On This Day

April 1939 in History

Events in History


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 US recognizes Francisco Franco's government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war. Pope Pius XII congratulates Generalissimo Franco's victory in Spain

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • Apr 4 Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
  • Apr 5 Membership of Hitler Youth becomes obligatory
  • Apr 6 Great Britain & Poland sign military pact
  • Apr 6 US & UK agree on joint control of Canton & Enderbury Is (Pacific)
  • Apr 7 Italy invades Albania
  • Apr 8 King Zog I of Albania flees
  • Apr 10 Colijn's Dutch government opens camp Westerbork for German Jews
  • Apr 10 Grens mobilization due to Italian invasion in Albania
  • Apr 11 Hungary leaves League of Nations
  • Apr 13 W Saroyan's "My Heart's in the Highlands" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 13 The Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) is formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Apr 14 John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" published

  • Apr 15 Albert Lebrun elected president of France

AgreementAgreement of Interest

Apr 16 The Soviet Union proposes an alliance with Britain and France to counter Nazi Germany; the Soviets would later sign a secret agreement with the Nazis

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • Apr 18 Franz von Papen becomes German ambassador in Turkey
  • Apr 18 Hubert Pierlot forms Belgian government
  • Apr 19 Connecticut finally approves Bill of Rights (148 years late)

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Apr 28 Adolf Hitler claims German-Polish non-attack treaty still in effect

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Apr 29 Whitestone Bridge connecting the New York boroughs of Bronx and Queens opens
  • Apr 30 New York World's Fair opens
  • Apr 30 Tropicana ballet of Havana, Cuba, forms

Birthdays in History

  • Apr 2 Lise Thibault, 27th Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, born in Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec
  • Apr 5 Andrew Buxton, CEO (Barclays Bank)
  • Apr 6 André Ouellet, French Canadian politician
  • Apr 7 Donald L Holmquest, astronaut, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Apr 10 Alan Rothenberg, American lawyer and sports executive, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Apr 10 Daniel Oliver, American CEO (Federal Trade Commission), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 10 Penny Vincenzi [Hannaford], British novelist (An Absolute Scandal, Spoils of Time trilogy), born in Bournemouth, England (d. 2018)
  • Apr 12 Alan Ayckbourn, English playwright and director, born in London, England
  • Apr 13 Barbara-Rose Collins, American politician (Rep-D-Michigan), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestSeamus Heaney

Apr 13 Seamus Heaney, Irish poet and playwright (Nobel Prize in Literature 1995), born in Castledawson, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland (d. 2013)

  • Apr 13 Wijnie Jabaaij, Dutch politician (PvdA), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1995)
  • Apr 16 Margaretha de Boer, Dutch politician (PvdA), born in Amsterdam
  • Apr 16 Reinier Lucassen, Dutch painter (Kuifje contra James Union), born in Amsterdam
  • Apr 18 Thomas J. Moyer, American judge and Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court (1987-2010), born in Sandusky, Ohio (d. 2010)
  • Apr 19 Clay Shaw, American politician (Rep-R-FL, 1981-2007), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2013)

Person of interestAli Hosseini Khamenei

Apr 19 Ali Khamenei [Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei], 2nd Supreme Leader of Iran (1989-) and the 3rd President of Iran (1981-89), born in Mashhad, Khorasan, Iran

2nd Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Hosseini Khamenei
2nd Supreme Leader of Iran
Ali Hosseini Khamenei
  • Apr 20 Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norwegian Prime Minister (1981-82, 1986-89, 1990-96) and Director-General of the World Health Organisation, born in Bærum, Norway
  • Apr 21 Helen Prejean, American writer
  • Apr 22 John Foley, Bristish Lieutenant General
  • Apr 23 Bill Hagerty, British editor (People), born in Ilford, London
  • Apr 25 Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield, English photographer (d. 2005)
  • Apr 25 Ted Kooser, American poet and US Poet Laureate, born in Ames, Iowa
  • Apr 27 Stanislaw Dziwisz, Polish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Kraków, born in Raba Wyżna, Poland
  • Apr 30 Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, born in Schiedam, Netherlands

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 2 Author Jacqueline Susann (20) weds Irving Mansfield at Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia


Deaths in History

  • Apr 6 Robert Courtneidge, British theater producer, dies
  • Apr 7 Joseph Lyons, 10th Prime Minister of Australia (1932-39), dies at 59
  • Apr 10 Alfredo Panzini, Italian author (Il Bacio de Lesba), dies at 75
  • Apr 11 S.S. Van Dine, [pseudonym for William Huntingdon Wright], American critic and detective writer (Philo Vance), dies at 50