Triumph of the Will
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGSnVAjqQFw#t=84 Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 Triumph of the Will, documenting Adolf Hitler's Nazi party convocation in Nuremberg has all the pomp and ceremony of ancient Rome. Hitler's speeches, with emotional emphasis on the trials and tribulations of a heroic German Volk after WWI, electrified the crowd and created an atmosphere of militant ascendancy.
Yasunari Kawabata's Snow Country about a love affair between a Tokyo dilettante and a provincial geisha was set in a remote northern Japanese hot-spring mountain town. Published in installments from 1935 through 1947, the novel established Kawabata as one of Japan's foremost authors. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968.
War Clouds -America and Japan
In 1935, many worried about the threat of war between the USA and Japan. Others, such as the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, thought it unlikely: "I feel that the menace is almost non-existent, that it has been a scare engineered by unscrupulous newspapers and by certain Californian interests who want to have the fleet concentrated in the Pacific in order that California may benefit from the naval pay- roll and orders." Jones' comments in an article entitled Menace of War Between America and Japan Non-existent. (1935) make fascinating reading today. _______
National Industrial Recovery Act Unconstitutional
In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that regulations of the poultry industry were an invalid use of Congress's power under the commerce clause. This unanimous decision rendered the National Industrial Recovery Act, a main component of the New Deal, unconstitutional.
“Wealth Tax” – Revenue Act
Sharecropper Wikimedia Commons. The 1935 Revenue Act (AKA the "Soak the Rich" tax) raised tax rates on individual incomes greater than $50,000. Although questionably effective in raising federal income and promoting equitable income distribution, the bill had much popular support. It was vehemently opposed by business and the wealthy, who accused FDR of being a traitor to his own class.
AFL and CIO Rivals
In 1935, led by John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers of America, a group of union members split from the large American Federation of Labor (AFL). Calling itself the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the group launched a bitter struggle with the AFL that occasionally erupted in violence. In 1955, the CIO rejoined the AFL, forming the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
National Labor Relations Act
In the restive 1930s, multiple general strikes and factory takeovers occurred across the USA. Violent confrontations between unions, police and private security forces often resulted. In response to increasing reports of employer espionage, interrogation, blacklisting and discipline of workers engaged in union activities, Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 which restricted how employers could interact with workers who joined labor unions.
Mao Fights Japanese Imperialism
"To win independence and freedom for China is a great task. It demands that we fight against foreign imperialism and the domestic counter-revolutionary forces. Japanese imperialism is determined to bludgeon its way deep into China. As yet the domestic counter-revolutionary forces of the big landlord and comprador classes are stronger than the people's revolutionary forces. The overthrow of Japanese imperialism and the counter-revolutionary forces in China cannot be accomplished in a day, and we must be prepared to devote a long time to it; it cannot be accomplished by small forces, and we must therefore accumulate great forces..." Mao Zedong, December 27, 1935: ON TACTICS AGAINST JAPANESE IMPERIALISM.
Boy’s Festival Day
日本語: 五月人形の段飾り - 1935; Wikimedia Commons Boy's festival Day, Tango no Sekku, is an ancient Japanese tradition celebrating boys on the 5th day of the 5th month (May 5). Families with boys fly carp-shaped streamers as symbols of strength and success, and inside homes, warrior dolls are displayed. The family bathes with iris leaves and roots believed to promote health and ward off evil. A special treat Kasiwamochi, oak-leaf wrapped rice cakes with filled with a sweet bean paste, is eaten. Girls have a different festival day, Hina Matsuri (the Doll's festival) on the 3rd day of the 3rd month, March 3. In 1948, the Boy's Festival Day was renamed Children's day (Kodomo no Hi) as a national holiday to celebrate all children and express gratitude toward their mothers.
Gallup Poll 1935
George Gallup, Ph.D. taught journalism at Drake University, Northwestern University, and Columbia University where he devised research techniques for a variety of fields. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, resolving to perform independent polling without the support of any political or special interest groups. The first Gallup Poll, instituted in 1935, sought public opinion about President Roosevelt's attempts to create relief, recovery, and work programs during the Great Depression. The results showed: 60% of Americans believed "expenditures by the Government for relief and recovery" were too great 9% said they were too little 31% said they were about right In 1936 Gallup accurately predicted the presidential election of Franklin Roosevelt over Alf Landon. Soon his nationally syndicated polls were highly regarded.
