1932 saw many events that hit newspaper headlines and lots of celebrities being born, from writer Sylvia Plath to Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s Restaurants. During 1932, there were also some key political movements occurring in Germany which would later become very significant ahead of World War II.

Other key events included Amelia Earhart’s record-breaking flight that made her the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 1932 also saw great sporting achievements in the III Winter Olympics and the X Summer Olympics. Take a look at our 1932 newspaper archives to see original newspaper headlines from 1932.

1932 Timeline

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January 4: British colonials in India arrested and imprisoned spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi.

January 5: Chuck Noll, who was an American football player and the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was born in Ohio, USA.

January 6: Stuart Alan Rice, a theoretical physical chemist, was born in New York City, USA. Rice won the 1999 National Medal of Science.

January 12: Des O’Connor, a famed English comedian, singer and television presenter, was born in Stepney, London.

January 12: One of the big 1932 events in America was the US electing their first female senator, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, who represented Arkansas.

January 14: Jockey hero Eddie Arcaro won his first race – the start of a successful career that would later land him in the Racing Hall of Fame.

January 21: Russian gymnast Boris Shakhlin was born. He won seven gold, four silver and two bronze Olympic medals, making him one of the most-decorated athletes at the Olympic Games.

January 22: A peasant uprising began in El Salvador, later named La Matanza (“The Massacre“), which is estimated to have claimed between 10,000 and 40,000 civilian lives. This rebellion was suppressed by the government, which at the time was led by President Maximiliano Hernández Martínez.

January 26: The British submarine HMS M-2 sunk in the English Channel, just off the coast of Dorset, killing all 60 crew members on board.

January 26: William Wrigley Junior died, aged 70. He was the owner of and namesake for Wrigley Field, the stadium for American baseball team the Chicago Cubs.

January 28: Conflict between Japan and China begins in what would later be named the January 28 incident, which saw Japanese forces attack Shanghai, China.

January 29: English footballer Tommy Taylor was born in Smithies, West Riding of Yorkshire. He was one of eight Manchester United football players who sadly lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.

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February 1: John Nott, a Conservative politician and the Secretary of State for Defence during the Falkland War, was born in Bideford, Devon.

February 4: The III Winter Olympic Games open in Lake Placid, New York.

February 5: At the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, American speed skater Jack “The Chief“ Shea won gold in both the 1,500m and 500m race, making him the first American to win two gold medals in a singular Winter Olympics.

February 7: NASA Astronaut Alfred M. Worden was born in Michigan, USA. Worden went on the Apollo 15 mission, which saw the first use of a Lunar Roving Vehicle.

February 8: John Williams, a famous film composer, was born in New York City, USA. Williams composed some of the most well-known film scores, like Jaws, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.

February 9: Junnosuke Inoue, a prominent Japanese businessman and the former governor of the Bank of Japan, is assassinated by right-wing extremist group, The League of Blood.

February 11: Dennis Skinner, who was Chairman of the Labour Party 1988-89, was born in Clay Cross, Derbyshire.

February 12: French husband and wife duo Andrée Brunet and Pierre Brunet win their second consecutive Olympic gold medal in pairs figure skating at the Lake Placid games.

February 13: Leo Thorsness, an American Vietnam War pilot, was born in Minnesota, USA. Thorsness received a Medal of Honor for an air engagement on 19 April 1967 during the Vietnam War.

February 15: The Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games close. Eddie Eagan became the only Olympian to have ever won gold medals at both the summer and winter Olympic Games in different sports.

February 15: Australia beat South Africa in cricket by an innings in just under 6 hours of playing time.

February 15: Married couple and comedy duo George Burns & Gracie Allen debut as regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show on CBS radio.

February 22: The Purple Heart military medal is reinstated for those wounded or killed while serving with the US Armed Forces.

February 22: US Senator Ted Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

February 24: Brazil grants women’s suffrage.

February 25: Originally from Austria, Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship.

February 26: Famous American country singer Johnny Cash was born in Arkansas, USA.

February 26: Actress and humanitarian Elizabeth Taylor was born in London, England.

1932 events

Lake Placid, the host of the 1932 Winter Olympics
Image: Flickr

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March 1: The Lindbergh kidnapping occurred, where the 20-month-old son of famous aviator Charles and Anne Lindbergh was kidnapped from their home in New Jersey, USA.

