On This Day

What Happened in January 1940

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 26th Rose Bowl: #3 Southern California beats #2 Tennessee, 14-0
  • Jan 1 6th Sugar Bowl: #1 Texas A&M beats #5 Tulane, 14-13
  • Jan 1 6th Orange Bowl: #16 Georgia Tech beats #6 Missouri, 21-7
  • Jan 3 WPG-AM in Atlantic City NJ consolidates with WBIL & WOV as "new" WOV
  • Jan 5 FCC hears 1st transmission of FM radio with clear, static-free signal
  • Jan 5 Finnish offensive at Suomossalmi against Russia
  • Jan 6 Mass execution of Poles, committed by Germans in the city of Poznań, Warthegau.
  • Jan 7 Winter War: The Finish 9th Division defeats the Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road despite being significantly outnumbered
  • Jan 8 Britain's 1st WW II rationing (bacon, butter & sugar)
  • Jan 9 2 German officers make emergency landing in Belgium
  • Jan 9 J Thurber & E Nugent's "Male Animal" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 11 Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo & Juliet" premieres in Leningrad
  • Jan 12 World War II: Soviets bombs cities in Finland.
  • Jan 14 Commissioner Kenesaw Landis gives free agency to 91 Detroit Tigers
  • Jan 14 2nd NFL All Star Game, Gilmore Stadium, LA, CA: Green Bay Packers beat NFL All-Stars, 16-7
  • Jan 15 German U-Boot torpedoes Dutch merchant ship Arendskerk (Eagle's Church)

Film release premierFilm Release

Jan 19 The Three Stooges film "You Nazty Spy!" about the Nazis released with the disclaimer "Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle."

Comedian Moe Howard
Comedian
Moe Howard
  • Jan 19 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Helen Hicks wins by 1 stroke ahead of Helen Dettweiler
  • Jan 21 Foreign correspondents in Netherlands subjected to censorship
  • Jan 22 1st radio broadcast of "Road to Happiness" on CBS
  • Jan 23 Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile

Film release premierFilm Release

Jan 24 "The Grapes of Wrath", directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, is released

Actor Henry Fonda
Actor
Henry Fonda
Film director John Ford
Film director
John Ford
Author John Steinbeck
Author
John Steinbeck
  • Jan 25 Nazi decrees establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz Poland
  • Jan 26 Nazis forbid Polish Jews to travel on trains
  • Jan 27 -17°F (-27°C), CCC Camp F-16, Georgia (state record)
  • Jan 28 Chicago's Les Cunningham scores 5 points in one period to set an NHL record that stands until 1978; records 2 goals & 3 assists in a 10:04 span during the 3d period of an 8-1 win over Montreal
  • Jan 29 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton wins her 2nd Australian singles titles; beats Thelma Coyne 5-7, 6-4, 6-0
  • Jan 29 Australian Championships men's Tennis: Australian Adrian Quist beats countryman Jack Crawford 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 for his 2nd Australian title
  • Jan 30 Benjamin Britten's "Lesson Illuminations" premieres in London
  • Jan 30 Cor Jongert wins 6th Dutch 11 Cities Skating Race
  • Jan 30 Hassett's second 122 of the game for Vic can't stop a NSW win
  • Jan 31 C Turney & J Horwin's "My Dear Children" premieres in NYC

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Laszlo Sary, Hungarian composer, born in Győrasszonyfa
  • Jan 1 Richard Henry Orton, composer
  • Jan 1 Marlin McKeever, American NFL linebacker (Pro Bowl 1966; LA Rams), born in Cheyenne, Wyoming (d. 2006)
  • Jan 2 S. R. S. Varadhan, Indian-American mathematician
  • Jan 3 Thelma Schoonmaker, actress/editor (Casino, Cape Fear, Good Fellas)
  • Jan 3 Bernard Blaut, Polish soccer midfielder (36 caps; KP Legia Warsaw, FC Metz) and manager (UAE), born in Krapkowice, Poland (d. 2007)
  • Jan 4 Anthony Skooter Teague, Texas, actor (How to Succeed in Business)
  • Jan 4 Brian Josephson, British physicist (Nobel 1973)
  • Jan 4 Helmut Jahn, German architect
  • Jan 4 Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born French novelist and dramatist, Nobel laureate
  • Jan 5 Michael O'Donoghue, American writer and performer (Saturday Night Live, Scrooged), born in Sauquoit, New York (d. 1994)
  • Jan 5 Yuri Ershov, Russian mathematician, born in Novosibirsk, Russia
  • Jan 5 Athol Guy, Australian singer (The Seekers), born in Colac, Australia
  • Jan 5 Michael Rose, British army officer, born in British India
  • Jan 6 Ed Zschau, American politician (Rep-R-CA, 1983- ), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jan 6 Van McCoy, American musician and songwriter (The Hustle), born in Englewood, New Jersey (d. 1979)
  • Jan 6 Laudir de Oliveira, Brazilian percussionist (Chicago), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 2017)
  • Jan 6 Penny Lernoux, American journalist, born in California (d. 1989)
  • Jan 7 William Elgin Swinton, child psychiatrist
  • Jan 8 Cristy Lane, American country music & gospel singer, born in Peoria, Illinois
  • Jan 9 Barbara Buczek, Polish composer, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 1993)
  • Jan 9 Jimmy Boyd, American singer & actor (Howard-Bachelor Father), born in Jayess, Mississippi (d. 2009)
  • Jan 9 Al Downing, American singer, born in Oklahoma, United States (d. 2005)
  • Jan 9 Ruth Dreifuss, Swiss politician, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Jan 10 Harry Gant, American race car driver, born in Taylorsville, North Carolina
  • Jan 10 Ntare VI of Ankole, Omugabe of Nkole
  • Jan 10 Guy Chevrette, Quebec politician, born in Québec, Canada
  • Jan 11 Mark DeVoto, America Musicologist and composer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Jan 12 Dick Motz, New Zealand cricketer (1st NZer to take 100 Test wickets), born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • Jan 13 Edmund White, American author
  • Jan 14 Julian Bond, American civil rights leader & politician (D-Ga), born in Nashville Tennessee (d. 2015)
  • Jan 17 Kipchoge "Kip" Keino, Kenyan athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1968, 3k steeplechase 1972), born in Kipsamo, Kenya
  • Jan 17 Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, South African poet (Fireflames)
  • Jan 17 Leighton Rees, Welsh darts player (BDO World Champion 1978), born in Ynysybwl, Glamorgan, Wales (d. 2003)
  • Jan 18 Pedro Rodriguez, Spanish racing driver, born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (d. 1971)
  • Jan 19 Barend J du Plessis, South African minister of Finance (1984- )

Person of interestMary Mills

Jan 19 Mary Mills, American golfer (US Open 1963, PGA 1964, 73), born in Laurel, Mississippi

LPGA Golfer Mary Mills
LPGA Golfer
Mary Mills
  • Jan 19 Paolo Borsellino, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • Jan 19 Mike Reid, English comedian (d. 2007)
  • Jan 20 Carol Heiss Jenkins, American figure skater (Olympic gold singles 1960; silver 1956; World C'ship gold 1956–1960), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 20 Jorge Peixinho, Portuguese composer & conductor, born in Montijo, Portugal
  • Jan 20 Krishnam Raju, Indian actor & politician, born in Mogalthur, India

Person of interestJack Nicklaus

Jan 21 Jack Nicklaus, American golfer (18 major titles, 73 PGA Tour titles), born in Columbus, Ohio

  • Jan 21 Robin Russell, 14th Duke of Bedford, English peer (Woburn Abbey, Country House TV series), born at the Ritz, London (d. 2003)
  • Jan 22 Addie "Micki" Harris, singer (Shirelles-Soldier Boy), born in Passaic, New Jersey
  • Jan 22 John Hurt, English actor (Elephant Man, Alien, Midnight Express), born in Chesterfield (d. 2017)
  • Jan 22 Tilo Medek, German composer
  • Jan 22 George Seifert, American football coach
  • Jan 23 Johnny Russell, American country singer, born in Moorhead, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Jan 26 Harold Lederman, American boxing judge, analyst (HBO), born in NYC, NY (d. 2019)
  • Jan 27 Brian T O'Leary, astronaut, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Jan 27 James Cromwell, American actor (Babe, The Green Mile), born in Los Angeles, California

Person of interestCarlos Slim

Jan 28 Carlos Slim, Mexican business magnate (América Móvil) once ranked as the richest person in the world, born in Mexico City, Mexico

Businessman Carlos Slim
Businessman
Carlos Slim
  • Jan 29 Katharine Ross, American actress (Graduate, Francesca-Colbys), born in Hollywood, California
  • Jan 29 Kunimitsu Takahashi, Japanese motorcycle racer and racing driver
  • Jan 30 David Johnson, American composer, born in Batavia, New York
  • Jan 31 Stuart Margolin, Davenport Iowa, actor (Love American Style)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 1 68th Prime Minister of UK Harold Wilson (23) weds poet Mary Baldwin (23) in the chapel of Mansfield College, Oxford

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson
British Prime Minister
Harold Wilson
  • Jan 2 Archibald Campbell Mzoliza Jordan, Xhosa writer, linguist and academic and outspoken critic of the South African National Party government's Bantu Education policy, marries Priscilla Phyllis Ntantla.

LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 26 Actor Ronald Raegan (28) weds Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman (23) at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California

Actress Jane Wyman
Actress
Jane Wyman

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer & essayist, dies at 74
  • Jan 4 Conrad Weiss, German writer and poet (Heart of Words), dies at 59
  • Jan 5 Tina Modotti, Italian artist and activist, dies at 45
  • Jan 5 Humbert Wolfe, Italian-British poet (b. 1885)
  • Jan 12 Erich R Jaensch, German psychologist (eidetiek), dies at 56
  • Jan 18 Kazimierz P Tetmajer, Polish writer/poet (Young Poland), dies at 74
  • Jan 19 William E. Borah, American lawyer and politician (Republican U.S. Senator from Idaho), dies at 74
  • Jan 20 Omar Bundy, U.S. Army general (Spanish–American War in Cuba), dies at 78
  • Jan 24 Emile van Bosch, revue/operetta-artist, dies at 52
  • Jan 25 Elias Simojoki, Finnish clergyman and politician (b. 1899)
  • Jan 27 Isaak Babel, Russian writer (Zakat, Marija), executed at 46
  • Jan 31 René "Sascha" Schickele, German writer (Erbe am Rhein), dies at 56