Historical Events in 1940

Events 1 - 200 of 545

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

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

Film release premierFilm Premier

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

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

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Feb 9th 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 10th "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1
  • Feb 10th Tom & Jerry created by Hanna & Barbera debut by MGM
  • Feb 10th US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Feb 10th US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 7th 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 10th 1st US opera telecast, W2XBS, NYC, I Pagliacci
  • Mar 12th Finland surrenders to Russia during WW II, gives Karelische Isthmus
  • Mar 13th Finland-Russian cease fire signed, the Winter War ends. Finland gives up Karelische
  • Mar 14th 27 killed, 15 injured when truck full of migrant workers collides with a train outside McAllen, Texas

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 18th 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 19th Failed British air raid on German base at Sylt
  • Mar 19th French government of Daladier falls
  • Mar 20th Paul Reynoud becomes French premier
  • Mar 23rd 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS
  • Mar 23rd All-India-Muslim League calls for a Muslim homeland
  • Mar 23rd 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 26th Ernest Hemingway & Benjamin Glazer premiere in NYC

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 27th "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 28th Construction begins of the exhibition center to host the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
  • Mar 29th Joe Louis KOs Johnny Paycheck in 2 to retain heavyweight boxing title
  • Mar 30th 2nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana U beats Kansas 60-42
  • Mar 31st Karelo-Finnish SSR becomes 12th Soviet republic (until 1956)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1st 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 4th R Rodgers/Lorenz Hart's "Higher & Higher" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 5th 99th Grand National: Sgt. Mervyn A. Jones aboard Bogskar wins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 24th Hitler affirms Gen von Rundstedts "Stopbevel"

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Music releaseMusic Premiere

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

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • May 29th Adolf Kiefer swims world record 100 yards backstroke (58.8 sec)
  • May 29th Arthur Seyss-Inquart installed as Reich commissar of The Hague, Netherlands
  • May 29th In WW II, Germans capture Ostend & Ypres in Belgium & Lille in France
  • May 30th Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:22:31.201 (183.911 km/h)
  • May 31st Major General Bernard Montgomery leaves Dunkirk
  • May 31st Winston Churchill flies to Paris to meet with French Marshal Philippe Pétain who announces he is willing to make a separate peace with Germany
  • Jun 1st Coffee & tea rationed in Holland
  • Jun 1st Major General Bernard Montgomery returns to London