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In 2013 Susan Dunn authored “1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler-the Election amid the Storm.”
(Econ, 9/14/13, p.39)
1940 Jan 2, Jim Bakker, televangelist (PTL Club), was born in Muskegon, Mich.
1940 Jan 3, The Southland Shuffle was recorded on Bluebird Records by Charlie Barnet and his orchestra. A young trumpet player named Billy May was featured.
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1940 Jan 8, Britain began rationing sugar, meat and butter.
1940 Jan 10, German planes attacked 12 ships off the British coast; three sank and 35 were dead.
1940 Jan 11, Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet premiered in Leningrad.
1940 Jan 12, Soviet bombers raided cities in Finland.
1940 Jan 14, Julian Bond, civil rights leader and Georgia state senator, was born.
1940 Jan 16, Hitler canceled an attack in the West due to bad weather and the capture of German attack plans in Belgium.
1940 Jan 21, Jack Nicklaus, golfer (Player of Yr 1967,72,73,75,76), was born in Columbus, Ohio.
1940 Jan 23, Pianist Jan Ignaz Paderewski became premier of Polish government in exile.
1940 Jan 25, Nazis established a Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland.
1940 Jan 26, The Museum of Modern Art in New York received works by Botticelli, Raphael and Michelangelo on loan from Italy.
1940 Jan 26, Nazis forbade Polish Jews to travel on trains.
1940 Feb 1, Frank Sinatra sang "Too Romantic" and "The Sky Fell Down" in his first recording session with the Tommy Dorsey Band on this day. The session was in Chicago, IL. Frankie replaced Jack Leonard as lead singer with the band.
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1940 Feb 3, Fran Tarkenton, NFL quarterback, was born.
1940 Feb 5, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded "Tuxedo Junction" for RCA Victor's "Bluebird" label.
1940 Feb 6, Tom Brokaw, NBC News anchorman and best-selling author of "The Greatest Generation," was born.
1940 Feb 7, Walt Disney's 2nd feature-length movie, "Pinocchio," premiered in NYC.
1940 Feb 8, Ted Koppel, American television journalist, was born in Lancashire, England, as Edward James Koppel. His family came to the United States in 1953, and he was naturalized as a US citizen in 1963.
1940 Feb 10, "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hit #1.
1940 Feb 12, The radio play "The Adventures of Superman" debuted on the Mutual network with Bud Collyer as the Man of Steel.
1940 Feb 12, The USSR signed a trade treaty with Germany to aid against the British blockade.
1940 Feb 14, Britain announced that all merchant ships would be armed.
1940 Feb 15, Hitler ordered that all British merchant ships would be considered warships.
1940 Feb 16, The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescue British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.
1940 Feb 19, Smokey Robinson, American singer and songwriter, was born. He was famous for his songs "Tears of a Clown" and "Tracks of My Tears."
1940 Feb 19, Saparmurad Niyazov, later president of Turkmenistan (1992-2006), was born.
(www.turkmenistanembassy.org/turkmen/gov/presbio.html)(WSJ, 12/29/06, p.A8)
1940 Feb 20, The Tom and Jerry cartoon “Puss Gets the Boot,” created by Hanna & Barbera, debuted by MGM. It went on to win 7 Academy Awards.
(WSJ, 6/28/08, p.W6)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0032953/)
1940 Feb 20, Christoph Eschenbach, pianist, conductor, was born in Breslau, Germany.
1940 Feb 21, The Germans began construction of a concentration camp at Auschwitz. Hans Munch was an SS doctor at the camp and later reported his experiences there in detail for the 1998 TV documentary "People’s Century." [see Mar 27]
(HN, 2/21/98)(WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)
1940 Feb 22, German air force sank 2 German destroyers killing 578.
1940 Feb 23, Peter Fonda, actor (Easy Rider, Lilith, Wild Angels, Trip), was born.
1940 Feb 23, Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" was released.
1940 Feb 23, Woody Guthrie dated his song "this Land Is Your Land" to this day. His original title was "God Bless America."
(SFC, 11/27/98, p.c11)
1940 Feb 25, A hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS, as the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-2, at Madison Square Garden.
1940 Feb 26, The U.S. Air Defense Command was established at Mitchell Field, Long Island, NY.
(AP, 2/26/98)(SC, 2/26/02)
1940 Feb 28, Mario Andretti, race-car driver (1969 Indianapolis 500), was born.
1940 Feb 28, The first televised college basketball games were broadcast, by New York City station W2XBS, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden.
1940 Feb 28, The Superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.
1940 Feb 28, In Egypt King Farouk arrived at Tanis for the opening of the sarcophagus of the 21st Dynasty King Psusennes I, recently discovered by French archeologist Pierre Montet.
(Arch, 5/05, p.24)
1940 Feb 29, "Gone with the Wind" won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939. Victor Fleming was named best director, Vivien Leigh best actress, and Hattie McDaniel best supporting actress, the first black performer to receive an Oscar. Best actor went to Robert Donat for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips."
(HN, 2/29/00)(AP, 2/29/04)
1940 Feb, George Avakian, jazz aficionado, was hired by Columbia records to research Columbia jazz masters and assemble a series of albums. His efforts produced the "Hot Jazz Classics," a cornerstone of the basic jazz canon.
(WSJ, 6/03/97, p.A20)
1940 Feb, The Manhattan project was initiated with a research allocation of six thousand dollars.
1940 Mar 1, "Native Son" by Richard Wright (1908-1960) was first published. This launched him as America’s 1st best-selling black author.
(AP, 3/1/00)(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.61)
1940 Mar 1, In the 12th Academy Awards: "Gone with the Wind", Robert Donat and Vivien Leigh won.
1940 Mar 1, U.S. envoy, Sumner Welles met with Hitler in Berlin.
1940 Mar 2, The first televised intercollegiate track meet was seen by TV viewers in New York City as W2XBS presented the action live from Madison Square Garden. New York University won the meet.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1940 Mar 2, Soviet armies conquered Tuppura Island, Finland.
1940 Mar 3, Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded "Frenesi" for RCA Victor.
1940 Mar 3, A Nazi air raid killed 108 on a British liner in the English Channel.
1940 Mar 5, The British surprised Mussolini by taking seven Italian coal ships.
1940 Mar 5, Stalin among others signed an Order for the massacre at Katyn, Poland. Soviet agents shot 21,768 Polish military officers, intellectuals and priests who had been taken prisoner during the invasion. Between April and May some 25,700 (15,000) Polish citizens were massacred by the Soviets in the Katyn and Miednoje (Mednoye) forests on the outskirts of Moscow and at Kharkov in western Russia (later Ukraine). Some 14,700 Polish officers were identified by their uniforms. Documents were made public in 1992 by Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first post-Soviet leader. They included a letter by Lavrenty Beria, head of the secret police, recommending the execution of the Polish prisoners of war. The letter bears the signatures of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and three other members of the Politburo. Excavations of the sites began in 1994. 6,313 Polish officers were all shot in the back of the head near Mednoye. 9,000 Russians were also massacred at the site. In 2008 Andrzej Wajda directed the film “Katyn.” In 2004 Russia's top military prosecutor closed the investigation after concluding that the massacre did not constitute genocide. In 2009 Russia's Supreme Court rejected appeals to re-open the investigation. On April 7, 2010, Russian PM Vladimir Putin attended a memorial ceremony. Hours later he said Stalin had ordered the atrocity as revenge for the death of Red Army soldiers in Polish prisoner of war camps in 1920.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.16)(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.A18)(AP, 3/6/05)(Econ, 6/21/08, p.65)(AP, 1/29/09)(SFC, 4/8/10, p.A2)(AP, 4/28/10)
1940 Mar 9, Britain freed captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop’s visit to Rome.
1940 Mar 10, David Rabe, playwright (Sticks and Bones, Hurlyburly), was born.
1940 Mar 10, 1st US opera was telecast in NYC: "Pagliacci."
1940 Mar 10, Mikhail Bulgakov (b.1891), Russian author, died in Moscow. His novel “The Master and Margarita,” which satirized life under Stalin, was written between 1928 and the author’s death. It was not published until 1966-67 in the Russian journal Moskva, with some 60 pages cut.
(Econ, 3/13/04, p.86)(WSJ, 1/3/09, p.W6)
1940 Mar 12, Finland surrendered to Russia. Finland and the Soviet Union concluded an armistice during World War II. Fighting between the two countries flared again the following year.
(HN, 3/12/98)(AP, 3/12/98)
1940 Mar 13, The 105-day war between Russia and Finland ended with the signing of a treaty in Moscow. Finland capitulated conditionally to Soviet terms, but maintains its independence. Some 27,000 Finnish soldiers were killed and 43,000 wounded in a population of 3.7 million. The Soviet Union put its losses at 217,500 dead or wounded.
(HN, 3/13/01)(AP, 11/30/09)
1940 Mar 14, Rita Tushingham, actress (Green Eyes, Dr Zhivago), was born in Liverpool, England.
1940 Mar 14, A truck full of migrant workers collided with a train outside McAllen, Texas. 27 people were killed and 15 injured.
1940 Mar 15, Reichsmarshal Herman Goering said 100-200 church bells are enough for Germany and smelted the rest.
1940 Mar 16, Germany launched an air raid on British fleet base at Scapa Flow.
1940 Mar 18, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini held a meeting at the Brenner Pass across the Alps during which the Italian dictator agreed to join in Germany’s war against France and Britain.
1940 Mar 20, The British RAF conducted an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.
1940 Mar 23, 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS.
1940 Mar 23, The All-India Muslim League called for a Muslim homeland.
1940 Mar 25, Anita Bryant, homophobe, singer (George Gobel Show), was born in Barnsdall, Okla.
1940 Mar 25, The U.S. agreed to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.
1940 Mar 26, Nancy Pelosi, (Representative-Democrat-CA), was born.
1940 Mar 27, Himmler ordered the building of Auschwitz concentration camp. [see Feb 21]
1940 Mar 30, The Japanese set up a puppet government called Manchuko in Nanking, China.
1940 Mar 31, The New York Municipal Airport, opened in October, 1939, was renamed La Guardia airport, after the mayor, who had been a bomber pilot in World War I and whose interest in aviation lasted throughout his lifetime, barely a month after it opened.
1940 Apr 4, Richard Rodgers' and Lorenz Hart's "Higher & Higher," premiered in NYC.
1940 Apr 8, German battle cruisers sank British aircraft carrier Glorious.
1940 Apr 8, British troops landed at Narwik to mine Norway’s territorial waters.
(ON, 11/05, p.3)
1940 Apr 9, The Nazi army invaded and occupied Denmark and Norway. German forces landed along the Norwegian coast and made a paratrooper assault on Oslo and Stavanger. After the Nazi invasion most of Denmark’s police were killed.
(WSJ, 4/29/96, p.C-1)(SFEC, 1/26/97, p.A14)(AP, 4/9/97)(ON, 11/05, p.3)
1940 Apr 10, Vidkun Quisling formed a Norwegian pro-Nazi "national government."
1940 Apr 10, The HMS Hunter, a British destroyer, went down with 110 men in the fist Battle of Narvik as the Royal Navy tried to keep German forces from overrunning a strategic Norwegian port. Germany lost 4 destroyers in the battle. In 2008 a Norwegian minehunter found the wreck
1940 Apr 12, Italy annexed Albania.
1940 Apr 13, In the 2nd battle of Narvik, 8 German destroyers were destroyed.
1940 Apr 14, Allied troops landed in Norway.
1940 Apr 15, Jeffrey Archer, English novelist and politician (Kane and Abel, Honor Among Thieves), was born.
1940 Apr 15, French and British troops landed at Narvik, Norway.
1940 Apr 16, The 1st televised baseball game on WGN-TV featured the White Sox vs. Cubs in exhibition.
1940 Apr 17, In Egypt King Farouk arrived at Tanis and ordered French archeologist Pierre Montet to open the tomb of King Amenemope, son of 21st Dynasty King Psusennes I.
(Arch, 5/05, p.25)
1940 Apr 18, Ed Garvey, labor leader for the Major League Baseball Players Association, was born.
1940 Apr 20, RCA publicly demonstrated its new and powerful electron microscope in Philadelphia, Pa.
(AP, 4/20/97)(HN, 4/20/98)(MC, 4/20/02)
1940 Apr 21, The quiz show that asked the "$64 question," "Take It or Leave It," premiered on CBS Radio.
1940 Apr 22, Rear Adm. Joseph Taussig testified before US Senate Naval Affairs Committee that war with Japan is inevitable.
