Two-day dust storm blasted Great Plains, one of the worst of the Dust Bowl
  • Long March of the Chinese Communists began
  • Stalin's great purges: thousands disappear or are deported in Siberia

Arts/Entertainment

  • Apollo Theater opened in Harlem
  • Flash Gordon comic strip first published
  • Animated short featuring the debut of Donald Duck released
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night published

Sports

  • U.S. Masters golf tournament held for first time.

Pop Culture/Inventions

  • Alcatraz established as a federal penitentiary
  • John Dillinger, as well as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, killed by authorities
  • Nylon invented by DuPont
  • Philo Farnsworth invents the television
  • Invention of radar

 

1935

Politics/World Affairs

  • Works Progress Administration (WPA) established
  • Social Security Act signed into law
  • Wagner Act guaranteed worker’s right to collective bargaining
  • American Federation of Labor refused to recognize industrial unions. John L. Lewis, president of United Mine Workers, left AFL to form Committee for Industrial Organization
  • Huey Long, Louisiana’s dictatorial, popular governor, assassinated.
  • Persia renamed Iran

Arts/Entertainment

  • Porky Pig first appeared in Looney Tunes
  • George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess first performed in New York
  • Disney released first official Mickey Mouse film in color, The Band Concert
  • The Marx Brothers starred in A Night at the Opera
  • Swing Era began with a legendary Benny Goodman performance
  • William Randolph Hearst earned the highest salary with Mae West earning the second highest.

Sports

  • Babe Ruth appeared in his last game
  • First nighttime Major League Baseball game played

Pop Culture/Inventions

  • First canned beer sold
  • Alcoholics Anonymous founded
  • Hoover Dam dedicated
  • Monopoly board game made its debut
  • Amelia Earhart became first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California
  • Ballpoint pen invented
  • Parking meter invented

 

1936

Politics/World Affairs

  • San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened
  • FDR re-elected to second term in a landslide
  • Sit down strike at GM’s Flint MI plant spread across country
  • Rome-Berlin Axis formed
  • Civil war erupts in Spain
  • Mussolini invades Ethiopia

Arts/Entertainment

  • Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf made debut in Moscow
  • Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind first published

Sports

  • Summer Olympics in Berlin featured world’s first live television coverage of any sporting event
  • Jesse Owens won 100-meter dash at Berlin Olympics
  • Joe DiMaggio played in his first World Series, as his Yankees defeated the (New York) Giants

Pop Culture/Inventions

  • First Volkswagen produced
  • San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened
  • First edition of Life magazine published
  • General Mills introduced fictional “Betty Crocker”
  • Heinrich Focke flies the first helicopter

 

1937

Politics/World Affairs

  • Golden Gate Bridge opened
  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade, composed of 3,000 Americans volunteered to fight in Spanish Civil War
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established in U.S.
  • Senate voted down FDR’s proposal to expand Supreme Court
  • “Rape of Nanking” committed during Sino-Japanese War
  • Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister of United Kingdom
  • U.S. Government estimated half million workers took part in sit-down strikes from Sept 1936 to May 1937
  • General Motors capitulated to worker’s demands and recognized the United Auto Workers after a 44 day strike with violent clashes
  • Chrysler plants shut down by strikes until union recognized
  • Memorial Day Massacre - Chicago Police Department shot and killed ten unarmed Republic Steel workers during the "Little Steel Strike” which arose after U.S. Steel signed a union contract but smaller steel manufacturers ('Little Steel'), including Republic Steel, refused

Arts/Entertainment

  • Disney’s first full-length feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered
  • John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men published
  • Bing Crosby scored his first hit record
  • Picasso completed his painting Guernica
  • Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon released

Sports

  • First Cotton Bowl played
  • Washington Redskins won the National Football League title, in their first year in Washington after moving from Boston

Pop Culture/Inventions

  • Amelia Earhart disappeared after taking off from New Guinea
  • Howard Hughes set transcontinental flight record
  • NBC began regular experimental television broadcasts
  • Spinach growers erected a statue to Popeye
  • Airship Hindenburg exploded above New Jersey
  • Abraham Lincoln’s head dedicated at Mount Rushmore
  • First prototype of jet engine built
  • First science fiction convention held
  • First nylon stockings appear