Although the 1930s were a difficult time for many Americans, it was a profitable and golden age for the motion-picture and radio industries. By late in the decade, approximately 65 percent of the population was attending the movies once a week. The nation boasted over 15,000 movie theaters, more than the number of banks and double the number of hotels. Sales of radios also greatly increased during the 1930s, from just over 13 million in 1930 to 28 million by 1940. Nearly 90 percent of American households owned a radio. Clearly, movies and radio had taken the country by storm.

Hitler appointed German chancellor, gets dictatorial powers. Reichstag fire in Berlin; Nazi terror begins. Germany and Japan withdraw from League of Nations. Giuseppe Zangara executed for attempted assassination of president-elect Roosevelt in which Chicago mayor Cermak is fatally shot. Roosevelt inaugurated (the only thing we have to fear is fear itself); launches New Deal. Prohibition repealed. USSR recognized by U.S.

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A popular form of theatre during the 19th century was the minstrelsy show, arguably the first uniquely American style of performance. These shows featured white actors dressed in blackface and playing up racial stereotypes. Burlesque became a popular form of entertainment in the middle of the 19th century. Originally a form of farce in which females in male roles mocked the politics and culture of the day, burlesque was condemned by opinion makers for its sexuality and outspokenness.

The form was hounded off the "legitimate stage" and found itself relegated to saloons and barrooms, and its content mostly raunchy jokes. Vaudeville is a style of variety entertainment predominant in America in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Developing from many sources including shows in saloons, minstrelsy, British pantomimes, and other popular entertainments, vaudeville became one of the most popular types of entertainment in America.

Part of this entertainment was usually one or more comedians. Vaudeville provided generations of American entertainers including George M. Cohan, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Mae West, Fanny Brice, and W.C. Fields, among others. Vaudeville grew less popular as movies replaced live entertainment, but vaudeville performers were able to move into those other fields. Former vaudeville performers who were successful in film, radio and television include: Buster Keaton, Marx Brothers, Edgar Bergen, Three Stooges, and Abbott & Costello.

Errol Boyd pilot

Captain Erroll Boyd gunned the motor of his 5-year-old Bellanca monoplane Columbia to full power on the rough strip at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, on October 9, 1930. At first she would not budge. The plane was heavily laden with fuel, causing the tail skid to sink into the rocky runway and act as a brake. Such was the unspectacular start of the first successful flight outside the summer season across the North Atlantic Ocean–already a graveyard for many pioneer aviators.

Earlier flights, by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, Charles Lindbergh, Clarence Chamberlain, and Richard Byrd, had been made under summer conditions, which had the advantages of better weather and fewer hours of darkness. Even in the best of conditions, it was a hazardous flight.

Lindbergh would say in 1933, while surveying the route for Juan Trippe, head of Pan American Airways, 'The North Atlantic is the most important, and also the most difficult to fly, of all the oceans crossed by the trade routes of men.'

Erroll Boyd, born in Toronto in 1891, flew for the first time in 1912, as a passenger with American barnstormer Lincoln Beachey. Boyd enjoyed the experience so much that he decided on a career in aviation. When World War I broke out in 1914, no air training schools existed in Canada. Like his father before him, Erroll Boyd joined the army–but he still wanted to fly.

He went to England at family expense in early 1915 to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps, but he flunked the entrance exam because he was colorblind. He had more luck with the fledgling Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), which had been formed by Winston Churchill, then the first lord of the Admiralty.

Alcock, who later gained fame with Brown in 1919 for the first nonstop Atlantic crossing, taught Boyd to fly at the naval base at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, near the mouth of the Thames River. Boyd made his first training flight in a Wright biplane that used wing warping for lateral control.

After piloting a Short pusher, Boyd graduated, gaining Aero Club license No. 1358. Shortly thereafter he was assigned as a night pilot, ordered to destroy German zeppelins. At that time RNAS aircraft carried no guns. They were supposed to climb directly above the zeppelins and drop their small bombs on them, hoping to ignite and explode the hydrogen-filled airships.

The zeppelins started raiding England in early 1915, but their crews had instructions not to bomb the royal palaces occupied by the kaiser's relatives. Zeppelins were hard to navigate, and their crews were very worried about anti-aircraft fire. As a result, they usually flew on moonless nights at high altitude.

Boyd later recalled his first zeppelin encounter near Eastchurch. The airship had dropped a few bombs on the airfield, cratering the runway. While Boyd was trying to take off in a Bristol biplane with a 50-hp Gnôme motor, he hit a bomb crater and turned over.

Luckily the four 20-pound bombs he had been carrying did not explode, and he was given a second plane, a new 80-hp Avro, in which to pursue the marauder. Boyd was unable to get above 4,500 feet, however, and he could only watch as the zeppelin dropped ballast and easily escaped. In fact, Boyd never succeeded in getting above that or any other airship.


