1930-1939 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy various newspaper articles include a Timeline from the Fort Wayne Historyarchives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Fort Wayne and the Great Depression: The Early Years, 1929–1933 by Iwan Morgan from Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 122-145.


  1. Onset of the Great Depression reduces vehicle purchases in Fort Wayne to 4,353 from 7,538 the previous year, when the stock market crashed. Local vehicle sales drop to a Depression low in 1932, at 1,484.
  2. Lincoln Trust Co. opens Lincoln National Bank in Lincoln Tower, which builders began constructing a month after the stock market crash. Of the dozen local banks at the start of the decade, only Lincoln National and Peoples Trust & Savings Co. survived the Depression without reorganizing.
  3. Dudlow Manufacturing Co. sold to Addison Holton of Detroit, the forerunner of Essex Co.
  4. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. assets top $1 billion.
  5. Indiana Technical College founded; it eventually becomes Indiana Institute of Technology. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  6. 1930s Hoovervilles popped up around the country during the Great Depression. The largest in Fort Wayne was in the thumb of the 3 rivers now Headwaters Park. By 1939 the last of the shanties had been torn down.

1930 - 70% of Americans have electricity

Industrial survey of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Volume 1930 supplement) - Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce (Ind.) Archive.org ebook

1930 - the swinging bridge in Foster Park was built from a 1939 photo posted February 1, 2019 by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook.

1930, April 2 - John Zitzman, the census enumerator, started recording the 15th U.S. Federal Census in Aboite Township.

1930, August 7 - two young African-American men Abram Smith and Thomas Shipp were lynched in Marion, Indiana when a white mob somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people took them from their jail cells. Read more on August 7, 2017 on Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. See photo on Strange Fruit: Anniversary Of A Lynching published August 6, 2010 on NPR.org.

1930, August 20 - Fort Wayne newspapers report the first city bank robbery of Broadway State Bank at the corner of Taylor and Broadway seen in Anatomy of Historic Fort Wayne Bank Heist by Eric Olson published October 23, 2015 on WPTA21 ABC TV station.

1930, November - the Lincoln Tower opens. It is one of tallest buildings in Fort Wayne and had a German Immigrant influence in its formation.


Zollner Piston Co. relocates to Fort Wayne from Duluth, Minn., building its new headquarters and factory next to a major factory of International Harvester, which was the nation's largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer. Zollner Corp. had invented the aluminum piston, which found favor with the heavy-truck industry because it was much lighter and quieter than the iron versions made by competitors. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1931 - the tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera), also known as yellow poplar, was adopted as the official state tree of Indiana (Indiana Code 1-2-7). See Indiana State Tree and Flower by the Indiana Historical Bureau.

1931-1942 - Little Orphan Annie radio show had a special appeal to children and was featured in the classic 1983 movie A Christmas Story. American Children Faced Great Dangers in the 1930s, None Greater Than “Little Orphan Annie” Advertisements for Ovaltine were just part of the problem by A. Brad Schwartz on Smithsonian.com.

Allen County Community Album at ACPL
ACPL image

1931, January 1 - during prohibition two Beer Seized photos shows a beer siezure on Maysville Road at Lunz's Corner from the Allen County Community Album at the Allen County Public Library.

1931, March 3 - President Hoover makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 during the War of 1812 our national anthem. The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner. How the flag that flew proudly over Fort McHenry inspired an anthem and made its way to the Smithsonian. By Cate Lineberry published March 1, 2007 on Smithsonian.com. Why is the national anthem so hard to sing? by MK Macko published May 14, 2014 in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog. O say can you sing a different patriotic song? by Tony Altman published March 3, 2015 on The The National Museum of American Historysite.

1931, May 1 - President Herbert Hoover attended the grand opening of the Empire State Building in New York. The 103-story skyscraper was constructed with 18,630 tons of Indiana limestone.

1931, October 18 - Thomas Edison died with a record 1,093 patents, including 389 for electric light and power.

