On This Day

What Happened in November 1939

Historical Events

  • Nov 1 First animal conceived by artificial insemination (rabbit) displayed
  • Nov 1 First jet plane, Heinkel He 178, demonstrated to German Air Ministry

Catholic Encyclical

Nov 1 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Sertum laetitiae

  • Nov 3 Clare Booth's "Margin for Error" premieres in NYC
  • Nov 4 First air conditioned automobile (Packard) exhibited, Chicago, Illinois
  • Nov 4 US allows "cash & carry" arms sales during WW II
  • Nov 6 WGY-TV (Schenectady, NY), 1st commercial TV station, begins service
  • Nov 6 WRGB TV channel 6 in Schenectady-Alby-Troy, NY (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Nov 6 World War II: 'Sonderaktion Krakau' - a Nazi operation against academics, with 184 professors arrested in Krakow and deported

Assassination Attempt

Nov 8 Failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in Burgerbraukeller, Munich

  • Nov 8 H Lindsay & R Crouse's play "Life with Father" premieres in NYC

Film Premiere

Nov 9 Romantic comedy film "Ninotchka" directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Greta Garbo premieres

  • Nov 9 Nobel Prize for physics awarded to American Ernest Lawrence for his invention of the cyclotron
  • Nov 9 Venlo-incident: German Abwehr kills 2 British agents

Music History

Nov 11 Kate Smith first sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America"

  • Nov 12 Jews in Lodz, Poland, ordered to wear a yellow star of David
  • Nov 14 Oil refinery fire kills 500 & destroys Lagunillas, Venezuela
  • Nov 15 Anti-German demonstrations in Czechoslovakia

Historic Event

Nov 15 FDR lays cornerstone of Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

  • Nov 15 Nazis begin mass murder of Warsaw Jews
  • Nov 15 The first unemployment compensation law, under the Social Security Act, that of the District of Columbia, was approved for grants by the Social Security Board

Historic Event

Nov 16 Al Capone freed from Alcatraz jail

  • Nov 16 German U-boat torpedoes tanker Sliedrecht near Ireland
  • Nov 17 German U-boat torpedoes passenger ship

Music History

Nov 17 Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Very Warm for May" premieres in NYC

  • Nov 17 The Rome-Rio de Janeiro air connection created
  • Nov 18 Dutch KNSM passenger ship Simón Bolívar hits German mine, 86 die
  • Nov 18 The Irish Republican Army explodes three bombs in Piccadilly Circus
  • Nov 19 Don Lash wins 6th straight AAU cross-country 10K championship
  • Nov 19 Comic superheroes Flash (as Jay Garrick) and Hawkman (Carter Hall) first appear in "Flash Comics No. 1" published by DC

Historic Siege

Nov 22 Bugsy Siegel, Whitey Krakower, Frankie Carbo and Albert Tannenbaum kill Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg outside his apartment after Greenberg had threatened to become a police informant

Historic Event

Nov 23 Nazi Governor of Poland Hans Frank requires Jewish Poles above the age of 11 years to wear a blue Star of David

  • Nov 26 4 soviet soldiers killed on Finnish-Russian border

Theater Premiere

Nov 27 Maxwell Anderson's play "Key Largo" premieres in NYC

  • Nov 28 Hans Frank, Nazi Governor-General of Poland, organizes Judenrat
  • Nov 28 Soviet government revokes Russian-Finnish non-aggression treaty
  • Nov 29 Cor Klint swims world record 200 m backstroke (2:38.8)
  • Nov 29 USSR drops diplomatic relations with Finland
  • Nov 30 Paul Osborn's "Mornings at 7" premieres in NYC
  • Nov 30 USSR invades Finland, bombs Helsinki

Appointment of Interest

Nov 30 Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim appointed Commander-in-Chief of all Finnish armed services as Soviet forces invade


