Return to home1937 Jan 1,
The US Social Security system began levying taxes on workers’ wages.
1937 Jan 1, At a party at the
Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest won $100 for naming a new
canned meat-Spam. SPAM was originally called Hormel Spiced Ham in
1936 without much success.
1937 Jan 4, Grace Bumbry,
soprano (Venus, in "Tannhauser"), was born in St. Louis.
1937 Jan 6, The U.S. banned the
shipment of arms to war-torn Spain.
1937 Jan 8, In San Francisco
demonstrations took place in front of the German Consulate at 201
Sansome Street protesting the bombing of Madrid.
(SSFC, 1/8/12, p.42)
1937 Jan 8, Nash Motors, a
component of the Dow Jones, changed its name to Nash Kelvinator.
(WSJ, 4/8/04, p.C4)
1937 Jan 9, Italian regime
banned marriages between Italians and Abyssinians.
1937 Jan 13, The United States
barred Americans from serving in the Spanish War.
1937 Jan 19, Millionaire Howard
Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane
from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in seven hours, 28 minutes and 25
1937 Jan 19, In the Soviet
Union, the People's Commissars Council was formed under Molotov.
1937 Jan 20, President Franklin
Roosevelt was inaugurated for a 2nd term. He became the first chief
executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.
(AP, 1/20/08)(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.D6)
1937 Jan 20, In San Francisco a
fire gutted the 7-story Wilson building at 975 Market St.
(SSFC, 1/15/12, p.46)
1937 Jan 22, In San Francisco
riots between longshoremen factions surged through the financial
district. 33 men were sent to jail and 4 to the hospital. This was
the first major disturbance in the 85-day-old maritime strike.
(SSFC, 1/22/12, DB p.42)
1937 Jan 23, 17 people went on
trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin’s "Great Purge."
1937 Jan 25, The US radio
program "The Guiding Light," made its debut. In 1952 it became a
television soap opera on CBS.
1937 Jan 27, The Ohio River
crested at 57.1 feet, almost thirty feet above flood stage. The
flood of 1937 took place in late January and February. Damage
stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois. One million persons
were left homeless, with 385 dead and property losses reaching $500
million. The Mississippi River crested at 14.8 meters. Flooding left
37 people dead in Arkansas. In 2010 Patrick O’Daniel authored
“Memphis and the Superflood of 1937: High Water
1937 Jan 30, Mexico's Pres.
Lazaro Cardenas created the AGPN, "Administracion General del
Petroleo Nacional." The AGPN became a public organism that would
guide the Mexican oil industry. The creation of the AGPN constituted
the transformation of Petromex into a publicly driven firm.
1937 Jan, Arab riots spread
across Palestine and British forces sought to restrict Jewish
immigration. In the Beit Shean Valley 30 young people set up a
defensible tower and stockade that became the Kibbutz Sde Nahum.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A26)
1937 Feb 1, Don Everly, was
born. (singer: group: The Everly Brothers with brother, Phil: Wake
Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown, All I Have To Do Is
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1937 Feb 1, Garrett Morris, was
born. (comedian: Saturday Night Live, actor: The Anderson Tapes,
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1937 Feb 1, Ray Sawyer, was
born. (singer: group: Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show: Only Sixteen,
Cover of the Rolling Stone, Sylvia’s Mother)
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1937 Feb 5, President Roosevelt
proposed increasing the number of Supreme Court justices. Critics
charged that he was attempting to "pack" the court.
1937 Feb 9, In San Francisco
United Airlines DC-3 crashed 2 miles from Mills Field. The co-pilot
had dropped his microphone which jammed the controls preventing the
pilot from pulling out of the glide. The plane crashed killing all
2/5/12, DB p.42)
1937 Feb 11, In Flint, Mich., a
sit-down strike against General Motors ended after 44 days, with the
company agreeing to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union.
The UAW was victorious in a strike against GM. GM recognized the
union and agreed to a contract.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)(AP, 2/11/97)
1937 Feb 14, Austrian leader
Schuschnigg threatened to restore the Hapsburg monarchy.
1937 Feb 16, Wallace H.
Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who invented nylon,
received a patent for the synthetic fiber. It would replace silk in
a number of products and reduce costs. [see 1930] In 2000 Susannah
Handley authored "Nylon: The Story of a Fashion Revolution."
(HN, 2/16/98)(AP, 2/16/98)(WSJ, 1/21/00, p.W8)
1937 Feb 17, Nearly at the end
of the four years of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, 10
construction workers lost their lives when a section of scaffold
fell through a safety net. When construction began on the
35-million-dollar bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait between San
Francisco and Marin County, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss was
determined to use the most rigorous safety precautions available.
Protective hardhats and glare-free goggles were required and special
diets were developed to combat dizziness. But it was the safety net
strung under the bridge during construction that saved the lives of
19 men who became known as the "Half-Way-to-Hell" Club. Until
February 17, 1937, only one life had been lost during construction.
The Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.
(HNPD, 2/17/99)(SSFC, 2/12/12, DB p.42)
1937 Feb 22, Samuel Whitbread,
English brewer, multi-millionaire, was born.
1937 Feb 25, Basia Johnson,
maid, was born. She later inherited the Johnson & Johnson
1937 Feb 25, Bob Schieffer,
newscaster (CBS Weekend News), was born in Austin, Tx.
1937 Feb 26, C. Isherwood and
W.H. Auden's "Ascent of F6" premiered in London.
1937 Feb, More than 30,000
Ethiopians were reportedly massacred by Italian forces in Addis
Ababa. Italian estimates numbered between 600 and 2,000. Later
studies put the number at around 20,000.
(http://nazret.com/history/)(Econ 7/22/17, p.66)
1937 Mar 1, The 1st US
permanent automobile license plates was issued in Connecticut.
1937 Mar 1, US Steel raises
workers' wages to $5 a day.
1937 Mar 1, Governor Wouters
inaugurated a radio station on the Dutch Antilles.
1937 Mar 6, The tanker ship
Frank H. Buck sank off the coast of San Francisco. It was visible
during low tide from between Point Vista and the Palace of the
Legion of Honor.
1937 Mar 6, Jose Pena Gomez
(d.1998 at 61), advocate for the poor and later mayor of Santo
Domingo, was born in Valverde, Dominican Republic, to Haitian
immigrants. According to Jose Pena Gomez, a Dominican massacre of
Haitians forced his parents to flee back to Haiti. Jose was adopted
by a Dominican family.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)
1937 Mar 6, Valentina
Nikolayeva-Tereshkova, Russian astronaut, was born. In 1963 she
became the first women to orbit the Earth on Vostok 6.
(HN, 3/6/99)(MC, 3/6/02)
1937 Mar 13, Elihu Thomson
(b.1853, English-born engineer and inventor, died in Massachusetts.
He was instrumental in the founding of major electrical companies in
the United States, the United Kingdom and France. He and Edwin J.
Houston had co-founded the Thomson-Houston Electric Company which
merged with Edison General Electric to form General Electric in
1937 Mar 15, The 1st state
contraceptive clinic opened in Raleigh, NC.
1937 Mar 15, H.P. Lovecraft
(b.1890), author of horror tales whose works included "The Color out
of Space," died in Providence, RI.
(HN, 8/20/98)(SSFC, 2/27/05, p.B1)
1937 Mar 17, Amelia Earhart
took off from Oakland, Ca., in an attempt to become the first pilot
to fly around the globe at the equator.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.A8)
1937 Mar 18, Some 300 people,
mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New
1937 Mar 18, In Missouri Jim
the Wonder Dog died at age 12 at the Lake of the Ozarks. The dog had
uncanny abilities that were verified but never explained.
(SFC, 3/29/99, p.A3)
1937 Mar 20, Jerry Reed,
singer, actor (Bat 21, Smokey & the Bandit), was born in
1937 Mar 20, A Franco offensive
took place at Guadalajara, Spain.
1937 Mar 21, Ponce massacre:
police killed 19 at a Puerto Rican Nationalist parade.
1937 Mar 22, Ray Woods, a
professional diver from St. Louis, leaped from the San
Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in an attempt to set a new world record
for high dive. He suffered 6 broken vertebrae, but survived.
(SSFC, 3/18/12, DB
1937 Mar 23, Los Angeles
Railway Co. started using PCC streetcars. PCC's are streetcars that
were originally designed under the direction of the Electric Railway
Presidents' Conference Committee, in an attempt by 25 U.S. and
Canadian transit companies to develop a standardized streetcar whose
many improvements would help to reverse the decline in transit use
that had begun in the 1920's. The committee's efforts began in late
1929, and the first cars were put into service in New York in
1937 Mar 24, A bus blew a tire,
went out of control and 18 people were killed in Salem, Illinois.
1937 Mar 26, a 6-foot-tall
concrete statue of the cartoon character Popeye was unveiled during
the Second Annual Spinach Festival in Crystal City, Texas.
1937 Mar 26, William H. Hastie
became the first black federal judge in the Virgin Islands.
(HN, 3/25/98)(SS, 3/26/02)
1937 Mar 29, Billy Carter,
brother of Pres Carter, was born in Plains, Georgia.
1937 Mar 30, Warren Beatty,
American actor and director, was born in Richmond, Va., as Henry
Warren Beaty. His older sister became famous as actress Shirley
MacLaine (b.1934). In 2010 Peter Biskind authored ”How Warren Beatty
(SSFC, 1/10/10, Books p.F1)
1937 Mar, Jack S. Liebowitz and
Harry Donenfeld published their 1st issue of Detective Comics, later
known as DC Comics. They later added Batman (1939) and Superman
along with other super heroes.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C9)
1937 Mar, The encyclical "With
Burning Sorrow" (Mit brennender Sorge) was "smuggled" into Germany.
Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pius XII) helped Pius XI draft the
work which denounced Nazi paganism and racism. The Encyclical was
"published" in Germany and read from the pulpits of every Catholic
church on Palm Sunday.
(WSJ, 4/25/97, p.A18)(WSJ, 5/8/97, p.A23)
Apr 1, Aden became a British colony.
1937 Apr 5, Colin Powell, U.S.
Army general, was born in Bronx New York. He later became the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War
and first African American to serve in the position. In 2000
Pres.-elect Bush appointed him to be Sec. of State.
(HFA, '96, p.28)(HN, 4/5/99)(SSFC, 12/17/00,
1937 Apr 6, Merle Haggard,
American country musician, was born.
1937 Apr 8, Seymour Hersh,
award winning investigative reporter (NY Times), was born.
1937 Apr 12, The US Supreme
Court ruled that the 1935 National Labor Relations Act is
(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.D6)
1937 Apr 13, Edward Fox, actor
(M-Never Say Never Again, The Day of the Jackal), was born in
1937 Apr 13, Lanford Wilson, US
playwright (Hot L Baltimore), was born.
1937 Apr 17, Cartoon characters
Daffy Duck, Elmer J. Fudd and Petunia Pig, debuted.
1937 Apr 18, Leon Trotsky
called for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1937 Apr 22, Jack Nicholson,
actor (One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest, Shining), was born in NJ.
1937 Apr 25, Bo Brundin,
actress (Rhinemann Exchange), was born in Stockholm, Sweden.
1937 Apr 25, Clem Sohn (26),
air show performer, died when his chute failed to open.
1937 Apr 26, The radio show
"Lorenzo Jones" began over NBC Radio with Karl Swenson in the lead
role. It ran to 1955.
(440 Int’l. Internet, 4/26/97, p.2)
1937 Apr 26, German planes from
the Condor Legion--sent to Spain by Adolf Hitler to help fascist
General Francisco Franco overthrow the communist Popular Front
regime-- attacked the Basque town of Guernica in Spain. Bombs fell
for three hours and escaping villagers were shot down by
machine-gun fire from the air. The attack killed as many as
1,600-1,650 Basque civilians and injured 900. Although the alleged
target was a bridge of military significance some distance from the
town, dazed survivors described a merciless four-hour bombing and
strafing attack by German pilots directed toward the village and its
inhabitants. The Guernica atrocity became synonymous with the horror
of modern warfare and inspired one of the 20th century's greatest
works of art, Guernica, by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
(440 Int’l. internet, 4/26/97, p.2)(WSJ, 4/28/97,
p.A1)(AP, 4/26/98)(HNPD, 4/26/99)
1937 Apr 27, Sandy Dennis,
actress (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), was born in Nebraska.
1937 Apr 27, The Franklin
Roosevelt administration began distributing the nation’s first
Social Security checks.
(AP, 4/27/06)(AH, 4/07, p.14)
1937 Apr 27, Antonio Gramsci
(b.1891), Italian communist, philosopher and political theorist,
died. He said that to eliminate the bourgeois state one must seize
the institutions that reproduce the dominant class’s thought
1937 Apr 28, A ceremony marked
the driving of the last rivet into the Golden Gate Bridge. A rivet
gun destroyed a symbolic gold rivet and a steel rivet finished the
(SSFC, 4/22/12, DB p.46)
1937 Apr 28, The 1st animated
cartoon electric sign was displayed in NYC.
1937 Apr 28, Saddam Hussein,
future president of Iraq, was born in the village of al-Oja near the
desert town of Tikrit. His invasion of Kuwait prompted the Persian
Gulf War. This became a state holiday under Hussein's rule and was
abolished in 2003. He was executed in Dec 2006.
(SFEC, 3/29/98, p.A12)(HN, 4/28/99)(WSJ, 1/20/02,
1937 Apr 28, Jean Redpath,
Scottish folk singer, was born.
1937 May 1, President Franklin
Roosevelt signed an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out
of World War II.
1937 May 3, Margaret Mitchell
won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone with the Wind."
1937 May 6, At 7:25 p.m. the
giant German airship (dirigible or zeppelin) Hindenburg burst into
flames and crashed to the ground as it attempted to dock with a
mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Carrying
36 passengers and 61 crew, Hindenburg left Frankfurt on May 4 for
its first transatlantic voyage of the 1937 season. A total of 36
died when the fire ignited the 16 hydrogen-filled cells and
destroyed the zeppelin in only 34 seconds. This included 13
passengers, 22 crew members and one of the ground crew. The airship
was 803 feet long and had private rooms for 50 passengers. It had an
11,000 mile range. A newsreel film of the Hindenburg Disaster was
made. The true cause of the disaster remains a mystery, although
crash investigators considered claims that Hindenburg was lost due
to sabotage or an accidental charge of static electricity.
(Hem., 1/96, p.108)(AP,
5/6/97)(SFC,11/21/97, p.C17)(ON, 8/12, p.11)
1937 May 8, Thomas Pynchon,
novelist (Gravity's Rainbow), was born.
1937 May 10, Arthur Kopit,
American playwright, was born.
1937 May 11, Spam, a canned ham
by Hormel, was registered as a trademark. It was introduced to the
public as Spam on July 5, 1937.
(WSJ, 4/29/04, p.D10)(http://tinyurl.com/3soounh)
1937 May 12, George Carlin
(d.2002), comedian, was born in the Bronx.
1937 May 12, In San Francisco
over 1,000 tons of gold were moved from the old to the new US Mint.
The Old Mint stopped being an actual mint and was just used for
federal offices. It had once stored a third of the nation’s gold
supply. The new mint opened on upper Market near the Castro
(SFC, 8/2/01, p.A14)(SSFC, 1/28/03, p.E6)(SSFC,
1937 May 12, The Duke of York
was crowned Britain's King George VI at Westminster Abbey.
(SFEM, 1/26/97, p.40)(AP, 5/12/97)
1937 May 13, Judith Somogi,
conductor, was born in NYC.
1937 May 13, Roger [Joseph]
Zelazny, sci-fi author (6 Hugos, Chronicles of Amber), was born.
1937 May 15, Trini Lopez,
singer, guitarist (If I Had a Hammer), was born in Trinidad.
1937 May 21, The San Francisco
Theater Union premiered the first stage version of John Steinbeck’s
“Of Mice and Men.”
(SSFC, 5/13/12, p.42)
1937 May 23, John Davison
Rockefeller (97), industrialist, died in Ormond Beach, Fla. In 1998
Ron Chernow published this biography: "Titan: The Life of John D,
Rockefeller, Sr." His value in 1999 dollars totaled $190 billion.
(AP, 5/23/97)(WSJ, 5/8/98, p.W1)(SFEC, 5/23/99,
Par p.7)(MC, 5/23/02)
1937 May 24, The US Supreme
Court ruled that the Social Security Act is constitutional.
1937 May 25, 1st airmail letter
to circle the globe returned to New York.
1937 May 25, Henry O. Tanner,
1937 May 27, The newly
completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting SF and Marin County, Calif.,
was opened to pedestrian traffic. The bridge, designed by Joseph
Strauss (d.1938), was built to sway 13 feet six inches of center in
either direction. Over 200,000 pedestrians walked across on opening
day. The bridge towers stood a record 750 feet. In 2007 Frank Stahl
and Daniel Mohn authored “The Golden Gate Bridge, Report of the
Chief Engineer, Vol II.” They gave credit to engineer Charles Ellis
of the Univ. of Illinois for much of the technical and theoretical
work that went into the bridge. He was fired by Strauss before
(AP, 5/27/97)(SFEC, 10/5/97, Z1 p.6)(SFC,
10/30/99, p.C3)(SFC, 5/11/07, p.A1)(SSFC, 12/10/17, DB p.54)
1937 May 28, President
Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular
traffic could cross the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in
California. Cars were charged 50 cents each way.
(AP, 5/28/97)(SSFC, 5/20/12, p.E10)
1937 May 28, Neville
Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.
1937 May 28, Alfred Adler (67),
Austria psychiatrist (Individual Psychology), died.
1937 May 29, Peter Kolman,
composer, was born.
1937 May 30, The Memorial Day
Massacre took place. Ten union demonstrators were killed and 84
wounded when police opened fire in front of the South Chicago
Republic Steel plant. Earlier in 1937 the Steel Workers’ Organizing
Committee had secured recognition by U.S. Steel as the workers’
bargaining agency and had won a number of concessions. "Little
Steel," under the leadership of Republic’s Tom Girdler firmly
opposed the union demands, leading to the deadly demonstration. A
newsreel film of the Republic Steel strike riots was made.
(AP, 5/30/97)(SFC,11/21/97, p.C17)(HNQ, 5/25/98)
1937 May 31, German battleships
shelled Almeria, Spain.
1937 Jun 1, Amelia Earhart and
navigator Fred Noonan departed from Miami Municipal airport in a
Lockheed 10E Electra airplane. She was last heard from one month
later trying to find tiny Howland Island in the middle of the
(Hem., 2/96, p.44)(SFC, 10/30/99, p.C3)
1937 Jun 3, The US Agricultural
Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 was signed. It provided authority
for federal marketing orders, and also reaffirmed the marketing
agreements provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933.
1937 Jun 3, The Duke of
Windsor, who had abdicated the British throne, married Wallis
Warfield Simpson in Monts, France. In 2003 secret police records
revealed that Simpson was also having an affair with Guy Marcus
Trundle, a used car salesman.
(AP, 6/3/97)(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A10)
1937 Jun 4, Robert Fulghrum,
American author, was born. He wrote "All I Really need to Know I
learned in Kindergarten" and "It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It."
1937 Jun 4, Freddy Fender,
singer, was born as Baldemar Huerta. His songs included: Wasted Days
and Wasted Nights and Before the Next Teardrop Falls.