1940 Apr 23, Some 200 people died in a fire at the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Miss.
1940 Apr 25, Al Pacino, actor (And Justice For All, Godfather, Scorpio), was born in NYC.
1940 Apr 28, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded "Pennsylvania 6-5000" for RCA Victor.
1940 Apr 28, Rudolf Hoess became commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz.
1940 Apr 29, Robert Sherwood's "There Shall be No Night," premiered in NYC.
1940 Apr 29, Norwegian King Haakon and government fled to England.
1940 Apr, The Germans sealed the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, with barbed wire. Lodz at this time had some 231,000 Jews, about one-third of the city’s population. Some 45,000 Jews from other parts of Nazi-occupied Europe were forced into the ghetto as well as some 5,000 Gypsies. Many died under forced labor and horrific conditions. Those remaining were killed in August, 1944.
(SSFC, 8/30/09, p.A17)
1940 May 1, Bobbie Ann Mason, American writer (Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country), was born.
1940 May 1, The 1940 Olympics were cancelled.
1940 May 1, 140 Palestinian Jews died as German planes bombed their ship.
1940 May 4, Commander Rupert Lonsdale (d.1999 at 93) took his submarine, the Seal, into the Kattegat Strait between Denmark and Sweden, to place mines in the German shipping lanes. One mine exploded and sent the vessel to the bottom. They managed to refloat after 23 hours and Lonsdale (35) surrendered the ship and 59 weary crewmen to a German seaplane. Aside from a few coastal craft and abandoned ships, the Seal was the only British warship to fall into enemy hands during WW II.
(SFC, 5/31/99, p.A17)
1940 May 5, Norwegian government in exile formed in London.
1940 May 6, A Pulitzer prize was awarded to John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath).
1940 May 7-1940 May 8, The British House of Commons debated the disastrous Norwegian campaign.
1940 May 8, Peter Benchley, novelist (Jaws, The Deep), was born.
1940 May 8, Ricky Nelson, rock star (Hello Mary Lou, It's Late, Garden Party), was born in NJ.
1940 May 8, British PM Neville Chamberlain resigned.
1940 May 8, German commandos in Dutch uniforms crossed the Dutch border to hold bridges for the advancing German army.
1940 May 9, James L. Brooks, producer, director (Broadcast News, Taxi, Critic), was born.
1940 cMay 9, The Germans made their panzer attack across the Ardennes.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)
1940 May 10, Winston Churchill took office as PM. Churchill formed a new government and served as the Conservative head of a coalition government with the opposition Labor Party. The debate over the Norway campaign led directly to Churchill replacing Chamberlain.
(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A6)(PCh, 1992, p.864)(Econ, 11/4/06, p.67)
1940 May 10, British Local Defense Volunteers, the Home Guard, formed.
1940 May 10, German forces began a blitzkrieg of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, skirting France's "impenetrable" Maginot Line. Belgium was invaded by Germany and maintained resistance for 18 days.
(WSJ, 8/1/95, p.A-8)(WSJ, 4/29/96, p.C-1)(HN, 5/10/02)
1940 May 12, The Nazi blitz conquest of France began with the crossing at the Meuse River.
(SC, Internet, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/98)
1940 May 13, Bruce Chatwin, travel writer (Patagonia), was born.
1940 May 13, The completed Maryhill Museum in Washington state opened on founder Sam Hill’s (d.1931), birthday. Much of the art collection was donated by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, wife of the California sugar magnate.
(AM, 9/01, p.10)
1940 May 13, Igor Sikorsky made the 1st free flight of his new VS-300 helicopter, the world’s first fully functional helicopter.
(ON, 3/06, p.5)(www.firstflight.org/shrine/igor_sikorsky.cfm)
1940 May 13, In his first speech as prime minister of Britain, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
(AP, 5/13/97)(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)
1940 May 13, British bombed a factory at Breda, Netherlands.
1940 May 13, Dutch Queen Wilhelmina fled to England.
1940 May 14, British and French forces began a general retreat from Belgium, heading southwest toward France.
(ON, 12/12, p.1)
1940 May 14, German breakthrough at Sedan, France.
1940 May 14, The Netherlands (Holland) surrendered to Nazi Germany after the bombing of Rotterdam that left 600-900 dead.
(HN, 5/14/98)(MC, 5/14/02)
1940 May 14, Emma Goldman, anarchist revolutionary, author (Living My Life), died in Toronto and was buried in Chicago. In 1974 Carol Bolt wrote a play on the formative years of Emma titled: "Red Emma: Queen of the Anarchists." In 1995 Ms. Bolt wrote a libretto based on the play for an opera with music by Gary Kulesha. In 1961 Richard Drinnon authored "Rebel In Paradise: A Biography of Emma Goldman." In 1971 Alex Shulman authored "To the Barricades: The Anarchist Life of Emma Goldman."
(WSJ, 12/11/95, p.A-1)(ON, 4/00, p.5)(MC, 5/14/02)
1940 May 15, Nylon stockings went on general sale for the first time in the United States. [see Oct 24, 1939]
1940 May 15, German troops occupied Amsterdam. Gen Winkelman surrendered.
1940 May 15, German armor division moved into Northern France.
1940 May 16, Bernardo Bertolucci, director (1900, Last Emperor), was born in Parma, Italy.
1940 May 16, Jacques Goudstikker, Dutch art dealer, fell on a staircase of the SS Bodegraven as the ship was refused entry at Dover. He died from a broken neck. His inventory in Amsterdam totaled some 1,400 works, which Reichsmarschall Herman Goring, Hitler’s 2nd in command, soon snapped up.
(WSJ, 7/2/08, p.D7)
1940 May 17, Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium, and began the invasion of France. [See May 12]
(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 5/17/98)
1940 May 18, German forces under Field Marshal Georg von Kuchler (1881-1968) occupied Antwerp, Netherlands.
1940 May 19, Amsterdam time became MET (Middle European Time).
1940 May 20, British Admiral Bertram H. Ramsay met with his staff beneath Dover Castle to draw up a formal plan for the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk. The plan was called “Operation Dynamo.”
(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 20, Igor Sikorsky unveiled his helicopter invention.
1940 May 20, Gen. Guderian's British expeditionary army tanks reached The Channel.
1940 May 21, Nazis surrounded the British Army at Dunkirk. British and French forces staged a counterattack near Arras, but failed to clear a path to Le Havre.
(HN, 5/21/98)(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 21, British tank forces attacked General Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division at Arras, slowing his blitzkrieg of France.
1940 May 22, Premier Winston Churchill flew to Paris.
1940 May 23, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, the Pied Pipers and featured soloist Frank Sinatra recorded "I’ll Never Smile Again" in New York for RCA.
1940 May 23, The 1st great dogfight between Spitfires took place.
1940 May 24, Joseph Brodsky, author (Less than 1, Nobel 1987), was born in the USSR.
1940 May 24, Hitler ordered a halt to his forces converging on Dunkirk and the British, who were backed to the sea. This event and the next 4 days were described in the 1999 book: "Five Days in London, May 1940" by John Lukacs.
(WSJ, 11/8/99, p.A48)
1940 May 24, Hitler affirmed Gen. von Rundstedt's "Stopbevel."
1940 May 24, German tanks reached Atrecht, France.
1940 May 25, The Golden Gate International Expo reopened.
1940 May 25, German troops conquered Boulogne and captured Calais.
(SC, 5/25/02)(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 26, Operation Dynamo was launched for the evacuation of British, French and Belgian soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France. The German Luftwaffe launched a bombing campaign on the harbor of Dunkirk. The new British Spitfire fighters helped provide air cover. The operation continued to June 4.
(ON, 3/07, p.2)(AP, 5/26/97)(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 28, Maeve Binchy, Irish writer (Circle of Friends, The Copper Beach), was born.
1940 May 28, Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase," premiered in NYC.
1940 May 28, During World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
(AP, 5/28/97)(HN, 5/28/98)
1940 May 28, During the evacuation at Dunkirk a Germany torpedo boat sank the HMS Wakeful sending over 700 men to their deaths. A Germany submarine hit the destroyer HMS Grafton killing 35 army officers. Other British destroyers mistook the British drifter Comfort for an enemy torpedo boat and killed all but 5 men aboard. The Queen of the Channel was hit by Germany bombs. Most of the 950 soldiers on board were transferred to a rescue ship before the ferry went down.
(ON, 8/12, p.3)
1940 May 28, Walter Connolly (53), actor (It Happened One Night, Good Earth), died.
1940 May 29, Germans captured Ostend and Ypres in Belgium and Lille in France.
1940 May 29, The German air force launched massive attacks on the harbor at Dunkirk. A British destroyer and 6 of the biggest merchant ships in the harbor were sunk.
(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 May 29, Arthur Seyss-Inquart was installed as Reich Commissioner of Hague, Netherlands.
1940 May 31, British General Bernard Montgomery left Dunkirk. The French government allowed French soldiers to be picked up at Dunkirk.
(MC, 5/31/02)(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 May 31, Winston Churchill flew to Paris.
1940 May, Batman No. 1, who made his first appearance in 1939 as a character in Detective Comics No. 27, was the first solo spin-off for Batman. The debut included the original appearances by two of Batman's key foes, the Joker and Catwoman.
1940 May, Hansel Mieth (d.1998), photojournalist for Life Magazine, married Ott Hagel (d.1973), free-lance photographer.
(SFC, 2/17/98, p.B8)
1940 May, Winston Churchill faced down the apostles of appeasement in his War Cabinet. In 2000 John Lukacs authored "Five Days in London, May 1940," which told of struggle in the English cabinet.
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.8)
1940 May-1944 Dec, In Austria approximately 30,000 physically and mentally disabled were killed at Hartheim Castle by gassing and lethal injection as part of the T-4 Euthanasia Program, named after the infamous Berlin address "Tiergartenstrasse 4." The castle was regularly visited by the psychiatrists Karl Brandt, Professor of Psychiatry at Würzburg University, and Werner Heyde.
1940 Jun 1, Rene Auberjonois, actor (Clayton-Benson, Star Trek Deep Space 9), was born.
1940 Jun 1, German air attacks at Dunkirk sank 31 vessels and damaged 11. The HMS Worcester limped back to Dover with 340 dead and 400 wounded. By midnight 64,429 men were landed safely in England.
(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 Jun 2, Constantine II, the deposed king of Greece (-1967), was born.
1940 Jun 2, Britain’s Operation Dynamo save 26,256 men from Dunkirk.
(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 Jun 3, In a special Maine election Margaret Chase Smith was elected to serve out the unexpired term of her late husband, Clyde Smith. At the next regular election, held 3 months later, Smith was voted to a full term in the House. She was elected to the Senate in 1948.
1940 Jun 3, The German Luftwaffe hit Paris with 1,100 bombs.
1940 Jun 4, A synthetic rubber tire was unveiled.
1940 Jun 4, The Allied military evacuation of 300,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. Operation Dynamo counted 235 vessels lost as well as 177 aircraft in combat at Dunkirk and the English Channel. French defenders surrendered. Some 30-40,000 French troops became prisoners of war.
(AP, 6/4/97)(HN, 6/4/98)(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 Jun 4, German forces entered Paris.
1940 Jun 5, The Battle of France began during World War II. Germany attacked French forces along the Somme line.
(HN, 6/5/99)(AP, 6/5/07)
1940 Jun 7, Tom Jones, singer (What's New Pussycat), was born in Pontypridd, Wales.
1940 Jun 9, Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II, effective at midnight.
1940 Jun 10, Marcus Garvey (b.1887), Jamaica-born US black leader (Back to Africa Movement), died in London. In 1964 his remains were transferred to Jamaica, where he was proclaimed Jamaica’s first national hero. In 2008 Colin Grant authored “Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Garvey)(SSFC, 5/11/08, Books p.5)
1940 Jun 10, Italy declared war on France and Britain; Canada declared war on Italy.
1940 Jun 11, Joey Dee, actor (Hey Let's Twist, 2 Tickets to Paris), was born in Passaic, NJ.
1940 Jun 11, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands arrived in Canada as an exile.
1940 Jun 11, The German invasion of France was under way and the British had been forced to abandon their defense of northwestern France and Belgium at Dunkirk.