The two-party political system that had been developing in Japan since the turn of the century finally came of age after World War I. This period has sometimes been called that of "Taish Democracy," after the reign title of the emperor. In 1918 Hara Takashi (1856-1921), a protégé of Saionji and a major influence in the prewar Seiyokai cabinets, had become the first commoner to serve as prime minister.

He took advantage of long-standing relationships he had throughout the government, won the support of the surviving genro and the House of Peers, and brought into his cabinet as army minister Tanaka Giichi (1864-1929), who had a greater appreciation of favorable civil-military relations than his predecessors. Nevertheless, major problems confronted Hara: inflation, the need to adjust the Japanese economy to postwar circumstances, the influx of foreign ideas, and an emerging labor movement.

Prewar solutions were applied by the cabinet to these postwar problems, and little was done to reform the government. Hara worked to ensure a Seiyokai majority through time-tested methods, such as new election laws and electoral redistricting, and embarked on major government-funded public works programs. The public grew disillusioned with the growing national debt and the new election laws, which retained the old minimum tax qualifications for voters.

Calls were raised for universal suffrage and the dismantling of the old political party network. Students, university professors, and journalists, bolstered by labor unions and inspired by a variety of democratic, socialist, communist, anarchist, and other Western schools of thought, mounted large but orderly public demonstrations in favor of universal male suffrage in 1919 and 1920.

New elections brought still another Seiyokai majority, but barely so. In the political milieu of the day, there was a proliferation of new parties, including socialist and communist parties. In the midst of this political ferment, Hara was assassinated by a disenchanted railroad worker in 1921 (see Diplomacy , this ch.). Hara was followed by a succession of nonparty prime ministers and coalition cabinets. Fear of a broader electorate, left-wing power, and the growing social change engendered by the influx of Western popular culture together led to the passage of the Peace Preservation Law (1925), which forbade any change in the political structure or the abolition of private property.

Unstable coalitions and divisiveness in the Diet led the Kenseikai (Constitutional Government Association) and the Seiy Honto (True Seiyokai) to merge as the Rikken Minseito (Constitutional Democratic Party) in 1927. The Rikken Minseito platform was committed to the parliamentary system, democratic politics, and world peace. Thereafter, until 1932, the Seiyokai and the Rikken Minseito alternated in power. Despite the political realignments and hope for more orderly government, domestic economic crises plagued whichever party held power. Fiscal austerity programs and appeals for public support of such conservative government policies as the Peace Preservation Law--including reminders of the moral obligation to make sacrifices for the emperor and the state--were attempted as solutions.

Although the world depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s had minimal effects on Japan--indeed, Japanese exports grew substantially during this period--there was a sense of rising discontent that was heightened with the assassination of Rikken Minseito prime minister Hamaguchi Osachi (1870-1931) in 1931. The events flowing from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 had seen not only the fulfillment of many domestic and foreign economic and political objectives--without Japan's first suffering the colonial fate of other Asian nations--but also a new intellectual ferment, in a time when there was interest worldwide in socialism and an urban proletariat was developing. Universal male suffrage, social welfare, workers' rights, and nonviolent protest were ideals of the early leftist movement.

Government suppression of leftist activities, however, led to more radical leftist action and even more suppression, resulting in the dissolution of the Japan Socialist Party (Nihon Shakaito), only a year after its 1906 founding, and in the general failure of the socialist movement. The victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 and their hopes for a world revolution led to the establishment of the Comintern (a contraction of Communist International, the organization founded in Moscow in 1919 to coordinate the world communist movement).

The Comintern realized the importance of Japan in achieving successful revolution in East Asia and actively worked to form the Japan Communist Party (Nihon Kyosanto), which was founded in July 1922. The announced goals of the Japan Communist Party in 1923 were an end to feudalism, abolition of the monarchy, recognition of the Soviet Union, and withdrawal of Japanese troops from Siberia, Sakhalin, China, Korea, and Taiwan. A brutal suppression of the party followed. Radicals responded with an assassination attempt on Prince Regent Hirohito.

The 1925 Peace Preservation Law was a direct response to the "dangerous thoughts" perpetrated by communist elements in Japan. They made their first silent movie together called Flesh and the Devil in 1927, and despite their rocky romance on and off screen, they continued on to make the films Love in 1927 and A Woman of Affairs in 1928. There seemed to be some irony in the pictures titles.

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Japan in the 1920s was a nation caught in a cultural vise. Pressure on one side came from its hermit heritage, based on complex ancient religious, military and political ideas alien to the West. On the other side there was a strong urge to rapidly modernize. That squeeze, intensified by nationalism, led first to an internal clash between moderates and radicals and, ultimately, to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The radicals, calling for the rejection of Western ways and direct imperial rule, wanted a militaristic government based on national socialism, an Oriental echo of the Nazi movement in Germany.