1937 Jun 5, Henry Ford
initiated a 32 hour work week.
1937 Jun 6, Ivan Papanin
(1894-1986) raised the Soviet flag over the North Pole-1 station.
For 234 days the 4-man Papanin team carried out a wide range of
scientific observations in the near-polar zone.
1937 Jun 7, Actress Jean Harlow
died in Los Angeles at age 26.
1937 Jun 8, Joan Rivers
(comedienne, talk show host: Can We Talk), was born.
1937 Jun 8, In Britain Stanley
Baldwin accepted an earldom and retired from politics.
1937 Jun 10, San Francisco
police began the destruction of some 400 slot machines seized in the
past years. They planned to dump the destroyed machines in the SF
(SSFC, 6/10/12, DB p.42)
1937 Jun 10, Luciana Paluzzi
(Fiona Volpe), actress (Five Fingers, Thunderball), was born in
1937 Jun 11, Johnny Brown,
comedian (Good Times, Leslie Uggams), was born in St Petersburg,
1937 Jun 11, Marx Brothers' "A
Day At The Races" was released.
1937 Jun 11, Reginald Joseph
Mitchell (b.1895), British aeronautical engineer and chief designer
of the Spitfire fighter, died of cancer.
(ON, 3/07, p.2)
1937 Jun 12, The Soviet Union
executed eight army leaders as a purge under Josef Stalin continued.
(AP, 6/12/97)(HN, 6/12/98)
1937 Jun 13, Stalin executed
Russian officers Tuchachevski, Jakir, Putna & Uberevitch.
1937 Jun 15, Waylon Jennings
(d.2002), country singer, was born in Littlefield, Texas, where his
father worked on a cotton farm.
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.A2)
1937 Jun 16, August Busch III,
CEO (Anheuser-Busch, St Louis Cards), was born.
1937 Jun 16, Marx Brothers' "A
Day At The Races" opened in LA. [see Jun 11]
1937 Jun 18, Gail Godwin,
writer (The Perfectionists, The Southern Family), was born.
1937 Jun 18, John D.
Rockefeller IV, U.S. Senator, was born.
1937 Jun 19, The town of
Bilbao, Spain, fell to the Nationalist forces.
1937 Jun 19, James M. Barrie
(b.1860), Scottish writer (Dear Brutus, Peter Pan), died. In 2004
the film "Finding Neverland," was based on Barrie’s life.
1937 Jun 20, Immediately upon
their landing in Vancouver, [Wa.?] after their daring 1937
transpolar flight from Moscow to America, three Soviet airmen were
treated to breakfast in the home of Brigadier General George C.
Marshall, commander of Vancouver Barracks. The record-setting,
5,507-mile, 60-hour flight made the unexpected early-morning landing
on June 20 in Vancouver as the Tupelov ANT-25 ran low on fuel.
Marshall, alerted to the landing, rushed to Pearson Field and
escorted the crew of Valery Chkalov, Georgy Baidukov and Aleksandr
Belyakov back to his home where his wife prepared a hearty breakfast
for them. The Soviets were feted in the U.S. for their
accomplishment and each honored as Heroes of the Soviet Union.
1937 Jun 21, Wimbledon was
televised for the first time.
1937 Jun 22, Joe Louis began
his reign as world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jim
Braddock in the eighth round of their fight in Chicago.
1937 Jun 27, Joseph P. Allen
IV, PhD, astronaut (STS-5, STS 51A), was born in Crawfordsville,
1937 Jun 27, Robert Johnson,
blues guitarist, recorded "Traveling Riverside Blues and 10 other
songs in Dallas for the American Record Corp. He also did "Come On
in My Kitchen."
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.D5)(BS, 5/3/98, p.7E)
1937 Jun 29, Joseph-Armand
Bombardier received notification that the Canadian government had
granted his patent request for his snowmobile (une autoneige).
(ON, 4/03, p.6)
1937 Jul 1, Rev. Martin
Niemoeller (Bekennende Kirche) was arrested in Germany.
1937 Jul 1, Spanish bishops
supported Franco & fascists.
1937 Jul 2, Polly Holliday,
actress (Flo-Alice, Flo-Flo), was born in Jasper, Ala.
1937 Jul 2, Richard Petty, auto
race driver (Daytona 500-1979,81), was born.
1937 Jul 2, Amelia Earhart and
navigator Fred Noonan left Lae in Papua, New Guinea and disappeared
over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first
round-the-world flight at the equator. The two had set out in
Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed Electra, taking off from Oakland,
Calif., for Miami on May 21. They flew across the Atlantic from
Brazil to Africa, then reached Calcutta on June 17, having made 15
stops thus far. They failed to arrive at their scheduled stop at
Howland Island. Radio operators received messages from Earhart
saying that they had to be close and were circling, searching for
land, but radio contact was lost and the two were never heard from
again. Noonan was alcoholic and had been on a binge the night
before. Radioman Leo Bellarts was the last person to communicate
with Earhart. Errors from the US Coast Guard cutter Itasca were
later identified as contributing to the disappearance.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.A8) (SFC, 5/20/97, p.A12) (AP,
7/2/97) (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.B10) (HNPD, 7/2/99)(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A1,11)
1937 Jul 2, C. Jackson
discovered asteroids #1429, Pemba, & #1456, Saldanha.
1937 Jul 3, Tom Stoppard,
British author and dramatist, was born in Czechoslovakia as Tomas
Strassler. His plays include "Rosencrantz and Gilderstern are Dead"
and "The Real Thing." His family soon fled the Nazis to Singapore.
In 2002 Ira Nadel authored the biography "Tom Stoppard: A Life."
(HN, 7/3/99)(MC, 7/3/02)(SSFC, 9/1/02, p.M5)
1937 Jul 5, Joe DiMaggio hit
his 1st grand slammer.
1937 Jul 5, SPAM was unveiled
by Hormel Foods. It was precooked pork and ham in a can, with a
little potato starch, salt, and sugar. Sodium nitrate was added to
keep it pink; without it, pork tends to turn gray. At 10 cents a can
it was a big hit.
1937 Jul 5, There was a
Republican offensive by Brunete in Spain.
1937 Jul 6, Vladimir Ashkenazy,
pianist, conductor (Tchakowsky-1961), was born in Gorki, Russia.
1937 Jul 7, A conflict between
troops of China and Japan came to be known as the Marco Polo Bridge
Incident. The incident occurred near the Marco Polo Bridge outside
of Beijing and eventually escalated into warfare between the two
countries and was the prelude to the Pacific side of World War II.
1937 Jul 8, In San Francisco a
3-month hotel strike continued as union members demonstrated in
front of the Hotel Manx on Powell St. Owner Harvey M. Toy protested
with a telegram to Mayor Rossi.
(SSFC, 7/8/12, p.42)
1937 Jul 9, David Hockney,
painter, was born in Bradford, England. He moved to LA in 1978.
(HN, 7/9/01)(SFC, 8/18/01, p.B3)
1937 Jul 11, George Gershwin
(b.1898 as Jacob Gershowitz), composer, died of a brain tumor at age
38 in Beverly Hills, Ca. His work included "Cuban Overture."
He wrote his first hit, "Swanee," in 1918 for the Broadway show,
"Sinbad," starring Al Jolson. George Gershwin wrote the scores for
such Broadway shows as "Funny Face," "Porgy and Bess" and "Of Thee I
Sing" (his first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize ). Gershwin
played the piano at the premiere of his widely acclaimed "Rhapsody
in Blue" in 1924, accompanied by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
Gershwin’s song hits included "The Man I Love," "’S Wonderful,"
"Summertime" and "Love Is Here to Stay." The lyrics for many of his
songs were written by his brother Ira. He was born September 26,
1898, in Brooklyn, NYC, NY. to Russian Jewish immigrants.
(www.gershwin.com/)(SFC, 12/4/96, p.E1)(WSJ,
9/24/97, p.A20)(SFEC, 8/16/98, DB p.38)
1937 Jul 12, Bill Cosby,
comedian, actor, was born.
1937 Jul 15, Japanese attacked
the Marco Polo Bridge and invaded China.
1937 Jul 18, Hunter S. Thompson
(d.2005), journalist, was born in Louisville, Ky.
1937 Jul 20, Don Budge (22),
American tennis player, defeated Baron Gottfried von Cram (28) of
Germany at Wimbledon in a semi-final round to see who would face
England. James Thurber later described the Budge-Cramm five-set
marathon as “the greatest match in the history of the world.”
(WSJ, 4/25/09, p.W8)
1937 Jul 20, Guglielmo Marconi
(b.1874), Italian engineer, inventor of wireless telegraphy, marquis
(radio, Nobel 1909), died in Rome.
(ON, 11/99, p.10)(MC, 7/20/02)
1937 Jul 22, The Senate
rejected President Roosevelt’s proposal to add more justices to the
1937 Jul 22, Irish premier
Eamon de Valera won elections. Valera served as prime minister of
Ireland until 1948. he served again from 1951-1954, and again from
(MC, 7/22/02)(ON, 9/04, p.7)
1937 Jul 23, Isolation of
pituitary hormone was announced by Yale University.
1937 Jul 24, The state of
Alabama dropped charges against 4 black men accused of raping two
white women in the so-called Scottsboro case.
1937 Jul 28, Peter Duchin,
pianist, bandleader (Peter Duchin Orch), was born in NYC.
1937 Jul 28, Joseph Lee, father
of Playgrounds movement, died.
1937 Jul 29, Japanese troops
occupied Peking and Tientsin. [see Aug 8]
1937 Jul 31, The Russian
Politburo enabled Operative Order 00447. This led to the execution
of some 193,000 people.
1937 Jul, “Marijuana, Assassin
of Youth” by H.J. Anslinger, US Commissioner of Narcotics, was
published in The American Magazine.
