I have long been fascinated by the events that took place in the 1920s and 1930s. I can close my eyes and listen to the Lake Tahoe sound of a Chris Craft flying across the open water. I hear the deep-throated gurgle of a polished mahogany inboard warming up at a dock – the slight Read More ...
Question: Can you give some examples of the cost of living in the 1930s? Answer: Here are a few staples from that era: Bread (20 oz loaf) $.05 Butter (per lb) $.28 Coffee (per lb) $.26 Eggs (per dozen) $.29 Hamburger (per lb) $.10 Milk (per qt) $.10 Potatoes (per lb.) $.01 Cigarettes $.15 pack Whiskey Read More ...
Mobile Devices I get too many e-mails and you probably do too; therefore, I do not have an e-mail subscription widget on this site. Instead, I suggest bookmarking your mobile device; then while you are on the train, or waiting in the Doctor’s office, you can click on the site and enjoy a short journey. Read More ...
Q: What did Americans think of Hitler when they first met him in the 1920s and 1930s? You write that some of them burst out laughing at his shrill voice and jerky hand movements and refused to take him seriously.
A: That’s true. You had Americans meeting Hitler and saying, “This guy is a clown. He’s like a caricature of himself” … and “German politicians would somehow be able to control him.” A lot of German politicians believed it themselves.
However, some who met him did take him seriously.
Truman Smith (a junior military attaché in 1920) said, “This is a marvelous demagogue who can really inspire loyalty.”
Karl von Wiegand, a Hearst correspondent who interviewed Hitler in 1922, was struck by Hitler’s ability to whip people into a frenzy.
Edgar Mowrer, the Chicago Daily News correspondent, kept frantically trying to warn readers and the world, “What he’s saying about the Jews is serious. Don’t underestimate him.”
Right after Hitler took power there were attacks on Americans (living in Germany) who failed to give the Hitler salute.
If you look back to the very beginning of Hitler’s rhetoric about Jews, it was all there — the talk about extermination and vermin. He didn’t spell out exactly what would happen in the Holocaust, but he gave a pretty good indication of its overall thrust. When someone lobs those kinds of rhetorical bombs, it’s sort of a natural human tendency to say, “Oh, that’s just a figure of speech. They don’t really mean it. It’s just a way to whip up supporters.”
Even the German Jews didn’t seem to realize the danger they were facing.
Heavily guarded, manacled and shackled, outlaw John Dillinger is shown on Jan. 30, 1934, as he is taken from one plane to another in St. Louis, Tenn., while under way to his final destination, Indiana jail at Crown Point. (AP Photo).
He didn’t stay long.
Dillinger was caught in Tucson, Arizona on January 25, 1934. He was later escorted back to Indiana by Matthew Leach, the chief of the Indiana State Police, and imprisoned within the Crown Point jail.
The local police boasted to area newspapers that the jail was escape-proof and posted extra guards to make sure. What happened on the day of Dillinger’s escape on March 3rd is still open to debate.
Deputy Ernest Blunk claimed that Dillinger escaped using a real pistol, but FBI files make clear that Dillinger carved a fake pistol from a potato. -Source Wikipedia
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
The full inscription:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Key House Republicans with the support of the White House have introduced the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) as their solution to the immigration impasse in Congress. But the bill would have far-reaching negative effects on economic and labor force growth in the United States, instituting the most severe restriction on legal immigrants since the 1920s.
In the entire history of the United States, the only policy-driven cuts in legal immigration that rival the effects of these bills were the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Quota Act of 1924, which cut the number of legal immigrants by 496,000 in 1922 and 413,000 in 1925, respectively. Congress enacted these laws to keep out Italians and Eastern Europeans, specifically Jews, and were used throughout the 1930s to prevent the entry of German Jews.
She was the sexy ingénue, spending evenings in jazz clubs hazy with her cigarette smoke. She cavorted, wild and willful, in the stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who summed her up as “pretty, impudent, superbly assured, as worldly-wise, briefly-clad and ‘hard-berled’ as possible.”
The glamorous, shimmering flapper in her slinky dress and stylish bob seemed to emerge into American life out of nowhere after the First World War, but the term was already familiar by then. In 1890s Britain, in fact, “flapper” described a very young prostitute, and after the turn of the century, it was used on both sides of the Atlantic for cheeky, prepubescent girls whose long braids, the New York Times reported, “flapped in the wind.” Soon, a flapper was any girl or woman who defied convention—girls who balked at being chaperoned, suffragists, women aspiring to a career, and those, as the Boston Globe put it, “expert in the arts of allurement.”
Unlike their mothers and grandmothers, flappers tended to go to high school and even college, and they devoured new books featuring confident, fun-loving adolescent heroines who hiked and camped and solved mysteries. Flappers biked, played golf and tennis, and strove to emulate the flat-chested and hipless physiques of the adolescent boys whose freedom and lack of domestic responsibilities they envied.
