On This Day

What Happened in January 1939

Historical Events

Historic Event

Jan 1 Hewlett-Packard is founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto, California "the birthplace of Silicon Valley"

  • Jan 1 Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.
  • Jan 1 25th Rose Bowl: #7 Southern California beats #3 Duke, 7-3

Sports History

Jan 2 Master batsman Don Bradman scores 107 for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against Victoria for his 4th consecutive century in first-class cricket

  • Jan 2 5th Sugar Bowl: #1 TCU beats #6 Carnegie Tech, 15-7
  • Jan 2 5th Orange Bowl: #2 Tennessee beats #4 Oklahoma, 17-0
  • Jan 3 Gene Cox becomes 1st girl page in US House of Representatives
  • Jan 4 Frieda Wunderlich elected 1st woman dean of a US graduate school
  • Jan 7 US worker's union leader Tom Mooney freed (jailed since 1916)

Historic Event

Jan 12 Timely Comics (later Marvel) founded by American publisher Martin Goodman in New York

Treaty of Interest

Jan 13 Belgian premier signs Burgos Treaty for trade relations with Franco's Spain

  • Jan 13 The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.
  • Jan 14 All commercial ferry services between San Francisco and East Bay end
  • Jan 14 Norway claims Queen Maud Land in Antarctica

Sports History

Jan 15 1st NFL All Star Game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: New York Giants beat All America All-Stars, 13-10

  • Jan 15 Municipal Railway & Market St RR begin service to Transbay Terminal
  • Jan 16 Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts
  • Jan 16 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins a 14 month long bombing campaign in England
  • Jan 17 Ed Barrow is elected Yankee president succeeding deceased J Ruppert
  • Jan 19 Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin sets chicken-plucking record of 4.4 sec
  • Jan 20 Charles Ives' 1st Sonata "Concord" premieres
  • Jan 20 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins 3rd straight title by 2 strokes ahead of Dorothy Kirby

Historic Event

Jan 21 George Kaufman and Moss Hart's "American Way" premieres in NYC

  • Jan 21 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Jan 21 US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
  • Jan 22 Aquatic Park, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco dedicated
  • Jan 24 30,000 killed by earthquake in Concepcion Chile

Hall of Fame

Jan 24 Eddie Collins, Willie Keeler & George Sisler elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

  • Jan 24 Spanish government moves to Figueras

Film Release

Jan 24 Adventure film "Gunga Din", based on the poem by Rudyard Kipling and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is released

  • Jan 25 Earthquake hits Chillan Chile, 10,000 killed

Boxing Title Fight

Jan 25 In only the second World Heavyweight C'ship fight between two black boxers, Joe Louis KOs John Henry Lewis in 1 at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Historic Event

Jan 25 1st nuclear fission experiment (splitting of a uranium atom) in the US, in basement of Pupin Hall, Columbia University by a team including Enrico Fermi

  • Jan 26 Federal Hall National Monument established
  • Jan 26 Filming begins on film adaptation of "Gone With The Wind"
  • Jan 26 Francisco Franco's troops conquer Barcelona
  • Jan 27 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • Jan 28 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Emily Hood Westacott beats Nell Hall Hopman 6-1, 6-2 for her only Grand Slam singles title
  • Jan 28 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Australian John Bromwich wins his 1st Australian title; beats doubles partner Adrian Quist 6-4, 6-1, 6-3

Historic Event

Jan 30 Adolf Hitler threatens Jews during his speech to the German Reichstag (Parliament)

  • Jan 30 Heavy aftershocks destroy some of Chile

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Michèle Mercier, French actress (Angelique, Marquise des Anges.), born in Nice, France
  • Jan 1 Phil Read, MBE, English motorcycle road racer (first winner world championships in 125cc [1968], 250cc [1964-65, 68, 71] and 500 cc [1973-74] classes), born in Luton, England

Jim Bakker

Jan 2 Jim Bakker, American televangelist (Assemblies of God, The PTL Club) and convicted fraud, born in Muskegon, Michigan

