On This Day

Historical Events in October 1940

  • Oct 1 Pennsylvania Turnpike, pioneer toll thruway, opens
  • Oct 2 17 German aircraft shot down over England
  • Oct 2 British Council receives Royal Charter
  • Oct 2 British liner Empress, loaded with refugees for Canada, sunk
  • Oct 3 France Vichy government proclaims end to Jewish status
  • Oct 3 Cincinnati Reds' win Game 2 of the Baseball World Series, 5-2 v Detroit Tigers at Crosley Field; snap 10-game losing streak for NL going back to Game 6 in 1937; Reds win series, 4-3
  • Oct 3 US forms parachute troops
  • Oct 4 12 German aircraft shot down above England
  • Oct 4 French Vichy regime proclaims end of "Statute of the Jews"
  • Oct 6 Zoological Gardens opens at Sloat & Skyline Boulevards in San Francisco, California
  • Oct 7 World War II: the McCollum memo proposes bringing the U.S. into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.
  • Oct 8 Baseball World Series: Cincinnati Reds beat Detroit Tigers, 2-1 at Crosley Field for 4 games to 3 series win; Reds second championship
  • Oct 8 German troops occupies Romania
  • Oct 15 -16] Heavy German air raid on London, 400 killed
  • Oct 15 London's Waterloo Station bombed by German luftwaffe

Film Release

Oct 15 "The Great Dictator", a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin released

  • Oct 16 Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. is promoted to brigadier general, the first African-American person to become a general in the US military
  • Oct 17 German occupiers issue identity cards
  • Oct 18 Kaufman & Harts "George Washington Slept Here" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 20 Cheese rationed in the Netherlands
  • Oct 20 Greenhouse rationing begins in the Netherlands
  • Oct 21 RAF drops 1st anti-nazi pamphlets on Netherlands
  • Oct 24 US Fair Labor Standards of 1938 comes into effect - minimum wage, 44 hr week
  • Oct 24 Japan eliminates US terms (strike, play ball) from baseball
  • Oct 24 Protestant churches protest against dismissal of Jew civil servants
  • Oct 25 Benjamin O Davis Sr. becomes 1st African American general in US Army
  • Oct 25 Vernon Duke and John Latouche's musical "Cabin In The Sky" opens at the Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 156 performances
  • Oct 26 The P-51 Mustang makes its maiden flight.
  • Oct 28 Greece successfully resists Italy's attack
  • Oct 28 Meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Florence
  • Oct 29 Secretary of War Henry L Stimson draws the 1st number - #158 - in the 1st peacetime military draft in US history

Music Premiere

Oct 30 Cole Porter's musical "Panama Hattie" opens at 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs 501 performances

Film Premiere

Oct 30 "One Night in the Tropics", first film for Abbott and Costello, premieres in Paterson, New Jersey

  • Oct 31 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory

Historic Event

Oct 31 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto