Historical Events in 1939

Events 1 - 200 of 432

  • Jan 1 Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.
  • Jan 1 25th Rose Bowl: #7 Southern California beats #3 Duke, 7-3

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 2 Bradman scores 107 SA v Victoria, his 4th consecutive century

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • Jan 2 5th Sugar Bowl: #1 TCU beats #6 Carnegie Tech, 15-7
  • Jan 2 5th Orange Bowl: #2 Tennessee beats #4 Oklahoma, 17-0
  • Jan 3 Gene Cox becomes 1st girl page in US House of Representatives
  • Jan 4 Frieda Wunderlich elected 1st woman dean of a US graduate school

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 4 Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • Jan 6 Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts
  • Jan 7 US worker's union leader Tom Mooney freed (jailed since 1916)
  • Jan 10 Bradman hits 186 SA v Qld before Christ catches him at short-leg
  • Jan 13 Belgian premier signs Burgos Treaty for trade relations with Franco
  • Jan 13 The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.
  • Jan 14 All commercial ferry service to East Bay ends
  • Jan 14 Norway claims Queen Maud Land in Antarctica
  • Jan 15 1st NFL pro bowl, NY Giants beat All Stars 13-10 in Wrigley Field
  • Jan 15 Municipal Railway & Market St RR begin service to Transbay Terminal
  • Jan 16 The IRA begins a bombing campaign in England
  • Jan 17 Ed Barrow is elected Yankee president succeeding deceased J Ruppert
  • Jan 18 SA wicketkeeper Bradman gets his 6th straight ton, 135* v NSW
  • Jan 19 Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin sets chicken-plucking record-4.4 sec
  • Jan 20 Charles Ives' 1st Sonata "Concord" premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 George Kaufman & Moss Hart's "American Way" premieres in NYC

Playwright Moss Hart
Moss Hart
  • Jan 21 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Jan 21 US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
  • Jan 22 Aquatic Park, near Fisherman's Wharf, SF, is dedicated
  • Jan 24 30,000 killed by earthquake in Concepcion Chile

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 24 Eddie Collins, Willie Keeler & George Sisler elected to Hall of Fame

Baseball Legend Eddie Collins
Baseball Legend
Eddie Collins
  • Jan 24 Spanish government moves to Figueras
  • Jan 25 Earthquake hits Chillan Chile, 10,000 killed

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jan 25 Joe Louis KOs John Henry Lewis in 1 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 1st nuclear fission experiment (splitting of a uranium atom) in the US, in basement of Pupin Hall, Columbia University by a team including Enrico Fermi

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi
  • Jan 26 Federal Hall National Monument established
  • Jan 26 Filming begins on "Gone With the Wind"

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Jan 26 Franco conquers Barcelona

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • Jan 27 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
  • Jan 28 32nd Women's Australian Championships: Emily Hood Westacott beats Nell Hall Hopman (6-1, 6-2)
  • Jan 28 32nd Men's Australian Championships: John Bromwich beats Adrian Quist (6-4, 6-1, 6-3)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 30 Hitler threatens the Jews during his speech to the German Reichstag (Parliament)

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Jan 30 Heavy after shocks destroy some of Chile
  • Feb 4 Glenn Cunningham (top miler) says 4-min mile beyond human effort
  • Feb 6 Spanish government flees to France
  • Feb 9 Belgian Spaak government falls

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 14 Victor Fleming replaces George Cukor as director of film "Gone With the Wind"

Director Victor Fleming
Victor Fleming
  • Feb 15 German battleship Bismarck was launched
  • Feb 15 Lillian Hellman's "Little Foxes" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 17 Katwijk soccer team forms
  • Feb 18 Golden Gate International Exposition opens on Treasure Island
  • Feb 21 Belgian government of Pierlot forms
  • Feb 22 Netherlands recognizes Franco regime in Spain
  • Feb 23 Lou Thesz beats Everett Marshall in St Louis, to win National Boxing Association world heavyweight title for 2nd time

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Feb 23 11th Academy Awards: "You Can’t Take It With You", Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis wins

  • Feb 24 Roy Harris' 3rd Symphony premieres in Boston
  • Feb 25 1st Anderson bomb shelter in Britain erected in an Islington garden
  • Feb 27 Belgian government of Pierlot falls
  • Feb 27 Borley Rectory, "the most haunted house in England", destroyed in a fire
  • Feb 27 France recognizes Franco's regime in Spain
  • Feb 27 Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes
  • Feb 28 Great Britain recognizes Franco regime in Spain
  • Feb 28 The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik is published.
  • Feb 28 The erroneous word "Dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
  • Mar 1 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, Japan, killing 94.
  • Mar 2 Eugenio Pacelli chosen as Pope Pius XII
  • Mar 2 Massachusetts Legislature votes to ratify the US Bill of Rights - 147 years late

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 3 In Mumbai (Bombay), Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest against autocratic rule in India.

Pacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi
Pacifist and Spiritual Leader
Mahatma Gandhi
  • Mar 7 Glamour magazine begins publishing
  • Mar 7 Guy Lombardo & Royal Canadians 1st record "Auld Lang Syne"
  • Mar 8 Lenore Coffee & William Joyce Cowan's "Family Portrait" premieres
  • Mar 10 17 villages damaged by hailstones in Hyderabad India
  • Mar 12 Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies
  • Mar 14 England draw with South Africa at Durban on the 10th day
  • Mar 14 Nazi Germany dissolves Republic of Czechoslovakia
  • Mar 15 Hitler occupies Bohemia & Moravia (Czechoslovakia); Slovakia independent
  • Mar 16 Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
  • Mar 16 Hungary annexes republic of Karpato-Ukraine
  • Mar 16 NHL record 10 goals in 1 period-NY Rangers (7), NY Americans (3) & a record 26 points in the 3rd period
  • Mar 17 Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945): The Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and the Japanese breaks out.
  • Mar 20 7,000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania
  • Mar 21 Nazi-Germany demands Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland
  • Mar 22 Lithuania forced to give Memel territory to Germany
  • Mar 24 98th Grand National: Tim Hyde aboard Workman wins
  • Mar 25 Billboard Magazine introduces hillbilly (country) music chart
  • Mar 27 1st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: U of Oregon beats OH State 46-33
  • Mar 28 Dutch hunter shoots down British bombers
  • Mar 28 Philip Barry's "Philadelphia Story" premieres in NYC
  • Mar 28 Renaissance Big 5 win 1st pro basketball championship
  • Mar 28 Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to Francisco Franco
  • Mar 30 The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets the world airspeed record of 463 mph.
  • Mar 30 First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway.
  • Mar 31 Britain & France agree to support Poland if invaded by Germany

Film release premierFilm Release

Mar 31 "The Hound of Baskervilles", starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson for the first time, is released

  • Apr 1 US recognizes Franco government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war. Pope Pius XII congratulates Generalissimo Franco's victory in Spain
  • Apr 2 6th Masters Golf Tournament: Ralph Guldahl wins, shooting a 279
  • Apr 4 Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
  • Apr 5 Membership of Hitler Youth becomes obligatory
  • Apr 6 Great Britain & Poland sign military pact
  • Apr 6 US & UK agree on joint control of Canton & Enderbury Is (Pacific)
  • Apr 7 Italy invades Albania
  • Apr 8 ACV soccer team forms in Axes
  • Apr 8 King Zog I of Albania flees
  • Apr 9 Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at Lincoln Memorial
  • Apr 10 Colijn's Dutch government opens camp Westerbork for German Jews
  • Apr 10 Grens mobilization due to Italian invasion in Albania
  • Apr 11 Hungary leaves League of Nations
  • Apr 13 W Saroyan's "My Heart's in the Highlands" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 13 In India the Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) is formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 14 John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" published

  • Apr 15 Albert Lebrun elected president of France

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Apr 16 Stalin requests British, French & Russian anti-nazi pact

Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Premier
Joseph Stalin
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup: Boston Bruins beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 1
  • Apr 17 Joe Louis KOs Jack Roper in 1 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Apr 17 SN Behrman's "No Time for Comedy" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 17 Stalin signs British-France-Russian anti-Nazi pact
  • Apr 18 Franz von Papen becomes German ambassador in Turkey
  • Apr 18 Hubert Pierlot forms Belgian government
  • Apr 19 43rd Boston Marathon won by Ellison Brown of RI in 2:28:51.8
  • Apr 19 Connecticut finally approves Bill of Rights (148 years late)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 20 Ted Williams' 1st hit (off of Yankee Red Ruffing) a double

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • Apr 23 1st performance of Béla Bartok's 2nd Concerto for violin
  • Apr 23 Boston Red Sox Ted Williams hits his 1st HR
  • Apr 28 Hitler claims German-Polish non-attack treaty still in effect
  • Apr 29 Whitestone Bridge connecting the New York boroughs of Bronx & Queens opens
  • Apr 30 New York World's Fair opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 30 NBC/RCA 1st public TV demo with FDR at opening of NY World's Fair

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Apr 30 Tropicana ballet of Havana, Cuba, forms
  • May 1 Batman comics hit street
  • May 1 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Yearling)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 2 Lou Gehrig ends 2,130 consecutive game streak, Yanks beat Tigers 22-2

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig
  • May 3 The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • May 5 Flash floods kill 75 in Northeast Kentucky
  • May 6 1st performance of Honegger/Claudel's "Jeanne d'Arc Ouch B-cher"
  • May 6 65th Kentucky Derby: James Stout aboard Johnstown wins in 2:03.4
  • May 7 Germany and Italy announce an alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis
  • May 9 Catholic church beatified the 1st Native American, Kateri Tekakwitha
  • May 13 64th Preakness: George Seabo aboard Challedon wins in 1:59.8
  • May 13 SS St Louis departs Hamburg with 937 Jews fugitives
  • May 14 Lina Medina becomes the world's youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.
  • May 16 1st AL night game, Philadelphia Shribe Park (Indians 8, Athletics 3 in 10)
  • May 16 Food stamps are 1st issued
  • May 17 1st sports telecast-Columbia vs Princeton-college baseball
  • May 19 Churchill signs British-Russian anti-Nazi pact
  • May 20 "3 Little Fishies" by Kay Kyser swam to #1
  • May 20 1st regular transatlantic airmail (Pan Am: NY to Marsseille France)

AgreementTreaty of Interest

May 22 Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini sign "Pact of Steel"

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • May 23 British parliament plans to make Palestine independent by 1949
  • May 23 Dmitri Shostakovitch appointed professor at conservatory of Leningrad
  • May 23 Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland
  • May 23 Submarine USS Squalus sinks in the Gulf of Maine, drowning 26, 33 remaining crew rescued from a depth of 243 ft (74 m) by divers using newly developed heliox air systems (divers later awarded the Medal of Honor)
  • May 25 Carl Storck becomes 2nd NFL president
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:20:47.412 (185.131 km/h)
  • Jun 1 1st boxing match to be televised, Lon Nova defeats Max Baer
  • Jun 1 1st night game at Phil's Shribe Park (Pirates 5, Phillies 2)
  • Jun 1 British submarine "Thetis" sinks in Liverpool Bay with all 99 aboard
  • Jun 1 Retired German Col-gen Gerd von Runstedt returns to service
  • Jun 3 71st Belmont: James Stout riding Johnstown wins in 2:29.6
  • Jun 3 Beer Barrel Polka hits #1 on the pop singles chart by Will Glahe
  • Jun 6 NY Giants beat Reds 17-3, with 5 HRs in 4th inning
  • Jun 6 NY supreme court justice J F Crater legally declared dead
  • Jun 7 George VI & Elizabeth become the 1st king & queen of Britain to visit USA
  • Jun 7 Cleve Indians sets AL record of 16 inning game without striking out, however lose game 5-4 to NY Yankees
  • Jun 10 MGM cartoon character Barney Bear debuts
  • Jun 11 King & Queen of England taste 1st "hot dogs" at FDR's party

Sport awardGolf Major

Jun 12 43rd US Golf Open: Byron Nelson shoots a 284 at Philadelphia Cricket Club PA

Golfer Byron Nelson
Byron Nelson
  • Jun 12 Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown NY
  • Jun 12 Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.
  • Jun 17 Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre.

