Newsreels 1931 (silent)

1930/11/24 Mauretania Saves Ovidia's Crew - "Mid-Atlantic: On-the-spot shots, taken from former speed queen of the ocean, give remarkable record of thrilling rescues after great Cunarder out-races Capt. Fried and his America, to pick up 28 men, Captain's wife and 'Puts' the engine-room cat, after Swedish ship founders in gale (2) Barbaric Splendor Marks Ras Tafari Coronation Rites - "Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Envoys of kings and presidents, tribal chiefs and dictators, participate in $3,000,000 pageant to mark inauguration of Haile Selassi I, descendent of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, in most gorgeous regal ceremony of modern times." (3) Lyons, France: landslide disaster opens pit hundreds of feet deep (4) Ola, Arkansas: Tornado injures 16 (5) New York City: turkey pluckers establish denuding record of 30 birds in 50 minutes (6) Washington DC: Goodyear blimp test new portable mooring mast for airships (7) Hollywood CA: cat fishes with its paws (8) Coast Guard Makes $1,000,000 Rum Haul and Seizes 19 Suspects - Boston MA: patrol boat Jackson seizes tug and 2 barges off Maine coast. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 2-95 National Archives, College Park MD

1930/11/27 Freak Gale Wreaks Havoc - Glendale CA: "Vagrant 40-mile wind whips out of north to unroof houses, pile up shipping, wreck a $60,000 cabin plane and deal out death to 5 Southern Californians in area around Pasadena, Altadena and Culver City." (2) Hitler Cohorts Lose In Election Marked By Bitter Rivalry - "Vienna, Austria: Heimwehr, as Fascisti are known here, get only five delegate seats in Parliament out of total of 165, while their principal foes, the Socialists, capture 72. Viciferous minority threaten trouble unless dictatorship is created." (3) Funny-Page Folk Featured In Annual Balloonatic Frolic - New York City: annual toyland parade features animal balloons (4) Teterboro NJ: Lindbergh test new 200 mph plane for south American trip (5) New York City: Women's hair styles feature jewels (6) London, England: delegates from India arrive for Empire conference (7) Gatow, Germany: "Modern belles inaugurate glider fad among Berlin's 400" (8) Rainier WA: heavy blizzard blocks roads in Northwest, snowfall of 6 feet in 36 hours (9) Elberfeld, Germany: U.S. technical experts visit Germany to study monorail, and plan to build first experimental line in Long Island NY. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 2-96 National Archives, College Park MD

1930/12/01 New Congress Opens, Favors Jobless Aid, Red Rioters Quelled - Washington DC: The 71st session works on problems of unemployment, prohibition, farm relief, taxes in the depression (2) New York City: Six-Day bicycle race in Madison Square Garden with 15 teams of bike riders (3) Leviathan OverHauling Gives Work To 500 - Boston MA: "Giant of the seas and queen of America's merchant fleet sails into Navy drydock. Repairs include straightening dents in one of the propellers, which is 16 feet long and weighs 19,000 pounds." (4) New York City: Sinclair Lewis sails to receive Nobel Prize (5) New York City: artists create holiday beasts for store displays (6) Berlin, Germany: Labor strike ends (7) Berlin, Germany: musicians make merry (8) Bowie MD: Endurance Handicap horserace won by Sonny Workman riding Sweep All from Dixiana Stables (9) Coblenz: floods and gales cause damage in southern Germany (10) Los Angeles CA: race car throws wheel and skids to disaster, race won by Ernie Triplett (11) National Theatre Special - Louisville KY: Daredevil Rooftop Thrillers. End logo. (complete silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 2-97 National Archives, College Park MD

1930/12/22 Rum Runner De Luxe Yields $200,000 Cargo To Coast Guardsmen - Brooklyn NY: "Motorship 'Shanaliam' valued at $100,000 ignores shots and finally is rammed by patrol Cardigan after 25-mile chase. With stove-in bow, smashed railings and 4000 cases of liquor, sea scofflaw is brought to port. 12 prisoners held in heavy jail." (2) Completes World's Largest Bible -Los Angeles CA: "8700 hours required to construct 1/2-ton tome at cost of $10,000." (3) Berlin, Germany: "Precision dancers create sensation at Wintergarten. Capital raves over newest type of chorus." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 2-103 National Archives, College Park MD

