Virtually the entire city of Texas City, Texas was destroyed when a French freighter carrying nitrate exploded and touched off further explosions at the Monsanto chemical plant. Pieces from the blasts were found as far as 50 miles away. Over 500 persons died and 2,100 suffered injuries.
80 died when a blizzard dropped 70 inches of snow on the New England states and New York.
170 people perished when a series of tornadoes swept through Texas and Oklahoma. More than 1,500 were injured and over 10,000 homes were destroyed.
Republicans - who controlled the congress for the first time in 14 years - refused to seat Mississippi Senator-elect Theodore Bilbo on the grounds he campaigned on a platform of white supremacy. He was never seated and died six months later.
Oregon Governor Earl Snell died in a plane crash in the Cascades mountain range. The state's senate president and attorney general were also killed.
Unidentified flying objects - known as UFOs or "flying saucers" - were reported throughout the summer in various parts of America. The government confirmed to a local newspaper that a saucer crashed near Roswell, New Mexico and that alien bodies had been recovered from the site, but later recanted all accounts of the crash, saying the object was just a weather balloon.
The Bickersons, a comedy about an always-arguing couple, became radio's number one hit show. It starred Don Ameche & Frances Langford. Danny Thomas played Blanche Bickerson's shady brother.
While 31,000,000 radios were in regular use in America, another medium was slowly being built by the radio companies - television. By the end of the year, America had 139 commercial broadcast TV stations, but only an estimated 9,000 TV sets.
Popular movies included Great Expectations and Miracle On 34th Street.