1930 — Last known Giant Aye-Aye killed in Madagascar. The species was 2.5 to 5 times the size of the endangered Aye-Aye.

1930: Mohandas Gandhi leads a peaceful revolt again British rule in India

After 1930 Jiang launched a series of attacks that encircled the communists in southeast China and led to an attempt by communist army commander Chu Teh to break out.

Slang of the 1930's

1930 Chicago skyline

Tango - Joseph Schmidt

Amelia Earhart takes off from Hatboro, Pa.

Amelia Earhart speaks (circa early 30's)

Dutch Elm disease reaches the United States. Cleveland, Ohio witnessed the first case of Dutch elm disease in the U.S., in 1930. Apparently, this silent killer arrived in a shipment of logs from France. But Dutch elm disease spread East quickly: Within two years American elm trees in New Jersey were falling prey to the deadly fungus.

1930: Painting: "American Gothic" by Grant Wood

Dec. 7, 1930. W1XAV Boston broadcasts a video portion of a CBS radio program, The Fox Trappers orchestra program, sponsored by I. J. Fox Furriers. Included was what is sometimes called the first television commercial, which was prohibited by FRC regulations. [However, Donna Halper reports that as early as 1928 W1XAY in Lexington Mass. simulcast one hour of WLEX radio daily, and there is a mention of commercials in that hour.

Foldin' Bed - Whistler's Jug Band 2:37 (May 25, 1930)

Poor Little Benny - Bela Lam and Family 2:09


Shortly before Edison dies, he says that the biggest mistake he had made was in trying to develop directed current, rather than the vastly superior alternating current system that Nikola Tesla had championed.

Oct 18, 1931 Thomas Edison dies at home. his final words to his wife, Mina, "It is very beautiful over there."

The day after Edison died the New York Times contained extensive coverage of Edison's life, with the only negative opinion coming from Nikola Tesla, who was quoted as saying,

"He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene... His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 per cent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense."

Mourning Becomes Electra - Eugene O'Neill 1931 (text - not accessible in USA)

I Love Myself Because You Love Me - Helen Kane 1931


On March 14, George Eastman, aged 77, writes suicide note--"My work is done. Why wait?"--and shoots himself.

Book: "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

June 21, 1932 - World champion cyclist Major Taylor dies

Le Lion Devenu Vieux - Ladislaw Starewicz 8:53

Hitler 00:55

Babe Ruth "Fancy Curves" (1932)

Buzzin' Around - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle 1/2 10:12

Buzzin' Around - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle 1/2 9:58

Free Eats - Our Gang 2/11/32 9:03

Betty Boop - Just a Gigolo - Irene Bordoni


March 4, 1933 - Roosevelt Inaugurated

1933: The Tennessee Valley Authority created

Raymond B. Bragg, the associate editor of The New Humanist, sought to consolidate the input of L. M. Birkhead, Charles Francis Potter, and several members of the Western Unitarian Conference. Bragg asked Roy Wood Sellars to draft a document based on this information which resulted in the publication of the Humanist Manifesto in 1933. The Manifesto and Potter's book became the cornerstones of modern humanism. Both of these sources envision humanism as a religion.

The Devil's Ball - Ladislaw Starewicz 5:10

America First - Woody Guthrie date?

Tom Joad with montage from Grapes of Wrath

This Land - Woody Guthrie

So Long, it's Been Good to Know You - Woody Guthrie

Paradis - Pola Negri 3:11


The Long March to northwest China, from October 1934 to October 1935, reduced the communists' army from over 100,000 to little more than 8,000, mainly as a result of skirmishes with Jiang's forces and the severity of the conditions. During the march a power struggle developed between Mao Zedong and Jiang Guo T'ao which eventually split the force. Mao's group finally based itself in Yan'an, where it remained throughout the war with the Japanese, forming an uneasy alliance with the nationalists to expel the invaders.

Bonnie and Clyde Death Scene - 1934

Emma Goldman returns to the US 2:51

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe 20:34

1934 Duesenberg


Parker Bros. Monopoly game inroduced - 1935

1935 - The Desert Rat-kangaroo becomes extinct

Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston is published.

Bill Wilson founds Alcoholics Anonymous

1935: The Social Security Act

September 10 Huey Long dies from an assassin's bullet

Poslednij Tabor (The Last Gypsies Camp)1/3 Al'ta is dancing

Poslednij Tabor 2/3 Dancing

Poslednij Tabor 3/3 Al'ta is dancing

Geisha vs Yankee Girl baseball 1:22

A scene from An Inn in Tokyo 3:30


The Tasmanian Tiger, at the time the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, is declared extinct.

Volkswagon Beetle debuts

Film: "Modern Times"

Flash Gordon Serial clip 3:12

Flash Gordon Ch. 7 Serial Clip 3:30

Flash Gordon parachutes from a rocketship 0:52

Hiram Donar recieves a new model Chevrolet

From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration.

A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction.

Footnote: read the plot of reefer madness and wonder how many storyteelers in the guise of justice unjustly put people in prison for being dangerous to society. (bugliosi) wild imaginations maybe they were on even heavier drugs!? haha

Music: "Peter & the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev

Reefer Madness released 1936

Modern Times - 1936 Charlie sings and does the Moon Walk!

1936 Documentary on Huey Long 3:50


1937 saw the publication of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich as well as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, which many still consider the quintessential self-help book.

1937: The zeppelin Hindenburg explodes over New Jersey

May 27 - Golden Gate Bridge opens to public

May 28th, 1937. The place: Germany. The event: Automotive history was made with the founding of a new automobile company, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH, that, a little over a year later, became Volkswagenwerk GmbH. Thus began the formal story of Volkswagen.

Guernica - Picasso

Film: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

Le Roman de Renard - Ladislas Starevitch (opening) 1:36

Miaou! - Le Roman de Renard - Ladislas Starevitch 2:22

They Can't Take That Away From Me - composed by Gershwin and sung by Fred Astaire

Joseph Schmidt live in Holland 1:08


Invention of Nylon

Dracula - Mercury Theater of the Air first broadcast July 11, 1938 archive

Oct 30, 1938 Mercury Theatre's War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds broadcast script

October 17 Captain Midnight airs with "The Perada Treasure"

LSD was first synthesized on November 16, 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives.

Xerographic copying invented

by Frank Loesser

Small fry, struttin by the pool room
Small fry, should be in the school room
My, my put down that cigarette
You ain't grown up high and mighty yet

Small fry, dancin for a penny
Small fry, countin up how many
My, my just jlisten here to me
You ain't the biggest catfish in the sea

You practice peckin all day long to eome old radio song
Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes
You better listen to your maw

and someday practice the law
and then you'll be a real success, yes,

Small fry, you kissed the neighbor's daughter
Small fry, should stay in shallow water
Seems I should take you cross my knee
You ain't the biggest catfish in the sea

You've got your feet all soakin wet
You'll be the death of me yet
Oh me, oh my, small fry

Gold und Silber - Erna Sack 3:34

La Folletta - Erna Sack 2:42

Voices of Spring - Erna Sack 2:11


1939: Book: "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck

In the morning the dust hung like fog, and the sun was as red as ripe new blood. All day the dust sifted down from the sky, and the next day it sifted down. An even blanket covered the earth. It settled on the corn, piled up on the tops of the fence posts, piled up on the wires; it settled on roofs, blanketed the weeds and trees. — John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”

The Wizard of Oz

Shoot the Liker to Me John Boy - Artie Shaw 1939

Dancing Co-ed - Artie Shaw 1939

In the Mood - 1939

In the Mood - Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra

The commentator in this clip from the 30's quotes a warning about the rise of demogues. Speaking of Huey Long, "If Roosevelt fails, the man is waiting who is ruthless, ambitious and, indeed, plausible enough to Hitlerize America. Power for power's sake is Long's mastering god, until he is assassinated."

The clip then turns to the life of FDR.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) – after 1939, the Works Projects Administration – was a work-relief program created in 1935 by the President Franklin Roosevelt’s Administration that had employed over 8.5 million people by its demise in 1943. One of its programs was the Federal Writers Project (FWP), which included a Folklore Section. This section conducted fieldwork, recording songs, traditions, and stories across the nation. Originally created to gather material for the American Guide Series, later emphasis was placed upon fieldwork for the preservation of folk traditions for future generations.

1939 Zora Hurston Neale (collected in 1935 also)

Shove It Over - Zora Neale Hurston 4:31 (windowsmedia)

Wake Up Jacob - Zora Neale Hurston 1:35 (windowsmedia)

Let's Shake it - Zora Neale Hurston 2:51 (windowsmedia)

Let the Deal Go Down - Zora Neale Hurston 4:30 (windowsmedia)

Old Rattler - Field Hollar collected by John Lomax (WindowsMedia)

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Dixie - 1908 cylinder recording

Songs of the Omaha Tribe (February 26, 1971)