On This Day

What Happened in September 1940

Historical Events

PGA Championship

Sep 2 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Hershey CC: Byron Nelson wins his first PGA C'ship, beating Sam Snead 1 up in the Monday 36-hole final

  • Sep 2 Great Smoky Mountains National Park dedicated
  • Sep 3 39.4 cm rainfall at Sapulpa, Oklahoma (state record)

Historic Event

Sep 3 Adolf Hitler orders an invasion of Great Britain for Sept 21 (Operation Seelöwe/Sealion)

  • Sep 3 Dutch government in exile of Gerbrandy forms in London
  • Sep 3 Sicherheits police bans Free masons, Rotary & Red Cross
  • Sep 3 US gives Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for Newfoundland base lease
  • Sep 4 CBS begins broadcasting TV as station W2XAB
  • Sep 4 Gerbrandy becomes premier of Dutch government in exile
  • Sep 4 Nazi collaborator Mussert puts the fate of Netherlands in Hitler's hands
  • Sep 6 Crown prince Michael succeeds Carol II as king of Romania
  • Sep 6 Generalissimo Gamelin arrested in France

'Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War'

Sep 7 Beginning of the Blitz as the German Luftwaffe bomb London for the 1st of 57 consecutive nights losing 41 bombers as the Nazis prepare to invade Britain

  • Sep 7 Treaty of Craiova: Romania loses Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria.
  • Sep 9 28 German aircraft shot down above England

US Men's Tennis Open

Sep 9 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Donald McNeill beats fellow American Bobby Riggs 4-6, 6-8, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 for his second major singles title

US Open Women's Tennis

Sep 9 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Defending champion Alice Marble beats Helen Jacobs 6-2, 6-3 for her third US singles title

  • Sep 10 Buckingham Palace hit by German bomb
  • Sep 11 -12] Buckingham Palace damaged by German bombs
  • Sep 11 54th US Postmaster General: Frank C Walker of Pa takes office
  • Sep 11 Anton Mussert establishes Dutch SS
  • Sep 11 Hitler begins operation Seelöwe (Sealion - aborted invasion England)
  • Sep 11 George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.
  • Sep 12 49 die & 200 injured when Hercules Powder Co plant explodes (NJ)
  • Sep 12 Italian troops enter Egypt

Dog Unearths Cave of Antiquity

Sep 12 Four teens, following their dog down a hole near Lascaux, France discover 17,000 year old drawings now known as the Lascaux Cave Paintings

  • Sep 13 Buckingham Palace damaged by German bombs
  • Sep 13 Italian troops under Marshal Graziani attack Egypt
  • Sep 14 US Congress passes 1st peace-time conscription bill (draft law)
  • Sep 14 German bomb hits shelter in Chelsea; hundreds die
  • Sep 15 3rd American Football League plays 1st game (Milw 14, Columbus 2)
  • Sep 15 Chicago Tribune sponsors Ted Lyons Day (White Sox pitcher)

Victory in Battle

Sep 15 UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill visits Royal Air Force 11th Fighter Group on what would be the fiercest day of the Battle of Britain

  • Sep 15 Battle of Britain Day: climax of the Battle of Britain, tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans' 57-61

Historic Event

Sep 16 FDR signs Selective Training & Service Act (1st peacetime draft)

Sports History

Sep 16 Leo Durocher suspended from Ebbetts Field for "inciting a riot"

  • Sep 16 Luftwaffe attacks central London
  • Sep 16 Samuel T Rayburn of Texas elected speaker of US House of Representatives
  • Sep 16 St Louis Browns Johnny Lucadello is 2nd to HR from each side of plate
  • Sep 17 Nazis deprive Jews of possessions
  • Sep 17 Adolf Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sealion, the planned German invasion of Great Britain
  • Sep 18 19 German aircraft shot down above England
  • Sep 18 Elmer Harris' "Johnny Belinda" premieres in NYC
  • Sep 18 Italian troops conquer Sidi Barrani
  • Sep 19 Nazi decree forbids gentile woman to work in Jewish homes

Historic Event

Sep 19 Witold Pilecki is voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz in order to smuggle out information and start a resistance

  • Sep 23 -27] French/British assault on French fleet in Dakar, flees
  • Sep 23 Dutch Nazi collaborator Mussert's 1st meeting with Adolf Hitler

Historic Event

Sep 23 Dutch artist Piet Mondrian leaves Europe for New York, where he lives for the rest of his life

  • Sep 24 Jimmy Foxx hits his 500th career HR
  • Sep 24 Luftwaffe bombs Spitfire factory in Southampton

Historic Event

Sep 25 German High Commissioner in Norway sets up Vidkun Quisling government

  • Sep 26 Luftwaffe bombs Spitfire factory in Woolston, Southampton for second time, 30 killed
  • Sep 26 Japanese troops attack French Indo-China
  • Sep 27 55 German aircraft shot down above England
  • Sep 27 Black leaders protest discrimination in US armed forces