(SSFC, 1/11/15, p.E7)
1937 Aug 1, The Buchenwald
concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany, became operational. The
hill on which it stood was called "Ettersberg," a place where Goethe
often wrote and sketched, and that was the initial name for the
camp, which the people of Weimar protested. The name was then
changed to Buchenwald, Beech Forest. By April 11, 1945, an estimated
56,000 people were killed here, including approximately 11,000 Jews.
(HN, 8/1/98)(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A10)(AP, 6/5/09)
1937 Aug 5, In Russia Stalin
signed NKVD order no 00447 that mandated all prison camps across the
Soviet Union to be emptied.
(SFC, 7/17/97, p.A10)
1937 Aug 6, Franco's artillery
opened fire on Madrid.
1937 Aug 7, Harold Wobber (47),
a WWI veteran, became the first person known to commit suicide by
jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
(SSFC, 5/20/12, p.E10)
1937 Aug 8, Dustin Hoffman,
American actor, was born.
1937 Aug 8, The Japanese Army
occupied Beijing, China.
1937 Aug 11, Edith Wharton
(b.1862), American author, died in France. Her books included “The
House of Mirth” (1905) and “Ethan Frome” (1911). In 1975 R.W.B.
Lewis (d. 2002) authored the Pulitzer prize-winning "Edith Wharton:
A Biography." In 2007 Hermione Lee authored “Edith Wharton.”
(SFC, 6/17/02, p.B5)(Econ, 1/27/07,
1937 Aug 12, Kenichie Horie
(23), a Japanese auto parts salesman, sailed into the San Francisco
Bay aboard a 19-foot sloop, “The Mermaid,” after a 90 voyage from
Japan. He hailed a Coast Guard patrol boat and was towed to the St.
Francis Yacht Harbor.
(SSFC, 8/12/12, DB p.42)
1937 Aug 13, Japanese attacked
1937 Aug 14, The Appalachian
Trail was dedicated. The 1990s book "A Walk in the Woods" described
a writers journey on the trail.
1937 Aug 14, China declared war
1937 Aug 18, Robert Redford,
actor (Sting, Candidate, Natural, Great Gatsby), was born in Calif.
1937 Aug 19, Hugo Black
(1886-1971), US Senator from Alabama, was sworn in as associate US
Supreme Court Justice.
1937 Aug 23, Albert Charles
Paul Marie Roussel (68), French composer, died.
1937 Aug 24, Treasure Island in
SF Bay was completed after 18½ months. All told 20 million cubic
yards of sea bottom had been dredged, dug, dumped and poured inside
the rocky walls.
1937 Aug 24, There was a
Republican offensive near Belchite, Spain.
1937 Aug 25, Pullman signed a
contract with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, one of the
first substantive victories for black workers. [see Oct 1]
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.A3)
1937 Aug 25, Japanese fleet
blockaded the Chinese coast.
1937 Aug 26, President
Roosevelt signed the Judicial Procedure Reform Act, a compromise on
his judicial reorganization plan.
(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.D6)
1937 Aug 27, Andrew Mellon
(b.1855), equity-fund capitalist and former US Treasury Secretary
(1921-1932), died. In 2006 David Canadine authored the biography
1937 Aug, Joseph Mitchell,
writer for the New Yorker, placed third in a clam-eating tournament
at Block Island after consuming 84 cherrystones.
(SFC, 5/25/96, p.A19)
1937 Aug, A supernova flared up
in the galaxy IC-4182 and stayed visible for 5 years.
1937 Sep 1, Ron O'Neal, actor
(Superfly), was born in Utica, NY.
1937 Sep 2, Peter Ueberroth,
baseball commissioner, was born. He organized the 1984 LA Olympics.
1937 Sep 2, Pierre de Coubertin
(b.1863), French Baron and the major force behind the revival of the
modern Olympics, died.
1937 Sep 6, The Soviet Union
accused Italy of torpedoing two Russian ships in the Mediterranean.
1937 Sep 8, The Pan Arab
conference about Palestine opened.
1937 Sep 14, TG Masaryk
(b.1886), the first president of Czechoslovakia, died in Bohemia.
1937 Sep 15, Prime Minister of
England Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to discuss the future of
Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1937 Sep 21, "The Hobbit," by
J.R.R. Tolkien (b.1892), was first published.
(WSJ,2/11/97, p.A18)(AP, 9/21/97)
1937 Sep 21, San Francisco’s
worst fire since 1906 erupted in the plants of Standard Oil at 16th
and Arkansas Streets. Buildings for blocks around were shaken as
though by earthquakes.
(SSFC, 9/16/12, DB p.46)
1937 Sep 21, The women’s
airspeed record was set at 292 mph by American pilot Jacqueline
1937 Sep 25, In China Lin Biao
masterminded the ambush and annihilation of more than 1,000 Japanese
troops, at Pingxiangguan pass in Shanxi province.
1937 Sep 25, German Chancellor
Adolf Hitler met with Italian Premier Benito Mussolini in Munich.
1937 Sep 26, Bessie Smith,
known as the ‘Empress of the Blues,’ died in a car crash on Highway
61 near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
(HN, 9/26/00)(HT, 5/97, p.40)
1937 Sep 27, The 1st Santa
Claus Training School opened in Albion, NY.
1937 Sep 28, Pres. Roosevelt
dedicated Timberline Lodge at the foot of Palmer snowfield in Mt.
Hood National Forest. It was constructed with public funds and WPA
workers and did not open until Feb. 1938.
(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.40)
1937 Sep 28, FDR dedicated
Bonneville Dam on Columbia River in Oregon.
1937 Oct 1, The US House of
Representatives passed the "Marijuana Tax Act" after a debate of 90
seconds. It stipulated that pot could not be sold without a license.
No licenses were ever issued, thus making the sale illegal. In 1970
Congress outlawed marijuana more precisely. The act included hemp in
(SFEC, 10/18/98, Z1 p.8)(SFC, 5/28/99, p.A1)
1937 Oct 1, Pullman Co.
formally recognized Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. [see Aug
1937 Oct 5, Saying, "the
epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading," President Roosevelt
called for a "quarantine" of aggressor nations.
1937 Oct 7, Igor Moiseyev
(b.1906), founder of the Moiseyev folk-dance troupe, offered the
troupe’s first public performance in Moscow.
1937 Oct 9, Brian Blessed,
English actor (King Arthur, High Road to China, Hamlet, Henry V),
1937 Oct 15, The Ernest
Hemingway novel "To Have and Have Not" was first published.
1937 Oct 18, The DJIA dropped
1937 Oct 19, Peter Max,
psychedelic artist (Dynamite Chicken), was born.
1937 Oct 21, Dmitri
Shostakovitch's 5th Symphony premiered.
1937 Oct 31, Michael Landon,
actor (Bonanza, Highway to Heaven), was born in Forest Hills, NY.
1937 Oct 31, Tom Paxton, folk
singer and songwriter (Forest Lawn), was born in Chicago.
1937 Oct 31, Spanish government
moved from Valencia to Barcelona.
1937 Oct, Amin al-Husseini, the
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was exiled from Palestine. He sought fled
to Iraq and in 1941 sought refuge in Iran.
1937 Oct-Nov, A 3-man panel,
the "Osobaya Troika," signed death sentences that were sent to
thousands of gulags across Russia and led to the massacre of 9,000
victims in the Karelia Forest at Medvezhyegorsk. The grave site was
opened in Jul, 1997, and a monument was planned.
(SFC, 7/17/97, p.A10)
1937 Nov 4, The Clifford Odets
play "Golden Boy" opened at the Belasco Theatre in NYC.
1937 Nov 5, Hitler told his
military advisors of his intentions of going to war.
1937 Nov 7, Mary Travers, folk
singer (Peter, Paul and Mary), was born in Louisville, Ky.
(SSFC, 2/15/04, Par p.18)
1937 Nov 11, Messerschmidt
ME-109V13 flew to a world record 610.4 kph.
1937 Nov 13, NBC formed the
first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio
broadcasting for Arturo Toscanini.
(AP, 11/13/98)(MC, 11/13/01)
1937 Nov 13, Edward Wutke (36),
a convicted murderer serving a 27-year sentence at Alcatraz
prison, became the first suicide in the history of the rock. He
slashed his jugular vein with a tiny pencil sharpener blade attached
to the handle of a safety razor.
(SSFC, 11/11/12, p.46)
1937 Nov 15, The 1st US
congressional session in air-conditioned chambers took place.
1937 Nov 15, Eighteen lawsuits
were bought against the Tennessee Valley Authority, calling for its
1937 Nov 17, Peter Edward Cook,
actor, comedian (Beyond the Fringe, Bedazzled), was born in Torquay,
1937 Nov 17, Britain's Lord
Halifax visited Germany and marked the beginning of appeasement.
1937 Nov 21, Marlo Thomas, film
and TV actress, was born in Detroit, Mich. In 1980 she married Phil
(SSFC, 11/21/04, Par p.28)
1937 Nov 23, John Steinbeck's
"Of Mice & Men," premiered in NYC.
1937 Nov 28, Franco blockaded
the Spanish coast.
1937 Nov 30, Paul Stookey,
singer (Peter, Paul & Mary), was born in Baltimore, Md.
1937 Nov, San Franciscans voted
65,725 to 32,449 to remove the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Over the next
few years over 150,000 people were removed and reburied in Colma.
(SFC, 4/14/18, p.C2)
1937 Dec 1, Japan recognized
Spain’s Franco govt.
1937 Dec 3, Stephen Rubin,
English attorney and shoe manufacturer (Reebok, Adidas), was born.
1937 Dec 5, The Lindberghs
arrived in New York on a holiday visit after a two-year voluntary
1937 Dec 8, In San Francisco 5
men were sentenced to death at San Quentin for the Sep 19 Folsom
Prison break that cost Warden Clarence Larkin his life.
