December 1939 in History

Events in History


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 1 SS-Fuhrer Himmler begins deportation of Polish Jews

Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
  • Dec 2 British Imperial Airways & British Airways merge to form BOAC
  • Dec 2 NY's La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago lands, 1 minute after midnight
  • Dec 9 Russian air raid on Helsinki
  • Dec 10 KNVB celebrates 50th anniversary
  • Dec 11 New anti-Jewish measures proclaimed in Poland
  • Dec 12 Russ Indigirka capsizes in blizzard off Japanese coast; 750 die
  • Dec 13 Battle of the River Plate - 3 British cruisers vs German pocket battleship Graf Spee
  • Dec 14 Soviet Union attacks Finland-League of Nations drops Soviet Union
  • Dec 15 1st commercial manufacture of nylon yarn in Seaford, Delaware
  • Dec 15 Snip departs for 1st flight to Paramaribo and Curacao
  • Dec 17 German pocket battleship Graf Spee scuttled by its crew off Uruguay
  • Dec 18 Finnish army recaptures Agläjärvi
  • Dec 19 Russian air & ground attack against Finnish positions near Summa
  • Dec 20 Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 21 Hitler named Adolf Eichmann leader of "Referat IV B"

SS officer Adolf Eichmann
SS officer
Adolf Eichmann
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Dec 22 125 die in train wreck at Magdeburg Germany
  • Dec 22 Finnish counter offensive at Petsamo
  • Dec 22 99 die in 2nd wreck at Friedrichshafen Germany
  • Dec 23 Finnish counter offensive at Summa
  • Dec 23 South Australia score 7-821 against Queensland
  • Dec 24 World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
  • Dec 25 Grimmett & Ward rip through Qld except Bill Brown (156)
  • Dec 25 Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th red-nosed reindeer
  • Dec 26 Earthquake in East Anatolia Turkey
  • Dec 26 Mine strikes in Borinage Brussels
  • Dec 27 1st American skimobiles (North Conway, NH)
  • Dec 27 Between 20,000 & 40,000 die in magnitude 8 quake in Erzincam, Turkey
  • Dec 29 First flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber prototype
  • Dec 30 O'Reilly takes 14-45 (8-23 & 6-22) as NSW crush Qld in 2 days
  • Dec 31 Dutch national debt hits ƒ4,218,553,180.99

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 2 Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician
  • Dec 2 Harry Reid, American politician
  • Dec 2 Francis Fox, Canadian politician, member of the Senate
  • Dec 8 Lynn Wilson, contractor/multi-millionaire
  • Dec 9 Patrician Stephens Due, Quincy, Florida, African-American civil rights activist (FAMU jail-in), (d. 2012)
  • Dec 10 Barry Cunliffe, English university professor
  • Dec 11 Thomas McGuane, American writer (Colf Feet, Tom Horn, Missouri Breaks)
  • Dec 11 Tom Hayden, American civil rights and antiwar activist and politician (Rep-D-Ca), born in Royal Oak, Michigan (d. 2016)
  • Dec 13 Clive Brain, educationalist
  • Dec 17 Charles V. Bush, African-American pioneer (1st African-American US Air Force Academy Graduate and US Supreme Court Page), (d. 2012)
  • Dec 18 Christoffel "Stoffel" van de Merwe, South African minister of Education
  • Dec 18 Michael J Moorcock, England, sci-fi author (Alien Heat, Bull & Spear)
  • Dec 18 Harold E. Varmus, American scientist, Nobel laureate
  • Dec 20 Dianne Arndt, artist/photographer
  • Dec 21 Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian politician
  • Dec 25 Christopher Wates, English real estate developer/multi-millionaire
  • Dec 26 Lynn Martin, US secretary of Labor (1991-93)
  • Dec 28 Philip Anschutz, American businessman
  • Dec 29 Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, president of Maldives (1978- )
  • Dec 30 Doeke Eisma, Dutch sociologist and politician (D66)
  • Dec 30 Glenda Adams, Australian author (d. 2007)

Deaths in History

  • Dec 18 Matthew Brown, Journalist, dies at 51
  • Dec 19 Karl Wagenfeld, Low German writer (Lucifer, Death & Devil), dies at 70
  • Dec 20 Hans Langsdorff, German capt (Graaf Spee), commits suicide
  • Dec 23 Anthony H G Fokker, Dutch airplane builder (Spider), dies at 49