Sports History

Sep 27 Floyd Giebells, 1st game, 2-0 pennant clinching beating Bob Feller

  • Sep 27 Nazi Germany, Italy & Japan sign 10 year formal alliance (Axis)
  • Sep 27 Yankees, lose to A's & eliminated from pennant for 1st time since 1935

Sports History

Sep 28 Michigan's Tom Harmon runs 72, 86 & 94 yard touchdowns

  • Sep 28 Nazi occupiers present "New Dutch Culture" in German
  • Sep 28 Bud Brennan, a fan at Memorial Stadium, races out of stands & attempts to tackle Tom Harmon at 3-yard line, Harmon easily evades Brennan
  • Sep 29 "Double or Nothing", a radio quiz show, 1st heard on Mutual Radio Net

Film Release

Sep 29 Musical film "Strike Up the Band" starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland opens

Historic Event

Sep 29 1st US merchant ship "Booker T. Washington" commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac), launched at Wilmington Delaware

  • Sep 30 47 German aircraft shot down above England

Famous Birthdays

  • Sep 2 Beverly Sanders, actress (Lotsa Luck, CPO Sharkey), born in Hollywood, California
  • Sep 2 Jimmy Clanton, American rock vocalist ("Just A Dream"), born in Baton Rouge, louisiana
  • Sep 2 Mick Pyne, British touring and session jazz pianist (Tubby Hayes; Georgie Fame: Charlie Watts), born in Thornton Dale, North Yorkshire, England (d. 1995)
  • Sep 2 Harry Northup, American actor (The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver), born in Amarillo, Texas
  • Sep 3 Pauline Collins, English actress (Shirley Valentine), born in London, England
  • Sep 3 Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan journalist and writer, born in Montevideo
  • Sep 5 Lewis Spratlan, American classical composer and Pulitzer Prize winner (Life Is A Dream), born in Miami, Florida

Raquel Welch

Sep 5 Raquel Welch, American actress and singer (Myra Breckenridge; 1,000,000 BC; 100 Rifles), born in Chicago, Illinois