(WSJ, 4/29/96, p.C-1)
1940 Jun 11, The Italian Air Force bombed the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean.
1940 Jun 13, Paris was evacuated before the German advance on the city.
1940 June 14. The Nazis opened their concentration camp at Auschwitz. In German-occupied Poland the first inmates arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. They were all Polish political prisoners.
(SF E&C, 1/15/1995, A-10)(AP, 6/14/97)(AP, 6/14/98)
1940 Jun 14, German troops occupied Paris and Marshal Philippe Petain became the head of the French government and sued for peace. Gertrude Stein translated Petain’s speeches and hailed him as a hero of the French nation.
(WUD, 1994, p.1683)(SFC, 6/9/96, Z1 p.5)
1940 Jun 14, The Soviets presented an ultimatum to Lithuania that demanded the free entry of an unlimited number of troops. The government surrendered and Pres. Smetona left the country.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)
1940 Jun 15, The French fortress of Verdun was captured by Germans.
1940 Jun 15, The Soviets invaded Lithuania.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)
1940 Jun 16, Dubose Heyward, US writer (Porgy, Star Spangled Virgin), died.
1940 Jun 16, French Chief of State, Henri Petain, asked for an armistice with Germany. [see Jun 17]
1940 Jun 16, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov presented August Rei, Estonia’s envoy in Moscow, an ultimatum to allow an unlimited number of Soviet troops, which was accepted. Latvia received a similar ultimatum.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)(www.historycommission.ee/temp/conclusions_frame.htm)
1940 Jun 17, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II. Marshal Henri Petain replaced Paul Reynaud, who chose to resign over surrender, as prime minister and announced his intention to sign an armistice with the Nazis. In 2000 Ernest R. May authored "Strange Victory," an account of the French defeat.
(AP, 6/17/97)(WSJ, 9/14/00, p.A24)(MC, 6/17/02)
1940 Jun 17, Gen. Charles de Gaulle flew to London.
(WSJ, 8/3/00, p.A12)
1940 Jun 17, The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
1940 Jun 18, During World War Two, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, "This was their finest hour."
1940 Jun 18, Charles de Gaulle, future president of France, broadcast to his nation from London, urging it to rally to him and fight Hitler's invading army.
1940 Jun 18, Soviet occupation was completed in the Baltics. For the Soviet intrusion into the German sphere of influence, Stalin compensated Germany with a payment of 7.5 million gold dollars.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)
1940 Jun 18, At a meeting of the Amer. Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, a USGS geologist named Joseph Thomas Pardee presented evidence that the large Glacial Lake Missoula had long ago burst its ice dam and was the source for the floodwaters that J. Harlen Bretz said formed the Scablands.
(Smith., 4/1995, p.54)
1940 Jun 19, German 7th Armour division under gen-maj Rommel occupied Cherbourg.
1940 Jun 21, Estonia’s Pres. Päts appointed a new government led by PM Johannes Vares under pressure from Andrei Zhdanov, head of the Leningrad branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1940 Jun 21, Wolfgang Doblin, German-French mathematician, died. He committed suicide in Housseras (a small village near to Epinal), at the moment when German troops came in sight of the place. His work to describe the random movement of particles was later found to contain an important building block of the Black-Scholes equation.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Doeblin)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.82)
1940 Jun 21, German occupiers disbanded the Dutch States-General, Council of State.
1940 Jun 22, During World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris. France and Germany signed an armistice at Compiegne, on terms dictated by the Nazis. Alsace again became part of Germany.
(AP, 6/22/97)(HN, 6/22/98)(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.T4)
1940 Jun 23, Wilma Rudolph (d.1994), the first African American to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad, was born. At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, she became the first American to win three gold medals. Her athleticism was remarkable since Rudolph contracted polio as a small child and spent six years in a steel brace. With therapy and hard work, Rudolph overcame her handicap to excel in basketball and track. As a celebrity, she worked to break many gender and racial barriers. Rudolph died of brain cancer in 1994.
1940 Jun 24, France signed an armistice with Italy after the axis country attacked a portion of southern France during Germany's blitzkrieg.
(AP, 6/24/97)(HN, 6/24/99)
1940 Jun 24, The Republican Convention, opened in Philadelphia. In 2005 Charles Peters authored “Five Days in Philadelphia.” An account of the convention and how it freed FDR to move against Hitler.
(WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(http://tinyurl.com/e3xrw)
1940 Jun 25, Adolf Hitler viewed the Eiffel tower and tomb of Napoleon in Paris.
1940 Jun 27, USSR returned to the Gregorian calendar.
1940 Jun 27, Soviet Army attacked Romania. Before the end of the month the Soviet Union delivered an ultimatum to Romania and 2 days later occupied Bessarabia and North Bukovina.
(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)(MC, 6/27/02)
1940 Jun 28, The Republican Convention, held in Philadelphia, nominated Wendall Willkie (d.1944) for US president. In 2005 Charles Peters authored “Five Days in Philadelphia.” An account of the convention and how it freed FDR to move against Hitler.
(WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(http://tinyurl.com/e3xrw)
1940 Jun 29, In the Batman Comics, mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick (Robin) an orphan.
1940 Jun 29, Paul Klee (b.1879), Swiss-German painter, tutor (Modern Art), died in Switzerland. In 2005 the Klee Center, designed by Renzo Piano, opened in Bern.
(www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/klee/)(Econ, 7/23/05, p.79)
1940 Jun 30, "Brenda Starr," a cartoon strip by Dale Messick, a woman, appeared in a Chicago Tribune insert. In Dec, 2010, Tribune Media Services announced that it was ending the feature’s newspaper syndication.
(SFC, 12/10/10, p.A14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Starr_%28comic_strip%29)
1940 Jun, President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Vannevar Bush director of the newly formed National Defense Research Committee to continue U.S. nuclear research. In response to a plea by scientists Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard, FDR initiated a modest program of uranium research in 1939. By June 1940, interest in uranium and its properties had increased to the point that the president created a larger organization, the National Defense Research Committee, with a broader scope of activity. He named as director Vannevar Bush, the president of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. The slowly growing effort gained further impetus in mid-1941 from a startling British document code-named the "MAUD Report." Based on British nuclear research, the report stated that a very small amount of uranium-235 could produce an explosion equivalent to that of several thousand tons of TNT. Roosevelt responded by creating a still larger organization, the Office of Scientific Research and Development, which, directed by Bush, would mobilize scientific resources to create an atomic weapon.
1940 Jun, Hitler confided to Mussolini his plan to ship Jews to Madagascar.
(WSJ, 3/23/04, p.D8)
1940 Jun, The Germans began to loot the artwork of Paris and more than 70,000 residences were plundered. A lot of artwork was sold to the Emil Buhrle Foundation in Switzerland, the largest buyer of confiscated French art. The story is told by Hector Feliciano in his 1997 book: "The Lost Museum." The best book on the fate of European art in WW II was reported to be "The Rape of Europa" by Lynn Nicholas.
(SFEC, 7/6/97, BR p.7)
1940 Jul 1, The Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state opened to the public. The initial design by Clark Eldridge had been redesigned by NYC consultant Leo Moisseiff, who replaced a 25-foot deep stiffening truss with an 8-foot truss to reduce costs.
(ON, 6/09, p.8)
1940 Jul 1, Australia refused entry to Dutch Jewish refugees.
1940 Jul 2, Georgi Ivan Ivanov, 1st Bulgarian space traveler (Soyuz 33), was born.
1940 Jul 2, The Lake Washington Floating bridge in Seattle was dedicated.
1940 Jul 3, British Royal Navy sank a French fleet in North Africa, ten days after France had signed an armistice with Nazi Germany.
1940 Jul 4, British destroyed French battle fleet at Oran, Algeria, 1267 died.
1940 Jul 5, During World War II, Britain and the Vichy government in France broke diplomatic relations.
1940 Jul 7, Ringo Starr, drummer for the Beatles, was born. He went on to a solo career and acting.
1940 Jul 9, German Evangelist Church protested against euthanasia programs.
1940 Jul 10, During World War II, the 114-day Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces began attacking southern England by air. By October 31, Britain managed to repel the Luftwaffe, which suffered heavy losses. Reginald Mitchell (1895-1937), the designer of the Spitfire, and Sydney Camm, the designer of the Hurricane, were both saviors. Both fighters were necessary to win the battle. The R.A.F.’s Fighter Command began the Battle of Britain with about 650 Hurricanes and Spitfires, and lost over 900 of same during the course of the battle; enormous production of replacements made good the losses to such an extent that at times during the battle, Fighter Command had over 900 operational Hurricanes and Spitfires. In his book "The Air War 1939-1945," Richard J. Overy wrote, ". . . the Spitfire took two and a half times the man hours that it took to produce a Hurricane fighter." In overall performance the Spitfire was slightly better than the Hurricane, but the above production figures give some clue to the Hurricane’s importance. Re the Luftwaffe heavy bomber: The Luftwaffe had a couple of four-engine bombers, the Heinkel He-177 and the Focke Wulf FW-200, but neither were produced in large numbers, and neither were in the same league as the American B-17, B-24, or B-29, or the British Lancaster. Hitler was fascinated by high-tech "super weapons" and attempted to produce them at the expense of more worthwhile, conventional ones. This was a guy who, when nearly everyone else knew Germany was finished, wanted to build a 1,500-ton tank and a long-range rocket to attack the United States!
(AP, 7/10/97)(ON, 3/07, p.2)(ExH, 3/23/98)
1940 Jul 10-1940 Oct 31, The Battle of Britain in July-October of 1940 was an earth-shakingly decisive campaign (not just a battle). Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe gathered over 2,500 combat planes for a bombing campaign that would be a prelude to "Operation Sea Lion" (an invasion of Britain). British Air Marshall Hugh C. Dowding’s Royal Air Force’s Fighter Command could muster about 650 decent fighters (Hurricanes and Spitfires). The Luftwaffe came perilously close to wearing down the R.A.F., but at about that time, a German bomber accidentally dropped bombs on London, Churchill bombed Berlin, and Hitler switched the Luftwaffe’s attack from the R.A.F. to London, giving the R.A.F. a breather. The Luftwaffe’s bombers carried too small a bomb load for a strategic bombing campaign and were inadequately armed to defend themselves against R.A.F. fighters. The Luftwaffe’s Me-109 fighter lacked the range to provide sufficient escort for the bombers, which were massacred by Hurricanes and Spitfires. The Germans knew that the British radar installations existed, and did launch some attacks upon them, but never realized how vital radar truly was in directing R.A.F. fighters to intercept raiding aircraft. In 1969 the film “Battle of Britain” starred Laurence Olivier as Hugh C. Dowding.
(ExC, JWL, 3/20/98)(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.W10)
1940 Jul 12, Rufus Robinson and Earl Cooley (1911-2009) jumped out of a Travelair plane to fight the a forest fire in Idaho’s Nez Perce National Forest. The were the first smoke-jumpers.
(SFC, 9/14/96, p.B5)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.102)
1940 Jul 13, Patrick Stewart, actor (Picard-Star Trek Next Generation), was born in England.
1940 Jul 14, Due to beanball wars, Spalding advertised batting helmet with earflaps.
1940 Jul 14, A force of German Ju-88 bombers attacked Suez, Egypt, from bases in Crete.
1940 Jul 14, Lithuania became Lithuanian SSR.
1940 Jul 16, Adolf Hitler ordered the preparations to begin on the invasion of England, Operation Sea Lion.
1940 Jul 18, The Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated President Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office.
1940 Jul 18, The 1st successful helicopter flight was made at Stratford, Ct.
1940 Jul 19, Hitler ordered Great Britain to surrender.
1940 Jul 21, The new USSR-organized parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania held simultaneous sessions. They declared their countries to be soviet socialist republics and applied for admission to the USSR.