The Japanese radicals looked to, and arose from, the armed forces. Their opponents were those who wanted to lead the country along a democratic, capitalistic path–the Western-oriented urban bourgeoisie and intellectuals. The extremist tide gave rise to often-interconnected ultra-nationalistic military and civilian secret societies that believed only an army-led revolution could return Japan to its "true character and values" and spread its "imperial way" throughout the East. Japan's military had a number of advantages over the civilian government and did not hesitate to exploit them.

Despite its factions and intrigues, the military possessed an overall unity of purpose based on centuries-old xenophobia, a distaste for civilian rule, and modern Asia's first victories over Western imperialist powers. Another military advantage was the fact that Japan had made its army and navy ministers more powerful than the rest of the cabinet. Co-equal with the prime minister, they had iaku joso, direct access to the throne, in an emperor-worshipping nation. By simply refusing to name a minister, the military could force the dissolution of any civilian government it disapproved of.

And, of course, the military had the organization and weapons to impose its will. Two events led to a violent confrontation–the appearance of a nationalist government in China in 1928 and the onset of the Great Depression the following year. The new Chinese government threatened imperialistic interests on the Asiatic mainland. The depression intensified Japan's need for raw materials and markets to assure self-sufficiency. While the army unilaterally instigated armed clashes in China's Manchuria region to justify full-scale intervention, Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi worked to revive Japan's flagging economy.

One way was to cut military expenditures. That, coming after the prime minister's concurrence with the London conference that limited Japan's naval power, was seen by the radicals as akin to treason. On November 14, 1930, as he was boarding a train in Tokyo, Hamaguchi was shot in the stomach by a young member of the Aikokusha (Patriotic Association). It took the prime minister nine months to die.

His assailant subsequently was pardoned and remained politically active even after World War II. With the civilian government frightened, and in any case limited in power, it looked as if only the emperor could rein in the freewheeling extremists. Emperor Hirohito, who had acceded to the throne in 1926, was not up to the task. Although he disapproved of the army's overseas escalations and the internal violence, he allowed traditional imperial constraints and his own personality to deter him from meaningful action.

In late 1930, Lt. Col. Kingoro Hashimoto, who seven years later would try to trigger war with Britain by shelling a Royal Navy gunboat in Chinese waters, formed the Sakurakai (Cherry Society). Consisting mostly of midlevel officers, it was dedicated to establishing a military-controlled social structure in Japan.

The Cherry Society planned a March 1931 coup d'état that was aborted because of internal disagreement. Six months later, the Japanese army invaded Manchuria without its own government's consent. Tokyo's efforts to halt the aggression were ignored by the army.

In October 1931, Hashimoto's Cherry Society masterminded another coup, which fell apart when the general chosen to head the new government refused to cooperate. Despite the fact that the arrested ringleaders escaped punishment on the grounds of alleged "sincere motives," the plot's failure indicated that there still was a chance to check Japan's march toward totalitarianism and war.

Enraged by the failure of the October coup, a radical Buddhist priest named Nissho Inoue organized a terrorist group called Ketsumeidan (Blood Brotherhood). He recruited chiefly young peasants who took an oath to assassinate national leaders they felt had either betrayed Japan or exploited the farmers. Their motto–"One man, one death." Ketsumeidan's first victim, banker and former finance minister Junnosuk Inoue, was fatally shot by a 22-year-old youth in February 1932. Twenty-five days later, Takua Dan, a member of a samurai family and manager of the vast Matsui business conglomerate, was murdered as he arrived at his office by a 21-year-old Blood Brotherhood member. By Wil Deac

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937, and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California.

Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 1999, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

Before the bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay. Ferry service began as early as 1820, with regularly scheduled service beginning in the 1840s for purposes of transporting water to San Francisco. The Sausalito Land and Ferry Company service, launched in 1867, eventually became the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary, the largest ferry operation in the world by the late 1920s. 

Once for railroad passengers and customers only, Southern Pacific's automobile ferries became very profitable and important to the regional economy,  The ferry crossing between the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco and Sausalito in Marin County took approximately 20 minutes and cost US$1.00 per vehicle, a price later reduced to compete with the new bridge. The trip from the San Francisco Ferry Building took 27 minutes.

Many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County. San Francisco was the largest American city still served primarily by ferry boats. Because it did not have a permanent link with communities around the bay, the city’s growth rate was below the national average. Many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft (2,042 m) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 500 ft (150 m) in depth at the center of the channel, and frequent strong winds. Experts said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent construction and operation.

One of the most interesting Golden Gate Bridge facts is that only eleven workers died during construction, a new safety record for the time. In the 1930s, bridge builders expected 1 fatality per $1 million in construction costs, and builders expected 35 people to die while building the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the bridge's safety innovations was a net suspended under the floor. This net saved the lives of 19 men during construction, and they are often called the members of the "Half Way to Hell Club."

The U.S. War Department initially objected to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge because it feared that Navy ships could be trapped in San Francisco Bay if the span was bombed or collapsed. The military eventually gave its approval, but it wanted the bridge to be covered in garish stripes.

