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Popular Culture 1928

United States -- Mickey Mouse
  • The cartoon star Mickey Mouse appears on November 18th in Steamboat Willie, an animated 1928 short film produced by Walt Disney.
More Information and Timeline for Mickey Mouse
Beloved children's cartoon character Mickey Mouse makes his first appearance in "Steamboat Willie." Steamboat Willie was one of the first successful films to feature synchronized sound in an animated cartoon film. It was produced by Walt Disney and premiered in New York on November 18th of 1928. The short cartoon was quite popular and Disney began producing more films featuring the iconic mouse. Merchandise and fan clubs came soon after, making sure that the mischievous rodent would earn a permanent place in popular culture.

United States --- The Yo-Yo
  • Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant to the United States, opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California on April 26th 1928.
More Information and Timeline for History of the The Yo-Yo
1. First invented in ancient Greece, earliest evidence from a Greek vase painting from 500 BC which shows a boy playing with a yo-yo.
2. A yo-yo is a toy which in its simplest form is an object consisting of an axle connected to two disks, and a length of string looped around the axle, similar to a slender spool.
3. Other names for the YO YO include to 'Whirligigs' or 'Bandelores, "return-wheel" and "Tagalog" to name just a few.
4. Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant to the United States, opens the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California.
5. By November 1929, Flores was operating two additional factories in Los Angeles and Hollywood, which altogether employed 600 workers and produced 300,000 Yo Yo's daily
6. Shortly thereafter an entrepreneur named Donald F. Duncan recognized the potential of this new fad and purchased the Flores Yo-yo Corporation and all its assets, including the Flores name, which was transferred to the new company in 1932 - the same year that the name "Yo-yo" was first registered as a trademark
7. As a clever entrepreneur he sponsored and encouraged Yo Yo Competitions helping to grow the popularity of the Yo-You
Yo Yo's had a resurgence in the 1960's which continued into the 1970's and 1980's

  • Decline and Fall is published a novel by the English author Evelyn Waugh.
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover is banned for being to explicit in England and the US.
  • The House at Pooh Corner by Author A. A. Milne is published in England.
  • "Diga Diga Doo" by Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra.

Born This Year

Anne Sexton November 9th
Che Guevara June 14th
Shirley Temple April 23rd
Ariel Sharon February 26th


United States -- Amelia Earhart
  • Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to successfully fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean.
More Information and Timeline for Amelia Earhart
1. Amelia Earhart begins her first flying lessons on January 3rd, 1921.
2. Earhart breaks the women's altitude record on October 22nd, 1922 by flying up to 14,000 feet.
3. She becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger on June 18th,
4. In June and July of 1930 Earhart sets several speed records for women's aeronautics.
5. On May 21st, 1932 she becomes the first woman to successfully fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
6. She becomes the first woman to fly solo nonstop coast to coast on August 25th of 1932.
7. On January 11th, 1935 she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California.
8. On April 20th, 1935 she becomes the first person to fly solo from Los Angeles, California to Mexico City, Mexico.
9. On May 8th, 1935 Earhart becomes the first person to fly solo from Mexico City, Mexico, to Newark, New Jersey.
10. Earhart's plane is lost on July 2nd, 1937 while attempting to fly around the world with her navigator Fred Noonan. Earhart had completed 22,000 miles of her flight and had nearly 7,000 miles to go over the Pacific in order to complete her circumnavigation flight. Earhart and Noonan were never found and it is presumed they ran out of gas and the plane went down in the ocean as they were trying to reach Howland Island.
11. Amelia Earhart is declared officially dead on January 5th, 1939. No remains are ever found and circumstances of her disappearance are forever shrouded in mystery.

U.K. -- Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin
  • Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in and changed the world of modern medicines by introducing the age of antibiotics and his discovery of penicillin has, and still, saves millions of people.
More Information and Timeline for Penicillin Discovery
1. Researcher Alexander Fleming begins studying staphylococci in 1927.
2. In September of 1929, Fleming discovers a mold in some of his Petri dishes and upon further inspection see that this mold has destroyed some of his staphylococci cultures.
3. Fleming identifies this mold as Penicillium notatum and publishes a report on his findings in 1929. Little interest is shown at the time.
4. Howard Florey hires Ernst Chain to do research at Oxford University. Chain discovers Fleming's research on Penicillin in 1938.
5. Florey and Chain research the penicillin mold and begin experimenting with injections. By 1941 Florey gets funding from the Rockefeller Foundation in the United States to continue further research.
6. Florey and his researchers go to Peoria, Illinois to try to solve problems related to the mass manufacturing of Penicillin and are successful, leading to the mass production of the antibacterial "miracle cure" that would change medicine.

