1934 1935 1936 - 1937 - 1938 1939 1940
1900s 1910s 1920s - 1930s - 1940s 1950s 1960s
Events of 1937
- January 1 - Anastasio Somoza García becomes President of Nicaragua.
- January 3 - First science fiction convention in Leeds, England.
- January 11 - The first issue of LOOK magazine goes on sale in the United States.
- January 19 - Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
- January 20 - Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in Franklin D. Roosevelt for a second term. This is the first time Inauguration Day in the United States occurred on that date. It has occurred on January 20 ever since.
- January 23 - In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.
- January 26 - Michigan celebrates its Centennial Anniversary of statehood.
- January 31 - Ohio River floods
- January 31 - 31 people executed in the Soviet Union for "Trotskyism"
- February 5 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 8 - Falangist troops take Málaga
- February 8-February 27, Battle of Jarama
- February 11 - A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Automobile Workers Union
- February 16 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.
- February 19 - Airliner VH-UHH, Stinson, goes down over Lamington National Park, Bound for Sydney, killing five.
- February 19 - During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades. The Italian security guard fire into the crowd of Ethiopian onlookers, and over the passing weeks indiscriminately slaughter native Ethiopians in reprisal.
- February 21 - Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Aerobile; the League of Nations Non-Intervention Committee ban on foreign nationals fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
- March 10 - The Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge of pope Pius XI is published in National Socialist Germany
- March 17 - Atherton Report released. Private investigator Edwin Atherton's report detailing vice and police corruption in San Francisco.
- March 18
- In the worst school disaster in American history in terms of lives lost, the New London School in New London, Texas suffers a catastrophic natural gas explosion, killing in excess of three hundred students and teachers.
- Mother Frances Hospital opens one day early in Tyler, Texas in response to the New London School explosion.
- March 26 - William Henry Hastie becomes the first African-American appointed to federal judgeship.
- April 1 - Aden becomes a British crown colony.
- April 9 - The Kamikaze arrives at Croydon Airport in London - it is the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly to Europe.
- April 12 - The Supreme Court of the United States rules the National Labor Relations Act is constitutional in NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel.
- April 20 - 17 students die and 50 are injured in Kilingi-Nõmme, Estonia, after a cinefilm takes fire in an elementary school.
- April 26 - Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Spain is bombed. In his report of the Falangist attack on Guernica, British journalist George Steer reports that he had found German bomb casings, connecting Luftwaffe planes with the attack.
- May - Dáil Éireann passes the Executive Authority (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1937, which retrospectively abolishes the office of Governor-General of the Irish Free State. The abolition is retrospectively dated to December 1936.
- May 1 - General strike in Paris, France
- May 6 - In United States, the German airship Hindenburg bursts into flame when mooring to a mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
- May 7 - Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion Fighter Group, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.
- May 12 - Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth takes place at Westminster Abbey, London.
- May 13 - Canadian writer Roch Carrier is born in Sainte-Justine, Quebec.
- May 21 - a Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
- May 21 - As one of the reprisals for the attempted assassination of Italian viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, a detachment of Italian troops massacre the entire community of Debre Libanos. 297 monks and 23 laymen are killed.
- May 27 - In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushes a button in Washington, DC signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge.
- May 28 - Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- June 3 - Wallis Simpson and the former Edward VIII of the United Kingdom marry.
- June 8
- June 14 - Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.
- June 21 - Coalition government of Léon Blum resigns in France.
- June/July - Dáil Éireann debates and passes the draft new constitution of Éire, to be called Bunreacht na hÉireann. The new constitution is then submitted for public approval by plebiscite.
- July 1
- July 2 - Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear over New Guinea during Earhart's attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world.
- July 5 - Highest recorded temperature in Canada, at Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan: 45°C.
- July 7 - Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Lugou Bridge - Japanese forces invade China. Often seen as the beginning of World War II in Asia
- July 20 - The Geibeltbad Pirna was opened.
- July 21 - Eamon de Valera elected president of Éire (Ireland)
- July 22 - New Deal: The United States Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- July 24 - Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called "Scottsboro Boys."
- July 28 - IRA attempts bombing assassination against King George VI in Belfast.
- August 5 - Soviet Union commences one of the largest campaigns of the Great Purge, to "eliminate anti-Soviet element". Within the following year, at least 724,000 people were killed on order of troikas, many of them chosen for shooting by their ethnicity.
- August 6 - Falangist artillery bombards Madrid.
- August 26 - Sino-Japanese War - Japanese aircraft attack the car carrying the ambassador of Great Britain during a raid on Shanghai.
- September 2 - The Great Hong Kong Typhoon of 1937 killed an estimated 11,000 persons.
- September 5 - Spanish Civil War: The fall of Llanes.
- September 7 - CBS broadcasts a two-and-a-half hour memorial concert on radio in memory of George Gershwin, live from the Hollywood Bowl. (Gershwin had died prematurely on July 11 of that year.) Many celebrities appear, including members of the original cast of Porgy and Bess. The concert is recorded and released complete years later in what is excellent sound for its time, on CD.
- September 21 - George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
- September 25 - Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Pingxingguan.
- September 26 - Street and Smith Publications launches a half-hour radio program , The Shadow, with Orson Welles in the title role.
- September 27 - The last Bali tiger dies.
- October 1
- October 3 - Japanese troops advance toward Nanking.
- October 5 - Roosevelt gives his famous "Quarantine Speech" in Chicago.
- October 13 - Germany, in a note to Brussels, guaranteed the inviolability and integrity of Belgium so long as the latter abstained from military action against Germany.
- October 15 - Ernest Hemingway's novel To Have and Have Not is first published.
- October 21
- October 27 - Spanish Civil War - Republican forces in Gijon, Spain, set fire to petrol reserves before they retreat before the advancing Falangists.
- November 5
- November 6 - Italy joins Anti-Comintern Pact.
- November 9 - Savage Japanese troops take Shanghai.
- November 10 - Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas announces the Estado Novo - New State -, thence becoming dictator of Brazil until 1945.
- November 11 - Kogushi sulfur mine collapse, western Gunma, Japan, killing at least 245 people.
- December 11 - Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.
- December 12 - Panay incident.
- December 13 - Battle of Nanjing ends and the Nanjing Massacre begins. Japanese troops would slaughter over 250,000 civilians and prisoners over three months.
- December 25 - Arturo Toscanini conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra on radio for the first time, beginning his successful 17-year tenure with that orchestra. Millions tune in to listen, including U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- December 29 - New Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann comes into force. The Irish Free State becomes Éire. Eamon de Valera becomes the first Taoiseach (prime minister) of the new state. A Presidential Commission (made up the Irish Chief Justice, the Speaker of Dáil Éireann and the President of the High Court) assumes the powers of the new presidency of Ireland pending the election of the first president in June 1938.
- March 5 - Daniel Burros, Jewish member of the American Nazi Party (d. 1965)
- April 28 - Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq (d. 2006)