United States and American History: 1937

About the history of the United States in 1937, Howard Hughes breaks a transcontinental flight record, the Golden Gate Bridge is dedicated, auto workers strike.


--The U.S. Government estimated that nearly a half million workers took part in sit-down strikes from September, 1936, to May, 1937.

--Howard Hughes established a transcontinental flight record.

--The Golden Gate Bridge was dedicated in San Francisco.

--Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York City told the American Jewish Congress that he wished he had a "chamber of horrors" at the coming World's Fair in which to exhibit a figure of Hitler, who was "menacing world peace." Secretary of State Cordell Hull sent the German Ambassador in Washington, D.C., a note of apology for LaGuardia's intemperate remark.

--The Abraham Lincoln Brigade, composed of about 3,000 Americans, was formed to fight Fascism in Spain. Ernest Hemingway, in his essay "On the American Dead in Spain," wrote:

Just as the earth can never die, neither will those who have ever been free return to slavery. The peasants who work the earth where our dead lie know what these dead died for. There was time during the war for them to learn these things, and there is forever for them to remember them in.

Feb. 11 General Motors capitulated to workers' demands and recognized the United Auto Workers. This occured after a 44-day occupation of GM factories, violent clashes between police and strikers, and the stationing or machine-gun nests in Flint, Mich., streets by the National Guard.

Mar. All of Chrysler's Detroit plants were closed by sit-downs. When police officials indicated that they might forcibly expel the strikers, 150,000 workers rallied in downtown Detroit. In April, Walter P. Chrysler signed an agreement recognizing the union.

Apr. 12 The 1st nation-wide student strike against war took place in the U.S. Students took a vow against participation in any war.

May 30 Workers striking Republic Steel in Chicago were parading with their families toward the Republic factory when without provocation the police attacked them. Ten were killed and hundreds were wounded. This incident has become known as the Memorial Day Massacre.

Nov. 27 Pins and Needles, a musical comedy produced by local garment workers, was a hit on Broadway, breaking box-office records. Its catchiest song was "Sing Me a Song of Social Significance."

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