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The statue, "Abraham Lincoln – The Hoosier Youth," created by noted sculptor Paul Manship, is erected at the main entrance to the Lincoln Life corporate offices. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1932, March 1 - Charles Lindbergh III, the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped from his family's new mansion in New Jersey. Although ransom was demanded and paid, the infant was killed the night of the kidnapping and was found less than a mile from home. The heartbroken Lindberghs ended up donating the mansion to charity and moved away. In the aftermath of the crime—the most notorious of the 1930s—kidnapping was made a federal offense.

1932, May 21 - Amelia Earhart landed in a field at Culmore, near Derry in Northern Ireland, after flying solo across the Atlantic – she was the first woman to achieve this amazing feat. See British Newspaper Archive blog.

1932, August 24-25 - Amelia Earhart became the 1st woman to fly across the US non-stop. See Amelia Earhart - Women In Aviation and Space History on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum blog.

1932, September 2 - the Waynedale News started publication. Waynedale News Celebrates Community Legacy published September 2, 2018 on theWaynedale News.com.

1932, September 16 - Abraham Lincoln bronze figure by Paul Manship dedicated downtown on Harrison Street in front of Lincoln Financial Group. Called "Abraham Lincoln the Hooiser Youth," it depicts Lincoln when he lived in Indiana. Photo on Downtown Fort Wayne on Facebook.


  1. Fort Wayne National Bank founded at 123 W. Berry St. to fill a void left by the closing of Old-First National Bank and Trust, which was shut down after a run by fearful depositors six months earlier.
  2. Centlivre and Berghoff breweries resume full operations after repeal of the Volstead Act, which brought prohibition. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1933-1940 Great Depression years discussed in Fort Wayne and the Great Depression: The New Deal Years, 1933–1940 by Iwan Morgan on Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 80, Issue 4, pp 348-378. The plywood houses built in late 1930s by the Fort Wayne Housing Authority were discussed with photos on pages 362-363.

1933, March 2 - the Indiana General Assembly adopted the cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis cardinalis) the official state bird of the State of Indiana (Indiana Code 1-2-8).  See Indiana State Bird by the Indiana Historical Bureau. Also known as the redbird, the cardinal is the state bird of seven states: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. The bright red males are easily spotted, especially in the winter. Females cardinals are brown with a dull red crest. Cardinals remain in Indiana year round and nest in thickets of brambles or low saplings. The eggs, 2 to 4, are bluish-white with brown markings. Copied March 2, 2017 from Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebook.

1933, March 4 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt says We have nothing to fear, but fear itself at his inauguration

1933, March 22 - President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Beer-Wine Revenue Act amending the Volstead Act and permitting the sale of beer and wine with an alcohol content of less than 3.2% by volume.   The act represented the first relaxation of the prohibition laws since 1918 and was followed up at the end of the year with the passage of the 21st Amendment repealing prohibition.

1933, March 31 - The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established by Congress on March 31, 1933, provided jobs for young, unemployed men during the Great Depression. Civilian Conservation Corps at the National Park Service. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC] at The National Archives. Civilian Conservation Corps at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

1933, April 5 - Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6101 which established the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide jobs for young men during the Great Depression while implementing a general natural resource conservation program. See The Library of Congress photos. It was disbanded in 1942 as the country geared up for World War II.

1933, April 19 - FDR takes U.S. off the gold standard to combat the Great Depression.

1933, May 6 - FDR creates the Works Progress Administration

1933, 10 May - Nazi-supporting students burned over 25,000 books that were deemed to be ‘un-German’ In most university towns of Nazi Germany during the night. From Nazi Book Burnings – 10 May 1933 on The British Newspaper Archives.

1933, June 5 - the United States went off the gold standard, where our currency was backed by gold, after Congress enacted a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. See FDR takes United States off gold standard on History.com.

1933, June 6 - the first drive-in movie theater opens, in Camden County, New Jersey.

1933, July 28 - CCC was founded giving unemployed men and youths jobs building the nation's infrastructure and national parks and working to conserve forests and wildlife across the country. By September 1935, there were nearly 500,000 men serving in the CCC.

December 5, 1933 - Prohibition Ends when the passage of the 21st Amendment was ratified. The 21st Amendment repealed the18th Amendment ratified January 16, 1919, ending the increasingly unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol.

