As the Roaring Twenties drew to a close and the world entered a new decade, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had prompted a rather depressing start to the thirties. While the hope and prosperity of the twenties seemed to have dissolved, 1930 was still a year full of interesting and positive events. 

This 1930 timeline shows you some of the biggest events of 1930, giving an overview of the history of the year. 1930 was the year that the first football World Cup took place, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in comic form, and Pluto was officially discovered and named as a planet. 

To discover even more 1930 events for yourself, see how the biggest news stories were reported in an original 1930 newspaper.

bonnie and clyde

Criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde

1930 Timeline

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January 5: Criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow meet for the first time at Clarence Clay’s house.

January 6: The first diesel engine automobile trip is made in a Packard sedan.

January 6: A. A. Milne signs an early literary character licensing agreement, which grants Stephen Slesinger U.S. and Canadian merchandising rights to the Winnie The Pooh works. 

January 7: The last naturally occurring element to be found, francium (Fr), is discovered by Marguerite Perey.

January 10: Nephew of Walt Disney and long-time senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, Roy E. Disney is born in Los Angeles, US.

January 10: New Zealand’s 1st Test commences against England in Christchurch, New Zealand.

January 13: The Mickey Mouse comic strip first appears, following 15 successful animated short films.

January 15: West Indian cricket batsman George Headley scores 157 out of 176 on debut on the 4th day of the drawn 1st Test against England in Bridgetown, Barbados.

January 15: Called perigee, the Moon moves into its nearest point to Earth, at the same time as its fullest phase of the Lunar Cycle. In recent history, this is the closest moon distance at 356,397km. The next time this will happen is on January 1, 2257.

January 20: American astronaut and fighter pilot Buzz Aldrin is born.

January 23: The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is established in Virginia. 

January 26: This date is declared as Independence Day by the Indian National Congress. 

January 28: Julius Edgar Lillenfeld is granted the first patent for a field-effect transistor in the United States. 

January 30: A radiosonde is launched from Slutsk in the Soviet Union by Pavel Molchanov, a meteorologist.


February 4: The Indochinese Communist Party of Vietnam is established.

February 10: The Yên Bái mutiny is launched by the Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng with the hope of bringing French colonial rule to an end in Vietnam. 

February 18: Clyde Tombaugh, US astronomer, discovers Pluto after studying photographs from January. Its existence is confirmed on this date and is considered a planet until 2006, when it becomes known as a dwarf planet. 

February 18: Elm Farm Ollie is the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft, as well as the first cow to be milked on an aeroplane.   

February 26: West Indies makes its 1st Test Cricket win by 289 runs over England.

February 26: The first red and green traffic lights are installed in Manhattan, NYC. 

February 27: Bouvet Island declares a Norwegian independency.

February 27: The beginning of an outbreak is marked by a case of “Jake paralysis,” which results from adulterated Jamaica ginger. Also known as “Jake,” the late 19th-century patent medicine was sold as an alcohol substitute during Prohibition due to its high ethanol content.

clyde tombaugh

US astronomer and discoverer of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh


March 2: D. H. Lawrence, English poet and writer, dies of tuberculosis at the age of 44.

March 2: The British viceroy of India are informed by Mahatma Gandhi that there will be civil disobedience in the following week.

March 4: The Coolidge Dam in Arizona is dedicated.

March 5: Einar Wegener, a Danish painter, begins sex reassignment surgery in Germany, taking the name Lili Elbe. 

March 4: Floods in Languedoc and the surrounding areas in South-West France result in 12 departments being submerged by water and kill over 700 people. 

March 6: Inventor Clarence Birdseye markets the first frozen foods, which go on sale in Springfield, Massachusetts.

March 6: International Unemployment Day is recognized. 

March 8: Baseball legend Babe Ruth signs a 2 year contract for $160,000 with New York Yankees.

March 8: The 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft, dies in Washington. He served as the US president from 1909 to 1913.

March 12: Mahatma Gandhi begins his 200 mile march protesting British salt tax, heading towards the sea. The march would continue until April 5, and is an act of civil disobedience that will go against British India’s salt laws.  

March 20: KFC, the American fast food chain, is established by Colonel Harland Sanders in Kentucky.

March 20: Women in Turkey are given the right to vote in municipal elections.

March 28: Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara.

March 29: In Germany, Henrich Brüning is appointed as Chancellor. 

March 31: As the movie industry continued to boom, the Motion Pictures Production Code is put in place, imposing strict guidelines on the use of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the following 38 years.


