On This Day

What Happened in June 1939

Historical Events

  • Jun 1 First major boxing match on US television is the heavyweight bout from NY's Yankee Stadium between former world champion Max Baer and Lou Nova; Nova wins by TKO in 11th round
  • Jun 1 First night MLB game takes place at Philadelphia's Shribe Park; Phillies lose 5-2 to Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Jun 1 British submarine "Thetis" sinks in Liverpool Bay with all 99 aboard
  • Jun 1 Retired German Colonel-general Gerd von Runstedt returns to service
  • Jun 3 71st Belmont: James Stout riding Johnstown wins in 2:29.6
  • Jun 3 Beer Barrel Polka hits #1 on the pop singles chart by Will Glahe
  • Jun 6 NY Giants beat Reds 17-3, with 5 HRs in 4th inning
  • Jun 6 NY supreme court justice J F Crater legally declared dead
  • Jun 6 The ship MS St. Louis, carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Europe, begins sailing back to the continent after it was refused entry into America. Approximately a quarter of those on board would perish in the Holocaust.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 7 George VI and Elizabeth become the 1st king and queen of Britain to visit USA

King of the United Kingdom George VI
King of the United Kingdom
George VI
  • Jun 10 MGM cartoon character Barney Bear debuts

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 11 King and Queen of England taste 1st "hot dogs" at FDR's party

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sport awardUS Golf Open

Jun 12 US Open Men's Golf, Philadelphia Cricket Club: Byron Nelson wins by 3 strokes from Craig Wood and 7 ahead of Denny Shute in a 36-hole playoff to claim the second of his 5 major titles

  • Jun 12 Baseball Hall of Fame is dedicated in Cooperstown, New York
  • Jun 12 Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.
  • Jun 17 Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre

Sport awardFrench Open Men's Tennis

Jun 17 French Championships Men's Tennis: American collegiate champion Don McNeill beats countryman Bobby Riggs 7-5, 6-0, 6-3

Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion Bobby Riggs
Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion
Bobby Riggs
  • Jun 17 44th Women's French Championships: Simonne Mathieu beats Jadwiga Jedrzejowska (6-3, 8-6)
  • Jun 20 Test flight of 1st rocket plane using liquid propellants

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 21 NY Yankees announce Lou Gehrig's retirement after doctors reveal he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Jun 22 Princess and future Queen Elizabeth meets future husband Prince Philip of Greece (Midshipman Mountbatten, RN)

Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip
Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 23 Bronko Nagurski beats Lou Thesz in Houston, to win National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
Professional Wrestler Lou Thesz
Professional Wrestler
Lou Thesz
  • Jun 23 France turns over Sanjak of Alexandretta (Hatay) to Turkey
  • Jun 23 US Congress establishes US Coast Guard Reserve (renamed US Coast Guard Auxiliary 1941) as uniformed volunteer units supporting the Coast Guard
  • Jun 24 Pan Am's 1st US to England flight
  • Jun 27 1st night game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium (Indians 5, Tigers 0)
  • Jun 27 Brooklyn Dodgers tie Boston Bees, 2-2 in 23 innings; called on account of darkness after 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Jun 27 Brilliant West Indies batsman George Headley scores 107 to follow his 106 in the 1st innings in 1st cricket Test v England at Lord's; England still wins by 8 wickets

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jun 28 Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Jun 28 Pan Am opens southern route transatlantic air service (Dixie Clipper)
  • Jun 28 Yanks hit 13 HRs, sweep A's 23-2 & 10-0
  • Jun 29 4th Dutch government of Colijn falls
  • Jun 29 Dixie Clipper completes 1st commercial plane flight to Europe
  • Jun 30 Heinkel He 176 rocket plane flies for 1st time, at Peenemunde

Famous Birthdays

  • Jun 1 Cleavon Little, actor (Blazing Saddles, Toy Soldiers), born in Chickasha Oklahoma (d. 1992)
  • Jun 2 Charles Miller, rock flutist/saxophonist (War)
  • Jun 3 David Frederick Stock, composer
  • Jun 3 Ian Hunter, English rock singer (Mott the Hoople - "All The Young Dudes"; "Roll Away The Stone"), born in Oswestry, England
  • Jun 3 Steve Dalkowski, American baseball player and inspiration for Bull Durham film, born in New Britain, Connecticut (d. 2020)
  • Jun 3 David Stock, American composer and conductor (Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2015)

