October 6. In the middle of a movie scene set in a night
club, the star Al Jolson suddenly spoke: "Wait a minute, wait
a minute. You ain't heard nothing yet!"
The New York audience leaped to their feet in amazement and
delight. Eleven little words had changed the world. The talkies
music had been perfected a year before but the Jolson film, The
Jazz Singer, was the first movie with synchronised speech. At
a stroke, the future of popular entertainment was clear. And yet
for all the public's enthusiasm, not everyone welcomed the talkies.
For movie companies it meant massive new investment in sound
studios. For a generation of handsome film stars with hopeless
voices, it meant the dole queue. And plenty of big names believed
that talking pictures were a fad.
It would come to nothing, declared Charlie Chaplin, king of
the silent screen. But soon, even he was talking.
February 4. Motor racing ace Malcolm Campbell broke through
the world land speed record along the Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire,
Wales, at 174.224 mph.
It was the third time this racing king had broken the record
after his three previous attempts for it ended in failure - and
the same fate nearly befell him this time when his car, Bluebird,
came to a halt after just 100 yards.
The car suddenly started up again and sped off. Campbell confessed
later that at this point "my heart was quaking."
Disaster nearly struck a second time on the history- making
run when the wind tore off the driver's goggles, temporarily blinding
The British built Bluebird was powered by a 500hp Napier-Aero
engine which was also used on several record -breaking planes.
April 19. Goddess of the silver screen Mae West was jailed
for ten days and fined $500 after being found guilty of indecent
behaviour in her production of "Sex" on Broadway.
The glamorous actress was said to have introduced lewd material
into the show which caused offence.
Known for her quick-wit, One of Mae's most memorable saucy one-liners
was: "It's not the men in in my life that counts - it's the life
in my men."
May 21. American aviator Charles Lindbergh was mobbed
by cheering crowds at Le Bourget airfield in Paris at the end
of a gruelling 3,600-mile flight from New York which swept him
into the records books.
Lucky Lindy, as the then 25-year-old flyer was known, became
the first person to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic
Lindbergh triumphed over ice, fog , and a desperate urge to
sleep during the 33-hour 30-minute flight- and because of time-
consuming preparations for the event, he had already been awake
for 36 hours when he took off from New York in his plane, the
Spirit of St Louis
November 23. A 200-strong band of unemployed Welsh miners
walked 180 miles from the Rhondda Valley to London to complain
about the lack of jobs in their industry - but Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin refused to meet them. The determined miners marched
into Trafalgar Square carrying lighted lamps, knapsacks and mugs,
supported by brass and fife bands.
Arthur Cook, then secretary of the Miners' Federation, warned
Mr Baldwin that unless the government took action to deal with
unemployment in the industry, a revolutionary situation would
be created where it would be compelled to take over the mining
industry in the interests of the nation.