The Navy, concerned about visibility for passing ships in foggy conditions, pressed for black and yellow stripes to be painted on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Army Air Corps pushed for a more festive, if not less gaudy, candy-cane combination of red and white stripes to make the bridge more noticeable from the air.

enigma machine

The Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor machines that have been used to generate ciphers for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. The Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I It was used commercially from the early 1920s and was adopted by military and governmental services of a number of countries — most notably by Nazi Germany before and during World War II  A variety of Enigma models were produced, but the German military model, the Wehrmacht Enigma, is the version most commonly discussed.

The Enigma machine was a cipher machine used to encrypt and decrypt secret messages. More precisely, Enigma was a family of related electro-mechanical rotor machines, comprising a variety of different models.
The German military model, the Wehrmacht Enigma, is the version most commonly discussed. The machine has gained notoriety because Allied cryptologists were able to decrypt a large number of messages that had been enciphered on the machine.

Decryption was made possible in 1932 by Polish cryptographers Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Róycki and Henryk Zygalski from Cipher Bureau. In mid-1939 reconstruction and decryption methods were delivered from Poland to Britain and France. The intelligence gained through this source, codenamed ULTRA, was a significant aid to the Allied war effort.

The machine has gained notoriety because Allied cryptologists were able to decrypt a vast number of messages that had been enciphered on the machine. The intelligence, consequently codenamed ULTRA, was a substantial aid to the Allied war effort. The exact influence of ULTRA is debated, but an oft-repeated assessment is that decryption of German ciphers hastened the end of the European war by two years.

Teresa Billington-Greig

Teresa Billington, the daughter of a shipping clerk, was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1877. Teresa had a stormy relationship with her parents. There was constant conflict concerning her disagreement with her parents' strong Roman Catholic views. Teresa ran away from home as a teenager and for the rest of her life was an outspoken agnostic.

Teresa became a pupil-teacher and eventually found work as a schoolteacher in Manchester. However, Teresa's refused to teach religious instruction and this led to the Manchester Education Committee threatening to sack her. Emmeline Pankhurst, a member of the Manchester Education Committee, was impressed by Teresa's spirit and arranged for her to be transferred to a Jewish school where she would not have to teach religion.

With Emmeline Pankhurst's encouragement, Teresa Billington became a member of the Independent Labour Party in Manchester. In 1904 she was appointed as the organiser of the party in Manchester. Teresa also became involved in trade union issues. She objected to the fact that men received higher wages than women and became secretary of the Manchester Equal Pay Committee.

Teresa also joined the Women's Social and Political Union and in 1907 she was asked to become a full-time worker for the organisation in London. Within a few months of arriving, Teresa had been arrested and sent to Holloway Prison. That year she also married a Scotsman living in London called Frederick Greig. He was sympathetic to women's rights and agreed to adopt Billington-Greig as their joint name.

Teresa, like other suffrages at the time, questioned the way that Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst were running the WSPU. She objected to the way they made decisions without consulting members. Teresa also felt that a small group of wealthy women were beginning to dominate the organisation and in 1907 she left the WSPU with Charlotte Despard to form the Women's Freedom League.

Teresa Billington-Greig also came into conflict with Margaret Bondfield over the issue of adult suffrage. Billington-Greig argued that women's political organisations should be advocating the "immediate granting of the Parliamentary Franchise to women on the same terms as men in the speediest and most practical way to real democracy".

Bondfield took the view that if this happened the Conservatives would gain an advantage over the Labour Party. Bondfield also feared that once middle-class women had the vote, many of the leaders of the WSPU and NUWSS would lose interest in fighting for the political rights of working-class women. In December 1907, a public debate took place between Billington-Greig and Bondfield on this issue. Billington-Greig won the vote that followed the debate by 171 to 139.

Teresa Billington-Greig and other members of the Women's Freedom League were often sent to prison after being arrested on demonstrations. However, Billington-Greig and this group completely rejected the increasing violent tactics of the WSPU. In an article that she wrote, Teresa accused Emmeline Pankhurst and Christabel Pankhurst of "emotionalism, personal tyranny and fanaticism."

In 1910 Billington-Greig declared that she intended to "work for women's suffrage independently". This mainly involved her writing books such as The Militant Suffrage Movement (1911), Consumers in Revolt (1912) and Women and the Machine (1913).

After the passing of the Equal Franchise Act in 1928 Billington-Greig concentrated her efforts on increasing the number of women in the House of Commons and for several years was the director of the Women for Westminster group. Teresa Billington-Greig died in 1964.

The stock market crash of October 1929

The stock market crash of October 1929 brought the economic prosperity of the 1920s to a symbolic end. For the next ten years, the United States was mired in a deep economic depression. By 1933, unemployment had soared to 25 percent, up from 3.2 percent in 1929. Industrial production declined by 50 percent, international trade plunged 30 percent, and investment fell 98 percent. The Great Depression transformed the American political and economic landscape. It produced a major political realignment, creating a coalition of big-city ethnics, African Americans, and Southern Democrats committed, to varying degrees, to interventionist government.

