Historical Events in 1940

Events 1 - 200 of 545

  • Jan 1 26th Rose Bowl: #3 Southern California beats #2 Tennessee, 14-0
  • Jan 1 6th Sugar Bowl: #1 Texas A&M beats #5 Tulane, 14-13
  • Jan 1 6th Orange Bowl: #16 Georgia Tech beats #6 Missouri, 21-7
  • Jan 3 WPG-AM in Atlantic City NJ consolidates with WBIL & WOV as "new" WOV
  • Jan 5 FCC hears 1st transmission of FM radio with clear, static-free signal
  • Jan 5 Finnish offensive at Suomossalmi against Russia
  • Jan 6 Mass execution of Poles, committed by Germans in the city of Poznań, Warthegau.
  • Jan 7 Winter War: The Finish 9th Division defeats the Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road despite being significantly outnumbered
  • Jan 8 Britain's 1st WW II rationing (bacon, butter & sugar)
  • Jan 9 2 German officers make emergency landing in Belgium
  • Jan 9 J Thurber & E Nugent's "Male Animal" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 11 Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo & Juliet" premieres in Leningrad
  • Jan 12 World War II: Soviets bombs cities in Finland.
  • Jan 14 Commissioner Kenesaw Landis gives free agency to 91 Detroit Tigers
  • Jan 14 NFL Pro Bowl: Green Bay beats NFL All-Stars 16-7
  • Jan 15 German U-Boot torpedoes Dutch merchant ship Arendskerk (Eagle's Church)
  • Jan 21 Foreign correspondents in Netherlands subjected to censorship
  • Jan 22 1st radio broadcast of "Road to Happiness" on CBS
  • Jan 23 Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile
  • Jan 25 Nazi decrees establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz Poland
  • Jan 26 Nazis forbid Polish Jews to travel on trains
  • Jan 27 -17°F (-27°C), CCC Camp F-16, Georgia (state record)
  • Jan 29 33rd Women's Australian Championships: Nancye Wynne beats Thelma Coyne (5-7, 6-4, 6-0)
  • Jan 29 33rd Men's Australian Championships: Adrian Quist beats Jack Crawford (6-3, 6-1, 6-2)
  • Jan 30 Benjamin Britten's "Lesson Illuminations" premieres in London
  • Jan 30 Cor Jongert wins 6th Dutch 11 Cities Skating Race
  • Jan 30 Hassett's second 122 of the game for Vic can't stop a NSW win
  • Jan 31 40 U-boats sunk this month (111,000 ton)
  • Jan 31 C Turney & J Horwin's "My Dear Children" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 1 Soviet Union begins new offensive against Finland
  • Feb 1 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orch)

Singer/Actor Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
  • Feb 5 Gen Winckelman replaces Gen Reijnders as Dutch supreme commander
  • Feb 5 Glenn Miller & his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"
  • Feb 7 British railways nationalized

Film release premierFilm Premier

Feb 7 Walt Disney's second feature length movie, "Pinocchio" premieres (NYC)

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • Feb 8 Lewis & Hamilton's musical "Two for the Show" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 8 Lodtz, 1st large ghetto established by Nazis in Poland

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Feb 9 Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Feb 10 "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1
  • Feb 10 Tom & Jerry created by Hanna & Barbera debut by MGM
  • Feb 10 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Feb 10 US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 13 Bradman scores 209* in 161 minutes for South Aust at the WACA

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • Feb 14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed
  • Feb 16 British search plane finds German supply ship Altmark, used to accommodate aliied sailors from vessles sunk by the Graf Spee, off Norway
  • Feb 17 Bradman scores 135 in a non-Shield match for SA v West Australia
  • Feb 17 Crew of the British destroyer Cossack board German Altmark in Jøssingfjord, Norway, and realised 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass.
  • Feb 20 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • Feb 22 Finnish troops vacate Koivisto island
  • Feb 22 German air force sinks 2 German destroyers, killing 578
  • Feb 23 Russian troops conquer Lasi Island
  • Feb 23 Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" released
  • Feb 24 Frances Langford records "When You Wish Upon a Star"
  • Feb 25 1st televised (W2XBS, NYC) hockey game (Rangers vs Canadians)
  • Feb 26 US Air Defense Command forms at Mitchel Field, LI, NY
  • Feb 27 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14
  • Feb 28 1st televised basketball game (U of Pitts beats Fordham U, 50-37)
  • Feb 28 Richard Wright's "Native Son" published
  • Feb 28 US population at 131,669,275 (12,865,518 blacks (9.8%))
  • Feb 29 45 U boats sunk this month (170,000 ton)
  • Feb 29 Frederic from G & S "Pirates of Penzance" finally released by pirate

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 29 Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st black woman to win an Oscar