1937 Dec 11, Jim Harrison,
novelist and poet (Legends of the Fall), was born.
1937 Dec 11, Italy withdrew
from the League of Nations.
1937 Dec 12, Japanese aircraft
sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River, during the
battle for Nanking in the Sino-Japanese War. Japan later apologized
and paid $2.2 million dollars in reparations.
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1937 Dec 13, The Japanese army
occupied Nanking, China. A group of Japanese soldiers forced their
way into the family home of Xia Shuqin (8) in Nanjing, and killed
seven of her family members. Xia and her 4-year-old sister were
seriously injured but escaped. According to Chinese media, a US
missionary then serving as the chairman of the International
Commission of the Red Cross in Nanjing filmed the killings of Xia's
family members. In 2006 a Chinese court has awarded Xia Shuqin
$200,000 in compensation after ruling in her favor against two
Japanese historians, who claimed she fabricated her account of the
(HN, 12/13/98)(AP, 8/23/06)
1937 Dec 14, Japanese troops
conquered and plundered Nanjing. Japan established a puppet Chinese
government at Peking, now called Beijing. In 1997 Iris Chang
(1968-2004) authored "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust
of WW II."
(AP, 12/14/02)(SFC, 11/11/04, p.A1)
1937 Dec 16, Two men from
Oklahoma escaped from Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary. Warden
Johnson suspected that Theodore Cole (26), a kidnapper serving 50
years, and Ralph Roe, a bank robber serving 99 years, had died in
(SSFC, 12/16/12, DB p.42)
1937 Dec 20, Erich Ludendorff
(72), German general (WW I), died.
1937 Dec 21, Jane Fonda,
actress (Barbarella, Klute), physical fitness fanatic, Vietnam
Protestor, was born in NYC.
1937 Dec 21, Walt Disney’s
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered as the 1st
feature-length color & sound cartoon.
1937 Dec 21, Frank Kellog (80),
US foreign minister (Nobel 1929), died.
1937 Dec 22, The NYC Lincoln
Tunnel opened to traffic.
1937 Dec 23, London warned Rome
to stop the anti-British propaganda in Palestine.
1937 Dec 27, Mae West performed
an Adam and Eve skit that got her banned from NBC radio.
1937 Dec 28, French composer
Maurice Ravel (b.1875) died in Paris.
1937 Dec 28, In the Soviet
Union Olimpiy Kvitkin, a statistician in charge of this year’s
census, was shot for finding that the country contained fewer people
than Dictator Joseph Stalin had announced. His younger brother
Aristarch was killed in 1939.
1937 Dec 29, Mary Tyler Moore,
actress (Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People), was born in Brooklyn.
1937 Dec 29, Ireland’s new
constitution came into force. The Irish Free State became Eire. The
constitution included language that made blasphemy a criminal
1937 Dec 30, John Robb, actor,
was born in Los Angeles.
1937 Dec 30, Paul Stookey,
singer and musician (Peter, Paul, & Mary), was born.
1937 Dec 31, Anthony Hopkins,
actor (Elephant Man, QB VII, Magic, Bounty, Silence of the Lambs),
was born in Wales.
1937 Dec-Jan, John Rabe
(1882-1950), a German businessman for Siemens living in China,
recorded the 2-month terror of the Japanese "Rape of Nanking" in his
diary. The Japanese sacked and pillaged the city. They raped at
least 20,000 women and killed at least 50,000 people. Rabe
established a neutral safe zone for hundreds of thousands of Chinese
refugees. Noncombatant deaths may have reached 300,000. Reporter
Tillman Durdin (d.1998 at 91) filed reports for the New York times.
Later Iris Chang wrote "The Rape of Nanking." Rabe’s collected notes
and diaries were published in 1998 as: "The Good Man of Nanking,"
translated by John. E. Woods and edited by Erwin Wickert.
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.B1)(SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.6)(SFC,
7/10/98, p.D3)(WSJ, 11/20/98, p.W6)
1937 Dec-Feb, In the Japanese
"Rape of Nanjing" more than 200,000 people were killed. Japanese
soldiers raped and killed tens of thousands of Chinese women during
their invasion of China. [photo from Nanjing] In 1997 Iris Chang
(29) published "The Rape of Nanking: the Forgotten Holocaust of
world War II." The largest execution of prisoners took place north
of Nanking near Mufu Mountain where 57,000 civilians and soldiers
were gunned down.
(WSJ,2/6/97,p.A14)(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.C4)(WSJ,
12/29/97, p.A9)(SFEC, 7/26/98, Z1 p.1,4)
1937 Merle Haggard was born in
Oklahoma. He later became a popular country Western singer and was
inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
(SSFC, 12/10/00, Par p.7)
1937 John Steuart Curry,
American painter, began his work "Wisconsin Landscape," and
completed it in 1938.
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.E1)
1937 William Gropper painted
"The Hunt." He used a setting by Breughel to depict a white posse’s
pursuit of a black mother and child.
(SFC, 2/5/97, p.E3)
1937 In San Francisco painter
Reuben Kadish (1913-1992), under the auspices of the WPA, created “A
Dissertation on Alchemy” in the science wing of San Francisco State
Normal School at 55 Laguna. In 2013 the site was scheduled for
demolition, but his mural was saved.
(SFC, 8/1/13, p.E1)
1937 Rene Magritte painted "Not
to be Reproduced," "The Black Flag," and La Reproduction Interdite,"
which pictured a gentleman gazing into a mirror in which he sees his
(SFC, 8/14/97, p.E4)(SFC, 5/4/00, p.B5)(WSJ,
1937 Henri Matisse created his
painting “L’Odalisque, Harmonie Bleue.” In 2007 it was auctioned by
Christie’s in NYC for a record $33.6 million.
(SFC, 11/8/07, p.E3)
c1937 The painting "Dangers of the Mail" was
created by Frank Albert Mechau of Colorado for the display in the
Ariel Rios building of the Federal Triangle complex. The painting
depicted the slaughter of Western settlers by native Indians and was
later claimed as racist.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.A3)
1937 Pablo Picasso painted the
black-and-white "Guernica" mural for the 1937 International
Exposition in Paris. The Republican government commissioned the
mural painting as part of the Spanish pavilion at the 1937 World`s
Fair in Paris. Picasso managed to complete the huge work (11.5 by
25.5 feet) in just over three weeks, with the assistance of Dora
Maar. Picasso never returned to his native Spain (he had last been
there in 1934). Before his death in 1973, he directed that
"Guernica" not be returned to Spain until the restoration of
democracy there. Francisco Franco, leader of the Nationalist forces
that overthrew the Republican government in the Spanish Civil War,
remained the head of the Spanish government until 1973, dying in
1975. Economic initiatives and other reforms begun in the 1960s
helped transform Spain into a democratic constitutional monarchy in
the three years following his death. The painting "Guernica" was
returned from New York City in 1981 and is now on exhibit, along
with other 19th and 20th century works, at the Buen Retiro Palace in
(SFC, 4/26/00, p.C5)(HNQ, 7/18/01)
1937 Picasso painted his
"Weeping Woman With Handkerchief."
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.E8)
1937 Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
(1895-1946), renowned photographer, was recruited to be the founding
head of the New Bauhaus in Chicago. The design school reconstituted
itself as the School of Design and then the Institute of Design.
(SFC, 7/20/02, p.D10)
1937 Hal Foster began the
Prince Valiant cartoon saga. He passed it on to John Cullen Murphy
(d.2004) in 1970. Murphy passed it on to Gary Gianni in 2004.
(SFC, 7/9/04, p.B7)
1937 Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)
authored "How to win Friends and Influence People."
(TMC, 1994, p.1937)(HN, 11/24/00)
1937 Eric Ambler authored his
spy novel "A Coffin for Dimitrios.
(NW, 8/20/01, p.56)
1937 Sir Gavin de Beer,
zoologist, published "The Development of the Vertebrate Skull."
(NH, 10/96, p.39)
1937 E.T. Bell authored “Men of
(WSJ, 11/11/06, p.P10)
1937 Stephen Vincent Benet
authored his short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster."
(SFC, 10/23/00, p.F3)
1937 George Bernanos, French
writer, authored “The Diary of a Country Priest.”
(WSJ, 3/18/06, p.P8)
1937 James M. Cain published
1937 Walter Chrysler (d.1940),
the founder of Chrysler Corporation, published his autobiography,
"Life of an American Workman." Born in Kansas in 1875, Chrysler was
an apprentice in a Union Pacific Railroad machine shop and later
became a plant manager for the American Locomotive Company. He left
there to become works manager for the Buick Motor Company, became
Buick president in 1916. In 1919 he took over the Willys-Overland
Company and Maxwell Motor Company, which became the Chrysler
Corporation in 1925. Chrysler purchased the Dodge Brothers
manufacturing Company in 1928.
1937 Ronald Coase (b.1910),
British economist, authored “The Nature of the Firm.” It was based
on a lecture he gave at Dundee in 1932. Here he pointed out that the
standard model of economics did not fit with what goes on within
9/7/13, p.13)(Econ 7/29/17, p.59)
1937 Carl Crow, journalist,
publisher and executive in Shanghai, authored “Four Hundred Million
Customers.” The bestseller described how to sell to the Chinese.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.92)
1937 Theodore Geisel, Dr.
Seuss, published his 1st book "To think I Saw it on Mulberry Street.
(SFC, 5/27/02, p.A2)(SSFC, 2/15/04, Par p.5)
1937 Harriet Lane Levy
published her memoir "920 O’Farrell Street." She had spent time in
Paris and London with writers and artists and had introduced
Gertrude Stein to Alice B. Toklas.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, BR p.10)
1937 Able Meeropol authored the
poem "Bitter Fruit," an anti-lynching anthem, under the pen name
Lewis Allan. He later added music. Billie Holiday 1st sang it as
"Strange Fruit" at the Café society nightclub in Greenwich Village.
