On This Day

April 1940 in History

Events in History


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 Filipino President Quezon officially authorizes the printing and publication of the grammar and dictionary prepared by the Institute of the National Language.

2nd President of the Philippines Manuel L. Quezon
2nd President of the Philippines
Manuel L. Quezon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 7 US Post Office issues first postage stamp of African American educator Booker T. Washington

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • Apr 8 German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious
  • Apr 9 German cruiser Blucher torpedoed and capsizes in Oslofjord, 1,000 die
  • Apr 9 Nazi Germany invades Denmark and Norway, and Denmark surrenders after a six-hour battle

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 10 Vidkun Quisling forms Norwegian "national government"

Prime Minister of Norway and Nazi Collaborator Vidkun Quisling
Prime Minister of Norway and Nazi Collaborator
Vidkun Quisling
  • Apr 12 Italy annexes Albania
  • Apr 13 Second battle of Narvik; 3 German destroyers and one U-boat sunk by the Royal Navy, 5 more German destroyers scuttled
  • Apr 14 Allied troops land in Norway
  • Apr 14 RCA demonstrated its new electron microscope in Philadelphia
  • Apr 15 British troops land at Narvik, Norway
  • Apr 19 "Lake Shore Ltd" derails speed killing 34 near Little Falls, New York
  • Apr 19 Dutch prime minister De Geer declares state of siege
  • Apr 20 1st electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [1]
  • Apr 22 Rear Admiral Joseph Taussig testifies before US Senate Naval Affairs Committee that war with Japan is inevitable

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 27 Himmler orders establishment of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
  • Apr 28 SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Rudolf Höss (not Hess, different Nazi) becomes commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz
  • Apr 29 Norwegian King Haakon & government flee to Britain
  • Apr 29 Robert Sherwood's play "There Shall be No Night" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 30 Air New Zealand then known as TEAL makes its inaugural flight with a flight from Auckland to Sydney. Later becomes 1st airline in the world to boil hot water in-flight to offer customers hot tea and coffee.

Birthdays in History


Person of interestWangari Maathai

Apr 1 Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and political activist, founder of the Green Belt Movement, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (2004) and Indira Gandhi Peace Prize (2006), born in Ihithe village, Kenya (d. 2011)

Environmentalist Wangari Maathai
Environmentalist
Wangari Maathai
  • Apr 2 Peter Haining, British writer and editor (Anatomy of Witchcraft), born in Enfield, Middlesex (d. 2007)
  • Apr 3 R S Burman, CEO (Association of British Chambers of Commerce)
  • Apr 4 Bijan, Iranian men's apparel designer (Bijan), born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2011)
  • Apr 4 Vladimir Timofeyevich Isakov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Zilair, Russia
  • Apr 6 Homero Aridjis, Mexican poet (La Tumba de Filidor)
  • Apr 9 Vasily Dmitriyevich Shcheglov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Melovashka, Ukraine (d. 1973)
  • Apr 12 John Hagee, American pastor and televangelist, born in Goose Creek, Texas
  • Apr 15 Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, English novelist, born in Finsbury, London
  • Apr 16 Thomas Stonor, 7th Baron Camoys, British banker and deputy CEO (Barclays de Zoete Wedd), born in England

Person of interestMargrethe II

Apr 16 Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark (1972 - present), born in Copenhagen, Denmark

Queen of Denmark Margrethe II
Queen of Denmark
Margrethe II
  • Apr 16 Paul Cox, Dutch-born Australian director (Lonely Hearts), born in Venlo, the Netherlands (d. 2016)
  • Apr 16 Benoît Bouchard, French-Canadian public official and former politician, born in Roberval, Quebec
  • Apr 18 Joseph L. Goldstein, American biochemist and physician (Nobel-1985), born in Kingstree, South Carolina
  • Apr 20 Jan Cremer, Dutch writer (I, John Cremer), born in Enschede, Netherlands
  • Apr 21 Souleymane Cisse, director (Waati, Yeelen, Finye, Baara)
  • Apr 23 Richard Monaco, American sci-fi author (Grail War, Final Quest), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 23 Michael Copps, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Apr 24 Sue Grafton, American author of detective novels ("A" Is for Alibi), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2017)

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 7 Writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (21) weds Natalya Reshetovskaya

Writer and Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Writer and Nobel Laureate
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Deaths in History

  • Apr 18 Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, English historian & politician, dies after being hit by a car during London blackout at 75
  • Apr 26 Carl Bosch, German chemist (BASF, IG Farben, Nobel 1931), dies at 65