Person of interestJoe Clark

Jun 5 Joe Clark [Charles Joseph], 16th Prime Minister of Canada (1979-80), born in High River, Alberta

16th Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clark
16th Prime Minister of Canada
Joe Clark
  • Jun 5 Margaret Drabble, British author (Needle's Eye)
  • Jun 6 Gary U.S. Bonds [Gary Anderson], American blues singer and songwriter (New Orleans), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Jun 6 Louis Andriessen, Dutch composer (Reconstruction), born in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Jun 6 Marian Wright-Edelman, American activist and health care president (Children's Defense Fund), born in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Jun 6 Nganani Enos J Mabuza, South African leader (Inyandza National Movement), born in Barberton, South Africa (d. 1997)
  • Jun 6 Doug Hart, American NFL defensive back (NFL champion 1965, 66, 67; Super Bowl 1967, 68; Green Bay Packers), born in Handley, Texas (d. 2020)
  • Jun 7 Yuli Turovsky, Russian-Canadian cellist (Borodin Trio, 1976-91), conductor (I Musici de Montreal Chamber Orchestra, 1983-2011), and teacher, born in Moscow, USSR (d. 2013)
  • Jun 8 Bernie Casey, American actor (Boxcar Bertha, Rent-a-Cop), born in Wyco, West Virginia (d. 2017)
  • Jun 8 Herb Adderley, American Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback (Super Bowl 1967-68, 71; Pro Bowl 1963–67; Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2020)
  • Jun 8 William "Bill" Watrous, American jazz trombonist, born in Middletown, Connecticut (d. 2018)
  • Jun 9 David Hobbs, British racing driver, born in Royal Leamington Spa, England
  • Jun 9 Dick Vitale, American basketball sportscaster (ESPN), born in Passaic, New Jersey
  • Jun 9 Ileana Cotrubaş, Romanian soprano, born in Galați, Romania
  • Jun 9 Charles Webb, American writer (The Graduate), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2020)
  • Jun 10 Alexandra Stewart, actress (In Praise of Older Women), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jun 11 Barry Porter, British lawyer and Conservative Party politician (d. 1996)
  • Jun 11 Christina Crawford, American actress and author (Mommie Dearest), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 11 Jackie Stewart, Scottish auto racer, analyst (27 Grand Prix wins, World F1 'ship 1969, 71, 73), born in Milton, Scotland
  • Jun 11 Rachel Heyhoe Flint, English cricket batter and captain (22 Tests, 23 ODOs; captain winning England team in inaugural Women's World Cup 1973), businesswoman and philanthropist, born in Wolverhampton, England (d. 2017)
  • Jun 11 Wilma Burgess, American country-pop singer, born in Orlando, Florida (d. 2003)
  • Jun 11 Bernard Purdie, American session drummer, born in Elkton, Maryland
  • Jun 12 Frank McCloskey, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1983-95), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2003)
  • Jun 12 Geoff Griffin, South African cricket fast bowler (2 Tests; first RSA Test hat-trick 1960), born in Greytown, Natal Province, South Africa (d. 2006)
  • Jun 13 Tom Cheek, American sportscaster (Voice of the Toronto Blue Jays), born in Pensacola, Florida (d. 2005)
  • Jun 13 Siegfried Fischbacher, German American entertainer and magician (Siegfried and Roy), born in Rosenheim, Germany (d. 2021) [1] [2]
  • Jun 14 Steny Hoyer, American politician (Rep-D-MD, 1981-), born in NYC, New York
  • Jun 14 John F. MacArthur, American evangelist and author, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 15 Ward Connerly, American political activist (affirmative action), born in Leesville, Louisiana
  • Jun 15 Brian Jacques, British author, born in Liverpool, England (2011)
  • Jun 16 Billy "Crash" Craddock, American country singer (Boom Boom Baby, Rub It In), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Jun 17 Donald Anderson, British Labour Party politician, born in Swansea, Wales
  • Jun 17 Hanna Johansen, Swiss writer, born in Bremen, Germany
  • Jun 17 James Gadson, American drummer and session musician, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Jun 18 Lou Brock, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (6 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1964, 67; 8 × NL stolen base leader; St Louis Cardinals), born in El Dorado, Arkansas (d. 2020)
  • Jun 19 Peter Duffell, Brits lt-general/minister of Defense
  • Jun 19 Al Wilson, American singer (Show and Tell, The Snake), born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 2008)
  • Jun 20 Budge Rogers, British rugby player
  • Jun 20 Ramakant Desai, Indian cricket fast bowler (28 Tests, 74 wickets, 1 x 50; Bombay), born in Bombay, India (d. 1998)
  • Jun 21 Charles Boone, American composer, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Jun 21 Rubén Berríos, Puerto Rican politician, born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico
  • Jun 22 Bobby Harrison, English rock drummer (Procol Harum-Conquistador)
  • Jun 22 Don Matthews, American football coach in the CFL
  • Jun 23 Charlie Spoonhour, American basketball coach (Southwest Missouri State, Saint Louis, UNLV), born in Mulberry, Kansas (d. 2012)
  • Jun 24 Henry Lawrence Garett III, Sect of Navy (1989-92), born in Miami, Florida
  • Jun 25 Harold Melvin, American singer (Blue Notes), born in Philadelphia (d. 1997)
  • Jun 25 Allen Fox, American tennis player, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 26 Ansar Ilgamovich, Russian cosmonaut, born in Satka, Russia
  • Jun 26 Chuck [Charles] Robb, American politician, 64th Governor of Virginia, born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Jun 26 Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, South African Secretary-General (Bishops' Conference 1983-88), born in Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Jun 27 Neil Hawke, Australian cricket fast bowler (27 Tests, 91 wickets; South Australia), born in Adelaide, Australia (d. 2000)
  • Jun 27 R. D. Burman, Indian film score composer (1942: A Love Story), born in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 1994)
  • Jun 28 Klaus Schmiegel, German-American chemist (invented Prozac), born in Chemnitz, Germany
  • Jun 29 Alan Connolly, Australian cricket fast bowler (29 Tests, 102 wickets; Victoria), born in Skipton, Australia
  • Jun 29 Ron Headley, West Indian cricket batsman (2 Tests; son of WI great George Headley; Worcestershire), born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Jun 30 Eleanor Smeal, American cofounder of the Feminist Majority Foundation and president (National Organization for Women), born in Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Jun 30 Lindembergue Cardoso, Brazilian composer, born in Livramento de Nossa Senhora, State of Bahia, Brazil (d. 1989)
  • Jun 30 John Fortune [John C. Wood], English satirist and comedian (Bremner, Bird and Fortune), born in Bristol, England (d. 2013)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Jun 9 Medical researcher Jonas Salk (24) weds social worker Donna Lindsay

