On This Day

Historical Events in March 1939

  • Mar 1 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, Japan, killing 94

Historic Event

Mar 2 Eugenio Pacelli chosen as Pope Pius XII

  • Mar 2 Massachusetts Legislature votes to ratify the US Bill of Rights - 147 years late

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Hitler 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

Historic Event

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

Music Premiere

Mar 23 1st performance of Béla Bartók's 2nd Violin Concerto at the Concertgebow, Amsterdam with Zoltán Székely on violin and Willem Mengelberg conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra

  • Mar 24 98th Grand National: Irish jockey Tim Hyde wins, riding 100/8 shot Workman

Film Premiere

Mar 24 "Wuthering Heights" film based on the Emily Brontë novel, 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 comic play "Philadelphia Story" about a socialite's impending wedding premieres at the Shubert Theater in NYC; star Katherine Hepburn also led the 1940 film version
  • Mar 28 Renaissance Big 5 win 1st pro basketball championship

Victory in Battle

Mar 28 Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to the Nationalists headed by Francisco Franco

  • Mar 30 Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a 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

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