  • Feb 29 12th Academy Awards: "Gone with the Wind" wins eight Oscars, Robert Donat & Vivien Leigh also win
  • Feb 29 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations
  • Mar 1 Richard Wright's novel "Native Son" is published
  • Mar 2 1st intercollegiate track meet telecast, Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • Mar 2 Soviet armies conquer Tuppura Island Finland
  • Mar 3 Artie Shaw records "Frenesi" on RCA Victor label
  • Mar 6 1st US telecast from an airplane, NYC
  • Mar 7 Mont Canadiens lose record tying NHL 15th straight game at home

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 7 Ray Steele beats B Nagurski in St Louis, to become wrestling champ

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
  • Mar 10 1st US opera telecast, W2XBS, NYC, I Pagliacci
  • Mar 12 Finland surrenders to Russia during WW II, gives Karelische Isthmus
  • Mar 13 Finland-Russian cease fire signed, the Winter War ends. Finland gives up Karelische
  • Mar 14 27 killed, 15 injured when truck full of migrant workers collides with a train outside McAllen, Texas

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 15 Hermann Goering says 100-200 church bells enough for Germany, smelt the rest

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • Mar 16 German air raid on British fleet base Scapa Flow

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 18 Benito Mussolini joins Hitler in Germany's war against France & Britain

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Mar 19 Failed British air raid on German base at Sylt
  • Mar 19 French government of Daladier falls
  • Mar 20 Paul Reynoud becomes French premier
  • Mar 23 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS
  • Mar 23 All-India-Muslim League calls for a Muslim homeland
  • Mar 23 The Lahore Resolution (Qarardad-e-Pakistan or the then Qarardad-e-Lahore) is put forward at the Annual General Convention of the All India Muslim League.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 26 Ernest Hemingway & Benjamin Glazer premiere in NYC

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 27 "Rebecca" based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1941)

  • Mar 28 Construction begins of the exhibition center to host the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
  • Mar 29 Joe Louis KOs Johnny Paycheck in 2 to retain heavyweight boxing title
  • Mar 30 2nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana U beats Kansas 60-42
  • Mar 31 Karelo-Finnish SSR becomes 12th Soviet republic (until 1956)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 Filipino President Quezon officially authorizes the printing and publication of the grammar and dictionary prepared by the Institute of the National Language.

2nd President of the Philippines Manuel L. Quezon
2nd President of the Philippines
Manuel L. Quezon
  • Apr 4 R Rodgers/Lorenz Hart's "Higher & Higher" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 5 99th Grand National: Sgt. Mervyn A. Jones aboard Bogskar wins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 7 1st black to appear on US stamp (Booker T. Washington)

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • Apr 7 7th Masters Golf Tournament: Jimmy Demaret wins, shooting a 280
  • Apr 7 US Post Office issues first postage stamp of African American educator Book T. Washington
  • Apr 8 German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious
  • Apr 9 German cruiser Blucher torpedoed and capsizes in Oslofjord, 1,000 die
  • Apr 9 Germany invades Norway & Denmark during WW II (Denmark surrenders)
  • Apr 10 Vidkun Quisling forms Norwegian "national government"
  • Apr 12 Italy annexes Albania
  • Apr 12 NFL cuts clipping penalty from 25 yards to 15 yards
  • Apr 13 2nd battle of Narvik; 8 German destroyers destroyed
  • Apr 13 Cornelious Warmerdam became 1st man to pole vault 15 ft
  • Apr 13 Stanley Cup: NY Rangers beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 2
  • Apr 14 Allied troops land in Norway
  • Apr 14 RCA demonstrated its new electron microscope in Philadelphia
  • Apr 15 British troops land at Narvik, Norway
  • Apr 16 1st televised baseball game, WGN-TV, (White Sox vs Cubs exhibition)
  • Apr 16 Cleve Indian Bob Feller hurls an opening day no-hitter vs Chic, 1-0
  • Apr 16 Heitor Villa-Lobos' opera "Izaht" premieres in Rio de Janeiro
  • Apr 19 "Lake Shore Ltd" derails speed killing 34 near Little Falls NY
  • Apr 19 44th Boston Marathon won by Gerard Cote of Canada in 2:28:28.6
  • Apr 19 Dutch prime minister De Geer declares state of siege
  • Apr 20 1st electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pa
  • Apr 21 1st $64 Question, "Take It or Leave It," on CBS Radio
  • Apr 21 Netherlands beats Belgium 4-2 in soccer
  • Apr 22 Rear Adm Joseph Taussig testifies before US Senate Naval Affairs Committee that war with Japan is inevitable
  • Apr 23 Dance hall fires kills 198 (Natchez Miss)
  • Apr 23 NY Yankees dedicate a plaque to Jacob Rupert
  • Apr 27 Himmler orders establishment of Auschwitz Concentration Camp
  • Apr 28 Glenn Miller records "Pennsylvania 6-5000"
  • Apr 28 SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Rudolf Höss (not Hess, diferent Nazi) becomes commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz
  • Apr 29 1st radio broadcast of "Young Dr Malone" on CBS
  • Apr 29 Norwegian King Haakon & government flee to Britain
  • Apr 29 Robert Sherwood's "There Shall be No Night" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 30 Bkln Dodger Tex Carleton no-hits Cincinnati Reds, 3-0
  • May 1 140 Palestinian Jews die as German planes bomb their ship
  • May 1 The 1940 Olympics are cancelled
  • May 4 21 "not neutral" nazis & communists arrested in Netherlands
  • May 4 66th Kentucky Derby: Carroll Bierman aboard Gallahadion wins in 2:05
  • May 5 Norwegian government in exile forms in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath)