Works Progress Administration
In 1935, a New Deal agency called the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was initiated with the main intention of employing unskilled workers for public works projects. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs. One of the WPA's best known programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed over 250,000 young men nationwide to build trails and parks in public lands. Although the vast majority of its projects were for construction, the WPA also funded: food, clothing and shelter for needy children; agricultural and social censuses; regional archival and records-keeping; arts programs; youth programs; and writers, musicians, and theatre artists. 10-30% of the cost of Federal WPA projects were paid for by state and local governments.
The Road to War
In the 1930s, the revisionist movement sought to alter the prevalent view that Germany was the major instigator of WWI and therefore the Treaty of Versailles was just punishment. The revisionists believed that an accurate historical understanding of the roots of the Great War would discourage involvement in future conflicts and promote peace. Walter Millis's 1935 book Road to War: America 1914-1917 was considered by many to be a call to isolationism. Millis later qualified his position in a 1941 essay: "... Between these two views there can be no scientific or rational decision; neither the evils of any war in which we might in fact become involved nor the evils of a Hitler victory are exactly measurable; they are not even exactly foreseeable. "At the bottom, no doubt it is an emotional reaction; and perhaps both sides tend to clothe their instinctive attitude in pseudo-logic. The one side, I am certain, exaggerates the ability of the United States to defend itself alone in a totalitarian world; it indulges in fantastic hopes of a negotiated peace; it hides it in contemplation of the crimes of the British, or the failings of democracy, both of which are completely irrelevant to the fact that the British, however criminal, are in fact fighting for the reconstruction of the kind or world we have known and that democracy, however faulty, is still preferable to the totalitarian rule of force and fraud. Of this I am certain. Perhaps the other side, which seems to me on incomparably firmer ground, also buttresses its position with wishful thinking."
Universal Electricity – Japan
By the mid-1930s, Japan's emphasis on rapid industrialization brought electric power to 90% of urban and rural areas (although urban areas in the USA achieved similar results, only 10% of rural Americans had electricity in 1935). In an effort to achieve a living standard comparable to the West, Japanese power and appliance companies developed innovative products that were promoted as enhancing health and beauty. In the late 1930s, however, the Japanese government banned the production of new home appliances to conserve vital resources needed for the war effort in China.
Father Charles Edward Coughlin
With a rich mellifluous voice, Father James E. Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest in Michigan, broadcast a weekly radio show that was followed by millions during the Depression. Staunchly anti-Communist, he warned of the "Bolshevism of America." Although he supported FDR in the 1932 presidential election, Father Coughlin increasingly moved to the right, ultimately forming the National Union of Social Justice . In the late 1930s Father Coughlin praised Hitler and Mussolini. With the onset of WWII, the National Association of Broadcasters terminated his show and the Archbishop of Detroit ordered him to desist from political activity.
Military Assassination – Japan
In 1935, using his sword, an officer in the radical Kōdōha (Imperial Way Faction) (皇道派) assassinated Major General Tetsuzan Nagata of the moderate rival Tōseiha (Control Faction) (統制派). The general was posthumously promoted, and the assassin was executed by firing squad. Read more about: Japanese Army factionalism in the 1930s
Huey Long Assassinated
Huey Long, Governor of Louisiana and U.S. senator, was a charismatic and polarizing figure known as the "Kingfish." Although lionized by supporters, his radical populist expansion of public works projects was laced with abuse of power and corruption. Promising major redistribution of wealth during the Great Depression in order to make "every man a king," he was preparing to challenge FDR in the election of 1936 when he was gunned down by the son-in-law of a judge he was trying to remove from the bench.
An Inn in Tokyo - directed by Yasujirō Ozu (1935) Silent films were still being produced in Japan well into the 1930s. Japan's first feature-length talkie was Fujiwara Yoshie no furusato (1930) Notable talkies of 30s include: Mikio Naruse's Wife, Be Like A Rose!, Yasujirō Ozu's An Inn in Tokyo, Kenji Mizoguchi's Sisters of the Gion, Osaka Elegy and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, and Sadao Yamanaka's Humanity and Paper Balloons. In 1939, the Japanese Film Law gave the state expanded authority over the film industry and the government produced propaganda films and documentaries.
American Neutrality Act
After Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, the United States imposed an embargo on all arms and war materials to warring countries. The Neutrality Act of 1935 also stated that American citizens traveling on warring ships traveled at their own risk. The act was set to expire after six months.
Will Japan Adopt Fascism?
In a fascinating 1935 interview, Yosuke Matsukoa, Japan's last ambassador to the League of Nations advocates abolishing political parties, but claims that a fascist style dictatorship is not possible in Japan. “We must get away from Western democracy which breeds corruption and return to the true Japanese democracy which is the rule of the Emperor."