1930/12/24 Highlights In The News Of 1930 - (1) Beauvais, France: Dirigible R101 pride of Britain is destoryed with loss of 48 (2) Chicago: 8-story jump to net saves trapped fire victim (3) Lahore, India: Mahatma Gandhi jailed (4) New York City: Coste and Bellonte make epochal East-West airplane flight across ocean (5) Melfi, Italy: earthquake killed 2000, left 5000 homeless. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 2-104 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/03/23 Troops Called to Quell Prison Riot - "Joliet, Illinois: Close on the heels of the fatal uprising in the old prison here, in which two men were killed and many injured, inmates of Stateville, most modern penitentiary in America, apply torch to dining halls and cause $1,000,000 damage. Exclusive pictures show ringleader, hands raised, captive and marching to solidarity." (2) Hoover Sails for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands - "Old Point Comfort VA: President, accompanied by group of his most intimate friends and advisers, is greeted by officers and men of Battleship Arizona as he boards giant war craft for cruise that has turned into a triumph for Chief Executive as he joins in work of raising funds to aid children of insular possessions." (3) New York City: aerial inspection of recently completed Empire State Building (4) News Paragraphs - Boston: Balchen hops to seek "Viking" survivors on humanitarian flight; Miami Beach: young artists amaze art world; Wellesley: college girls demolish historic structure to make way for modern building (5) Berlin: chickens and machines at local poultry plant produce chicks (6) Miami Beach: Gar Wood sets speedboat record with Miss America IX. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-25 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/04/20 Wedding of European Nobility - "Palermo, Italy: Exiled regal hasbeens acclaim Prince Henry of Bourbon, Count of Paris, son of pretender to throne of France as he weds Princess Isabelle of Orleans-Braganza, daughter of claimant to Brazilian throne in brilliant cathedral ceremony. Bride's train, of priceless Brussels lace, held in place by bandeau of diamonds, is 20 feet long." (2) New York City: Women's annual international bowling championship. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-33 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/10/19 Edison Funeral - "West Orange NJ: At the Llewellyn Park laboratories where he worked for 45 years, old employees and associates are stricken at the death of the aged genius who brought light, entertainment, and achievement to the world." (2) Yorktown VA: historic battle of American Revolution is reenacted, with President Hoover, Marshal Petain of France, and General John J. Pershing (3) News Paragraphs - Gary IN: thousands take fuel from abandoned coke-dump for winter heat in the depression; Venice CA: pet goat walks tight rope (4) Grand Haven MI: new sport of sand skiing; Toledo OH: police enthusiastic over new bullet-proof glass (5) Alameda CA: historic structure dynamited to build new Army air base, was the first concrete structure built in the 1880s in the state (6) South Bend: Notre Dame defeats Drake in college football 63-0. (complete silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-85 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/10/22 Laval Arrives - "New York City: World amity guides the visit of the peasant lad who became President of the Council of Ministers of his nation. Debarking from the Ile de France with his daughter, Mlle. Josette, he is greeted by representatives of the State Department, city officials, and Paul Claudel, French Ambassador. The party boards the tug Macom and is landed at the battery and escorted up lower Broadway to City Hall where Mayor Walker welcomes the diplomats on behalf of the metropolis." (2) Chicago: Depression free meals supplied to children at city shelters. "Unemployed mothers and fathers are relieved of the worry of furnishing food for them in addition to the hazards of seeking work." (3) Orange NJ: Edison buried, Mrs. Herbert Hoover attends, all lights extinguished for one minute. (4) News Paragraphs - Universal City CA: scientist invents 500-passenger dirigible, predicts 24-hour crossing to Europe; Pontiac MI: freak car (5) Vienna, Austria: mass assembly of 100,000 pledge world peace, headed by President Miklas (6) Halifax: Canadian schooner Lunenburg defeats American challenger Thebaud in yacht race (7) New York City: workers build monster light beacon tower 950 feet above the financial district. (complete silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-86 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/10/26 George Washington Bridge Opens - New York City: FDR and Gov. Larson join hands on bridge over Hudson River (2) Nationalist Parties United Under Hitler Banner - "Bad Harzburg, Germany: Demanding the overthrow of the Bruening government, thousands take part in the fusion of the goose-stepping Steel Helmet and the Fascist organizations. 