It strengthened the federal presence in American life, spawning such innovations as national old-age pensions, unemployment compensation,, aid to dependent children, public housing, federally-subsidized school lunches, insured bank depositions, the minimum wage, and stock market regulations. It fundamentally altered labor relations, producing a revived labor movement and a national labour policy protective of collective bargaining.

It transformed the farm economy by introducing federal price supports. Above all, it led Americans to view the federal government as an agency of action and reform and the ultimate protector of public well-being. The Great Depression was steeper and more protracted in the United States than in other industrialized countries. The unemployment rate rose higher and remained higher longer than in any other western country. As it deepened, the Depression had far-reaching political consequences.

The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known as the World Depression. The decade started off economically unsteady, with the stock market dropping late in 1929. However, late in 1930, stocks and the economy dropped more, and this time it didn't become better.

Many people blamed then President Herbert Hoover for the things that were happing in the economy, along with the GReat Depression. People began to feel the effects of the plunging stock market in 1931, and the situation grew progressively worse until reaching the low point in 1933.

The gloomy conditions that arose led to a rise of political extremes btween ultra-conservatism and radical political particies. After 1933, the economy began a gradual recovery which wouldn't reach the level of prosperity of 1930 until World War II.

In both Central Europe and Eastern Europe, Fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism dominated as the solution to these problems: the first two adopted war-oriented economic policies while the latter adopted sweepinf industrialisation programmes such as Stalin's Five Year Plans, all of them described as totalitarian regimes. In East Asia, the rise of militarism occurred.

In Western Europe, Australia and the United States, more progressive reforms occurred as opposed to the extreme measures sought elsewhere. Roosevelt's New Deal attempted to use government spending to combat large-scale unemployment and severely negative growth.

Ultimately, it would be the beginning of World War II in 1939 that would end the depression. According to Nazi dogma, races could be scientifically classified as superior and inferior. The highest racial type was the Nordic, or Germanic, type of the Aryan race, while blacks and Jews were at the bottom of the racial ladder. Intermarriage contributed to the deterioration of the superior race, and the Jews, knowing this, had furthered prostitution and seduction to defile the Germans.

Consequently only small islands of the pure remained, but it was their destiny to govern their inferiors and, through scientific breeding, to extend the master race and limit inferior races. All Quiet on the Western Front is an Academy Award-winning film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander. Released in 1930 (see 1930 in film), it is considered a realistic and harrowing account of war and World War I, and was named #54 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies. However, it was removed from the top 100 list in the 2007 revision. Also, in 1990, this film was selected and preserved by the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

All Quiet on the Western Front poster

What am I to do?
    I cahn't help it.

    Love's always been my game,
    Play it how I may.
    I was made that way.
    I cahn't help it.

— "Falling in Love Again" by Frederick Hollander, Sammy Lerner

Lola Lola wears this smile, along with a brimmed hat and a sleeveless sequined top, when she takes the stage toward the end of "The Blue Angel." Wrapping her famous legs around the back of a wooden chair, she sings "Falling in Love Again" (actually "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss/ Auf Liebe eingestellt": "From head to toe/ I'm made for love"). What siren power this song and this singer have! They prod a stern schoolteacher, Prof. Immanuel Rath, to unbutton his inhibitions, renounce propriety, propose marriage and become her crowing cuckold. All because he believed that Lola Lola was singing to him alone as her eyes raked the room for contact with the customers. The Professor fell for the oldest, most seductive lie in show business: the lie of intimacy.

Dietrich performed her signature tune thousands of times in her long career — many more times, surely, than Judy Garland did "Over the Rainbow." But what do the lyrics mean? Who's falling in love again? Not the singer. No, the tumbler is some man, any man, when he sees a woman like Dietrich. Though her presence warms him, heats him, she does nothing overt to encourage him. ("You'd better go now," she tells Gary Cooper in "Morocco." "I'm beginning to like you.") So she sings like a defiant defendant in the witness box. Not my fault, your honor. Didn't start it. Cahn't help it. Why stop it? In matters of the heart and loins she was passive, a magnet aware of and amused by its power of attraction. On this thrill ride she was simply the passenger, yet her presence drove men mad. As mobster-on-the-make Cary Grant in "Blonde Venus" croons to her: "A little of you is worth a lifetime of any other woman."

The Blue Angel 1930

Marlene Dietrich sang this song for the first time in Josef von Sternberg's "The Blue Angel," the 1930 German film that made her an international star and brought her to Hollywood as Sternberg's glittering protage. In the film she plays a chanteuse named Lola Lola, the star of a traveling variety show — though she might have been the lion tamer in a tent circus, with humans instead of jungle beasts obeying the snaking whip of her gaze. Her wrought-irony smile suggested there was no depravity that she could perform, no atrocity that could be performed upon her, that would shock or even divert her.

