NEW ZEALAND: Australian aviator Guy Menzies flies from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, to a point just west of Harihari Township, New Zealand, in a single-engine Avro Avian biplane. He was heading for Christchurch but the Southern Alps were masked by cloud and he decided to land. He completed this 1,200 mile (1 931 kilometre) flight in 12 hours and 15 minutes.
UNITED KINGDOM: The unemployed total on Monday, 29 December - 2,643,127 - is the highest recorded since the unemployment insurance statistics began in 1921.
U.S.A.: By January 1931, the nation is mired in the depths of the Great Depression. On this date, the Committee for Unemployment Relief, formed at President Herbert Hoover's command in October 1930, releases a report that detailed the depths of the nation's woes. According to the committee, some 4 to 5 million Americans are unemployed. However, the Depression only continued to grow worse, which further swelled the unemployment rolls; by 1932, some 13 million Americans were without jobs. (In 1931, the U.S. workforce stood at 50 million workers.)
U.S.A.: Secretary of State Henry Stimson declares in notes to the Chinese and Japanese governments, as well as the Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the U.K., the other signatories of the Nine-Power Treaty of 6 February 1922, that the U.S. will not recognize any situation, treaty, or agreement brought about by means contrary to the Pact of Paris. This doctrine served as an American protest against the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.
ITALY: In Rome, Pierre Laval, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, sign a treaty which addresses their conflicting interests in Africa. In order to win the support of the Italian government against future German aggression, the French make a number of concessions to the Italians including defining the official status of Italians in Tunisia, colonial frontier changes (a cession of part of French Somaliland to Italy), and part ownership of the Ethiopian Railway. The agreement gave the Italians a free hand in Ethiopia.
EUROPE: Germany and Italy reject the Anglo-French proposal for control of admission of foreign volunteers to fight in Spain. They objected to diplomatic procedure, wished to continue discussion in Non-Intervention Committee, including question of withdrawal of those there.
With growing tensions between Germany and Poland over the future of the Free State of Danzig, the Polish government attempts to avoid a conflict by negotiating an agreement with the Free State government.
ITALY: The Italian government announces the beginning of a huge naval construction program including battleships. This plan augments the Italian rearmament program introduced in 1937.
January 7th, 1939 (SATURDAY)
GERMANY: The battlecruiser Scharnhorst is commissioned.
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