Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

1930 Trivia, Facts & History

<< - 1929

1930 History Snapshot

  • Politics: Joseph Stalin began forced modernization of the Soviet Union, resulting in famines that claimed 25 million lives.
  • Pop Standards include: Get Happy, Puttin' on the Ritz, Embraceable You and Happy Days Are Here Again.
  • The Big Movies included Tom Sawyer, Hell's Angels and All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Price of loaf of bread in 1930: 9 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,124,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 58.1 years, Females: 61.6 years
  • Bill Penfield in Strawberry Point, Iowa sat on a flagpole for 51 days and 20 hours, setting a record for the era.
  • Invented by Dick Drew, Scotch Cellophane Tape was introduced in 1930
  • And... On April 18, 1930, the BBC announced, "There is no news today," and played piano music instead.
1930 Books

World Series Champions

Philadelphia Athletics

Stanley Cup Champs

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Bobby Jones

US Tennis (Men/Ladies)

John H. Doeg/Betty Nuthall

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Bill Tilden/Helen Moody

NCAA Football Champions

Alabama & Notre Dame

Kentucky Derby

Gallant Fox

FIFA World Cup (Soccer)

This was the first 'World Cup.' It was started because the United States, 1932 Olympic Host, was not going to feature the game in the 1932 Olympiad. It is starting to popular in the US today.

1930's New Faces, Leading Ladies, Models and Actresses

Josephine Baker, Joan Blondell, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Dolores Del Rio, Barbara Stanwyck, Thelma Todd

"The Quotes"

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know"
- Groucho Marx in 'Animal Crackers'

"Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?"
- Edward G. Robinson, in 'Little Caesar'

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Miss America


Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Before 1930, most people in Western countries died in their own homes. By the mid-20th century, half of all Americans died in a hospital. By the start of the 21st century, only about 20 to 25% of people in developed countries died outside a medical institution.

The infamous Ecce Homo painting by Elías García Martínez, that was "restored" by a parishioner in 2012 into a very primative visage of Christ was originally painted in 1930 and originally considered of little artistic importance by historians.

In 1849, a woman named Mrs. Charlotte M. Winslow concocted a pain reliever for teething children called Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup, which contained morphine sulphate, sodium carbonate, spirits foeniculiand, and aqua ammonia. Shockingly, the syrup remained in the market until 1930.

There are claims of a 37-foot great white shark getting stuck in a fishing weir in New Brunswick in 1930. Two fisherman approached it in a dingy which the shark bit and crushed "like an eggshell".

Judge Joseph Force Crater was last seen exiting a restaurant on August 6, 1930 and was never heard from again. The investigation of his disappearance lead to a purge on New York City corruption from the Tammany Hall political machine.

1930 Pop Culture News

Two brothers created the first car radio which was called a "motorized victrola" which they shortened to Motorola.

On April 18, 1930, the BBC announced, "There is no news today" and played piano music instead. It was a Good Friday.

Edgar Bergan, one of the most popular radio acts of the 1930s,was a ventriloquist, which is strange if you think about it.

The world's longest-running laboratory experiment "demonstrates the fluidity and high viscosity of pitch, a derivative of tar once used for waterproofing boats." In 1930 pitch was left in a glass funnel to drip out and has only dropped 9 times: about once every 10 years.

Cartoon hottie Betty Boop first appeared in 1930, although she was more like a poodle. She became more human-like in 1932. Aunt Betty in (National Lampoon's) Christmas Vacation was the original voice of Betty Boop.

Babe Ruth signed a contract for a record breaking $80,000. He was asked by a reporter what he thought of his yearly salary being more than President Hoover's $75,000. His response: "I know, but I had a better year than Hoover."

Scotch cellophane tape was invented in 1930 by 3M engineer Richard Drew. The '3M' stands for the original company name - Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

Women composed of 44% of all American college students in 1930

Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton, and other British mystery writers formed the Detection Club. Members swore an oath to not use "Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery-Pokery, Coincidence, or Act of God" in stories. Founded in 1930, the club still exists.

The first time the word 'astronaut' was used to refer to a human traveling in space was in Neil R. Jones's short story The Death's Head Meteor, in 1930.

Even though he was a teenager during the Great Depression, John F. Kennedy confessed he really didn't know about it until he read about it while going to Harvard.

Beginning in 1930, Robert Ripley of Ripley's Believe it or Not, recorded live radio shows from underwater, the sky, caves, snake pits and foreign countries, through the late 1940s.

One of the first interracial collaborative records was a 1930 78 RPM record by Jimmie Rodgers with music by Louis Armstrong and his wife. "Blue Yodel #9" is a song about being harassed by the police.

Spaulding developed the Kro-Flight golf ball, the first wound ball with a liquid center. The ball increased distance and control for golfers.

Author Mary Roberts Rinehart is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it" from her novel The Door, although her novel does not use the exact phrase

Kleenex was invented and advertised as a cold cream remover in 1924. It was only rebranded in 1930 after a majority of customers reported using product mostly for blowing their nose, doubling the company's sales.

The chocolate chip cookie was developed in 1930 by Ruth Graves Wakefield. She sold the recipe to Nestlé in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips.

A zoologist went to Syria and brought back 11 newly discovered Golden Hamsters. Only 2 of them bred and their offspring were sent to laboratories around the world. Today, the hamsters you see in pet stores are most likely descendants of these two hamsters.

William Howard Taft(1857-1930) was the last American president to have any sort of facial hair.

Clyde Tombaugh was photographing the sky and comparing the pictures. He noticed a faint dot that had moved. The young man from Kansas discovered Pluto, named by 11-year old Venetia Burney. Percival Lowell thought something was up between Neptune and Uranus and had been looking for the planet since 1905 or so. Since its discovery on February 18th 1930, Pluto has yet to complete a single orbit around the Sun, which it will do so on March 23rd 2178.

Sir Frank Whittle (RAF) invented the modern jet engine, using a gas turbine to provide forward thrust.

Before Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam in 1930 he placed a $1000 bet on himself at 50/1, winning $50,000.

Adjust for inflation, a three minute call from New York to London in 1930 cost over $400.

Modern Screen Magazine (1930-1985)

Fortune began publication

The Habits

Reading Cimarron by Edna Ferber
Reading As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Reading The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

1930's Most Popular Christmas Gifts

Mickey Mouse toys

Popular Music

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1930 include:
Arden-Ohman Orchestra, Earl Burtnett & His Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orchestra, Duke Ellingon, Libby Holman, Isham Jones and His Orchestra, Wayne King and His Orchestra, Ted Lewis and His Band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Red Nichols & His Five Pennies, Regent Club Orchestra, Harry Richman, Leo Reisman Orchestra, Jacques Renard and His Orchestra, Nat Shilkret & the Victor Orchestra, Rudy Vallée & His Connecticut Yankees, Ted Wallace & His Campus Boys, Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, Ted Weems and His Orchestra, Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

The Age of Gold (or The Golden Age), All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Crackers, Anna Christie, The Big House, Blue Angel, The Devil's Holiday, The Divorcee, Earth, Hell's Angels, Ingagi, Little Caesar, Tom Sawyer, Under Roofs of Paris, Whoopee!, Women in the Moon

More Pop Culture Resources

Popular Music in 1930
# 1 Hits of 1930
. . .