1934 1935 1936 - 1937(MCMXXXVII) - 1938 1939 1940
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1937 was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar).
- 1 Events
- 2 Ongoing events
- 3 Births
- 4 Deaths
- 5 Nobel Prizes
- January 1 - Anastasio Somoza becomes President of Nicaragua
- January 11 - The first issue of Look magazine goes on sale in the United States.
- January 19 - Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
- January 23 - In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.
- January 31 - Ohio river floods
- January 31 - 31 people executed in the Soviet Union for "Trotskyism"
- February 5 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 8 - Falangist troops take Málaga
- February 11 - A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognises the United Automobile Workers Union
- February 16 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.
- February 19 - During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades. The Italian security guard fire into the crowd of Ethiopian onlookers, and over the passing weeks indiscriminately slaughter native Ethiopians in reprisal.
- February 21 - Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile; the League of Nations Non-Intervention Committee ban on foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War goes into effect.
- March - The first issue of the comic book Detective Comics is published in the United States. Twenty-seven issues later, Detective Comics would introduce Batman. The comic would go on to become the longest continually-published comic magazine in American history; it is still published as of 2005.
- March 10 - The Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge of pope Pius XI is published in Nazi Germany
- March 18 - The New London School explosion kills three hundred.
- March 26 - In Crystal City, Texas spinach growers erect a statue of the cartoon character Popeye.
- March 26 - William Henry Hastie becomes the first African-American appointed to federal judgeship.
- April 1 - Aden becomes a British crown colony.
- April 17 - Release of the animated short Porky's Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery for the Merrie Melodies series, featuring the debut of Daffy Duck.
- April 26 - Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
- April 26 - In his report of the Falangist attact on Guernica, British journalist George Steer reports that he had found German bomb casing; that means that Luftwaffe planes were connected with the attack
- May 1 - General strike in Paris, France
- May 6 - In United States, the German airship Hindenburg bursts into flame when mooring to a mast in Lakehurst.
- May 7 - Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion Fighter Group, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes arrive in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.
- May 12 - Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth takes place at Westminster Abbey, London.
- May 21 - As one of the reprisals for the attempted assassination of Italian viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, a detachment of Italian troops massacre the entire community of Debre Libanos. 297 monks and 23 laymen are killed.
- May 27 - In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushes a button in Washington, DC signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge.
- May - Dáil Éireann passes the Executive Authority (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1937 which retrospectively abolishes the office of Governor-General of the Irish Free State. The abolition is retrospectively dated to December 1936.
- June 8 - First total solar eclipse to exceed 7 minutes of totality in over 800 years; visible in the Pacific and Peru.
- June 14 - Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.
- June 21 - Coalition government of Leon Blum resigns in France.
- June/July - Dáil Éireann debates and passes the draft new constitution of Éire, to be called Bunreacht na hÉireann. The new constitution is then submitted for public approval by plebiscite.
- July 1 - Gestapo arrests priest Martin Niemöller.
- July 1 - In a referendum the people of the Irish Free State accept the new Constitution by 685,105 votes to 527,945.
- July 2 - Amelia Earhart disappears
- July 5 - Highest recorded temperature in Canada, at Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan: 45 °C.
- July 7 - Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Lugou Bridge - Japanese forces invade China.
- July 21 - Eamon de Valera elected president of Eire
- July 22 - New Deal: The United States Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- July 24 - Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called "Scottsboro Boys."
- July 28 - IRA attempts bombing assassination against King George VI in Belfast.
- September 5 - Spanish Civil War: The fall of Llanes.
- September 21 - George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
- September 25 - Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Pingxingguan.
- October 1 - Marijuana Tax Act in USA.
- October 3 - Japanese troops advance toward Nanking.
- October 5 - Roosevelt "Quarantine the Aggressors" speech at Chicago
- October 21 - The whole Spanish northern seaboard in the Falangists' hands.
- October 21 - Roberto Ortiz elected president of Argentina.
- October 27 - Spanish Civil War - Republican forces in Gijon, Spain, set fire to petrol reserves before they retreat before the advancing Falangists.
- November 5 Spanish Civil War - Massacre of Republican supporters in Piedrafita de Babia, near León. Possibly 35,000 executed.
- November 5 - World War II: In the Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler holds a secret meeting and states his plans for acquiring "living space" for the German people.
- November 9 - Japanese troops take Shanghai.
