Re­mem­ber when: 1933

The Compass - - OPINION - Bur­ton K. Janes bur­tonj@nfld.net

My friend Frazer cel­e­brated his seventy-ninth birth­day on Feb. 19. What to give him for his birth­day? I fi­nally de­cided on a “Kardlet” for the year he was born, 1933.

“Re­mem­ber When … A Nos­tal­gic Look Back in Time” is de­scribed by the pub­lisher as “a unique way to ac­knowl­edge a birth­day or spe­cial an­niver­sary … (It) can take you and your loved ones back in time, of­fer­ing an en­joy­able ref­er­ence for what life was like ‘back then’… This fun tool can stim­u­late con­ver­sa­tion within the fam­ily, pro­vid­ing pic­tures and in­for­ma­tion so that ev­ery­one can ex­pe­ri­ence life dur­ing a par­tic­u­lar year.”

The 24 pages are packed with in­ter­est­ing news, sports facts and Hol­ly­wood high­lights, along with price in­dex and other sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion. The reader can re­ex­pe­ri­ence ac­tual full-colour ad­ver­tise­ments; na­tional and world news events; movies, mu­sic and sports; fa­mous births; and mem­o­rable trivia and facts.

It is a most thought­ful snap­shot in time.

As part of the time­line for 1933, the reader learns that “Newsweek” mag­a­zine was first pub­lished in Fe­bru­ary. The naval air­ship USS Akron went down, plung­ing into the ocean and killing 73 of 76 pas­sen­gers, in April. John Mackay re­port­edly sighted Loch Ness Mon­ster in May. The first drive-in movie theatre opened in Cam­den, New Jer­sey, in June. The Na­tional Foot­ball League di­vided into two fiveteam di­vi­sions in July. The tem­per­a­ture reached 126 de­grees Fahren­heit (58 de­grees Cel­sius) at San Luis Po­tosi, Mex­ico, for a world record, in Au­gust. Al­ca­traz Is­land was made a fed­eral max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison in Oc­to­ber. Pro­hi­bi­tion was re­pealed by the 21st Amend­ment in De­cem­ber.

World news for 1933 in­cludes the fol­low­ing. Adolf Hitler pro­claimed the Third Re­ich and took power in Ger­many as chan­cel­lor. France granted Leon Trot­sky po­lit­i­cal asy­lum. Ma­hatma Gandhi be­gan a hunger strike to protest Bri­tish op­pres­sion in In­dia. Ja­pan and Ger­many an­nounced their with­drawal from the League of Na­tions. A Ja­panese sci­en­tist demon­strated the ma­chine gun; it fired 1,000 shots per minute. The board game Mo­nop­oly was in­vented. Al­bert Ein­stein ar­rived in the United States and set­tled in Prince­ton, New Jer­sey. Wi­ley Post be­came the first per­son to fly around the world solo.

The Cana­dian prime min­is­ter was Richard B. Ben­nett. Life ex­pectancy was 59.7 years. The Singing Tele­gram was in­tro­duced by the Postal Tele­gram Com­pany in New York.

Sports news for 1933 in­cludes the fol­low­ing. The World Se­ries cham­pion? The New York Gi­ants. The Stan­ley Cup win­ner? The New York Rangers. The Cana­dian Grey Cup cham­pion? The Toronto Arg­onauts. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in all-star game his­tory to help the Amer­i­can League to a 42 vic­tory over the Na­tional League at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.

Yoko Ono was born Feb. 18; Michael Caine, March 14; Wil­lie Nel­son, April 30, Joan Collins, May 23; Joan Rivers, June 8; and Larry King, Nov. 19.

Ca­may was con­sid­ered to be the “soap of beau­ti­ful women,” while Pal­mo­live was re­garded as the “soap of youth.”

Favourite movies of 1933 in­clude Cav­al­cade, The Pri­vate Life of Henry VIII, Morn­ing Glory, State Fair, A Farewell to Arms, and Lady for a Day.

Mu­si­cal favourites in­clude Fortyse­cond Street (Don Bestor), Stormy Weather (Ethel Wa­ters), A Ghost of a Chance (Bing Crosby), Just an Echo in the Val­ley (Rudy Vallee), Lazy Bones (Ted Lewis), and Night and Day (Eddy Duchin).

Firestone bat­tery fac­to­ries set a new stan­dard with a 13-plate bat­tery that sup­plied the power to lift a 250-pound steel ball 1,080 times ev­ery day — power enough to start an av­er­age car 247 times a day.

Speak­ing of cars, a new car cost $550. Other liv­ing ex­penses in 1933 in­clude a new house ($5,759). The av­er­age yearly in­come was $1,555, while the av­er­age monthly rent was $18. Movie tick­ets cost 25 cents each; gaso­line, 10 cents per gal­lon; and first-class postage stamps, three cents each.

Gran­u­lated sugar cost 59 cents for 10 pounds; Vi­ta­min D milk, 42 cents per gal­lon; ground cof­fee, 35 cents per pound; ba­con, 25 cents per pound; eggs, 16 cents per dozen; fresh ground ham­burger, 11 cents per pound; and fresh baked bread, seven cents per loaf.

I won­der, where have all the so­called good times gone?

One day, I said to my late fa­ther, “Dad, it must have been nice to live in the good ol’ days.” He re­sponded, “Bur­ton, my boy, the good ol’ days were not all that good.” Per­haps he was wise be­yond his 91 years.

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