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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini confer at Brenner Pass in the Alps

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Oct 4 French Vichy regime proclaims end of "Statute of the Jews"
  • Oct 6 Zoological Gardens opens on Sloat & Skyline in San Francisco
  • Oct 7 Reds Bucky Walters is 1st pitcher in 14 years to homer in World Series
  • 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 Cincinnati Reds beat Detroit Tigers, 4 games to 3, in 37th World Series
  • Oct 8 German troops occupies Romania

'Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War''Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War'

Oct 14 Balham tube station in London is bombed by the German Luftwaffe during the Blitz, killing 64-66 people

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Buckingham Palace is bombed. Churchill, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth inspect the damage. Photo: NPA Rota
Buckingham Palace is bombed. Churchill, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth inspect the damage. Photo: NPA Rota
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  • Oct 15 -16] Heavy German air raid on London, 400 killed
  • Oct 15 London's Waterloo Station bombed by German luftwaffe

Film release premierFilm Release

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

Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker
Charlie Chaplin
  • Oct 16 Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. is promoted to brigadier general, the first African-American person to become a general in the US military

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 16 Warsaw Ghetto is formed by German Governor-General Hans Frank

Lawyer and Nazi War Criminal Hans Frank
Lawyer and Nazi War Criminal
Hans Frank
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordecai Anielewicz
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Mordecai Anielewicz
  • Oct 17 German occupiers issue identity cards
  • Oct 18 Kaufman & Harts "George Washington Slept Here" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 20 Cheese rationed in Netherlands
  • Oct 20 Greenhouse rationing begins in 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

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Oct 24 Adolf Hitler meets the Head of the French State Marshal Philippe Pétain

French General Philippe Pétain
French General
Philippe Pétain
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 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 Duke, Latouche & Felter's musical premieres in NYC
  • 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 releaseMusic Premiere

Oct 30 Cole Porter's musical "Panama Hattie" premieres in New York City

Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Composer and Lyricist
Cole Porter

Film release premierFilm Premier

Oct 30 Film premiere of "One Night in the Tropics" first film for Abbott and Costello Paterson New Jersey.

Comedian and Actor Lou Costello
Comedian and Actor
Lou Costello
Comedian and Actor Bud Abbott
Comedian and Actor
Bud Abbott
  • Oct 31 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordecai Anielewicz
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Mordecai Anielewicz