(SFC, 1/8/03, p.D1)
1937 Alexander du Toit,
geologist, published his careful studies of South Africa and South
America in "Our Wandering Continents" and gave support to the work
of Alfred Wegener.
1937 Leo Rosten (1908-1997)
wrote "The Education of HYMAN KAPLAN" under the pseudonym Leonard Q.
Ross. There were two sequels, one in 1959 and one in 1976. The
original was turned into a Broadway production in 1968.
(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A26)
1937 M.F.K. Fisher wrote "Serve
It Forth," her first book on cooking. Her letters were published in
1997: "M.F.K. Fisher: A Life in Letters."
(SFEC,12/21/97, BR p.4)
1937 C.S. Forester wrote
"Captain Horatio Hornblower." Hornblower was loosely based on the
life of Adm. Lord Nelson. Forester wrote 11 Hornblower books and
also wrote "The African Queen." Hornblower was made into a 4-part
A&E TV miniseries in 1999. The early Hornblower novels included
"Beat to Quarters," "Ship of the Line," and "Flying Colours."
(WSJ, 7/10/98, p.W10)(WSJ, 4/5/99, p.A20)
1937 Theodore Geisel (aka Dr.
Seuss) published his book: "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry
(Hem., 2/97, p.13)
1937 Zora Neale Hurston
(1903-1960) wrote her novel: "Their Eyes were Watching God." It is
about a young black woman from Florida who survives a bad marriage
and finds true love with a younger man named Tea Cake. Cassette
recordings were made in 1991. She also wrote her collected folktales
"Mules and Men." She made some films during research trips on life
in the South in 1928 and 1929.
(SFC, 4/5/96, p.D-1)(SFC, 12/13/96, p.C8)
1937 Somerset Maughan authored
his novel “Theater.” In 2004 it was adopted as the comedy film
(WSJ, 10/15/04, p.W1)
1937 George Orwell (1903-1950)
authored "The Road to Wigan Pier." The first half of this work
documents his sociological investigations of Lancashire and
Yorkshire in the industrial north of England before World War II.
The second half is a long essay of his upbringing, and the
development of his political conscience. It marked his 1st
disagreement with mainstream Socialists.
(SFEC, 10/1/00, BR
1937 "The Yearling" by Marjorie
Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) was published. It was illustrated by
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.12)
1937 Olaf Stapledon
(1886-1950), British philosopher and science fiction writer,
authored “Star Maker.”
1937 Jerome Weidman (24)
published "I Can Get It for You Wholesale." It was transformed into
a musical in 1962. He wrote 22 novels, and many short stories and
screenplays before he died in 1998.
(SFC, 10/8/98, p.C4)
1937 The Partisan Review
quarterly journal of culture and politics began publishing under
co-founder William Phillips (d.2003). The last issue was published
(SFC, 4/18/03, p.I7)
1937 The Rodgers and Hart
Broadway musical comedy “Babes in Arms” was choreographed by George
Balanchine and featured the Nicholas Brothers tap dancing duo.
(SFC, 8/19/97, p.A1)(SSFC, 1/29/06, p.B7)
1937 "Arms of Venus" was the
first Broadway production by Randolph Carter. It was based on the
"Satyricon" by Petronius.
(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A22)
1937 Eugene O'Neill,
playwright, built his Tao House in Danville, Ca., following his 1936
winning of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
(SFC, 5/16/03, p.E8)
1937 Tenessee Williams wrote
his play "Fugitive Kind" for the Mummers company in St. Louis.
(SFC, 1/16/03, p.E3)
1937 Bronislava Nijinska
created her legendary "Chopin Concerto Ballet" for the Paris Int’l.
(SFC, 7/30/97, p.E5)
1937 Orson Welles (22)
condensed "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo into seven half-hour
episodes for radio.
(WSJ, 4/30/98, p.A17)
1937 The song "Blue Moon" was
written by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart.
1937 The Rogers & Hart song
"My Funny Valentine" was a hit song from a Broadway musical.
(WSJ, 5/18/99, p.A24)
1937 Vivien Fine wrote her
symphonic work "Elegiac Song" for muted strings.
(SFC, 3/29/00, p.A23)
1937 Carl Orff composed
"Carmina Burana" based on "saucy" medieval lyrics. The work
premiered in Frankfurt.
(SFC,11/6/97, p.C1)(SFC, 2/16/98, p.E5)
1937 Bass Player Beverly Peer
(1913-1997) joined the Chick Webb Orchestra. He played behind Ella
Fitzgerald on all her early hits.
(SFC, 1/27/97, p.A20)
1937 Legendary American
songwriter Cole Porter lost a leg as the result of a horse riding
accident. He was seriously injured while horseback riding, and as a
result his leg was eventually amputated. The writer of "I
Concentrate on You," ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin," "Night and Day"
and many other classic songs refused to let his injuries prevent him
from traveling and composing.
1937 Pee Wee King (d.2000 at
86), born as Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, and his Golden West
Cowboys joined the Grand Ole Opry. King was the composer of the
classic "Tennessee Waltz."
(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A17)
1937 Frank Lloyd Wright arrived
in Arizona with his apprentices from their Wisconsin headquarters.
He purchased an 800-acre tract for $3.50 an acre at Mariposa Mesa
and began construction of Taliesin West.
(SFEM, 4/19/98, p.21-23)
1937 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen
and his famously precocious dummy Charlie McCarthy made an
appearance on the Rudy Valley show, a radio variety program in the
`30s, and secured the "Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show." An early
staple of the program was Charlie McCarthy’s ongoing feud with
comedian and frequent guest W.C. Fields. During World War II, Edgar
and Charlie entertained American servicemen around the country. The
show ran with various sponsors until 1957, always being among the
top seven rated programs on the air except for its last five years.
(Bergen also did the voice for the slow-witted dummy, Mortimer Snerd
and some other characters that were occasionally featured on the
show). Bergen discovered an aptitude for vocal tricks at an early
age and created the dummy Charlie McCarthy in high school (he had
the head carved, but made the body himself). In college, he was able
to support expenses through a combination of ventriloquism and magic
tricks. Bergen died in 1978, after almost 60 years in vaudeville,
radio and films. His daughter is Candice Bergen.
1937 In California the Fresno
Municipal Sanitary Landfill opened. It was the nation’s 1st true
sanitary landfill, where garbage was compacted and buried each day.
The waste later polluted groundwater. In 1987 145-acre dump was
closed. In 1989 it was named a Superfund toxic site by the EPA.
(SFC, 8/29/01, p.A3)
1937 In California the
Caldecott Tunnel opened with 2 bores under the Oakland-Berkeley
(SFC, 9/12/98, p.A21)
1937 In California the Devil’s
Slide stretch of Highway 1 opened. A bypass tunnel opened in 2013.
(SFC, 9/18/07, p.A1)(SFC, 3/14/13, p.D2)
1937 In California Highway 70
opened along the Feather River Canyon.
(SSFC, 4/29/01, p.T9)
1937 Albert Kahn designed the
Martin Aircraft factory in Baltimore which later inspired a Mies
Vander Rohe concert hall.
(WSJ, 12/12/96, p.A10)
1937 The 1st Bing Crosby golf
tournament was played at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in San Diego
County. This phase of the tournament lasted to 1942.
(SSFC, 1/21/01, DB p.37)
1937 Sun Valley, Idaho, became
the first ski resort in the US to provide lift-served skiing.
(Hem, Dec. 94, p.78)
1937 Alta ski resort near Salt
Lake City opened with a rope tow as the 2nd US ski resort. It was
designed by Alf Engen (d.1997), ski-jump champion.
(SFC, 7/22/97, p.A16)
1937 Look Magazine was founded
by Gardner Cowles.
(AH, 10/01, p.40)
1937 Women’s Day Magazine began
to be sold at A&P food stores for 3 cents.
(SFC, 9/14/96, p.B5)
1937 "Fruit, Gardener, and
Home" magazine was started. It later became "Better Homes and
(SFEC, 9/28/97, Z1 p.2)
1937 Wickliffe Preston Draper
(d.1972), heir to a Massachusetts manufacturing fortune, helped
found the Pioneer Fund, a private, tax-exempt foundation in
Maryland, devoted to supporting eugenics. The initial charter
directed support for research aimed at race betterment. In 1985 the
charter was amended to support programs aimed at "human race
betterment." John Marshall Harlan II, appointed to the US Supreme
Court in 1957, was one of the original fund directors.
(WSJ, 6/11/99, p.A8)(WSJ, 8/17/99, p.A1)(AP,
1937 The first drive-in bank
opened in Los Angeles.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1937 Margaret Fogarty Rudkin
installed an oven in her stable and began baking whole-wheat bread
on the family’s 120-acre Pepperidge Farm.
(SFC, 9/14/96, p.B5)
1937 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von
Nagyrapolt of the Mayo Clinic won the Nobel Prize for his work on
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)
1937 The US government passed
the Reindeer Industry Act. The law made it illegal for anyone other
than the Inupiat or other native tribal people in Alaska to possess
(WSJ, 12/14/95, p.A-1)
1937 The US Congress passed the
Miller-Tydings Act Free Trade Act in order to exempt fair trade from
antitrust legislation. It amended the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890
so as to legalize retail price maintenance, allowing manufacturers
to maintain minimum prices for the sale of their goods. In 1975
Congress repealed the Miller-Tydings Act.
