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1936 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1935

1936 History Snapshot

  • Politics: The UK's Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
  • Pop Standards include: Pennies From Heaven, The Way You Look Tonight, Summertime and I've Got You Under My Skin
  • The Big Movies included Modern Times, San Francisco and Three Smart Girls
  • Price of 100 yards of yarn in 1936: 10 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,247,000,000
  • Hoover Dam was completed on March 1, 1936, two years ahead of schedule.
  • And... The November 23 of Life Magazine featured a baby named George Story for a cover feature called Life Begins. George Story died in April 2000, one month after Life announced it would stop being published.

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Green Bay Packers

Stanley Cup Champions

Detroit Red Wings

US Open Golf

Tony Manero

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Fred Perry/Alice Marble

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Fred Perry/Helem Jacobs

NCAA Football Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1936 - Catholic over Mississippi
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1936 - Stanford over SMU
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1936 - TCU over LSU

Kentucky Derby

Bold Venture

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Saint Margaret Mignificent of Clairedale

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Wallis Simpson

Miss America

Rose Coyle (Philadelphia, PA)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Josephine Baker, Joan Blondell, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Kay Francis, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, Hedy Lamarr, Myrna Loy, Dolores Del Rio, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West

"The Quote"

"Between two evils, I take the one I never tried before" - Mae West in Klondike Annie

1936 Pop Culture History

Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in Cooperstown, New York. Ty Cobb got more votes than Babe Ruth in the inaugural Hall of Fame roster. Ty was a great player, but apparently not well-liked by his peers. Only four members of the Baseball community went his funeral.

All restaurants in Wisconsin were required by law to serve cheese and butter with every meal from 1935 to 1937.

From 1936-1966, black Americans going on a road trip often used a "Negro Motorist Green Book" that would list businesses that sold to black people. The book helped travelers avoid one of 10,000 "sundown towns", places it was the law that all non-whites had to leave the town by sundown.

A 1936 heat wave killed 5,000 in the United States.

In Raynham Hall in England, photographers Indre Shira and Captain Provand took a picture of 'The Brown Lady,' one of the most famous ghost pictures in the world.

A Greenland shark was tagged off Greenland in 1936 and recaptured in 1952. Its measurements suggest that Greenland sharks grow at a rate of 0.5-1 cm (0.2-0.4 in) per year, thus the largest individuals may live about 200 years, making them among the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth.

The 2013 Transpacific yacht race from San Francisco to Honolulu was won by the same boat that won in 1936.

Carl Stalling, the composer behind Bugs Bunny, spent 22 years working every day with a 50-piece orchestra at Warner Bros. Studios. He ultimately scored in excess of 600 cartoons at the rate of one score per week between 1936 and 1958.

The Great Stork Derby was a contest held in Toronto from 1926-1936, in which women competed to produce the most babies in order to win $750K as stipulated in the will of a wealthy lawyer. The prize ended up being split among four women who each had 9 babies.

Fiesta dinnerware was founded, only to be discontinued in 1973. The antique after-marker for the products was so hot that the company was founded again in 1986. It now discontinues/changes colors and product lines, keeping a 'collectability' most brands do not have.

Corn nuts are made by soaking whole kernels in water for three days, then deep-frying them in oil until they are hard and brittle. Albert Holloway came up with them in 1936, selling them to taverns who would then give them away free to patrons, as they were particularly tasty with beer.

In the 1936 Presidential Election, Franklin D. Roosevelt won 523 electoral votes, while his opponent Alf Landon only won 8.

Geico (the Government Employees Insurance Company) was founded.

Betty Robinson, an Olympic runner, was involved in a plane crash in 1931 and was wrongly pronounced dead upon first being discovered. She spend 7 months in a coma and it took her 2 years to learn to walk normally again. In 1936, she returned to the US olympic team and won gold in the relay.

The concept of having the Olympic torch run from ancient Olympia to the host country was invented by the Nazis for the 1936 Berlin Summer Games.

At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, 25,000 pigeons were released during the opening ceremony. When a cannon was fired, the frightened pigeons begun to poop on the spectators watching the ceremony.

During the 1936 Olympics, Liechtenstein and Haiti realized their national flags were identical. A gold crown was added to Liechtenstein's as a result.

After Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Adolf Hitler sent Owens a commemorative inscribed cabinet photograph of himself. Honors were not bestowed upon Jesse Owens by either President Franklin D. Roosevelt or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms. "Hitler didn't snub me - it was FDR who snubbed me" Owens said.

The man who finished behind Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics was also black: he was Jackie Robinson's brother, who, upon returning home to California, the only work he could find as an African American was sweeping streets, which he did while wearing his Olympic 'USA' sweatshirt.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

The dying King George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert, June 3 1865 - January 20 1936) was euthanized with morphine in 1936, according to doctor's notes, to ensure that his death would be announced in morning papers and not in the "less appropriate" evening papers.

From 1936-1966, black Americans going on a road trip often used a Negro Motorist Green Book that would list businesses that sold to black people. The book helped travelers avoid one of thousands of "sundown towns" - places it was the law that all non-whites had to leave the town by sundown.

Pennsylvania still charges its citizens an 18% tax on alcohol to pay for damages of the 1936 Johnstown flood.

A rare million-dollar Stradivarius violin got stolen from virtuoso Hall Huberman. The thief, a café musician named Julian Altman, became famous and performed for presidents. 49 years after the theft, he confessed to the theft on his deathbed and his wife received $263k finder's fee.

Condoms were illegal in the US until 1936.

In 1931, Olympic medalist Betty Robinson, mistakenly identified as dead, was placed in the trunk of a car, and driven to the morgue. She recovered. She won the gold medal again in 1936

In 1978 Soviet Geologists found a family of six surviving in the middle of Siberia who hadn't seen another human since 1936.

Writer Death by Suicide: Robert E. Howard

The Habit

Reading Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1936 include:
Fred Astaire, Connee Boswell, The Boswell Sisters, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Duke Ellingon, Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm, Jan Garber and His Orchestra, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Billie Holiday, Hal Kemp and His Orchestra, Henry King and His Orchestra, Andy Kirk and His 12 Clouds of Joy, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra, Abe Lyman and His California Orchestra, Mantovani and His Orchestra, Freddy Martin and His Orchestra, Russ Morgan, Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra, Ray Noble and His Orchestra, Tempo King & His Kings of Tempo, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

A Day in the Country, After the Thin Man, Anthony Adverse, Camille, Dodsworth, Follow the Fleet, Fury, The General Died At Dawn, The Great Ziegfeld, Libeled Lady, Modern Times, Mr. Deeds Goes to Tow, My Man Godfrey, The Petrified Forest, Rembrandt, Romeo and Juliet, Rose Marie, Sabatage, San Francisco, Show Boat, The Story of a Cheat, The Story of Louis Pasteur, Swing Time, Things To Come, Three Smart Girls

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1936
# 1 Hits of 1936
Pop Culture News

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