Culture, Crime, and More Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In this section we look at noted cultural events and news stories of the 1930s, beginning with the establishment of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem in 1931. It was a time of economic woes and worldly worries, and the idea of rallying the people behind a patriotic song was appealing to political leaders and the populace at large. The music was already used widely in military settings; by official decree, it was now to be the anthem of the nation.

In this section we look at noted cultural events and news stories of the 1930s, beginning with the establishment of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem in 1931. It was a time of economic woes and worldly worries, and the idea of rallying the people behind a patriotic song was appealing to political leaders and the populace at large. The music was already used widely in military settings; by official decree, it was now to be the anthem of the nation.

Radio continued its rise in popularity throughout the 1930s. Besides musical programming and variety shows, there were now serial radio dramas, comedies, and a host of other entertainments. News “flashes” broke in occasionally to provide breaking information regarding the world outside of show business, and the president himself, Franklin Roosevelt, made good use of the medium in presenting his views on domestic and world affairs through semi-regular “fireside chats” broadcast over the radio. One newsworthy event was the crashing of the hydrogen-filled dirigible Hindenburg in 1937, which augured the end of the “balloon” era of commercial flight and the beginning of “live,” or directly reported, radio news broadcasts. Another noted radio event was the “panic broadcast,” as it was called, when writer-producer Orson Welles recreated The War of the Worlds, about a Martian invasion, over the air. Many people took it to be the real thing and hid themselves and their families–or scrambled–as a result. The power of radio seemed boundless.

Categories: History Content