The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back In The USSR (For A Holiday)

In one of his 1930's travel books (the title of which escapes me), Richard Halliburton visited the Soviet Union.  I do not remember all the details, but I know he got married and divorced within a few minutes, to and from his tour guide.  This activity, and the rapidity with which it could be accomplished, was apparently a popular tourist attraction.  He also visited a school for young circus performers, and interviewed a soldier who gave an account of the execution of the Romanovs.  According to this article from the May 1934 issue of Harpers Magazine, posted on Modern Mechanix, visiting the USSR as a vacation destination was not as unthinkable idea as it would be a few decades later.

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