News and Events of 1931
World Statisticspopulation by decade
Nobel Peace Prize:
Jane Addams and Nicholas M. Butler (US)
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- Spain becomes a republic with the overthrow of King Alfonso XIII.
- British parliament enacts the Statute of Westminster, legalizing dominion equality with Britain.
- Mukden Incident begins Japanese occupation of Manchuria.
- The planned capital of New Delhi opens in India.
U.S. StatisticsPresident: Herbert C. Hoover
Vice President: Charles Curtis
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- Gangster Al Capone sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion (freed in 1939; dies in 1947).
- Scottsboro trial begins, exposing depth of Southern racism.
- “The Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes national anthem.
Background: Francis Scott Key
EconomicsFederal spending: $3.58 billion
Consumer Price Index: 15.2
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.02
World SeriesSt. Louis Cardinals d. Philadelphia A's (4-3)
Stanley CupMontreal d. Chicago (3-2)
WimbledonWomen: Cilly Aussem d. H. Kranwinkel (6-2 7-5)
Men: Sidney Wood d. F. Shields (walkover)
Kentucky Derby ChampionTwenty Grand
NCAA Football ChampionsUSC (10-1-0)
Fiction: Years of Grace, Margaret Ayer Barnes
Drama: Alison's House, Susan Glaspell
Oscars awarded in 1931
Academy Award, Best Picture: Cimarron (RKO Radio)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Erik A. Karlfeldt (Sweden)More Entertainment Awards...
- Double features emerge as a way for the unemployed to occupy time.
- Georgia O'Keeffe paints Cow Skull.
- The Empire State Building is completed.
- The Whitney Museum of American Art opens to the public, with 700 pieces of art.
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Karl Bosch and Friedrich Bergius (both Germany), for invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods
Physics: None awarded
Physiology or Medicine: Otto H. Warburg (Germany), for discovery of the character and mode of action of the respiratory ferment
- General Motors's Frigidaire makes refrigerators safe for household use.
- Karl Jansky begins the science of radio astronomy as he observes interference in the form of hissing sounds coming from beyond the earth's atmosphere.
- Harold Urey discovers heavy water, water that contains deuterium, a rare hydrogen isotope.
- An electron microscope is developed by Vladimir Zworykin and James Hillier.