On This Day 28 May

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-05-28
In 1923 American women were legally allowed to wear trousers anywhere they wanted

1937 - Volkswagen founded in Germany to produce the "people's car"

The company we know today as Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront in Berlin. At this point in time cars were viewed as luxury rather than affordable (only 1 in 50 owned a car in Germany).

Another name you will no doubt recognise is Porsche. In 1933 Ferdinand Porsche built a car named "Volksauto" with the beetle shape we recognise so distinctly as a Volkswagen.

In 1934 Hitler ordered the production of a basic vehicle which could carry 2 adults and 3 children with access to all German citizens. It became quickly apparent, however, that the existing manufacturers could not produce a car for the price that he wanted.

This led to the production of the KdF-Wagen (Kraft durch Freude - Strength Through Joy) using Porsche's design.

The founding of Volkswagenwerk and its cornerstone ceremony can be seen below with about 50,000 visitors and Hitler making a speech.


The KdF can be seen below - with the distinctive beetle shape and rear-mounted engine.


A new factory was started in 1938 in what is now Wolfsburg. While the intention was for the Volksauto to be produced, it changed quickly to military vehicles to support the war effort.

The Volkswagen group has a comprehensive historical on their website which you can view here

The linked video is a short movie from 1939/1940 featuring the KdF Wagen on a trip around Karlsbad.

Other events on this day

  • 585BCE - first recording of a solar eclipse
  • 1291 - Crusader rule in the Holy Land ended with the fall of Acre
  • 1923 - US Attorney General announces it is legal for women to wear trousers anywhere
  • 1936 - On Computable Numbers submitted for publication by Turing
  • 1937 - Volkswagen founded to mass-produce a "people's car"
  • 1959 - Able and Baker (a macaque and squirrel monkey respectively) survive the space flight
  • 1961 - founding of Amnesty International</li>
  • 2008 - Nepal is formally declared a Republic, ending the Shah dynasty of 240 years
  • 2011 - the introduction of divorce into law in Malta is approved by 53% of voters
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