1 March 1932

Aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son Charles Jr is kidnapped from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. His body would not be found until May 12.

The kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was one of the most notorious crimes of the 20th century. The abduction occurred on the evening of March 1, 1932, from the Lindbergh family home in East Amwell, New Jersey.

Charles Lindbergh Sr. was an international celebrity at the time, having gained fame as the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight in 1927. The Lindberghs’ wealth and prominence made their son a high-profile target for kidnapping.

On the night of the abduction, the Lindberghs discovered that their son was missing from his crib. A ransom note demanding $50,000 was found in the nursery, sparking a massive investigation and a nationwide manhunt.

Despite the ransom payment, the Lindberghs’ son was not returned. His body was discovered more than two months later, on May 12, 1932, in a wooded area near the family home. The cause of death was determined to be a severe skull fracture, likely sustained from a fall or a blow to the head.

The investigation into the kidnapping was one of the largest in U.S. history at the time. The case captivated the nation and led to the passage of the Federal Kidnapping Act, also known as the Lindbergh Law, which made kidnapping across state lines a federal offense. The law was enacted in response to concerns that the Lindbergh case highlighted gaps in jurisdiction and law enforcement coordination.

The investigation eventually led to the arrest and trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant and carpenter. Hauptmann was found in possession of some of the ransom money, and handwriting experts testified that he had written the ransom notes. Despite maintaining his innocence, Hauptmann was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair on April 3, 1936.

The Lindbergh kidnapping remains one of the most infamous crimes in American history, and it continues to capture the public’s imagination nearly a century later.

19 December 1932

BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

The BBC World Service is the international broadcasting service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It is one of the world’s largest and most respected news organizations, providing radio, television, and online content to a global audience. The service broadcasts in numerous languages, reaching people around the world with news, information, and cultural programs.

The BBC World Service has a long history, dating back to its first radio broadcast in 1932. Over the years, it has played a crucial role in providing accurate and reliable news to audiences in different parts of the world. The service covers a wide range of topics, including news, current affairs, business, culture, and more.

One of the notable features of the BBC World Service is its commitment to providing independent and impartial news coverage. It is funded by the UK government but operates independently, aiming to offer news and information that is free from political influence.

The BBC World Service is available on various platforms, including radio, television, and online streaming, making it accessible to audiences across the globe. It serves as a valuable source of information for people who seek international news and perspectives.

28 January 1932

Japanese forces attack Shanghai.

This article is about the 1937 battle. For the 1932 Japanese attack on Shanghai, see January 28 incident. For other uses, see Battle of Shanghai.
The Battle of Shanghai was the first of the twenty-two major engagements fought between the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and the Imperial Japanese Army of the Empire of Japan at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war, described as “Stalingrad on the Yangtze”.

Since the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 followed by the Japanese attack of Shanghai in 1932, there had been ongoing armed conflicts between China and Japan without an official declaration of war. These conflicts finally escalated in July 1937, when the Marco Polo Bridge Incident triggered the full invasion from Japan. Dogged Chinese resistance at Shanghai was aimed at stalling the rapid Japanese advance, giving much needed time for the Chinese government to move vital industries to the interior, while at the same time attempting to bring sympathetic Western powers to China’s side. During the fierce three-month battle, Chinese and Japanese troops fought in downtown Shanghai, in the outlying towns, and on the beaches of the Yangtze River and Hangzhou Bay, where the Japanese had made amphibious landings.

The Chinese soldiers had to rely primarily on small-caliber weapons in their defense of Shanghai, against an overwhelming Japanese onslaught of air, naval, and armored striking power. In the end, Shanghai fell, and China lost a significant portion of its best troops, while also failing to elicit any international intervention. The resistance of Chinese forces, however, shocked the Japanese, who had been indoctrinated with notions of cultural and martial superiority, and dramatically demoralized the Imperial Japanese Army.

The battle can be divided into three stages, and eventually involved nearly one million troops. The first stage lasted from August 13 to August 22, 1937, during which the NRA attempted to eradicate Japanese troop presence in downtown Shanghai. The second stage lasted from August 23 to October 26, 1937, during which the Japanese launched amphibious landings on the Jiangsu coast and the two armies fought a Stalingrad-type house-to-house battle, with the Japanese attempting to gain control of the city and the surrounding regions. The last stage, ranging from October 27 to the end of November 1937, involved the retreat of the Chinese army in the face of Japanese flanking maneuvers, and the ensuing combat on the road to China’s capital, Nanjing.

3 October 1932

Iraq gains it independence from the United Kingdom.

With the signing of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty and the settling of the Mosul Question, Iraqi politics took on a new dynamic. The emerging class of Sunni and Shia landowning tribal sheikhs vied for positions of power with wealthy and prestigious urban-based Sunni families and with Ottoman-trained army officers and bureaucrats. Because Iraq’s newly established political institutions were the creation of a foreign power, and because the concept of democratic government had no precedent in Iraqi history, the politicians in Baghdad lacked legitimacy and never developed deeply rooted constituencies. Thus, despite a constitution and an elected assembly, Iraqi politics was more a shifting alliance of important personalities and cliques than a democracy in the Western sense. The absence of broadly based political institutions inhibited the early nationalist movement’s ability to make deep inroads into Iraq’s diverse social structure.

The new Anglo-Iraqi Treaty was signed in June 1930. It provided for a “close alliance,” for “full and frank consultations between the two countries in all matters of foreign policy,” and for mutual assistance in case of war. Iraq granted the British the use of air bases near Basra and at Al Habbaniyah and the right to move troops across the country. The treaty, of twenty-five years’ duration, was to come into force upon Iraq’s admission to the League of Nations. This occurred on October 3, 1932.

In 1932, the Kingdom of Iraq was granted independence under King Faisal I. However the British retained military bases in the country. Iraq was granted official independence on October 3, 1932 in accordance with an agreement signed by the United Kingdom in 1930, whereby the United Kingdom would end its effective mandate on the condition that the Iraqi government would allow British advisers to take part in government affairs, allow British military bases to remain, and a requirement that Iraq assist the United Kingdom in wartime. Strong political tensions existed between Iraq and the United Kingdom even upon gaining independence. After gaining independence in 1932 the Iraqi government immediately declared that Kuwait was rightfully a territory of Iraq. Kuwait had loosely been under the authority of the Ottoman vilâyet of Basra for centuries until the British had formally severed it from the Ottoman influence after World War I and on this basis the Iraqi government stated that Kuwait was a British imperialist invention.