On This Day

Historical Events in March 1939

  • Mar 1 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, Japan, killing 94
  • Mar 2 Eugenio Pacelli chosen as Pope Pius XII
  • Mar 2 Massachusetts Legislature votes to ratify the US Bill of Rights - 147 years late

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 3 Mahatma Gandhi begins a fast in Mumbai (Bombay) to protest against autocratic rule in India

Pacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi
Pacifist and Spiritual Leader
Mahatma Gandhi
  • Mar 7 Glamour magazine begins publishing
  • Mar 7 Guy Lombardo & Royal Canadians 1st record "Auld Lang Syne"
  • Mar 8 Lenore Coffee & William Joyce Cowan's "Family Portrait" premieres
  • Mar 10 17 villages damaged by hailstones in Hyderabad, India
  • Mar 12 Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies
  • Mar 14 England draw with South Africa at Durban on the 10th day
  • Mar 14 Nazi Germany dissolves Republic of Czechoslovakia

Declaration of WarHitler Invades Czechoslovakia

Mar 15 Adolf Hitler summons Czech President Emil Hácha to a meeting in Berlin and informs him of the impending attack by Germany; Hácha suffers a heart attack and later capitulates
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Adolf Hitler meets with Czech President Emil Hácha. After being told of the impending invasion by Germany, Hácha suffered a heart attack at the meeting.
Adolf Hitler meets with Czech President Emil Hácha. After being told of the impending invasion by Germany, Hácha suffered a heart attack at the meeting.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 15 Reneging on his pledge in the Munich Agreement, Adolf Hitler and Germany occupy and annex Czechoslovakia

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Mar 16 Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
  • Mar 16 Hungary annexes republic of Karpato-Ukraine
  • Mar 16 NHL record 10 goals in 1 period-NY Rangers (7), NY Americans (3) & a record 26 points in the 3rd period

  • Mar 17 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and the Japanese breaks out (Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945)
  • Mar 18 England beats Scotland, 9-6 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh to force a share of the Home Nations Rugby Championship with Wales and Ireland
  • Mar 20 7,000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania
  • Mar 21 Nazi Germany demands the return of Danzig (Gdańsk) from Poland
  • Mar 22 Lithuania forced to give Memel territory to Germany
  • Mar 24 98th Grand National: Irish jockey Tim Hyde wins riding 100/8 shot Workman

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 24 "Wuthering Heights" based on the novel by Emily Brontë, directed by William Wyler and starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier, premieres in Los Angeles

  • Mar 25 Billboard Magazine introduces hillbilly (country) music chart
  • Mar 27 1st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: U of Oregon beats Ohio State, 46-33; Ohio State forward Jimmy Hull is named tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • Mar 28 Dutch hunter shoots down British bombers
  • Mar 28 Philip Barry's "Philadelphia Story" premieres in NYC
  • Mar 28 Renaissance Big 5 win 1st pro basketball championship

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Mar 28 Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to Francisco Franco

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • Mar 30 The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets the world airspeed record of 463 mph.
  • Mar 30 First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway military aircraft
  • Mar 31 Britain & France agree to support Poland if invaded by Germany

Film release premierFilm Release

Mar 31 "The Hound of Baskervilles" first of 14 films starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson is released