Her body was open to all comers, but her heart, if she had one, was encased in an invisible protective shield. Lola Lola wears this smile, along with a brimmed hat and a sleeveless sequined top, when she takes the stage toward the end of "The Blue Angel."

Wrapping her famous legs around the back of a wooden chair, she sings "Falling in Love Again" (actually "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss/ Auf Liebe eingestellt": "From head to toe/ I'm made for love"). What siren power this song and this singer have! They prod a stern schoolteacher, Prof. Immanuel Rath, to unbutton his inhibitions, renounce propriety, propose marriage and become her crowing cuckold.

All because he believed that Lola Lola was singing to him alone as her eyes raked the room for contact with the customers. The Professor fell for the oldest, most seductive lie in show business: the lie of intimacy. Dietrich performed her signature tune thousands of times in her long career — many more times, surely, than Judy Garland did "Over the Rainbow."

But what do the lyrics mean? Who's falling in love again? Not the singer. No, the tumbler is some man, any man, when he sees a woman like Dietrich. Though her presence warms him, heats him, she does nothing overt to encourage him. ("You'd better go now," she tells Gary Cooper in "Morocco." "I'm beginning to like you.")

So she sings like a defiant defendant in the witness box. Not my fault, your honor. Didn't start it. Cahn't help it. Why stop it? In matters of the heart and loins she was passive, a magnet aware of and amused by its power of attraction. On this thrill ride she was simply the passenger, yet her presence drove men mad. As mobster-on-the-make Cary Grant in "Blonde Venus" croons to her: "A little of you is worth a lifetime of any other woman."

Marlene Dietrich

On the strength of The Blue Angel's international success, and with encouragement and promotion from von Sternberg, who was already established in Hollywood, Dietrich then moved to the U.S. under contract to Paramount Pictures. The studio sought to market Dietrich as a German answer to MGM's Swedish sensation, Greta Garbo. A still from Shanghai Express (1932).

Josef von Sternberg used butterfly lighting to enhance Dietrich's features. This photograph was cited by Mick Rock as the inspiration for the iconic Queen II album cover. Dietrich starred in six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935: von Sternberg worked very effectively with Dietrich to create the image of a glamorous femme fatale.

He encouraged her to lose weight and coached her intensively as an actress—she, in turn, was willing to trust him and follow his sometimes imperious direction in a way that a number of other performers resisted. Their first American collaboration, Morocco, again cast her as a cabaret singer; the film is best remembered for the sequence in which she performs a song dressed in a man's white tie and kisses another woman, both provocative for the era.

The film earned Dietrich her only Oscar nomination. Morocco was followed by Dishonored (with Dietrich as a Mata Hari-like spy) and Blonde Venus. Shanghai Express was von Sternberg and Dietrich's biggest box office hit. Their last two films, The Scarlet Empress and The Devil Is a Woman—the most stylized of their collaborations—were their least commercial ventures. Dietrich later remarked that she was at her most beautiful in The Devil Is a Woman.

A crucial part of the overall effect was created by von Sternberg's exceptional skill in lighting and photographing Dietrich to optimum effect—the use of light and shadow, including the impact of light passed through a veil or slatted blinds (as for example in Shanghai Express)—which, when combined with scrupulous attention to all aspects of set design and costumes, make this series of films among the most visually stylish in cinema history.

Critics still vigorously debate how much of the credit belonged to von Sternberg and how much to Dietrich, but most would agree that neither consistently reached such heights again after Paramount fired von Sternberg and the two ceased working together.[24] Dietrich's first film after the end of her partnership with von Sternberg was Frank Borzage's Desire (1936), a commercial success that gave Dietrich an opportunity to try her hand at romantic comedy. Her next project, I Loved a Soldier (1936) ended in a shambles when the film was scrapped several weeks into production due to script problems and disagreements between the star and her director.

Mahatma Gandhi

Civil Disobedience Movement launched in 1930 under Mahatma Gandhi`s leadership was one of the most significant phases of India`s freedom struggle.

The Simon Commission, formed in November 1927 by the British Government to chart and conclude a constitution for India and comprising members of the British Parliament only, was boycotted by every section of the Indian social and political platforms, as an `All-White Commission`. The opposition to the Simon Commission in Bengal was noteworthy.

In disapproval against the Commission, a `hartal` (strike) was observed on 3 February 1928, in several parts of the province. Widespread demonstrations were held in Calcutta on 19 February 1928, the day of Simon`s arrival to the city. On 1 March 1928, meetings were held simultaneously in all thirty-two wards of Calcutta, spurring people to revamp the movement for boycott of British goods.

Mahatma Gandhi was arrested on May 5th, 1930, just days before his projected raid on the Dharasana Salt Works. The Dandi March and the resultant Dharasana Satyagraha drew worldwide attention to the Civil Disobedience movement through widespread newspaper and newsreel coverage. In fact, satyagraha was such a step towards the disobedience movement, that it came to synonymous with Indian freedom struggle and non-violence.

