On This Day

October 1939 in History

Events in History

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 1 Winston Churchill calls Russia a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma"

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • Oct 1 After a one-month Siege of Warsaw, hostile forces entered the city.
  • Oct 3 Lemmer-Urk Dike closes
  • Oct 4 Last Polish troops surrender

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 6 Adolf Hitler denies he intends to go to war against France and Britain

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Oct 6 Adolf Hitler announces plans to regulate Jewish problem
  • Oct 6 Last Polish army is defeated in World War II.
  • Oct 8 Germany annexes Western Poland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 11 Albert Einstein informs FDR of the possibilities of an atomic bomb

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein
32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Oct 11 Bucky Harris signs to manage Washington again
  • Oct 11 NAACP organized Legal Defense & Education Fund
  • Oct 14 German U-47 sinks British battleship HMS Royal Oak, 833 killed
  • Oct 15 LaGuardia Airport opens in NYC
  • Oct 15 Yeshiva of Mir closes after 124 years
  • Oct 16 Sugar rationing begins in Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 19 Hermann Goering begins plunder through Nazi's occupied areas

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

Oct 20 Pope Pius XII publishes his 1st encyclical Summi pontificatus

260th Pope Pius XII
260th Pope
Pius XII
  • Oct 24 Nylon stockings go on sale for first time (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • Oct 25 William Saroyan's "Time of Your Life" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 26 Polish Jews forced into obligatory work service
  • Oct 28 Anti-German demonstrations/strikes in Czechoslovakia
  • Oct 28 Spitfire shoots German Heinkel-111 down above Scotland
  • Oct 29 Golden Gate International Exposition closes (1st closure)
  • Oct 30 USSR & Germany agree on partitioning Poland, Adolf Hitler deports Jews
  • Oct 30 German U boat fails on attack of English battleship Nelson with Winston Churchill, Dudley Pound & Charles Forbes aboard

Birthdays in History

  • Oct 2 Yury Glazkov, Soviet Air Force officer and cosmonaut (Soyuz 24), born in Moscow (d. 2008)
  • Oct 4 W Henson Moore, (Rep-R-LA, 1975- )
  • Oct 5 Marie-Claire Blais, French Canadian author and playwright, born in Quebec, Canada
  • Oct 5 Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Filipino Supreme Court jurist, born in Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines
  • Oct 5 Walter Wolf, Slovenian-Canadian industrialist, born in Graz, Austria
  • Oct 6 Douglas K Bereuter, (Rep-R-Nebraska, 1979- )
  • Oct 6 John J LaFalce, (Rep-D-NY, 1975- )
  • Oct 7 John Hopcroft, American computer scientist, born in Seattle, Washington
  • Oct 7 Harold Kroto, English chemist and Nobel laureate (1996), born in Wisbech (d. 2016)
  • Oct 8 Harvey Pekar, American comic book writer (American Splendor), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2010)
  • Oct 8 Lynne Stewart, American defense attorney (known for representing controversial, poor, and often unpopular defendants), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2017)
  • Oct 9 Pierre Mertens, French-Belgian writer (Lettres Clandestines), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Oct 10 Joe Pitts, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania), born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Oct 11 Franklin Sonn, South African union leader (South African workers), born in Vosburg, South Africa
  • Oct 12 Carolee Schneemann, American performance artist, born in Fox Chase, Philadelphia
  • Oct 13 T. J. Cloutier, American poker player, born in Albany, California

Person of interestRalph Lauren

Oct 14 Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer (Chaps, Polo Ralph Lauren), born in The Bronx, New York

Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren
Fashion Designer
Ralph Lauren

Person of interestLee Harvey Oswald

Oct 18 Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin of JFK, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1963)

Former Soldier and Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald
Former Soldier and Assassin
Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Oct 18 Flavio Cotti, member of the Swiss Federal Council
  • Oct 22 Joaquim Chissano, president of Mozambique (1986- )
  • Oct 26 Vladimir Mikhailovich Beloborodov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Oloviyanna, Chita Region, Russia
  • Oct 30 Leland H. Hartwell, American scientist (Nobel 2001 - discoveries of protein molecules that control the division (duplication) of cells), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 30 Emily Howell Warner, American pilot, 1st woman to captain a commercial American airline plane, born in Denver, Colorado (d. 2020)

Deaths in History

  • Oct 7 Harvey Cushing, American neurosurgeon (blood pressure studies), dies at 70
  • Oct 23 Zane Grey, American western writer (Spirit of the Border), dies at 67
  • Oct 25 Cornelis JK van Aalst, president Dutch Business Society, dies at 73
  • Oct 29 Dwight B. Waldo, American educator (first President of Western Michigan University), dies at 75
  • Oct 31 Otto Rank [Rosenfeld], Austria psychoanalyst (Trauma of Geburt), dies