1937

In 1937, the world saw itself once again on the precipice of a major war. For those Westerners who wished to avoid war, if they looked to the East, they would not find any encouragement.

1937

This was the year that the Second Sino-Japanese War began. One might make a case that this marked the beginning of World War II, although the traditional consensus is that the war began in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. Still, it is possible to view this as the beginning of World War II in Asia.

In another major political development, 1937 was the year of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom. This was an extraordinary event, because King George VI ascended the throne after the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. George VI would lead the United Kingdom through the Second World War, and would be succeeded by Queen Elizabeth II, who eventually became the longest-reigning monarch in British history. The dramatic events surrounding the Coronation of King George VI were captured in the 2010 film, The King’s Speech.

1937 also saw the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. This was truly an engineering marvel – one of the greatest of the 20th Century. As one marvel went up, a technological disaster also occurred this year. 1937 will tragically be remembered, in part, due to the infamous Hindenburg disaster, in which the German airship Hindenburg burst into flame in New Jersey, killing more than 30 people.

This was an important year for literature and film. 1937 was the year that J.R.R. Tolkien’s first edition of his timeless work, The Hobbit, was published in London. This was the year that Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not was published in the United States. In film, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was released, which was the first feature-length, traditionally animated film. This was also the year that Charlie Chaplin’s first “talkie” was released – a film called Modern Times.

Discover how the world looked like in 1937

Movies

Which were the most popular Movies released in those months?
Watch popular movies, TV series and live events, start your 30-day free trial

Confession

Confession

Directed by: Joe May

Starring: Kay Francis, Basil Rathbone, Ian Hunter, Jane Bryan

The Awful Truth

The Awful Truth

Directed by: Leo McCarey

Starring: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy

Country: United States of America

Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon

Directed by: Frank Capra

Starring: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, John Howard

Country: United States of America

Stage Door

Stage Door

Directed by: Gregory La Cava

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick

Country: United States of America

Pépé le Moko

Pépé le Moko

Directed by: Julien Duvivier

Starring: Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin

Country: United States of America

vinyl songs

Music charts

Which were the top hits of 1937?


Popular names

Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1937 in the USA ?

history

Historical Events

Which were the important events of 1937?


