8 Historical Events of the 1930s Everyone Should Know


1. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Begins

A 40-year study begins in Tuskegee, Ala. testing the impact of syphilis on 400 African-American men. The infamous clinical study was conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. The purpose of this study was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the pretense of receiving free health care from the United States government. The men are never told they have the disease nor are they offered any treatment.


2. Scottsboro Boys Accused, Tried, and Convicted

The Scottsboro Boys were nine African American teenagers accused in Alabama of raping two White American women on a train in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial.

3. Sculptor Augusta Savage opens the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts. 

In 1932, Augusta Savage established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts, an arts-education center for adults. She later became the first director of Harlem’s Community Arts Center. Funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the center invited African Americans to learn about their culture through the study of fine arts.

4. Carter G. Woodson publishes Mis-education of the Negro.

Carter G. Woodson published the Mis-education of the Negro. The Mis-Education of the Negro is a book originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The thesis of Woodson’s book is that blacks of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools.

5. Mary McLeod Bethune establishes the National Council of Negro Women

The National Council of Negro Women was established in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune. She saw the need for harnessing the power and extending the leadership of African-American women through a national organization. In The early years of NCNW, the small volunteer staff operated out of Bethune’s living room in Washington D.C.

6. Zora Neale Hurston publishes the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Hurston’s is well-known for her literary work the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God which was published in 1937.

7. Joe Louis wins the heavyweight championship against James J. Braddock.

Braddock and Louis signed to fight at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox, on June 22, 1937. Promoter Mike Jacobs, who represented Louis, convinced Braddock to fight Louis instead of Schmeling. Jacobs guaranteed Braddock $300,000 and ten percent of the promoter’s net profits from promoting Louis over the next decade. In round eight, Louis threw a left to the body and followed with a hard right to the chin that put Braddock down. While Braddock laid lifelessly on the canvas, the referee counted him out at 1:10 of the round. ouis held the title for twelve years and defended it twenty-five times, both records for all weight divisions.


8. The Negro Actors Guild of America was founded

The Negro Actors Guild of America was founded by African American actors in 1937 by Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. The organization was established to try to eliminate the stereotyping of African Americans in theatrical and cinematic performances. Much of the funding for the Negro Actors Guild came from the Federal Theater Authority and internal fundraising.






Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply