What Happened in January 1940

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 26th Rose Bowl: #3 Southern California beats #2 Tennessee, 14-0
  • Jan 1 6th Orange Bowl: #16 Georgia Tech beats #6 Missouri, 21-7
  • Jan 1 6th Sugar Bowl: #1 Texas A&M beats #5 Tulane, 14-13
  • Jan 3 WPG-AM in Atlantic City NJ consolidates with WBIL & WOV as "new" WOV
  • Jan 5 FCC hears the 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 James Thurber and Elliott Nugent's stage comedy "The Male Animal" premieres at the Cort Theater. NYC; runs for 243 performances
  • Jan 11 Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo & Juliet" premieres in Leningrad
  • Jan 12 World War II: Soviets bombs cities in Finland.
  • Jan 14 2nd NFL All Star Game, Gilmore Stadium, LA, CA: Green Bay Packers beat NFL All-Stars, 16-7

Sports History

Jan 14 MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis gives free agency to 91 Detroit Tigers minor league players

  • Jan 15 German U-Boot torpedoes Dutch merchant ship Arendskerk (Eagle's Church)
  • Jan 19 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Helen Hicks wins by 1 stroke ahead of Helen Dettweiler

Film 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."

  • 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

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

  • 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

Australian Men's Tennis Open

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 29 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton wins her 2nd Australian singles titles; beats Thelma Coyne 5-7, 6-4, 6-0

Music History

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 László Sáry, Hungarian classical pianist and composer (12 Haiku; Flowers of Heaven), born in Győrasszonyfa, Hungary
  • Jan 1 Marlin McKeever, American NFL linebacker (Pro Bowl 1966; LA Rams), born in Cheyenne, Wyoming (d. 2006)
  • Jan 1 Richard Henry Orton, composer
  • Jan 1 Ruly Carpenter, American baseball executive (principal owner and president Philadelphia Phillies 1972-81), born in Wilmington, Delaware (d. 2021)
  • Jan 2 S. R. S. Varadhan, Indian-American mathematician
  • Jan 3 Bernard Blaut, Polish soccer midfielder (36 caps; KP Legia Warsaw, FC Metz) and manager (UAE), born in Krapkowice, Poland (d. 2007)
  • Jan 3 Thelma Schoonmaker, actress/editor (Casino, Cape Fear, Good Fellas)
  • Jan 4 Anthony "Skooter" Teague, American screen and stage actor (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; No, No, Nanette), born in Jacksboro, Texas (d. 1989)
  • Jan 4 Brian Josephson, Welsh physicist (Nobel Prize, 1973), born in Cardiff, Wales
  • Jan 4 Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born French novelist and dramatist, Nobel laureate, years), born in Ganzhou, China
  • Jan 4 Helmut Jahn, German-American architect who designed the O'Hare United Airlines Terminal and the Thompson Center in Chicago and One Liberty Place in Philadelphia, born in Nuremberg, Germany (d. 2021) [1] [2]
  • Jan 5 Athol Guy, Australian singer (The Seekers), born in Colac, Australia
  • Jan 5 Michael O'Donoghue, American writer and performer (Saturday Night Live, Scrooged), born in Sauquoit, New York (d. 1994)
  • Jan 5 Michael Rose, British army officer, born in British India
  • Jan 5 Yuri Ershov, Russian mathematician, born in Novosibirsk, Russia
  • Jan 6 Ed Zschau, American politician (Rep-R-CA, 1983- ), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jan 6 Laudir de Oliveira, Brazilian percussionist (Sérgio Mendes; Chicago, 1973-81), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 2017)
  • Jan 6 Penny Lernoux, American journalist, born in California (d. 1989)
  • Jan 6 Van McCoy, American musician and songwriter ("The Hustle"), born in Englewood, New Jersey (d. 1979)
  • Jan 8 Cristy Lane, American country music and gospel singer, born in Peoria, Illinois
  • Jan 8 Gianni Di Marzio, Italian soccer manager (Napoli, Catania, Genoa, Lecce, Palermo FC), born in Naples, Italy (d. 2022)
  • Jan 9 Al Downing, American rockabilly piano player and singer (Big Al & The Chartbusters), born in Centralia, Oklahoma (d. 2005)
  • Jan 9 Barbara Buczek, Polish pianist, composer (Anekumena – Concerto for 89 Instruments; Two Impressions), and teacher, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 1993)
  • Jan 9 Jimmy Boyd, American singer ("I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"), and actor (Bachelor Father - "Howard"), born in Jayess, Mississippi (d. 2009)
  • Jan 9 Ruth Dreifuss, Swiss politician (President of Switzerland, 1999; Vice-President of Switzerland, 1998), born in St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Jan 10 Guy Chevrette, Quebec politician, born in Québec, Canada
  • Jan 10 Harry Gant, American race car driver, born in Taylorsville, North Carolina
  • Jan 10 Ntare VI of Ankole, Omugabe of Nkole
  • Jan 11 Mark DeVoto, American composer (Hodayot; Pavane and Zortzico), and musicologist (Schubert), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Jan 12 Dick Motz, New Zealand cricket all-rounder (32 Tests, 100 wickets, BB 6/63; Canterbury CA), born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • Jan 12 Ronald Shannon Jackson, American avant-garde jazz and funk drummer, and composer (Cecil Taylor; Last Exit; Decoding Society), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2013)
  • 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 Fred Hill, English soccer forward (2 caps; Bolton Wanderers 375 games), born in Sheffield, England (d. 2021)
  • Jan 17 Kipchoge "Kip" Keino, Kenyan athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1968, 3k steeplechase 1972), born in Kipsamo, Kenya
  • Jan 17 Leighton Rees, Welsh darts player (BDO World Champion 1978), born in Ynysybwl, Glamorgan, Wales (d. 2003)
  • Jan 17 Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, South African poet (Fireflames)
  • Jan 17 Tabaré Vázquez, Uruguayan politician and physician, President of Uruguay (2005-10, 2015-20), born in Montevideo, Uruguay (d. 2020) [1]
  • Jan 18 Pat Britt, American jazz saxophonist, flute player, and producer, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 18 Pedro Rodriguez, Mexican racing driver (Le Mans, 1968), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 1971)
  • Jan 19 Barend J du Plessis, South African minister of Finance (1984- )