Events

  • 01 Jan Count Claus von Stauffenberg promoted to captain
  • 03 Jan The first science fiction convention is held in Leeds, England.
  • 05 Jan Fingleton and Donald Bradman make record stand of 346 for 6th wicket.
  • 06 Jan Bradman scores 270 Aust vs. England at the MCG, incl 110 singles
  • 08 Jan -50 degrees F (-45.6 degrees C), San Jacinto, Nevada (state record low).
  • 09 Jan Italian regime bans marriages between Italians and Abyssinians.
  • 11 Jan The first issue of ''Look'' magazine goes on sale in the United States.
  • 12 Jan Plow for laying submarine cable patented.
  • 19 Jan Millionaire Howard Hughes sets transcontinental air record (7:28:25).
  • 20 Jan -45 degrees F (-43 degrees C), Boca, California (state record low).
  • 23 Jan In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.
  • 25 Jan 1st broadcast of Guiding Light on NBC radio
  • 26 Jan The U.S. state of Michigan celebrates its Centennial Anniversary of statehood.
  • 01 Feb Stapleton, Staten Island, New York becomes a customs-free port.
  • 04 Feb Jim Margie, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, bowls 900 in three (unsanctioned) games.
  • 05 Feb FDR proposes enlarging Supreme Court, court packing plan failed
  • 06 Feb K Elizabeth Ohi becomes 1st Japanese-US female lawyer
  • 08 Feb Spanish Civil War: Falangist troops take Málaga.
  • 10 Feb Ragnhild Hveger swims world free-style record 400 metre (5:14.2).
  • 11 Feb 44-day sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan ends.
  • 12 Feb Cleveland (now Los Angeles) Rams granted an NFL franchise
  • 13 Feb Prince Valiant comic strip appears
  • 16 Feb DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace H Carothers.
  • 19 Feb Yekatit 12: During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades. Italian authorities exact vicious reprisals on the population.
  • 20 Feb First automobile/airplane combination tested, Santa Monica, California.
  • 21 Feb Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile.
  • 24 Feb First US group hospital-medical cooperative authorized, Washington DC.
  • 01 Mar US Steel raises workers' wages to $5 a day.
  • 02 Mar Mexico nationalizes oil.
  • 03 Mar Australia snatches cricket series against England 3-2 after being 2-0 down.
  • 07 Mar Bucharin, Jagoda and Rykov pushed out of CPSU in the USSR
  • 08 Mar Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.
  • 10 Mar The Encyclical ''Mit brennender Sorge'' of Pope Pius XI is published in Nazi Germany.
  • 14 Mar Battle of the Century: Fred Allen and Jack Benny meet on radio
  • 15 Mar 1st blood bank forms (Chicago IL)
  • 16 Mar All but one senior fouls out of a scrimmage game between seniors and sophomores, but he holds on to win the game 35-32
  • 17 Mar The Atherton Report (private investigator Edwin Atherton's report detailing vice and police corruption in San Francisco) is released.
  • 18 Mar Gas explosion in school in New London, Texas, USA; 296 die.
  • 19 Mar Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini redemptoris against communism
  • 21 Mar Ponce Massacre: 18 people and a 7-year-old girl in Ponce, Puerto Rico, are gunned down by a police squad acting under orders of US-appointed Governor, Blanton C. Winship.
  • 23 Mar LA Railway Co starts using PCC streetcars
  • 24 Mar Bus blew a tire, going out of control, killing 18 (Salem Illinois)
  • 25 Mar Washington Daily News is first US newspaper with perfumed advertising page.
  • 26 Mar William H Hastie becomes 1st black federal judge (Virgin Islands)
  • 27 Mar Feyenoord-stadium official opens in Rotterdam
  • 01 Apr Aden becomes a British crown colony.
  • 04 Apr 4th Golf Masters Championship: Byron Nelson wins, shooting a 283.
  • 09 Apr The Kamikaze arrives at Croydon Airport in London : it is the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly to Europe.
  • 12 Apr ''NLRB v. Jones amp Laughlin Steel'': The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the National Labor Relations Act is constitutional.
  • 17 Apr Cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J Fudd and Petunia Pig debut.
  • 19 Apr 41st Boston Marathon won by Walter Young of Canada in 2:33:20.
  • 20 Apr A fire in an elementary school in Kilingi-Nõmme, Estonia, kills seventeen students and injures fifty.
  • 22 Apr New York City college students stage fourth annual peace strike.
  • 26 Apr Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
  • 27 Apr 1st US social security payment made
  • 28 Apr 1st animated cartoon electric sign displayed (NYC)
  • 30 Apr General Douglas MacArthur marries Jean Faircloth
  • 01 May FDR signs act of neutrality
  • 03 May Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind
  • 06 May Dirigible Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst, New Jersey (36 die)
  • 07 May Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.
  • 08 May 63rd Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on War Admiral wins in 2:03.2.
  • 09 May Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy took to the airwaves becoming an overnight radio sensation.
  • 10 May Busmen strike in London
  • 12 May George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 15 May 63rd Preakness: Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral wins in 1:58.4.