Famous Birthdays

  • Nov 1 Barbara Bosson, American actress (Fay-Hill St Blues, Hooperman), born in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 2 Howard Wolpe, American politician (Rep-D-MI, 1979-93), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Nov 2 Pauline Neville-Jones, English diplomat, born in Birmingham
  • Nov 2 Richard Serra, American sculptor and video artist, born in San Francisco, California
  • Nov 2 Tom Thacker, American basketball forward (only player to play on NCAA, ABA and NBA C'ship teams), born in Covington, Kentucky
  • Nov 3 Terrence McNally, American playwright (Kiss of the Spider Woman), born in St Petersburg, Florida (d. 2020)
  • Nov 3 Frits Flinkevleugel, Dutch soccer defender (11 caps; DWS, FC Amsterdam), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 2020)
  • Nov 5 Kenneth Walter, South African cricket fast bowler (2 Tests, 6 wickets), born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2003)
  • Nov 5 Fionna Duncan, Scottish jazz vocalist (Clyde Valley Stompers), born in Garelochhead, Scotland
  • Nov 6 Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist, born in NYC, New York (d. 1964)
  • Nov 6 Leonardo Quisumbing, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, born in Masbate, Philippines
  • Nov 6 Pat Dye, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (East Carolina, Wyoming, Auburn; record 153–62–5), born in Blythe, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • Nov 7 Daniel Manneke, Dutch composer and organist, born in Kruiningen, Netherlands
  • Nov 9 Paul Cameron, American psychologist and sex researcher, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 9 Marco Bellocchio, Italian film director (The Conviction), born in Bobbio, Italy
  • Nov 10 Andrew Cyrille, American avant-garde jazz drummer (Walt Dickerson; Cecil Taylor), bandleader (Trio 3), and composer, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Nov 10 Tommy "Bubba" Facenda, American rock and roll artist (High School U.S.A.), born in Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Nov 10 Russell Means, Native American activist, actor, writer, and musician, born in Porcupine, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota (d. 2012)
  • Nov 11 Claudia Boyarskikh, Soviet cross country skier (5 Olympic gold 1964, 1968), born in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia (d. 2009)
  • Nov 11 Denise Alexander, American actress (Mary McKinnon-Another World, Lesley Webber-General Hospital), born in NYC, New York
  • Nov 12 Lucia Popp [Poppová], Slovakian operatic soprano, born in Záhorská Ves, Slovak State (now Slovakia) (d. 1993)
  • Nov 13 Karel Brückner, Czech football manager, born in Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Nov 13 Idris Muhammad [Leo Morris], American jazz drummer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2014)
  • Nov 13 Robert Whitaker, British photographer whose work was used on Beatles and Cream album covers, born in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England (d. 2011) [1]
  • Nov 14 [Walter] Wendy Carlos, American musician and composer (Switched-On Bach), born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • Nov 15 Yaphet Kotto, African-American stage and screen actor (Live And Let Die; Alien; Homicide: Life on the Street), born in Harlem, New York City (d. 2021) [1]
  • Nov 15 Erik Hansen, Danish canoeist (Olympic gold K-1 1000m 1960; World C'ship gold 1963), born in Randers, Denmark (d. 2014)
  • Nov 15 Thalmus Rasulala [Jack Crowder], actor (Blacula, Roots), born in Miami, Florida
  • Nov 16 Henrik Otto Donner, Finnish trumpeter, and avant garde and film score composer, born in Tampere, Finland (d. 2013)
  • Nov 17 Auberon Waugh, British author (d. 2001)
  • Nov 18 Brenda Vaccaro, American actress (Cactus Flower, Sara, Paper Dolls), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Nov 18 John Cheek, Falkland Islands advocate

