A Year In History: 1931

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

March 3

“The Star-Spangled Banner” becomes official U.S. national anthem

President Herbert Hoover signs a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States. On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” after witnessing the massive overnight British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Key, an American lawyer, watched […]

April 11

Dorothy Parker announces she is resigning as drama critic for “The New Yorker”

The witty and caustic Dorothy Parker resigns her job as drama critic for The New Yorker. However, she continued to write book reviews until 1933, which were published in 1971 as A Month of Saturdays. The funny, sophisticated Parker symbolized the Roaring Twenties in New York for many readers. Parker was born in New Jersey […]

July 14

South Dakota governor begs for federal assistance over grasshopper plague 

On July 14, 1931, Governor Warren Green of South Dakota makes an urgent plea to President Herbert Hoover for assistance for his state’s farmers, whose lives and livelihoods were being threatened by a catastrophic insect invasion. “Grasshoppers have utterly destroyed all crops in 11,000 square miles of South Dakota,” the governor wrote in his emergency […]