Bobby Hull

Jan 3 Bobby Hull, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame left wing (Art Ross Trophy 1960, 62, 66; Hart Memorial Trophy 1965, 66), born in Pointe Anne, Ontario

  • Jan 3 Nikos Alefantos, Greek soccer midfielder and manager (Olympiacos), born in Edessa, Greece (d. 2020)
  • Jan 3 Janice Crosio, Australian politician
  • Jan 3 (Gwendolyn) Dianne Brooks, American R&B, jazz, session and touring vocalist (Three Playmates - "Sugah Wooga"; solo - "Walking On My Mind"; Anne Murray), born in New Jersey (d, 2005)
  • Jan 4 Jon Appleton, American electronic and electro-acoustic music composer, educator and co-developer of the Synclavier, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2022)
  • Jan 4 Jens Jørgen Hansen, Danish soccer right back (40 caps; Esbjerg fB), born in Struer, Denmark (d, 2022)
  • Jan 5 Bridget Parker, British equestrian 3 day event (Olympic gold 1972)
  • Jan 5 Peter Struycken, Dutch artist, born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jan 6 Murray Rose, Australian Olympic swimmer (4x oly gold), born in Birmingham, United Kingdom (d. 2012)
  • Jan 7 Tom Kierman, Irish rugby player, born in Cork, Ireland
  • Jan 7 Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark, born in Rome, Kingdom of Italy
  • Jan 7 Tom Kiernan, Irish rugby union fullback (54 caps [captain 24]; British & Irish Lions 5 [captain 1968]; Munster RUFC), born in Cork, Ireland (d. 2022)
  • Jan 8 Bob Talamini, American football guard (Super Bowl 1968 NY Jets; 3 × First-team All-AFL; 6 × AFL All-Star; Houston Oilers), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2022)
  • Jan 9 Susannah York, English actress (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Superman), born in London, England
  • Jan 10 Bill Toomey, American decathlete (Olympic gold 1968), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 10 Sal Mineo, American actor (Exodus, Rebel Without a Cause), born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • Jan 10 Jared Carter, American poet, born in Elwood, Indiana
  • Jan 10 David Horowitz, American author & political commentator, born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 10 William Levy, American writer, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2019)
  • Jan 10 Scott McKenzie, American singer (San Francisco), born in Jacksonville Beach, Florida (d. 2012)
  • Jan 10 Davie Wilson, Scottish soccer forward (22 caps; Rangers, Dundee United) and manager (Dumbarton), born in Cambuslang, Scotland (d. 2022)
  • Jan 11 Anne Heggtveit, Canadian alpine skier (Olympic gold 1960), born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • Jan 12 Helmut Eisendle, Austrian writer, born in Graz, Austria (d. 2003)
  • Jan 12 Jacques Hamelink, Dutch writer & poet (Cold Unrest), born in Terneuzen, Netherlands
  • Jan 13 Jacek Gmoch, Polish footballer and coach
  • Jan 14 Fred Arbanas, American football tight end (All-AFL 1962–67; Super Bowl 1970; Dallas Texans / Kansas City Chiefs), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2021)
  • Jan 15 Christopher Steel, British composer ("Changing Moods"; "The Morning Stars Sang Together"), born in London (d. 1992)
  • Jan 15 Tony Bullimore, British yachtsman (1997 solo around-the-world yacht race, dramatic rescue), born in Southend-on-Sea, England (d. 2018) [1]
  • Jan 16 Ramon "Ray" Philips, Welsh rock singer (Nashville Teens - "Tobacco Road"), born in Tiger Bay, South Wales
  • Jan 17 Antao D'Souza, Pakistani cricket medium pace bowler (6 Tests, 17 wickets; Karachi, Peshawar), born in Nagoa, Goa, India
  • Jan 17 Maury Povich, TV host (Current Affair, Maury)/Mr Connie Chung
  • Jan 17 Toini Gustafson, Swedish 5K/10K cross country skier (Olympic gold 1968)
  • Jan 18 Bernard Glassman, American Zen Buddhist roshi (Zen Center of NY), born in Brighton Beach, New York

