What Happened in August 1939

Historical Events

  • Aug 2 Hatch Act prohibits political activity by federal workers
  • Aug 3 Jean Genet's "Ondine" premieres in Paris
  • Aug 6 1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC-radio

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 7 Millionaire Howard Hughes is presented with a Congressional Gold Medal

Aviator and Businessman Howard Hughes
Aviator and Businessman
Howard Hughes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 8 7th Venice Film Festival opens with a United States boycott due to Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italian regime

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • Aug 10 2nd Dutch De Geer government forms (1st with Social Democrats)
  • Aug 11 Sergei Rachmaninov's last appearance in Europe
  • Aug 13 Yankees set AL shutout margin with 21-0 victory over A's
  • Aug 13 Sabotage suspected in crash of 'City of San Francisco'
  • Aug 14 1st night games at Comiskey Park (White Sox 5, Browns 2)
  • Aug 15 First night game at baseball's Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2
  • Aug 15 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.

Film release premierFilm Premier

Aug 15 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch)

  • Aug 17 "The Wizard of Oz" opens at Loews Capitol Theatre in NY
  • Aug 19 37.6 cm rainfall at Tuckerton, NJ (state record)
  • Aug 20 1st black bowling league formed (National Bowling Assoc)
  • Aug 20 Russian offensive under General Zjoekov against Japanese invasion in Mongolia
  • Aug 22 Dutch border guards take positions for German invasion
  • Aug 22 Premier De Geer recalls Dutch holidaymakers in Black Forest
  • Aug 23 John Cobb (Britain) drives 365.85 MPH (593.48 KPH) at Bonneville Flats

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Aug 23 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact and secretly divide Poland between themselves, setting the stage for World War II

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Soviet Foreign Minister
Vyacheslav Molotov
Foreign Minister of the German Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop
Foreign Minister of the German Reich
Joachim von Ribbentrop
  • Aug 24 Germany & USSR sign 10-year non-aggression pact
  • Aug 26 1st major league baseball telecast-Reds beat Bkln Dodgers (W2XBS NY)
  • Aug 26 Belgium mobilizes
  • Aug 26 Croatia gets autonomous status
  • Aug 27 Erich Warsitz in a Heinkel He-178 makes the 1st manned jet-propelled flight
  • Aug 27 Nazi Germany demands Danzig & Polish corridor
  • Aug 27 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands receives German ambassador Grave Zech

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 28 Gen Bernard Montgomery ("Monty") becomes commander of 3rd "Iron" Infantry division

British WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
British WWII Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery
  • Aug 28 Netherland mobilizes
  • Aug 28 Sammy Fain and Jack Yellen's musical "George White's Scandals" premieres
  • Aug 28 Journalist Care Hollingworth observes the “large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armored cars and field guns” Germany had aligned along the Polish border. Three days later, Hitler invades Poland and WWII begins
  • Aug 29 Chaim Weizmann informs England that Palestine Jews will fight in WW II
  • Aug 30 6th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: NY Giants 9, All-Stars 0 (81,456)
  • Aug 30 General Reijnders appointed supreme commander of Dutch army
  • Aug 30 Isoroku Yamamoto appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet
  • Aug 30 NY Yankee Atley Donald pitches a baseball a record 94.7 mph (152 kph)
  • Aug 30 Poland mobilizes
  • Aug 31 Japanese invasion army driven out of Mongolia
  • Aug 31 Staged "Polish" assault on radio station in Gleiwitz

