1929 Happenings, Part One

Eighty-five years ago, the Lord Baltimore Hotel had just opened at the end of December, 1928. However, by the end of the hotel’s initial year of operation, the world would be a much different place than it was when Governor Ritchie was the first to sign the guest register upon its opening. Here are some of the significant events that would occur in the new year of 1929:

Science fiction comic strips were born with the creation of future hero Buck Rogers, as described by the Buck Rogers Fansite:

“Philip Francis Nowlan’s Amazing Stories came to the attention of John Flint Dille, president of the National Newspaper Service Syndicate. He commissioned Nowlan — along with cartoonist Richard ‘Dick’ Calkins — to do a comic strip for syndication. The comic strip debuted on Monday January 7th 1929 and was the first science fiction comic strip.

The comic strip was set in 2429 A.D. and our hero — now given the nickname ‘Buck’ as it sounded more of a heroes name — awakens from suspended animation in a mine where he lay for 500 years preserved by a strange gas.”

The first Native American Vice President was inaugurated in 1929. USA Today’s Matt Kelley writes:

“Charles Curtis, a member of the Kaw Indian tribe, was vice president under Herbert Hoover. He served from 1929 to 1933. Curtis, a senator from Kansas, had been the Senate’s majority leader and an unsuccessful rival of Hoover’s for the 1928 Republican presidential nomination.

Curtis was a great-great-grandson of the Kaw chief White Plume, who offered his help to the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Born in 1860, Curtis spent much of his childhood on the Kaw tribe’s reservation near Topeka and spoke the Kaw tribal language before he learned English.”

Prohibition would continue through 1929, and the law had long since created the conditions which enabled “the most infamous of all gangland slayings in America”, as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was characterized by John O’Brien of the Chicago Tribune:

“On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous of all gangland slayings in America, and it savagely achieved its purpose–the elimination of the last challenge to Al Capone for the mantle of crime boss in Chicago. By 1929, Capone’s only real threat was George “Bugs” Moran, who headed his own gang and what was left of Dion O’Banion’s band of bootleggers. Moran had long despised Capone, mockingly referring to him as “The Beast.””

Do you know anyone who’s visited the Lord Baltimore Hotel in the past 85 years? We’d love to hear their story! Email stories@lordbaltimorehotel.com and let us know!