Ad*Access Timeline: 1931-1935

International Affairs

  • 1932. Antonio Salazar becomes Premier of Portugal and rules as a dictator for 36 years.
  • 1933. During this year in Germany: President Hindenburg appoints Adolph Hitler Chancellor of Germany; the Nazis burn the Reichstag and accuse the Communists of doing it; the democratic Weimar Republic falls; the government outlaws all parties other than the National Socialists (Nazis); Adolph Hitler rises to power, ousting the President and establishing himself as Führer and supreme ruler.
  • 1933. Stalin begins the great purge of the Communist party in the USSR. He arrests, imprisons and executes many old Bolsheviks. The purges continue until 1939.

U.S. Politics & Government

  • September, 1931. A bank panic spreads across the nation. Over 800 banks shut down in September and October.
  • 1932. Unemployment reaches 13,000,000 in 1932. Two and a half years after the 1929 stock market crash the U.S. economy operates at less than half its pre-crash volume.
  • November 8, 1932. Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President in a landslide.
  • 1933. Frances Perkins becomes Secretary of Labor, the first woman cabinet member in U.S. history.
  • 1933. The new FDR administration demands, and receives, unprecedented power in an attempt to control an economy that has spiraled out of control. The new program, known as the New Deal, restructures the monetary system and creates an array of federal agencies to regulate private industry and find jobs for millions on government-sponsored projects.
  • 1933. The New Deal agencies that are created this year include the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). The CCC is established to create more jobs by employing people to take part in a national reforestation campaign. The AAA restricts the production of crops and pays farmers a bounty for their unused land.
  • March 12, 1933. President Roosevelt's first Fireside Chat is broadcast on radio. These chats are an attempt to calm people during the tumultuous years of the Depression.
  • December 5, 1933. The 21st Amendment to the Constitution repeals prohibition, allowing the manufacture and sale of liquor in the United States once more.
  • 1935. The Social Security Act is passed.

Companies, Inventions, Discoveries & Technology

  • 1932. The first Polaroid glass is devised by Edwin H. Land.
  • 1934. Nylon is first produced by a chemist in DuPont Labs.
  • 1934. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad buys a diesel powered passenger train, the Burlington Zephyr, which sets a speed record for the trip from Denver to Chicago. Lines begin to adopt diesel powered locomotives because of their speed, relatively low noise levels and cleanliness compared to steam engines, which virtually disappear by 1960.

Humanities and The Arts, Entertainment & Sports

  • 1931. Sanctuary by William Faulkner is published.
  • 1932. Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone.
  • 1933. Aaron Copland composes Short Symphony, considered one of the finest works of classical music of this era.
  • 1934. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald is published.


  • March 1, 1932. The Lindbergh kidnapping, one the of most highly publicized crimes of the 20th century, occurs. Months after the $50,000 ransom is paid, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. is found dead in woods near the Lindbergh house. Kidnapping becomes a federal crime.

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