Mary Mills

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

  • Jan 19 Mike Reid, English comedian (d. 2007)
  • Jan 19 Paolo Borsellino, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 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 pianist, composer, and conductor, born in Montijo, Portugal (d. 1995)
  • Jan 20 Krishnam Raju, Indian actor & politician, born in Mogalthur, India
  • Jan 20 Lars-Åke Lagrell, Swedish sports administrator (President Swedish Football Association 1991-2012) and politician (Governor Kronoberg County), born in Växjö, Sweden (d. 2020)

Jack 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, American pop singer (Shirelles - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; "Soldier Boy"), born in Passaic, New Jersey (d. 1982)
  • Jan 22 George Seifert, American football coach
  • Jan 22 John Hurt, English actor (Elephant Man, Alien, Midnight Express), born in Chesterfield (d. 2017)
  • Jan 22 Tilo Medek, German composer, born in Jena, Germany
  • Jan 23 Jimmy Castor, American pop & funk musician ("Troglodyte (Cave Man)", Jimmy Castor Bunch), born in NYC, New York (d. 2012)
  • Jan 23 Johnny Russell, American country singer, born in Moorhead, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Jan 23 Stjepan Lamza, Croatian soccer midfielder (7 caps Yugoslavia; GNK Dinamo Zagreb), born in Sisak, Croatia (d. 2022)
  • 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

Carlos Slim

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

  • Jan 29 Justino DÍaz, Puerto Rican opera singer, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 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

Harold Wilson

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

  • 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.

Wedding of Interest

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


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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 Humbert Wolfe, Italian-British poet (b. 1885)
  • Jan 5 Tina Modotti, Italian artist and activist, dies at 45
  • Jan 12 Erich R Jaensch, German psychologist (eidetiek), dies at 56
  • Jan 18 Kazimierz P. Tetmajer, Polish writer and 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