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Central Soya Corp. founded by Dale McMillen; eventually it grows to become one of the nation's largest soy processing companies. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1934 - Homer Van Meter of the John Dillinger bank robbing gang was gunned down in St. Paul, MN and his body returned to Lindenwood Cemetery for burial. See Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Wanted Poster of John Dillinger, 06/25/1934 on the The National Archives Today's Document.

1934, May 23 - On a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, ... Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were shot dead in a police ambush. The couple were criminal celebrities during the ‘public enemy era’ in the USA, from between 1931 and 1934. It’s believed that they killed nine police officers and several civilians during the course of their careers as armed robbers. Copied from Bonnie and Clyde Are Killed in a Police Ambush – 23 May 1934 from the British Newspaper Archive blog.

1934, June 19 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating the National Archives. Read more in Happy 80th Birthday National Archives by Jessie Kratz in The National Archives Prologue: Pieces of History blog.

1934, July 22 - John Dillinger the bank robber was gunned down by federal officers when he walked out of the Chicago north side Biograph Theatre. He had a face lift and dyed his hair. He was born, and buried, in Indianapolis. See his June 25, 1934 Wanted Poster on US The National Archives Facebook page. Read about his three gang members Infamous Burials here in Fort Wayne cemeteries.

1934, July 22 - was the first time the high temperature was recorded as 106°. It matched that temperature again on June 25, 1988. From Fort Wayne Indiana Climate at the National Weather Service.


1935, January 19 - men's briefs sell out when Tighty-whities first hit the market 80 years today by Laura Clark published January 19, 2015 on Smithsonian.com.

1935, March 20 - Amelia Earhart lectured at the Shrine Auditorium in Fort Wayne as a guest lecturer for the Psi Iota Xi Sorority Pi Chapter.

1935, April 8 - the Works Progress Administration was established. The work-relief program would go on to employ over 8.5 million Americans at an average salary of $41.57 a month building bridges, roads, public buildings, public parks and airports all across the United States. Read more at: General Article: The Works Progress Administration (WPA) at American Experience. See Works Progress Administration at Today in History at The Library of Congress

1935, August 1 - the first three Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in the State of Indiana began in Gary and Marion County. The WPA, a program enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide relief to those impoverished by the Great Depression, allocated $1.2 million and employed 1,500 men to work in Gary and Marion County. Gary workers were tasked with improving city parks, such as Gleason's Park and Lincoln Park, by constructing a bird path, golf courses, roads, and a greenhouse. Copied from an August 1, 2018 post by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. Learn more about the WPA here:The Works Project Administration in Indiana The image on the post shows WPA workers in Muncie during their lunch break circa 1935, is courtesy of Ball State University Libraries.


  1. United Electrical Workers Union founded in Fort Wayne to represent workers at General Electric Co. and other electronics manufacturers here, and eventually becomes national in scope. A number of its founders later create the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.
  2. WOWO and WGL radio stations purchased by Westinghouse Radio Stations, and moved into a tall building at the corner of Harrison Street and Washington Boulevard. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1936 - The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, enacted on May 20, 1936, provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States. Need to work on this for history of I & M - History of AEP The American Gas and Electric Company was incorporated Dec. 20, 1906. It moved into Michigan in 1922 with the acquisition of Indiana and Michigan.

1936-1940 the Indiana Works Progress Administration WPA. Indiana WPA Indexes by the Tri-States Genealogical Society states During the period 1936-1940 the Indiana Works Progress Administration (WPA) indexed a large part of the birth, marriage and death records of 68 of Indiana's 92 counties. Marriage records were indexed from 1850 through 1920. Birth and death records were indexed from 1882 through 1920. Marriages have been recorded in Indiana from the territorial period until the present day by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county where the marriage was performed. Births and deaths, however, have been recorded by the civil authorities in Indiana only since 1882. Records of births and deaths are maintained by the County Health Officer of the county where the birth or death occurred. Be sure to read the 7 page WPA LIBRARY PROJECTS IN INDIANA By Marcia Caudell, Deborah Jones, Ben Jessup, & Marti Reeser printed in the Indiana Libraries, Volume 20, Number 1 on IUPUI.edu. The Works Progress Administration in Indiana at the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

