1928 News, Events, Tech and Popular Culture
Major News Stories include Alexander Flemming discovers penicillin, Amelia Earhart becomes first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Okeechobee Hurricane, St. Francis dam collapses, Home Pregnancy Test is first introduced
Jump To The Yo-Yo
-- Amelia Earhart
-- Alexander Fleming Penicillin
-- Iron Lung
-- World Leaders
-- 1928 Calendar
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.
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 . 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 - Spirit of St. Louis Flown to Washington
Charles Lindbergh piloted the Spirit of St. Louis for the last time during April
when he flew the historic plane from St. Louis to Washington D.C. Lindbergh gave the plane to the Smithsonian Institute where it has remained on display as an important artifact of the early days of flight. Lindbergh had flown the plane in the first successful non-stop solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris in May
. For this daring feat he was awarded a sum of $25,000.00 by Raymond Orteig a
wealthy hotel owner who had challenged aviators of the era to attempt and complete a successful transatlantic flight.
More about the first Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight
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 .
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
Amsterdam Summer Olympics
The 1928 Summer Olympics take place during July
. They were held in Amsterdam, Netherlands and were the eighth modern Olympic games. A total of 2,883 athletes from 46 nations participated in 109 athletic events. The Olympic flame debuted at these games and Germany participated for the first time since 1912. The number of women participating doubled in these games as more women’s events were added to the program including artistic gymnastics. The United States won the most medals with a total of 56 (22 gold, 18 silver, and 16 bronze) and the host nation finished in eighth place with 19 total medals (6 gold, 9 silver, and 4 bronze).
United States -- St. Francis Dam Collapses
1.Construction on the St. Francis Dam began during August
. The dam was a curved concrete gravity dam and it was located near Los Angeles in the San Francisquito Canyon close to Santa Clarita. It was created under the supervision of Chief Engineer William Mulholland as a part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system.
2. Construction of the dam was completed on May 6th
and it soon started showing signs of instability and leaks.
3. The St. Francis Dam suffered a catastrophic failure at about 11:57 PM on March 12th
in 1928 causing a massive flood with little to no warning for residents in the surrounding who thought that the rumbling from the dam may have been an earthquake.
4. The collapse was considered one of the worst civil engineering failures in United States history and the resulting flood left between 385 - 430 people dead according to some of the official estimates, but the number may have been higher (possibly over 600 dead). Flood waters were initially 140 feet high and 12 billion gallons of water were released when it failed.
5. Some of the Southern California towns that suffered massive damage due to the collapse included Castaic, Saugus, Santa Paula, Saticoy, and Filmore.
6. An estimated 1,200 homes were destroyed by the flood and there were initial estimates of over $7 million in damage done to the area.
7. After several reports were conducted to investigate the cause of the collapse, it was determined that issues with the dam's foundation were at fault. It was also later reported that the dam may have been built on the site of an old landslide that could have contributed to the foundation issues.
8. The collapse ended Mulholland's career as many blamed him for the catastrophe, partially because he and his assistant had personally inspected the dam just 12 hours before the failure and had deemed it safe.
9. What was left of the St. Francis Dam was demolished in May
Note: Good source for more information about the history of the dam can be found from the Smithsonian Magazine's article
on the event.
World - First Trans-Pacific Flight
Charles Kingsford Smith completes the first trans-Pacific flight from Oakland, California to Brisbane, Australia during June
. Kingsford Smith, along with co-pilot Charles Ulm, navigator Harry Lyon, and radio operator James Warner, flew the “Southern Cross” across the Pacific Ocean. The 7,250 mile flight took a total of 83 hours and 39 minutes to complete, The “Southern Cross” was a Fokker F. VIIb trimotor monoplane that weight over 15,000 pounds and had a 71 foot wingspan. Kingsford Smith would go on to complete the first nonstop crossing of the Tasman Sea in the same plane later that year.
United States -- Amelia Earhart
1. Amelia Earhart begins her first flying lessons on January 3rd
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 1928, 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.
U.S.A. -- Lindbergh Congressional Medal of Honor
Charles Lindbergh receives the Congressional Medal of Honor for his non-stop transatlantic flight in the previous year.
Ground-breaking aviator Charles Lindbergh was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge during March . 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.
United States -- 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 1920's
. 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, 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 1930's
. 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.
United Kingdom -- Equal Franchise Act
The U.K. passes Equal Franchise Act to make the voting age the same for men and women.
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 .
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.
Switzerland -- Olympic Winter Games
The Olympic Winter Games are held for the first time in the country in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The 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.
United States -- Boulder Dam Project Act
1. The Boulder Dam Project Act is passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge during December .
2. The following year Herbert Hoover took over negotiations of the project and by 1933 construction began.
3. The Boulder Dam, which distributed water from the Colorado river to Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and California, was completed by 1935.
4. In 1947
, it was officially renamed the Hoover Dam.
5. The project was considered an exceptional feat of civil engineering at the time and it was at that moment the largest dam in the world.
Calendar For The Year 1928
Puerto Rico -- Famine
300,000 face famine after severe hurricane destroys crops in Puerto Rico.
U.S.A. -- St. Francis dam collapses
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.
UK -- Decline and Fall is published
Decline and Fall is published a novel by the English author Evelyn Waugh
UK -- Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover
is banned for being to explicit in England and the US.
UK -- The House at Pooh Corner
The House at Pooh Corner
by Author A. A. Milne is published in England.
U.S. -- "Diga Diga Doo"
"Diga Diga Doo" by Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra.
France -- Home Pregnancy Test
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.
U.S. -- Okeechobee Hurricane
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 -- Ends Relations With China
Japan Breaks off relations with China
following the attacks in China by Japanese.
U.S. -- Hurricane
A major hurricane strikes West Palm Beach in Florida causing the loss of over 500 lives.
Greece -- Earthquake
destroys the town of Corinth leaving very few buildings standing in Greece.
France -- feminist leaders
Ten world famous feminist leaders
stormed the gates of the French presidential palace.
Netherlands -- Summer Olympics
The Summer Olympics
are held for the first time in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Italy -- Airship Lost
Italian Dirigible Italia (Airship
) is lost on May 29th
while trying to reach the North Pole.
Born This Year
Anne Sexton -- November 9th
Che Guevara -- June 14th
Shirley Temple -- April 23rd
Ariel Sharon -- February 26th
England by Alexander Fleming
USA by Philip Drinker and Louis A. Shaw
Sliced Bread maker
USA by Otto Frederick
first called Double Bubble USA by Walter E Diemer
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
- United States Presidential Election - - - - Herbert Hoover (Republican) defeats Al Smith (Democrat).