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February 5, 1936
Charlie Chaplin directed and starred in Modern Times, which parodied factory work and the machine age.
February 17, 1936
The Phantom, the first superhero to wear a skin-tight costume and a mask with no visible pupils, premiered in a newspaper strip. Created by Lee Falk, the Phantom set the fashion trend for comic book heroes who would come after.
March 1, 1936
Boulder Dam, later renamed after President Herbert Hoover, was completed on the Colorado River. It was the largest dam of its time as well as the largest man-made structure in the world.
June 19, 1936
New York, NY
German boxer Max Schmeling creamed American Joe Louis at a heavyweight-boxing match at Yankee Stadium. Louis would defeat Schmeling in a rematch two years later.
June 30, 1936
Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell about the life of southern belle Scarlet O'Hara during the Civil War, was first published. The novel would sell one million copies in its first six months and 25 times that in the next eight decades. Gone with the Windwould be adapted for a movie three years later, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
September 1, 1936
Paranoid with conspiracy theories and threats to his authority, Russian premier Joseph Stalin enacted the "Great Purge" and targeted political rivals, military leaders, and whole ethnic groups. It was estimated that 1.5 million people were arrested on treason, some of whom were sent to labor camps while the majority were executed.