1928 Annual History Facts

1928 Annual History Facts

  • Politics: The United States Senate ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which made wars of aggression illegal.
  • Influential Songs include Black and Tan Fantasy by Duke Ellington and Ol’ Man River by Paul Robeson (and others)
  • Oscar News: The Patriot, released in 1928, was the last silent film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture until 2011’s The Artist. It is also the only Best Picture nominee that has since become lost.
  • The Big Movies included The Singing Fool, The Road to Ruin, and Lights of New York
  • Price of Keds Tennis Shoes in 1928: 98 cents/pair
  • The World Population was ~ 2,082,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: 1928 Males: 55.6 years, Females: 58.3 years
  • Sliced bread was invented in 1928 and was called the ‘best thing since bagged bread.’
  • Chinese Checkers was invented in Germany. The name was marketed in the US in 1928 as “Hop Ching Checkers.”
  • And… The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft was first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, in February 1928.

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Providence Steam Roller

Stanley Cup Champions

New York Rangers

US Open Golf

Johnny Farrell

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Henri Cochet/Helen Wills

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Rene Lacoste/Helen Wills

NCAA Football Champions

Georgia Tech & USC

Bowl Game

January 2, 1928 – Stanford over Pittsburgh

Kentucky Derby

Reigh Count

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Talavera Margret

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Walter Chrysler

Miss America


1928’s Fresh Faces and Top Celebrities

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

“The Quotes”

“Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”
– Bertrand Russell

On his deathbed, the man who fixed the 1919 World Series, Arnold Rothstein, when asked who shot him by the police, said, “You stick to your trade. I’ll stick to mine.”

1928 Pop Culture History

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

The New York Daily News published the 1st photograph of an execution (Ruth Snyder, in Sing Sing Correctional Facility) by electric chair after they hired an unknown photographer to witness and secretly photograph the execution by using a single-use camera strapped to his ankle and wired to a trigger release up his pant leg.

To deal with the heavy influx of cars into a city with no large car parks, the organizers of the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam marked off certain areas with a blue sign containing a white ‘P,’ creating the international symbol for parking.

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

Chinese Checkers weren’t invented in China but in Germany. The name was a marketing scheme in the US in 1928, called “Hop Ching Checkers.”

The Joker may be based on a 1928 German film called The Man Who Laughs. It is based on an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name and stars Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine. Gwynplaine had been scarred with a permanent grin.

Shaving doesn’t make hair grow thicker, darker, or faster. This was first proven in a clinical study in 1928 by Mildred Trotter.

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

In 2009, art historian Gergely Barki was watching Stuart Little when he spotted Róbert Berény’s Sleeping Lady, a lost painting not seen since an exhibit/sale in 1928. After a years-long mission, he tracked it to an assistant set designer’s home, who bought the six-figure painting for $500 for the film.

Chef Boyardee was founded by restaurant owner Hector Boiardi in 1928. The idea originated when customers began asking Boiardi for his spaghetti sauce recipe. Ten years later, he opened a factory and named his product “Boy-Ar-Dee” to help Americans pronounce his name correctly.

The founder of the Kodak company was so frustrated by the different number of days in each month, that he insisted the company operate on a 13-month year, each month being exactly four weeks. They did this up until 1989.

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

While filming a flood scene for 1928’s Noah’s Ark, three extras were killed, and one of the surviving extras was actor John Wayne.

After the 1928 classic The Passion of Joan of Arc was panned by the French government that commissioned it and a fire destroyed the negative, the movie’s original cut was thought to be lost forever. That was until a copy was found in a closet in an Oslo mental institution in 1981.

The Patriot, released in 1928, was the last silent film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture until 2011’s The Artist. It is also the only Best Picture nominee that has since become lost.

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.

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.

Christine Collins was committed to a psych ward in after her 9-year-old son Walter went missing because when the LAPD ‘found him’ 5 months later, she denied that the boy returned to her was her child. The boy eventually confessed to being a runaway. It was revealed that her son was murdered in the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders led by Gordon Stewart Northcott. Angelina Jolie played her in the 2008 film Changeling.

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 any children.

Mickey Mouse officially appeared for the first time in Steamboat Willie, and his birthday coincided with Willie’s release date, November 18th. Mickey and Minnie debuted in the Silent cartoon short Plane Crazy, first released on May 15, 1928.

Mickey Mouse is older than many public domain works at the time of their first Disney adaptation. This includes Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and The Jungle Book.

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

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

The ‘Banana Massacre’ of 1928: Up to 3000 striking workers were murdered for United Fruit Company (now Chiquita).

1928-1972, Canada performed compulsory sterilizations on nearly 3,000 mentally deficient people. This was based on scientific claims linking “feeble-mindedness” to social issues.

Handkerchief Pool in Yellowstone was once as famous as Old Faithful Geyser, but by 1928, tourists not only cleaned their handkerchiefs but also used it as a place to dump coins, bottles, pins, and rocks, thus plugging it up.

Before being executed by the electric chair, George Appel’s last words were, “Well folks, you’ll soon see a baked Appel.”

In 1898, nearly three-fourths of Alabama’s state revenue came from leasing inmate labor to private entities such as coal mining companies and plantations, oftentimes located in other states. Alabama did not end the practice until 1928.


The American Home Magazine (1928-1977)

Mechanix Illustrated Magazine (1928-2001)

The Weekly Reader (1928-2012)

The Habits

Reading The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Reading Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley

Popular Music Artists

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

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

The Cameraman, The Circus, The Crowd, The Docks of New York, Easy Virtue, The Fall of the House of Usher, In Old Arizona, The Last Command, The Man Who Laughs, Noah’s Ark, October, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Racket, The Road to Ruin, The Singing Fool, Speedy, Spies, Steamboat Bill Jr., Storm Over Asia, The Wind
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