What Happened in December 1938

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 School bus & train collide in Salt Lake City Utah
  • Dec 3 AAUs decides to continue linear measuring system over metric
  • Dec 6 117 Spanish knights under capt Piet Laros return to Netherlands

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Dec 6 French/German non-attack treaty drawn (Ribbentrop-Bonnet Pact)

Foreign Minister of the German Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop
Foreign Minister of the German Reich
Joachim von Ribbentrop
  • Dec 7 Philip Barry's "Here Come the Clowns" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 7 W9XZY broadcasts facsimile of St Louis Post-Dispatch by radio
  • Dec 8 Highest temperature for December in US recorded in La Mesa Calif
  • Dec 8 LP Beria follows Nikolai Jezjov as head of Russian secret police
  • Dec 9 1939 NFL Draft: Ki Aldrich from TCU first pick by Chicago Cardinals
  • Dec 10 26th CFL Grey Cup: Toronto Argonauts defeats Winn Blue Bombers, 30-7
  • Dec 10 Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Zen teacher, Rinzai line, enters Zen priesthood

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 10 Italian scientist Enrico Fermi receives the Nobel Prize for Physics (work on reduced radioactivity)

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi
  • Dec 11 NY Giants win NFL championship
  • Dec 13 Los Angeles freezes at 28°F
  • Dec 14 AL permits Cleveland & Philadelphia to play night games
  • Dec 14 Major leagues agrees on standard ball
  • Dec 14 Major leagues disagree on increasing rosters from 23 to 25
  • Dec 14 Will Harridge is elected to a 10-year-term as AL president
  • Dec 15 Groundbreaking begins for Jefferson Memorial in Wash DC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 16 Bradman scores 143 South Aust v NSW, 11 fours 91 singles

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 16 Adolf Hitler institutes the state decoration and civil order of merit, Cross of Honour of the German Mother

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Dec 17 Discovery of nuclear fission using uranium by Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann
  • Dec 17 Utrecht Central Station destroyed by fire
  • Dec 20 Vladimir K Zworykin (Penn) receives patent on Iconoscope TV system

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Margaret Hamilton's costume catches fire in filming of "Wizard of Oz"

  • Dec 23 Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.
  • Dec 25 George Cukor announces Vivien Leigh will play Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind"
  • Dec 26 Bradman scores 225 South Aust v Qld before Christ gets him out
  • Dec 26 Tom Goddard takes a cricket hat-trick for England v South Africa
  • Dec 28 Paul Gibb scores 106 on Test Cricket debut v South Africa
  • Dec 29 Construction on Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle, begins
  • Dec 30 Electronic television system patented (V K Zworykin)
  • Dec 31 Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer", 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana
  • Dec 31 Dutch national debt hits ƒ3,986,629,805.70

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Bill Playle, cricketer (NZ batsman in 8 Tests without distinction)
  • Dec 1 Sandy Nelson, Santa Monica, 50s rocker (Teen Beat, All Night Long)
  • Dec 3 Jose Serebrier, Montevideo Uruguay, conductor/composer (Star Wagon)
  • Dec 3 Martyn Taylor, teacher/campaigner
  • Dec 4 Andre Marrou, Libertarian Presidential candidate (1992)
  • Dec 4 Liesbeth Struppert, actress (Miep Gies-Anne Frank)
  • Dec 4 Lynn Blessing, vibes Player
  • Dec 4 Yvonne Minton, Australian soprano
  • Dec 4 Richard Meade, British equestrian (3 Olympic Golds 1968, 1970), born in Chepstow, Monmouthshire (d. 2015)
  • Dec 5 John J Cale, rock guitarist (After Midnight), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 2013)
  • Dec 6 Patrick Bauchau, Belgian actor
  • Dec 9 Elizabeth H "Rina" Venter, South African minister of Health care
  • Dec 9 William Thomas McKinley, composer
  • Dec 9 [David] Deacon Jones, NFL defensive end (LA, SD, Washington), (d. 2013)
  • Dec 10 Yuri Temirkanov, Nalchik Russia, conductor (Kirov)
  • Dec 11 Enrico Macias, Algerian-born French singer
  • Dec 11 McCoy Tyner, American jazz pianist
  • Dec 12 Connie Francis, singer/actress (Where the Boys Are), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Dec 12 Joel Chadabe, composer
  • Dec 13 Alvin Curran, composer
  • Dec 13 Tom Shaw, Wichita KS, PGA golfer (1969 Doral Open AVCO Golf Classic)
  • Dec 13 Tony Gomez, rocker (Foundations)
  • Dec 14 Hal Williams, actor (Pvt Benjamin, 227, Sanford & Son), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • Dec 14 Janette Scott, actress (Day of the Triffids)
  • Dec 14 Leonardo Boff, Italy, Brazilian Catholic theologian
  • Dec 15 Dennis RB Madide, South African Internal minister of Transkei
  • Dec 15 Bob [Robert] Foster, American professional boxer "The Deputy Sheriff", born in Borger, Texas (d. 2015)
  • Dec 16 Michael Greer, actor (Bobby Gentry Show), born in Durham, North Carolina
  • Dec 16 Frank Deford, American sportswriter
  • Dec 16 Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress and director (The Emigrants, Persona), born in Tokyo, Japan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 16 Jimmie Lee Jackson, Marion Alabama, American civil rights protestor