Sport awardTennis Open

Jun 17 44th Men's French Championships: Don McNeill beats Bobby Riggs (7-5, 6-0, 6-3)

Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion Bobby Riggs
Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion
Bobby Riggs
  • Jun 17 44th Women's French Championships: Simonne Mathieu beats Jadwiga Jedrzejowska (6-3, 8-6)
  • Jun 20 Test flight of 1st rocket plane using liquid propellants
  • Jun 21 NY Yankees announce Lou Gehrig's retirement after doctors reveal he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Jun 22 Princes (future Queen) Elizabeth meets future husband Prince Philip of Greece (Midshipman Mountbatten, RN)

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jun 23 Bronko Nagurski beats Lou Thesz in Houston, to win National Boxing Association world heavyweight title

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
  • Jun 23 France turns over Sanjak of Alexandretta (Hatay) to Turkey
  • Jun 23 US Congress establishes US Coast Guard Reserve (renamed US Coast Guard Auxiliary 1941) as uniformed volunteer units supporting the Coast Guard
  • Jun 24 Pan Am's 1st US to England flight
  • Jun 27 1st night game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium (Indians 5, Tigers 0)
  • Jun 27 Brooklyn Dodgers tie Boston Braves, 2-2, in 23 innings
  • Jun 27 Headley scores a cricket century in each innings v England at Lord's
  • Jun 28 Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Jun 28 Pan Am opens southern route transatlantic air service (Dixie Clipper)
  • Jun 28 Yanks hit 13 HRs, sweep A's 23-2 & 10-0
  • Jun 29 4th Dutch government of Colijn falls
  • Jun 29 Dixie Clipper completes 1st commercial plane flight to Europe
  • Jun 30 Heinkel He 176 rocket plane flies for 1st time, at Peenemunde
  • Jul 3 Ernst Heinkel demonstrates 800 kph (500 mph) rocket plane to Hitler
  • Jul 3 Lou Gehrig day; Gehrig makes "luckiest man" speech
  • Jul 4 Red Sox Jim Tabor hits 2 grand slams in 1 game
  • Jul 4 Yankees retire 1st uniform (Lou Gehrig #4), 1st Old Timers Day
  • Jul 6 German Nazis close last Jewish enterprises

Sport awardTennis Open

Jul 7 52nd Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Alice Marble beats Kay Stammers (62 60)

Tennis Champion Alice Marble
Tennis Champion
Alice Marble
  • Jul 7 74th British Golf Open: Dick Burton shoots a 290 at St Andrews
  • Jul 8 59th Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Bobby Riggs beats E Cooke (2-6 8-6 3-6 6-3 6-2)
  • Jul 9 A meeting of 6,000 Indians, held at the Indian Sports Ground in Johannesburg South Africa, launch the Passive Resistance Campaign against apartheid and racial policy in South Africa
  • Jul 11 7th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, New York NY Yankee/AL maanager Joe McCarthy starts 6 Yankees

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 13 Frank Sinatra makes his recording debut

Singer/Actor Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
  • Jul 15 Clara Adams (NYC) is 1st woman to complete round world flight
  • Jul 17 22nd PGA Championship: Henry Picard at Pomonok CC Flushing NY
  • Jul 19 Dr Roy P Scholz is 1st surgeon to use fiberglass sutures
  • Jul 22 Jane Bolin becomes the 1st African American female judge (NY)
  • Jul 25 5th & last Dutch government of Colijn, forms