  • May 10 British Local Defence Volunteers forms (later renamed the Home Guard)
  • May 10 Dutch torpedo boat Johan van Galen sinks
  • May 10 Dutch-Indies Gov Van Starkenborch proclaims end to state of siege
  • May 10 French marines stationed on Aruba
  • May 10 French troops arrive in Zealand/Brabant Netherlands
  • May 10 Nazi armies attack Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 10 Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain
  • May 10 World War II: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent.
  • May 11 65th Preakness: Fred A Smith aboard Bimelech wins in 1:58.6
  • May 11 NY World's Fair reopens
  • May 12 French marines occupy St Maarten
  • May 12 German tanks conquer Moerdijkbrug
  • May 12 Nazi blitzkrieg conquest of France began by crossing Muese River
  • May 13 British bomb factory at Breda
  • May 13 Winston Churchill says I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears & sweat
  • May 13 Dutch Queen Wilhelmina flees to England
  • May 13 German breakthrough at Grebbelinie
  • May 14 Admiral Johannes Furstner, Royal Dutch Navy, departs to England
  • May 14 Boston's Jimmie Foxx HR goes over Comiskey Park's left field roof
  • May 14 German breakthrough at Sedan
  • May 14 Lord Beaverbrook appointed British minister of aircraft production
  • May 14 Nazis bomb Rotterdam (600-900 dead), Netherlands surrenders to Germany
  • May 15 German armoured division moves into Northern France
  • May 15 German troops occupy Amsterdam, Gen Winkelman surrenders
  • May 15 Nazis capture General Dutch Persbureau (ANP)
  • May 15 USS Sailfish (SS-192) recomisioned, origionaly the Squalus.
  • May 15 McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
  • May 16 Nazis forbid non-professional auto workers
  • May 16 British Premier Winston Churchill returns to London from Paris
  • May 17 Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium & begins invasion of France
  • May 17 Nazis bombs Middelburg/B IJzerdrat begins illegal defiance
  • May 18 German troops conquer Brussels
  • May 19 Amsterdam time becomes MET (Middle European Time)
  • May 19 French counter attack at Pronne under Gen De Gaulle
  • May 20 German General Guderian's tanks reach the English Channel (British expeditionary army)
  • May 20 Soccer team HZVV forms in Hoogeveen
  • May 20 Trailing 7-1 in 9th to Pitts, Phils win 8-7
  • May 21 AVRO-chairman Willem Vogt fires all Jewish employees
  • May 21 Allied counter attack at Atrecht, northern France
  • May 21 Reynaud forms French government
  • May 22 Dutch Premier De Geer begins working with nazis
  • May 22 UK Premier Winston Churchill flies to Paris to decide with General Maxime Weygand a strategy to save the city
  • May 23 1st great dogfight between Spitfires and Luftwaffe
  • May 24 1st night game at NY's Polo Grounds (Giants 8, Braves 1)
  • May 24 1st night game at St Louis Sportsman Park (Indians 3, Browns 2)
  • May 24 Dutch Queen Wilhelmina speaks on BBC radio
  • May 24 Dutch army demobilizes
  • May 24 German tanks reach Atrecht France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 24 Hitler affirms Gen von Rundstedts "Stopbevel"

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • May 24 NY Giants rip Boston Bees 8-1 in 1st night game at Polo Grounds
  • May 25 German troops conquer Boulogne
  • May 25 Golden Gate International Exposition reopens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 26 1st successful helicopter flight in US: Vought-Sikorsky US-300 designed by Igor Sikorsky

Aviator Igor Sikorsky
Igor Sikorsky
  • May 27 British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) during WWII
  • May 27 World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 97 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops.
  • May 28 Belgium surrenders to Germany, King Leopold III gives himself up
  • May 28 British-French troops capture Narvik, Norway

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 28 Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • May 29 Adolf Kiefer swims world record 100 yards backstroke (58.8 sec)
  • May 29 Arthur Seyss-Inquart installed as Reich commissar of The Hague, Netherlands
  • May 29 In WW II, Germans capture Ostend & Ypres in Belgium & Lille in France
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:22:31.201 (183.911 km/h)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 31 Major General Bernard Montgomery leaves Dunkirk

British WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
British WWII Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery