On This Day

Historical Events in 1941

Events 1 - 200 of 635

  • Jan 1 Netherlands begins taxing wages

Appointment of Interest

Jan 1 Russian general Georgy Zhukov appointed chief of general staff

  • Jan 1 27th Rose Bowl: #2 Stanford beats #7 Nebraska, 21-13
  • Jan 1 7th Sugar Bowl: #4 Boston College beats #6 Tennessee, 19-13
  • Jan 1 7th Orange Bowl: #9 Mississippi State beats #13 Georgetown, 14-7
  • Jan 2 World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales
  • Jan 2 World War II: The U.S. government announces its Liberty ship program to build freighters in support of the war effort.
  • Jan 3 Canada & US acquire air bases in Newfoundland (99 yr lease)
  • Jan 3 Italian counter offensive in Albania
  • Jan 3 Sergei Rachmaninov's "Symphonic Dances" premieres in Philadelphia
  • Jan 3 American National Collegiate Football Rules Committee announces a new rule permitting free substitution of players
  • Jan 4 Resistance fighters counter d'Estienne d'Orves/Jan Doornik, 1st meet
  • Jan 5 British Australian troops conquer Bardia, Libya

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

Jan 6 US President Franklin Roosevelt makes his "Four Freedoms" speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his US State of Union address

Historic Event

Jan 7 Chinese Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire on the surrounded Communist New Fourth Army at Maolin, Anhui Province, killing or capturing 7,000 troops

  • Jan 9 6,000 Jews murdered in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania
  • Jan 9 Maiden flight by Canada's British-built Avro Lancaster military plane
  • Jan 10 Joseph Kesselring's "Arsenic & Old Lace" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 10 Seyss-Inquart begins registration of Jews
  • Jan 10 World War II: The Greek army captures Kleisoura.
  • Jan 11 Princess Irene Brigade established in Congleton

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Jan 16 US vice admiral Bellinger warns of an assault on Pearl Harbor

  • Jan 16 War Department forms first Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets
  • Jan 17 Chiang Kai-shek disbands the Communist New Fourth Army after the New Fourth Army incident at Maolin, Anhui Province between the nationalist and communist armies leaves many dead
  • Jan 18 World War II: A counter-offensive is launched by the British against the Italians in East Africa
  • Jan 19 British offensive in Eritrea
  • Jan 19 British troops occupies Kassalaf, Sudan

Music History

Jan 20 Bela Bartok's 6th string quartet, premieres in NYC

  • Jan 20 Chinese Communist leaders re-organize the New Fourth Army in defiance of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek's order for it to be disbanded
  • Jan 21 1st anti-Jewish measures in Bulgaria
  • Jan 21 1st commercial extraction of magnesium from seawater, Freeport, Texas
  • Jan 21 Australian and British troops attack Tobruk, Libya
  • Jan 21 British communist newspaper "Daily Worker" banned
  • Jan 22 1st mass killing of Jews in Romania
  • Jan 22 British and Australian troops capture Tobruk from Italians
  • Jan 23 Groundbreaking for NACA (now NASA) Lewis Research Center
  • Jan 23 WOR-AM in Newark NJ moves to NYC
  • Jan 24 British troops march into Abyssinia

Historic Event

Jan 25 Pope Pius XII elevates the Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands to the dignity of a diocese. It becomes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.

  • Jan 27 Peruvian ambassador Ricardo Rivera-Schreiber warns American Ambassador of Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor
  • Jan 28 French-Thai War: Final air battle of the conflict. Japanese-mediated armistice goes into effect later in the day.
  • Jan 29 Alexandros Koryzis becomes Prime Minister of Greece
  • Jan 30 Australian troops conquer Derna, Libya
  • Jan 31 Anti-German demonstration in Haarlem, Netherlands

Boxing Title Fight

Jan 31 In his 13th title defence Joe Louis KOs Red Burman in the 5th round at Madison Square Garden, New York to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown