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Robert James Waller, American author (Bridges of Madison County), born in Charles City, Iowa (d. 2017)
  • Aug 1 Stephen Sykes, Bishop of Ely
  • Aug 2 Edward Pattern, singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Aug 2 Wes Craven, American film director (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2015)
  • Aug 2 Benjamin Barber, American political theorist (Jihad vs. McWorld), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2017)
  • Aug 3 A K Sen Gupta, cricketer (Test India v WI 1959 without distinction)
  • Aug 4 Frankie Ford [Frank Guzzo], rock vocalist (Sea Cruise), born in Gretna, Louisiana, (d. 2015)
  • Aug 4 Frank Vincent, American actor (The Sopranos), born in North Adams, Massachusetts (d. 2017)
  • Aug 5 Irene, Princess of Netherlands
  • Aug 6 William "Sonny" Sanders, US singer (Rayber Voices)
  • Aug 7 Verna Bloom, Lynn MA, actress (After Hours, Badge 373)
  • Aug 7 Anjanette Comer, American actress (Baby, Lepke), born in Dawson, Texas
  • Aug 8 Philip E Baisley, Augusta Va, singer (Statler Bros-Class of '57)
  • Aug 8 Viorica Viscopoleanu, Romania, long jumper (Olympic gold 1968)
  • Aug 8 William Alden Hibbard, composer
  • Aug 8 Alexander Watson, American ambassador and diplomat
  • Aug 9 Billy Henderson, rocker (Spinners-That's What Girls Are Made For)
  • Aug 9 Claude Osteen, baseball pitcher (Cincinnati Reds)
  • Aug 9 Max Neuhaus, American percussionist and composer (sound sculptures), born in Beaumont, Texas (d. 2009)
  • Aug 9 Tony Budge, English contractor/tank maker/multi-millionaire
  • Aug 9 Brito, Brazilian footballer
  • Aug 10 Charles Rose, (Rep-D-North Carolina, 1973- )
  • Aug 10 Kate O'Mara, Leicaster England, actress (Caress Morell-Dynasty, AbFab)
  • Aug 11 Attila Bozay, composer
  • Aug 11 Ronnie Dawson, American rockabilly performer (d. 2003)
  • Aug 12 Pam Ryan-Kilborn, Australia, hurdler (Olympic silver 1968)
  • Aug 12 Roy Romanow, Canadian politician
  • Aug 12 Sushil Koirala, Nepalese politician, Prime Minister of Nepal (2014-2015), born in Biratnagar, Morang (d. 2016)
  • Aug 13 Saul Steinberg, American businessman, founder of Leasco and CEO of Reliance Insurance Company, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • Aug 15 Herman Onno C. R. Ruding, Dutch Financial minister (CDA) and Director of Amrobank
  • Aug 15 Herman van Keeken, Dutch singer (Daddy don't run so fast), born in Hilversum, Netherlands (d. 1995)
  • Aug 16 Carol Shelley, actress (Gwendolyn Pidgeon-Odd Couple), born in London, England
  • Aug 16 Valeri V Ryumin, cosmonaut (Soyuz 25, 32)
  • Aug 16 Wim Meijer, Dutch politician (PvdA)
  • Aug 16 Sir Trevor Mcdonald, Trinidadian-born British television newsreader
  • Aug 17 Luther Allison, Mayflower Ark, rock guitarist (Bad News is Coming)
  • Aug 17 Anthony Valentine, British actor (Colditz), born in Blackburn, Lancashire (d. 2015)
  • Aug 18 Joe Azcue, baseball player
  • Aug 18 Johnny Preston, singer (Running Bear), born in Port Arthur, Texas (d. 2011)
  • Aug 18 Molly Bee, actress (Pinky Lee Show), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Aug 18 Harald Heide-Steen Jr., Norwegian actor and comedian, born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2008)
  • Aug 18 Robert Horton, British businessman, born in London (d. 2011)
  • Aug 19 Ginger [Peter] Baker, England, drummer (Cream-White Room)
  • Aug 20 Fernando Poe Jr., Filipino actor and politician (d. 2004)
  • Aug 21 Ernie Maresca, American singer and songwriter (Runaround Sue, Wanderer), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2015)
  • Aug 21 Clarence Williams III, American actor (Mod Squad, 52 Pick Up, Purple Rain), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 21 Harold W Reid, Augusta County Va, singer (Statler Bros-Class of '57)
  • Aug 21 James Burton, American guitarist, born in Dubberly, Louisiana
  • Aug 21 Festus Mogae, 3rd President of Botswana (1998-2008), born in Serowe, Bechuanaland, Botswana
  • Aug 22 Candido Lima, composer

Person of interestCarl Yastrzemski

Aug 22 Carl Yastrzemski, American Boston Red Sox great (1967 AL MVP, Hall of Fame), born in Southampton, New York

MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
MLB Outfielder
Carl Yastrzemski
  • Aug 22 Fred Milano, rocker (Dion & The Belmonts) [or 8/26/40], born in The Bronx, New York
  • Aug 22 Valerie Harper, American actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda), born in Suffern, New York
  • Aug 23 Charles Wardle, MP/under sect of state British home office
  • Aug 23 Ronald [Ronny] A Casseres, minister of Dutch Antilles
  • Aug 25 John Badham, English-born American director (Dracula, Short Circuit), born in Luton, England
  • Aug 25 Liselot Beekmeyer, Dutch actress (Issue Blum), born in Schiedam, Netherlands

Person of interestJorge Paulo Lemann

Aug 26 Jorge Paulo Lemann, Swiss-Brazilian investor, born in Rio de Janeiro

Investor and Beer Mogul Jorge Paulo Lemann
Investor and Beer Mogul
Jorge Paulo Lemann
  • Aug 28 Cassie Mackin, newswoman (NBC TV)
  • Aug 28 Clem Cattini, English rock drummer (the Tornados), born in London
  • Aug 28 Edward Patten, US soul singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
  • Aug 30 Elizabeth Ashley, [Cole], Ocala Florida, actress (Coma, Evening Shade)
  • Aug 30 John Peel, English DJ and Broadcaster (BBC Radio 1), born in Heswell, Merseyside (d. 2004)
  • Aug 31 Jerry Allison, Hillsboro Tx, rock drummer (Buddy Holly & Crickets)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 4 Philosopher of communication theory Marshall McLuhan (28) weds teacher and aspiring actress Corinne Lewis (27)

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 14 "A Star Is Born" actress Janet Gaynor (32) weds MGM costume designer Adrian (36)

Actress Janet Gaynor
Actress
Janet Gaynor

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 20 "Rebecca" actress Joan Fontaine (21) weds actor Brian Aherne (37)

Actress Joan Fontaine
Actress
Joan Fontaine

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 2 Harvey Spencer Lewis, American Rosicrucian mystic (b. 1883)
  • Aug 3 Eugust Enna, composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 11 Jean Bugatti, Italian automobile designer (b. 1909)
  • Aug 16 Ron Oxenham, cricketer (7 Tests for Australia, 14 wickets), dies
  • Aug 23 Sidney Coe Howard, American playwright (Silver Cord, Pulitzer 1925), dies at 48
  • Aug 24 W H Moule, cricketer (Australia v England 1880)/High Court judge, dies
  • Aug 25 Babe Siebert, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1904)