The satyagraha against the salt tax continued for nearly a year, ending with Gandhi`s release from jail and negotiations with Viceroy Lord Erwin at the Second Round Table Conference. More than 80,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the Salt Satyagraha. The crusade had a significant effect on changing British attitudes toward Indian independence and caused huge numbers of Indians to aggressively join the fight for the first time. Sadly though, the movement failed to win major concessions from the British.

The Salt Satyagraha campaign was based upon Gandhi`s principles of non-violent protest called satyagraha, which he slackly translated as "truth-force." The Salt March to Dandi and the flogging of hundreds of non-violent protesters in Dharasana, manifested the efficient use of civil disobedience as a technique for fighting social and political injustice.

On 8th April 1929, members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association detonated two bombs and fired revolvers in the assembly chamber of the Imperial Legislative Council in New Delhi. In response, Lord Irwin published a Public Safety Bill which addressed the menace of the Communist Party by deporting the Englishmen involved and taking legal action against the Indian membership.

Lord-IrwinOn 31st October, Lord Irwin announced on behalf of the British Government that the natural constitutional progress of India was the attainment of Dominion Status. The Viceroy did not name a specific time for the award. The Congress Party indicated its willingness to cooperate in formulating a Dominion constitution as a test of the government`s sincerity which in the end proved minimal. In November debates in both Houses, the measure was tacitly approved, but in such away that Congress rejected the Declaration.

On 23rd December, Indian nationalists failed in an attempt to blow up Irwin`s train.

On 23rd December, Lord Irwin met with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) and Tel Bahadur Sapru (1875- 1949) in New Delhi. Erwin however, could not arrive at an agreement for framing a constitution under Dominion Status.

The Congress also refused to attend the London Round Table Conference in London due to communal division and the lack of British support for Indian freedom. At the ensuing 1930 annual meeting of the Congress Party held at Lahore, the Congress declared itself for independence rather than Dominion Status and authorised a campaign of civil disobedience.

On 12th March 1930, the Government of India allowed Gandhi`s civil disobedience movement to proceed. It emerged as a march to Dandi on the sea, in protest to the duty on salt. On April 6th, Gandhi reached Dandi and explicitly violated the salt law. In response, the Government of India arrested Jawaharlal Nehru on April 14.

On 18th April, amidst the turmoil of Indian life, approximately one hundred Indians attacked police and railway armouries at Chittagong. They acquired a considerable cache of arms and ammunition. During the raid eight defenders were killed. Gandhi condemned the raid which had made a deep impression throughout India. That liaison of the night, later came to be known as the legendary Chittagong Armoury Raid Case.

On 5th May, following evaluation of the attacks and violence at Chittagong and Peshawar, the Government of India had Gandhi arrested and lodged at Yervada Jail near Poona (present day Pune, Maharashtra). His retention was justified under Regulation XXV of 1827, calling for the jailing of those engaged in unlawful activities. Following Gandhi`s arrest, the British faced the full programme of civil disobedience as composed of Indian raids on salt depots, disobedience of forest laws, refusal to pay taxes in chosen areas, boycott of foreign cloth and spirits and avoidance of business with all British firms.


On 30th June, the Government of India outlawed the All-India Congress Committee and the Congress Working Committee. Congress President Motilal Nehru (1861-1931) was arrested with many other Congress leaders. In a June 7 resolution the Congress called for all Indian police and military to disobey British orders.

On 23rd July, Lord Irwin facilitated visits to the imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru by two Indian Liberals, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru (1875-1949) Mukund Ramrao Jayakar (1873-1959), for the purpose of determining ways to end civil disobedience movement and to elicit Congress Party participation at a Round Table Conference in London.

On 25th January 1931, Lord Irwin authorised Gandhi`s release from prison and withdrew proscription of illegality against the Congress Working Committee. He hoped that through a personal appeal to Gandhi that progress could be made.

Between the period of 16th February to 4th March 1931, Lord Irwin and Gandhi met in a series of negotiations seeking settlement of the issues emanating from the civil disobedience movement. In the agreement reached on March 5, Gandhi agreed to discontinue civil disobedience as it embraced defiance of the law, non-payment of land revenue, publication of news-sheets, termination of its boycott of British goods and the restraint of aggressive picketing.

The Government of India agreed to repeal ordinances opposing the movement and its associations, to release Indian prisoners not guilty of violent acts, return fines and property as possible and to reappoint Indians who had resigned their government posts if not subsequently filled. No material changes were made in the Salt Acts, but exceptions in the case of local domestic manufacture and consumption excepted.

Billie Holiday

Holiday was one of the best jazz singers in history, but her famous days weren’t free of trials. Throughout her life, she struggled with poverty and got arrested for prostitution and drug use. She was addicted to both alcohol and heroin, both of which got her into major trouble, especially toward the end of her life. She died at the age of 44 in the hospital, where she had been under arrest for drug possession.