1937 A government program was
begun to provide American flags, certified to have flown over the
capital, to the public. Each flag was provided a certificate with
the date it was flown and the name of the person for whom it was
flown. By 1998 the program average 250-300 flags per day with a peak
of 10,471 flown on July 4, 1976, and a record of 154,224 flown in
(SFC, 7/4/98, p.C2)
1937 The Federal Reserve,
dominated by bankers who feared interstate banking, forced A.P.
Giannini’s Transamerica Corp. to divest 58% of its ownership in
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.B1)
1937 In the US Southwest the
1882 Hopi reservation was divided into districts. The large District
6 was earmarked for the Hopi. The Navajo replaced the Hopi in other
areas. [see 1882]
(SFEC, 5/4/97, z1 p.4)
1937 Herman Phleger, chief
council to the State dept. during the Eisenhower administration and
a prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, purchased an estate
of 1,300 acres on the SF peninsula between SF watershed lands and
San Mateo county’s Huddart Park. Phleger was also a founder of the
Save-the-Redwoods League and died in 1984. The estate was later
acquired for public use and added to the Golden Gate National
(SFC, 4/28/95, p.P-3)
1937 The California -based
Irvine Foundation was founded by agriculturalist James Irvine. By
2015 it was granting $69 million annually to youth arts and
development programs in California from cultivated assets of $1.8
(SFC, 2/10/15, p.E1)
1937 The state Legislature
named the native redwood as the State Tree of California. In 1951
the coastal Sequoia sempervirens and the Sierra Sequoia gigantea
were said to both qualify as the state tree.
(SFC, 10/26/01, WB p.7)
1937 California’s San Quentin
Prison opened its gas chamber for executions and hanging ceased at
(SFEC, 1/26/97, p.B4)
1937 The first McDonald’s
opened in Pasadena, Ca. [see 1955]
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1937 Jack and Teresa Harris
founded their original Harris Ranch near Coalinga in the Central
Valley of California. In 1987 they added the Inn with 88 rooms,
which later expanded to 153 rooms. By 2006 the ranch had become a
corporate operation covering 18,000 acres.
(SSFC, 5/21/06, p.G10)
1937 Rollin P. Eckis (d.1999 at
94), geologist, discovered the Kern County oil field near
(SFC, 11/19/99, p.D8)
1937 In San Francisco George K.
and Leo Whitney purchased the vacant Cliff House and turned it into
a popular restaurant.
(SFC, 10/19/02, p.A21)
1937 Alcatraz prison officials
abandoned a silence rule in effect since the prison opened in 1934.
The rule had forbidden prisoners to speak while working.
(SSFC, 12/20/09, DB p.46)
1937 Vernon Rudolph (d.1973)
launched Krispy Creme, a donut operation, in Winston-Salem, NC.
Heirs sold the business to Beatrice Foods, which changed the recipe.
Some 20 franchisees bought the company in 1982. the 1st shop outside
the Southeast opened in Indianapolis in 1995. The company went
public in 2000.
(WSJ, 9/3/04, p.A5)
1937 Ruel Call opened a small
filling station in Afton, Wyoming. He was one of the grandsons of
Anson Vasco Call, who had 4 wives and 37 children. In the early
1960s Ruel launched his own gasoline brand, Maverik. In the
mid-1960s his nephew, O. Jay Call, launched Flying J, a discount
fuel retailer. In May, 2004, Kristen Call and her father Bill
launched iFuel, a discount gasoline retailer that used the Internet
for paying with bank transfers.
(WSJ, 5/4/06, p.A10)
1937 General Mills introduced
Kix cereal. It was made possible by the development of the “puffing
gun” invented by Lester Borchardt Sr. (1907-2007).
(WSJ, 1/27/07, p.A6)
1937 The Cord 812 was the first
car without running boards.
(SFC, 1/29/00, p.E3)
1937 Alfred P. Sloan became
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1937 GM introduced the
automatic transmission at Buick and Oldsmobile.
(F, 10/7/96, p.69)
1937 McKesson & Robbins
reported assets of over $87 million. The SEC later found that the
amount was fake by some $19 million. An investigation revealed that
president Frank Donald Coster was actually an ex-convict named
Philip M. Musica, and that he and 3 brothers had faked inventory and
stolen some $3 million from the company. The scandal prompted new
rules for the accounting profession.
(WSJ, 6/30/99, p.B1,4)
1937 Sir John Hicks invented
the IS-LM framework as an interpretation Keynes’s “General Theory”
of economics. It contrasted the investment/saving curve with the
liquidity/money curve to account for bond yields.
(Econ, 8/13/05, p.66)
1937 George Stibitz, American
Bell Labs engineer, recognized that electrical switches had a simple
numerical property (on and off) that constituted a binary system. He
then began designing and building a two-bit adder. The term "bit"
was coined by John Tulkey upon overhearing a conversation on the
need to name "binary digits." The creation of digital logic
circuitry was soon advanced by the realization of Claude Shannon at
MIT that the actions of relay based machinery could be tied to
analysis by Boolean algebra, invented in the 19th century by Charles
Boole. Shannon is better known as the founder of information theory.
(I&I, Penzias, p.99)
1937 Michael Sveda (d.1999 at
87), chemist, invented cyclamates, a non-caloric sweetener. In the
US the Dept. of HEW banned cyclamates in 1969 due to suspected
cancer risks, which were later contradicted.
(SFC, 8/24/99, p.A22)
1937 Dr. Gerhard Fisher
patented a metal detector. Alexander Graham Bell had developed a
primitive forerunner in 1881 to try to remove an assassin’s bullet
from Pres. Garfield.
(ON, 5/02, p.9)
1937 Russell and Sigurd Varian
invented the klystron tube, an early form of the driver for
microwave power. In the 1940s Dr. Chodorow (1913-2005) of Stanford
Univ. expanded on the invention and increased its power from a few
hundred watts to millions of watts. Together with other physicists
they later formed Varian Associates in Palo Alto.
1937 Technetium was the first
element to be synthesized in the laboratory.
(NH, 8/96, p.74)
c1937 The Fischer-Tropsch
process was discovered to liquefy natural gas using a catalyst and
(WSJ, 12/8/97, p.B1)
1937 Dr. Leroy Burney set up
the country’s first mobile venereal disease clinic in Brunswick, Ga.
(SFC, 8/5/98, p.A17)
1937 "Musicogenic epilepsy" was
first identified. It was a kind of brain seizure triggered by
(SFEC, 5/25/97, Z1 p.7)
1937 The West Nile virus was
1st identified in the West Nile District of Uganda. It was able to
cause fatal encephalitis in humans.
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.D6)
1937 Medicines contaminated
with diethylene glycol killed 105 Americans this year.
1937 The Synthetic Theory of
Theodosius Dobzhansky was pivotal in explaining evolution. The
Russian-born American biologist fused the theories of natural
selection and genetic variability in his 1937 work "Genetics and the
Origin of Species." It is called the Synthetic Theory because it
synthesizes previously existing ideas. Dobzhansky’s theory states
that evolution is a two-step process whereby: first, genetic
variations occur either by mutation or chance, and second, desirable
variations that help the organism survive are passed on to the next
generation and become permanently established. Dobzhansky is
credited with founding the field of evolutionary genetics.
1937 “Bill” Griffith P. Taylor,
an Australian-Canadian, built his automatic block setting crane:
the "Meccano Robot Gargantua." An article describing the crane
was published in the March 1938 issue of Meccano Magazine.
1937 Alan Turing published a
paper showing that a universal machine could be designed to perform
the functions and do the work of any device designed for
problem-solving. More important, his paper showed that a digital
computer could theoretically be designed to do the work of any
analog computer. He is considered the founder of artificial
1937 John Vincent Atanasoff at
Iowa State College conceived one of the first electronic digital
computing devices. The Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC), created in
1939, was not programmable, being designed only to solve systems of
linear equations. It was successfully tested in 1942.
1937 Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish
sociologist, was hired by the Carnegie Foundation to study America’s
race relations. Seven years later he produced his work: "An American
Dilemna: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. "
(WSJ, 10/26/95, p.A-20)
1937 Nutria rodents were
introduced to Louisiana from Argentina. They propagated rapidly and
by 1997 were threatening acres of fragile wetlands due to their
feeding on plant roots. The McIlhenny family, makers of Tabasco
Sauce, imported 13 nutria from Argentina to study their fur-bearing
potential. The animals escaped 3 years later during a flood and
began to proliferate.
1937 US airman Jimmy Angel
discovered the 3,312 foot Angel Falls on the Orinoco River.
(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.T9)
1937 An asteroid was discovered
and named Hermes. It disappeared and was not seen again until 2003
and found to actually be a pair of objects traveling together.
(SFC, 10/27/03, p.A4)
1937 Heavy flooding hit along
the valley of the Ohio River.
(IS, 3/6/97, p.A12)
1937 Jean de Brunhoff (37),
French painter, died of tuberculosis. He illustrated the Babar
stories invented by his wife Cecille (d.2003).
(SFC, 4/15/03, p.A16)
1937 Walter Gay (b.1856),
American painter, died. He painted jewel-box-like interior scenes of
(WSJ, 3/26/03, p.D8)
1937 In Australia the
assimilation of mixed-blood Aborigines, by force if necessary, was
adopted as official policy at a meeting of federal and state
officials, while Aborigines living a "tribal life" are to stay on
1937 Alban Berg (1885-1935),
Austrian composer, wrote his opera "Lulu." It was based on two
dramas by German fin-de-siecle playwright Frank Wedekind
(1864-1918). It tells the story of a sexually attractive dancer who
several men and women become obsessed with, often dying as a result,
and who ends up as a prostitute murdered by Jack the Ripper.
1937 Bolivia under the
nationalist administration of General David Toro nationalized its
energy sector. Toro cancelled the Standard Oil Company's oil
contracts and seized the US company's holdings in exchange for a 1.7
million dollar indemnification.