Margaret Atwood

Nov 18 Margaret Atwood, Canadian author/poet, born in Ottawa, Ontario

  • Nov 18 Tom Johnson, American composer (Nine Bells), born in Greeley, Colorado
  • Nov 19 Garrick Utley, American newscaster (1st Tuesday, NBC Weekend), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Nov 19 Thomas Harkin, American politician (Senator-D-Iowa, 1985-2015), born in Cumming, Iowa
  • Nov 19 Warren "Pete" Moore, American singer (Miracles - "Tears of a Clown"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Nov 20 Dick Smothers, American comedian and folk singer (The Smothers Brothers Show), born in NYC, New York
  • Nov 21 Rick Lenz, actor (Hec Ramsey, Scandalous John), born in Springfield, Illinois
  • Nov 21 R. Budd Dwyer, American politician who committed suicide on TV (d. 1987)
  • Nov 22 Allen Garfield, actor (Candidate, Beverly Hills Cop II), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Nov 22 Tom West, American astrophysicist
  • Nov 22 Mulayam Singh Yadav, Indian politician (Samajwadi Party), born in Etawah district, Uttar Pradesh
  • Nov 23 Betty Everett, American soul singer (Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss), born in Greenwood, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Nov 24 Jim Northrup, baseball player
  • Nov 24 Jim Yester, American rock vocalist and guitarist (The Association - "Cherish"; "Windy"; "Time For Living"), born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Nov 24 Yoshinobu Miyake, Japan, featherweight (Olympic gold 1964, 68)
  • Nov 25 Martin Feldstein, American economist (1977 John Bates Clark Medal), chief economic adviser to President Reagan, born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2019)
  • Nov 25 Rosanna Schiaffino, actress (Minotaur, Mazzabubu), born in Genoa, Italy
  • Nov 26 Jeremy Boorda, U.S. Navy admiral (25th Chief of Naval Operations), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1996)

Tina Turner

Nov 26 Tina Turner [Anna Mae Bullock], American singer (Ike & Tina - "Proud Mary"; solo -"What's Love Got To Do With It"), born in Nutbush, Tennessee

  • Nov 26 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Malaysian politician (5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, 2003-09), born in Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia
  • Nov 26 David White, American singer and songwriter (Danny And The Juniors - "At The Hop": Leslie Gore - "You Don't Own Me"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2019)
  • Nov 26 Art Themen, British jazz saxophonist and orthopedic surgeon, born in Manchester, England
  • Nov 27 Dave Giusti, American baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Seneca Falls, New York
  • Nov 28 Gary Troxel, rocker (The Fleetwoods), born in Centralia, Washington
  • Nov 29 Gennadi Volnov, Russian basketball player (Olympic gold 1972), born in Moscow, Soviet Union (d. 1998)
  • Nov 29 Meco [Domenico Monardo], American musician and record producer (Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk), born in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 29 Peter Bergman, American comedian, (d. 2012)

Famous Weddings

Phyllis Diller

Nov 4 Actress and comedian Phyllis Diller (22) weds inspector Sherwood Diller in Covington, Kentucky

Joe DiMaggio

Nov 19 Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio (24) weds "Freshies" actress Dorothy Arnold at St. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco


Famous Deaths

  • Nov 3 Waldemar Lindgren, Swedish-American Geologist (economic geology, ore classification), dies at 79
  • Nov 4 Charles Arnold Tournemire, French organist and composer, dies at 69
  • Nov 5 Charles Barrois, French geologist and palaeontologist, dies at 88
  • Nov 6 Adolphe Max, Belgian liberal MP, dies at 69
  • Nov 9 Dirk Klop, Dutch intelligence lt, shot by German Abwehr
  • Nov 11 Jan Opletal, Czech student, victim of Nazi violence in Prague
  • Nov 12 Oscar [Bachigaloupi] Tourniaire, Dutch actor and director (Pink Kate), dies at 59
  • Nov 12 Norman Bethune, Canadian doctor, communist and humanitarian (Spanish Civil War, Second Sino-Japanese War), dies of blood poisoning from a cut on his finger from operating on a wounded soldier at 49
  • Nov 13 George Nicholls Jr, actor (Finishing School), dies at 42
  • Nov 13 Lois Weber, American film director who became the first American woman to direct a full feature-length film (The Merchant of Venice) and the first to own her own studio, dies of a stomach ulcer at 60
  • Nov 16 Pierce Butler, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1866)
  • Nov 20 Désiré Pâque, Belgian organist, composer, and pedagogue, dies at 72
  • Nov 25 Wilfred Trotter, English surgeon who was a pioneer in neurosurgery, popularized the concept of herd instinct, and was an authority in cancers of the head and neck, dies at 67

James Naismith

Nov 28 James Naismith, Canadian-American physical educator and inventor (basketball, football helmet), dies at 78

  • Nov 29 Philipp Scheidemann, German politician (SPD) and Mayor of Kassel, dies at 74