1940 Jul 23, German bombers began the "Blitz," the all-night air raids on London.
1940 Jul 23, Don Imus, later radio personality, was born in Riverside, Ca.
(SSFC, 4/21/02, Par p.22)
1940 Jul 23, John Nichols, novelist and essayist (The Milagro Beanfield War), was born.
1940 Jul 25, John Sigmund began swimming for 89 hrs 46 mins in the Mississippi River.
1940 Jul 26, Mary Jo Kopechne (d.1969), killed while driving with Ted Kennedy, was born.
1940 Jul 26, In Iran the Shah's police squad unexpectedly arrived at the residence of opposition politician Mohammad Mossadegh (1888-1967), searching and ransacking his house. Although no incriminating evidence against him was found, he was taken to the central prison in Tehran nonetheless. Mossadegh was released in November, but was kept under house arrest until 1941 when Mohammad Reza, ascended to the throne.
1940 Jul 27, Bharati Mukherjee, Indian novelist (The Middleman and Other Stories), was born.
1940 Jul 27, Bugs Bunny made his official debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "A Wild Hare." This marked the beginning of the Bugs Bunny series by Fred "Tex" Avery along with the rhetorical "What’s up, Doc?"
(AP, 7/27/97)(SFEC, 10/5/97, Z1 p.6)
1940 Jul 28, Phil Proctor, comedian (Firesign Theater), was born.
1940 Jul 30, A bombing lull ended the first phase of the Battle of Britain.
1940 Jul 31, Reich's Kommissar Seyss-Inquart banned homosexuals.
1940 Jul, In Japan Mount Mijakejima erupted and left 11 people dead.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, p.A17)
1940 Jul, Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch diplomat, and Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat, worked together to save some 2,000 thousand Polish Jews, who had fled to Lithuania by issuing them visas for Japan, China and the Dutch colonies in South America. Zwartendijk wrote out the so called Curacao visas, while Sugihara issued the transit visas. The Sugihara family was later captured by the Russians and placed in a concentration camp for 1 1/2 years.
(SFC, 9/7/96, p.A13)(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A16)(www.remember.org/witness/righteous.html)
1940 Jul, Avila Camacho was elected president of Mexico. He agreed to compensate the multi-nationals for their oil losses and a new market for Mexican oil opened, i.e. the US.
1940 Aug 1, The idea of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was formally announced by Japan’s Foreign Minister Matsuoka Yosuke, in a press interview, but had already existed in various forms for many years. Japan urged the nations of the region to unite in one economic sphere, ousting the colonial powers and enjoying economic prosperity together. The concept was used to justify Japan's seizure of raw materials from throughout Southeast Asia to further its drive for economic, political and military domination of East Asia. The Sphere was intended to include, in addition to Japan, China, Manchukuo, Southeast Asia and the Pacific mandates islands.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_East_Asia_Co-prosperity_Sphere)(HNQ, 2/8/00)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.43)
1940 Aug 2, Clermont-Ferrand sentenced Gen. Charles de Gaulle to death. [see Aug 4]
1940 Aug 3, John W. Carlin, Gov-D-KS, was born.
1940 Aug 3, Martin Sheen, actor (Subject Was Roses, Wall St), was born.
1940 Aug 3, The Supreme Soviet officially registered the acceptance of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the USSR.
1940 Aug 4, The Paris Soir reported that Gen. Charles de Gaulle had been condemned to death in absentia for treason by a Vichy military court.
(WSJ, 8/3/00, p.A12)
1940 Aug 7, Churchill recognized the De Gaulle government in exile.
1940 Aug 8, The German Luftwaffe attacked Great Britain for the first time, beginning the Battle of Britain.
1940 Aug 11, 38 German aircrafts were shot down over England.
1940 Aug 11, Italian forces attacked Observation Hill in British Somaliland. Capt. Wilson and Somali gunners under his command beat off the attack and opened fire on the enemy troops attacking Mill Hill, another post within his range. The enemy finally overran the post at 5 p.m. on the 15th August when Capt. Wilson, fighting to the last, was reportedly killed. 2 months later he was awarded a Victoria Cross. In April 1941, however, Wilson was found alive in a prisoner of war camp in Eritrea. Wilson died at age 96 on Dec 23, 2008.
1940 Aug 12, Luftwaffe bombed British radar stations and lost 31 aircraft.
1940 Aug 13, Der Adler Tag (Eagle Day) was the name given to the day the German Luftwaffe launched an all-out offensive against the Royal Air Force and the British aircraft industry in southern England. With this action, Adolf Hitler hoped to knock out any aerial resistance to his planned invasion of the British Isles. RAF fighter pilots successfully held off the numerically superior Luftwaffe, in spite of the loss of 415 pilots out of a force of 1,500.
1940 Aug 15, In the largest–scale raids in the history of aerial warfare, hundreds of Germany planes struck against London and its suburbs. Hitler’s planned Operation Sea Lion was to have commenced on this day. However it was cancelled on Aug 17 following heavy German air raid losses. In 2008 Michael Korda authored “With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain.”
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.W10)
1940 Aug 16, Bruce Beresford, Australian film director, was born. His films include "Breaker Morant" and "Driving Miss Daisy."
1940 Aug 16, 45 German aircrafts were shot down over England.
1940 Aug 17, President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King met in Ogdensburg, N.Y., where they agreed to set up a joint defense commission.
1940 Aug 17, Wendell Willkie, a former Democrat, delivered his formal acceptance speech as the Republican nominee for president from his home in Elwood, Indiana.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A12)(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.C17)(http://tinyurl.com/e3xrw)
1940 Aug 18, Walter Chrysler (b.1875), the founder of Chrysler Corporation, died. He was a locomotive mechanic who founded Chrysler in 1924 with money and experience gained as general manager of Buick and executive VP of GM. He oversaw the purchase of Dodge Brothers, which was much bigger than Chrysler at the time. In 2000 Vincent Curcio authored "Chrysler: The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius."
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)(HNQ, 8/21/99)(WSJ, 8/10/00, p.A16)
1940 Aug 18, The Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), was installed as Governor of the Bahamas. He had served as Britain’s King Edward VIII in 1936. Edward continued as governor of the Bahamas to 1945.
1940 Aug 18, 71 German aircraft were shot down above England.
1940 Aug 20, Radar is used for the first time, by the British during the Battle of Britain.
1940 Aug 20, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
1940 Aug 20, Ramon Mercador (Mercader) del Rio, a Spanish Communist, posed as a Canadian businessman (aka Frank Jackson) and fatally wounded Leon Trotsky with an alpine ax to the back of the head in Mexico City. Trotsky died the next day.
(WSJ, 3/29/96, p.A-14)(TMC, 1994, p.1940)(SFC, 7/19/96, p.B1)(HN, 8/20/01)
1940 Aug 21, Leon Trotsky, exiled Communist revolutionary, died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin the day before. Earlier this year Josef Grigulevich (27), a Lithuania-born KGB agent, established a safe house at Zook's Pharmacy in Santa Fe, NM, for the assassins of Leon Trotsky. The pharmacy, visible in archive photos, was replaced in 1990 by a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop. Grigulevich was recruited by Soviet strongman Josef Stalin's secret police as a university student in Paris and learned the assassin's trade during the Spanish civil war. He later published 58 books on Latin American history. In 2011 intelligence expert E.B. Held authored "A Spy's Guide to Albuquerque and Santa Fe."
(AP, 8/21/08)(AFP, 2/4/11)
1940 Aug 23, German Luftwaffe began night bombing on London.
1940 Aug 24, Luftwaffe bombed London.
1940 Aug 25, The first parachute wedding ceremony was performed by Rev. Homer Tomlinson at the New York City World’s Fair for Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward. The minister, bride and groom, best man, maid of honor and four musicians were all suspended from parachutes.
1940 Aug 25, Jose Van Dam, bass-baritone, was born in Brussels, Belgium.
1940 Aug 25, The 1st (British) night bombing of Germany was over Berlin.
1940 Aug 25, The ‘parliaments’ of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania declared themselves ‘provisional Supreme Soviets’ and adopted new constitutions that were composed according to the example of the constitutions of already existing union republics of the USSR.
1940 Aug 31, US National Guard assembled.
1940 Aug 31, Jack Thompson of Australia, actor (Breaker Morant), was born.
1940 Aug 31, Joseph Avenol stepped down as Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
1940 Aug 31, 56 U-boats were sunk this month (268,000 ton).
1940 Aug 31, Fighter Command lost 39 and the Luftwaffe lost 41 airplanes.
1940 Aug, The Armies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were reorganized as territorial rifle corps of the Red Army and placed under the control of the political leaders of the Red Army.
1940 Aug, US Army cryptoanalysts under William F. Friedman succeeded in breaking Japan's top secret Purple Code, which was used for diplomatic communications.
(WSJ, 12/7/99, p.A24)
1940 Aug, In France Jacques Robert (d.1998 at 83) joined the French Resistance. He set up the Resistance group named Phratrie in 1942. In 1943 he was arrested in Nice, but escaped to London. He parachuted back to France to lead guerrilla operations in 1944 during the Normandy invasion.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.A18)
1940 Sep 1, Gen. George Marshall was sworn in as chief of staff of US army.
1940 Sep 2, The US Great Smoky Mountains National Park dedicated.
1940 Sep 3, Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five recorded "Summit Ridge Drive," "Special Delivery Stomp," "Keepin’ Myself for You" and "Cross Your Heart" in Hollywood for RCA Victor.
1940 Sep 3, The 1st showing of high definition color TV.
1940 Sep 3, US gave Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for Newfoundland base lease.
1940 Sep 3, In France more than 700,000 books were seized from bookshops and destroyed. The "Otto lists," or liste Otto, were comprised of books banned by the German occupying authorities in Vichy France. By September, 1940, 1,060 titles were on the list. The list aimed to ban anti-German, antifascist, pro-Marxists books, works by Jewish authors and British and American books.
(HNQ, 8/16/98)(AP, 8/15/98)
1940 Sep 3, In Germany the SS banned Free Masons, Rotary & Red Cross.
1940 Sep 5, Raquel Welch, Chic Ill, (Myra Breckenridge, 1,000,000 BC, 100 Rifles), was born.
1940 Sep 7, Nazi Germany began its initial blitz on London during the World War II Battle of Britain. The German Luftwaffe blitzed London for the 1st of 57 consecutive nights. Nazi Germany launched the aerial bombing of London that Adolf Hitler believed would soften Britain for an invasion. The invasion, "Operation Sea Lion," never materialized. The Luftwaffe lost 41 bombers over England. The blitz only strengthened Britain's resistance. The defense of London was for the Royal Air Force what Churchill called "their finest hour."
(AP, 9/7/97)(HN, 9/7/98)
1940 Sep 9, 28 German aircraft were shot down above England.
1940 Sep 9, Italian troops under Marshal Graziani attacked Egypt. Rodolfo Graziani (1882-1955) was already known as the “Butcher of Ethiopia.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodolfo_Graziani)(Econ, 9/14/13, p.20)
1940 Sep 11, Brian DePalma, film director (Body Double, Dressed to Kill), was born in Newark, NJ.
1940 Sep 12, The Lascaux Caves in France, with their prehistoric wall paintings, were discovered in the Dordogne region. 4 teens, following their dog down a hole near Lascaux France discover 17,000-year-old drawings now known as Lascaux Cave Paintings. The paintings consisting mostly of animal representations (horses), are among the finest examples of art from the Paleolithic period.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, p.T4)(HN, 9/12/00)(MC, 9/12/01)
1940 Sep 13, Buckingham Palace was hit by German bombs causing superficial damage.
1940 Sep 14, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in U.S. history. It passed by one vote.
(AP, 9/14/97)(SFEC, 8/27/00, BR p.4)
1940 Sep 15, The tide turned in Battle of Britain in WW II. A reported 185 German planes were shot down by Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots, forcing Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to abandon his invasion plans.
1940 Sep 15, Sergeant Ray Holmes (1915-2005) slammed his Hurricane into a German Dornier bomber to prevent it attacking Buckingham Palace. The date of 15 September has come to be known as Battle of Britain Day and has been commemorated every year since.
1940 Sep 16, President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history.
(AP, 9/16/97)(HN, 9/16/98)
1940 Sep 16, Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1940 Sep 16, The Luftwaffe bombed the Bristol Aeroplane Company.
