On This Day

What Happened in October 1940

Historical Events

  • Oct 1 Pennsylvania Turnpike, pioneer toll thruway, opens
  • Oct 2 17 German aircraft shot down over England
  • Oct 2 British Council receives Royal Charter
  • Oct 2 British liner Empress, loaded with refugees for Canada, sunk
  • Oct 3 France Vichy government proclaims end to Jewish status
  • Oct 3 Cincinnati Reds' win Game 2 of the Baseball World Series, 5-2 v Detroit Tigers at Crosley Field; snap 10-game losing streak for NL going back to Game 6 in 1937; Reds win series, 4-3
  • Oct 3 US forms parachute troops
  • Oct 4 12 German aircraft shot down above England
  • Oct 4 French Vichy regime proclaims end of "Statute of the Jews"
  • Oct 6 Zoological Gardens opens at Sloat & Skyline Boulevards in San Francisco, California
  • Oct 7 World War II: the McCollum memo proposes bringing the U.S. into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.
  • Oct 8 Baseball World Series: Cincinnati Reds beat Detroit Tigers, 2-1 at Crosley Field for 4 games to 3 series win; Reds second championship
  • Oct 8 German troops occupies Romania
  • Oct 15 -16] Heavy German air raid on London, 400 killed
  • Oct 15 London's Waterloo Station bombed by German luftwaffe

Film Release

Oct 15 "The Great Dictator", a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin released

  • Oct 16 Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. is promoted to brigadier general, the first African-American person to become a general in the US military
  • Oct 17 German occupiers issue identity cards
  • Oct 18 Kaufman & Harts "George Washington Slept Here" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 20 Cheese rationed in the Netherlands
  • Oct 20 Greenhouse rationing begins in the Netherlands
  • Oct 21 RAF drops 1st anti-nazi pamphlets on Netherlands
  • Oct 24 US Fair Labor Standards of 1938 comes into effect - minimum wage, 44 hr week
  • Oct 24 Japan eliminates US terms (strike, play ball) from baseball
  • Oct 24 Protestant churches protest against dismissal of Jew civil servants
  • Oct 25 Benjamin O Davis Sr. becomes 1st African American general in US Army
  • Oct 25 Vernon Duke and John Latouche's musical "Cabin In The Sky" opens at the Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 156 performances
  • Oct 26 The P-51 Mustang makes its maiden flight.
  • Oct 28 Greece successfully resists Italy's attack
  • Oct 28 Meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Florence
  • Oct 29 Secretary of War Henry L Stimson draws the 1st number - #158 - in the 1st peacetime military draft in US history

Music Premiere

Oct 30 Cole Porter's musical "Panama Hattie" opens at 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs 501 performances

Film Premiere

Oct 30 "One Night in the Tropics", first film for Abbott and Costello, premieres in Paterson, New Jersey

  • Oct 31 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory

Historic Event

Oct 31 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto


Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 1 Richard F Pieternella, Dutch Antilles' minister plenipotentiary
  • Oct 2 Lord Davies, British engineer and chairman (Welsh National Opera)
  • Oct 2 Gheorghe Gruia, Romanian handball player, born in Bucharest, Romania (d. 2015)
  • Oct 2 Patrick Sky [Lynch], American musician, folk singer, songwriter, record producer, and uilleann bagpiper (Songs That Made America Famous), born in College Park, Georgia (d. 2021)
  • Oct 3 Alan O'Day, American singer and songwriter ("Undercover Angel"; over 100 songs for the Muppet Babies), born in Hollywood, California (d. 2013)
  • Oct 3 Jean Ratelle, Canadian Hockey HOF center (NY Rangers, Boston Bruins; named in "100 Greatest NHL Players"), born in Lac Saint-Jean, Quebec, Canada
  • Oct 3 Mike Troy, American swimmer (Olympics 2 x gold 200m butterfly, 4×200m freestyle relay 1960), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2019)
  • Oct 3 Sheila Fearn, British actress (The Likely Lads; George and Mildred), born in Leicester, England
  • Oct 4 Silvio Marzolini, Argentine soccer defender (28 caps; Boca Juniors), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 2020)
  • Oct 4 Alberto Vilar, Cuban-American investor and philanthropist
  • Oct 4 Vic Hadfield, Canadian ice hockey left wing (1,004 NHL games; NY Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins), born in Oakville, Ontario
  • Oct 5 Bob Cowper, Australian cricket batsman (27 Tests, 5 x 100s, TS 307 v England 1966; Victoria CA, WA CA), born in Melbourne Australia
  • Oct 6 Boris Dmitriyevich Andreyev, Russian cosmonaut, born in Moscow, USSR (d. 2021)
  • Oct 6 Ellen Travolta, American actress (Grease; Charles in Charge), born in Englewood, New Jersey
  • Oct 6 Wyche Fowler Jr, American attorney and politician (US Representative-D-GA, 1977-87; US Senator from Georgia, 1987-93), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Oct 6 John Warnock, American computer scientist, and businessman (co-founder of Adobe Systems), born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Oct 7 Bruce F. Vento, American politician (Rep-D-Minnesota, 1977- ), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 2000)
  • Oct 7 Dino Valenti [Chester "Chet" Powers], American rock guitarist/vocalist (Quicksilver Messenger Service), born in Danbury, Connecticut (d. 1994)
  • Oct 7 Richard H. Stallings, American politician (Rep-D-ID, 1985- ), born in Ogden, Utah
  • Oct 8 Fred Cash, American soul singer (Impressions -"People Get Ready"), born in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Oct 9 Gordon J. Humphrey, US Senator (R) New Hampshire (1979-90), born in Bristol, Connecticut
  • Oct 9 Hans Ulrich Humpert, German composer, born in Paderborn, Germany (d. 2010)

