Learn more about 1939
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s|
|Years:||1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942|
|1939 by topic:|
| Architecture - Art - Film - Literature |
Music (Country, UK) - Television - Home video
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| Archaeology - Aviation |
Meteorology - Rail transport - Radio - Science
| Australia - Canada - France - Germany - India |
Ireland - Malaysia - Mexico - New Zealand
Singapore - South Africa - UK - Wales - Zimbabwe
|Awards - Sport - Law - State leaders - Sovereign states - Religious leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births - Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments - Disestablishments|
- January 1 - The Hewlett-Packard Company was founded.
- January 2 - End of term for Frank Finley Merriam, 28th Governor of California. He is succeeded by Culbert Levy Olson.
- January 13 - Black Friday: 71 people die across Victoria in one of Australia's worst ever bushfires.
- January 24 - Earthquake kills 30.000 in Chile – about 50.000 sq mi razed
- January 26 - Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to Francisco Franco, and aided by Italy, take Barcelona.
- February 1 - Martensville, Saskatchewan is founded
- February 2 - Hungary joins Anti-Comintern Pact
- February 10 - Falangists take Catalonia
- February 21 - Golden Gate International Exposition opens in San Francisco, California
- February 27 - United Kingdom and France recognize Franco's government
- February 27 - Borley Rectory burns
- February 27 - Sit-down strikes are outlawed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 28 - The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik was published.
- March 2 - Pope Pius XII (Cardinal Pacelli) succeeds Pope Pius XI as the 258th pope.
- March 3 - In Bombay, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest of the autocratic rule in India.
- March 3 - Students at Harvard University demonstrate the new tradition of swallowing gold fish to reporters.
- March 13 - Hitler advises Jozef Tiso to declare independence, lest Slavakia be partitioned by Hungary and Poland.
- March 14 - Slovak provincial assembly proclaims independence - priest Jozef Tiso becomes the president of independent Slovak government
- March 15 - German troops occupy the remaining part of Bohemia and Moravia; Czechoslovakia ceases to exist; beginning hostilities leading to WWII. The Ruthenian region of Czechoslavakia declares independences as Carpatho-Ukraine
- March 16 - Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran. Hungary invades Capatho-Ukraine; final resistance ends on the 18th
- March 22 - Germany takes Memel from Lithuania
- March 23 - Slovak-Hungarian War begins.
- March 25 - The second cartoon to feature Happy Rabbit, Prest-O Change-O, is released.
- March 26 - The Philadelphia Story, a comedy by Philip Barry starring Katharine Hepburn, debuts at the Shubert Theater in New York City.
- March 28 - Dictator Francisco Franco conquers Madrid.
- March 28 - The last message from adventurer Richard Halliburton - he disappears later.
- March - End of the Great Arab Revolt in the British mandate of Palestine (started 1936)
- April 1 - Spanish Civil War comes to an end when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.
- April 4 - Faisal II becomes King of Iraq. Slovak-Hungarian War ends with Slovakia ceding eastern territories to Hungary.
- April 7 - Italy invades Albania - King Zog flees
- April 9 - Singer Marian Anderson performs before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. after having been denied the use both of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution and of a public high school by the federally-controlled District of Columbia.
- April 11 - Hungary leaves the League of Nations
- April 14 - John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath is first published.
- April 27 - Ely Racecourse closes.
- April 30 - New York World's Fair opens.
- May 2 - Major League Baseball's Lou Gehrig, the legendary Yankee first baseman known as "The Iron Horse", ends his 2130 consecutive games played streak after contracting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The record will stand for 56 years before Cal Ripken, Jr. plays 2131 consecutive games.
- May 3 - The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- May 7 - Spain leaves the League of Nations
- May 17 - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrive in Quebec City to begin the first-ever visit to Canada by British sovereigns.
- May 22 - Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
- May 29 - Northamptonshire gains (over Leicestershire at Northampton) their first victory for 99 matches, easily a record in the County Championship. Their last Championship victory was as far back as 14 May 1935 over Somerset at Taunton.
- June 4 - Holocaust: The SS St. Louis, a ship carrying a cargo of 907 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida after already having been turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, most of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.
- June 12 - The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is officially dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.
