Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

January Trivia
February Trivia
March Trivia
April Trivia
May Trivia
June Trivia
July Trivia
August Trivia
September Trivia
October Trivia
November Trivia
December Trivia
US Patents 1790-1836
2016 Trivia & History
2015 Trivia & History
2014 Trivia & History
2013 Trivia & History
2012 Trivia & History
2011 Trivia & History
2010 Trivia & History
2009 Trivia & History
2008 Trivia & History
2007 Trivia & History
2006 Trivia & History
2005 Trivia & History
2004 Trivia & History
2003 Trivia & History
2002 Trivia & History
2001 Trivia & History
2000 Trivia & History
1999 Trivia & History
1998 Trivia & History
1997 Trivia & History
1996 Trivia & History
1995 Trivia & History
1994 Trivia & History
1993 Trivia & History
1992 Trivia & History
1991 Trivia & History
1990 Trivia & History
1989 Trivia & History
1988 Trivia & History
1987 Trivia & History
1986 Trivia & History
1985 Trivia & History
1984 Trivia & History
1983 Trivia & History
1982 Trivia & History
1981 Trivia & History
1980 Trivia & History
1979 Trivia & History
1978 Trivia & History
1977 Trivia & History
1976 Trivia & History
1975 Trivia & History
1974 Trivia & History
1973 Trivia & History
1972 Trivia & History
1971 Trivia & History
1970 Trivia & History
1969 Trivia & History
1968 Trivia & History
1967 Trivia & History
1966 Trivia & History
1965 Trivia & History
1964 Trivia & History
1963 Trivia & History
1962 Trivia & History
1961 Trivia & History
1960 Trivia & History
1959 Trivia & History
1958 Trivia & History
1957 Trivia & History
1956 Trivia & History
1955 Trivia & History
1954 Trivia & History
1953 Trivia & History
1952 Trivia & History
1951 Trivia & History
1950 Trivia & History
1949 Trivia & History
1948 Trivia & History
1947 Trivia & History
1946 Trivia & History
1945 Trivia & History
1944 Trivia & History
1943 Trivia & History
1942 Trivia & History
1941 Trivia & History
1940 Trivia & History
1939 Trivia & History
1938 Trivia & History
1937 Trivia & History
1936 Trivia & History
1935 Trivia & History
1934 Trivia & History
1933 Trivia & History
1932 Trivia & History
1931 Trivia & History
1930 Trivia & History
1929 Trivia & History
1928 Trivia & History
1927 Trivia & History
1926 Trivia & History
1925 Trivia & History
1924 Trivia & History
1923 Trivia & History
1922 Trivia & History
1921 Trivia & History
1920 Trivia & History

1931 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1930

1931 History Snapshot

  • Natural Disaster: The deadliest natural disaster were the 1931 China floods. They are estimated to have killed as many as 4 million people.
  • Influential Songs include: Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington, I Got Rhythm by Ethal Waters and Pop Standard Goodnight Sweetheart.
  • The Big Movies included Frankenstein, Ingagi and City Lights
  • Thomas Edison's (February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931) last breath is held in a test tube (one of eight?) at the Henry Ford Museum.
  • Price of a dozen bananas in 1931: 25 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,143,000,000
  • Ruth Wakefield is credited with inventing the Chocolate Chip, and the chocolate chip cookie, originally called the "Toll House Cookie".
  • And... Alexander Calder is credited with creating the first artistic mobiles, aka kinetic sculptures.

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

NFL Champions

Green Bay Packers

Stanley Cup Champions

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Billy Burke

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

H. Ellsworth Vines/Helen Wills Moody

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Sidney Wood/Cilly Aussem

NCAA Football Champions


Bowl Game

Rose Bowl: January 1, 1931 - Alabama over Washington State

Kentucky Derby

Twenty Grand

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Pendley Calling of Blarney

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Pierre Laval

Miss America


1931's Fresh Faces and Top Celebrities

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

"The Quotes"

"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
- Bela Lugosi, in Dracula

"It's alive! It's alive!
- Colin Clive, as Henry Frankenstein, in'Frankenstein*

*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 only just restored in 1999, nearly 70 years later. Many of the props used in Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein were from the original Frankenstein movie.

When Romania made their ice hockey World Championship debut in 1931, they lost 0-15 to the US. Their captain approached the referee after the game and asked him to write a message on the official game sheet: "Thank you for playing against us, we have learned a great deal from this game".

When Thomas Edison died, Tesla was the only one to submit a negative opinion of him to the NY Times. "He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene... His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 percent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense."

1931 Pop Culture History

Betty Robinson, an Olympic runner, was involved in a plane crash in 1931 and was wrongly pronounced dead upon first being discovered. She spend 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.

When Romania made their ice hockey World Championship debut in 1931, they lost 0-15 to the US. Their captain approached the referee after the game and asked him to write a message on the official game sheet: "Thank you for playing against us, we have learned a great deal from this game".

The word 'muggle', before it was popularized by JK Rowling, was slang for marijuana.

When President Ronald Reagan played on the football team for Eureka College, took in two rival team black players in his personal home, who were denied admission into a hotel when they were going to play against Eureka.

Edwin Perkins of Hastings, Nebraska invented a a liquid drink concentrate called "Fruit Smack". When bottles broke during shipping, Perkins dehydrated the product and renamed it Kool-Aid.

While visiting New York City, Winston Churchill was hit by a car while leaving a taxi, as he looked right, but not left, for cars, as he was used to English roads.

The "never date anyone under half your age plus seven" rule of thumb appeared in American newspapers in 1931, attributed to Maurice Chevalier, a French actor, singer and entertainer.