Joe Pepitone

Oct 9 Joe Pepitone, American baseball 1st baseman (3-time MLB All Star), born in Brooklyn, New York

John Lennon

Oct 9 John Lennon, British rock singer-songwriter (The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever"; "Help!"; solo - "Imagine"; "Grow Old With Me"), born in Liverpool, England (d. 1980)

  • Oct 10 Mouse [Stanley Miller] American artist, notable for psychedelic rock concert poster designs and album art (Grateful Dead; Journey), born in Fresno, California
  • Oct 10 Jimmy Gabriel, Scottish soccer midfielder (2 caps; Everton, Southampton) and coach (Seattle Sounders; SJ Earthquakes, Seattle Storm, Everton), born in Dundee, Scotland (d. 2021)
  • Oct 12 Glenn Beckert, American baseball second baseman (MLB All-Star 1969-72; Gold Glove Award 1968; Chicago Cubs), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2020)
  • Oct 13 Chris Farlowe [John Henry Deighton], British rock singer ("Out of Time"), born in London, England
  • Oct 13 (Farrell) "Pharoah" Sanders, American jazz saxophonist (John Coltrane groups), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Oct 14 Christopher Timothy, Welsh actor (All Creatures Great & Small), born in Bala, Wales

Cliff Richard

Oct 14 Cliff Richard [Harry Webb], English rock vocalist ("Move It"; "Living Doll"; "We Don't Talk Anymore"), born in Lucknow, British India

  • Oct 14 J. C. Snead, American golfer (8 PGA Tour titles; Masters 1973 runner-up), born in Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Oct 14 Pat Finley, American actress (Ellen Hartley-Bob Newhart Show), born in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Oct 15 Peter C. Doherty, Australian immunologist and veterinary surgeon (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine1996), born in Brisbane, Australia
  • Oct 16 Barry Corbin, actor (Maurice-Northern Exposure)

Dave DeBusschere

Oct 16 Dave DeBusschere, NBA forward (NY Knick)/last ABA commissioner, born in Detroit, Michigan

