February 28. Germans awoke to the sinister news that the
Reichstag, the parliament building, had been burned down.
Adolf Hitler, the newly appointed Chancellor, blamed a communist
who was found nearby by police. But many believed that the fire
was started deliberately by the Nazis to justify a crackdown on
their political enemies.
Sure enough, Hitler forced the ageing President Hindenburg to
grant him the powers of a dictator. All legal guarantees of personal
liberty were wiped out by official decree. Socialists and communist
were rounded up. Opposition newspaper were suppressed and German
radio was taken over as a Nazi machine controlled by Hitler's
propaganda boss, Dr Goebbels.
Meanwhile, the Nazi campaign of terror against the Jews worsened.
Jewish shops were shut down, Jewish teachers and professors dismissed.
The first Jews were already being sent to concentration camps.
Trade union officials were dismissed and even the Boy Scout
movement was dissolved and replaced with the Hitler Youth.
21. Glamorous German actress, Marlene Dietrich, set up a fashion
trend which was immediately followed by thousands of women - wearing
men's clothes. The fashion fad, in which grey flannel trousers
were particularly popular, was nicknamed "Dietrichery" by commentators.
The star was almost mobbed by an excited crowd when she arrived
in Paris in a man's brown suit. The city actually had a law against
women walking the streets in men's attire.
February 15. American president-elect, Franklin D Roosevelt,
narrowly escaped an assassin's bullet after giving a speech in
Miami. Roosevelt was sitting in his car near a bandstand at Bay
Front Park when five shots rang out, wounding Anton Cermak, the
Mayor of Chicago. Guiseppe Zingara, the would-be killer from New
Jersey, was knocked to the ground by a police officer and arrested.
He later got 80 years in jail.
Police quoted the gunman as saying later: "I'd kill every president."
A newspaper cutting about the assassination of President McKinley
in 1901 was found on the man. Mr Roosevelt had just finished giving
a speech from his car when the first shot rang out, followed by
four more, Mayor Cermak took a bullet in his chest.
December 5. America was urged to practice "moderation"
as the nation toasted its farewells to prohibition after 14 dry
years. Prohibition was evaded on a large scale and "bootlegging"
fell under the control of major criminals leading to gang warfare,
especially in Chicago. The move to repeal the no drinking law
was put before Congress three weeks after President Roosevelt's
inauguration. The new president called on the nation to practice
moderation and not return to the "repugnant conditions" that resulted
in the prohibition law in 1920.
January 4. Hospital out-patients
departments should be improved to cut queues and overcrowding,
according to a study in London.
February 4. Unemployment demonstrators
gathered in London's Hyde Park. The 50,000 strong gathering
was protesting about the lack of work.
March 3. The latest in special-effects
techonology came into play as the famous film about a giant
gorilla, King Kong, was premiered in New York.
April 6. The
Wolverhampton branch of The National British Women's Total
Abstinence Union was told at a town hall meeting that poverty
was driving the country's young people to drink.
April 8. In Shropshire a hen set
up a record in the Egg Laying Trials by laying 164 eggs
in 168 days.
May 6. Willenhall boxer Tommy Rogers
raised British boxing prestige in Paris by trouncing US
boxing hero Eugene Huat.
May 11. Walsall authorities decided
to spend £55,000 clearing slums in the Ryecroft area.
June 12. Wolverhampton Council considered
a plan to earmark 178 acres of land at Barnhurst Farm for
a municipal aerodrome.
August 17. Because he failed to
salute Hitler an American surgeon was attacked in Berlin.
September 25. The famous Turin Shroud
was shown to a crowd of 25,000 people.
October 12. Plans to turn the island
of Alcatraz , in San Franscisco Bay, into a prison were
unveiled in Washington.