On this Day, Aug 2, 1934 – Adolph HItler Becomes ‘der Führer’

ATT1L4WU_Adolf Hitler, early 1920s.ww2

1934 – With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or “Leader.” The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany’s democratic government were dismantled to make way for Hitler’s Third Reich. The Fuhrer assured his people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years, but Nazi Germany collapsed just 11 years later.

In November 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the “Beer Hall Putsch”–an attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for treason.

Imprisoned in Landsberg fortress, he spent his time there dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), a bitter and rambling narrative in which he sharpened his anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist beliefs and laid out his plans for Nazi conquest. In the work, published in a series of volumes, he developed his concept of the Fuhrer as an absolute dictator who would bring unity to German people and lead the “Aryan race” to world supremacy.

Political pressure from the Nazis forced the Bavarian government to commute Hitler’s sentence, and he was released after nine months. However, Hitler emerged to find his party disintegrated. An upturn in the economy further reduced popular support of the party, and for several years Hitler was forbidden to make speeches in Bavaria and elsewhere in Germany.

The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought a new opportunity for the Nazis to solidify their power. Hitler and his followers set about reorganizing the party as a fanatical mass movement, and won financial backing from business leaders, for whom the Nazis promised an end to labor agitation. In the 1930 election, the Nazis won six million votes, making the party the second largest in Germany. Two years later, Hitler challenged Paul von Hindenburg for the presidency, but the 84-year-old president defeated Hitler with the support of an anti-Nazi coalition.

Although the Nazis suffered a decline in votes during the November 1932 election, Hindenburg agreed to make Hitler chancellor in January 1933, hoping that Hitler could be brought to heel as a member of his cabinet. However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity, and one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to exploit the burning of the Reichstag (parliament) building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police under Nazi Hermann Goering suppressed much of the party’s opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on dictatorial power through the Enabling Acts.


1776 – Members of the Continental Congress began adding their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

1791 – Samuel Briggs and his son Samuel Briggs, Jr. received a joint patent for their nail-making machine. They were the first father-son pair to receive a patent.

1824 – In New York City, Fifth Avenue was opened.

1858 – In Boston and New York City the first mailboxes were installed along streets.

1861 – The United States Congress passed the first income tax. The revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted.

1887 – Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire.

1892 – Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator.

1921 – Eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the 1919 World Series.

1926 – John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the first showing of the Vitaphone System. The system was the combining of picture and sound for movies.

1938 – Bright yellow baseballs were used in a major league baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was hoped that the balls would be easier to see.

1939 – Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging the U.S. to have an atomic weapons research program.

1939 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act. The act prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.


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1943 – The U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, sank after being attacked by a Japanese destroyer. The boat was under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy.


1945 – The Allied conference at Potsdam was concluded.

1964 – The Pentagon reported the first of two North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1983 – U.S. House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The law was signed by President Ronald Reagon on November 2.

1987 – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was re-released. The film was 50 years old at the time of its re-release.

1990 – Iraq invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait. Iraq claimed that Kuwait had driven down oil prices by exceeding production quotas set by OPEC.

1995 – China ordered the expulsion of two U.S. Air Force officers. The two were said to have been caught spying on military sights.

Source: History.com; On-This-Day.com

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