World Events

  • The Geneva Convention of 1929 goes into force, signed by 129 nations. It requires the humane treatment of prisoners of war, care of the sick or wounded and protection of civilians.
  • Jane Addams becomes the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1899, she founded Chicago’s Hull House, a settlement residence for recently arrived European immigrants. In 1921, she was a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • To prevent a banking crisis, President Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium that delayed for one year the European payments of national war debts: 15 nations agree and Congress ratifies. The Veterans Compensation Act passes in Senate over Hoover’s veto.
  • The Star-Spangled Banner adopted as the United States national anthem.
  • Despite the economic crisis, the Empire State Building in New York City is completed.
  • Nevada legalizes gambling. Gangster Al Capone goes to prison.
  • Dick Tracy appears in the comics. Boris Karloff stars in “Dracula”.  Academy Award:”Grand Hotel”. Pulitzer Prize winner: The Good Earth, Pearl Buck.

In Salem
Canneries offered much needed local employment in Salem during the ten years of the international Depression in the 1930s. One of the most reliable sites for workers has been on Front Street, running northward from North Mill Creek. In 1929 Reid Murdock & Company, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in America, bought the plant, acquired more land in the area and by 1931 remodeling had been accomplished for canning.

When you visit
A succession of owners followed Reid Murdock. After a fifteen-year ownership by United States Products Corporation, the Truitt Brothers purchased the plant in 1975. They began a modernization program that made the 60-year old plant one of the most efficient operations in the Northwest. They diversified their line of products and with efficient, stainless steel production lines are able to produce a high-quality product with a minimum of hand labor. They are now among Oregon’s top 100 private businesses. You may make appointments to tour the plant.

Other Events

  • The City Council approved a special election to both purchase the private water system and build a pipeline to the North Santiam River. In December the voters approved a $2,500,000 bond issue that would provide pure mountain water.
  • The first dial telephone system was installed.


Former First Evangelical United Brethren Church
  • The First Evangelical United Brethren Church is built at Marion and Summer Street. It was demolished in the 1960s for the expansion of the state’s North Capitol Mall. The Barbara Roberts Oregon Human Resources Building starts there today.


Former Oregon Agriculture Building
  • The Oregon State Agriculture Building is completed on 12th Street.
  • Apart from institutional or government construction, there was little domestic building and no Salem historic properties date from this year as the national Depression effects the local economy.
Jacob Amsler and Homer Bush
  • Jacob Amsler is a man whose name appears in many Bush family remembrances. He owned the Harding House, just at the end of the Bush driveway into High Street, from 1903 to 1952 and was the farm manager, family chauffeur and friend to Miss Sally. Among the few photographs of him is one taken in this year. He stands with Homer Bush, a cousin, near a family automobile. A second photograph taken the same day, probably within a few minutes, shows Miss Sally with Cousin Homer. Another earlier Amsler photograph is of the Amsler family, without Jacob, taken c. 1900. The family consists of daughter Della, the mother holding baby Hilda, and another daughter, Elva. The caption tells us that the photographer was Sally Bush. Miss Sally took another photograph of Jacob, also in the early 1900s, showing him in a hammock holding a young child, perhaps the youngest daughter in family portrait. Miss Sally took this photograph as well. (These photographs can be seen online at the Salem Public Library Oregon Historic Photograph Collections.)

From the Capitol Journal:

  • An editorial in this newspaper described the appearance of Governor Julius Meier’s new chauffeur as he appeared in uniform at the governor’s office: “Resplendent and a sight for sore eyes. Uniform of the best material Meier and Frank could supply. A splendiferous spectacle. Coat of gold dun, fit to perfection and surmounted by a black and shining Sam Brown belt. On the chest, a badge of burnished gold about the size of a saucer. Trousers similar in style to those worn by Aaron frank when he exhibits his beautiful saddle hoses at the fair.”
  • Chief of Police Minto received approval from Mayor Gregory for the installation of a telephone service exclusively for police usage. Six phones in advantageous suburban locations were to be placed.
  • Salem Mortuary advertised a complete adult funeral for $65.
  • This newspaper and other benefactors presented the County Poor Farm with a radio. But the machine was now silent and would remain so, the superintendent said. Incessant squabbling over the choice of program drove the superintendent to this action in the interest of peace.
  • Sip for Supper columnist reported information from Paris that ladies were preparing to wear bustles again and some local women expressed the hope that the fashion would not become prevalent until cooker weather arrived.

(See Ben Maxwell’s Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006.)