Medical Researcher and Virologist Jonas Salk
Medical Researcher and Virologist
Jonas Salk

Famous Deaths

  • Jun 4 Tommy Ladnier, American jazz musician, dies at 39
  • Jun 5 Elijah Beardsworth, world quick shaving champion, dies
  • Jun 5 Frank Van de Goes, writer/marxist theorist, dies
  • Jun 6 Ford Madox Ford, American writer (The Good Soldier) and editor, dies at 65
  • Jun 9 Owen Moore, Irish actor (She Done Him Wrong), commits suicide at 52
  • Jun 13 Arthur Coningham, Australian cricketer (one Test for Australia 1894), dies at 75
  • Jun 13 Volter Kilpi, Finnish writer (Suljetuilla Porteilla), dies at 64
  • Jun 16 Chick Webb, American jazz drummer and big band leader (introduced Ella Fitzgerald), dies of Pott's disease (tuberculosis of the spine), at 34
  • Jun 17 Eugene Weldman, the last person to be publicly guillotined in France, dies at 31. When asked if he had remorse for his victims he had killed, he replied, “Remorse, what for? I didn’t even know them”
  • Jun 17 Allen Sothoron, American baseball player, dies at 46
  • Jun 18 Frans "Sas" van Aerschot, Flemish operetta actor (Paljas), dies at 73
  • Jun 19 Grace Abbott, social worker (US Children Bureau), dies at 60
  • Jun 26 Ford M Ford [Hueffer], British writer, (Tietjens Saga) dies at 65