- June 17 - Last public guillotining in France - murderer Eugen Weidmann is decapitated by the guillotine.
- June 23 - Turkey annexes Hatay
- July 2 - The 1st World Science Fiction Convention opens in New York City.
- July 4 - Lou Gehrig gives his last public speech, following his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In it, he states, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
- July 4 - The concentration camp Neuengamme becomes autonomous.
- July 6 - Holocaust: The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany are closed.
- July 26 - John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, born.
- August 2 - Albert Einstein writes President Franklin Roosevelt about developing the Atomic Bomb using Uranium. This led to the creation of the Manhattan Project.
- August 17 - The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, premieres at the Capitol Theater in New York City.
- August 23 - Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Hitler and Stalin agree to divide eastern Europe between themselves (Finland, the Baltic states and eastern Poland to the USSR; Western Poland to Germany).
- August 25 - An IRA bomb explodes in the center of Coventry, England killing five people.
- August 26 - The Kriegsmarine orders all German flaged merchant ships to head to German ports immediately in anticipation of the Invasion of Poland.
- August 27 - A Heinkel 178, the first jet-powered aircraft, flies for the first time.
- August 30 - Poland begins mobilization
- September 1 - World War II: Invasion of Poland - Nazi Germany attacks Poland, beginning the Second World War in Europe.
- September 2 - Following the invasion of Poland, Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) is annexed to Nazi Germany.
- September 3 - World War II: France, Australia and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany.
- September 4 - World War II: Nepal declares war on Germany.
- September 5 - World War II: The United States declares its neutrality in the war.
- September 6 - World War II: South Africa declares war on Germany.
- September 10 - Canada declares war on Germany.
- September 16 - Cease Fire ending undeclared Border War between The Soviet Union (and Mongolian allies) and Japan.
- September 17 - Soviet Union invades Poland and then occupies eastern Polish territories.
- September 27 - Warsaw surrenders to Germany; Modlin surrenders day later; last Polish large operational unit surrenders near Kock eight days later.
- October 8 - World War II: Germany annexes Western Poland.
- October 11 - Manhattan Project: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt is presented with a letter signed by Albert Einstein urging the United States to rapidly develop the atomic bomb.
- October 12 - Jüri Uluots becomes prime minister of Estonia.
- October 15 - The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport) is dedicated.
- October 25 - The Time of Your Life, a drama by William Saroyan, debuts in New York City.
- November 4 - World War II: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons by belligerents.
- November 6 - World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau, the codename for a German action against scientists from the University of Kraków and other Kraków universities at the beginning of World War II.
- November 6 - Hedda Hopper's Hollywood debuts with Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper as host (the show ran until 1951 and made Hopper a powerful figure in the Hollywood elite).
- November 8 - Venlo Incident: Two British agents of SIS are captured by the Germans.
- November 8 - In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes an assassination attempt while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.
- November 15 - In Washington, DC, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
- November 16 - Al Capone released from Alcatraz
- November 30 - Winter War begins: Soviet forces attack Finland and reach the Mannerheim Line, starting the war.
- December 2 - La Guardia Airport opens for business in New York City.
- December 14 - League of Nations expels the USSR because of attacking Finland
- December 15 - The film version of Gone With The Wind, starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia DeHavilland and Leslie Howard, premieres at Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta, Georgia.
- December 26 - Mining strike in Borinage, Belgium
- December 27 - Earthquake in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, destroys the town of Erzincan - about 30,000 dead.
 Unknown dates
- Batman created by Bob Kane (and, unofficially, Bill Finger).