Abbey Road Studios first recording was in 1931. Sir Edward Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in recording Land of Hope and Glory aka the graduation song with lyrics (Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1) It was originally written in 1901.

The Star-Spangled Banner has only been the anthem of the United States since 1931, more than 100 years after it was written and became popular. My Country, 'Tis of Thee and Hail, Columbia were unofficial anthems before 1931.

Considered his finest film by many, Charlie Chaplin's City Lights was released. Charlie believed that 'talking' was a lessor form of performing on movies, so he didn't talk, but he did include a soundtrack and sound effects.

A barrel of oil cost only 65 cents.

The original pronunciation for Dr. Jekyll is Jee-kall. The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, insisted on this and only the first sound movie of the adaptation starring Fredric March got it right in 1931. Every following movie pronounced it Je-kel and now that is how we say it today.

There is a poodle named Toby Rimes with an estimated net worth of $92 million. He is descended from a poodle of the same name who was left over $30 million by his late millionaire owner in 1931. All of that dog's offspring have been named Toby Rimes and have since inherited the money.

The Times New Roman typeface was commissioned by The Times of London after they were accused of being "badly printed and typographically antiquated".

White Castle hired a food scientist to run tests to determine the nutritional value of White Castle Sliders. One medical student lived on nothing but White Castle burgers and water for 13 weeks. Studies show conclusively that the student maintained good health.

he Empire State Building only took a little over a year for its construction to complete (410 days - twelve days ahead of schedule). After the Empire State Building opened in New York City in 1931, much of its office space went unrented. It was nicknamed the "Empty State Building" by New Yorkers and didn't become profitable until 1950.

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.

Spinach consumption increased 33 percent in the United States between 1931 and 1936 due to Popeye's growing popularity.

In the 1931 movie 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 only just restored in 1999.

Alka-Seltzer was made available in 1931. The original ingredients included 325 milligrams of aspirin, 1,000 miligrams of citric acid and 1,916 milligrams of sodium bicarbonate.

A 17 year old female baseball pitcher named Jackie Mitchell struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the same exhibition game.

James Truslow Adams first used term "American Dream" in 1931 and stated "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...to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable"

L. Ron Hubbard considered himself a nuclear physicist, even though his degree was from an unaccredited university. The one course in nuclear physics Hubbard took was in 1931, whose records indicate that he scored an F in the course. Hubbard dropped out of school shortly thereafter with a 2.28GPA

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

President Hoover asked every American to turn off their lights for 1 minute in October 1931, as a tribute to Thomas Edison and his recent death.

95 people were reported starved in New York City in 1931, with countless others made seriously ill because of malnutrition. The situation prompted citizens of the Cameroon to collect $3.77 and send it to New York to aid "the starving."

The largest number of fatalities ever in a production of a film occurred during the shooting of the 1931 film Viking. Twenty-eight people died, including the director and cinematographer, when a ship they were shooting from exploded in the ice off the coast of Newfoundland.

12 year old Wilbur Brink was playing in his front yard when a tire fell from the sky and killed him. His house was on Georgetown Road across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the incident happened during the 500 mile race.

Adolph Hitler had a romantic relationship with his niece, who commited suicide in 1931 with the same pistol that he used to end his own life in 1945.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Battleship Game

CBS went on the air.

Motion Picture Herald Magazine (1931-1972)

Woman's Day began publication

The Habits

Reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Popular Music Artists

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 Ellingon, 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

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

Arrowsmith, Bad Girl, The Bitch (La Chienne), The Champ, City Lights, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein, Freedom For Us, The Front Page, M, The Million, Monkey Business, The Public Enemy, The Sin of Madelon Claudet, The Smiling Lieutenant, Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1931
# 1 Hits of 1931
Pop Culture News

Pop-Culture.us is part of the Pop Culture Madness network - your complete Trivia and entertaining news resource.
Our motto: "All The Pop Culture News That Fits, We Print!"

The facts listed are true to the best of our knowledge and should be considered by readers to be a starting point to learn more about American Popular Culture. Please send and additions or corrections to Editor @popculturemadness.com.
Everything else © copyright 1999-2020 Pop Culture Madness, unless stated otherwise.

By the way, PCM does NOT allow frequent Pop up ads, Pop under ads, or sneaky spyware. Nor do we link to sites that have excessive Pop-ups, spyware or inappropriate (all ages) material. If you find one, please let us know and they are toast!
Also, since we don't "sell out" to those Pop-up advertisers, and we're too proud (so far) to ask for donations, we'd like to proudly point out some of our carefully chosen advertisers throughout the site. They have some cool stuff that should be sitting in your room, or wrapped like a present for a friend.
Please check 'em out!

pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
Having characteristics attributed to the common people and intended for or suited to ordinary people.

culture:(noun) That which is excellent in the arts.
A particular stage of civilization. The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.

madness: (noun) The state of being mad. insanity, senseless folly, intense excitement or enthusiasm.
Privacy Statement/Contact
TL;DR - Privacy Statement: We will not sell, give or share any personal information, including e-mail addresses, of any of our visitors to anyone outside of Pop Culture Madness. com or our affiliated network sites. We do not accept any stealth or spyware advertisers or third party sponsors of such programs. Pop Culture Madness. com and affiliated sites do not send spam, offer get-rich-quick schemes, offer or suggest "enhancement" devices or medications via e-mail.

For purposes of Review, we often (usually) get samples, press access and other 'inside information.'
Take that into account when you read a positive (or negative) Review, on PCM or anywhere on the internet.
PCM does use third-party advertising companies, such as google, to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies,
click here.