  • 21 May A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
  • 25 May First airmail letter to circle the globe returns to New York.
  • 26 May Dutch Rail NV at law forms
  • 27 May Golden Gate Bridge, SF, dedicated
  • 28 May Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to vehicular traffic.
  • 30 May Police kill 10 strikers at Republic Steel Plant in Chicago
  • 31 May 1st quadruplets to finish college (Baylor University)
  • 01 Jun Prince Konoye becomes Japanese Premier
  • 03 Jun Duke of Windsor (Edward 8) weds Mrs Wallis Warfield Simpson in France
  • 05 Jun 69th Belmont: Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral wins in 2:28.6
  • 06 Jun Phillies trailing 8-2 to St. Louis, forfeit game
  • 08 Jun World's largest flower blooms in New York Botonical Garden, 12-inch calla lily.
  • 11 Jun Great Purge: The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin executes eight army leaders.
  • 12 Jun 41st US Golf Open: Ralph Guldahl shoots a 281 at Oakland Hills, Michigan
  • 13 Jun Stalin executes Rus officers Tuchachevski, Jakir, Putna and Uberevitch
  • 14 Jun Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) state of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.
  • 15 Jun A German expedition led by Karl Wien loses sixteen members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat. It is the worst single disaster to occur on an 8000m peak.
  • 19 Jun Franco-troops conquer Bilbao Basques
  • 21 Jun The coalition government of Léon Blum resigns in France.
  • 22 Jun Joe Louis knocks out James Braddock for the heavyweight boxing crown.
  • 28 Jun Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established in the United States, superseding the Emergency Conservation Work program.
  • 29 Jun Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Canada receives patent for sprocket and track traction system used in snow vehicles.
  • 01 Jul Britian begins using an emergency phone number (999)
  • 02 Jul 57th Wimbledon Mens Tennis: Don Budge beats G von Cramm (63 64 62)
  • 05 Jul Chicago Cub Frank Demaree gets 6 hits in 1st game and 2 in 2nd game
  • 07 Jul 5th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 8-3 at Griffith Stadium, Washington
  • 10 Jul Dutch Django Reinhardts Quintette, premieres in du Hot Club
  • 15 Jul Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens
  • 19 Jul Entartete Art Fair opens in Munich
  • 20 Jul The Geibeltbad Pirna is opened in Dresden, Germany.
  • 21 Jul Éamon de Valera is elected President of the Executive Council (prime minister) of the Irish Free State by the Dáil (parliament).
  • 22 Jul Irish Premier Eamon de Valera wins elections
  • 23 Jul Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University).
  • 24 Jul Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called ''Scottsboro Boys''.
  • 25 Jul July 31 ampndash Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Beiping-Tianjin, a series of actions fought around Beiping and Tianjin, resulting in Japanese victory.
  • 26 Jul End of the Battle of Brunete in the Spanish Civil War.
  • 27 Jul 32nd Davis Cup: USA beats Great Britain in Wimbledon (4-1)
  • 28 Jul Eddie Paynter scores 322 for Lancashire against Sussex
  • 29 Jul Japanese troops occupies Peking and Tientsin
  • 31 Jul Politburo enables Operative Order 00447: execute 193,000 Russians
  • 01 Aug Josip Broz Tito reads the resolution ''Manifesto of constitutional congress of KPH'' to the constitutive congress of KPH (Croatian Communist Party) in woods near Samobor.
  • 02 Aug The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, the effect of which is to render marijuana and all its by-products illegal.
  • 05 Aug The Soviet Union commences one of the largest campaigns of the Great Purge, to quoteliminate anti-Soviet elements.quot Within the following year, at least 724,000 people are killed on order of the troikas, directed by Joseph Stalin. This was an offensive that targeted social classes (such as the kulaks), ethnic or racial backgrounds which were seen as non-Russian, and Stalin's personal opponents from the Communist Party and their sympathizers.
  • 06 Aug Franco-artillery fire on Madrid
  • 08 Aug Bonneville Dam on Columbia River (USA) begins producing power.
  • 13 Aug Japanese attack Shanghai
  • 14 Aug China declares war on Japan
  • 18 Aug 1st FM radio construction permit issued (W1X0J (WGTR) in Boston, Massachusetts)
  • 24 Aug Republican offensive near Belchite Spain
  • 25 Aug Japanese fleet blockades Chinese coast
  • 26 Aug Pumping to build Treasure Island in SF Bay is finished
  • 27 Aug Brooklyn Dodgers' Fred Frankhouse no-hits Cincinnati Reds, 5-0 in 7 2/3 inning game.
  • 28 Aug Toyota Motors becomes an independent company.
  • 29 Aug Philadelphia Athletics' Bob Johnson is second to get six RBIs in an inning (first).
  • 30 Aug Joe Louis beats Tommy Farr in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 01 Sep 4th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 6, Green Bay 0 (84,560)
  • 02 Sep US Housing Authority created by National Housing Act
  • 04 Sep Doris Kopsky becomes first NABA woman cycling champion (4:22.4).
  • 06 Sep Spanish Civil War: The start of the Battle of El Mazuco.
