11 words change the world

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 had arrived.

Al JolsonSynchronised 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 him.

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 ocean.

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.


In brief

January 1. The first programmes were broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation, formerly the British Broadcasting Company.

January 29. Britain's first hotel to open with a private bathroom for each bedroom was launched as the Park Lane Hotel in London.

February 9. Wolseley Motors is snapped up by Morris Motors for 730,000.

February 21. Birmingham and London were the venues for the opening of the British Industries Fair.

March 25. The horse Sprig , owned by Mrs M Patridge, won the first Grand National race to be broadcast by wireless in Britain.

April 5. Johnny Weissmuller, who was later to achieve stardom in the Tarzan films, set three swimming records in America to hold every freestyle distance from the 100 yards to the half-mile.

May 1. In Berlin Adolf Hitler held his first Nazi Party meeting in the German capital.

June 14. Walsall-born writer Jerome K Jerome died.

July 5. At Stafford the vicar of St Thomas's warned that the acceptance into the church of the new revised prayer book would be a step back into the "Dark Ages."

August 8. In Wolverhampton plans are announced for a greyhound track, probably at Penn Fields - but officials still have to overcome the problem of a greyhound shortage.

August 13. At Ironbridge, Shropshire, Queen Mary was excused payment when she reached the bridge toll house, despite a notice ordering all travellers to pay, including "The Royal Family."

September 1. Wolverhampton launched a new experimental traffic "island" at Chapel Ash in a bid to improve traffic control. It was successful.

September 3. At Birmingham Repertory Company aspiring young actors - Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft - were reported to have given "good accounts of themselves" when they were given their chance on stage.