  • Jan 31 British army Layforce commando units set sail
  • Feb 2 US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner
  • Feb 3 US Supreme Court upheld Federal Wage & Hour law, sets minimum wages & maximum hours
  • Feb 4 British tanks occupy Maus, Libya
  • Feb 4 Former Dutch premier De Geer flies to Berlin
  • Feb 4 United Service Organization (USO) founded
  • Feb 5 Dutch Premier De Geer returns from Lisbon to Netherlands
  • Feb 6 Auke Adema wins 6th official Dutch 11 Cities Skating Race (9:19)
  • Feb 6 Battle of Beda Fomm: Italian 10th army destroyed
  • Feb 6 British troops conquer Bengazi, Libya
  • Feb 8 NSB'er Max Blokzijl begins nazi propaganda on Dutch radio
  • Feb 9 British troops conquer El Agheila
  • Feb 9 Nazi collaborators destroy pro-Jewish café Alcazar Amsterdam (Alcazar refused to hang "No Entry for Jews" signs in front of cafe)
  • Feb 10 1st highway post office makes 1st trip, Washington, D.C. to Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Feb 10 Anti-Nazi "Het Parool" begins publishing in Netherlands

Historic Event

Feb 11 Lt-Gen Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli

  • Feb 11 Sicherheitsdienst complains about Dutch anti German sentiments
  • Feb 12 Jewish Council for Amsterdam forms under Ascher and Cohen
  • Feb 12 Occupation Police arrest "Jewish Foursome"
  • Feb 12 First injection of penicillin into a patient by British physician Charles Fletcher at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England
  • Feb 13 Nazi leaders attack Dutch Jewish Council
  • Feb 14 One millionth vehicle traverses the NY Midtown Tunnel
  • Feb 14 Carson McCuller's "Reflections in a Golden Eye" published
  • Feb 14 Cebrie Park in the Bronx renamed Halsey Street
  • Feb 14 German Afrika Korps lands in Tripoli, Libya

Music Recording

Feb 15 Duke Ellington first records "Take the A Train"

  • Feb 17 In his 14th title defence Joe Louis KOs Gus Dorazio in the 2nd round at the Convention Center, Philadelphia to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown
  • Feb 19 Nazi police attacked & driven away from Koco, Amsterdam (by young Jews)
  • Feb 20 1st transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland
  • Feb 20 Nazi Germany orders Polish Jews barred from using public transportation
  • Feb 20 Romania breaks relations with Netherlands

Historic Event

Feb 21 Omar Bradley is promoted to the rank of brigadier general

  • Feb 22 Nazi police raid Amsterdam and round up 429 young Jews for deportation to be sent to Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps
  • Feb 22 Arthur "Bomber" Harris becomes British Air Marshal
  • Feb 22 German assault on El Agheila Libya
  • Feb 22 IG Farben decides building Buna-Werke in Auschwitz Concentration Camp
  • Feb 22 Paul Creston's 1st Symphony premieres
  • Feb 22 Roy Harris' "Ballad of a Railroad Man" premieres
  • Feb 23 Plutonium first produced and isolated by American chemist Glenn T. Seaborg at Berkeley
  • Feb 24 43 Geuzen resistance fighter trial opens in the Hague
  • Feb 24 Anti-Nazi meeting at Noordermarkt Amsterdam
  • Feb 25 Boston Bruins set NHL record of 23-game unbeaten streak (15-0-8)
  • Feb 25 February strike against persecution of Jews, in Amsterdam
  • Feb 26 2 fighters unable to continued slugfest, referee declares double KO
  • Feb 26 Cowboys' Amateur Association of America organized (California)
  • Feb 26 Utrecht & Zaandam strike against raid on Jews
  • Feb 26 Vichy-France makes religious education in school mandatory
  • Feb 28 British-Italian dogfight above Albania

Historic Publication

Mar 1 Captain America created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby is first published by Timely Comics (premiere issue released on December 20, 1940)

  • Mar 1 1st US commercial FM radio station goes on the air, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Mar 1 Former University of Notre Dame star fullback Elmer Layden is named first Commissioner of the NFL
  • Mar 1 German troops invade Bulgaria

Historic Event

Mar 1 Himmler inspects Auschwitz concentration camp

  • Mar 1 Rangers' goalie Dave Kerr becomes the 5th goaltender in NHL history to record 200 career victories when New York wins, 3-1 over the Canadiens at Montreal
  • Mar 2 World War II: First German military units enter Bulgaria after it joined the Axis Pact.