Mahatma Gandhi


April 4: France starts to build the Maginot Line, which was intended to be a barrier against German aggression.

April 5: Mahatma Gandhi’s march against Salt Tax comes to an end, in which he breaks the Salt laws of British India by making salt by the sea. 

April 6: The first transcontinental glider tow is completed. 

April 6: In Paris, France, the International Left Opposition (ILO) is founded. 

April 17: DuPont invents Neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber.

April 18: BBC News announces “there is no news” at 8:45pm, and plays music during the remaining 15 minute news slot instead.  

April 19: In the United States, Warner Bros. release their first cartoon series, called Looney Tunes. The cartoon would run until 1969. 

April 21: In Columbus, a fire in the Ohio Penitentiary results in the deaths of 320 people. 

April 21: The Turkestan-Siberia Railway is finished. 

April 22: Britain, the US and Japan sign the London Naval Treaty. The treaty was brought in to regulate naval shipbuilding and submarine warfare, putting restrictions on certain things such as the number of heavy cruisers a country was allowed to have.

April 28: In Independence, Kansas, the first night in organized baseball history takes place.

April 29: The first telephone connection between Britain and Australia goes into operation.

April 30: The USSR proposes a military alliance with Britain and France, hoping to achieve national security. 


May 1: The planet Pluto is officially named by Venetia Burney, who was 11 years old at the time.

May 5: Mahatma Gandhi is arrested again.

May 6: Iran is hit by the Great Salmas Earthquake, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale and killing around 4,000 people.

May 10: In Washington D.C., the National Pan-Hellenic Council is established. 

May 15: Ellen Church is the first female airline stewardess aboard a United flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne. 

May 16: In the Dominican Republic, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo is elected president.

May 17: President of France,  André Tardieu, makes the decision to withdraw the remaining French troops from the Rhineland. They finally depart by June 30. 

May 19: White women in South Africa win voting rights

May 24: Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia after landing in Darwin, Australia. She completes the 11,000 mile flight on this day after departing on May 5. 

May 26: After Prohibition of the 1920s and negative views of alcohol in American society, the American Supreme Court rules that buying liquor doesn’t violate the US Constitution.

May 31: American actor Clint Eastwood is born in San Francisco, California. 

May 27: The Chrysler Building in New York City first opens to the public. At the time, it was the tallest man-made structure, measuring 319 metres tall.

clint eastwood

American actor Clint Eastwood


June 7: For the second and last time, Carl Gustaf Ekman becomes the Prime Minister of Sweden.

June 9: Jake Lingle, a Chicago Tribune reporter, is killed during rush hour at the Illinois Central train station, apparently due to a $100,000 gambling debt that he owed Al Capone. He is killed by the Leo Vincent Brothers. 

June 14: Under the United States Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Narcotics is founded, which replaces the Narcotics Division of the Prohibition Unit.

June 17: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is signed into law by US President Herbert Hoover. The law implemented protectionist trade policies in the US.

June 21: For men in France, a one-year conscription for all men comes into force.  

June 24: The first radar detection of planes is made at Anacostia, D.C. 

June 30: France removes its troops from Germany’s Rhineland. One of the clauses in the Treaty of Versailles declared that Germany was not allowed to militarily occupy the Rhineland, and instead Allied troops were allowed to move in. This was to prevent any possible future threat to France and the rest of Europe. However, on this day in 1930, the final Allied troops were removed from the area. 


July 1: Britain signs the accord for Iraq’s independence.

July 3: The US Veterans Administration is created. 

July 4: At Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the dedication of George Washington’s sculpted head takes place. 

July 5: The Seventh Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops takes place. At the conference the use of birth control in limited circumstances is approved, which moves away from the Christian views of contraception discussed at the Sixth Conference a decade earlier. 

July 7:  Construction begins on the Hoover Dam.

July 7: Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of Sherlock Holmes, dies at the age of 71. 

July 7: In Helsinki, Finland, the Lapau Movement marches. The movement is a radical Finnish nationalist and anti-communist political movement, founding in the town of Lapau and consequently named after it. 

July 11: In cricket, Australian plater Donald Bradman scores 309 runs in one day, reaching the world record. This was on his way to the highest individual Test innings of 335 during a Test match against the English cricket team.

July 13: The first ever FIFA World Cup tournament takes place in Uruguay. The first goal is scored by Lucien Laurent for France in their game against Mexico. 

July 19: A polar expedition team consisting of Richard E. Byrd, Laurence McKinley Gould, and their polar expedition team return to the US after they had completed the first exploration of Antarctica’s interior.

July 19: Jules Maigret, the detective character by Georges Simenon, appears for the first time in print under Simenon’s actual name when the novel Pietr-le-Letton (known as The Strange Case of Peter the Lett in English) is serialised in a weekly French magazine. Simenon will go on to write 75 novels, as well as 28 short stories, featuring the detective.

July 25: English actor and director Laurence Olivier marries actress Jill Esmond

July 21: The United States Department of Veteran Affairs is founded.

July 26: Beginning an 11,555km journey lasting 42 days, Charles Creighton and James Hargis from Missouri start their return journey to Los Angeles using only a reverse gear. 

July 28: In federal elections in Canada, R. B. Bennett defeats William Lyon Mackenzie King, leading Bennett to become the Prime Minister of Canada. 

July 29: R100, the British airship, begins a successful 78-hour passage to Canada.  

July 30: The first ever FIFA World Cup final takes place, with Uruguay beating Argentina 4-2.

July 30: W2XBS, a New York station, becomes in charge of NBC broadcast engineers. 

July 31: The Shadow, a radio drama in the United States, airs for the first time.


August 4: Child labor laws are established in Belgium. 

August 5: Neil Armstrong, American astronaut and first man on the moon, is born in Ohio, USA.

August 6: In New York City, Judge Joseph Force Crater disappears. He vanished amid a political scandal and was declared dead legally on June 6, 1939. His case is one of the most mysterious missing person cases of the twentieth century and he was never found, with his case being closed 40 years later. 

August 7: In Marion, Indiana, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith are lynched in the last recorded lynching of African Americans in the Northern United States. 

August 9: The popular cartoon character Betty Boop makes her debut in Dizzy Dishes, an animated film. 

August 12: Clarence Birdseye is granted a patent for his method of quick freezing food.

August 12: In order to fight Kurdish insurgents, Turkish troops move into Persia. 

August 16: In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the first British Empire Games opens. 

August 12: Clarence Birdseye is granted a patent for his method of quick freezing food.

August 21: Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret is born. As the youngest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she is the sister to the current Queen Elizabeth II of England. 

August 25: Sean Connery, Scottish actor and producer (James Bond, Indiana Jones) is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

August 27: In Peru, a military junta takes over. 


September 2: The first non-stop airplane flight takes place from Europe to the USA, taking 37 hours.

September 3: In the Caribbean, a huge hurricane destroys most of the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. 

September 6: In a military coup carried out by José Félix Uriburu, the President of Argentina, Hipólito Yrigoyen, is overthrown. 

September 8: For the first time in the United States, Scotch Tape, invented by Richard Gurley Drew, is sold by the 3M company. 

September 12: In cricket, English player Wilfred Rhodes plays the last match in his international career, taking 5 for 95 for H. D. G. Leveson Gower’s XI, against the Australian team. He is also the oldest man to play in a Test match at the age of 52. 

September 14: The National Socialists win 107 seats in the German Parliament, the Reichstag, following the German federal election. This is 18.3% of all the votes, making the National Socialists the second largest party. 

September 17: The Turks suppress the Kurdish Ararat rebellion. 

September 20: A new government is formed in Turkey by İsmet İnönü.

September 23: The soul music pioneer Ray Charles is born in Georgia, USA.


October 1: Weihaiwei returns to China, ending British rule of the area. 

October 3: In Poland, the German Socialist Labour Party in Poland – Left is founded, after the DSAP splits in Łódź.

October 5: R101, the British airship, crashes in France on its way to India on its maiden long-range flight, resulting in the deaths of 48 people. 

October 8: In baseball, the Philadelphia Athletics win their second straight World Series after they beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 in Game 6. 

October 20: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes premieres on NBC radio.

October 20: A British White Paper requests restrictions on Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine. 

October 24: Washington Luís is overthrown by Getúlio Vargas in the Brazilian Revolution of 1930. 

October 27: On the first London Naval Treaty signed in April, ratifications are exchanged in London which modify the Washington Naval Treaty of 1925. The arms limitation provisions are immediately enacted, which puts more limits on the costly naval arms race between its five signatories, Italy, France, the Japanese Empire, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

October 30: Turkey and Greece sign a friendship treaty. 


November 2: In Ethiopia, Haile Selassie is crowned emperor. 

November 3: In Brazil, Getúlio Vargas becomes the president. 

November 3: The Bank of Italy is renamed Bank of America.

November 11: Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd are awarded patent number US1781541 for inventing the Einstein refrigerator.  

