Japanese troops in China

September 18. In the Chinese region of Manchuria, Japanese troops guarding an industrial complex suddenly launched an attack on the city of Mukden. Some 80 Chinese soldiers were killed and the town was overrun. The local governor ordered no resistance, fearing that Japan was looking for an excuse to invade the whole of Manchuria.

A ceasefire was arranged but then broken and Japanese troops went on to take Shanghai, tangling with local detachments of British, French and Italian troops. The Japanese take ShanghaiIt was clear what was happening. While all eyes had been on the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany, Japan, a rising industrial power, had fallen into the hands of an ultra-nationalistic military clique who intended to create a great Eastern empire.

The League of Nations protested and Japan responded by quitting the League "with a heavy heart." The stage was set for Japanese conquest and butchery of a peace-loving people who would suffer untold misery in the years to come.

April 14. Spain was declared a republic as King Alfonso was forced to abdicate. The king's downfall had been anticipated since the collapse of the military dictatorship of his friend, Primo de Rivera a year previously. It was made clear to the King that the only alternative to him leaving voluntarily was civil war. His abdication came in a dramatic scene at his palace when he signed the document of renunciation.

October 18. Thomas Edison, considered by some to be the most prolific inventor of all time, died at his home in New Jersey, aged 84. During his amazing career he was either responsible for, or made major contributions to, the telephone, the gramophone, electric light and moving pictures.

The man who patented 1,100 inventions began as a newsboy on a train at the age of 12. The father of a small boy he rescued on the railway track taught him telegraphy which led indirectly to his first successful invention - a stock ticker machine.

September 30. Police and demonstrators clashed on London's streets as a month of strikes and even a mutiny drew to a close. The protests by the unemployed were against the Government's austerity programme.

The protesters rioted near Battersea town hall as 5,000 demanded the restoration of full unemployment pay. In the West End, postal workers brought traffic to a standstill as they demonstrated over pay cuts.The Government action came after sterling was devalued by 30 per cent. The gold standard had been abandoned to stop a run on the pound. Even 12,000 naval ratings mutinied over the pay cuts.

March 13. Women rebelled against the return of the long skirt, labelling it as an infringement of their liberty and comfort. One woman told a meeting of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship that it was no coincidence that women had gained freedom in dress and freedom in politics at the same time.


In brief

January 10. Mrs Wallis Simpson was introduced to the Prince of Wales, heralding the start of a "scandalous affair."

February 12. In Japan the first television broadcast of a baseball match was made.

March 3. Americans chose "The Star Spangled Banner" as their national anthem.

April 1. The French liner, Florida, was hit by a British aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, resulting in the loss of 30 lives.

April 25. West Bromwich Albion, the Second Division champions, beat Birmingham 2-1 in the Wembley FA Cup Final.

May 25. In its first two days of opening, 28,000 people visited Whipsnade Zoo, causing chaos.

July 3. A Wolverhampton food firm introduced a pioneering new way of hygienically serving fish and chips at its Chapel Ash chip shop using cellophane bags, greaseproof paper and electrically heated containers.

July 9. A Walsall county court judge ruled that horses and cattle still had the right to be on the road as he heard a case involving a dispute over a crash between a horse-drawn milk float and a car in Park Street.

July 17. Rugeley Carnival marked the district hospital's diamond jubilee with a new fun feature - a king and queen of mirth.

August 1. Wolverhampton Town Council decided to spend £45,813 providing work for the unemployed during the coming winter months.

August 27. It was agreed to give Britain 60 million in short-term credit by bankers in New York.