What Happened on September 1, 1939

Day of the Week: Friday

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Hitler orders extermination of mentally ill

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler

Event of interestEvent of Interest

In the "scoop of the century," Telegraph journalist Clare Hollingworth becomes the first to report the outbreak of World War II

Journalist Clare Hollingworth
Clare Hollingworth
  • Last day of 1st-class cricket in England for 6 years
  • Physical Review publishes 1st paper to deal with "black holes"
  • 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).
  • Switzerland proclaims neutrality
  • 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.
  • World War II starts as Germany invades Poland by attacking the Free City of Danzig

Famous Birthdays

  • Heinrich Messner, Austrian downhill skier (Olympic bronze 1972)
  • Lily Tomlin, comedienne/actress (9 to 5, Laugh-in, All of Me), born in Detroit, Michigan