American race car driver Barney Oldfield was the first person to drive an automobile more than 60 miles per hour.
When he drove the car pictured below at 131.25 mph (1910), it was the fastest a human had ever traveled. [For reference: in 1913 airplanes had a average top speed ranging from 45 to 75 mph. The airspeed record was 126.67 mph.]
At age 16, Oldfield began bicycle racing in 1894 when he entered his first race. Following the race, officials Dauntless bicycle factory asked him to ride for the Ohio state championship. Although he came in second, the race was a turning point and he was hired as a parts sales representative for the Stearns bicycle factory, where he met his future wife, Beatrice Lovetta Oatis; they married in 1896. By 1896, he was paid by Stearns in Syracuse New York, to race on its amateur team.
Oldfield was lent a gasoline-powered bicycle to race at Salt Lake City, which led to a meeting with Henry Ford, who had readied two automobiles for racing, and he asked Oldfield if he would like to test one at Ford’s Grosse Pointe track. Oldfield agreed and traveled to Michigan for the trial, but neither car started. Despite the fact that Oldfield had never even driven an automobile, he and fellow racing cyclist Tom Cooper purchased both test vehicles when Ford offered to sell them for $800. One of them was the famous “No. 999” that debuted in October 1902 at the Manufacturer’s Challenge Cup. Today it is displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village. [Source Wikipedia]
My (Molly Lambert) grandmother Margaret Bergmann was a born athlete. Self-taught and hyper-talented, she excelled at every sport she tried. She played sports with the boys, and they accepted her because she was by far the best athlete among them. She did not think much about her Jewish identity until she was in her late teens, when the Nazis began their rise to power.
Suddenly signs reading “NO JEWS OR DOGS” were openly posted in windows. She was banned from athletic-training facilities she’d formerly had access to, and the kids at school began to beat up her younger brother for being Jewish. The family moved to London.
The 1936 Games were awarded to Weimar Germany, in 1931. Five years later, the National Socialist Party had seized full control of the German government, and Adolf Hitler inherited the ceremony. He was not initially sold on the Olympics—he thought that it was “an invention of Jews and Freemasons,” and that it was vulgar to let inferior races compete with the superior white one. But the German sports administrator Carl Diem convinced Hitler that the Olympics were a grand opportunity to showcase Nazi propaganda and demonstrate Germany’s growing power.
Recalled to Germany, Margaret Bergmann wanted to demonstrate that Jews were not inferior, and she wanted to win because she was the best high jumper alive. But, shortly before the Games, the Nazis dropped my grandmother from the roster, convinced that they no longer needed token Jewish athletes. Bergmann received a letter from the Nazis, telling her that she was being cut because she was not up to par—a lie, as scores from the time demonstrate. The letter was signed “Heil Hitler.”
Bergmann was furious that she would not be able to prove that she was the superior Jewish body that the Nazis did not believe existed. She was also glad to get out of Germany immediately.
She worked as a maid while trying to get her parents safely to New York, and she was thrilled when Jesse Owens won gold in Berlin: a black athlete, from her newly adopted country of America, proving that the Nazi ideology and all white supremacy are built on bullshit. She competed in America for a few years, winning American titles in the high jump and shot put. She wanted to train for the 1940 Olympics, but she chose to stop competing after the outbreak of the Second World War.
Margaret Bergman Lambert lived to a hundred and three years old, which is a great way to say “Fuck you” to Nazis.
Now ICE is conducting raids in Los Angeles. These raids began before Trump became President, but they have become bolder, more aggressively public.
There is a climate of fear now in Los Angeles: people are encouraged to snitch on their neighbors; families are separated by police in front of a school in broad daylight. I (Molly Lambert) think of the stories my grandmother told of being exiled from her own home town, a place she’d truly loved.
Warner Bros. became the first major Hollywood studio to introduce sound in movies. Not merely first out of the gate, the studio also led the way in allowing characters on the screen to talk and act like real people with real problems in the very real world of the Depression. While other studios promised diversion to any ticket buyer eager to forget their troubles for a couple of hours in a movie theater, the Warners successfully sold the public a different vision: gritty, exciting, and in your face … [the film] is a sobering and electrifying story about an unlucky victim of the Depression, a man who, sucker or not, never gets an even break. Read more.
The movie is based on the life of Robert Elliott Burns. Read more.
Studebakerwas an American wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852, the company originally produced wagons for farmers, miners, and the military.
In 1902, the company entered the automotive business with electric vehicles sold under the name “Studebaker Automobile Company.” In 1904 they introduced gasoline vehicles.
The first gasoline automobiles to be fully manufactured by Studebaker were marketed in August 1912.Over the next 50 years, the company established a reputation for quality and reliability. Source Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker
The above clip is from Mantrap a 1926 American black-and-white silent film based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis.
Harry Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951), better known as Sinclair Lewis, was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.” His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. Source Wikipedia