Civil Rights Protestor Jimmie Lee Jackson
Civil Rights Protestor
Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • Dec 17 Carlo Little, English drummer (d. 2005)
  • Dec 18 [Bryan] Chas Chandler, English rock bassist (The Animals-House of the Rising Sun) and manager of Jimi Hendrix, born in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Dec 18 Roger E. Mosley, American actor
  • Dec 20 John Harris Harbison, composer, born in Orange, New Jersey
  • Dec 21 Larry Bryggman, Concord CA, actor (Dr John Dixon-As the World Turns)
  • Dec 22 Matty Alou, Dominican baseball player
  • Dec 22 Lucien Bouchard, Quebec politician
  • Dec 23 Bob Kahn, American Internet pioneer
  • Dec 24 Ralp Inbar, Dutch TV host (Banana Split)
  • Dec 24 Valentim Loureiro, Portuguese politician, and former football chairman of Boavista F.C. and Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional
  • Dec 25 David Borden, composer
  • Dec 25 Wibo van de Linde, Dutch TV host/director (Avro)
  • Dec 25 Duane Armstrong, American painter (Fields of Grass), born in Fresno California
  • Dec 26 Bahram Beizai, Iranian playwright and film director
  • Dec 26 Alamgir Kabir, Bangladeshi film director (d. 1989)
  • Dec 28 Bruce Yarnell, actor (Outlaws), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 28 Charles Neville, US rock vocalist/saxophonist (Neville Brothers)
  • Dec 28 Janet Hough Bryant, author/performing artist/educator
  • Dec 28 Richard Sudhalter, British(?) writer/jazz musician
  • Dec 28 Frank Kelly, Irish stage and screen actor (Father Ted), born in Dublin (d. 2016)
  • Dec 29 Jon Voight, Yonkers, NY, actor (Deliverance, Midnight Cowboy)
  • Dec 29 Wayne Huizenga, CEO (Waste Management, Blockbuster, Miami Dolphins)
  • Dec 30 Joseph Bologna, actor (Citizen Cohn, My Favorite Year), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 31 Atje Keulen-Deelstra, Holland, speed skater (world champ), (d. 2013)
  • Dec 31 Henricus G Wijmans, Dutch graphic artist
  • Dec 31 Rosalind Cash, American actress (Omega Man, Wrong is Right), born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 1995)

Famous Divorces

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 6 Actress Bette Davis (30) divorces musician Harmon Nelson (31) due to cruel and inhuman manner after more than 6 years of marriage

Actress Bette Davis
Bette Davis

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 4 Dina Appeldoorn, Dutch pianist/composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 5 Christina "Dina" Koudijs-van Appeldoorn, pianist/composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 7 Harry Moses, cricketer (6 Tests for Australia 1887-95), dies
  • Dec 8 Friedrich Glauser, German-language Swiss writer (b. 1896)
  • Dec 10 Mario Pilati, composer, dies at 35
  • Dec 14 Marie FM Emmanuel, French composer/musicologist (Salamine), dies at 76
  • Dec 19 Stephen Warfield Gambrill, U.S. Congressman (b. 1873)
  • Dec 20 Annie Armstrong, American missionary leader (b. 1850)
  • Dec 23 Robert Herrick, American novelist (Chimes), dies at 70
  • Dec 24 Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)
  • Dec 25 Karel Čapek, Czech author (b. 1890)
  • Dec 27 Emile Vandervelde, President (1900–1918) of the International Socialist Bureau and Minister of 3 Belgian governments dies at 72
  • Dec 27 O Mandelstam, writer, dies
  • Dec 27 Calvin Bridges, American geneticist (b. 1889)
  • Dec 28 Florence Lawrence, silent screen actress (Confidence), dies at 48
  • Dec 31 Richard N Roland Holst, Dutch artist/painter, dies at 70