- December 3 - The Dandy, the world's longest running comic, was first published.
- December 12 - Panay incident
- December 13 - Battle of Nanjing ends and the Nanjing Massacre begins. Japanese troops would slaughter over 250,000 civilians and prisoners over three months.
- December 27 - Mae West performance gets her banned from NBC Radio
- December 29 - New Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann comes into force. The Irish Free State becomes Éire. Eamon de Valera becomes the first Taoiseach (prime minister) of the new state. A Presidential Commission (made up the Irish Chief Justice, the Speaker of Dáil Éireann and the President of the High Court) assumes the powers of the new presidency of Ireland pending the election of the first president in June 1938.
- December - The Marijuana Tax Act is signed, ending the US hemp industry just as it was about to benefit from a mechanised brake and compete with cotton and wood pulp.
- Japan invades Manchuria. (Some consider this the start of World War II. Most historians disagree).
- New Irish constitution bans divorce.
- First science fiction convention in Leeds, United Kingdom.
- Italy joins Antikomintern Pact.
- The National House Builders Registration Council (now the NHBC) was formed in the United Kingdom.
- Donald Goines (1937 - 1973)
- Jimmie Angel lands his plane on top of Devil's Mountain however the plane gets damaged and he has to trek through the rainforest for help.
- January 1 - Anne Aubrey, British actor
- January 4 - Dyan Cannon, Ameircan actress
- January 6 - Underwood Dudley, American mathematician
- January 8 - Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer
- January 14 - Ken Higgs, English cricketer
- January 15 - Margaret O'Brien, American actress
- January 18 - John Hume, Irish politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- January 27 - John Ogdon, English pianist (d. 1989)
- January 30 - Vanessa Redgrave, English actress
- January 30 - Boris Spassky, Russian chess player
- January 31 - Suzanne Pleshette, Amrican actress
- January 31 - Philip Glass, American composer
- February 1 - Garrett Morris, American comedian
- February 1 - Don Everly, American musician
- February 2 - Tom Smothers, American musician and comedian
- February 2 - Magic Sam, American musician
- February 8 - Manfred Krug, German actor and singer
- February 11 - Bill Lawry, Australian cricketer
- February 12 - Charles Dumas, American athlete
- February 20 - Robert Huber, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- February 20 - Roger Penske, American race car driver
- February 20 - Nancy Wilson, American singer and actress
- February 21 - King Harald V of Norway
- February 25 - Tom Courtenay, English actor
- March 6 - Valentina Tereshkova, cosmonaut
- March 9 - Mickey Gilly, American musician
- March 17 - Rudy Ray Moore, American comedian
- March 20 - Jerry Reed, American musician
- March 22 - Armin Hary, German athlete
- March 23 - Craig Breedlove, American race car driver
- March 30 - Warren Beatty, American actor and director
- April 5 - Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
- April 6 - Merle Haggard, American musician
- April 6 - Billy Dee Williams, American actor
- April 10 - Bella Akhmadulina, Russian poet
- April 16 - Joseph Whipp, American actor
- April 22 - Jack Nicholson, American actor
- April 29 - Jill Paton Walsh, English novelist
- May 1 - Una Stubbs, British actor
- May 8 - Thomas Pynchon, American writer
- May 6 - Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, American boxer
- May 12 - George Carlin, American comedian
- May 13 - Roch Carrier, Canadian writer
- May 13 - Roger Zelazny, American writer (d. 1995)
- May 15 - Trini López, American musician
- May 15 - Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State
- May 17 - Hazel R. O'Leary, U.S. Secretary of Energy
- May 18 - Brooks Robinson, baseball player
- May 18 - Jacques Santer, Luxembourg politician, President of the European Council
- June 1 - Morgan Freeman, American actor
- June 3 - Solomon P. Ortiz, U.S. Congressman from Texas
- June 7 - Neemi Järvi, Estonian conductor
- June 9 - Harald Rosenthal, German biologist
- June 18 - Wray Carlton, American football player
- June 18 - Vitali Zholobov, cosmonaut
- June 23 - Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland
- June 25 - Keizo Obuchi, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 2000)
- June 26 - Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- June 28 - Ron Luciano, baseball umpire and writer (d. 1995)
- July 6 - Vladimir Ashkenazy, Russian pianist
- July 6 - Ned Beatty, American actor
- July 7 - Tung Chee-Hwa, Hong Kong administrator
- July 9 - David Hockney, English-born artist
