Elsewhere in 1931

A photo journal of the events of 1931

January 2 – South Dakota native Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron, used to accelerate particles to study nuclear physics.
January 30 – The movie City Lights, starring Charlie Chaplin, has its premiere. Albert Einstein attends.
February 3 – Much of the New Zealand cities of Napier and Hastings are destroyed in an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, killing 256 people.
February 14 – The original film version of Dracula, with Bela Lugosi, is released in the United States.
March 3 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States’ National anthem.
March 5 – The British viceroy of India and Mohandas Gandhi sign the Gandhi–Irwin Pact.
March 23 – Indian revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged for conspiracy to murder in the British Raj.
March 31 – An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000 people.
April 14 – The Second Spanish Republic is proclaimed in Madrid. Meanwhile, as a result of the victory of the Republican Left of Catalonia, Francesc Macià proclaims in Barcelona the Catalan Republic, as a state of the Iberian Federation.
April 15 – The Castellammarese War ends with the murder of Joe ”The Boss” Masseria, briefly leaving Salvatore Maranzano as capo dei capi of the American Mafia.
May 1 – Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City.
June 5 – German Chancellor Dr. Heinrich Brüning visits London, where he warns the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald that the collapse of the Austrian banking system has left the entire German economy on the brink of disaster.
June 14 – The overloaded pleasure craft Saint-Philibert, carrying trippers home to Nantes from the Île de Noirmoutier, sinks at the mouth of the River Loire in France. Over 450 drown.
June 19 – In an attempt to stop the banking crisis in Central Europe from causing a worldwide financial meltdown, U.S. President Herbert Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium.
June 23–July 1 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty accomplish the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane, flying eastabout from Roosevelt Field, New York, in 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.
July – John Haven Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts perfects his negative pressure ventilator (iron lung), just in time for the growing polio epidemic.
July 9 – Irish racing driver Kaye Don breaks the world water speed record at Lake Garda, Italy.
July 16 – Emperor Haile Selassie signs the first Constitution of Ethiopia.
August 11 – A run on the British pound leads to a political and economic crisis in Britain..
August 24 – The Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald resigns in Britain, replaced by a National Government of people drawn from all parties, also under MacDonald.
September 10 – The worst hurricane in British Honduras history kills an estimated 1,500.
September 18 – The Japanese military stage the Mukden Incident, an explosion blamed on Chinese dissidents and used as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
September 20 – With a gun literally pointed to his head, the Chinese commander of Kirin province announces the annexation of that territory to Japan.
October 4 – Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective character created by cartoonist Chester Gould, makes his debut appearance in the Detroit Mirror newspaper.
October 17 – American gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in Chicago.
October 24 – The George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River in the United States is dedicated; it opens to traffic the following day. At 3,500 feet (1,100 m), it nearly doubles the previous record for the longest main span in the world.
October 27 – The United Kingdom general election results in the victory of the National Government, and the defeat of Labour Party, in the country’s greatest ever electoral landslide.
November 7 – The Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
November 21 – James Whale’s film of Frankenstein is released in New York City.
December 5 – The original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow is dynamited, by order of Joseph Stalin.

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