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NAME DROPPING | TWO CENTS' WORTH | 1921: WHAT A YEAR | THE 1933 PROJECT | BASEBALL NICKNAMES

Every year brings bad news with the good, but what made 1933 a little different was the magnitude of its big stories, and how they shaped our world. The rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany was probably the most ominous story, while, in the United States, there was reason to celebrate because our Great Experiment had comee to an end. In between there were many, many other stories bringing good news and cheer, tragic news and mourning.

Because it was still the dawn of the aviation age, there was an unusual amount of happy and sad stories about flyers. Because we hadn't yet made it safe to automobiles and trains to co-exist, there were several horrendous accidents. And because workers wanted fair wages, there were a record number of labor strikes, many of which became violent.

But first, some good news:

Prohibition comes to an end
Only die-hard supporters held out hope prohibition would survive the first year of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The new President certainly didn't believe in the 18th amendment, and even before he took office in March — the last time an inauguration would be held so late — Congress put in motion the means to end The Great Experiment before the year was over..
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I never promised you a beer garden
Even before prohibition officially ended, it became legal to see beer, and with the miniature golf craze of the 1920s fading, one enterprising Californian turned his mini golf course into a beer garden.
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When trains are involved, the news is usually bad
It may not have been a record-setting year for railroad accidents, but it probably seemed that way to newspaper readers. Some of history's most horrendous train disasters occurred in 1933, several bunched in the month of December.
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Sleeping sickness the year's big health story
Year in, year out during the 1930s, '40a and '50s, an outbreak of polio would be the country's biggest summer medical story, and while infantile paralysis was a grave concern in 1933, it was encephalitis that had doctors and researchers working overtime, though this is one area where the world was much better off than it was in 2020.
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Wanted: a home on another planet
Nature went a little crazy in 1933, and sometimes the weather was so bad, you couldn't be blamed for thinking the world was coming to and end.
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Picket lines became battlefields
We were in a Depression, millions were unemployed, but even those who had jobs felt they were underpaid. Workers were striking as never before, and several of them became violent.

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Things gone horribly wrong
Here is a collection of short items that are reminders that something terrible could happen when you least expect it, though some of the people involved in these incidents shouldn't have been completely surprised.
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Griffith Park and other disastrous fires
Because it happened in Los Angeles, the Griffith Park disaster may be the best-remembered United States fire of 1933, though a series of forest fires, particularly in Oregon, caused considerable damage that affected the country for years afterward. In Germany, a fire of a different sort provided impetus for the Nazi party and paved the way for Adolf Hitler's rise from chancellor to dictator.
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Turn these stories into movies
"Law and Order" prefaced some episodes by saying they were "ripped from the headlines." Here's a sampling of strange stuff from 1933 that didn't make for big headlines, but nonetheless could have been turned in full-length movies.
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Animals do the darndest things
Stories about animals usually were used as humorous fillers, but occasionally the stories were incredibly sad. Here's a sampling of animal-related stories from 1933, though the strangest — and most infuriating — involved a Missouri man's effort to stage an African-style safari using, as targets, lions he purchased from a bankrupt circus. That shabby story has its own page.
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