The People History

What Happened in 1937 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

1937 Major News Stories including Amelia Earhart, Hindenburg Disaster, Memorial Day Massacre, Joe Louis, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dust Bowl Storms, Mississippi River Flooding ...

1937 unemployment continued to drop to 14.3% dropping some 6.7% from the previous year. And the Engineering feat of the Golden Gate bridge opening gave Americans great pride, and the Millionaire Inventor / Industrialist set a new air record by completing the flight from Los Angeles to New York in 7 hours 28 seconds. After a number of strikes in the Auto industry General Motors were forced to recognize the UAW United Auto Workers Union. A major flood along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers caused millions to lose their homes in Ohio , Kentucky and Illinois. The pride of Germany the flying ship Hindenburg exploded while attempting to hook itself to a mooring post and signaled the end of the flying ship in 1937 as a major form of transport, and the immortal words of reporter Herb Morrison who was filming the Hindenburg " Oh The Humanity! The Humanity " were shown and heard around the world. One of the unsolved mysteries of modern times the disappearance of Amelia Earhart also occurred in this year.
Jump To World Leaders -- Calendar -- Technology -- Popular Culture -- News and Events -- Born This Year -- Cost Of Living
 

Cost of Living 1937

How Much things cost in 1937
Average Cost of new house $4,100.00
Average wages per year $1,780.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 10 cents
Average Cost for house rent $26.00 per month
A loaf of Bread 9 cents
A LB of Hamburger Meat 12 cents
Average Price for new car $760.00
Toothpaste 35 cents
Couple of examples of houses advertised for sale
Port Authur, Texas --- 5 room Cottage home and bath in town center $2,250
Mansfield, Ohio ---- Colonial Brick Home 6 modern rooms and bath with open fireplace in living room $6,000

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 540
 
 

United States --- Amelia Earhart Disappeared

  • Amelia Mary Earhart mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigation flight
More Information and Timeline For Amelia Mary Earhart
1. Amelia Mary Earhart started her career during World War I as a nurses aid in Toronto, Canada looking after wounded soldiers ( Mostly as a Cook )
2. 1920 after saving by working multiple jobs including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer she saved the $1,000 needed to take flying lessons
3. 1923, Amelia Earhart became the 16th woman to be issued a pilot's license
4. 1928, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the North American continent and back
5. 1932 she became the the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic
6. 1937 On June 1st Amelia Earhart and her flight navigator Fred Noonan take off from Miami attempting a round-the-world flight.
7. At midnight GMT on the July 2nd after travelling 22,000 miles they take off from Lae, New Guinea for the final 7,000 miles, 1st stop would be Howland Island in the Pacific.
8. The last recorded radio broadcast from Amelia Earhart was at 8:43 am stated "We are on the line 157 337" , she was never heard from again
9. After multiple searches Amelia Earhart was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939.
After more than 70 years and using the latest technology her plane has still not been found and Myths and urban legends abound, but her legacy of the pioneer spirit she showed and the records she achieved are a tribute to her spirit of adventure.
 
 

U.S. - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Premieres

More Information and Timeline For Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Walt Disney premieres "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" on December 21st 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, California. It was the very first technicolor, full-length animated English language feature film to have been created and captivated audiences from the start, as huge crowds gathered to see the spectacle at the premiere. The film initially had a budget of $1.5 million it was expected to be a failure, but Disney was proven correct in his gamble as the film went on to become a beloved classic and it made over $6 million by 1939.
 
 
 

United States --- Hindenburg

  • The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames while attempting to moor at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
More Information and Timeline For German airship Hindenburg
1. 1931 Construction of the The LZ 129 Hindenburg starts as the largest German commercial passenger-carrying rigid airship built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH ( Zeppelin Company )
2. The Hindenburg was 803.8 feet long with an envelope of (7,062,000 cubic feet) filled with Hydrogen gas which is highly flammable to provide the lift
3. Forward and Reverse power from four Daimler-Benz 16-cylinder diesel engines
3. 1936 the Hindenburg ( Named after Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg former President of Germany ) made its maiden test flight
4. 1936 The Hindenburg makes 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean 10 trips to the U.S. and seven to Brazil
5. On May 3rd The Hindenburg leaves Frankfurt, Germany bound for Lakehurst, NJ, United States
6. At 7:21 PM on May 6th 1937 while attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station the Hindenburg bursts into flames killing 35 passengers, crew and 1 ground crew, when watching the disaster ( Video below ) it is amazing any passengers and crew survived.
The incident together with other high profile problems in the Airship Industry shattered public confidence in passenger-carrying rigid airships and marked the end of the era for Airships.
 
