1930s

Life Publishes First Issue – 11/23/1936

The now-famous magazine Life had its’ first issue premiere on November 23rd, 1936 with Margaret Bourke-White’s photo of the Fort Peck Dam featured on the cover. The pictorial magazine actually appeared in the 20th century earlier as a humor publication seen weekly which could be compared to The New Yorker seen today for its’ use of cultural reporting, tart cartoons and humorous pieces. The Great Depression caused the first Life magazine to stop appearing; however, it would be reborn again when the name was purchased by Henry Luce, an influential American publisher who morphed it into a picture-based periodical on November 23rd, 1936. By now, Henry was successful being the publisher of a weekly news magazine called Time.Luce was considered as a newsman going back to his days at high school where he served as managing editors of their school newspaper with his friend, Briton Hadden. The partnership would continue throughout college as they were both managing editors and chairmen at Yale University of the Yale Daily News. After college, the pair joined in 1921 the Baltimore News and was there that both of them created the idea for Time magazine. Their goal was being able to produce the news about the world from the vision of those who made it and it launched in 1923. While the starting goal of Time was to tell the news, showing it was the purpose of Life. From the mouth of Luce, the purpose of the magazine was to supply a means for the people of America “to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events … to see things thousands of miles away… to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed… to see, and to show…” The tone of the magazine was established by Luce using Margaret Bourke-White’s breath-taking cover picture of the Fort Peck Dam. The photograph has not only been considered today iconic of the 1930s but also an example under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of great public works that were built.During the first year of it being circulated, Life was a huge success. Practically overnight, the magazine influenced how individuals viewed the world by adapting the way individuals could see the world. The images flourished which painted distinct pictures in the mind of the public that captured the public and the personal; the world would absorb the display that was put in front of them. At its’ height, the circulation for Life had reached more than eight million while exerting major influence on life in America at the start and in the middle of the twentieth century.Though the driving force that enabled the magazine to be so popular was the picture-heavy content, Life was negatively affected when society’s main form of communication became television. The loss of advertising money and their audience to television in 1972 resulted in the magazine would no longer being published as a weekly publication. Fortunately, Life resumed once again as a weekly publication in 2004 as a substitute to newspapers in the U.S. The magazine’s combined circulation was again in the millions when it re-launched.

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1930s

Hitler Escapes An Assassination Attempt - 11/8/1939

Today been the 16th anniversary of '"The Fuller" Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb exploded right after he had delivered his speech to a group of his loyalist. Luckily, Hitler left the place injured. The anniversary is a yearly ritual of his infamous 1923 coup d'états, (been Hitler's first touch of power but resulted to his arrest and led to the extinction of his National Socialist party). Therefore, on this day in 1939, Hitler was addressing his old party members, soldiers and loyalist of his fascist party, and entertaining them with his dreams and ambitions however, twelve minutes when he left the hall with some Nazi's leader who were present at the occasion, a bomb exploded behind the podium, leaving seven people dead and 63 wounded. Following the incident, the Nazi official newspaper called "Voelkischer Beobachter" did not hesitate to blame the British secret agents and even accuse British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for the attack. Although it was a plot to stir up the German people to go into war and develop hatred for the British. However, the Nazi inner-Party members were aware that the move was propaganda, believing the murder attempt was probably the work of an anti-Nazi German military conspiracy.Using a clever means to put the blame on the Britain, while in actuality closing up on the perpetrators, Gestapo chief, Heinrich Himmler decided to send a junior officer called Walter Schellenberg to Holland in order to make contacts with the British intelligence agents. The plan of the meeting with the British agents was to have the strong backing of the British government in the case an anti-Nazi coup succeeded. Not aware of the original plot, the British agents were willing to gain all the inside information they could about anti-Hitler's movement going on in the German military camp, while Schellenberg who was disguising as a German general called Major Schaemmel was after every information the British intelligence may have gathered on such a conspiracy within the German military.Nevertheless, Heinrich Himmler desired more than talk or pieces of gathered Intel, what he wanted was the British intelligence agents themselves. Therefore, on November 9, secret service agents in Holland kidnapped two British agents Payne Best and R.H. Stevens with the help of Schellenberg, and drove them across the border into Germany. On arriving Germany, Himmler announced to the German people that he had captured the British conspirators alongside the man who planted the explosive upon their request named Georg Elser, who is a carpenter and a member of the German communist movement.Certainly, it was Elser who planted the bomb, but the masterminds behind the crime is to this day a mystery, whether it is the German military or British intelligence. Payne, Stevens and Elser (the three official conspirators) were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In addition, Gestapo murdered Elser on April 16, 1945; therefore, history could not get his own part of the story. On the other hand, Hitler did not have the courage to hold a public trial because the loopholes in the story were just too much.

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1930s

Al Capone Finally Put Behind Bars - 10/17/1937

A popular saying says “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Well, the case of Alphonse “Al” Capone is the exception to the rule.Born on January 7, 1899 to a pair of Italian immigrants living in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, Capone was an apt student, but struggled with discipline. As a teen, he became involved with amateur street gangs including the Junior Forty Thieves and the Bowery Boys. While working as a bouncer for a small-time racketeer, Capone insulted a woman and was slapped by her brother, a known Mafioso. The smack left Capone with a scar along the left side of his face, leading to the infamous nickname “Scarface.” In 1918, Capone married a woman and fathered a child. Two years later, he moved to Chicago and began working for Johnny Torrio, who in turn was an enforcer for James "Big Jim" Colosimo, the city’s Italian crime boss. In 1920, Colosimo was murdered, and Torrio took over. “The Chicago Outfit” as the organization came to be know, was centered on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. At the onset of Prohibition, however, the Outfit began dealing in bootleg alcohol (transporting and manufacturing). Corrupt police and city politicians ensured that the Outfit was virtually safe from legal interference. In 1925, Torrio was ambushed by members of a rival gang and shot. Cutting his losses, he stepped down and handed the reins of power to Capone, who was 26.Capone quickly built a reputation as a flamboyant dresser, ladies’ man, and violent thug: When a speakeasy refused to buy Capone’s bootleg hooch, he simply had the place blown up. It is estimated that Outfit bombings killed at least one hundred people during the latter half of the Roaring Twenties.In 1929, Capone ordered the notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in an attempt to kill Bugs Moran, leader of the predominately Irish North Side Gang, the Outfit’s most bitter enemy (the North Side Gang had made several attempts on Capone’s life). The North Side Gang was based in a warehouse at 2122 North Clark Street, and Capone had several of his men rent an apartment across the street and run surveillance. On February 14, 1929, a team of gangsters dressed in police uniforms raided the warehouse, standing seven men against a wall and spraying them with machine gun fire and shotgun blasts. Moran, who was supposed to be there, was running late, arriving only after the real police had shown up.The massacre shocked the nation, and Capone’s reputation was tarnished.In 1931, Capone was tried and convicted of simple tax evasion, as none of the weightier charges ever stuck. He entered prison on October 17; he served some of his sentence at the famous Alcatraz.Capone, who had been sentenced to 11 years, was released in 1939 due to good behavior. By now, Capone was suffering from advanced syphilis. In 1940, weak and sickly, he moved to Florida, where he died in 1947 at the age of 48.

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