Historic Event

Mar 3 Netherlands NSB-leader Mussert visits Hermann Goering in Berlin

  • Mar 4 18 Geuzen resistance fighters sentenced to death in The Hague
  • Mar 4 Chicago Black Hawks goaltender Sam LoPresti faces NHL record 83 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Bruins in Boston

Historic Event

Mar 4 Serbian Prince Paul visits Adolf Hitler

  • Mar 4 The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands, during World War II.
  • Mar 7 3rd largest snowfall then in NYC history (18.1")
  • Mar 7 50,000 British soldiers land in Greece during WWII
  • Mar 7 British troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
  • Mar 8 1st baseball player drafted into WW II (Hugh Mulcahy, Phillies)
  • Mar 10 Lee MacPhail, Dodger GM predicts all players will wear batting helmets

Sports History

Mar 11 Bronko Nagurski beats Ray Steele in Minn, to become wrestling champ

Historic Event

Mar 11 FDR signs Lend-Lease Bill (lend money to Britain)

  • Mar 12 German occupiers confiscate AVRO studios in Netherlands
  • Mar 13 A Bougne forms AGRA (Amis du Grand Reich Allemand)
  • Mar 14 Nazi occupiers of Holland forbid Jewish owned companies
  • Mar 14 Xavier Cugat & orchestra record "Babalu"
  • Mar 15 Blizzard in North Dakota kills 151 people
  • Mar 16 Blizzard hits North Dakota & Minnesota killing 60

Music History

Mar 16 Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich receives the Stalin Prize

  • Mar 16 National Gallery of Art opens in Washington, D.C.
  • Mar 19 Jimmy Dorsey & orchestra record "Green Eyes" & "Maria Elena"
  • Mar 20 Nazi-German Yugoslav pact drawn
  • Mar 21 In a hard fought 15th title defence Joe Louis KOs Abe Simon in the 13th round at Olympia Stadium, Detroit to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown
  • Mar 22 Grand Coulee Dam in Washington goes into operation

Film & TV History

Mar 22 James Stewart is inducted into the Army, becoming the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II

  • Mar 24 British troops defeat Italians in Somaliland
  • Mar 24 German troops occupy El Agheila Libya

Sports History

Mar 24 Glenn Miller begins work on his 1st movie "Sun Valley Serenade", starring Sonja Henie and John Payne, for 20th Century Fox

  • Mar 24 LIU beats Ohio U 56-42 for NIT basketball championship
  • Mar 24 Richard Wright & Paul Green's "Native Son" premieres in NYC
  • Mar 25 Carolina Paprika Mills in Dillon, South Carolina, incorporated
  • Mar 27 Britain leases defense bases in Trinidad to US for 99 years
  • Mar 27 Adolf Hitler signs Directive 27 (assault on Yugoslavia)
  • Mar 27 Yugoslavian coup gets rid of pro-German Prince Paul
  • Mar 28 Sea battle at Cape Matapan: British fleet under Cunningham defeats Italy

Music Premiere

Mar 29 1st performance of Benjamin Britten's "Requiem Symphony"

  • Mar 29 3rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Wisconsin beats Washington State, 39-34; Badgers' forward John Kotz is named tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • Mar 29 WPAT radio in NJ begins broadcasting (country music format)
  • Mar 30 German counter offensive in North Africa
  • Mar 31 Ground broken for Union Square Garage, San Francisco

Historic Event

Apr 1 Lillian Hellman's "Watch on the Rhine" premieres in NYC

  • Apr 1 US Navy takes over Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay
  • Apr 1 Nazis forbid Jews access to cafés
  • Apr 1 Pro-German Rashid Ali al-Ghailani grabs power in Iraq
  • Apr 1 The Blockade Runner Badge for German Kriegsmarine is instituted.
  • Apr 2 German occupier disallows Dutch scouting association