Phil Everly

Jan 19 Phil Everly, American rock and roll singer-guitarist (The Everly Brothers - "Bye, Bye Love"; "Wake Up Little Susie"; "When WIll I Be Loved"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2014)

  • Jan 20 Murle Breer, American golfer (US Women's Open 1962), born in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Jan 20 Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-born British mathematician & astronomer, born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Jan 20 Paul Coverdell, American politician, born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • Jan 21 Mary Ellen McAnally, American poet (Dance of the Zygotes), born in Vandalia, Illinois
  • Jan 22 Jeff Smith, American chef (d. 2004)
  • Jan 22 Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba [Sadaho Maeda], Japanese martial artist and actor (The Street Fighter; Kill Bill: Volume 1), born in Fukuoka, Japan (d. 2021)
  • Jan 22 Luigi Simoni, Italian soccer midfielder (Napoli, Torino, Juventus, Brescia, Genoa) and manager (UEFA Cup 1998, Inter; Genoa, Torino, Napoli), born in Crevalcore, Italy (d. 2020)
  • Jan 23 Ray Elliott, Irish rock and jazz saxophonist, flutist, and keyboard player (Them), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 1993)
  • Jan 24 Ray Stevens [Ragsdale], American country, pop, and novelty singer-songwriter ("Ahab the Arab"; "Everything Is Beautiful"; "The Streak"), born in Clarkdale, Georgia
  • Jan 25 Gabriel Romanus, Swedish politician, born in Helsingborg, Sweden
  • Jan 25 Angela Thorne, British stage and screen actress (To The Manor Born; Three Up, Two Down), born in Karachi, British India (now Pakistan)
  • Jan 26 Marshall Leib [Leibovitz], American pop singer (Teddy Bears - "To Know Him Is To Love Him"), and record producer, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2002)
  • Jan 27 Mike Hill, American golfer (3 PGA; PGA 18 Senior titles), born in Jackson, Michigan
  • Jan 27 N R Bomford, head master (Harrow School)
  • Jan 27 Tigran Yegiayi Mansuryan, composer
  • Jan 28 John M Fabian, Goosecreek Tx, Col USAF/astronaut (STS 7, STS 51G)
  • Jan 29 Germaine Greer, Australian feminist and author (Female Eunuch), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Jan 30 Frank Wolf, American politician (Rep-R-VA, 1981-2015), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 31 Claude Gauthier, Canadian folk singer-songwriter, and actor, born in Lac-Saguay, Quebec
  • Jan 31 Johnny Egan, American basketball point guard (Detroit Pistons, NY Knicks, Baltimore Bullets, LA Lakers, SD/Houston Rockets) and coach (Houston Rockets 1973-76), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2022)

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 2 Roman Dmowski, Polish politician, dies at 74

Amelia Earhart

Jan 5 Amelia Earhart, American aviator (1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic), is declared dead at 41 after disappearing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937

  • Jan 6 Albert Ward, cricketer (England batsman in 7 Tests 1893-95), dies
  • Jan 9 Johann Strauss, Austrian conductor and Royal Ball director, dies at 72
  • Jan 10 Jameson Thomas, British actor (Piccadilly, Farmer's Wife), dies from tuberculosis at 50
  • Jan 10 Julius Bittner, Austrian composer (Missa Austriaca), dies at 64
  • Jan 13 Jacob Ruppert, CEO (NY Yankees, 1915-39), dies
  • Jan 19 Cliff Heathcote, American baseball player (b. 1898)
  • Jan 23 Matthias Sindelar, Austria soccer star, dies under mysterious circumstances at 35
  • Jan 24 Maximilian Bircher-Benner, Swiss physician and nutritionist, dies at 71
  • Jan 28 W. B. Yeats, Irish poet (Wild Swans at Coole-Nobel 1923), dies at 73