- July 12 - Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister of France
- July 12 - Bill Cosby, American actor and comedian
- July 14 - Yoshiro Mori, Japanese politician
- July 18 - Roald Hoffmann, Polish-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- July 29 - Daniel McFadden, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- August 4 - David Bedford, American musician
- August 5 - Herb Brooks, American hockey coach (d. 2003)
- August 8 - Dustin Hoffman, American actor
- August 18 - Robert Redford, American actor
- August 18 - Willie Rushton, English comedian and cartoonist (d. 1996)
- August 21 - Donald Dewar, First Minister of Scotland (d. 2000)
- August 29 - James Florio, Governor of New Jersey
- September 4 - Dawn Fraser, Australian swimmer
- September 15 - Robert Lucas, Jr., American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- September 15 - Fernando de la Rúa, President of Argentina
- September 19 - Abner Haynes, American football player
- September 28 - Rod Roddy, American television announcer (d. 2003)
- October 2 - Johnnie Cochran, American attorney (d. 2005)
- October 5 - Barry Switzer, American football coach
- October 10 - Bobby Charlton, English footballer
- November 8 - Paul Mackintosh Foot, British journalist
- November 15 - Yaphet Kotto, American actor
- November 17 - Peter Cook, English comedian and writer
- November 26 - Boris Yegorov, cosmonaut
- December 3 - Bobby Allison, American race car driver
- December 8 - Arne Næss Jr., Norwegian mountaineer and businessman (d. 2004)
- December 21 - Jane Fonda, American actress and social activist
- December 26 - Gnassingbe Eyadema, President of Togo (d. 2005)
- December 29 - Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldives
- December 30 - John Hartford, American musician and composer (d. 2001)
- December 30 - Jim Marshall, American football player
- December 31 - Avram Hershko, Israeli biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- December 31 - Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor
- January 6 - Brother Andre, Canadian religious leader (b. 1845)
- January 23 - Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)
- February 5 - Lou Andreas-Salome, Russian-born writer (b. 1861)
- February 7 - Elihu Root, American statesman and diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1845)
- February 11 - Walter Burley Griffin, American architect and town planner (b. 1876)
- March 9 - Paul Elmer More, American critic and essayist (b. 1864)
- March 12 - Charles-Marie Widor, French organist and composer (b. 1840)
- March 15 - H. P. Lovecraft, American writer (b. 1890)
- March 17 - Austen Chamberlain, English statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1863)
- March 29 - Karol Szymanowski, Polish composer (b. 1882)
- April 19 - William Martin Conway, British art critic and mountaineer (b. 1856)
- April 21 - Saima Harmaja, Finnish poet (b. 1913)
- April 25 - Michał Drzymała, Polish rebel (b.1857)
- May 23 - John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist (b. 1839)
- May 28 - Alfred Adler, Austrian psychologist (b. 1870)
- June 19 - J. M. Barrie, Scottish novelist and dramatist (b. 1860)
- July 9 - Oliver Law, American labor organizer and Army officer (killed in battle) (b. 1899)
- July 11 - George Gershwin, American composer (b. 1898)
- July 20 - Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor (b. 1874)
- July 21 - Louis Vierne, French composer (b. 1870)
- August 11 - Edith Wharton, American writer (b. 1862)
- September 2 - Pierre de Coubertin, French founder of the modern Olympic Games (b. 1863)
- September 26 - Bessie Smith, American singer (b. 1894)
- September 29 - Ray Ewry, American athlete (b. 1873)
- October 16 - Jean de Brunhoff, French writer (b. 1899)
- October 19 - Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, New Zealand physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (b. 1871)
- October 26 - Józef Dowbór-Muśnicki, Polish general (b. 1867)
- November 17 - Jack Worrall, Australian cricketer and coach (b. 1860)
- November 23 - Jagdish Chandra Bose, Indian Physicist (b. 1858)
- December 9 - Gustaf Dalén, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)
- December 20 - Erich Ludendorff, German general (b. 1865)
- December 21 - Frank B. Kellogg, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1856)
- December 28 - Maurice Ravel, French composer (b. 1875)
- Physics - Clinton Joseph Davisson, George Paget Thomson
- Chemistry - Walter Haworth, Paul Karrer
- Medicine - Albert von Szent-Györgyi Nagyrapolt
- Literature - Roger Martin du Gard
- Peace - Robert Cecil
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