November 15: In Howard Hughes’ war film Hell’s Angels, Jean Harlow has her first major film role. She becomes an immediate sensation with her platinum hair and sensual persona, which turns her into one of the most iconic and discussed movie stars of the decades. 

November 25: In the Izu Peninsula of Japan, an earthquake results in the deaths of 223 people, with 650 buildings destroyed. 

November 25: A pathologist at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary in England, Cecil George Paine, achieves the first recorded cure using penicillin when he cures an eye infection. 


December 2: The Great Depression: President Hoover asks for a $150 million public works program to help create jobs and stimulate the failing American economy. 

December 7: In Boston, television station W1XAV broadcasts audio and video from the radio orchestra program The Fox Trappers. This broadcast also features the very first television commercial in the United States, which is an advertisement for the I. J. Fox Furriers Company who sponsors the telecast. 

December 8: Broadway Theater opens at 1681 Broadway, New York City. 

December 19: Mount Merapi in Indonesia erupts and 1,300 people are killed. The sudden explosion of gas and rock destroys 13 nearby villages.

December 23: Bette Davis arrives in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios.

December 24: Inventor Harry Grindell Matthews in London demonstrates his device to project pictures onto clouds.

December 29: The two-nation theory is introduced when Sir Muhammad Iqbal gives his presidential address in Allahabad, which outlines a vision for Pakistan to be created.

December 31: The US tobacco industry announces it produced 123 billion cigarettes this year. 

December 31: The sanctity of marriage is stressed by the Papal encyclical Casti connubii, issued by Pope Pius XI. Roman Catholics are prohibited from using any form of artificial birth control and restates the Catholic prohibition on abortion. 

soup kitchen queue

In the midst of the Great Depression: Unemployed men queuing for a soup kitchen, 1930s

The Salt March in India

The Salt March took place in India from March 12 to 6 April 1930 and was led by Mahatma Gandhi. The march was an act of civil disobedience in order to protest British rule in India. Thousands of Indians followed Gandhi from his retreat near Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea Coast, marching around 240 miles. Nearly 60,000 people were arrested, including Gandhi.

The march was immediately responding to Britain’s Salt Act of 1882, which restricted Indians from collecting or selling salt. The mineral was a staple of Indian diets, and they were forced to collect salt directly from their British rulers. In turn, Britain charged a heavy salt tax, which made acquiring salt expensive and more difficult for the people of India. While poor people in India struggled under most taxes, the salt tax was affecting something fundamental to their food. 

The march did have a degree of success, contributing to the eventual independence granted to India in 1947. In 1931, Gandhi was released from prison and he traveled to London for a conference to discuss matters. While Gandhi didn’t achieve immediate success from the conference, it became quickly apparent that British leaders were unable to avoid his force. 

Pluto Discovered as a Planet

On February 18 1930, Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto. It was, and still is, the largest known plutoid to be found and was the first Kuiper Belt object to be discovered. For the following 75 years, Pluto was classed as the 9th planet in the solar system, following on from Neptune. On May 1, the planet was named by 11 year old Venetia Burney, suggesting the name to reflect the classical mythological god of the underworld. The name also honors Percival Lowell, who began the search for a planet beyond Neptune. The first two letters of Pluto are the initials of Percival Lowell. 

While Pluto was classed as a planet for so long, its status was being challenged at the start of the 1990s, since other objects had been found that were the same size as Pluto. After the term “planet” was properly defined, Pluto was officially demoted to a “dwarf planet” in 2006.

First Ever FIFA World Cup

On this day, the first ever FIFA World Cup took place in Uruguay. FIFA chose Uruguay as the host nation, since the country was celebrating the centenary of its first constitution and in 1928, the Uruguay national football team had retained their football title at the Olympics. 

Games were played at the country’s capital of Montevideo. Uruguay defeated Argentina in the final on July 30, making the country the first ever World Cup champions. 

The Great Depression in 1930

It was on December 2 1930 that President Herbert Hoover addressed a State of the Union to make awareness of America’s economic situation. Following the Wall Street Crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the US economy was suffering desperately and it was time for the government to act upon this, despite always having a laissez-faire approach to economic affairs. 

Despite claiming that “Substantial progress has been made during the year in national peace and security,” the US and the rest of the world would continue to face challenges with lack of jobs, unemployment and homelessness. Hoover would then ask the government for a $150 million public works program to provide jobs for the unemployed and eventual stimulate the economy. This was a big change to the American government and went against Hoover’s initial beliefs that the economy would be able to sort itself out without any intervention.