On This Day

Historical Events in February 1940

  • Feb 1 Soviet Union begins new offensive against Finland
  • Feb 1 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.

Music History

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra performs at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana, his first as featured singer with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

  • Feb 5 General Winckelman replaces Gen Reijnders as Dutch supreme commander

Music History

Feb 5 Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

Film Premiere

Feb 7 Walt Disney's second feature length movie, "Pinocchio" premieres (NYC)

  • Feb 8 Lewis & Hamilton's musical "Two for the Show" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 8 Lodtz, 1st large ghetto established by Nazis in Poland

Boxing Title Fight

Feb 9 Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

Film & TV History

Feb 10 "Tom & Jerry" cartoon created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera debut by MGM

  • Feb 10 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Feb 10 US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner

Sports History

Feb 13 Bradman scores 209* in 161 minutes for South Aust at the WACA

  • Feb 14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed
  • Feb 16 British search plane finds German supply ship Altmark, used to accommodate allied sailors from vessels sunk by the Graf Spee off Norway
  • Feb 17 Altmark Incident: Crew of the British destroyer "Cossack" board German "Altmark" in Jøssingfjord, Norway, releasing 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass
  • Feb 20 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • Feb 22 Finnish troops vacate Koivisto island
  • Feb 22 German air force sinks 2 German destroyers, killing 578
  • Feb 23 Russian troops conquer Lasi Island
  • Feb 23 Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" released
  • Feb 24 Frances Langford records "When You Wish Upon a Star"
  • Feb 25 1st televised (W2XBS, NYC) hockey game (Rangers vs Canadians)
  • Feb 26 US Air Defense Command forms at Mitchel Field, LI, NY
  • Feb 27 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14 (radiocarbon dating) at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California
  • Feb 28 1st televised basketball game (U of Pitts beats Fordham U, 50-37)
  • Feb 28 Richard Wright's "Native Son" published
  • Feb 28 US population at 131,669,275 (12,865,518 African American (9.8%))
  • Feb 29 Frederic from G & S "Pirates of Penzance" finally released by pirate

Film & TV History

Feb 29 Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st African American woman to win an Oscar for "Gone With The Wind"

Academy Awards

Feb 29 12th Academy Awards: "Gone With The Wind" wins eight Oscars, Robert Donat & Vivien Leigh also win

  • Feb 29 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations

Golf Tournament

Feb 29 American golfer Jimmy Demaret wins his third PGA Tour event within an 8-day span, taking the St. Petersburg Open by 1 stroke from Byron Nelson

  • Feb 29 Detroit's Cecil "Tiny" Thompson becomes first goaltender in NHL history to play 40 (or more) games for 12 straight seasons; milestone comes in a 3-1 Red Wings loss at Toronto