  • Oct 16 Célio Taveira, Brazilian soccer striker (3 caps; Vasco da Gama, Nacional, Corinthians), born in Santos, Brazil (d. 2020)
  • Oct 17 Peter Stringfellow, British nightclub owner (Stringfellows), born in Sheffield, England (d. 2018)
  • Oct 17 Jim Smith, English soccer midfielder and manager (Birmingham City, QPR, Portsmouth, Derby County), born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire (d. 2019)
  • Oct 18 Cynthia Weil, American songwriter ("We Got Get Out Of This Place"; "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), born in NYC, New York
  • Oct 18 H.B. "Toby" Halicki, American filmmaker, stunt driver, and actor (Gone In 60 Seconds), born in Dunkirk, New York (d. 1989)
  • Oct 19 Jerzy Kulej, Polish light welterweight boxer (Olympic gold 1964, 68), (d. 2012)
  • Oct 19 Michael Gambon, English actor (Singing Detective, Paris at Night)
  • Oct 20 Kathy Kirby, English singer ("Secret Love"), born in Ilford, England (d. 2011)
  • Oct 20 Robert Pinsky, American poet and Poet Laureate of the United States, born in Long Branch, New Jersey
  • Oct 21 Don Ritter, (Rep-R-PA, 1979- )
  • Oct 21 Frances FitzGerald, American journalist/author (Fire in the Lake), born in NYC, New York
  • Oct 21 Geoffrey Boycott, cricketer (stoic England opener 1964-82)
  • Oct 21 Julie Parrish, Middlesboro Ky, actress (Good Morning World, Capitol)
  • Oct 21 Manfred Mann [Michael Lubowitz], British, rocker ("Mighty Quinn"; "Blinded By The Light"), born in Johannesburg, Transvaal, Union of South Africa
  • Oct 21 Osamu Watanabe, Japan, featherweight (Olympic gold 1964)
  • Oct 23 Ellie Greenwich, American singer-songwriter ("Da Doo Ron Ron"; "Leader of the Pack"), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • Oct 23 Freddie Marsden, English rock drummer (Gerry and the Pacemakers - "Ferry Cross The Mersey"), born in Liverpool, England (d. 2006)

Pele

Oct 23 Pelé [Edson Arantes do Nascimento], Brazilian footballer (Player of the Century; 1,281 goals in 1,363 games), born in Três Corações, Brazil

  • Oct 24 David Sainsbury, English billionaire and founder (Dutch Soc-Dem)
  • Oct 25 Bobby Knight, American college basketball coach (Indiana, Olympic gold 1984), born in Massillon, Ohio
  • Oct 26 Mario Orozco, 1st victim of NYC's Zodiac killer (survives)
  • Oct 26 Gennadi Strekalov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-3, T-8, T-11, TM-21), born in Mytishchi, Soviet Union (d. 2004)
  • Oct 27 Anthea Joseph, British folk music promoter, and record company publicist, born in London, England (d. 1997)
  • Oct 27 Maxine Hong Kingston, American author (The Woman Warrior), born in Stockton, California

John Gotti

Oct 27 John Gotti, mafia head of the Gambino family, born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2002)

  • Oct 27 Julius Eastman, American pianist, vocalist, and minimalist composer (The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc; Gay Guerrilla), born in New York City (d. 1990)
  • Oct 28 Susan Harris, American television writer and producer (It Takes Two), born in Mount Vernon, New York
  • Oct 29 Connie Mack III, American politician (U.S. Senator from Florida), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 29 Galen Weston, English-Canadian multi-millionaire industrialist, born in Marlow, England
  • Oct 29 Frida Boccara, French singer, born in Casablanca, French Morocco (d. 1996)
  • Oct 29 José Ulises Macías Salcedo, Catholic bishop, born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 5 Silvestre Revueltas, Mexican classical violinst, conductor, and composer (Cuauhnáhuac; Planos), dies of pneumonia at 40
  • Oct 5 Lincoln Loy McCandless, American cattle rancher and politician, dies at 81
  • Oct 5 Ballington Booth, English Officer in The Salvation Army and co-founder of Volunteers of America
  • Oct 6 Ferdinando Liuzzi, Italian composer and musicologist, dies at 55
  • Oct 8 Robert Emden, Swiss astronomer and astrophysicist (Gaskugeln), dies at 78
  • Oct 9 Wilfred Grenfell, British medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador, dies at 75
  • Oct 10 Berton Churchill, Canadian-American actor (I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now), dies at 63
  • Oct 11 Lluís Companys, Spanish politician, 123rd President of the Generalitat of Catalonia (1933-40), shot at 58
  • Oct 11 Vito Volterra, Italian mathematician and physicist, dies at 80
  • Oct 12 Tom Mix, American actor (Texan, Hidden Gold), dies at 60
  • Oct 18 Suze Groeneweg, 1st woman in Dutch 2nd Chamber (1918-37), dies at 65
  • Oct 20 Gunnar Asplund, Swedish modernist architect (The Woodland Crematorium), dies at 55
  • Oct 21 William G. Conley, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1866)
  • Oct 24 Victor Hollaender, German composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 24 Pierre Weiss, French physicist (theory of ferromagnetism) dies at 75
  • Oct 27 Fini Valdemar Henriques, composer, dies at 72
  • Oct 28 Andrea d' Angeli, Italian composer, dies at 71