On This Day

Historical Events in August 1939

  • Aug 2 US Hatch Act prohibits political activity by federal workers

Historic Event

Aug 3 Jean Genet's "Ondine" premieres in Paris

Radio Premiere

Aug 6 1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC-radio

Historic Event

Aug 7 Millionaire Howard Hughes is presented with a Congressional Gold Medal

Venice Film Festival

Aug 8 7th Venice Film Festival opens with a United States boycott due to Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italian regime

  • Aug 10 2nd Dutch De Geer government forms (1st with Social Democrats)
  • Aug 11 Sergei Rachmaninov's last appearance in Europe
  • Aug 12 Sabotage suspected in 'City of San Francisco' train crash which derails near Harney, Nevada, killing 24
  • Aug 13 Yankees set AL shutout margin with 21-0 victory over A's
  • Aug 14 First night MLB game in the City of Chicago is played at Comiskey Park; White Sox beat St. Louis Browns, 5-2
  • Aug 15 First night game at baseball's Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2
  • Aug 15 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.

The Wizard of Oz

Aug 15 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch)

Music Premiere

Aug 17 Musical film "The Wizard of Oz", starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, and Jack Haley opens at Loews Capitol Theatre, NYC

  • Aug 19 37.6 cm rainfall at Tuckerton, NJ (state record)
  • Aug 20 1st black bowling league formed (National Bowling Assoc)
  • Aug 20 Russian offensive under General Zjoekov against Japanese invasion in Mongolia
  • Aug 22 Dutch border guards take positions for German invasion
  • Aug 22 Premier De Geer recalls Dutch holidaymakers in Black Forest
  • Aug 23 John Cobb (Britain) drives 365.85 MPH (593.48 KPH) at Bonneville Flats

Treaty of Interest

Aug 23 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact and secretly divide Poland between themselves, setting the stage for World War II

  • Aug 24 Germany & USSR sign 10-year non-aggression pact
  • Aug 26 1st major league baseball telecast on W2XBS- Cincinnati Reds defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
  • Aug 26 Belgium mobilizes
  • Aug 26 Croatia gets autonomous status
  • Aug 27 Erich Warsitz in a Heinkel He-178 makes the 1st manned jet-propelled flight
  • Aug 27 Nazi Germany demands Danzig & Polish corridor

Historic Event

Aug 27 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands receives German ambassador Grave Zech

Historic Event

Aug 28 Gen Bernard Montgomery ("Monty") becomes commander of 3rd "Iron" Infantry division

  • Aug 28 Netherland mobilizes
  • Aug 28 Sammy Fain and Jack Yellen's musical "George White's Scandals" premieres
  • Aug 28 Journalist Care Hollingworth observes the “large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armored cars and field guns” Germany had aligned along the Polish border. Three days later, Hitler invades Poland and WWII begins.

Historic Event

Aug 29 Chaim Weizmann informs England that Palestine Jews will fight in WW II

  • Aug 30 6th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: NY Giants 9, All-Stars 0 (81,456)
  • Aug 30 General Reijnders appointed supreme commander of Dutch army

Appointment of Interest

Aug 30 Isoroku Yamamoto appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet

  • Aug 30 NY Yankee Atley Donald pitches a baseball a record 94.7 mph (152 kph)
  • Aug 30 Poland mobilizes
  • Aug 31 Japanese invasion army driven out of Mongolia
  • Aug 31 Staged "Polish" assault on radio station in Gleiwitz