31 October 1922

Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy

Benito Mussolini was an Italian political leader who became the fascist dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945. Originally a revolutionary socialist, he forged the paramilitary fascist movement in 1919 and became prime minister in 1922. Called “Il Duce”  by his countrymen, Mussolini allied himself with Adolf Hitler, relying on the German dictator to prop up his leadership during World War II, but he was killed shortly after the German surrender in Italy in 1945.

Born on July 29, 1883, in Verano di Costa, Italy, Mussolini was the son of blacksmith and ardent socialist Alessandro Mussolini and a devout Catholic mother, Rosa Maltoni. By most accounts, Mussolini’s family lived in simple, small quarters.

Young Mussolini was expelled from his first boarding school at age 10 for stabbing a fellow student. At 14, he stabbed another student but was only suspended.

Much of Mussolini’s early adulthood was spent traveling around Switzerland, getting involved with that country’s Socialist Party and clashing with police. In 1909, he moved to Austria-Hungary to become editor of a socialist newspaper, but was deported back to Italy, accused of violating laws meant to regulate press freedom.

3 April 1922

Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Stalin rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.

After growing up in Georgia, Stalin conducted discreet activities for the Bolshevik Party for twelve years before the Russian Revolution of 1917. Following the October Revolution, Stalin took military positions in the Russian Civil War and the Polish-Soviet War. Stalin was one of the Bolsheviks’ chief operatives in the Caucasus and grew close to Lenin, who saw him as a tough character, and a loyal follower capable of getting things done behind the scenes. Stalin played a decisive role in engineering the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia, adopting a particularly hardline approach to opposition.

Stalin’s connections helped him to gain influential positions behind the scenes in the new Soviet government, eventually being appointed General Secretary in 1922. In 1922, a stroke forced Lenin into semi-retirement, while Lenin grew critical of Stalin in late 1922 and early 1923, recommending Stalin’s dismissal from the post of General Secretary. However, a very debilitating stroke in March 1923 ended Lenin’s political career. In the years following, opponents of Stalin, most notably Leon Trotsky, became isolated politically and were sidelined from the government by Stalin. Eventually, this led Stalin to become the uncontested highest leader of the Party and the Soviet Union.

31 October 1922

Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy.

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Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician, journalist and leader of the National Fascist Party ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943—constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship.

Known as “The Leader”, Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism. In 1912, Mussolini was a leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party but was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I, in opposition to the party’s stance on neutrality. Mussolini served in the Royal Italian Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917. Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism and later founded the fascist movement which came to oppose egalitarianism and class conflict, instead advocating revolutionary nationalism transcending class lines. Following the March on Rome in October 1922, Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February 2014.

After removing all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943, but a few months later he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German client regime in northern Italy – Mussolini held this post until his death in 1945.

Mussolini had sought to delay a major war in Europe until at least 1942,but Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. This resulted in declarations of war by France and the UK and the start of World War II. On 10 June 1940—with the Fall of France imminent—Italy officially entered the war on the side of Germany, though he was aware that Italy did not have the military capacity and resources to carry out a long war with the British Empire. Mussolini believed that after the imminent French armistice, Italy could gain territorial concessions from France and then he could concentrate his forces on a major offensive in North Africa, where British and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered by Italian forces.

15 July 1922

The Japanese Communist Party is established in Japan.

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The Japanese Communist Party is a political party in Japan and is one of the largest non-governing communist parties in the world.The JCP advocates the establishment of a society based on socialism, democracy, peace and opposition to militarism. It proposes to achieve its objectives by working within a democratic framework in order to achieve its goals, while struggling against what it describes as “imperialism and its subordinate ally, monopoly capital”.

The party does not advocate violent revolution; it proposes a “democratic revolution” to achieve “democratic change in politics and the economy”, and “the complete restoration of Japan’s national sovereignty” . The JCP was founded on 15 July 1922, as an underground political association.

11 January 1922

Insulin was first used to treat diabetes in a human.

On 11 January 1922, Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy with diabetes, who lay dying at the Toronto General Hospital, was given the first injection of insulin. However, the extract was so impure that Thompson suffered a severe allergic reaction, and further injections were cancelled.

Over the next 12 days, James Collip worked day and night to improve the ox-pancreas extract, and a second dose was injected on the 23 January. This was completely successful, not only in having no obvious side-effects, but in completely eliminating the glycosuria sign of diabetes.

Children dying from diabetic ketoacidosis were kept in large wards, often with 50 or more patients in a ward, mostly comatose. Grieving family members were often in attendance, awaiting the inevitable death. In one of medicine’s more dramatic moments Banting, Best, and Collip went from bed to bed, injecting an entire ward with the new purified extract. Before they had reached the last dying child, the first few were awakening from their coma, to the joyous exclamations of their families.

Insulin was discovered by Sir Frederick G Banting, Charles H Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto in 1921 and it was subsequently purified by James B Collip.Before 1921, it was exceptional for people with Type 1 diabetes to live more than a year or two. One of the twentieth century’s greatest medical discoveries, it remains the only effective treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes today.