1928 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

1928 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1928

  • World Changing Event: The discovery of Penicillin on September 28, 1928, in London, England, by Alexander Fleming.
  • Influential Songs include Mack The Knife by Bertolt Brecht, and I Wanna Be Loved By You by Helen Kane.
  • The Movies to Watch include The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Circus, The Crowd, and The Cameraman.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Charles Lindbergh
  • Columbia Records founded CBS in 1928, and Columbia itself was bought out by CBS in 1938.
  • No copies of the 1928 film The Patriot exist and are considered “lost.” The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing Achievement and was nominated for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Picture.
  • Notable books include House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard.
  • The price of one pound Oreo of cookies in 1928 was 35 cents
  • The Biggest Movie Star was Lon Chaney
  • The visual inspiration for The Joker (from Batman) came from a 1928 movie called The Man Who Laughs.

Top Ten Baby Names of 1928

Mary, Betty, Dorothy, Helen, Margaret, Robert, John, James, William, Charles

US Life Expectancy

(1928) Males: 55.6 years, Females: 58.3 years

The Stars

Josephine Baker, Clara Bow, Dolores Costello, Louise Brooks, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Dolores Del Rio, Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, Mary Pickford, Anna May Wong

Miss America


Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Walter Chrysler

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

Sliced bread was invented in 1928 by Otto Rohwedder and was referred to as the ‘best thing since bagged bread’.

Babies have been eating Gerber baby foods since 1928. Dorothy Gerber started making them for her daughter in 1927.

1928’s most comfortable invention was the Lay-Z-Boy recliner.

The 3-M Company began marketing Scotch Tape.

Mickey and Minnie debuted in the Silent cartoon short Plane Crazy, first released on May 15, 1928.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were also called initially “penny cups” since they cost just one cent each when Harry Burnett Reese started selling them in 1928.

Speedos were invented in 1928 by Alexander MacRae, a Scottish underwear maker in Australia. A similar product was available in 1914 called Fortitude.

Amsterdam invented the Blue P Parking Sign for the 1928 Olympics.

Alexander Fleming discovered that the ‘penicillium’ mold could be made into penicillin to cure many life-threatening diseases. It wasn’t fully utilized until World War II.

Columbia Records founded CBS in 1928, and Columbia itself was bought out by CBS in 1938.

Velveeta Cheese went on sale for the first time.

Chef Boyardee was founded by restaurant owner Hector Boiardi in 1928.

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1928 include

Gene Austin, The Carter Family, Frank Crumit, Cliff Edwards, Vernon Dalhart, Duke Ellington, Seger Ellis and His Orchestra, Marion Harris, Al Jolson, Isham Jones and His Orchestra, Helen Kane, Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra, Ted Lewis & His Band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Vincent Lopez and His Orchestra, Nick Lucas, George Olson, and His Orchestra, Helen Morgan, Jimmy Rodgers, Nat Shilkret & The Victor Orchestra, Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, Ted Weems, and His Orchestra, Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

Pop Culture Facts & History

Ida Rosenthal founded Maidenform, which defined bra sizes like A, B, C, D, etc.

The Lights Of New York was the first movie filmed entirely with sound.

The Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 is the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. History. At least 2,500 people drowned.

The 1928 Summer Olympics were the first to feature a scheduled length of 16 days. Previously, the Olympic competition was stretched out over several months.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was panned by the French government that commissioned it and a fire destroyed the negative, the original cut of the movie was thought to be lost forever. That was until a copy was found in a closet in an Oslo mental institution in 1981.

The ‘Banana Massacre’ of 1928: ~1/2000 striking workers were murdered for United Fruit Company (now Chiquita).

Amos & Andy debuted on WMAQ in Chicago.

Thomas Midgley and Charles Kettering invented Freon. Freon is now blamed for the depletion of the earth’s ozone shield and being a handy portable air conditioning coolant.

Shaving doesn’t make hair grow back thicker, darker, or faster, was first proven in a clinical study by Mildred Trotter.

Betty Robinson, who won the first Olympic 100m for women in 1928 at just 16, was later involved in a plane crash. A man who discovered her wrongly thought she was dead drove her to an undertaker. She awoke from her coma seven months later, before returning to win a relay gold in 1936.

Humorist Will Rogers ran a presidential campaign in 1928, with his only promise being that he would resign the presidency if he won the election.

Although Levi Strauss first made his jeans in 1872, the company finally registered the name (Levi’s™) in 1928. He never married, so he never passed his ‘genes’ to children.

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s musical play, The Threepenny Opera, premiered. It featured the earliest version of Mack The Knife.

Mickey Mouse officially appeared for the first time in Steamboat Willie, and his birthday coincided with Willie’s release date, November 18th. Many consider it the first “talkie cartoon”. Paul Terry released the talkie cartoon Dinner Time on Oct 14, 1928, a month before Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, which got all the credit.

Walt Disney himself voiced Mickey Mouse from his premiere in 1928 until 1946, when Walt became too busy to do it.

The lowest toll ever paid for the Panama Canal was 36 cents. It was paid by Richard Halliburton in 1928 so he could swim across the canal.

Joseph Goebbels attributed everything he knew about population control to just two books, Propaganda (1928) and Crystalizing Public Opinion (1923). To this day, the techniques in these books are used extensively by figures in politics, media, and advertising.

Amelia Earhart flew her plane east across the Atlantic Ocean successfully in 1932, the first female having done so. She was also the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger, in 1928.

The slogan “Make your wet dreams come true” was used by 1928 presidential candidate Al Smith about repealing prohibition.

Nobel Prize Winners

Physics – Owen Willans Richardson
Chemistry – Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus
Physiology or Medicine – Charles Jules Henri Nicolle
Literature – Sigrid Undset
Peace – not awarded

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1928

All Kneeling by Anne Parrish
Bad Girl by Vina Delmar
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Claire Ambler by Booth Tarkington
The Greene Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine
House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard
Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard 
Old Pybus 
by Warwick Deeping
Swan Song by John Galsworthy
The Strange Case of Miss Annie Spragg by Louis Bromfield
Wintersmoon by Hugh Walpole


World Series Champions: New York Yankees
Stanley Cup Champs: New York Rangers
U.S. Open Golf: Johnny Farrell
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Henri Cochet/Helen Wills
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Rene Lacoste/Helen Wills
NCAA Football Champions: Georgia Tech & USC
Kentucky Derby Winner: Reigh Count
Boston Marathon Winner: Clarence DeMar Time: 2:37:07

Only 5 NFL Games have ended with a 2-0 score:

  • November 29, 1923: Akron Pros 2, Buffalo All-Americans 0
  • November 21, 1926: Kansas City Cowboys 2, Buffalo Rangers 0
  • November 29, 1928: Frankford Yellow Jackets 2, Green Bay Packers 0
  • October 16, 1932: Green Bay Packers 2, Chicago Bears 0
  • September 18, 1938: Chicago Bears 2, Green Bay Packers 0

More 1928 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1928
1928 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
1920s Fads (BabyCenter.com)
1920s, Infoplease.com World History
1928 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1920s Slang
Wikipedia 1928