World Events

  • In Spanish Civil War, Guernica is destroyed. Picasso’s most famous painting immortalized that horror and of the coming war.
  • In China, the unarmed civilians in Nanking, up to 300,000, are raped and massacred by Japanese troops.
  • George VI and wife Elizabeth crowned in Westminster Abbey: Duke of Windsor (lately Edward VIII) marries Wallis Simpson.
  • President Roosevelt signs US Neutrality Act. Proposes to enlarge the Supreme Court.
  • A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Automobile Workers union.
  • Flight news: Howard Hughes flies from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 1/2 hours; Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear after taking off from New Guinea in her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world (Amelia Earhart: The Sky’s No Limit, Lori Van Pelt, 2009); the German dirigible Hindenburg bursts into flame in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
  • Academy Award, “The Life of Emile Zola”. Also movie hits: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Lost Horizon”. Pulitzer Prize: Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell. Other awards to Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck and The Citadel, A. J. Cronin.



In Salem

Cornerstone Laid for new Capitol Building

The State of Oregon began rebuilding the Capitol, but needed additional space for office buildings. As the cornerstone is laid a year later (above), there have already been changes in the four residential blocks north of Court Street. The first of four construction projects has begun in the area to be the Oregon State Library. To the right, beyond this photograph, the Governor Moody/Thomas Kay home has already been demolished for the construction of the State Library. The next-door Patton mansion will follow in the next year. Of the four houses visible, the first two to the right will be moved in the next year: the home of Supreme Court Justice Henry Bean, now the Rockenfield House at A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village and the home of former Mayor Lachmund, saved by being moved to Willamette University and then to State Street.
The two nearest the corner at Capitol Street, the Charles Spaulding and Henry Miles homes, will remain in place for another dozen years. The first four marble state buildings of the North Capitol Mall were constructed at the cost of losing “Piety Hill”, a distinguished residential section of Salem. It took twenty years to accomplish the state’s first segment, to Center Street.

When you visit
 North Capitol Mall continued its march north for over half a century, adding new buildings as residences were demolished, until the North Capitol Mall Heritage Park spans Mill Creek as seen in the charts here. The area effected begins at Court Street, in front of the Capitol Building, and extends north to “D” Street. It is bordered on the west by Capital Street, on the east by Winter Street adding new buildings including the Employment Building, the Agriculture Building, the Veterans Building, the State Archives and, finally, the North Capitol Mall Office Building as residences were demolished, until the North Capitol Mall Heritage Park now spans Mill Creek. The area effected begins at Court Street, in front of the Capitol Building, and extends north to “D” Street. It is bordered on the west by Capital Street, on the east by Winter Street. The Revenue and Barbara Robert Human Services Buildings are to the east of Capitol Street.

Other events
A small Jewish community begins meeting in private homes, then as the congregation grows, moves into temporary quarters downtown at Chemeketa and Commercial. Services were held three flights up, around an old wood stove, with about 20 to 30 people attending. •    The Skiff/Montgomery Building is completed on Liberty Street downtown. A photograph of the year before, shows the before the new construction and another two years later shows the street much as it appears today. In 1867, L. S. and Mary Gardiner Skiff had built a residence here, set back from the street. In 1885, Dr. Skiff built a brick building in front of their home to house his dental office. Their son, Mark Skiff, had a dental office there 1905-1917. This building is featured on the SHINE Historic Downtown Walking Tour.

After the snow storm, Liberty Street

In January, 27 inches of snow falls, setting a local record and halting traffic while repairs are made due to falling trees. The tower above the Odd Fellows Hall is damaged and the roof of the Salem Alliance Church collapses. Downtown marquees, including that of Miller Store on Court Street, were not designed for excessive weight. They snapped their supporting chains and crashed on to the sidewalks. The sneaker storm mantled the city and hundreds of cars were stalled, schools were closed and a cattle barn on the state fairgrounds collapsed. There were no reports of serious injuries.
•    In October the new Federal Building is completed on the Church Street site of the old Post Office. Postmaster General James A. Farley comes to Salem to dedicate the structure and 2000 residents turn out in the rain to watch the ceremony. In 1978 a new Post office was built on 25th Street. Purchased by the State of Oregon, this became the Executive Building.
•    Blue Lake Producers Cooperative begins as a restructuring of another West Salem cannery.

Francis and Bernice Smith House

On Cascade Drive in West Salem, Francis and Bernice Smith build a home overlooking the river and the city beyond. When the iron railings from Pioneer Cemetery were removed, many sections were transferred to this landscaping. There were many existing tall trees on the property, with the eastern border dropping off into wilderness. The Audubon Society now owns much of this wilderness area.