United States -- Lindbergh Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Charles Lindbergh receives the Congressional Medal of Honor for his non-stop transatlantic flight in the previous year.
More Information for Charles Lindbergh Medal of Honor.
Ground-breaking aviator Charles Lindbergh was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge during March of 1928. Lindbergh was awarded the country’s highest honor for completing the very first non-stop transatlantic flight in his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, during May of the previous year. Congress chose to recognize him for this amazing feat as he had risked his life in attempting the flight and had advanced the field of aviation enormously with accomplishing what was once thought impossible.

  • Home Pregnancy Test is first introduced which tests for the presence of hCG which doubles every 48 hrs during early pregnancy and is checked using a urine sample. Introduced by Selmar Aschheim and Bernard Zondek.
United States -- Iron Lung
  • Iron Lung Philip Drinker and Louis A. Shaw professors at the School Of Public Health at Harvard University invent the Iron Lung.
More Information and Timeline for Iron Lung
1. Early ideas and models for a negative pressure ventilator to help patients breathe when they cannot breathe regularly by themselves are created throughout time by various doctors.
2. The "Iron Lung" or Drinker Respirator is created by Louis Shaw and Philip Drinker in the 1920s. It was an airtight metal box with air pumps that could pull air in and our of the lungs.
3. The first clinical use of the Drinker Respirator on a person takes place on October 12th, 1928 at the Boston Children's Hospital. The test was dramatically successful and the device became a popular treatment for polio.
4. Various doctors and engineers all made different versions of the device in the 1930s. Some were smaller infant versions, others were less expensive and more efficient, some were people trying to bring the technology to their own countries.
5. Australian Edward Both designed a lighter, portable, more efficient and less expensive model of the Drinker Respirator in 1937 which became more popular than the original in various parts of the world.

Inventions, Inventors and Country (or attributed to First Use)
Antibiotics England by Alexander Fleming
Iron Lung USA by Philip Drinker and Louis A. Shaw
Sliced Bread maker USA by Otto Frederick
Bubble Gum first called Double Bubble USA by Walter E Diemer

News Events

United Kingdom -- Equal Franchise Act
  • The U.K. passes Equal Franchise Act to make the voting age the same for men and women.
More Information for the Equal Franchise Act
1. The original Representation of the People Act is passed in 1918 in Britain, giving limited suffrage to women over the age of 30.
2. The British House of Commons passed the Representation of the People Act of 1928, also known as the Equal Franchise Act or the Fifth Reform Act, during May of 1928.
3. The act expanded on the identically named law from 1918 by lowering the voting age restriction of women to 21 years old.
4. This achieved full suffrage for England, making men and women equal in terms of the age they could begin voting.
5. The move added many more women to the British electorate, making them the new majority.
6. The act became law in July of that year after receiving Royal Assent.

  • The Okeechobee Hurricane or Hurricane San Felipe Segundo was a deadly hurricane that struck the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Florida on September 16th.
  • Japan Breaks off relations with China following the attacks in China by Japanese.
  • A major hurricane strikes West Palm Beach in Florida causing the loss of over 500 lives.
  • Major earthquake destroys the town of Corinth leaving very few buildings standing in Greece.
  • Ten world famous feminist leaders stormed the gates of the French presidential palace.
  • The Summer Olympics are held for the first time in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Italian Dirigible Italia (Airship ) is lost on May 29th while trying to reach the North Pole.
Switzerland -- Olympic Winter Games
  • The Olympic Winter Games are held for the first time in the country in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
More Information for the 1928 Winter Olympics
The 1928 Winter Olympics are held in St. Moritz, Switzerland during the month of February. The II Winter Olympics marked the first time that the Winter Games took place in a different country than the Summer Games. These Olympics also marked the first time the skeleton event was held and the first time that Japanese athletes participated in the Winter events. There were 25 nations that participated in total with Norway, the United States, and Sweden taking home the most event medals at the end of it.

Puerto Rico
  • 300,000 face famine after severe hurricane destroys crops in Puerto Rico.
  • on March 12th the St. Francis dam collapses causing a massive wave into the San Francisquito Canyon in California flooding the towns of Castaic Junction, Fillmore, and Bardsdale and killing an estimated 500 plus although the exact number is not known.

1928 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

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1928 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Stanley Bruce Brazil President Washington Luís Canada Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King

Italy Prime Minister Benito Mussolini

Japan Prime Minister Giichi Tanaka Mexico President Plutarco Elías Calles until 30 November
Mexico President Emilio Portes Gil From 1 December
Russia/Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee Joseph Stalin South Africa Prime Minister James Barry Munnik Hertzog United States President Calvin Coolidge United Kingdom Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin

Political Elections

United States Presidential Election 1928 Herbert Hoover (Republican) Defeats Al Smith (Democrat).