The following events occurred in March 1931:
[March 1], 1931 (Sunday)
- The Menshevik Trial began in Moscow.
- Pehr Evind Svinhufvud became President of Finland.
- The World Figure Skating Championships ended in Berlin. Karl Schäfer of Austria won the men's competition for the second straight year, while Sonja Henie of Norway won for the fifth consecutive year.
- Albert Speer joined the Nazi Party.
[March 2], 1931 (Monday)
- Sir Charles Trevelyan resigned as President of the Board of Education in Ramsay MacDonald's cabinet due to his education bill failing to pass.
- The Pearl S. Buck novel The Good Earth was published.
- *Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, in Privolnoye
- *Tom Wolfe, author and journalist, in Richmond, Virginia
[March 3], 1931 (Tuesday)
- President Hoover signed a congressional act making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem of the United States.
- Cab Calloway and His Orchestra recorded the classic jazz song "Minnie the Moocher".
- Born: John Smith, actor, in Los Angeles
[March 4], 1931 (Wednesday)
- Mahatma Gandhi and Viceroy of India Lord Irwin signed an agreement to end the Indian civil disobedience campaign. In return, citizens along the coast were allowed to make their own salt, all political prisoners were given amnesty and a second Round Table Conference on the matter of Indian independence would be held in London.
- *Wally Bruner, journalist and television host, in Ames, Iowa
- *William Henry Keeler, cardinal, in San Antonio, Texas
- *Alice Rivlin, economist and government official, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
[March 5], 1931 (Thursday)
- The Carl Zuckmayer satirical play The Captain of Köpenick premiered at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.
- Died: Arthur Tooth, 91 or 92, Anglican clergyman
[March 6], 1931 (Friday)
- Ruth Rowland Nichols set a new women's altitude record of 28,743 feet.
- The Lionel Barrymore-directed romance-drama film Ten Cents a Dance starring Barbara Stanwyck was released.
[March 7], 1931 (Saturday)
- 18 died in a collision between two river steamers on the Danube near Belgrade during a storm.
- Three earthquakes shook a sparsely populated area in the Balkans along the borders of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece. 20 villages suffered damage but only 1 person was confirmed dead.
- Born: Atsuko Ikeda, Japanese princess, in the Tokyo Imperial Palace
- Died: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 65, Finnish painter
[March 8], 1931 (Sunday)
- The Balkans were hit again with a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. 35 were killed in Yugoslavia alone and thousands were left homeless.
- Born: Neil Postman, author, media theorist and cultural critic, in New York City
[March 9], 1931 (Monday)
- The sentencing in the Menshevik Trial was handed down. All the defendants were given prison terms of 5 to 10 years.
- The United States Supreme Court decided McBoyle v. United States.
- Charlie Chaplin visited Berlin.
[March 10], 1931 (Tuesday)
- The earliest confirmed use of the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" appeared in the Syracuse Daily Orange.
- Died: Joseph P. Cotton, 55, U.S. Under Secretary of State
[March 11], 1931 (Wednesday)
- The Chinese cargo liner Ta Chi caught fire and sank in the Yangtze near Wusong, killing approximately 300 of the 500 aboard.
- David Samanez Ocampo became President of Peru.
- Born: Rupert Murdoch, business magnate, in Melbourne, Australia
- Died: F. W. Murnau, 42, German film director
[March 12], 1931 (Thursday)
- Villages in Savoie near the French Alps were evacuated due to a massive landslide from the Bauges.
- Died: Adolfo Wildt, 63, Italian sculptor
[March 13], 1931 (Friday)
- The German People's Party announced its withdrawal from the coalition government of Thuringia, saying they could no longer work with the Nazi Party as coalition partners due to constant attacks from them.
- The French village of Le Châtelard was saved when the landslide split into three great rivers of earth that bypassed it. The Interior Ministry sent an emergency fund to assist villagers left homeless by the landslide.
[March 14], 1931 (Saturday)
- The Prince of Wales opened a British trade exposition in Buenos Aires. He addressed the crowd of 2,000 in Spanish and then pressed a gold button opening the exhibition's gates.
- A riot broke out at Joliet Prison. One inmate was killed and four others, including a guard, were injured.
- Ernst Henning, a communist member of the Hamburg city council, was murdered by three Nazis.
- The first ever Indian film with dialogues was released.
[March 15], 1931 (Sunday)
- The first radio broadcast from Ireland to the United States was made when Irish Free State President W. T. Cosgrave delivered a friendly address to the American people ahead of Saint Patrick's Day.
- The SS Viking exploded off the Horse Islands during the shooting of extra footage for the film The Viking, killing 27.
- Died: Varick Frissell, 27 or 28, American filmmaker
[March 16], 1931 (Monday)
- Communists stormed NSDAP headquarters in Altona, Hamburg and killed a Nazi in retaliation for the murder of Ernst Henning. The Nazi leadership officially condemned the Henning murder and called on the three killers to give themselves up to police, which they did.
[March 17], 1931 (Tuesday)
- Four bombs exploded in an open street near the Belgrade railway station where many government buildings stood. An army explosive expert called in to investigate a suspicious package after the first three went off was killed.
