World History 1929

About the history of the world in 1929, St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Black Thursday on Wall Street, the first magnetic tape recorder.



* The first magnetic tape recorder, the "Blattnerphone," was used to synchronize sound to British-made films.

* Much of the Palestinian town of Safad near the Sea of Galilee was destroyed in fighting between Arabs and Jews.

Feb. 14 The St. Valentine's Day Massacre: Seven lieutenants of the Bugs Moran gang were waiting for their boss in a warehouse on Chicago's North Clark Street when a black sedan pulled up. Four men got out, two in police uniforms, two in plainclothes. They raided the warehouse, which was used as a liquor drop for illegal booze coming down from Canada, and ordered the seven Moran hoods to line up and face the wall. Then with machine guns and sawed-off shotguns the "cops" cut them to pieces. The getaway was clever enough to fool eyewitnesses outside. The two civilian hit men marched out with hands up in front of the two "arresting officers," and the quartet, agents of Al Capone, sped off to freedom. They were never caught.

Oct. 24 Black Thursday on Wall Street: Stocks nosedived amid a flurry of 13 million shares traded. In an attempt to head off the inevitable panic, the directors of several large banks met and later announced that their confidence in the market was so strong that they were prepared to buy up stocks above their quoted prices. The public relations ploy held prices steady for five days. Then the bottom fell out. Many blue chip securities fell 50% as tickers clacked two hours after the closing bell to keep up with the record volume of 16 million shares. The losses, at least on paper, totaled $26 billion: General Motors cut in half, U. S. Steel down over 100 points, Montgomery Ward at 49, down from 138. In more concrete terms, if in September someone had purchased 100 shares each of AT&T and General Electric, he would have lost $33,500 by Thanksgiving.

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