'National Opposition' the new party is founded with the support of Dr. Alfred Hugenberg at the greatest political rally his cohorts have taken part in within recent years. old army and navy leaders join in the revolt against the present regime of the republic." (3) news paragraphs - Chicago: Al Capone sentenced to 11 years at Leavenworth; West Point: cadets march in review for Marshal Petain with host John J. Pershing; Oakland CA: Evelyn Lee washes 10 dishes in 39 secs to win dishwashing contest (4) New York City: Gar Wood pilots Miss America IX motorboat at 104.2 mph but does not beat the speedboat record of British Kaye Don (5) New Haven CT: Yale ties Army 6-6 in college football. (complete silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-87 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/10/29 Military Funeral for Japan Soldiers in China - "Mukden, Manchuria: Unmindful of the pivotal point they have assumed in the world political problem, soldiers of the Nippon forces lay aside their arms while brothers who fell in battle are buried with heroes' honors. Through the war area of the railroad zone the biers are conducted over territory shell-torn from the recent conflict. And during the ceremonies firing ceases (2) Brookline MA: Miniature book collection of James D. Henderson (3) Rome, Italy: city police unit the Metropolitans are given medals by Mussolini (4) News Paragraphs - Los Angeles dog show - "Thoroughbreds barred in First Annual Mutt Show." Chicago: The world's first skyscraper, the 12-story Home Insurance Building built in 1885, is replaced by a taller skyscraper (5) Tacoma: R. O. Bagley builds back yard carnival for his kids; Alton NH: woman patents process for mass-producing corkscrews (6) New York City: Statue of Liberty illuminated by 95 new lights and a blinker system at the top of her head, for its 45th anniversary. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-88 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/11/05 Immigration Chiefs Deport Trainload of Undesirable Aliens - "Communipaw NJ: Ending a transcontinental trip from the Pacific Coast, nearly 400 unwanted foreigners reach the eastern shore and are herded aboard the Ellis Island boat, to await 'free passage' back to Europe. Gathered together for numerous offenses, men, women, and children form the contingent. Gunmen, reds, and ordinary violators of visiting permits are counted in the catch, one of the largest of recent months." (2) City Water Supply in Peril - "Jawbone Canyon CA: A huge gap is cut through the pipe carrying water to Los Angeles, in a fresh outbreak of hostilities between city officials and property owners adjacent to the preserve. Nine times since 1927 the causeway has been bombed with telling effect upon the supply to the metropolitan community. Three branches of police set out to locate the plotters whose atrocious deed is responsible for millions of gallons of water flooding nearby territory." (3) Royal Family Sees Village Wedding of Queen Mary's Niece - "Balcombe, England: Radiant in clinging bridal robes and wearing soft Brussels lace which her aunt wore, Lady May Cambridge becomes the mate of Captain Henry Abel Smith, of the Royal Horse Guards. The Prince of Wales, once reported engaged to the bride, views the ceremony. And the Duke and Duchess of York attend to see their 6-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, make her debut as a bridesmaid. it is the first royal wedding in which the word 'obey' is omitted from the vows." (4) News Paragraphs - Balboa, Canal Zone: USS Sacramento brings 3 castaways rescued from wild Pacific Isle; Sudbury MA: Thanksgiving turkeys; Paris, France: waiters hold annual wine race (5) "Naples, Italy: Premier Mussolini is wildly acclaimed by 300,000 persons on the 9th anniversary of his triumphant march at the head of the Black Shirt army on Rome. Picturesque detachments of the nation's military and naval forces mingle with the huge throng that endorses with enthusiasm the dictator's first address of a public gathering on the anniversary of his party's success. Disarm and forget war debts, is the message he delivers." (6) Proud Akron Makes Spectacular Flight - "Washington DC: Accompanied by the Los Angeles and a fleet of swift planes, the graceful queen of the air, the largest dirigible in the world, makes its debut. Agile and easily manageable the huge airship soars over the nation's capital, visits Baltimore and pays an official call over New York. Dwarfing all other aircraft in the squadron, she comes through with flying honors." (7) trailer: "Crowds attracted by daring stunts of 'Shipwreck' Kelly on Lyric Theatre Pole, 42nd St. at Broadway." (8) Calhoun GA: Dixie turkeys. This complete silent newsreel includes opening logo with title: "Graham McNamee broadcasting as the Universal Talking Reporter" SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-90 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/11/09 Sensational Grain Rise Aids Jobless As Flout Sales Rocket - "Minneapolis: Unemployment is sharply relieved by the spurt of trade, and workers, happy to be back at their machines, turn out huge quantities of the commodity to meet advance orders." (2) Marathon Winner Takes Food - "Paris, France: Food os more important in the life of M. Hediart who trots to victory in the annual 10-mile classic through the narrow streets of Montmartre. Out-distancing all competitors he winds his way through a large field of rivals, finishing at the top of the steep stairs approaching Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Refusing the proferred prize, he accepts a basket of meat and vegetables as a reward for his feat." (3) Mount Rushmore near completion - "Rushmore SD: A thousand tons of granite is being cut or dynamited every week in the rush to finish Gutzon Borglum's historic tableau that will grace the giant cliff in the Black Hills. The huge likeness of Washington with its 60-foot face and 240-foot figure is almost done. And the tremendous statues of Jefferson and Lincoln which flank the Father of his Country are now getting their finishing touches." (4) News Paragraphs - Chicago: Women hair styles emphasize glazed sculptured tresses, not bobbed hair; Genoa, Italy: Vatical blesses new ensign for old training ship; Astoria NY: 10,000 pigeons fly in third great "chuck-up" as decoy pets are used to lure birds to rival coops (5) Chicago: Ralph Capone, brother of Scarface Al Capone, sent on train at night to Leavenworth. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-91 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/11/30 Victor Collapses at Finish of 10-Mile Walk - "Coney island NY: Struggling to out-distance the nearest competitor, Leslie Kaczender succumbs to exhaustion after winning the muscle-torturing contest by 15 yards, he comes in first in 1 hr. 54 mins. 48 secs. but only a few seconds in front of John Klumbach after a wild home stretch spurt. (2) Throng of Workers Hail Government on Nation's 13th Birthday - Vienna, Austria: 250,000 supporters of Socialist rule parade down Ringstrasse past Town Hall, police maintain careful watch (3) St. Augustine FL: Aged couples hold annual reunion at famed Fountain of Youth (4) San Francisco: Mayor Walker here to aid Mooney, greeted by Gov. Rolph and Mayor Rossi (5) Dodge, OR: Nationals defeat All-Stars 3-2 for Pacific title in motorcycle polo (6)Miami Beach: winter season opens with world's largest bathing suit on elephant (7) Toronto, Canada: Lt. Gov. of Ontario, W. D. Ross, retires from office (8) Sarnia, Ontario: Western defeats Sarnia 7-1 to qualify for Eastern Canada final in football (9) Chicago: Catholic youths stage AAU boxing tournament. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-97 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/11/30 Special- All-American Board of Football Picks 1931 Super Grid Squad - New York City: "Exclusive pictures of the one and only All-America Board in session selecting the greatest eleven in the nation. Christy Walsh, Tad Jones, former Yale head coach; Bill Alexander, Georgia Tech mentor; Pop Warner, Stanford moderator, and Jesse harper, athletic director of Notre Dame, bone over nominations for gridiron's hall of fame, and select a squad representative of colleges from coast to coast and from the gulf to the lakes. For the first time in screen history the making of one of the teams of football's immortals is seen in a newsreel." (2) Reds Mix With Cops As Walker Pleads For Mooney Pardon - San Francisco: "The zeal of fiery Communists, in a demonstration of sympathy for the imprisoned man, is dampened by the swift movements of the Golden Gate City's minions of the law, who toss the most obstreperous in waiting patrol wagons. Appearing as an associate counsel, the chief executive of New York enters an appeal for the absolute freedom of the man convicted of murder in the 1916 Preparedness parade bombing, at the hearing before Gov. Rolph. Mrs. Mary Mooney, aged mother of the prisoner, attends the session with other members of her family, accompanied by the wife of the man whose unconditional release is sought for by Mayor Walker (3) Dear Hunting Hordes Invade North Woods With Bow and Arrow - St. Ignace MI: "Thousands of real crackshots put aside their firearms to stalk the game with primitive weapons in Blaney Park. At the opening of the season the Strait of Mackinac is jammed with sportsmen eager to enter the forest and track the animals on even terms. Civilized men prove capable of handling the Indian weapon, and establish themselves as smart woodsmen in bagging the elusive buck." (4) News Paragraphs - Portland OR: "Upperclassmen electrocute freshmen. Hair-raising stunts initiate newcomers to Oregon Tech." Paris, France: "Shopgirl spinsters hold annual race. Dash along ze boulevards honors Ste. Catherine's Day." (5) City In War Frenzy As Army Hosts Rush To Manchuria Front - Shinagawa, Japan: "More than 30,000 men, women and children give reinforcement troops a mighty send-off on their way to the seaboard to embark for active duty in the trenches of the fighting area. The national spirit prevails in the throng's enthusiasm as the soldiers mobilize from remote military posts, converging at this center before boarding transports. Fired with resentment against China and the League of Nations, the warriors march off toward the battle zone with the din of compelling patriotic display ringing in their ears." (6) Exclusive! White Men Rescue Indian Band Trapped In Raging Blizzard - Atarque NM: "Sensational pictures of the disaster that covered hundreds of square miles of the Redmen's reservation, 9500 feet above sea-level. Zuni and Navajo tribes threatened with complete annihilation, brave the fierce elements and swirling drifts to aid in the relief of 1600 of their number trapped in the snow-bound mountains. Led by eager and intrepid white men the clansmen work frantically to defeat the most terrible storm that has visited the country in 40 years, and avert one of the nation's most shocking tragedies." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-97 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/12/07 Red Hordes Meet In National Capital As 72nd Congress Opens - Washington DC: "Unable to rouse the dander of the solons as this history-making session gets under way, the hunger marchers from every section of the country parade up Pennsylvania Avenue for a call at the White House. But the presence of police and secret service men induces an orderly meeting. Relief agencies hand out coffee and rolls and the Communistic belligerents remain quiet, as the Democratic House of Representatives elects John Garner from Texas to the post of Speaker." scenes of depression (2) Queen of U. S. Liners - Camden NJ: "Christened by Mrs. Edith Roosevelt, widow of the late President, the SS Manhattan slips into the Delaware River as a crowd of 3000 cheers the event. The steamship is the largest merchant vessel ever built in America. It is 705 feet long and will have a gross of 30,000 tons. Water from 48 states is splashed over the bow and command of the boat is entrusted to Capt. George Fried, hero of many sea rescues." (3) News Paragraphs - Seattle: "Benefactor feeds starving game fowl. A. H. Westerman creates sanctuary for wild duck army." Havana, Cuba: Wine drinking contest won by Signor Felix Paul, downs 3 quarts in one sitting (4) Atlanta: Sophomores defeat Freshmen in annual college pushball contest (5) Alfonso's Cup Horserace - Grassland Downs TN: English horse Glangesia wins race; "Churchill Newcomb, the only owner-rider in the race, is severely shaken in a fall from Fiske and is rushed to a hospital. More than 10,000 view the event which brings the winner a $5000 purse in addition to the King of Spain cup." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-99 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/12/10 Newsreel intro features Graham McNamee (1) Fresh Troops Speed to Battle Front - Mukden, Manchuria: "The last detachment of relief soldiers to enter the fighting zone leaves here with the cheers and farewells of the Japanese populace ringing in its ears. These are, happily, probably the last men who will go into the war area because of the acceptance by the warring factions of the League of Nations peace plan this week. Grim and determined the well-trained regiments swing out of the city to take part in the last stages of what threatened to become another momentous conflict." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 3-100 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/12/28 Highlights In 1931's News - (1) Floods in China (2) Revolution in Spain (3) Daredevil flying "contributed the greatest thrill in the thrilling history of the newsreel screen with the crash of Lowell Bayles. Screaming through the air at 300 mph, Bayles' plane twisting and turning, plunged to earth and catapulted the intrepid pilot to his death." (4) Earthquake nearly wiped out Managua, Nicaragua (5) Harold Gatty and Wiley Post set their plane Betty Mae down on Long Island after circling the globe in a little over 8 days (6) A Couple of 1931 Laughs - horse with mustache, 8-year old eye-popper (7) Frightened Natives Flee In Panic Before Japanese Advance - Tientsin, China: "Military occupation of this salient point in Japan's offensive against China is marked in the frantic community by scenes of disorder as invading soldiers compel refugees to submit to search and seizure within the Japanese concession. Ignorant natives jam all roads leaving the city in an effort to escape the invading troops but watchful sentries break up the mobs and search everyone for arms. meanwhile remnants of the Chinese army mobilize nearby to defend the nation against an offensive on the Mukden-Peiping railroad which links this section with Manchuria, the scene of the greatest fighting." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 4-1 National Archives, College Park MD

1931/12/30 Chinese Retreat As Nippon Troops Press On To Chinchow Line - Changchiatun, Manchuria: "Loosely organized irregulars meet a thrust of the powerful Japanese columns seeking to occupy this town, a strategic position along the branch line of the Mukden-Peiping railroad. Zero weather and formidable well-trained Japanese forces conspire to force the grimly determined native soldiers to relinquish their tenancy of the position. Strengthend by re-enforcements, the invading troops push on toward their objective after a short skirmish in which the local defenders are force to evacuate the town in one of the critical high spots of the (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 4-2 National Archives, College Park MD


This DVD20 includes 2 hours of Universal Newsreels reproduced from reference cassettes at the National Archives, College Park MD, and is available from the University of San Diego Bookstore.
revised 11/1/07 by Steven Schoenherr | Universal Newsreels on DVD