A Little Time Trip Back to 1935

As the stressful year of 2021 shuffles off into the history books, it struck me that it might be fun to pay a visit to the real-world year of 1935—the same year that saw the beginning of the fictional Johnny Graphic Adventures (set in their own alternative-history universe where ghosts are real). In no particular order, here are some of the highlights and lowlights.

• Two years before her mysterious disappearance flying over the Pacific Ocean, Amelia Earhart makes the first solo flight between Hawaii and the U. S. mainland.

• One of the most epic construction projects in human history is completed. The Boulder Dam—later renamed the Hoover Dam—harnesses the Colorado River for purposes of supplying electricity to the western U.S.

• To help Americans still under strain because of the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress enacts two important programs. First, the Works Progress Administration begins to put hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans back to work on a wide variety of public works projects; ultimately, 9 million would participate. Secondly, the Social Security Act is established to help elderly Americans live with dignity in their retirement years.

• In a small but bloody preview of World War II, Italy invades Ethiopia.

• In the world of animated film, Mickey Mouse makes his first appearance in full color and Porky Pig makes his debut on the silver screen.

• Three of the greatest political figures of the 20th century are in their primes, just a few years ahead of their rendezvous with global war. In the U.S., President Franklin Roosevelt is harnessing the power of the federal government to pull America out of the Depression. Meanwhile, the century’s two deadliest tyrants—Germany’s Adolf Hitler and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin—are busily oppressing and murdering their own people.

• Babe Ruth hits his final home run.

• Penguin Books invents the paperback.

• In Germany the Peoples’ Car, the Volkswagen, is launched.

• Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in New York City.

• First experimental radar system is developed in the UK.

• In Japan, a new company is launched to manufacture and sell automobiles—Toyota Cars.

• Parker Brothers releases the board game Monopoly.

About drmar120

D. R. Martin is a writer and photographer based in Minnesota.
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