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

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