Year of 1938 (I was 11 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- Hitler begins his conquest of Europe by invading both Austria and Czechoslovakia.
- Following Hitler's example, Mussolini deports Italian Jews.
- Lindbergh flies to Berlin to be decorated by Hitler.
- In defiance of Britain, Ireland elects its first independent president.
- President Cardenas of Mexico seizes all US-owned lands in Mexico and rejects FDR's demand for compensation.
What was happening in the USA:
- In light of world tensions, the US begins construction of a two-ocean Navy.
- "Wrong-way" Corrigan flies from New York to Ireland in 28 hours, and then claims his compass wasn't working.
- Orson Wells creates radio panic when he simulates an invasion from Mars.
- On her weekly radio program, Kate Smith sings God Bless America for the first time.
- Superman makes his debut in the comics. Pearl Buck wins the Nobel Prize. Superman leaps into action comics.
What was happening in California:
- At the age of 10, Shirley Temple is the top star of Hollywood.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was California 13 - Alabama 0.
- In the World Series, the Yankees sweep Chicago in 4 games.
- In the NFL championship game, it was NY Giants 23 - Green Bay 17.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Davey O’Brien of TCU.
- The National Champion of College Football was TCU.
- In a fury of revenge for his only loss, Joe Louis knocks out the German Max Schmeling in the 1st round.
- Henry Armstrong becomes the only man in history to hold 3 world titles at the same time.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was Citadel.
- Best actor was James Cagney in Angels with Dirty Faces.
- Best actress was Margaret Sullivan.
- Other great movies were: Suez (Tyrone Power), Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Alice Faye), and Robin Hood (Errol Flynn).
Memorable songs were:
- Now Is The Hour When We Must Say Goodbye
- Aloha oe
- A tisket a tasket I lost my yellow basket
- God Bless America (Kate Smith)
What was happening in my life:
- I was 11 years old and in Mrs. Brother’s 6th grade class. Of all my teachers, she was one of the best. This was the class where Lois Clifton and I constantly battled to see who was the smartest one in the class.
- Robert Small became my first close "school buddy". His father operated a furniture store on East 14th Street in Oakland.
- I remember the little gal Jannette who was beaten into a coma one day after school by her drunken uncle. Last we heard, she was in the hospital for a long time with extensive brain damage. We never saw her again.
- Our summer trip to Santa Cruz and Capitola when Dad rented a boat and rowed us up Soquel Creek. Ma was "chicken" and wouldn't go.
- This was the year we moved to 2253 East 19th Street. It was the first house Dad was able to buy on a mortgage since we lost the place on Laguna. It was the best home of my childhood. I lived there for the next 8 years until 1945 when I graduated from high school and was drafted into the Army. It was the home of my backyard CLUB HOUSE.
What was happening in 1939 ---->
Cabins on the beach in Capitola, CA
We stayed in one of these back in 1938.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Compared to the Pike at Long Beach, the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz was a much smaller scale experience (but still a lot of fun for a bunch of kids).
The Rollercoaster at the Boardwalk
The rollercoster and the penny arcade in the coconut grove were the best things there.
A Bridge over Soquel Creek
Dad rented a small boat and took us all on a "cruise" up stream.
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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