On This Day

January 1939 in History

Events in History


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 Hewlett-Packard is founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto, California "the birthplace of Silicon Valley"

Electrical Engineer and Businessman Bill Hewlett
Electrical Engineer and Businessman
Bill Hewlett
  • Jan 1 Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.
  • Jan 3 Gene Cox becomes 1st girl page in US House of Representatives
  • Jan 4 Frieda Wunderlich elected 1st woman dean of a US graduate school

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 4 Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration

Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich
Nazi leader
Reinhard Heydrich
Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • Jan 7 US worker's union leader Tom Mooney freed (jailed since 1916)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 12 Timely Comics (later Marvel) founded by American publisher Martin Goodman in New York

Comic-Book Artist and Marvel Creative Leader Stan Lee
Comic-Book Artist and Marvel Creative Leader
Stan Lee

AgreementTreaty of Interest

Jan 13 Belgian premier signs Burgos Treaty for trade relations with Franco's Spain

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • Jan 13 The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.
  • Jan 14 All commercial ferry services between San Francisco and East Bay end
  • Jan 14 Norway claims Queen Maud Land in Antarctica
  • Jan 15 Municipal Railway & Market St RR begin service to Transbay Terminal
  • Jan 16 Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts
  • Jan 16 The IRA begins a bombing campaign in England
  • Jan 19 Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin sets chicken-plucking record of 4.4 sec
  • Jan 20 Charles Ives' 1st Sonata "Concord" premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 George Kaufman and Moss Hart's "American Way" premieres in NYC

Playwright Moss Hart
Playwright
Moss Hart
  • Jan 21 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Jan 21 US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
  • Jan 22 Aquatic Park, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco dedicated
  • Jan 24 30,000 killed by earthquake in Concepcion Chile
  • Jan 24 Spanish government moves to Figueras
  • Jan 25 Earthquake hits Chillan Chile, 10,000 killed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 1st nuclear fission experiment (splitting of a uranium atom) in the US, in basement of Pupin Hall, Columbia University by a team including Enrico Fermi

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi
  • Jan 26 Federal Hall National Monument established
  • Jan 26 Filming begins on film "Gone With the Wind"
  • Jan 26 Francisco Franco's troops conquer Barcelona
  • Jan 27 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 30 Adolf Hitler threatens Jews during his speech to the German Reichstag (Parliament)

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Jan 30 Heavy aftershocks destroy some of Chile

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 2 Jim Bakker, American televangelist (Assemblies of God, The PTL Club) and convicted fraud, born in Muskegon, Michigan
  • Jan 3 Janice Crosio, Australian politician
  • Jan 5 Peter Struycken, Dutch artist, born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jan 7 Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark
  • Jan 10 Jared Carter, American poet, born in Elwood, Indiana
  • Jan 10 David Horowitz, American author & political commentator, born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 10 William Levy, American writer, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2019)
  • Jan 12 Helmut Eisendle, Austrian writer, born in Graz, Austria (d. 2003)
  • Jan 12 Jacques Hamelink, Dutch writer & poet (Cold Unrest), born in Terneuzen, Netherlands
  • Jan 18 Bernard Glassman, American Zen Buddhist roshi (Zen Center of NY), born in Brighton Beach, New York
  • Jan 20 Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-born British mathematician & astronomer, born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Jan 20 Paul Coverdell, American politician, born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • Jan 21 Mary Ellen McAnally, American poet (Dance of the Zygotes), born in Vandalia, Illinois
  • Jan 22 Jeff Smith, American chef (d. 2004)
  • Jan 25 Gabriel Romanus, Swedish politician, born in Helsingborg, Sweden
  • Jan 27 N R Bomford, head master (Harrow School)
  • Jan 28 John M Fabian, Goosecreek Tx, Col USAF/astronaut (STS 7, STS 51G)
  • Jan 29 Germaine Greer, Australian feminist/author (Female Eunich), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Jan 29 O P Kolomitsev, cosmonaut
  • Jan 30 Frank Wolf, American politician (Rep-R-VA, 1981- ), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deaths in History

  • Jan 2 Roman Dmowski, Polish politician, dies at 74

Person of interestAmelia Earhart

Jan 5 Amelia Earhart, American aviator (1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic), is declared dead at 41 after disappearing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937

  • Jan 24 Maximilian Bircher-Benner, Swiss physician and nutritionist, dies at 71
  • Jan 28 W. B. Yeats, Irish poet (Wild Swans at Coole-Nobel 1923), dies at 73