1940 Sep 17, Nazis deprived Jews of possessions.
1940 Sep 17, Lithuanian Activist Front or LAF (Lithuanian: Lietuvos aktyvistų frontas), a short-lived resistance organization, was established after Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. The LAF was ferociously anti-Polish and anti-Jewish.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_Activist_Front)(Econ, 2/12/11, p.60)
1940 Sep 18, 19 German aircraft were shot down above England.
1940 Sep 19, A Nazi decree forbade gentile woman to work in Jewish homes.
1940 Sep 24, Luftwaffe bombed the Spitfire factory in Southampton. [see Sep 25]
1940 Sep 25, German High Commissioner in Norway set up the Vidikun Quisling government.
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A10)(MC, 9/25/01)
1940 Sep 25, Luftwaffe bombed the Spitfire factory in Southampton. [see Sep 24]
1940 Sep 26, During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffered a hit when a bomb exploded on the Clive Steps.
1940 Sep 26, W.H. Davies (b.1871), a Welsh poet, died in England. He had lived the life of a hobo in America and authored “Autobiography of a Supertramp” (1908).
(Econ, 8/31/13, p.14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._H._Davies)
1940 Sep 26, Japanese troops attacked French Indochina (Vietnam).
1940 Sep 27, Black leaders protested discrimination in US armed forces.
1940 Sep 27, 55 German aircrafts were shot down above England.
1940 Sep 27, Nazi-Germany, Italy and Japan signed a formal alliance called Tripartite Pact, a 10 year military and economic alliance strengthening the Axis alliance.
1940 Sep 29, In the SF Bay Area the $7.8 Int'l. Exposition on Treasure Island closed at a financial loss. During its 2 seasons some 17 million people visited the 404-acre man made island.
(Ind, 1/23/99, p.5A)(SFC, 8/16/13, p.C3)
1940 Sep 30, 47 German aircrafts were shot down above England.
1940 Sep, 59 U-boats were sunk this month.
1940 Sep, Frank B. Rowlett (d.1998 at 90), cryptographer, supervised a team of code-breakers, who after 18 months work, cracked the chief Japanese diplomatic cipher machine, called PURPLE by US officials.
(SFC, 7/4/98, p.C2)
1940 Sep, Witold Pilecki (1901-1948), a Catholic cavalry officer and founder of the Secret Polish Army (1939), infiltrated Auschwitz to spy on what was happening there. He escaped Auschwitz in April 1943, but was executed by the Soviets in 1948.
(Econ, 1/30/10, p.61)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witold_Pilecki)(AP, 8/30/12)
1940 Autumn, Maurice Schumann (d.1998 at 86), "the voice of France," began wartime broadcasting "The French Speak to the French" from London as the official spokesman for Gen’l. de Gaulle.
(SFC, 2/11/98, p.A24)
1940 Oct 1, The first section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 160 miles in length, was opened to the public.
1940 Oct 2, 17 German aircrafts were shot down above England.
1940 Oct 2, The British liner Empress, loaded with refugees for Canada, sank.
1940 Oct 3, U.S. Army adopted airborne, or parachute, soldiers.
1940 Oct 3, In France a law was passed that placed great restrictions on French Jews.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A9)
1940 Oct 4, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps, where the Nazi leader sought Italy’s help in fighting the British.
1940 Oct 5, Silvestre Revueltas, Mexican composer: Cuauhnahuac/Planos, died at 40.
1940 Oct 6, San Francisco’s new Fleishhacker Zoo opened.
(SFC, 7/30/04, p.E15)
1940 Oct 7, Artie Shaw and his Orchestra recorded Hoagy Carmichael’s "Stardust" for RCA Victor.
1940 Oct 8, German troops occupied Romania.
1940 Oct 9, Otto Kallir, owner of the Galerie St. Etienne in Manhattan, opened a show featuring the art work of Anna Mary Moses (77). A reported embellished her name as Grandma Moses. Three paintings of 34, priced from $20-250, were sold. Her popularity rose rapidly following a Thanksgiving show at Gimbels department store.
(ON, 8/20/11, p.11)
1940 Oct 9, John Winston Lennon (d.1980) was born in Liverpool, England. Composer; musician; one fourth of the idolized rock group, The Beatles; 2nd wife was Yoko Ono he had two children Julian (from his first wife who he mostly abandoned emotionally and financially) and Sean. On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building. "The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that. Unknown is what it is. Accept that it's unknown and it's plain sailing."
(HN, 10/9/98)(AP, 12/8/98)(MC, 10/9/01)
1940 Oct 10, General Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) began serving a 4-year term as Cuba's 14th president.
1940 Oct 15, Charles Chaplin's first all-talking comedy, "The Great Dictator," a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened at two theaters in New York with Chaplin and his wife, co-star Paulette Goddard, making appearances in both locations.
1940 Oct 15-16, London's Waterloo Station was bombed by Germans. The bombing continued on London for 2 days and killed 400 people.
1940 Oct 16, Benjamin O. Davis became the U.S. Army’s first African American Brigadier General.
1940 Oct 16, The 1st lottery for US WW II draftees was held; #158 drawn 1st.
1940 Oct 16, The Warsaw Ghetto was formed by Nazi SS troops.
1940 Oct 18, Kaufman's & Harts "George Washington Slept Here," premiered in NYC.
1940 Oct 18, Britain reopened the Burma Road linking Myanmar with China, three months after closing it.
1940 Oct 20, Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate, was born.
1940 Oct 20, German troops reached the approaches to Moscow.
1940 Oct 21, Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was published.
1940 Oct 23, Pele, legendary Brazilian soccer player who scored 1,281 goals in 22 years, was born.
1940 Oct 24, F. Murray Abraham, actor (Amadeus, Mad Man), was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1940 Oct 24, The 40-hour work week went into effect in the US under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.
1940 Oct 24, Hitler met Marshal Petain.
1940 Oct 24, Protestant churches [in Germany?] protested against the dismissal of Jewish civil servants.
1940 Oct 25, The musical play “Cabin in the Sky” opened with an all black cast at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway. It featured Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) and her dance troupe.
1940 Oct 25, Col. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. (1877-1970), commander of the 369th Infantry of New York, was promoted to brigadier general. In 1955 his son became the first black brigadier general in the Air Force. In 1989 Biographer Marvin Fletcher authored “America's First Black General, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., 1880-1970.” Fletcher presented evidence of Davis’ birth records indicating that he was born in May 1880 and later lied about his age so that he could enlist in the Army without the permission of his parents.
1940 Oct 25, German troops captured Kharkov and launched a new drive toward Moscow.
1940 Oct 25, Hitler visited Mussolini in Florence.
1940 Oct 25, The Greek Army beat back an invasion by Mussolini’s forces.
1940 Oct 26, Mario Orosco, the 1st victim of NYC's Zodiac killer (survives), was born.
1940 Oct 27, Maxine Hong Kingston, writer, was born. Her work included "The Woman Warrior" and "China Men."
1940 Oct 27, The 1939 New York World’s Fair officially closed. In 2010 James Mauro authored “Twilight at the world of tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World’s Fair on the Brink of War.”
1940 Oct 28, Italy invaded Greece, launching six divisions on four fronts from occupied Albania. Greece successfully resisted Italy's attack.
(AP, 10/28/97)(HN, 10/28/98)(MC, 10/28/01)
1940 Oct 28, A meeting between Hitler and Mussolini took place in Florence.
1940 Oct 29, John Gotti, mafia head, was born.
1940 Oct 29, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number -- 158 -- in America’s first peacetime military draft.
1940 Oct 30, Cole Porter musical "Panama Hattie," premiered in NYC.
1940 Oct 31, 63 U boats were sunk this month (325,000 ton).
1940 Oct 31, In the Battle of Britain, the German and British duel for control of English Channel, ended.
1940 Oct 31, This was the deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto.
1940 Oct, The 634-page "Ohio Guide" was published by Oxford Univ. Press. It was a product of the Ohio branch of the Federal Writer’s Project.
(MT, Sum. ‘98, p.6)
1940 Nov 1, 1st US air raid shelter was made in Fleetwood, Pa.
1940 Nov 1, The Iceland skating rink opened in Berkeley, Ca., with an appearance by Sonya Henie, the former Olympic champion and Hollywood actress. The facility closed in 2007.
(SFC, 1/19/07, p.B2)
1940 Nov 4, Lewis Hine, American social-documentary photographer, died. Hine, a former geography teacher, had quit his job in 1908 to become a full-time photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.
(WSJ, 11/12/99, p.W10)(ON, 3/07, p.6)
1940 Nov 5, President Roosevelt won an unprecedented third term in office, beating Republican challenger Wendell L. Willkie along with Surprise Party challenger Gracie Allen.
(AP, 11/5/97)(HN, 11/5/98)(WSJ, 10/27/04, p.B1)
1940 Nov 7, The middle section of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, nicknamed "Galloping Gertie," collapsed during a windstorm. In 1950 a new fortified bridge was built on the original piers.
(AP, 11/7/08)(ON, 6/09, p.9)
1940 Nov 8, The MV City of Rayville, an American freighter carrying a cargo of lead, wool and copper from Australia to New York, sank in the Bass Strait after striking a German mine, a year before the United States entered the war. One seaman drowned while trying to recover personal items from the sinking vessel but 37 other crew survived. In 2009 the wreck was found off of Australia’s southeastern coast.
1940 Nov 10, Arthur Neville Chamberlain (71), British premier (1937-40), died.
1940 Nov 11, Willys unveiled its General Purpose vehicle, the "Jeep." The Willys Quad, featuring 4-wheel drive, was one entry in a US government competition for a small military utility vehicle.
(MC, 11/11/01)(WSJ, 9/16/05, p.W12)
1940 Nov 11, Blizzard struck midwestern US killing over 100.
1940 Nov 11, Frank Taussig (b.1859), former president of the American Economic Association (1904-1905) and Harvard professor, died. In 1911 he authored the “Principles of Economics.” In 1912 he stated: “We must accept the consumer as the final judge.”
(www.britannica.com/eb/article-9071417)(Econ, 1/14/06, p.76)
1940 Nov 11, Britain’s Royal Navy attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto.
1940 Nov 12, Walt Disney released "Fantasia."
1940 Nov 12, Blizzard struck the Midwest. 154 died including 69 on a boat on the Great Lakes.
1940 Nov 13, The Walt Disney animated movie "Fantasia" had its world premiere in New York.
1940 Nov 13, U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hansberry v. Lee that African Americans cannot be barred from white neighborhoods.
1940 Nov 14, Coventry, England, was devastated by German bombers in the worst air raid of World War II, killing 1,000.
(AP, 11/14/97)(HN, 11/14/98)
1940 Nov 15, The first US 75,000 men were called to Armed Forces duty under peacetime conscription.
1940 Nov 15, NY Midtown tunnel linking Manhattan and Queens opened to traffic.
1940 Nov 17, The Wisconsin Green Bay Packers became the 1st NFL team to travel by plane.
1940 Nov 19, A German air raid on Birmingham failed.
1940 Nov 22, Terry Gilliam, comedy author-animator (Monty Python), was born in Minneapolis.
1940 Nov 25, Woody Woodpecker debuted with the release of Walter Lantz's "Knock Knock."
1940 Nov 25, The ship Patria, carrying illegal immigrants, sank in port of Haifa, 200 died.
1940 Nov 26, The half-million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced by the Nazis to live within a walled ghetto.
1940 Nov 27, Bruce Lee, [Lee Yuen Kam], karate star and actor (Green Hornet), was born in SF, Calif.
1940 Nov 27, Astonescu's Iron Guard massacred over sixty aides of the exiled king, including Nicolae Iorga, a former minister and acclaimed historian. Two months prior General Ion Antonescu seized power in Romania and forced King Carol II to abdicate.
1940 Nov, The Nazi Bielfield memorandum argued for the seizure of Belgian and French Congo, Equatorial French Africa and a large portion of French West Africa; naval bases were earmarked for Dakar, Conakry and the Canary Islands, while Madagascar was reserved as a ‘dumping-ground’ for Jews. This vast area was to be exploited for its natural resources, upon which Germany’s European empire would be built.
1940 Dec 1, Richard Pryor Ill, comedian and actor (Lady Sings the Blues, Stir Crazy), was born.
1940 Dec 5, Jan Kubelik (60), composer, died.
1940 Dec 6, The Gestapo arrested Helen Ernst, German resistance fighter and poster artist.
1940 Dec 8, During the Battle of Britain, the German Luftwaffe launched a massive attack on London as night fell. For nearly 24 hours, the Luftwaffe rained tons of bombs over the city, causing the first serious damage to the House of Commons and Tower of London.
