1931 History Events: What Happened in 1931

In 1931, one of the most disastrous disasters of the twentieth century occurred when the Yangtze River in China burst its banks, killing 3.7 million people directly and indirectly. Southern China experienced much above-average rainfall in January 1931, resulting in flooding of up to 500 square miles of nearby farmland by August 18. As August began and rain continued to fall, almost half a million people were forced to flee their homes due to the floods.

Prospects for gold and silver mining drew the earliest settlers to Nevada from all over the world. Mines began to decline, and the state assembly, in an effort to stem the tide of mass exodus, legalised gaming on March 19, and divorce a year later. The legalisation of gaming paved the way for Nevada to become one of the world’s gambling and entertainment capitals, Las Vegas. Gambling taxes make up a significant portion of the state’s total revenue.

The Empire State Building was added to New York’s skyline in 1931, and it quickly became known as the “jewel of the Big Apple.” The 102-story tower was completed in just over a year by John Jakob Raskob and a consortium of New York investors on a budget of less than $40 million. President Herbert Hoover of the United States dedicated the Empire State Building by turning on the lights on May 1st. The World Trade Center surpassed the Empire State Building as the world’s tallest building in 1972.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1931.


(January 07, 1931)
Guy Menzies is the first person to fly from Australia to New Zealand without stopping for 11 hours and 45 minutes. He crash-lands on New Zealand's west coast. photo source:


(February 08, 1931)
James Dean, an American actor who became a symbol of the 1950s' confused, restless, and idealistic youth, was born.

(March 19, 1931)
Nevada legalised gambling, paving the path for casinos to open across the state, including in Las Vegas.

(September 18, 1931)
The Mukden Incident, which is also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a Japan-staged false flag operation intended to justify their 1931 invasion of Manchuria and to gain control of all of Manchuria within three months. photo source:

(October 18, 1931)
Thomas Edison, an American inventor most renowned for his pivotal role in ushering in the modern era of electricity, died in West Orange, New Jersey. photo source:


(November 21, 1931)
In the United States, the horror classic Frankenstein was produced, based on a stage production of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's 1818 novel, and it contributed to establish the monstrous monster, played by Boris Karloff, one of the most famous figures in film history. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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1930 History Events: What Happened in 1930

1932 History Events: What Happened in 1932