A little while after reaching the top of her singing fame in the late 1930s and finding out about the death of her mother, her heroine use grew much worse. She had been using the money she was making from her music career to buy drugs, and it was getting so bad that she tried to check herself into rehab to break the addiction. However, she continued abusing alcohol and never fully gained control of her addiction. If she’d gotten the help she needed, she might have had more time to grace the world with her beautiful voice.

Billie Holiday was born as Eleanora Fagan, on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Sarah Julia "Sadie" Fagan. Her father, Clarence Holiday, a musician, did not marry or live with her mother. Fagan had moved to Philadelphia at the age of nineteen, after being rejected from her parents' home in Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore for becoming pregnant.

With no support from her parents, Holiday's mother arranged for the young Holiday to stay with her older married half sister, Eva Miller, who lived in Baltimore. Holiday, who was of African American ancestry, was also said to have had Irish ancestors through her mother's mixed heritage. Billie Holiday at two years old, in 1917 Billie Holiday had a difficult childhood. Her mother often took what were then known as "transportation jobs", serving on passenger railroads.

Holiday was left to be raised largely by Eva Miller's mother-in-law, Martha Miller, and suffered from her mother's absences and leaving her in others' care for much of the first ten years of her life. (Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, first published in 1956, was sketchy about details of her early life, but much was confirmed by Stuart Nicholson in his 1995 biography of the singer.)

Some historians have disputed Holiday's paternity, as a copy of her birth certificate in the Baltimore archives lists the father as "Frank DeViese". Other historians consider this an anomaly, probably inserted by a hospital or government worker. Frank DeViese lived in Philadelphia and Sadie Harris may have known him through her work. Sadie Harris, then known as Sadie Fagan, married Philip Gough, but the marriage was over in two years.

Holiday was left with Martha Miller again while her mother took more transportation jobs. Holiday frequently skipped school and her truancy resulted in her being brought before the juvenile court on January 5, 1925 when she was not yet 10. She was sent to The House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic reform school. She was baptized there on March 19, 1925 and after nine months in care, was "paroled" on October 3, 1925 to her mother, who had opened a restaurant called the East Side Grill, where she and Holiday worked long hours.

By the age of 11, the girl had dropped out of school. Rape and prostitution Holiday's mother returned to their home on December 24, 1926, to discover a neighbor, Wilbur Rich, raping her.

Rich was arrested. Officials placed the girl at the House of the Good Shepherd in protective custody as a state witness in the rape case. Holiday was released in February 1927, nearly twelve. She found a job running errands in a brothel. During this time, Holiday first heard the records of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. By the end of 1928, Holiday's mother decided to try her luck in Harlem, New York and left Holiday again with Martha Miller.

By early 1929, Holiday joined her mother in Harlem. Their landlady was a sharply dressed woman named Florence Williams, who ran a brothel at 151 West 140th Street. Holiday's mother became a prostitute and, within a matter of days of arriving in New York, Holiday, who had not yet turned fourteen, also became a prostitute at $5 a client.

On May 2, 1929, the house was raided, and Holiday and her mother were sent to prison. After spending some time in a workhouse, her mother was released in July, followed by Holiday in October, at the age of 14. In Harlem she started singing in various night clubs. Holiday took her professional pseudonym from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and the musician Clarence Holiday, her probable father. At the outset of her career, she spelled her last name "Halliday," the birth-surname of her father, but eventually changed it to "Holiday," his performing name.

The young singer teamed up with a neighbor, tenor sax player Kenneth Hollan. From 1929 to 1931, they were a team, performing at clubs such as the Grey Dawn, Pod's and Jerry's on 133rd Street, and the Brooklyn Elks' Club. Benny Goodman recalled hearing Holiday in 1931 at The Bright Spot. As her reputation grew, Holiday played at many clubs, including Mexico's and The Alhambra Bar and Grill where Charles Linton, a vocalist who later worked with Chick Webb, first met her.

It was also during this period that she connected with her father, who was playing with Fletcher Henderson's band. By the end of 1932 at the age of 17, Billie Holiday replaced the singer Monette Moore at a club called Covan's on West 132nd Street. The producer John Hammond, who loved Monette Moore's singing and had come to hear her, first heard Holiday in early 1933. Hammond arranged for Holiday to make her recording debut, at age 18, in November 1933 with Benny Goodman, singing two songs: "Your Mother's Son-In-Law" and "Riffin' the Scotch," the latter being her first hit. "Son-in-Law" sold 300 copies, but "Riffin' the Scotch," released on November 11, sold 5,000 copies.

Hammond was quite impressed by Holiday's singing style. He said of her, "Her singing almost changed my music tastes and my musical life, because she was the first girl singer I'd come across who actually sang like an improvising jazz genius." Hammond compared Holiday favorably to Armstrong and said she had a good sense of lyric content at her young age. In 1935, Billie Holiday had a small role as a woman being abused by her lover in Duke Ellington's short Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. In her scene, she sang the song "Saddest Tale."

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