March 7: Four are killed in riots at the Ford factory in Michigan, USA.

March 7: Aristide Briand died aged 69. Briand served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France, from 1909-22, and won the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.

March 10: Anatoliy Roschin, the super heavyweight wrestler who won Olympic gold for the USSR in 1972, was born.

Mar 14: George Eastman, the inventor of the Kodak camera, shot himself in the heart aged 77.

March 17: The German police raided Hitler’s Nazi headquarters.

March 18: F. W. de Klerk was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. De Klerk was State President of South Africa from 1989-94 and also won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela.

March 19: The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in Sydney, Australia.

March 20: Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov, who was most known for his artificial insemination of animals, died aged 61.

March 31: Ice swept across Niagara Falls, leading to the death of 150 wild swans.

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April 2: Famous aviator Charles Lindbergh paid $50,000 as ransom for his kidnapped son.

April 4: George Bernard Shaw’s comedy Too True To Be Good premiered in New York City. It ran for 59 performances.

April 7: Erv Kelley, former sheriff of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, USA, was shot dead by American gangster and bank robber ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd.

April 10: Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected President of Germany in a runoff election against Adolf Hitler.

April 14: American country singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn was born in Kentucky, USA.

April 16: The Music Box, a short film starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, was released in the US. The Music Box won the 1932 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short (Comedy).

April 19: President of the United States Herbert Hoover first suggested the 5-day work week.

April 23: The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opened in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

April 23: In Haarlem, the Netherlands, the 153-year-old De Adriaan windmill burned down.

April 29: One Man’s Family was first broadcast on NBC radio, which became the longest-running dramatic serial on US radio, ending in 1959.

April 27: Radio personality and creator of the American Top 40 Casey Kasem was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

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May 4: American Gangster Al Capone entered an Atlanta prison convicted of income tax evasion.

May 5: Japan and China signed a peace treaty.

May 7: The Beatles’ publicist Derek Taylor was born in Liverpool, Merseyside.

May 8: Actress Phyllida Law was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Law was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 and is mother to two famous actresses: Emma Thompson and Sophie Thompson.

May 9: London’s Piccadilly Circus was first lit by electricity.

May 10: Senate chairman Albert Lebrun became President of France.

May 12: The body of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s kidnapped son is found in New Jersey, USA.

May 14: Jimmy Walker, the Mayor of New York City at the time, organized the ‘We Want Beer!’ parade, in protest of the Eighteenth Amendment, which illegalised the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol.

May 15: The Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi was killed.

May 21: Amelia Earhart became the first woman to complete a transatlantic solo flight, having flown for 17 hours from Newfoundland, Canada to Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

May 23: Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman set two paced world records at the Melbourne Motordrome: 1,384km (860 miles) in 24 hours and 1,609km (1,000 miles) in just under 29 hours.

May 25: Walt Disney first introduced us to Goofy in Mickey’s Revue.

May 25: K. C. Jones, American Basketball Hall of Fame point guard and coach, was born in Texas, USA.

1932 events in america

Amelia Earhart
Image: Picryl

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June 2: George W. Perry caught the world record largemouth bass, weighing in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces, at Lake Montgomery, Georgia. Perry still holds this world record to this day.

June 4: American actor John Drew Barrymore was born in Beverly Hills, California. John Drew Barrymore is actress Drew Barrymore’s father.

June 6: The Revenue Act was enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States.

June 13: Great Britain and France signed a peace treaty.

June 15: American NASA test pilot Einar Enevoldson was born in Seattle, Washington.

June 17: The Cymbeline oil tanker exploded in Montreal, Canada, killing 30 people.

June 18: American chemist Dudley R. Herschbach was born in California, USA. Herschbach won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi).

June 21: Sir Bernard Ingham was born in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, England. Ingham was Margaret Thatcher’s chief press secretary throughout her time as Prime Minister (1979-90).

June 22: The National League (baseball) finally approved players wearing numbers on their uniforms.

June 22: British actress Prunella Scales was born in Sutton Abinger, Surrey. Scales is most famous for her role as Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers.

June 28: Japanese-American actor Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita was born in California, USA. He is most known for his roles as Matsuo “Arnold“ Takahashi on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid film series.

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July 1: Franklin D. Roosevelt won the nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

July 1: The New York newspaper Evening Standard went bankrupt.

July 2: Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Restaurants, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

July 3: John McGrawn retired from American football after 30 years as manager of the New York Giants.

July 6: American baseball player Billy Jurges is shot twice in a hotel room by a scorned girlfriend, Violet Popovich. Popovich had intended to kill Jurges and then herself, but Jurges only suffered bullet wounds to a finger, rib and shoulder. He never pressed charges.

July 9: King C. Gillette, the inventor of the double-edged safety razor and founder of Gillette, died aged 77.

July 20: Chancellor Franz von Papen launched a coup against the Prussian government, inserting himself as a dictator.

July 28: General Douglas MacArthur, acting against US President Hoover’s orders, commanded several attacks on the Bonus Army (WWI veterans and their families), attempting to evict them from their encampment. At least two veterans died in the attacks, with fifty-five injured.

July 30: The X Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles, USA at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

July 31: The Nazis gained 37.3% in the Reichstag Elections in Germany, becoming the largest party in parliament by a large margin.

July 31: Sam Coppola, American actor most known for his role in Saturday Night Fever, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.

events that happened in 1932

1932 Summer Olympics opened in Los Angeles, USA
Image: Wikimedia

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August 1: The George Washington quarter first entered circulation.

August 2: American physicist Carl David Anderson discovered and photographed a positron, the first known antiparticle.

August 2: Irish actor Peter O’Toole was born in Leeds, England. He became one of the most honoured film and stage actors of his time, first rising to fame playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

August 5: Part of the Barrow gang, Clyde Barrow and two other associates killed Sheriff C.G. Maxwell and his deputy, Eugene C. Moore, which marked the first time the Barrow gang killed a member of law enforcement.

August 6: The Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest film festival, opened for the first time.

August 7: Abebe Bikila was born in Jato, Ethiopian Empire. Bikila was an Ethiopian Olympic marathon champion and Africa’s first world record breaking athlete in any sport. She also won the 1960 Olympics marathon barefoot.

August 11: Geoffrey Cass, CEO of Cambridge University Press and Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company, was born.

August 13: President von Hindenburg refused Adolf Hitler when he asked to be appointed as Chancellor and instead offered Hitler the position of Vice-Chancellor of Germany. Hitler refused this position and announced he would oppose every government not headed by himself until he was Chancellor.

August 14: The Summer Olympic Games close in Los Angeles, USA.

August 14: John Quinn, a baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers, became the oldest pitcher (aged 49) to win a MLB game.

August 16: Jon Lindbergh, aviator Charles Lindbergh’s second son, was born just five months after the kidnapping and death of his older brother, Charles Lindbergh Junior.

August 20: British actor Anthony Ainley was born in Stanmore, Middlesex. Ainley is most known for his role as the fourth iteration of The Master in Doctor Who.

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September 5: The colony of French Upper Volta was dissolved and split into areas administered by the Ivory Coast, French Sudan and Niger.

September 9: Steamboat SS Observation exploded in the East River of New York City, killing 72 people.

September 10: American screenwriter and playwright Bo Goldman was born in New York City. He went on to win two Academy Awards for his screenplays of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Melvin and Howard.

September 16: Former cricketer Micky Stewart OBE was born in Herne Hill, England.

September 18: British stage and screen actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide aged 24 by jumping from the letter ‘H’ in the Hollywood sign.

September 20: In his cell at Yerwada Jail in Pune, India, Gandhi began a hunger strike against the treatment of India’s lowest classes, known as ‘untouchables.’

September 23: Saudi Arabia was founded by King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud as he merged four distinct regions into a single state.

September 25: One of the key events that happened in 1932 was The Poona Pact being signed by Gandhi and B R. Amedkar in India to reserve electoral seats for India’s lowest classes in the legislature of the British India government.

September 28: The 1932 Baseball World Series opened with the Chicago Cubs vs. NY Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won 12-6.

September 30: American baseball player Johnny Podres was born in New York, USA.

1932 newspaper

Mahatma Ghandi
Image: Pxfuel

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October 2: The New York Yankees won their twelfth consecutive World Series game.

October 3: Iraq gained full independence from Britain and joined the League of Nations.