1936, July - the city opened a pool, complete with Red Cross lifeguards, in the St. Joseph River below the Waterworks Dam on Anthony Boulevard. So many swimmers rushed to the pool that planned improvements to the municipal beach and the river bed became impossible - and the board of works announced a preferred route for the public to travel there. Copied from a photo caption in THIS DAY IN HISTORY: July 13 in photos by Dan Vance published July 13, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1936, July 14 - Indiana experienced the highest recorded temperature in the state's history when thermometers hit 116 degrees in Collegeville, Jasper County. The United Press reported: "Relief from one of the most severe droughts in the history of the state . . . The scorching heat wave will leave in its wake a state death toll of at least 173 lives. Thousands of dollars of damage has been done to crops, and additional damage has been caused by fires, started by the intense heat. Fifty-seven deaths, including nine in Indianapolis, were reported in the state yesterday. The blistering heat took hold on the state July 4 and for the last eight days the temperature has soared above 100 degrees, establishing a record for Indiana. City dwellers and rural folk suffered alike in the heat." Read more about the heatwave in the Greencastle Banner via Hoosier State Chronicles: The Daily Banner,Greencastle, Putnam County, 15 July 1936. Copied from July 14, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

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1937 - Indiana General Assembly resolution adopted the Indiana State Motto as The Crossroads of America.

1937 - the zipper invented

1937 - the Wolf & Dessaur Christmas Wreath was first displayed

1937, May 6 - the German airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built, explodes as it arrives in the U.S. Thirty-six people died in the fiery accident that has since become iconic, in part because of the live radio broadcast of the disaster. See video Hindenburg Disaster With Sound (Herb Morrison, WLS Radio) on Archive.org.

1937, May 17 - the childhood home of James Whitcomb Riley in Greenfield, Indiana was opened to the public after restoration by the Riley Old Home Society. From May 17, 2013 Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

1937, November - a WPA photo from The National Archives shows the Robert Snyder family of Fort Wayne and another shows A WPA culvert project in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1937 both were posted in A New Deal for Indiana published April 19, 2015 on New Deal of the Day blog.


  1. Fort Wayne Industrial Union Council, consisting of six local unions, was chartered by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).
  2. Civil Aeronautics Authority approves night airplane service for Fort Wayne after its airport (Baer Field) installs electric runway lights and radio communication.
  3. Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the television, relocates his new TV manufacturing company to Fort Wayne. It eventually becomes ITT Corp., which now makes military radios and optical equipment used in satellites. Copied from the 1930 to 1939: Decade of bankruptcy & bureaucracy Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1938 - South Side High School became the first team from a city of more than 50,000 to win the Indiana State Basketball Tournament after the first 27 years when teams from small towns dominated, creating the mystique upon which much of Hoosier Hysteria is based. From Last Archer title winner dies Roth was last member of 1938 championship team by Blake Sebring published April 17, 2013 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1938, January 3 - the March of Dimes is launched to fight polio.

1938, July 16 - photo of Bobby Lambert, veteran of three News-Sentinel Soap Box Derbies, was preparing for the 1938 race with his brother, Billie, who was participating for the first time. With the permission of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lambert, the boys put the finishing touches on their cars in their living room at 2201 Holton Ave. Copied from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: July 16 in photos published July 16, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1938, July 18 - About 100 drivers lined up for the fourth annual Soap Box Derby Parade on July 18, 1938, the night before the running of that year's race. Thousands of spectators stood along the 2-mile parade route, from the News-Sentinel building on Barr Street to Bueter Road. Copied from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: July 18 in photos by Dan Vance published July 18, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.


1939 - Brown Trucking truck from Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1939, March 14 - Capehart-Farnsworth opened for business in Fort Wayne. The company produced radios, phonographs, and television equipment. From a March 14, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. The Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation (FTRC) after scouring the nation for a manufacturing plant, in 1938 selected the former Capehart Phonograph Company building and opened in 1939 stimulating the city’s economy with the production of radios, phonographs and television equipment. From Philo T. Farnsworth: Conversing with Einstein & Achieving Fusion in Fort Wayne by Nicole Poletika posted on May 23, 2017 on the Indiana Historical Bureau blog. See Philo T. Farnsworth.

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