Portal:1930s

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The 1930s (pronounced "nineteen-thirties", commonly abbreviated as the "Thirties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1930, and ended on December 31, 1939.

After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the largest stock market crash in American history, most of the decade was consumed by an economic downfall called the Great Depression that had a traumatic effect worldwide, leading to widespread unemployment and poverty, especially in the United States, an economic superpower, and Germany, who had to deal with the reparations regarding World War I. The Dust Bowl (which gives the nickname the Dirty Thirties) in the United States further emphasised the scarcity of wealth. Herbert Hoover worsened the situation with his failed attempt to balance the budget by raising taxes. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected, as a response, in 1933, and introduced the New Deal. The founding of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the funding of numerous projects (e.g. the Hoover Dam) helped restore prosperity in the US.

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The League of Nations (abbreviated as LN in English, La Société des Nations [la sɔsjete de nɑsjɔ̃] abbreviated as SDN or SdN in French) was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first international organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.

The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked its own armed force and depended on the victorious Great Powers of World War I (France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan were the permanent members of the executive Council) to enforce its resolutions, keep to its economic sanctions, or provide an army when needed. The Great Powers were often reluctant to do so. Sanctions could hurt League members, so they were reluctant to comply with them. During the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, when the League accused Italian soldiers of targeting Red Cross medical tents, Benito Mussolini responded that "the League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out." Read more...

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Katherine Hepburn in a publicity shot, circa 1941
Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) was an American actress of film, stage, and television. Known for her headstrong independence and spirited personality, Hepburn's career as a Hollywood leading lady spanned more than 60 years. She won a record four Academy Awards, and in 1999 was named by the American Film Institute as Hollywood's top female legend. Hepburn began acting in college, and spent four years in the theatre before entering films in 1932. She became an instant star, but after a series of unsuccessful films was named "box office poison". The Philadelphia Story revived her career, and she subsequently formed a popular alliance with Spencer Tracy that lasted 25 years. In middle age Hepburn found a niche playing spinsters, such as in The African Queen, and became a Shakespearean stage actress. She continued to work into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. Hepburn is remembered as an important cultural figure, as she came to epitomize the "modern woman" in 20th-century America and helped change perceptions of women.

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