What Happened in 1941

Historical Events

  • Jan 6 US President Franklin Roosevelt makes his "Four Freedoms" speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his US State of Union address [1] [2]
  • Jan 7 Chinese Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire on the surrounded Communist New Fourth Army at Maolin, Anhui Province, killing or capturing 7,000 troops
  • Jan 9 6,000 Jews murdered in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania
  • May 5 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa
  • May 6 Joseph Stalin becomes Premier of the Soviet Union, replacing his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov
  • May 9 British intelligence at Bletchley Park breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen
  • May 24 German battleship Bismarck sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood; 1,416 die, 3 survive
  • Jun 14 Estonia loses 11,000 inhabitants as a consequence of mass deportations into Siberia
  • Jul 14 6,000 Lithuanian Jews are exterminated at Viszalsyan Camp
  • Jul 19 British PM Winston Churchill launches his "V for Victory" campaign
  • Sep 1 Jews living in Germany are required to wear a yellow star of David
  • Sep 8 WWII: Siege of Leningrad by German, Finnish, and eventually Spanish troops begins; battle lasted over 28 months, as Russia repels the invasion; well over a million lives
  • Oct 9 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt approves an atomic program that would become the Manhattan Project
  • Dec 7 Imperial Japanese Navy with 353 planes attack the US fleet at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, killing 2,403 people
  • Dec 8 US and Britain declare war on Japan, US enters World War II
  • Dec 8 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers "Day of Infamy" speech to US Congress a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
  • More Historical Events

1941 in Film & TV

  • May 1 "Citizen Kane", directed by Orson Welles and starring himself, Joseph Cotten and Dorothy Corningore, premieres at the Palace Theater in New York City
  • Jul 1 Bulova Watch Co pays $9 for 1st ever network TV commercial
  • Jul 19 Tom and Jerry first appear under their own names in cartoon "The Midnight Snack" by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
  • Oct 3 "The Maltese Falcon" directed by John Huston and based on Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, premieres in New York City
  • Oct 23 Walt Disney's animated film "Dumbo" released
  • Oct 28 "How Green Was My Valley" based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, directed by John Ford and starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara premieres in New York (Best Picture 1942)

1941 in Music

1941 in Sport

  • Apr 26 A tradition begins, 1st organ at a baseball stadium (Chicago Cubs)
  • Sep 17 Cards' Stan Musial makes his major league debut, going 2-for-4

Did You Know?

Howard Florey and Norman Heatley meet for 1st time, 11 days later they successfully recreate penicillin

On July 4, 1941

Would You Believe?

Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin

On May 12, 1941

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