What Happened in 1940

Significant Events

  • Feb 29 Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st black woman to win an Oscar
  • Mar 18 Benito Mussolini joins Hitler in Germany's war against France & Britain
  • May 10 Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister
  • May 12 Nazi blitzkrieg conquest of France began by crossing Muese River
  • May 13 Winston Churchill says I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears & sweat
  • May 15 McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
  • May 27 British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) during WWII
  • Jun 4 British complete the "Miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 338,226 allied troops from France via a flotilla of over 800 vessels including Royal Navy destroyers, merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and even lifeboats
  • Jun 14 Auschwitz concentration camp opens in Nazi controlled Poland with Polish POWs (approx. 3 million would die within its walls)
  • Jun 15 World War II: France surrenders to NAZI Germany, German troops occupy Paris
More Historical Events

Did You Know?

FCC hears 1st transmission of FM radio with clear, static-free signal

On January 5, 1940


World Leaders in 1940

Famous People in 1940

Would You Believe?

Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.

On November 10, 1940

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 1 68th Prime Minister of UK Harold Wilson (23) weds poet Mary Baldwin (23) in the chapel of Mansfield College, Oxford
  • Jan 2 Archibald Campbell Mzoliza Jordan, Xhosa writer, linguist and academic and outspoken critic of the South African National Party government's Bantu Education policy, marries Priscilla Phyllis Ntantla.
  • Jan 26 Actor Ronald Raegan (28) weds Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman (23) at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California
  • Feb 13 Actress Lana Turner marries bandleader Artie Shaw
  • Feb 18 Molecular biologist Francis Crick (23) weds Ruth Doreen Dodd

Famous Divorces

More Weddings & Divorces