Historical Events in September 1939

Historic Event

Sep 1 Adolf Hitler orders extermination of mentally ill through the "T4 Euthanasia Program," arguing that wartime "was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill"

Historic Event

Sep 1 General George Marshall sworn in as the United States Army Chief of Staff

Historic Event

Sep 1 In the "scoop of the century," Telegraph journalist Clare Hollingworth becomes the first to report the outbreak of World War II

  • Sep 1 Last day of 1st-class cricket in England before the declaration of war against Germany; great slow left-armer Hedley Verity finishes with amazing figures of 7 for 9 v Sussex to give Yorkshire the County Championship
  • Sep 1 Scientific journal "Physical Review" publishes 1st paper to deal with "black holes"
  • Sep 1 Switzerland mobilizes its forces and the Swiss Parliament elects Henri Guisan to head the Swiss Army (an event that can happen only during war or mobilization)
  • Sep 1 Switzerland proclaims neutrality at the outbreak of WWII
  • Sep 1 The Wound Badge for Wehrmacht, SS, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe soldiers is instituted. The final version of the Iron Cross was also instituted on this date
  • Sep 1 World War II starts when Germany invades Poland by attacking the Free City of Danzig
  • Sep 3 German submarine U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, sinks British passenger ship SS Athenia; 117 people die, among them 28 Americans
  • Sep 3 Mitford sister and Nazi sympathizer Unity Mitford attempts suicide after Britain declares war on Germany, bullet lodged in her brain eventually kills her in 1948
  • Sep 3 World War II: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada
  • Sep 4 Dutch Second Chamber affirms the Netherlands is in a State of War with Germany
  • Sep 4 German troops move into Danzig
  • Sep 4 Mir, a Nazi ghetto in occupied Poland, is exterminated
  • Sep 4 Netherlands & Belgium declare neutrality
  • Sep 4 RAF bombs Wilhelmshafen, Germany

Historic Event

Sep 4 Surgeon Archibald McIndoe sets up new Centre for Plastic and Jaw Surgery at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, England to treat injured airmen

Historic Event

Sep 5 FDR declares US neutrality at start of WW II in Europe

  • Sep 5 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Haverford, PA: John Bromwich beats American Frank Parker 6-0, 6-3, 6-1 to give Australia the title, 3-2

Historic Event

Sep 5 J. B. M. Hertzog resigns as South African Prime Minister after losing a vote in parliament on neutrality in WWII

Historic Event

Sep 5 New Zealand Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage declares New Zealand's support for Britain in the war with Germany; Savage famously told the nation 'where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand'

  • Sep 6 1st German air attack on Great Britain in WW II
  • Sep 6 South Africa declares war on Nazi-Germany
  • Sep 6 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.
  • Sep 7 Radio NY Worldwide-WRUL begins radio transmission
  • Sep 8 FDR declares "limited national emergency" due to war in Europe
  • Sep 8 General Von Reichenau's panzer division reaches suburbs of Warsaw

Sports History

Sep 8 Indians Bob Feller, 20, is youngest pitcher to win 20 games

  • Sep 8 Yanks beat Red Sox 4-1 in 7, game called because of lightning
  • Sep 9 Nazi army reaches Warsaw

Declaration of War

Sep 10 Canada, under the leadership of Mackenzie King, declares war on Germany

  • Sep 11 Battle of Kutno-pocket: Germans advance to Warsaw
  • Sep 11 British submarine Triton torpedoes British submarine Oxley
  • Sep 11 Iraq and Saudi Arabia declare war on Nazi Germany
  • Sep 14 British fleet attacks German U-39 boat

Historic Event

Sep 14 First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill visits Scapa Flow, Orkney

Historic Event

Sep 14 World’s 1st practical helicopter, the VS-300 designed by Igor Sikorsky takes (tethered) flight in Stratford, Connecticut

  • Sep 16 NY Yankees clinch their 11th & 4th successive pennant
  • Sep 17 German U-29 sinks British aircraft carrier Courageous, 519 die
  • Sep 17 Poland's President Ignacy Mościck and Prime Minister Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski flee to Romania
  • Sep 17 Soviet Union invades Eastern Poland allowing Germans to advance West, taking 217,000 Poles prisoner, without a formal declaration of war
  • Sep 17 Taisto Mäki of Finland becomes first man to run 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6 in Helsinki

US Men's Tennis Open

Sep 17 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Reigning Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs beats fellow American Welby van Horn 6-4, 6-2, 6-4

US Open Women's Tennis

Sep 17 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Dual champion Alice Marble beats Helen Jacobs 6-0, 8-10, 6-4

  • Sep 18 Polish government of Moscicki flees to Romania

Historic Event

Sep 18 William Joyce's first Nazi propaganda broadcast

  • Sep 19 British Expeditionary Force reaches France
  • Sep 19 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) becomes radio host of Reichsrundfunk Berlin
  • Sep 19 Wehrmacht (German regular army) murders 100 Jews in Lukov Poland
  • Sep 20 British navy captures German U-27 boat

Boxing Title Fight

Sep 20 Joe Louis puts Bob Pastor down 5 times before an 11th round KO at Briggs Stadium, Detroit in his 8th heavyweight boxing title defence

Meeting of Interest

Sep 21 Reinhard Heydrich meets in Berlin to discuss final solution of Jews

  • Sep 23 Cookie Lavagetto goes 6 for 6-Dodgers get 27 hits & beat Phillies 22-4
  • Sep 25 Andorra and Germany sign a treaty ending World War I, as Versailles Peace Treaty forgot to include Andorra
  • Sep 25 German Luftwaffe strikes Warsaw with (fire)bombs
  • Sep 26 German seaplane shoots KLM-aircraft (1 killed)
  • Sep 27 Warsaw surrenders to Germans after 19 days of resistance
  • Sep 27 White Sox host 1st "day-night" doubleheader, lose twice to Cleveland, 5-2 & 7-5
  • Sep 28 Estonia accepts Soviet military bases
  • Sep 28 Final broadcast of The Fleischmann Hour was heard on radio

Treaty of Interest

Sep 28 German-Soviet Frontier Treaty is signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov; redraws German and Soviet spheres of influence in central Europe and transfers most of Lithuania to the USSR

  • Sep 30 Britain first evacuates citizens in anticipation of war.
  • Sep 30 Chicago pitcher Clint Brown sets MLB record with his 61st relief appearance as White Sox beat St. Louis Browns, 7-5
  • Sep 30 Germany & Russia agree to partition Poland
  • Sep 30 In the first televised college football game, Fordham beats Waynesburg, 34-7 at Randalls Island, NY