  • Sep 6 Jackie Trent, English singer-songwriter ("Neighbours" theme) and actress, born in Newcastle-under-Lyme (d. 2015)
  • Sep 7 Dario Argento, Italian director (Creepers, Deep Red, Tenebrae), born in Rome, Italy
  • Sep 7 Abdurrahman Wahid, 4th President of Indonesia, born in Denanyar, East Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 2009)
  • Sep 8 Willie Tyler, American ventriloquist (Lester), born in Red Level, Alabama
  • Sep 8 Quentin L. Cook, American lawyer and religious leader (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), born in Logan, Utah
  • Sep 9 Joe Negroni, American pop vocalist (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers - "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"), born in NYC, New York (d. 1978)
  • Sep 10 Roy Ayers, American disco jazz artist ("Fever"; "You Send Me"), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Sep 10 Dave Burrell, American jazz pianist (Archie Shepp; Marion Brown; Pharoah Sanders), born in Middleton, Ohio
  • Sep 11 Bernie Dwyer, British rock drummer (Freddie and The Dreamers), born in Manchester, England (d. 2002)
  • Sep 11 Brian DePalma, film director (Body Double, Dressed to Kill), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Sep 11 Theodore Olson, 42nd Solicitor General of the United States, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 11 Robert Palmer, American businessman and last CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, born in Gorman, Texas
  • Sep 11 Tom Gallagher, American diplomat, gay activist, and 1st Foreign Service officer to publicly come out in 1976, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2018)
  • Sep 12 Linda Gray, American actress (Sue Ellen Ewing-Dallas), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Sep 12 Mickey Lolich, American pitcher (Detroit Tiger, won 25 in 1971), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Sep 12 Roger K. Crouch, American astronaut (STS 83, 94), born in Jamestown, Tennessee
  • Sep 12 Stephen Solarz, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York), born in NYC, New York (d. 2010)
  • Sep 12 Wayne McLaren, American stuntman, rodeo performer, model and actor best known for playing the Marlboro Man and for dying of lung cancer, born in Lake Charles, Louisiana (d. 1992)
  • Sep 12 Patrick Mower, English actor (Emmerdale), born in Oxford, England
  • Sep 13 Joyce Schouten, Dutch pop singer (Fouryo's)
  • Sep 13 Óscar Arias Sánchez, 40th & 45th President of Costa Rica (Nobel Peace Prize 1987), born in Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Sep 13 Gene Page, American arranger and composer (Righteous Brothers; Marvin Gaye), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1998)
  • Sep 14 Larry Brown, American NBA player and coach (NY Knicks), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Sep 14 Leo Ferrier, Surinamese writer (Atman), born in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • Sep 15 Frank Linzy, American baseball player, born in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
  • Sep 15 Merlin Olsen, American football player (Los Angeles Rams) and actor (Father Murphy), born in Logan, Utah (d. 2010)
  • Sep 15 Norman [Richard] Spinrad, American sci-fi author (Child of Fortune), born in New York City
  • Sep 17 Jan Eliasson, Swedish diplomat (4th Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Sep 17 Sotiris Moustakas, Greek actor (Zorba the Greek), born in Limassol, Cyprus (d. 2007)
  • Sep 18 Frankie Avalon [Francis Avallone], American actor and singer (Beach Party, Venus), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sep 19 Bill Medley, American baritone pop singer and songwriter (The Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'; duet - "The Time Of My Life"), born in Santa Ana, California
  • Sep 19 Paul Williams, American singer, composer ("Rainy Days and Mondays"; "Evergreen"; sings from Ishtar; "Rainbow Connection"), and actor ("Battle for the Planet of the Apes; Smokey and The Bandit), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Sep 19 Sylvia Tyson, Canadian singer-songwriter, born in Chatham, Ontario
  • Sep 20 Joe DioGuardi, American accountant and politician (Rep-R-NY, 1985-89), born in NYC, New York
  • Sep 21 Bill Kurtis, American newscaster (American Parade), born in Pensacola, Florida
  • Sep 21 Hermann Knoflacher, Austrian civil engineer, born in Villach, Austria
  • Sep 22 Anna Karina, Danish French 'New Wave' actress (Alphaville), born in Solbjerg, Denmark (d. 2019)
  • Sep 22 Edward Boguslawski, Polish composer, born in Chorzów, Poland (d. 2003)
  • Sep 22 Li Zhensheng, Chinese photographer during the Cultural Revolution, born in Dalian, China (d. 2020)
  • Sep 23 Tim Rose, American singer-songwriter, born in Washington D. C. (d. 2002)
  • Sep 23 Michel Temer [Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia], Brazilian lawyer and 37th President of Brazil (2016-18), born in Tietê, Brazil
  • Sep 23 Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Iranian classical singer, born in Mashhad, Iran (d. 2020)
  • Sep 24 Barbara "Bibs" Allbut, American rock vocalist (Angels - My Boyfriend's Back), born in Orange, New Jersey
  • Sep 24 Yves Navarre, French writer (Le Jardin d'acclimatation), born in Condom, France (d. 1994)
  • Sep 24 Slaven Zambata, Croatian soccer forward (31 caps Yugoslavia; Dinamo Zagreb), born in Sinj, Croatia (d. 2020)
  • Sep 25 Tim Severin, British author and explorer who replicated historic voyages, born in Assam, British India (d. 2020)
  • Sep 26 Frank Maloney, American football coach (Syracuse University 1974-1980), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)
  • Sep 26 Gary Bartz, American jazz, jazz-fusion, and funk saxophonist, born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Sep 27 Josephine Barstow, British opera soprano singer, born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
  • Sep 27 Benoni Beheyt, Belgian cyclist
  • Sep 28 Alekander Sergeyevich Ivanchenkov, USSR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 29/31, T-6)
  • Sep 28 Aleksandr Y Kalery, Russian cosmonaut
  • Sep 28 George Greenstein, author (Secret of a Jewish Baker)
  • Sep 28 Marcel Puget, French rugby union halfback and captain (17 Tests; CA Brive, Stade Toulousain, Stade Rodez Aveyron), born in Limoux, France (d. 2021)
  • Sep 29 Jimmy Knapp, British trade unionist (National Union of Railwaymen) (d. 2001)
  • Sep 29 Mike Eischeid, American NFL punter (Oakland Raiders), born in Orange City, Iowa
  • Sep 29 Nicola Di Bari, Italian singer-songwriter (I giorni dell'arcobaleno), born in Zapponeta, Italy
  • Sep 30 Harry Winston Jerome, Sask Canada, 100m runner (Olympic bronze 1964)
  • Sep 30 Lori Burton [Dolores Squeglia], American singer, songwriter and record producer, born in New Haven, Connecticut

Famous Weddings

Harry Morgan

Sep 1 Actor Harry Morgan (25) weds Eileen Detchon

George Reeves

Sep 22 "Adventures of Superman" actor George Reeves (26) weds Ellanora Needles at the Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel, California

  • Sep 25 "Sullivan's Travels" actress Veronica Lake (18) weds American motion picture art director and set designer John S. Detlie (31)

Famous Deaths

Lillian Wald

Sep 1 Lillian Wald, American pioneering nurse and social activist who started American community nursing with the Henry Street Settlement in NYC, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 73

  • Sep 3 Vilhelm Ekelund, Swedish poet and writer (Hafvets Stjorna), dies at 59
  • Sep 7 Edmund Rumpler, Austria auto/airplane builder, dies
  • Sep 10 Edward LeSaint, American actor and director (Modern Times, The Dumb Messenger), dies at 69
  • Sep 15 Dick Ket, Dutch painter and cartoonist, dies at 37
  • Sep 25 Marguerite Clark, American silent film actress (Snow White), dies at 57
  • Sep 26 Walter Benjamin, writer, dies at 48
  • Sep 26 William Henry Davies, Welsh poet (Autobiography of a Super Tramp), dies at 69
  • Sep 27 Walter Benjamin, German/French literature critic/writer, dies at 48
  • Sep 27 Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Austrian neuroscientist, Nobel laureate (b. 1857)
  • Sep 30 Walter Kollo, German operetta and popular song composer, dies at 62