Historical Events in 1939

Events 1 - 200 of 433

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 4th Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Hall of fameHall of Fame

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

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

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jan 25th 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 25th 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 26th Federal Hall National Monument established
  • Jan 26th Filming begins on "Gone With the Wind"

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Jan 26th Franco conquers Barcelona

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Film release premierFilm Release

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

  • Apr 1st US recognizes Franco government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war. Pope Pius XII congratulates Generalissimo Franco's victory in Spain
  • Apr 2nd 6th Masters Golf Tournament: Ralph Guldahl wins, shooting a 279
  • Apr 4th Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
  • Apr 5th Membership of Hitler Youth becomes obligatory
  • Apr 6th Great Britain & Poland sign military pact
  • Apr 6th US & UK agree on joint control of Canton & Enderbury Is (Pacific)
  • Apr 7th Italy invades Albania
  • Apr 8th ACV soccer team forms in Axes
  • Apr 8th King Zog I of Albania flees
  • Apr 9th Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at Lincoln Memorial
  • Apr 10th Colijn's Dutch government opens camp Westerbork for German Jews
  • Apr 10th Grens mobilization due to Italian invasion in Albania
  • Apr 11th Hungary leaves League of Nations
  • Apr 13th W Saroyan's "My Heart's in the Highlands" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 13th 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 14th John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" published

  • Apr 15th Albert Lebrun elected president of France

AgreementTreaty of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 30th 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 30th Tropicana ballet of Havana, Cuba, forms
  • May 1st Batman comics hit street
  • May 1st Pulitzer Prize awarded to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Yearling)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

AgreementTreaty of Interest

May 22nd 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 23rd British parliament plans to make Palestine independent by 1949
  • May 23rd Dmitri Shostakovitch appointed professor at conservatory of Leningrad
  • May 23rd Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland
  • May 23rd 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 25th Carl Storck becomes 2nd NFL president
  • May 30th Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:20:47.412 (185.131 km/h)
  • Jun 1st 1st boxing match to be televised, Lon Nova defeats Max Baer
  • Jun 1st 1st night game at Phil's Shribe Park (Pirates 5, Phillies 2)
  • Jun 1st British submarine "Thetis" sinks in Liverpool Bay with all 99 aboard
  • Jun 1st Retired German Col-gen Gerd von Runstedt returns to service
  • Jun 3rd 71st Belmont: James Stout riding Johnstown wins in 2:29.6
  • Jun 3rd Beer Barrel Polka hits #1 on the pop singles chart by Will Glahe
  • Jun 6th NY Giants beat Reds 17-3, with 5 HRs in 4th inning
  • Jun 6th NY supreme court justice J F Crater legally declared dead
  • Jun 7th George VI & Elizabeth become the 1st king & queen of Britain to visit USA
  • Jun 7th Cleve Indians sets AL record of 16 inning game without striking out, however lose game 5-4 to NY Yankees
  • Jun 10th MGM cartoon character Barney Bear debuts
  • Jun 11th King & Queen of England taste 1st "hot dogs" at FDR's party

Sport awardGolf Major

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

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

Sport awardTennis Open

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

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

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

Sport awardTennis Open

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

Tennis Champion Alice Marble
Tennis Champion
Alice Marble
  • Jul 7th 74th British Golf Open: Dick Burton shoots a 290 at St Andrews
  • Jul 8th 59th Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Bobby Riggs beats E Cooke (2-6 8-6 3-6 6-3 6-2)
  • Jul 9th 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 11th 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 13th Frank Sinatra makes his recording debut

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