 

United States --- Howard Hughes

  • Aviator Howard Hughes breaks his own transcontinental flight speed record when he flies from Los Angeles to Newark.
More Information and Timeline for Howard Hughes Transcontinental Flight Record.
On January 19, 1937 millionaire aviator Howard Hughes broke his own transcontinental flight record that he had set in the previous year. Hughes flew his monoplane a total of 2,490 miles from Los Angeles, California to Newark, New Jersey in 7 hours, 28 minutes, and 25 seconds. The record was nearly two hours shorter than his previous record. Hughes averaged a speed of 332 miles per hour. His flight was successful but it was believed that he had a few problems with his oxygen mask during the flight.
 
 

U.S. - First Blood Bank Opens in Chicago

More Information and Timeline for First Blood Bank.
The first hospital blood bank system in the United States is established by Dr. Bernard Fantus during March of 1937. Fantus opened the blood bank in Chicago, Illinois at the Cook County Hospital. The blood bank stored and preserved donated blood, making many medical treatments easier as doctors no longer needed donors to be present at the time of transfusion. As a result of the blood bank, the number of transfusions more than doubled at the hospital in the following year. The idea of the blood bank revolutionized medicine and helped advance modern surgery.
 
 

United States --- Memorial Day Massacre

  • The Memorial Day Massacre takes place when Ten union demonstrators are killed when police open fire on union protesters in Chicago
More Information and Timeline For Memorial Day Massacre Chicago
1. Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) union signed a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel
2. Smaller steel manufacturers including Republic Steel refuse to sign the Union Deal
3. On May 30th Memorial Day, strike sympathizers start at Sam's Place and march towards the Republic Steel mill in protest against non signing of the collective bargaining agreement .
4. A line of Chicago policeman block their path
5. A tree branch is thrown by steel workers at the police lines
6. Police open fire on the crowd and use clubs to break up the protest, police bullets kill ten people and injure 30, another 28 suffer serious head injuries from police clubbing.
6. A Coroner's Jury declared the killings to be "justifiable homicide" and no police were ever convicted.
 
 

U.K. - Duke of Windsor Marries Wallis Simpson

More Information and Timeline for Duke of Windsor Marries Wallis Simpson.
The British Duke of Windsor and American Wallis Warfield Simpson are married in a small ceremony in France on June 3rd 1937. The Duke of Windsor was formerly known as King Edward VIII of Great Britain but had abdicated in 1936 in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson. Simpson was already married when they started their relationship which was especially scandalous at the time. Simpson got divorced, for a second time in her life, in order to marry King Edward VIII but the royal family and the British government still thoroughly rejected the idea of her as Queen. After he renounced his throne and her divorce was finalized they promptly married and had remained together until the Duke of Windsor’s death in 1972.
 
 
 

United States --- Ronald Reagan

  • Actor and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan makes his film debut in "Love Is on the Air."
More Information for Ronald Reagan's Acting Debut.
Future U.S. President Ronald Reagan made his film debut during October of 1937 with the release of the film "Love Is on the Air." Reagan played the lead role of "Andy McCaine" opposite June Travis. Reagan went on to appear in over fifty films throughout his acting career and continued to remain in the public spotlight when he was elected as the Governor of California in 1967. In 1980, he was elected President of the United States and served until 1988.
 
 

United States - Waterman Aerobile

  • The "Waterman Aerobile" flying car has its first flight.
More Information for the Aerobile
Waldo Waterman's flying car the "Waterman Aerobile" has its first flight during February of 1937. The Aerobile was a tailless monoplane with high wings and tricycle landing gear. The design and creation of the Aerobile was the result of Waterman working on plane prototypes since the 1910s. The Aerobile's design was an improved version of his prototype from the early 1930's, known as the "Waterman Whatsit." The vehicle was intended to be an affordable and safe aircraft option and he was recognized by the Bureau of Air Commerce for his creation. With the success of the 1937 test flight the craft was proven safe, but, it generated little interest with the public and only a few Aerobiles were made.
 