- Nuclear fission discovered independently by Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn
- Kirlian photography invented by Semyon Kirlian
- Siam changes its name to Thailand
- A logging crew sets off a second forest fire in the Tillamook Burn, which destroys 190,000 acres (769 km²)
 Ongoing events
- Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
- Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
- The Great Depression (1929-The Late 1930's, early 1940's)
- January 2 - Jim Bakker, American televangelist
- January 3 - Bobby Hull, Canadian hockey player
- January 6 - Valeri Lobanovsky, Ukrainian footballer and manager (d. 2002)
- January 9 - Malcolm Bricklin, American automotive pioneer
- January 10 - Sal Mineo, American actor (d. 1976)
- January 10 - Bill Toomey, American athlete
- January 11 - Ann Heggtveit, Canadian skier
- January 17 - Maury Povich, American talk show host
- January 18 - James Gritz, U.S. Presidential candidate
- January 19 - Phil Everly, American musician
- January 20 - Chandra Wickramasinghe, British astronomer and poet
- January 21 - Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor (d. 1995)
- January 22 - Ray Stevens, American musician
- January 29 - Germaine Greer, Australian writer
- February 6 - Mike Farrell, American actor
- February 10 - Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada
- February 10 - Roberta Flack, American singer
- February 10 - Peter Purves, British actor and television presenter
- February 12 - Ray Manzarek, American keyboardist
- February 13 - Beate Klarsfeld, German-born Nazi hunter
- February 20 - Frank Arundel, English footballer
- February 21 - Gert Neuhaus, German artist
- February 28 - Daniel C. Tsui, Chinese-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- February 28 - Tommy Tune, American dancer, choreographer, and actor
- March 1 - Leo Brouwer, Cuban composer and guitarist
- March 8 - Robert Tear, Welsh tenor
- March 12 - Johnny Callison, American basball player (d. 2006)
- March 13 - Neil Sedaka, American singer
- March 17 - Jim Gary, American sculptor (d. 2006)
- March 20 - Brian Mulroney, eighteenth Prime Minister of Canada
- March 31 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia, President of Georgia (d. 1993)
- March 31 - Volker Schlöndorff, German film director
- April 2 - Marvin Gaye, American singer (d. 1984)
- April 4 - Hugh Masakela, South African musician
- April 7 - Francis Ford Coppola, American film director
- April 7 - David Frost, English television personality
- April 13 - Seamus Heaney, Irish writer, Nobel Prize laureate
- April 13 - Paul Sorvino, American actor
- April 16 - Dusty Springfield, English singer (d. 1999)
- April 20 - Elspeth Ballantyne, Australian actress
- April 22 - Jason Miller, American playwright and actor (d. 2001)
- April 25 - Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate
- April 27 - Pevernagie,Erik, Belgian painter
- May 1 - Judy Collins, American singer and songwriter
- May 7 - Sidney Altman, Canadian-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- May 7 - Ruud Lubbers, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
- May 7 - Jimmy Ruffin, American singer
- May 7 - Marco St. John, American actor
- May 9 - Ralph Boston, American athlete
- May 12 - Ron Ziegler, White House Press Secretary (d. 2003)
- May 13 - Harvey Keitel, American actor
- May 19 - Livio Berruti, Italian athlete
- May 19 - Dick Scobee, astronaut (d. 1986)
- May 21 - Heinz Holliger, Swiss oboist and composer
- May 23 - Reinhard Hauff, German film director
- May 25 - Dixie Carter, American actress
- May 29 - Al Unser, American race car driver
- May 30 - Michael J. Pollard, American actor
- June 1 - Cleavon Little, American actor (d. 1992)
- June 3 - Ian Hunter, English singer (Mott the Hoople)
- June 6 - Louis Andriessen, Dutch composer
- June 9 - Ileana Cotrubaş, Romanian soprano
- June 9 - Dick Vitale, American basketball broadcaster
- June 11 - Jackie Stewart, Scottish race car driver
- June 15 - Brian Jacques, British writer
- June 16 - Billy Crash Craddock, American country singer
- June 16 - Richard Spendlove, British radio and television presenter and scriptwriter
- July 5 - Booker Edgerson, American football player
- July 14 - George E. Slusser, American scholar and writer
- July 15 - Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal and former Prime Minister
- July 17 - Milva, Italian singer and actress
- July 21 - John Negroponte, U.S. Director of National Intelligence
- July 26 - John Howard, twenty-fifth Prime Minister of Australia
- July 26 - Bob Lilly, American football player
- July 27 - Michael Longley, Irish poet
- August 5 - Princess Irene of the Netherlands
- August 17 - Luther Allison, American musician (d. 1997)
- August 22 - Carl Yastrzemski, baseball player