October 9: Following years of being politically inactive, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev were expelled from the Soviet Union’s Communist Party by Joseph Stalin after their involvement with the Ryutin affair.

October 10: The largest hydroelectric power station, the Dnieper Dam, was first put into operation in the USSR.

October 19: Henry Ford, founder of Ford cars, gave his first radio speech, where he appealed for the re-election of US President Hoover.

October 24: Robert Mundell was born in Ontario, Canada. Mundell was an economist and received the 1999 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work. He is widely regarded as the “father of the euro“.

October 27: American writer Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is most known for her novel The Bell Jar.

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November 2: The Emu War began, as Australian soldiers armed with Lewis Guns attempted to reduce the Emu population in Western Australia due to the damage the flightless birds were causing to crops.

November 6: The Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini, introduced an amnesty decree, freeing thousands of convicts.

November 6: In the German federal election, the Nazis lost around 2 million votes and their share of seats dropped from 37% to 32%, but the Nazis still remained the largest party in the Reichstag.

November 6: The Hurricane of Santa Cruz del Sur reached its maximum intensity. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded in Cuban history, having killed over 3,000 people.

November 8: Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Herbet Hoover in the US presidential election.

November 9: Joseph Stalin’s second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, committed suicide and shot herself in her bedroom whilst Stalin was asleep in another room. Stalin decided to say the cause of death was appendicitis to prevent any scandal, which led to him lying to their children about their mother’s death for over 10 years.

November 10: American actor Roy Scheider, who is best known for his role as Chief Martin Brody in Jaws, was born in New Jersey, USA.

November 18: At the fifth Academy Awards, there was the first ever tie for Best Actor between Fredric March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and Wallace Beery (The Champ).

November 24: The FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (more commonly known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opened in Washington D.C. The lab was initially operated from a single room with only one full-time employee, Agent Charles Appel.

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December 4: Kurt von Schleicher was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg.

December 5: Albert Einstein was granted a visa to enter the United States.

December 10: The Australian Emu War came to an end, with the emus being shockingly resilient to the Australian soldier’s bullets and coming out victorious.

December 18: Rosa Parks (née McCauley), aged 19, married Raymond Parks, aged 29, in Alabama.

December 19: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began broadcasting via the BBC Empire Service, which is the largest international broadcasting service.

December 22: Flying Down to Rio premiered in New York City, which was the first film where iconic duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers starred together.

December 25: Christmas Day 1932 saw the first ever British monarch’s Christmas speech broadcast on radio via the new BBC Empire Service. However, when King George V sat down to give the first Royal Christmas Message, he fell through the seat of his favourite chair.

December 27: Radio City Music Hall first opened in New York City.

1932 events

Radio City Music Hall
Image: Wikimedia

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The 1932 Winter and Summer Olympic Games

1932 saw the III Winter Olympic Games and the X Summer Olympic Games, hosted in Lake Placid, New York and Los Angeles, California respectively.

During the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, several records were broken, like Jack “The Chief” Shea becoming the first American to win two gold medals during one Winter Olympics. Another record was broken by Eddie Eagan who became the only Olympian to have won gold medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in different sports and he holds this record to this day. Eagan won his winter gold medal as a member of the US four-man bobsleigh team in the 1932 Winter Olympic Games and won his summer gold in 1920 in boxing.

At the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, Australian cyclist Dunc Gray set a world record of 1m 13s in the 1000 time trial, bringing home the gold. This led to the Dunc Gray Velodrome being named after him when it was built for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games also started the tradition of the Olympic mascot, with a Scottish Terrier dog called Smoky.

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Notable Events in German Politics

1932 saw major developments in German and Nazi politics, starting off with Austrian-born Adolf Hitler gaining German citizenship in late February 1932.

The 1932 German presidential election resulted in a runoff on 10th April and saw Paul von Hindenburg’s re-election for a second term, thus defeating Hitler, who ran as part of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).

Following the dissolution of the Reichstag, a German federal election was held in July 1932. This election saw the Nazi Party make significant gains and, whilst they failed to win a majority, they became the largest party with 37.3% of the seats. Not long after this, Hitler asked to be appointed as Chancellor, but President von Hindenburg refused.

In the November 1932 German federal election, the Nazis remained the largest party in parliament, despite losing 2 million votes and their share of seats dropping to 32%.

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