1940 Dec 9, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II and seized 1,000 Italians in a sudden thrust in Egypt.
(AP, 12/9/97)(HN, 12/9/98)
1940 Dec 9, Illegal Jewish immigrants to Haifa were deported to Mauritius.
1940 Dec 16, British carried out an air raid on Italian Somalia.
1940 Dec 18, Hitler dictated Directive No. 21 to crush Russia in a quick campaign. Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (Operation "Barbarossa" was launched in June 1941.)
(SFC,10/29/97, p.A23)(AP, 12/18/97)
1940 Dec 19, Phil Ochs, anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), was born in El Paso, Tx.
1940 Dec 21, Frank Zappa, rocker (Mothers of Invention, Catholic Girls), was born in Baltimore.
1940 Dec 21, F. Scott Fitzgerald (44), American author (Zelda, The Great Gatsby), died of a heart attack.
1940 Dec 22, Nathanael West (b.1902), [Weinstein], US writer (Cool Million), died in an auto accident at age 37. In 1962 Stanley Edgar Hyman authored “Nathanael West.” In 1970 Jay Martin authored the biography: "Nathanael West: The Art of His Life." In 2010 Marion Meade authored “Lonely Hearts: The Screwball world of Nathanael West and Eileen McKeney.”
(WUD, 1994, p.1623)(WSJ, 8/11/97, p.A12)(SFC, 5/25/10, p.E2)
1940 Dec 23, Chiang Kai-shek dissolved all Communist associations in China.
1940 Dec 26, J.A. Fields' and J. Chodorov's "My Sister Eileen," premiered in NYC.
1940 Dec 29, In a radio interview, President Roosevelt proclaimed the U.S. is the ‘arsenal of democracy.’
1940 Dec 29, During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as "The Second Great Fire of London." In 2006 Margaret Gaskin authored “Blitz: The Story of December 29, 1940.”
(AP, 12/29/97)(SSFC, 12/17/06, p.M3)
1940 Dec 30, In California the Arroyo Seco Parkway, connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, officially opened as the first freeway in the Western US.
(AP, 12/30/97)(SFC, 3/7/98, p.A18)
1940 Martin Sheen, actor, was born as Ramon Estevez in Dayton, Ohio.
(SSFC, 12/2/01, Par p.4)
1940 A group of 14 bronze sculptures by Swedish sculptor Carl Miles were installed in St. Louis to celebrate the meeting of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
(SFC, 10/12/97, p.T5)
1940 Max Beckman (d.1950), German-American painter, painted his oil "Acrobat on a Trapeze."
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.F3)
1940 Andre Breton held the Int’l. Surrealist Exhibition in Mexico City. Included was the photograph "The Good Reputation Sleeping" by Alvarez Bravo.
(WSJ, 3/12/97, p.A16)
1940 Alexander Calder created his mobile sculpture "Little Spider" from sheet metal and wire.
(SFC, 3/28/98, p.D1)
1940 Frederick C. Flemister painted his self-portrait "Man With a Brush." It was used as the cover painting for the 1999 book "To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities."
(SFEC, 9/26/99, Par p.13)
1940 Frido Kahlo created her "Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird."
(SFC, 1/7/99, p.D3)
1940 Eric Ambler wrote his spy thriller "Journey into Fear."
(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A22)
1940 The photography book "California and the West" was written by Chris Wilson with photos by Edward Weston. It was the first really successful book of photographic reproductions.
(SFEC, 7/5/98, BR p.7)
1940 Mortimer Adler (d.2001), philosopher and author, authored "How to Read a Book."
(SFC, 6/30/01, p.A18)
1940 Gracie Allen, with the help of a ghostwriter, authored “How to Become President.”
(WSJ, 10/27/04, p.B1)
1940 Jean Potter Chelnov wrote "Alaska Under Arms."
(SFC, 1/8/96, p.A17)
1940 Wang Chi-ch’ien, aka C.C. Wang, wrote "Seals of Chinese Painters and Collectors of the Ming and Ch’ing Periods" with German art historian Victoria Contag.
(WSJ, 7/24/97, p.A16)
1940 The misleadingly titled "An Outline of Psychoanalysis" by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was published posthumously.
(WSJ, 5/5/06, p.A16)
1940 Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) authored "Darkness At Noon." The novel introduced to the public the dark side of Stalinism.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, BR p.5)
1940 "Pat the Bunny" by Dorothy Kunhardt was published.
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.12)
1940 Maud Hart Lovelace (d.1980) published her first "Betsy-Tacy" book for children. The last of 10 books in the series with 3 satellite volumes was published in 1955.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A24)
1940 Anne Morrow Lindbergh authored "The Wave of the Future" in which she spoke on behalf of anti-democratic movements and against American involvement in WW II.
(WSJ, 11/29/99, p.A26)
1940 Denis de Rougemont (1906-1985), Swiss writer who wrote in French, authored “Love in the Western World,” a sweeping history of 8 centuries of romantic passion.
(WSJ, 1/5/08, p.W8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_de_Rougemont)
1940 Fred Schwed Jr. authored "Where Are the Customer’s Yachts?," a book on investment advice.
(SFC, 4/10/01, p.C8)
1940 Prof. Orson Shepard (1902-1997) published his basic textbook on fire assaying. He served as the first Stanford chairman of the new Materials Science Dept. from 1960-1967.
1940 Gertrude Stein published her memoir "Paris France." A limited edition was reprinted in 2000 by Yolla Bolly Press with illustrations by Ward Schumaker.
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.E1)
1940 John Steinbeck journeyed aboard the Western Flyer, a chartered 76-foot sardine boat, to the Sea of Cortez. He traveled with his wife and Edward "Doc" Ricketts, a marine biologist, who wrote "Between Pacific Tides," a classic field guide to the Pacific Coast intertidal zone. Steinbeck’s "Log from the Sea of Cortez" was published in (1951).
(SFEC, 5/18/97, p.T8)(PacDis, Summer ’97, p.6)(SFC, 2/7/13, p.D5)
1940 Rebecca West authored “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon,” an account of her travels in Yugoslavia beginning in 1936.
(West, BLGC, single volume 1943 ed.)
1940 The play "Long Day’s Journey Into Night" by Eugene O’Neill was published posthumously. It was about the Tyrone family on an August day in 1912.
(WSJ, 3/30/98, p.A16)
1940 The show "Morning Star" by Sylvia Regan was first produced on Broadway. The show tracked 3 generations of the Felderman family.
(WSJ, 5/17/99, p.A24)
1940 Randolph Carter produced on Broadway a dramatization of "Wuthering Heights."
(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A22)
1940 The blues opera "De Organizer," written by Langston Hughes and James P. Johnson, was performed in NYC.
(SFC, 12/30/02, p.D3)
1940 The "Dead End Kids" moved to the Warner Bros. Studio and became the "East Side Kids." The group included Huntz Hall (d.1999), Leo Gorcey, Gabriel Dell, Billy Halop, and Bobby Jordan. After WW II the group moved to Monogram Pictures and made 49 films as the "Bowery Boys."
(SFC, 2/2/99, p.A19)
1940 Bela Bartok, Hungarian composer, fled Budapest, Hungary, and arrived in New York.
(WSJ, 8/18/95, p.A-1)
1940 Nancy Hamilton wrote the hit song "How High the Moon."
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.W8)
1940 The Ink Spots made a hit with their song Java Jive: “I like coffee, and I like tea, I love the java jive and it loves me."
1940 Prokofiev composed the opera "Betrothal in a Monastery." It was based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 work "The Duenna."
(WSJ, 5/7/98, p.A21)
1940 Richard Strauss composed the opera "Die Liebe der Danae." The libretto by Joseph Gregor was based on a scenario by Hugo von Hoffmanstahl and conflated two stories, the love affair of Jupiter and Danae and the story of King Midas.
(WSJ, 1/31/00, p.A42)
1940 Igor Stravinsky composed his "Symphony in C."
(WSJ, 4/17/01, p.A18)
1940 The Spanish song "Bésame Mucho" was written Mexican Consuelo Velázquez before her sixteenth birthday. The phrase "besame mucho" can be translated into English as "kiss me a lot". She wrote this song even though she had never been kissed yet at the time. She was inspired by the aria "Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor" from the Spanish 1916 opera Goyescas by Enrique Granados. The lyrics were translated into English by Sunny Skylar.
1940 The SF Ballet staged the first US full-length "Swan Lake."
(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.36)
1940 Jussi Bjoerling made his SF Opera debut in "La Boheme," and his first performance anywhere in "Un Ballo in Maschera."
(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.36)
1940 The SF Opera staged "Der Rosenkavalier" with Lotte Lehmann, Rise Stevens, Alexander Kipnis, with Erich Leinsdorf conducting.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.36)
1940 In SF, Ca., the public library in Bernal Heights, designed by Frederick H. Meyer, was built with federal job creation funds. In 2010 a $5.7 million renovation was completed.
(SFC, 2/11/05, p.F1)(SFC, 1/30/10, p.C1)
1940 The Bay View Boat Club was founded in Hunters Point, SF. In 1964 members moved their building on Innes Ave. by barge to the Mission Rock area, where land was leased from the city.
(SFC, 10/7/05, p.B5)
1940 Thomas Chinn founded the Chinese News in San Francisco, the first English language weekly for Chinese Americans, which he published and edited.
(SFC, 9/16/97, p.A18)
1940 In the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race Bobbie Burke ran disguised as a man because women weren’t allowed to participate.
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A17)
1940 Gov. Earl Warren of California signed a $2 million appropriation for Moffitt Hospital, a teaching facility in San Francisco. It was completed 16 years later at a cost of $24 million.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-10)
1940 C.B. Johnson (1914-1996), Bernal Heights sculptor and a founding member of the Artist’s Cooperative on Union St., decided to marry Louisa Saiki, but their marriage was forbidden by California law. They went to Washington state to be wed.
(SFC, 8/13/96, p.A20)
1940 Modernists Bob Anshen and Steve Allen founded their Anshen + Allen architectural firm. They specialized in residential architecture and designed the Eichler homes in 1949.
(SFEM, 2/22/98, p.22)(SFC, 9/29/99, Z1 p.7)
1940 Ed Gaffney, democrat house painter, was elected to the State Assembly from the Irish SF Castro district.
(SFEM, 11/17/96, p.12)
1940 Attorney Alfred Fuhrman bequeathed SF an oil field near Bakersfield that earned over $400,000 a year to help support GG Park and the SF Public Library.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A23)
1940 WPA workers created a 41-by-37-foot raised relief map of San Francisco. The disassembled map was re-discovered in 2010 in a UC Berkeley warehouse.
(SFC, 9/6/10, p.C1)
1940 Larry Ching (d.2003 at 82), a singing bartender at the Chinese Village, was hired by Charlie Low to perform at the Forbidden City, which folded 1961. Low was dubbed "the Chinese Frank Sinatra."
(SFC, 7/7/03, p.B4)
1940 Georges de Latour, owner of Beaulieu Vineyard in Napa Valley, Ca., died. BV Burgundy was renamed by his wife and released as Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, California’s first private reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
(SFC, 10/10/08, p.F3)
1940 John Sengstacke (d.1997 at 84) took over the Defender newspaper after the death of his uncle, Robert Abbott. It was the largest black-owned newspaper in the country with a circulation of some 200,000 and was a major voice in luring Southern blacks to factory jobs in Northern cities.
(SFC, 5/30/97, p.A26)
1940 Forrest Mars Sr. (d.1999), son of Frank C. Mars, created the M&Ms candies.
(SFC, 7/3/99, p.A21)
1940 The 1990 Atlanta-based International Time Capsule Society, established at Oglethorpe Univ. to promote the study of time capsules, planted a time capsule called the "Crypt of Civilization" that was scheduled to be opened May 28, 8113. Souvenir medals were sold for $1 granted holders free admittance to the 8113 opening.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.D4)(WSJ, 1/5/05, p.B1)
1940 In Kansas City, Mo., the Winstead’s restaurant opened and established a reputation for the world’s best hamburgers. They were commonly served with a chocolate frostie.
