William Henry Knieves
1932 Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed photograph (detail) sold for $83,650 at an August 2010 Heritage auction.

Looking Back … 1932

In the middle of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats President Herbert Hoover. Hattie W. Caraway of Arkansas becomes the first woman elected to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. Al Capone is imprisoned for income tax evasion. In sports, Lou Gehrig becomes the first player in the 20th century to hit four home runs in a game, and Babe Ruth makes his famous “called shot” in the World Series. The Toronto Maple Leafs sweep the New York Rangers to take the Stanley Cup. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century becomes the first science-fiction program on radio. At the movies, crowds line up for Tarzan the Ape Man, and The Mummy starring Boris Karloff. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Hergé’s Tintin in America arrive in bookstores.


Paperboy Robert O’Brian in 1932 won a contest with the prize being a visit the New York Yankees dugout, where he was gifted Babe Ruth’s cap. It sold for $200,000 when it went to auction in August 2012.


The Washington quarter was first struck in 1932. The 1932-D is widely considered the scarcer of the two first-year keys. This example, among the finest known, sold for $82,250 at a June 2015 Heritage auction.


Painter Walt Kuhn (1877-1949), an organizer of the famous Armory Show of 1913, is best known for his bold, modernist paintings. This untitled still life from 1932 realized $92,612 at a November 2006 Heritage auction.


White Zombie (United Artists), starring Bela Lugosi as an evil voodoo master, is considered the first feature-length zombie movie. This half sheet realized $53,775 at a November 2009 Heritage auction.