  • 07 Sep CBS broadcasts a two-and-a-half hour memorial concert nationwide on radio in memory of George Gershwin, live from the Hollywood Bowl. Many celebrities appear, including Oscar Levant, Fred Astaire, Otto Klemperer, Lily Pons, and members of the original cast of ''Porgy and Bess''. The concert is recorded and released complete years later in what is excellent sound for its time, on CD. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the featured orchestra.
  • 08 Sep Pan Arab conference about Palestine opens
  • 10 Sep 2nd American Football League plays 1st game (LA 21, Pittsburgh 0)
  • 11 Sep 51st US Womens Tennis: Anita Lizana beats Jadwiga Jedrzejowska (64 62)
  • 15 Sep WPA extends L-Taraval streetcar to SF Zoo (at Sloat Blvd)
  • 17 Sep The head of Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore is dedicated in Black Hills, South Dakota.
  • 19 Sep Swiss professional ice hockey club HC Ambrì-Piotta founded.
  • 21 Sep J R R Tolkien, publishes Hobbit
  • 22 Sep Forest fire kills 14 and injures 50 in Cody Wyoming.
  • 23 Sep Yankees lose 9-5 but clinch pennant when Red Sox beat Detroit
  • 25 Sep Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Pingxingguan: The Communist Chinese National Revolutionary Army defeats the Japanese.
  • 26 Sep Street and Smith Publications launches a half-hour radio program, ''The Shadow'', with Orson Welles in the title role.
  • 27 Sep 1st Santa Claus Training School opens (Albion NY)
  • 28 Sep FDR dedicates Bonneville Dam on Columbia River (Oregon)
  • 29 Sep Frans Slaats bicycles world record time (45,563 km)
  • 30 Sep 6th Ryder Cup: US, 8-4 at Southport and Ainsdale, England
  • 01 Oct Pullman Company formally recognizes Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
  • 02 Oct FDR visits Grand Coulee Dam construction site in Washington State
  • 03 Oct Sino-Japanese War: Japanese troops advance toward Nanking.
  • 04 Oct Rabotnicki Skopje is established as a football club .
  • 05 Oct Minister Romme says unemployment is 25% quarter of Romme
  • 10 Oct New York Yankees beat New York Giants four games to one in 34th World Series.
  • 13 Oct A recorded trace of snow in Central Park, New York City
  • 15 Oct Ernest Hemingway novel To Have & Have Not published
  • 18 Oct October 21 ampndash Spanish Civil War: The whole Spanish northern seaboard falls into the Falangists' hands Republican forces in Gijon, Spain, set fire to petrol reserves prior to retreating before the advancing Falangists.
  • 21 Oct Franco-troops occupies Gijon
  • 25 Oct Belgian government of Zealand falls due to black money
  • 31 Oct Spanish government moves from Valencia to Barcelona
  • 01 Nov Stalinists execute Pastor Paul Hamberg and seven members of Azerbaijan's Lutheran community.
  • 02 Nov AL batting champ Charlie Gehringer wins MVP
  • 03 Nov Archambaud bicycles world record time (45,796 km)
  • 05 Nov Hitler informs his military leader of his intentions of going to war
  • 08 Nov The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (''The Eternal Jew'') opens in Munich.
  • 09 Nov Japans army conquers Shanghai
  • 10 Nov Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas announces the Estado Novo (quotNew Statequot), thence becoming dictator of Brazil until 1945.
  • 11 Nov Messerschmidt ME-109V13 flies world record 610.4 km/h
  • 13 Nov NBC forms first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio.
  • 15 Nov First congressional session in air-conditioned chambers.
  • 23 Nov Emile Janson becomes Belgian Premier
  • 27 Nov Pro-labor musical revue Pins & Needles opens, produced by ILGWU
  • 29 Nov Prince Bernhard injured in auto accident in the Netherlands
  • 30 Nov 3rd Heisman Trophy Award: Clint Frank, Yale (HB)
  • 01 Dec Japan recognizes Franco government of Spain.
  • 04 Dec ''The Dandy'' comic is first published in Scotland it will still be running .
  • 07 Dec Russian chess player Aljechin recaptures world title from Max Euwe.
  • 09 Dec Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing : Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launch an assault on the Chinese city of Nanjing.
  • 10 Dec Dollar Line's SS President Hoover runs aground off Japanese island of Formosa. All passengers are transferred to the SS President Pierce after four days. The ship is scavenged by the Japanese in 1939.
  • 11 Dec Second Italo-Abyssinian War: Italy leaves the League of Nations.
  • 12 Dec Japanese aircraft shell and sink US gunboat Panay on Yangtze River in China. (Japan apologizes and eventually pays US $2.2 million in reparations).
  • 13 Dec Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing : Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese.
  • 14 Dec Japanese troops conquer / plunder Nanjing
  • 16 Dec Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
  • 21 Dec 1st feature-length color and sound cartoon premieres (Snow White)
  • 22 Dec Lincoln Tunnel (New York City, New York) opens to traffic.
  • 23 Dec First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.
  • 24 Dec Dutch government recognizes Italian king Emanuel III as emperor of Abyssinia.
  • 25 Dec Arturo Toscanini conducts 1st Symphony of the Air over NBC Radio
  • 27 Dec Mae West performs Adam and Eve skit that gets her banned from NBC radio
  • 28 Dec Fascist Octavian Goga becomes Prime Minister of Romania; begins spread of Judaism.
  • 29 Dec Pan Am starts San Francisco-to-Auckland, New Zealand service