September 1939 in History

Events in History

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 1 Hitler orders extermination of mentally ill

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Sep 1 Physical Review publishes 1st paper to deal with "black holes"
  • Sep 1 Switzerland proclaims neutrality
  • Sep 1 World War II starts as Germany invades Poland by attacking the Free City of Danzig

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 1 Gen George Marshall sworn in as the United States Army Chief of Staff

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • Sep 1 The Wound Badge for Wehrmacht, SS, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe soldiers is instituted. The final version of the Iron Cross was also instituted on this date.
  • Sep 1 Switzerland mobilizes its forces and the Swiss Parliament elects Henri Guisan to head the Swiss Army (an event that can happen only during war or mobilization).
  • Sep 3 German submarine U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, sinks British passenger ship SS Athenia; 117 people die, among them 28 Americans
  • Sep 3 WWII: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada
  • Sep 4 Dutch 2nd Chamber affirms Neth's in a State of War
  • Sep 4 German troops move into Danzig
  • Sep 4 Netherlands & Belgium declare neutrality
  • Sep 4 Mir, a Nazi ghetto in occupied Poland, is exterminated
  • Sep 4 RAF bombs Wilhelmshafen

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 5 FDR declares US neutrality at start of WW II in Europe

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Sep 5 New Zealand Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage declares New Zealand's support for Britain in the war with Germany; Savage famously told the nation 'where she goes, we go. Where she stands,we stand'
  • Sep 6 1st German air attack on Great Britain in WW II
  • Sep 6 South Africa declares war on Nazi-Germany
  • Sep 6 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.
  • Sep 7 Radio NY Worldwide-WRUL begins radio transmission
  • Sep 8 FDR declares "limited national emergency" due to war in Europe
  • Sep 8 Gen Von Reichenau's panzer division reaches suburbs of Warsaw
  • Sep 9 Nazi army reaches Warsaw

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 10 Canada, under the leadership of Mackenzie King, declares war on Germany

10th Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie King
10th Prime Minister of Canada
Mackenzie King
  • Sep 11 Battle of Kutno-pocket: Germans advance to Warsaw
  • Sep 11 British submarine Triton torpedoes British submarine Oxley
  • Sep 11 Iraq and Saudi Arabia declare war on Nazi Germany

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 14 World’s 1st practical helicopter, the VS-300 designed by Igor Sikorsky takes (tethered) flight in Stratford, Connecticut

Aviator Igor Sikorsky
Igor Sikorsky
  • Sep 14 British fleet attacks German U-39 boat

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 14 First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill visits Scapa Flow, Orkney

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • Sep 17 German U-29 sinks British aircraft carrier Courageous, 519 die
  • Sep 17 Poland's President Ignacy Mościck and Prime Minister Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski flee to Romania
  • Sep 17 Soviet Union invades Eastern Poland, taking 217,000 Poles prisoner
  • Sep 17 Taisto Mäki becomes the first man to run the 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6
  • Sep 18 Polish government of Moscicki flees to Romania
  • Sep 18 William Joyce's first Nazi propaganda broadcast
  • Sep 19 British Expeditionary Force reaches France
  • Sep 19 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) becomes radio host of Reichsrundfunk Berlin
  • Sep 19 Wehrmacht (German regular army) murders 100 Jews in Lukov Poland
  • Sep 20 British navy captures German U-27 boat
  • Sep 21 Reinhard Heydrich meets in Berlin to discuss final solution of Jews
  • Sep 25 German Luftwaffe strikes Warsaw with (fire)bombs
  • Sep 25 Andorra and Germany sign a treaty ending WW I, as Versailles Peace Treaty forgot to include Andorra
  • Sep 26 German seaplane shoots KLM-aircraft (1 killed)
  • Sep 27 Warsaw surrenders to Germans after 19 days of resistance
  • Sep 28 Estonia accepts Soviet military bases
  • Sep 28 Final broadcast of The Fleischmann Hour was heard on radio

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Sep 28 German-Soviet Frontier Treaty is signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov; redraws German and Soviet spheres of influence in central Europe and transfers most of Lithuania to the USSR

Foreign Minister of the German Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop
Foreign Minister of the German Reich
Joachim von Ribbentrop
  • Sep 30 41 U-boats sunk this month (153,000 ton)
  • Sep 30 Germany & Russia agree to partition Poland
  • Sep 30 Britain first evacuates citizens in anticipation of war.

Birthdays in History

  • Sep 6 Susumu Tonegawa, Japanese molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Sep 6 Dan Cragg, American soldier and author
  • Sep 7 Stanley David Griggs, Portland Oregon, astronaut (STS 51-D), STS 33)
  • Sep 9 Howard P McKeon, (Rep-R-California)
  • Sep 10 Topham Brinton, English carpet magnate/multi-millionaire
  • Sep 11 Charles Geschke, American inventor and businessman
  • Sep 12 Henry A Waxman, (Rep-D-California, 1975-86)
  • Sep 13 Larry Speakes, presidential press secretary
  • Sep 14 Piet R Stoffelen, Dutch ambassador/MP (PvdA)
  • Sep 15 Breyten Breytenbach, South African poet/painter
  • Sep 15 Jim Kimsey, co-founder of AOL, born in Washington D.C. (d. 2016)
  • Sep 17 David H Souter, Weir NH, 107th Supreme Court Justice (1990- )
  • Sep 18 Bob Whittaker, (Rep-R-KS, 1979- )
  • Sep 18 Jorge Sampaio, President of Portugal
  • Sep 20 Robert L. Gerry III, American businessman
  • Sep 22 Junko Tabei, Japanese mountain-climber, 1st woman to climb Mount Everest, born in Miharu (d. 2016)
  • Sep 22 Mike Sullivan, (Gov-Wyoming)
  • Sep 22 Timothy E Wirth, (Rep-D-CO, 1975- )
  • Sep 22 Gilbert E. Patterson, American minister and presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ (d. 2007)
  • Sep 25 David Mann, (Rep-D-Ohio)
  • Sep 25 Leon Britain, British politician, vice president (Commission of European Communities)
  • Sep 26 Judith P Appelbaum, magazine & newspaper editor, educator
  • Sep 27 Jim Ross Lightfoot, (Rep-R-Iowa, 1985- )
  • Sep 27 Nicholas Haslam, interior designer
  • Sep 27 Carol Lynn Pearson, American poet and writer
  • Sep 28 Stuart Kauffman, American biologist
  • Sep 29 Eberhard Koellner, German DR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 31 backup)
  • Sep 30 Piet M Blauw, Dutch MP (VVD)

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 30 Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding (28) weds analytic chemist Ann Brookfield

Nobel Laureate and Novelist William Golding
Nobel Laureate and Novelist
William Golding

Deaths in History

  • Sep 6 Arthur Rackham, artist/illustrator (Grimm's Fairy Tales), dies at 71
  • Sep 7 Kyoka Izumi, Japanese novelist (b. 1873)
  • Sep 18 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer, painter, and photographer (b. 1885)
  • Sep 18 Gwen John, Welsh painter, dies at 63
  • Sep 20 Paul Bruchési, French Canadian Catholic archbishop of Montreal (b. 1855)
  • Sep 21 Armand Calinescu, premier of Romania, murdered

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 23 Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and creator of psychoanalysis, dies at 83

Father of Psychology Sigmund Freud
Father of Psychology
Sigmund Freud
  • Sep 29 Dickstein, mathematician, dies