The torch passed from President Calvin Coolidge to America’s 31st president, Herbert Hoover, on March 4th of 1929. At this time, census numbers place the world population at just over 2.1 billion.
The most common names for newborns at the time were Robert and, just like many years prior, Mary. Included among these bundles of joy were famous Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Junior; a famous female fashion designer, Liz Claiborne; a future Canadian Prime Minster, John Turney; and a future first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. As the sun rose on those four, this year also saw the passing of Wyatt Earp, Karl Benz, and Elijah McCoy.
These 364 days also saw changes to Sunday comics, a tragedy that forever changed February 14th, and the establishment of Grand Teton National Park. Libraries had a hard time keeping books like All Quiet on the Western Front, A Farewell to Arms, and The Sound and the Fury on the shelves. In contrast, on the silver screen, movies like Pandora’s Box, The Broadway Melody, and The Cocoanauts shot to the top of the box office charts.
Whether you knew it or not, a lot of things did not exist until 1929. These items include sci-fi (Buck Rogers) and first adventure-based (Tarzan) comic strips, the Academy Awards, and nudist organizations. Even if they were not the first in the world, some other notable things happened: the forming of the USA’s Seeing Eye Guide Dog Organization, the expulsion of Trotsky from Russia, the arrival of Mother Theresa in Calcutta, the withdrawal of British troops from Germany in September, and the invention of the car radio. Sadly, some tragedies also marred these 365 days. Mobsters killed eight during the Valentine’s day massacre. The worst thing of all occurred on October 29th as the Dow Jones plummeted and marked the beginnings of the Great Depression. While this would help make Hoover synonymous with an item used for sucking, the vacuum, this year also saw him grant his name to the Boulder Dam.
For everyone who loves headbanging on the highway, or loved their first reading of All Quiet on the Western Front, they owe some measure of gratitude to the year 1929.
Discover how USA looked like in 1929
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1929 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Starring: William Haines, Anita Page, Karl Dane, J.C. Nugent
Directed by: Rouben Mamoulian
Starring: Helen Morgan, Joan Peers, Fuller Mellish Jr., Jack Cameron
Country: United States
Directed by: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Starring: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp, André Roanne
Directed by: Sam Wood
Starring: Rosetta Duncan, Vivian Duncan, Lawrence Gray, Jed Prouty
Which were the top hits of 1929 ?
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1929 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1929