- Actor and filmmaker Jack Pickford was seriously injured in an automobile accident near San Bernardino, California.
[March 18], 1931 (Wednesday)
- The first electric razors, manufactured by the Schick company, went on sale in New York.
- Born: Shirley Stovroff, baseball player, in Madison, Illinois
[March 19], 1931 (Thursday)
- The U.S. state of Nevada legalized gambling.
[March 20], 1931 (Friday)
- Communists in Berlin held an illegal demonstration protesting the Ernst Henning murder until police dispersed them with clubs. In Magdeburg, thirty arrests were made in fighting between communists and Nazis.
- Chemist Maximilian Toch gave a speech at the American Museum of Natural History saying that after studying 30 Rembrandt paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he believed that 29 of them were forgeries.
- *Hal Linden, actor, television director and musician, in New York City;
- *Karen Steele, actress and model, in Honolulu, Hawaii
- *Hermann Müller, 54, German politician
- *Joseph B. Murdock, 80, U.S. Navy officer
[March 21], 1931 (Saturday)
- The funeral of Ernst Henning was attended by 35,000 German Communists. Ernst Thälmann delivered the eulogy.
- A Catholic church decree appeared in L'Osservatore Romano condemning modern sex education and eugenics.
- Germany and Austria signed a customs pact.
- University of Cambridge won the 83rd Boat Race.
- Died: Bhagat Singh, 23, Indian revolutionary, was hanged
[March 22], 1931 (Sunday)
- Britain warned Austria not to proceed with its customs agreement with Germany, saying it infringed on the 1922 reconstruction protocol in which Austria agreed to give equal tariff treatment to all countries.
- The Royal Scot express train derailed outside the Leighton Buzzard station, killing 6.
- *Burton Richter, physicist and Nobel laureate, in Brooklyn, New York
- *William Shatner, actor and director, in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
[March 23], 1931 (Monday)
- The Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged in Lahore for assassinating a British police commissioner in 1928 and throwing a bomb into the legislative assembly in 1929.
- King Alfonso XIII of Spain restored the country's constitutional guarantees ahead of municipal elections scheduled for April 12.
[March 24], 1931 (Tuesday)
- A regiment of the Peruvian military mutinied in Lima and tried to attack the government palace, but the revolt was put down by the following morning.
- The Japanese House of Peers, for the second time, blocked legislation that would have given women the right to vote.
- Born: Connie Hines, actress, in Dedham, Massachusetts
- Died: Robert Edeson, 62, American actor
[March 25], 1931 (Wednesday)
- The Scottsboro Boys case began in Alabama when nine black youths who were hoboing on a train were arrested and charged with rape.
- Died: Ida B. Wells, 68, African-American journalist, editor and activist
[March 26], 1931 (Thursday)
- An international conference of 48 nations opened in Rome to discuss the problem of low grain prices. Many countries were displeased by the Soviet Union's practise of harvesting vast amounts of grain and then dumping the surplus on the world market.
- Swissair was founded.
- Born: Leonard Nimoy, actor and director, in Boston, Massachusetts
[March 27], 1931 (Friday)
- A Soviet delegate at the international wheat conference said that Russia would continue exporting as much surplus grain as it pleased and would listen to the proposals of other nations, but would make no commitment to accept them.
- Born: David Janssen, actor, in Naponee, Nebraska
- *Ernest Barnard, 56, second president of baseball's American League
- *Arnold Bennett, 63, English writer
[March 28], 1931 (Saturday)
- President Paul von Hindenburg used Article 48 to pass an emergency "dictatorship" decree curtailing freedoms of speech and assembly, as well as privacy rights.
- Died: Ban Johnson, 66, American baseball executive and first president of the American League
[March 29], 1931 (Sunday)
- The Indian National Congress unanimously voted to accept nothing short of complete independence.
- Germany had its quietest Sunday in months following Hindenburg's decree of the previous day.
- *Aleksei Gubarev, cosmonaut, in Gvardeitsi, Samara Oblast, USSR
- *Norman Tebbit, politician, in Ponders End, Middlesex, England
[March 30], 1931 (Monday)
- Alfred Hugenberg bitterly attacked Hindenburg's emergency decree, saying it was enforced only to prevent Der Stahlhelm from winning a referendum demanding the dissolution of the Prussian Landtag. The cabinet of Heinrich Brüning countered with a statement accusing the Nationalists of "seeking to undermine the public's confidence in President von Hindenburg", adding, "To demand a repeal of the decree is a personal attack on the president."
- At the Rome wheat conference, Austrian Agriculture Minister Engelbert Dollfuss blamed Prohibition in the United States for the world's agricultural problems, saying, "If the United States would drop Prohibition so that the American farmers could raise hops to make beer, then the strain of wheat crops would be relieved and the United States would drop out of the wheat exporting category to the relief of the entire world."
[March 31], 1931 (Tuesday)
- An earthquake centered on Managua, Nicaragua killed about 2,000 people.
- EMI was founded as a merger of the Columbia Graphophone Company and the record label His Master's Voice.
- Died: Knute Rockne, 43, Norwegian-born American football player and coach at the University of Notre Dame, was killed in a plane crash.