Historic Event

Apr 3 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warns Soviet leader Joseph Stalin that a German invasion is imminent

  • Apr 3 Rasjid al-Gailani forms pro-German regime in Iraq
  • Apr 3 Walton's overture "Scapino" premieres in Chicago
  • Apr 4 German troops conquer Benghazi, Libya
  • Apr 5 San Francisco Castro & Fillmore streetcars replaced by buses

US Masters Golf

Apr 6 8th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Craig Wood wins his first major title, 3 strokes ahead of runner-up Byron Nelson; Masters' first wire-to-wire champion

  • Apr 6 Beginning of operation Bestrafung - German bombers attack Belgrade (17,000 die)
  • Apr 6 British major general Michael Gambier-Parry captured in North Africa
  • Apr 6 German bombardment of Piraeus (munitions ship explodes)
  • Apr 6 Italian forces holding Addis Ababa surrender to British & Ethiopian forces
  • Apr 7 British generals O'Connor & Neame captured in North Africa
  • Apr 8 In his 4th title defence in 9 weeks Joe Louis beats Tony Musto by TKO in the 9th round at the Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown
  • Apr 9 PGA establishes Golf Hall of Fame
  • Apr 9 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Dorothy Kirby wins comfortably by 16 strokes ahead of Helen Sigel
  • Apr 10 German troops conquer Libyan county Cyrenaica

Historic Event

Apr 10 Independent State of Croatia led by Ante Pavelić established as fascist German puppet state

  • Apr 11 Jewish Weekly newspaper taken control by Nazis
  • Apr 11 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands confiscate Jewish assets
  • Apr 12 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Boston Bruins defeat Detroit Red Wings, 3-1 for a 4-0 series sweep
  • Apr 13 Heavy German assault on Tobruk
  • Apr 13 Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan is signed.
  • Apr 14 1st massive German raid in Paris, 3,600 Jews rounded up
  • Apr 14 King Peter leaves Yugoslavia
  • Apr 14 45th Boston Marathon won by Leslie Pawson in 2:30:38; his third victory in the event
  • Apr 15 1st helicopter flight of 1 hr duration, Stratford, Ct
  • Apr 16 Little Theater at Adelphi Strand, London closes
  • Apr 17 British troop land in Iraq
  • Apr 17 US Office of Price Administration forms (handled rationing)
  • Apr 17 Egyptian steamer SS Zamzam attacked and later scuttled by German cruiser Atlantis (all on board rescued)
  • Apr 17 World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.
  • Apr 19 Bertolt Brecht's play "Mother Courage and her Children" premieres in Zurich
  • Apr 19 Bulgarian troops invade Macedonia
  • Apr 19 Milk rationed in Holland
  • Apr 20 100 German bombers attack Athens
  • Apr 20 Dodgers start to wear liners in their caps
  • Apr 21 WWII: Greece surrenders to Nazi Germany
  • Apr 23 Greek Army surrenders to Germany; British RAF evacuates the Greek King George II to Egypt
  • Apr 24 British army begins evacuation of Greece
  • Apr 24 Dutch Prince Bernhard becomes an RAF pilot
  • Apr 25 Operation Merkur: Hitler orders conquest of Kreta
  • Apr 26 A tradition begins, 1st organ at a baseball stadium (Chicago Cubs)
  • Apr 26 Potatoes rationed in Holland
  • Apr 27 German troops occupy Athens, Greece
  • Apr 28 Last British troops in Greece surrender

Film Premier

May 1 "Citizen Kane", directed by Orson Welles and starring himself, Joseph Cotten and Dorothy Corningore, premieres at the Palace Theater in New York City

  • May 1 General Mills introduces CheeriOats (renamed Cheerios in 1945) an oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal
  • May 1 German assault on Tobruk
  • May 1 US savings bonds go on sale to help finance the war effort
  • May 2 FCC approves regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin July 1
  • May 2 Nazi occupied Netherlands lays off Jewish journalists