- August 29 - Joel Schumacher, American film producer and director
- August 30 - John Peel, English disk jockey (d. 2004)
- September 6 - Brigid Berlin, American actor and artist
- September 6 - David Allan Coe, American musician
- September 8 - Carsten Keller, German field hockey player
- September 8 - Susumu Tonegawa, Japanese biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- September 9 - Ron McDole, American football player
- September 13 - Richard Kiel, American actor
- September 16 - Breyten Breytenbach, South African writer and painter
- September 18 - Frankie Avalon, American musician
- September 23 - Janusz Gajos, Polish actor
- September 26 - Ricky Tomlinson, British actor
- September 30 - Len Cariou, Canadian actor and singer
- September 30 - Jean-Marie Lehn, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- October 1 - George Archer, American golfer (d. 2005)
- October 7 - John Hopcroft, American computer scientist
- October 7 - Harold Kroto, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- October 7 - Bill Snyder, American football coach
- October 11 - Austin Currie, Irish politician
- October 13 - T. J. Cloutier, American poker player
- October 18 - Flavio Cotti, Swiss Federal Councilor
- October 18 - Lee Harvey Oswald, Alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy (d. 1963)
- October 14 - Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer
- October 24 - F. Murray Abraham, American actor
- October 27 - John Cleese, British actor
- October 30 - Leland H. Hartwell, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- October 30 - Grace Slick, American singer (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship)
- October 31 - Ron Rifkin, American actor
- November 1 - Barbara Bosson, American actress
- November 6 - Athanasios Angelopoulos, Greek academic
- November 16 - Michael Billington, British drama critic
- November 18 - Margaret Atwood, Canadian writer
- November 21 - Mulayam Singh Yadav, Indian politician
- November 23 - Bill Bissett, Canadian poet
- November 26 - Tina Turner, American singer
- November 27 - Laurent-Désiré Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (d. 2001)
- December 1 - Dianne Lennon, American singer (The Lennon Sisters}
- December 2 - Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician
- December 8 - James Galway, Irish flautist
- December 13 - Eric Flynn, British actor and singer (d. 2002)
- December 18 - Alex Bennett, American radio personality
- December 18 - Robert T. Bennett, American politician
- December 18 - Michael Moorcock, English writer
- December 18 - Harold E. Varmus, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- January 2 - Roman Dmowski, Polish politician (b. 1864)
- January 9 - Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist and children's book writer (b. 1880)
- January 23 - Matthias Sindelar, Austrian footballer (b. 1903)
- January 24 - Maximilian Bircher-Benner, Swiss physician and nutritionist (b. 1867)
- January 28 - William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
- February 10 - Pope Pius XI (b. 1857)
- February 11 - Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer (b. 1874)
- February 12 - S. P. L. Sørensen, Danish chemist (b. 1868)
- February 22 - Antonio Machado, Spanish poet (b. 1875)
- March 2 - Howard Carter, British archaeologist (b. 1874)
- March 19 - Lloyd L. Gaines, American civil rights activist
- April 7 - Joseph Lyons, tenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1879)
- June 4 - Tommy Ladnier, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1900)
- June 19 - Grace Abbott, American social worker and activist (b. 1878)
- June 26 - Ford Maddox Ford, English writer (b. 1873)
- July 14 - Alfons Mucha, Czech painter and decorative artist (b. 1860)
- August 2 - Harvey Spencer Lewis, American mystic (b. 1883)
- August 11 - Jean Bugatti, German automobile designer (b. 1909)
- September 6 - Arthur Rackham, British artist (b. 1867)
- September 18 - Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (b. 1885)
- September 23 - Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist (b. 1856)
- October 7 - Harvey Cushing, American neurosurgeon (b. 1869)
- November 12 - Norman Bethune, Canadian humanitarian (b. 1890)
- November 28 - James Naismith, Canadian inventor of basketball (b. 1861)
- November 29 - Philipp Scheidemann, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1865)
- December 3 - Princess Louise of the United Kingdom (b. 1848)
- December 23 - Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft manufacturer (b. 1890)
 Nobel prizes
- Physics - Ernest Orlando Lawrence
- Chemistry - Adolf Friedrich Johann Butenandt, Leopold Ruzicka
- Physiology or Medicine - Gerhard Domagk
- Literature - Frans Eemil Sillanpää
- Peace - not awarded
 External links
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