(WSJ, 4/15/98, p.A20)
1940 Joyce Matthews won the Miss America pageant. In 1953 she married Milton Berle.
(SFC, 5/29/00, p.E4)
1940 Hugh Mulcahy was the first Major League baseball player called up by the Army after U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service Act in 1940. During the 1940 baseball season, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy won 13 games but lost a league-leading 22. He was called up by the Army later that year. The drafting of Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg 19 games into the 1941 season had a far greater impact. Tiger pitching ace Hal Newhauer was declared 4-F (physically deferred from the draft) because of a heart murmur. Bert Shepard, a former Army pilot who had part of his right leg amputated in a German prison camp, pitched 5 1/3 innings on August 4, 1945 for the Washington Senators. On June 10, 1944, 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall pitched for the Cincinnati Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the youngest player in major-league history. He did not make another appearance with the Reds until called up from the minors in 1952.
1940 A college all-star team with Ralph Giannini (1918-1996) defeated the Harlem Globetrotters, 44-42, in overtime before 22,000 fans in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
(SFC, 7/14/96, p.C8)
1940 Art Rooney renamed the Pittsburgh Pirates football team to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A17)
1940 Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt began recording presidential meetings to ensure that he was quoted accurately.
(AH, 6/03, p.10)
1940 The US Hatch Act limited political gifts to candidates to $5,000 annually and total expenditures by a political committee to $3 million.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.D9)
1940 The US helped Britain by providing 50 overage destroyers and started its first peacetime draft.
(TMC, 1994, p.1940)
1940 The US government established a civilian pilot training program that accepted women.
(SFC, 4/29/97, p.A20)
1940 The Immigration and Naturalization Service abandoned its California Angel Island Station after a fire destroyed the administration building.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W39)
1940 FBI director J. Edgar Hoover began to compile a "Security Index," a secret list of people considered potentially dangerous to national security during an crises and who would be detained without judicial warrant. A 1943 order to destroy the list was ignored. In 1954 the list contained the names of 26,174 people.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F3)
1940 The US Marine Corps published it "Small Wars Manual."
(WSJ, 4/8/04, p.A1)
1940 The US census categorized the population as "White, Negro, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Filipino, Korean, Indian and Mexican. Other nationalities or races could be written in."
1940 The Bob Marshall Wilderness, an area of a million acres in two national forests in northwest Montana was designated.
(NG, May 1985, M. Edwards, p.667)
1940 Congress enacted the Bald Eagle Protection Act.
(SFC, 6/18/99, p.A3)
1940 The United States Weather Bureau, a division of the Dept. of Agriculture, was moved to the Dept. of Commerce. In 1967 it was renamed the National Weather Service.
(ON, 2/06, p.7)
1940 The US Investment Company Act (IAA) included a requirement for the disclosure of debt. The act also defined mutual fund operations.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.D1)(Econ, 2/19/05, p.63)
1940 The SEC recommended that corporate boards establish audit committees elected by shareholders at annual meetings.
(WSJ, 1/14/08, p.R2)
1940 In Tennessee the Great Smokey Mountains National Park was dedicated.
(SFC, 6/9/97, p.A3)
1940 King’s Canyon wilderness was added to Sequoia National Park, the nation’s 2nd oldest.
(SFC, 7/21/96, p.T3)
1940 In Washington DC the Dumbarton Oaks mansion was donated to Harvard Univ.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.T10)
1940 In Chicago Moses Annenberg, father of Walter Annenberg, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for tax evasion. In 1999 Christopher Ogden published "Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg."
(WSJ, 6/18/99, p.W6)
1940 The first US turnpike opened in Pennsylvania.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1940 The first of the Ford "Family Pickups" was manufactured.
(SFC, 9/1/96, Par. p.3)
1940 The Mountain Dew beverage, a lemon-lime mixer, was trademarked by Barney and Ally Hartman of Knoxville, Tenn. In 1948 a cartoon drawing of Willy the Hillbilly was trademarked and used on bottles until the early 1970s. Pepsi bought Mountain Dew in 1964.
(SFC, 6/25/08, p.G3)
1940 Packard introduced air-conditioning in cars. The units were huge with evaporator and blower units installed in the trunk. [see 1939]
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)(F, 10/7/96, p.69)
1940 Industry experts in 1996 picked the 1940 Lincoln Zephyr as the number 3 favorite car.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1940 Max Factor invented Tru-Color lipstick, an indelible lip rouge that did not smear or change color.
(SFC, 6/9/96, p.B-6)
1940 The term "genetic engineering" was coined in Poland, by Danish microbiologist A. Jost while giving a lecture on the sex life of yeast at the Technical Institute in Lwow, Poland.
1940 B. Edlen, Swedish physicist, solved the mystery of spectral lines that were not understood as being due to highly ionized atoms of common elements.
1940 Martin Kamen (d.2002 at 89) discovered carbon-14. Kamen was fired in 1944 from his position at UC Berkeley due to suspicions arising from a dinner with 2 officials from the Russian consulate.
(SFC, 9/14/02, p.A19)
1940 Rupert Wildt, American astrophysicist, theorized that the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus kept heat from escaping and raise the temperature of the planet. This phenomena came to be called "the greenhouse effect."
(SFEC, 12/19/99, Par p.16)
1940 Philip H. Abelson (1913-2004) and Edwin McMillan discovered Neptunium, element No. 93. They named it after the planet Neptune.
(NH, 7/02, p.36)(SFC, 8/9/04, p.B6)
1940 Plutonium was first isolated during research on the atomic bomb. Glenn Seaborg (d.1999 at 86) and Edwin Mullen discovered plutonium and together received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1951.
(WUD, 1994, p.1108)(SFC, 2/27/99, p.A1,19)
1940 The Los Angeles Water Dept. began diverting water from Mono Lake. The diversion was stopped in Sep 1994 with the lake 40 feet shallower.[see 1941]
(Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.52)
1940 The population of Mesa, Arizona, was about 7,000. this roughly doubled in each of the next 5 decades and by 2008 Mesa numbered almost half a million residents.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.42)
1940 The mummy, known as the Spirit Cave Man, was found in Nevada in 1940, but in 1996 was dated to be more than 9,400 years old. The mummy was discovered by archeologists S.M. and Georgia Wheeler in a cave 13 miles east of Fallon. The mummy was wrapped in a skin robe and sewn into two mats woven of a marsh plant called tule.
(SFC, 4/27/96, p.A-5)
1940 Some 2,000 Jews, who fled to England from Austria and Germany, were put on the passenger ship Dunera and sent to Australia, where they were interned in camps until 1942. Their story was the subject of the 1988 Australian film “The Dunera Boys.”
(SFC, 10/8/05, p.B5)
1940 British soldiers found bones on Gardner Island, later renamed Nikumaroro Island, in Kiribati that they suspected might be the remains of Amelia Earhart. A report identifying the remains as those of a male was forwarded to England but not to America. In 1998 the bones were identified as belonging to a woman about 5 foot 7, of northern European extraction.
(SFC, 12/2/98, p.A4)
1940 Isaac Babel, Russian-Jewish author, was killed by a Soviet firing squad. In 2001 Nathalie Babel edited the "Complete Works of Isaac Babel," translated by Peter Constantine.
(SSFC, 11/25/01, p.M3)
1940 Charles Frye, Seattle meat-packing mogul, died. He earmarked a fortune to the Frye Art Museum stipulating that his collection remain intact, that it be displayed under natural light, and that it be free to the public.
(WSJ, 3/19/97, p.A16)
1940 John Monk Saunders, Hollywood screenwriter and former husband to actress Fay Wray (1928-1939), hanged himself.
(SFC, 8/10/04, p.B7)
1940 Australia found itself with a hung parliament. Robert Menzies (1894-1978) relied on 2 independent parties to stay in power, but the arrangement collapsed a year later.
(Econ, 8/28/10, p.31)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Menzies)
1940 The Brazilian Reinsurance Institute, later called IRB, was founded by Pres. Getulio Vargas. The self-regulating institution remained a state monopoly into 2006.
(Econ, 1/7/06, p.68)
1940 Churchill took over power in Britain and the French general, De Gaulle, moved to London.
(TMC, 1994, p.1940)
1940 Britain formed the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to organize agents abroad. In 1942 the SOE began recruiting women. In 2005 Sarah Helm authored “A Life in Secrets: The Story of Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of the SOE.”
(Econ, 8/6/05, p.69)
1940 Britain’s PM Winston Churchill sent a handful of young British officers to Washington, DC, to ingratiate themselves on the social scene and advance the British cause through good manners. They included Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming and David Ogilvy. In 2008 Jennet Conant authored “The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington.
(WSJ, 9/11/08, p.A13)
1940 P.A. Wodehouse (d.1975), British writer, was put into an internment camp after Germany defeated France, where he and his wife, Edith, were living. He was released the following year and made five lighthearted radio broadcasts to England and America from Berlin.
1940 The Belgian colonial government in Leopoldville (later Kinshasa), Congo, ordered private mining companies to turn over their records to help the Allies find resources to help the war effort against Germany. Millions of tons of copper and tin, as well as some uranium, were shipped to the US. After the war records were shipped to Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa in Brussels.
(WSJ, 3/20/07, p.A13)
1940 A Cuban constitution offered the promise of a democratic government. The Constitution established by a national assembly that included Blas Roca, a young shoemaker who helped organize the Revolution of 1933. The document struck a balance between the rich and the working class, protected individual and social rights, supported full employment and a minimum wage, extended social security, called for equal pay for equal work and outlawed the huge plantations known as latifundias. General Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) was elected Cuba's 14th president.
(WSJ, 7/10/02, p.D8)(www.historyofcuba.com/history/time/timetbl3.htm)
1940 In France Aristides de Sousa Mendes (1885-1954), a Portuguese diplomat posted in Bordeaux, issued 30,000 visas to Jews and 20,000 to other refugees against the instructions of his government. Dictator Antonio Salazar responded by removing him from the diplomatic corps, denying him a pension and blacking out his actions from official state records.
(SFC, 9/7/96, p.A13)(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A16)(SFC, 2/19/09, p.B5)
1940 Francois Lehideux (d.1998 at 95), the minister of industrial production, agreed that Renault would furnish parts to the German army, repair tanks and provide technical assistance in the war effort. He was arrested and jailed after liberation, but was freed in 1946. He went on to head Ford of France until 1953.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.D4)
1940 Following the fall of France Claude Peri commandeered the merchant ship Le Rhin and placed it at the disposal of British naval intelligence. Peri got his mistress, Madeleine Bayard, the job of cipher officer on the ship. It was renamed the HMS Fidelity and got torpedoed in 1942. In 2005 Edward Marriot authored “Claude and Madeleine: A True Story of Love War and Espionage.”
(Econ, 8/6/05, p.69)
1940 Vichy authorities appointed Prof. Bernard Fay (1893-1978) as head of France’s Bibliotheque Nationale. In 1941 Fay was responsible for the imprisonment of some 6,000 Freemasons and for more than 500 of them being sent to their deaths during the German occupation. In 1946 Fay was tried and convicted for collaboration and sentenced to life in prison. In 1951 Gertrude Stein helped to finance his escape from a prison hospital. He fled to Switzerland and lived there until he was granted pardon in 1958.
(WSJ, 9/25/07, p.D6)(http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/fay_b/fay_b.html)
1940 Germany overran most of Western Europe.
(TMC, 1994, p.1940)
1940 From Greece the occupying Germans started transporting the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki to Auschwitz. Up to 1943 there were 36 synagogues in the city. In 1997 there was one.
(WSJ, 4/29/97, p.A20)
1940 In Germany James Helmuth von Moltke set about to establish what has come to be know as the Kreisau Circle. It was a collection priests, professors and members of the German foreign office that stressed a form of passive resistance to the Nazi regime. [see Helmuth von Moltke]
(WSJ, 11/7/95, p.A-21)
1940 In Germany Gen’l. Eduard Dietl led a surprise capture of Narvik, the Norwegian Atlantic ice-free port.
(SFC, 3/19/97, p.A12,14)
1940 In India the Muslim League demanded a separate homeland for the Muslim-majority regions of India.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)
1940 Japan joined the Axis powers.
(TMC, 1994, p.1940)
1940 Japanese warplanes dropped plague-infected fleas over southwest China. In 2001 Chinese doctors testified in a Tokyo trial and said at least 109 people died as a result. In 2002 a symposium of historians reported that the Japanese killed at least 440,000 Chinese in the 1930s and 1940s by dropping disease carrying fleas and cholera-coated flies from planes.
