On This Day

What Happened in 1942

Historical Events

  • Jan 2 World War II: the 28 nations at war with Axis powers pledge to make no separate peace deals
  • Jan 20 Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee Conference in Berlin to organize the "final solution", the extermination of Europe's Jews
  • Feb 13 Hitler's Operation Sealion, the invasion of England, is cancelled
  • Feb 19 About 150 Japanese warplanes attack the Australian city of Darwin
  • Mar 17 Bełżec Concentration Camp opens with the transport of 30,000 Lublin Polish Jews
  • Mar 26 First "Eichmann transport" to Auschwitz & Birkenau concentration camps
  • Jun 12 Anne Frank gets her diary as a birthday present in Amsterdam
  • Jul 22 Warsaw Ghetto Jews (300,000) are sent to Treblinka Extermination Camp
  • Aug 4 1st train with Jews departs Mechelen Belgium to Auschwitz
  • Aug 9 Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others arrested in Bombay after passing of a "quit India" motion and campaign by the All-India Congress
  • Aug 13 The 'Manhattan Project' commences, under the direction of US General Leslie Groves: its aim - to deliver an atomic bomb
  • Aug 19 World War II: Over 4,000 Canadian and British soldiers killed, wounded or captured raiding Dieppe, France
  • Aug 23 Battle of Stalingrad: 600 Luftwaffe planes bomb Stalingrad (40,000 die)
  • Oct 23 During WWII, Britain launches major offensive at El Alamein, Egypt
  • Nov 12 WWII Naval Battle of Guadalcanal begins between Allied and Japanese forces in Solomon Islands
  • Nov 19 Operation Uranus: Soviet offensive begins during Battle of Stalingrad, 1 million Soviet soldiers encircle the German Sixth Army
  • More Historical Events

1942 in Film & TV

  • May 29 Bing Crosby records "White Christmas", world's best-selling single (estimated 100 million copies sold)
  • May 29 "Yankee Doodle Dandy", based on life of George M. Cohan, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney and Joan Lesley, premieres in NYC (Academy Awards Best Actor 1943)
  • Jun 4 "Mrs Miniver" based on the novel by Jan Struther, directed by William Wyler and starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon is released in the US (Best Picture 1943)
  • Aug 21 Walt Disney's animated movie "Bambi", based on the book by Felix Salten, is released
  • Oct 22 "Now, Voyager" film directed by Irving Rapper, and starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid and Claude Rains, premieres in New York; wins 3 Academy Awards
  • Nov 26 "Casablanca" directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman premieres at Hollywood Theater, NYC (Academy Awards Best Picture 1943)

1942 in Music

1942 in Sport

  • Mar 18 2 black players, Jackie Robinson & Nate Moreland, request a tryout with the Chicago White Sox, they are allowed to work out

Did You Know?

World War II: last cavalry charge in history takes place at Isbushenskij, Russia; the Italian Savoia Cavalleria charges Soviet infantry

On August 23, 1942

Would You Believe?

Chinese steward Poon Lim begins 133 days adrift after British ship SS Benlomond torpedoed by german U-boat and he is the sole survivor

On November 23, 1942

Famous Weddings

Famous Divorces

  • Jul 21 Actress Mae West (48) divorces vaudeville performer Frank Wallace after 31 years of marriage
  • Oct 2 Jazz musician Louis Armstrong (41) divorces Alpha Smith after 4 years of marriage
  • Dec 15 Actress Mary Astor (36) divorces film editor Manuel del Campo (29) after more than 4 years of marriage

More Weddings & Divorces