Calendar For The Year 1937

1937 Calendar

 
 
Polio
  • Increases in the number of Infantile Paralysis cases ( Polio ) in Chicago causes cities schools to stay closed.
 
 
National Basketball League
  • National Basketball League (NBL) was created by three corporations: General Electric, Firestone and Goodyear.
 
 
First total solar eclipse
  • First total solar eclipse to exceed 7 minutes of totality in over 800 years; visible in the Pacific and Peru
 
 
Joe Louis
  • Joe Louis nicknamed The Brown Bomber defeats American Jim Braddock on June 22nd to became World Heavyweight Champion and had 25 defenses from 1937 to 1949. He was a world champion for 11 years and 10 months
 
 
Nanking
  • Japanese forces capture the city of Nanking in China and massacre of an estimated 200,000
 
 
Hong Kong Typhoon
  • Typhoon strikes the Island of Hong Kong with devastating results
 
 
King Edward VIII
  • Former King OF England King Edward VIII marries Wallis Warfield Simpson on June 3rd
 
 
King George VI
  • King George VI becomes the British Monarch when he is crowned on May 12th at Westminster Abbey.
 
 
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term
 
 
Old Age Insurance Benefits
  • On January 1st One percent of wages Deductions from US employers and Employees to provide Old Age Insurance Benefits ( Old Age Pensions )
 
 
Japan Invades China
  • Japan Invades China and seizes Peking, Tietsin, Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangchow
 
 
Toyota Motor Company
  • Kiichiro Toyoda founds the Toyota Motor Company in Japan
 
 
huge dust storm
  • A huge dust storm on June 4th sweeps from Oklahoma westward
 
 
Neville Chamberlain
  • Neville Chamberlain becomes the British prime minister
 
 
Emergency 999 Telephone service
  • The Emergency 999 Telephone service is started on June 30th in the UK
 
 

Popular Culture

  • The Dandy, the world's longest running comic, was first published

Popular Films

  • Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Conquest
  • Books Published
  • Death on the Nile is published by Agatha Christie
  • The Hobbit is published by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Of Mice and Men is published by John Steinbeck

 
 

Born This Year

Jackie Collins October 4th
Bobby Charlton October 11th
Anthony Hopkins December 31st
Shirley Bassey January 8th
Loretta Swit November 4th
Madeleine Albright May 15th -- Prague, Czechoslovakia
Warren Beatty March 30th -- Richmond, Virginia, U.S
Peter Cook November 19th -- Torquay, Devon, England
Bill Cosby July 12th -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Jane Fonda December 21st -- New York City, New York, U.S.
Morgan Freeman June 1st -- Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Susan Hampshire May 12th -- London, England
Dustin Hoffman August 8th -- Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Jack Nicholson April 22nd -- New York City, New York, U.S.
Roger Penske February 20th -- Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S.
Colin Powell April 5th -- Harlam, New York , U.S.
Vanessa Redgrave January 30th -- London, England
Tom Stoppard July 3rd -- Zlín, Czechoslovakia
 
 

Technology

  • The Hindenburg disaster in 1937 triggered the fall in the Use of Airships for commercial passenger travel,
  • The first flying car to actually fly was built by Waldo Waterman and flew in 1937
  • The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, is opened.
  • The Teasmade By Goblin is sold for the first time
  • The First Blood Bank Opens in Chicago
  • The BBC use their outside broadcast unit for the first time, to televise the coronation of King George VI.
  • Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft in Rugby, England.
 
 

Major World Political Leaders

Australia -- Prime Minister -- Joseph Lyons --
Brazil -- President -- Getúlio Vargas --
Canada -- Prime Minister -- William Lyon Mackenzie King --
Germany -- Chancellor -- Adolf Hitler --
Italy -- Prime Minister -- Benito Mussolini --
Japan -- Prime Minister -- Koki Hirota -- Till 2 February
Japan -- Prime Minister -- Senjuro Hayashi -- From 2 February
Japan -- Prime Minister -- Senjuro Hayashi -- Till 4 June
Japan -- Prime Minister -- Fumimaro Konoe -- From 4 June
Mexico -- President -- Lázaro Cárdenas --
Russia / Soviet Union -- General Secretary of the Central Committee -- Joseph Stalin --
South Africa -- Prime Minister -- James Barry Munnik Hertzog --
United States -- President -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --
United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Stanley Baldwin -- Till 28 May
United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Neville Chamberlain -- From 28 May