(WSJ, 1/25/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/22/07, p.B12)
1940 The German occupiers of Jersey set a maximum tax rate of 20%. The low tax rate later attracted the bank deposits of British expatriates.
(Econ, 2/24/07, SR p.5)
1940 In Tecate, Mexico, at the foot of Mt. Kuchumaa Rancho, La Puerta was opened as a fitness spa, the first in North America.
(SFEM, 11/24/96, p.24)
1940 Moldova was formed from the former Republic of Moldavia and the ceded Romanian territory of Bessarabia.
(WUD, 1994 p.922)(Econ, 9/30/06, p.60)
1940 In Poland "the Nazis packed 450,000 human beings into 75 square blocks of the Warsaw ghetto, then walled it off and left them to starve."
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.A7)
1940 In Poland a mass murder of Polish Jews took place at Lublin. A report of the killings to the Red Cross was discounted.
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A8)
1940 Russia imposed the Cyrillic alphabet over the Roman alphabet upon Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A10)
1940 The Soviet Union and Iran signed more agreements concerning the Caspian Sea.
(SFC, 8/11/98, p.A8)
1940 Russia seized Estonia’s presidential seal and regalia as it annexed the country. As of 2010 Russia continued to refuse to hand the items back.
(Econ, 4/10/10, p.64)
1940 Swiss police chief Paul Grueninger was convicted of falsifying immigration documents to rescue up to 3,000 Austrian Jews fleeing the Nazis. He was fired and stripped of pension rights and died in poverty in 1972. In 1995 he was granted a full pardon.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-1)
1940s Anthony Boucher was a mystery reviewer for the SF Chronicle under his book editor Joseph Henry Jackson. Boucher moved on to write the "Criminals at Large" column in the New York Times in the 1950s.
(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.2)
1940s In Los Angeles adolescent Mexican-Americans known as los pachucos established the zoot suit dress style. The War Production Board outlawed the zoot suit. The "Sleepy Lagoon Murder" of several Americans of Mexican descent led to the Zoot Suit Riots where American sailors stripped and beat zoot suiters as white LA police stood by. Luis Valdez later authored the play "Zoot Suit."
(WSJ, 7/111/00, p.A24)
1940s The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation was set up as a way to raise awareness of the value of biomedical research. Albert Lasker was a pioneering advertising executive.
(SFEC, 9/17/00, p.A16)
1940s The US Navy acquired two-thirds of Vieques, Costa Rica, a 20-by-4-mile island for $1.4 million.
1940s Part airplane, part boat, the Grumman J2F Duck was as agile in the air as it was comfortable in the water. The Navy Department had requested Grumman to free its facilities for the manufacture of vitally needed F6F Hellcat fighters, and to transfer the production of 330 J2F-6 Ducks to Columbia Aircraft. The amphibious Duck not only was capable of taking off and touching down on land or water but also was sturdy enough to be used with an arresting gear for aircraft carrier landings.
1940s US Sec. Henry Morgenthau held that every country should have its own central bank and unique currency. He deemed it a clever way to tap into nationalist sentiments.
(WSJ, 11/7/03, p.A10)
1940s The US Army Corps of Engineers, at the behest of state and federal governments, drained the area to the south of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee to create vast sugar fields.
(Econ, 10/8/05, p.31)
1940s Cloud seeding to produce rain was discovered by Vincent J. Schaefer. He used dry ice to induce water droplet formation. His colleague, Bernard Vonnegut (d.1997 at 82), brother of novelist Kurt Vonnegut, improved the process using silver iodide.
(SFC, 4/29/97, p.A20)
1940s Karl von Frisch, Austrian ethologist, first described the method by which honeybees describe the source of gathered pollen to their fellow bees. The bees perform a dance is that integrates information about the orientation of the sun and the distance to the pollen source.
(WUD, 1994, p.569)(NH, 9/97, p.60)
1940s In the late 1940s Gordon L. Harwell and a partner started Uncle Ben’s Inc. under the name Converted Rice. The namesake was a Texas rice grower who lived near Houston many years ago.
(BS, 5/3/98, p.6F)
1940s George Rochester (d.2002), English physicist, discovered the kaon, a type of meson particle that became the 1st in the "strange" category.
(SFC, 1/21/02, p.B5)
1940s Moshe Feldenkrais, a Russian-born Israeli physicist, developed a methodology of therapeutic body movement.
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.B3)
1940s Some time before Fidel Castro took over Cuba, the mayor of Santiago was the father of Desi Arnaz, later husband to Lucille Ball.
(SFC, 9/23/96, D3)
1940s The Formosa termite was probably imported to the US aboard military cargo ships. By 2000 it had spread to 11 states and caused an estimated $1 billion in annual damage.
(SFEC, 5/14/00, p.A4)
1940s The brown tree snake arrived on Guam and began to feed on the native bird population. By 1998 an estimated 9 of 11 native birds were eliminated.
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A8)
1940-1941 Jun-Jul, After a Communist coup leading Estonian Republic officials were mass-murdered in Tallinn.
(BN, 10/97, p.3)
1940-1941 A 59-man team under Adm. Richard E. Byrd spent the winter on Antarctica. Dr. Harrison Holt Richardson (d.1999 at 80), was the youngest member of the team and took the first color movies there. This was Byrd's 3rd mission there.
(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.D8)
1940-1941 In France the Emergency Rescue Committee, led by New York writer Varian Fry, saved some 2,000 cultural elite. The group operated out of the Villa Air-Bel in Marseille. In 2006 Rosemary Sullivan authored “Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille.
(SSFC, 12/3/06, p.M3)
1940-1941 Japan extended war into Southeast Asia.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 216)
1940-1941 A secret Nazi program, code-named T4, killed an estimated 70,000 disabled or mentally ill adults in specially established death camps during this period.
(SFC, 10/7/06, p.A9)
1940-1941 German paratroopers were decimated in the battle for Crete.
1940-1942 U Saw served as prime minister of Burma. As head of the Myochit party, U Saw became prime minister of the then British colony in 1940. When the British entered the war against Japan, U Saw pressed the British for full independence, while secretly negotiating with the Japanese. Upon learning of his contacts with Japan, the British arrested him and removed him from office. U Saw was responsible for the assassination of his rival Aung San after the war.
1940-1943 George Metesky plagued New York City’s electrical utility with bombs and accusatory notes over this period. As a token to the war effort he left a note promising not to plant any more bombs till after the war. He kept his word and resumed planting bombs after the war until 1950. He remained at large for some 16 years until company records identified similar notes from a former employee. His story was depicted in a NOVA PBS show commemorating the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-16)
1940-1944 Britain’s Special Operations Executive, an agency set up by Winston Churchill, carried out operations in Albania to support anti-German partisans. In 2008 Roderick Bailey authored ”The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle.”
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.97)
1940-1944 Germany occupied France. In 1998 Ian Ousby published "Occupation: The Ordeal of France 1940-1944." In 2009 Frederic Spotts authored “The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation.” In 2009 Charles glass authored “American in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation 1940-1944.” In 2010 Alan Riding authored “And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied France.”
(SFEC, 8/16/98, Par p.8)(WSJ, 1/3/09, p.W6)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.84)(Econ, 11/20/10, p.96)
1940-1944 Members of the Lithuanian Security Police persecuted Jews and other civilians in collaboration with the Nazi government. In 1998 in New York Aloyzas Balsys, suspected of collaboration, refused to answer questions on his wartime activities based on the US 5th amendment and fear of foreign prosecution. He claimed to have lived in hiding in Plateliaia at the time and filed to enter the US in 1961. The case was to be heard by the US Supreme Court.
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A3)
1940-1945 Willys-Overland Motors was a principal manufacturer of Jeeps during World War II. In the late 1930s, the U.S. military wanted a lightweight, four-wheel drive, general-purpose vehicle. Although Willys submitted a design, the government chose one by the Bantam Car Company. However, Bantam was unable to meet the military demand and so the government contracted multiple suppliers, including Willys-Overland and Ford. Willys-Overland produced around 360,000 Jeeps for the military between 1940 and 1945. As a smaller automotive manufacturer, most of its production facilities had been retooled to produce Jeeps and so it was decided to continue making Jeeps for the military and also the civilian market. The company was bought out and renamed numerous times. Today it is a part of Daimler-Chrysler.
1940-1945 The Benes decrees were issued by Pres. Edvard Benes, head of the Czechoslovak government in exile. Part of the decrees later dealt with the status of Germans and Hungarians in postwar Czechoslovakia. From 1945-1948 they were used to legalize brutal measures against the country’s German and Hungarian populations.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bene%C5%A1_decrees)(Econ, 3/29/08, p.67)
1940-1945 In 2006 the 2002 German book “The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945” by Jorg Friedrich (b.1944), was made available in English.
(Econ, 12/2/06, p.85)
1940-1945 Turkey supplied Germany and the Allies with chromite ore, an essential metal for stainless steel.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.A13)
1940-1945 Turkey placed a wealth tax on all non-Muslims during WW II; those who could not pay were sent to labor camps.
(Econ, 8/5/06, p.46)
1940-1949 During the 1940s the Associated Sportsmen of California repeatedly warned of damage to the salmon population near Redding and urged the government to release water from Shasta Lake to dilute the poisons from Iron Mountain.
(SFEC,11/2/97, p.A13)(SSFC, 8/29/10, p.A15)
1940s-1950s Alberto Vargas made air-brushed pictures of pin-up girls in Esquire and Playboy magazines.
(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.W10)
1940s-1950s Radiation spiked cereal produced by Quaker Oats and Massachusetts Institute of Technology was fed to residents of the Fernald State School in Waltham, Mass., without their knowledge. A 1995 suit, filed by 15 plaintiffs, resulted in a 1997 settlement of $1.85 million to over 100 residents.
1940s-1950s Civilian and military medical practitioners commonly used nasal applicators containing 50 milligrams of radium to shrink tissues at the entrance of the eustachian tubes to help drain and balance pressure on the inner and outer ear. The treatment was later associated with nasopharyngeal cancer.
(SFC, 4/26/99, p.A2)
1940-1953 John W. Nason (d.2001 at 96) served as president of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. From 1942-1945 he served as chairman of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped over 3,000 students out of detention camps and into institutions of higher learning.
(SFC, 11/24/01, p.A21)
1940-1953 The radio game show "The Quiz Kids" featured exceptional children answering questions from the audience. Vanessa Brown (born as Smylla Brind in Vienna) began her acting career on the show. Brown later authored the play "Europa and the Bull," and the nonfiction work "The Manpower Policies of Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz."
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.C4)
1940-1954 Virgil Thomson worked as the music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune.
(WSJ, 6/16/97, p.10)
1940-1955 The Age of Churchill. Andrew Roberts published a book in 1995 titled: "Eminent Churchillians," in which he examines how some of Churchill’s contemporaries rose in the world while easing the decline of England. Lord Mountbatten, Sir Walter Monckton, and Sir Arthur Bryant are featured.
(WSJ, 8/15/95, p. A-14)
1940-1955 Mexican cinema turned out some 100 films a year during this period, later dubbed as the golden age of Mexican cinema.
(Econ, 11/20/10, p.45)
1940-1957 This period is covered in the book by John Charmley: "Churchill’s Grand Alliance: the Anglo-American Special Relationship" published in 1995.
(WSJ, 10/16/95, p. A-12)
1940s-1950s In Quebec, Canada, thousands of poor or illegitimate children were falsely labeled as mentally deficient and sent to church-run psychiatric institutions under the government of Maurice Duplessis. More federal funds were thus secured for their assistance. In 2001 some 1000 surviving victims accepted a government offer of $16,650 each in compensation for mistreatment.
(SFC, 7/2/01, p.B1)
1940s-1986 In Maryland Building E5625, the "Pilot Plant," at the US Army Aberdeen Proving Ground was built and used for experiments and production of agents in chemical and biological warfare.
(SFEC, 1/11/98, p.A11)
1940-1996 The history of gay life in America over this period is documented by Charles Kaiser in his book: "The Gay Metropolis, 1940-1996."
(SFEC,11/16/97, BR p.6)