Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday in the Gregorian calendar. By January 1 of this year, every state in the entire world had adopted the Gregorian calendar, having abandoned the Julian calendar.
This year marked the end of a period known in American history as the Roaring Twenties after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 ushered in a worldwide Great Depression. In the Americas, an agreement was brokered to end the Cristero War, a counter-revolution in Mexico. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, a British high court, ruled that Canadian women are persons in the Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General) case. The 1st Academy Awards for film were held in Los Angeles, while the Museum of Modern Art opened in New York City. The Peruvian Air Force was created.
In Asia, the Republic of China and the Soviet Union engaged in a minor conflict after the Chinese seized full control of the Manchurian Chinese Eastern Railway, which ended with a resumption of joint administration. In the Soviet Union, General Secretary Joseph Stalin expelled Leon Trotsky and adopted a policy of collectivization. The Grand Trunk Express began service in India. In the Middle East, rioting occurred between Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem over access to the Western Wall. Mohammed Nadir Shah became King of Afghanistan. Britain, Australia and New Zealand began a joint Antarctic Research Expedition. The centenary of Western Australia was celebrated.
In international affairs, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a treaty renouncing war as an instrument of national policy, went into effect. In Europe, the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy signed the Lateran Treaty. The Idionymon law was passed in Greece to outlaw political dissent. Spain hosted the Ibero-American Exposition which featured pavilions from Latin American countries. The BBC broadcasted a television transmission for the first time (see "1929 in television"). The German airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin flew around the world in 21 days.
Middle East, Asia, and Pacific Isles
On August 16 of this year the 1929 Palestine riots broke out between Arabs and Jews over control of the Western Wall. The rioting, initiated in part when British police tore down a screen the Jews had constructed in front of the Wall, continued until the end of the month. In total, 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed. Two of the more famous incidents occurring during these riots were the August 23 and August 24 1929 Hebron massacre, in which 65–68 Jews were killed by Arabs and the remaining Jews are forced to leave Hebron. The Arabs had been told that Jews were killing Arabs. Jews would not return to Hebron until after the Six Day War in 1967. The other major clash was the 1929 Safed massacre, in which 18–20 Jews by were killed by Arabs in Safed in similar fashion. Elsewhere in the Middle East, Iraq took a big step toward gaining independence from the British. The Iraqi government had, since the end of World War I and the beginning of the British Mandate in the Middle East, constantly resisted British efforts to control or restrict them. In September, Britain announced that it would support Iraq's inclusion in the League of Nations, this signaled the beginning of the end of their direct control of the region.
Early in 1929, the Afghani leader King Amanullah lost power through revolution and civil war to Amir Habibullah II. Habibulah's rule, however, only lasted nine months. Nadir Shah replaced him in October, starting a line of monarchs which would last 40 years. In neighboring India, a general strike in Bombay continued throughout the year despite efforts by the British. On December 29, the All India Congress in Lahore declared Indian independence from Britain, something it had threatened to do if Britain did not grant India dominion status. China and Russia engaged in a minor conflict after China seized full control of the Manchurian Chinese Eastern Railway. Russia counterattacked and took the cities of Hailar and Manchouli before issuing an ultimatum demanding joint control of the railway to be reinstated. The Chinese agreed to the terms on November 26. The Japanese would later see this defeat as a sign of Chinese weakness, leading to their taking control of Manchuria. The Far East began to experience economic problems late in the year as the effects of the Great Depression began to spread. Southeast Asia was especially hard hit as its exports (spice, rubber, and other commodities) were more sensitive to economic problems. In the Pacific, on December 28 – "Black Saturday" in Samoa – New Zealand colonial police killed 11 unarmed demonstrators, an event which led the Mau movement to demand independence for Samoa.
In 1929, the Fascist Party in Italy tightened its control. National education policy took a major step towards being completely taken over by the agenda of indoctrination. In that year, the Fascist government took control of the authorization of all textbooks, all secondary school teachers were required to take an oath of loyalty to Fascism, and children began to be taught that they owed the same loyalty to Fascism as they did to God. On February 11, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty, making Vatican City a sovereign state. On July 25, Pope Pius XI emerged from the Vatican and entered St. Peter's square in a huge procession witnessed by about 250,000 persons, thus ending nearly 60 years of papal self-imprisonment within the Vatican. Italy used the diplomatic prestige associated with this successful agreement to adopt a more aggressive foreign policy. Germany experienced a major turning point in this year due to the economic crash. The country had experienced prosperity under the government of the Weimar Republic until foreign investors withdrew their German interests. This began the crumbling of the Republican government in favor of Nazism. In 1929, the number of unemployed reached three million. On July 27, the Geneva Convention, held in Switzerland, addressed the treatment of prisoners of war in response to problems encountered during World War I.
On May 31, the British general election returned a hung parliament yet again, with the Liberals in position to determine who would have power. These elections were known as the "Flapper" elections due to the fact that it was the first British election in which women under 30 could vote. A week after the vote, on June 7 the Conservatives conceded power rather than ally with the Liberals. Ramsay MacDonald founded a new Labour government the next day. 1929 is regarded as a turning point by French historians, who point out that it was last year in which prosperity was felt before the effects of the Great Depression. The Third Republic had been in power since before World War I. On July 24 French prime minister Raymond Poincaré resigned for medical reasons; he was succeeded by Aristide Briand. Briand adopted a foreign policy of both peace and defensive fortification. The Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy, went into effect in this year (it was first signed in Paris in 1928 by most leading world powers). The French began work on the Maginot line in this year, as a defense against a possible German attack, and on September 5 Briand presented a plan for the United States of Europe. On October 22 Briand was replaced as Prime Minister by Andre Tardieu. Primo de Rivera's dictatorship in Spain experienced growing among students and academics, as well as businessmen who blamed the government for recent economic woes. Many called for a fascist regime, like that in Italy.