The Year of 1937 (I was 10 yrs old)
What was happening in the World:
- Japan invades China capturing both Shanghai and Peking.
- Prime Minister Chamberlain of Britain signs a peace treaty with Hitler that turns out to be worthless.
- Hitler openly brags of his "extermination" camps.
- The German dirigible Hindenburg explodes in New Jersey killing 33 people.
What was happening in the USA:
- Amelia Earhart is lost in an attempt to fly the Pacific.
- Jean Harlow dies at age 26 of kidney disease (She was one of Ma’s favorites).
- The first black-and-white TV sets go on sale to the public.
- Prince Valiant by Hal Foster first appears on the comic page.
- George Gershwin dies.
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is a bestseller.
What was happening in California:
- The Golden Gate Bridge is completed, but not before 10 workers are killed in one single fall.
- Pan Am Airlines makes its first trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was Pittsburgh 21 – Washington 0.
- In the World Series the Yankees beat the NY Giants 4 games to 1 game.
- In the NFL Championship Game it was Washington 28 - Chicago 21.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Clifton Frank of Yale.
- The National Champion of College Football was Pittsburgh.
- Joe Louis knocks out Jim Braddock to become the first black heavyweight champion.
- War Admiral wins the Kentucky Derby.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was You Can’t Take it with You.
- Best Actor was Spencer Tracy in Boys Town.
- Best Actress was Bette Davis in Jezebel.
- Other great movies were: Stella Dallas (Barbara Stanwyck), Prisoner of Zenda (Ronald Coleman), and Babes in Arms (Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney).
Memorable Songs were:
- Red Sails in the Sunset
- Sweet Leilani
- Whistle While You Work (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
What was happening in my life:
- I was 10 years old and in Mrs. Wellborn's 5th Grade Class and in the "big yard". I was now madly in love with Joyce Hotz, a little blonde at Garfield. I also had losing fights with Fred Perry and Nicky Gavilan - both tough kids.
- I also remember the required dance classes we had in the auditorium where the teachers would force the boys to ask the girls to dance. I remember the time I squirted Mrs. Wellborn with my trick ring - she didn't think it was funny.
- I was a member of the Oakland Tribune Aunt Elsie Club, and I got one of my cartoons published in the Sunday paper.
- The summer of 1937 when I discovered the "magic" of reading in the Parkway Library. Three of my most memorable readings that summer were: Around the Wigwam Fire, Call of the Wild (Jack London), and Les Miserables (Victor Hugo).
- Our summer vacation to Long Beach: We drove down in Dad's old Hudson, and drove through the new tunnel on Highway 101 through Gaviota Pass. We passed the huge Moreton Bay Fig Tree along Highway 101 in Santa Barbara (see pictures here). Also, I remember Dad running over a dead snake on the highway and Ma getting all excited about the possibility that it might crawl up between the floorboards into the car.
What was happening in 1938 ----->
Details about our house and early radio
The meandering Highway 101 through Santa Barbara
We left Oakland at midnight so that we could hit this cooler area by the afternoon.
6 of the dirty 7 at Long Beach in 1937
Pat (top right) was now living in San Diego but she had not yet married Bob Cullen.
The Just Finished Tunnel at Gaviota Pass on Highway 101
Bill and our Hudson at Venetian Square
He was 17 and a sophomore at Roosevelt High in Oakland.
Our place at 1614 15th Street in Oakland
Our landlord, Mr. Jardin lived next door.
Levine’s Grocery Store on Foothill Blvd. in Oakland
Betty, Rich, and I used to buy candy here on our way back to Garfield after lunch.
The Historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree along Highway 101 in Santa Barbara
In 1937, it was already 60 years old with a spread of 175’. It always served as a landmark on our drives to Long Beach.
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
Other Memoirs from the 1930s - Hugh Flemming - Weston, UK
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