1931 Fun Facts, Trivia and History
|Quick Facts from 1931:|
|Top Ten Baby Names of 1931: |
Mary, Betty, Dorothy, Barbara, Joan, Robert, James, John, William, Richard
|US Life Expectancy:
(1931) Males: 59.4 years, Females: 63.1 years
|The Stars: |
Josephine Baker, Joan Blondell, Claudette Colbert, Greta Garbo, Louise Brooks, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Dolores Del Rio, Marlene Dietrich, Kay Francis, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, Thelma Todd
|Entertainment History: The Oscars:|
The 4th Academy Awards were held on November 10, 1931, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Conrad Nagel returned as host for the ceremony. This time, the film eligibility period was August 1, 1930, to July 31, 1931. Cimarron won the Best Picture award, becoming the first Western to win the category. This year was also significant for Marie Dressler, who won Best Actress for her role in Min and Bill, becoming the oldest woman to win the award—a record that stood for decades. The ceremony was also noted for the absence of a Best Director nomination for Cimarron, even though the film won Best Picture. A small piece of trivia: this was the first time the awards were broadcast on the radio, allowing fans to participate in the event from their homes.
|Miss America: none|
|Time Magazine’s Man of the Year: Pierre Laval|
Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders:
The Joy of Cooking was self-published in 1931, by Irma Rombauer.
The first time the term American Dream was coined in James Truslow Adams’ Epic of America: “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. … It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, … regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
Alka Seltzer was introduced.
The Empire State Building was completed. It was nicknamed the “Empty State Building” by New Yorkers and didn’t become profitable until 1950.
The first Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center was erected by construction workers in 1931, during the Depression. Workers pooled their money to buy the tree and decorated it with tin cans and garland made by their families.
Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective character, by cartoonist Chester Gould, made his debut in the Detroit Mirror newspaper.
The “never date anyone under half your age plus seven” rule of thumb appeared in 1931, said by Maurice Chevalier, a French actor, singer, and entertainer.
Times New Roman typeface was commissioned by The Times of London in 1931.
Nevada legalized gambling on March 19, 1931.
Coaxial Cable (#1,835,031) was patented, basically running a wire wrapped around another wire.
DeVry University was established in 1931, by Herman A. DeVry.
The iconic film images of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein’s Monster (Boris Karloff) were released within just months of each other in 1931, both by Universal Pictures.
Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory was put on display for the first time in Paris at the Galerie Pierre Colle.
|The biggest Pop Artists of 1931 include:
Gus Arnheim & His Orchestra, Ben Bernie & His Orchestra, The Boswell Sisters, Cab Calloway, Russ Columbo, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Ruth Etting, Libby Holman, Hal Kemp, and His Orchestra, Wayne King and His Orchestra, Ted Lewis and His Band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Bert Lown & His Orchestra, Clyde McCoy & His Orchestra, The Mills Brothers, Ray Noble, and His Orchestra, Kate Smith, Rudy Vallée & His Connecticut Yankees, Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians
Pop Culture History:
Airstream trailers were introduced to the public, invented by Wally Meryle Byam. They say that 2/3 of every one of these vehicles ever produced is still in use.
Hail Columbia was considered (among other songs) as the unofficial national anthem of the United States until 1931 when The Star-Spangled Banner was officially designated.
17-year-old female baseball pitcher, Jackie Mitchell, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the same exhibition game.
Betty Robinson, an Olympic runner, was involved in a plane crash in 1931 and was wrongly pronounced dead upon first being discovered. She spent 7 months in a coma and it took her 2 years to learn to walk normally again. In 1936, she returned to the US Olympic team and won gold in the relay.
Alka-Seltzer was made available in 1931. The original ingredients included 325 milligrams of aspirin, 1,000 milligrams of citric acid, and 1,916 milligrams of sodium bicarbonate.
CBS went on the air.
Alice in Wonderland was banned in the Hunan province of China, because the Governor, Ho Chien, felt that: “animals should not use human language”, and that it was “disastrous to put animals and human beings on the same level.”
Karl Freund, cinematographer on Metropolis (1927), and Dracula (1931) also shot most of the episodes of I Love Lucy.
In Frankenstein, the line “Now I know what it feels like to be God!” following “It’s alive! It’s alive!” was censored by audio of a clap of thunder because it was considered blasphemous and was restored decades later. Most of the props used in Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein were from the original 1931 Frankenstein film. The “bolts” in the Monster’s neck in Frankenstein, are actually electrodes. One is positive and the other, negative.
96 workers died while constructing the Hoover Dam from 1931-1935.
An 11-year-old boy, Wilbur Brink, was killed during the 1931 Indy 500 race when a tire from a race wreck flew out of the Speedway, across the street, and over his house, landing on his head as he played in his backyard.
When Thomas Edison died in 1931, Nikola Tesla was the only one to submit a negative opinion of him to the NY Times:
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
Nobel Prize Winners:
Jane Addams was nominated 91 times for Nobel Peace Prize before becoming the first American woman to receive the award in 1931.
|Popular and Best-selling Books From 1931:
A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Back Street by Fannie Hurst
The Bridge of Desire by Warwick Deeping
Finch’s Fortune by Mazo de la Roche
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
Maid in Waiting by John Galsworthy
The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque
Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
U.S. Open Golf: Billy Burke
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): H. Ellsworth Vines/Helen Wills Moody
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Sidney Wood/Cilly Aussem
NCAA Football Champions: USC
Kentucky Derby Winner: Twenty Grand
Boston Marathon Winner: James Henigan Time: 2:46:45