1937 An English cricket team
toured Germany. In 2014 Dan Waddell authored “Field of Shadows: The
Remarkable True Story of the English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany,
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.82)
1937 Burma was made a crown
colony of Britain. It had been administered as a province of India.
(SFC, 5/7/02, p.A9)(SFC, 3/20/18, p.19)
1937 Americans Robert H. Bates
and Bradford Washburn reached the summit of Mount Lucania in
Canada’s Yukon Territory. At this time Lucania was the highest
unscaled peak in North America. They were forced by weather to hike
some 100 miles for their return. Bates had joined Washburn in 1935
to map the Yukon Territory for the National Geographic
(WSJ, 9/29/07, p.A6)
1937 Ceylon (Sri Lanka) banned
the capture of wild elephants. At the turn of the century some 10-15
thousand elephants roamed wild in Sri Lanka. By 2006 only some 3,000
(SFC, 5/19/06, p.A2)
1937 The Bank of China in
Shanghai was designed by Palmer and Turner in a melding of Chinese
and Art-Deco elements. It was a 17 story, stone-clad tower capped by
a distinct pagoda-like roof with upturned eaves.
(Hem. 1/95, p. 84)
1937 In China Pamela Werner
(19), the adopted daughter of Edward Theodore Chalmers Werner, was
brutally murdered in Peking. The formal investigation was buried,
first by the perpetrators, then by the Chinese and British
authorities. In 2011 Paul French authored “Midnight in Peking,” in
which he describes and solves the crime.
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.92)(http://tinyurl.com/6meqqoo)
1937 Orestes Lopez (Cuban
pianist) and his brother bassist Israel (Cachao) Lopez (1918-2008)
formalized an improvisation they called danzon mambo.
(SFEC, 9/19/99, DB p.37)(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A2)
1937 The Gayer-Anderson Museum
was founded in Cairo, Egypt.
(AM, 3/04, p.34)
1937 Mercedes- Benz developed
an all-wheel-drive car, largely for military purposes.
(WSJ, 9/16/05, p.W12)
1937 Japanese soldiers raped
and killed tens of thousands of Chinese women during their invasion
of China. [photo from Nanjing]
(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.C4)
1937 England’s King Edward
VIII, Duke of Windsor, abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson.
[Chronicle says 1936]
(Hem., 8/96, p.21)(SFC, 12/4/96, p.C3)
1937 In France the Eiffel Tower
was embroidered with 10,000 meters of pink, blue and green neon to
celebrate an int’l. exposition.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A20)
1937 Heinrich Himmler, acting
interior minister of Germany, revised the chimney-sweep law. His
rules tied the sweeps to their districts and decreed that they need
to be German, to enable him to use them as local spies. In 1969 the
law was updated and in theory opened the profession to non-Germans.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.76)
1937 In Germany Dr. Ferdinand
Sauerbruch, Hitler’s personal physician, said that Hitler was
showing signs of growing megalomania and "was a border case between
genius and insanity… (potentially) the craziest criminal the world
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A10)
1937 The German explorer, Dr.
Burkhart Waldecker, traced the southernmost source of the Nile river
to a spring in Burundi. The river that feeds more water into Lake
Victoria than any other is the Kagera, whose ultimate source is 500
miles southwest of its entrance to the lake.
(NG, May 1985, R. Caputo, p.629,631)
1937 In Germany Hans J.P. von
Ohain built and tested a laboratory model of a jet engine.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A20)
1937 Thousands of Haitian
immigrants were massacred in the Dominican Republic under dictator
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. An estimated 30,000 Haitians and black
Dominicans were rounded up at gunpoint and executed, often by
machetes (to give the impression that peasants had committed the
murders). In 1998 the novel “The Farming of Bones” by Edwidge
Danticat was based on this event.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, BR
1937 A Hungarian brigade joined
the Spanish civil war to fight the fascists.
(MT, Fall. ‘97, p.4)
1937 In Iceland an airline was
founded that developed into Icelandair.
(WSJ, 10/14/08, p.B10)
1937 The All India Football
Federation (AIFF) was established.
(Econ, 6/7/14, p.27)
1937 Italy occupied Albania.
[see Apr 8, 1939]
(SFC, 4/5/97, p.A20)
1937 Mussolini helped inspire
the Estado Novo of Brazil’s Pres. Getulio Vargas. The system of
labor and industrial syndicates continued to influence labor
relations to 2007.
(Econ, 4/14/07, SR p.5)
1937 The 1,700 year-old Axum
Obelisk was dismantled and removed from Ethiopia by Italian forces.
Mussolini used it to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his march
(AM, 5/01, p.10)
1937 This year In Italy at the
Fascioli Resort on lake Como is the setting for British writer H.E.
Bates’ novella that was made into a 1996 film titled: "A Month by
the Lake" with Vanessa Redgrave.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.E-1)
1937 An Italian Alfa Romeo 8C
2900B Cabriolet, later called one of the finest classic cars in
existence, was produced. In 1999 it sold for $4 million.
(SFC, 8/31/99, p.A26)
1937 The British rulers of
India built a narrow gauge railroad to transport timber from Nepal
to India. It quit operating in 2014.
(SFC, 12/15/18, p.A4)
1937 In South Africa the vervet
monkey was classified as vermin after one bit the daughter of the
country’s finance minister. In 1976 the species was listed as
threatened by the Convention on Int’l. Trade and Endangered Species.
(SFC, 5/19/07, p.B6)
1937 Leon Trotsky fled the
Soviet Union and went to Mexico where he moved in with Diego Rivera
and Frida Kahlo.
(WSJ, 1/4/95, p. A-10)
1937 Stalin ordered a major
overhaul of Uzbek leadership and heads began to roll. The artist
Alexander Rodchenko, who had designed the album "Ten Years of
Uzbekistan," blotted out the photos of purged Uzbek leaders in his
personal copy. It provided grist for the 1997 book by David King
"The Commissar Vanishes," that describes how Stalin manipulated
images for his benefit.
(WSJ, 10/29/97, p.A20)
1937 Stalin deported some
180,000 Soviet Koreans from their homes and farms and sent them by
cattle car to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
(LSA, Fall/06, p.28)
1937 The USSR census of this
year reported a decline in the population to 162 million and Stalin
had the officials responsible for the count shot. He had told
officials a year earlier that the count would be 170 million, which
ignored those who died in famines and purges.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)(Econ, 12/22/07, p.99)
1937 In Singapore the Haw Par
Villa, a theme park dedicated to filial piety, was created by the
brothers behind the Tiger Balm empire.
(SSFC, 10/19/14, p.N2)
1937 Lee Kuan Yew became prime
minister of Singapore.
(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A11)
1937 Saab was founded as an
aviation and defense company in Linkoping, Sweden. Its name was an
acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan AB," where "AB" stands for
"aktiebolaget" ("limited company"), thus written as 'SAAB'.
1937 Edvin Ohrstrom
(1906-1994), artist and sculptor, and 2 others developed the Ariel
technique at Orrefors in Orrefors, Sweden. This technique created a
design by trapping air bubbles between two layers of glass. In 1990
Orrefors merged with Kosta Boda AB, which in turn became part of the
New Wave Group in 2005.
(SFC, 11/19/08, p.G6)
1937 The Alawite state, created
under a French mandate, was incorporated into modern-day Syria.
Under the French mandate, the Alawites had been granted an
autonomous territory stretching in a band along the coast from the
Lebanese border to the Turkish border.
1937 In Tajikistan the city of
Khodzhent established a university.
(SFC, 4/30/97, p.A12)
1937-1938 In the US monetary contraction was later
identified by economists Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz as the
central cause of this period’s recession.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.82)
1937-1938 There were sweeping purges across the
Soviet Union. 14 million people across Russia were estimated to have
died in the purges. At least 30,000 people were executed in Moscow.
Several hundred Americans were arrested in Karelia, near the Finnish
border. Several thousand Americans and Canadians had moved there to
help develop the Soviet timber industry. 40,000 people a month were
(SFEC, 12/22/96, BR p.7)(SFC, 7/17/97,
p.A10)(SFEC, 11/9/97, p.A12)(SFC, 4/17/99, p.B3)(Econ, 11/5/16,
1937-1939 Methadone was developed in Germany
during this period by Gustav Ehrhart and Max Bockmühl. It was
approved for use in the United States in 1947. The opioid is used to
treat pain and as maintenance therapy or to help with tapering in
people with opioid dependence.
1937-1941 Aug, A supernova flared up in the galaxy
IC-4182 and stayed visible for 5 years.
1937-1941 In Belarus some 2 million people were
killed during Stalinist purges on the outskirts of Minsk.
(SSFC, 9/2/01, p.A14)
1937-1945 The Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp
operated over this period. It was located near the city of Weimar
where Germany’s Shakespeare Society and the Goethe-Schiller Archives
(Hem., Nov.’95, p.114)
1937-1945 Japan initiated a war with China that
lasted to 1945. An estimated 15 million Chinese soldiers and
civilians died in the war with 100 million made refugees. In 2013
Rana Mitter authored “China’s War With Japan, 1937-1945: The
Struggle for Survival.”
(Econ, 6/22/13, p.83)(Econ, 8/15/15, p.35)
1937-1947 The Cazalet Chronicle by Elizabeth Jane
Howard focused on an upper middle-class English family of this
period. The four books include "The Light Years" (1990), "Marking
Time," "Confusion" and "Casting Off" (1996).
(WSJ, 8/2/96, p.A10)
1937-1995 Don Cherry, jazz trumpet player, died
near Malaga, Spain of liver failure on Dec 19, 1995.
(WSJ, 10/23/95, p.A-1)
1937-1996 Dr. Amos Tversky (b3/16 d6/2), cognitive
psychologist. He studied how people make decisions about risks,
benefits and probabilities.
(SFC, 6/6/96, p.C6)