This article is about the year 1940.
1940 ( ) was a MCMXL leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. Events [edit ]
Below, the events of
World War II have the "WWII" prefix. January [edit ] February [edit ] March [edit ] March – debuts on Truth or Consequences Radio. NBC March 2 – Cartoon character Elmer Fudd makes his debut in the animated short . Elmer's Candid Camera March 3 – In Sweden, a time bomb destroys the office of Norrskenflamman (a Swedish communist newspaper), killing 5. March 5 – Katyn massacre: Members of the Soviet Politburo ( Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Kliment Voroshilov and Lavrenty Beria) sign an order, prepared by Beria, for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs. March 11 – Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck and six others leave Monterey, California for The Sea of Cortez on a collecting expedition. March 12 – The Soviet Union and Finland sign a peace treaty in Moscow ending the Winter War; Finns, along with the world at large, are shocked by the harsh terms. March 18 – WWII: Axis powers: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom. March 21 – Édouard Daladier resigns as prime minister of France; Paul Reynaud succeeds him. March 23 – Pakistan Movement: The Lahore Resolution, calling for greater autonomy for what will become Pakistan in British India, is drawn up by the All-India Muslim League during a three-day general session at Iqbal Park, Lahore. March 31 – WWII: Commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser , leaves the Atlantis Wadden Sea for what will become the longest warship cruise of the war. (622 days without in-port replenishment or repair) [1 ] April [edit ] May [edit ] June [edit ] July [edit ] July 1 – The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opens for business, built with an 8-foot (2.4 m) girder and 190 feet (58 m) above the water, as the third longest suspension bridge in the world. July 2 – WWII: British-owned SS , carrying Arandora Star civilian internees and POWs of Italian and German origin from Liverpool to Canada, is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine off northwest U-47 Ireland with the loss of around 865 lives. July 3 – WWII: British naval units sink or seize ships of the French fleet anchored in the Algerian ports of Oran and Mers-el-Kebir. The following day, Vichy France breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain July 6 – British submarine HMS is sunk. Shark (54S) July 10 – WWII: The Battle of Britain begins July 11 July 14 – WWII: Winston Churchill, in a worldwide broadcast, proclaims the intention of Great Britain to fight alone against Germany whatever the outcome: "We shall seek no terms. We shall tolerate no parley. We may show mercy. We shall ask none." July 15 – U.S. politics: The Democratic Party begins its national convention in Chicago, and nominates Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term as president. July 19 July 21 – The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics are proclaimed in Moscow. July 23 – Welles Declaration: United States Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles announces that the U.S. will not accord diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union's occupation of the Baltic states. July 25 – General Henri Guisan addresses the officer corps of the Swiss army at Rütli resolving to resist any invasion of the country. July 27 – Bugs Bunny makes his debut in the Oscar-nominated cartoon short, . However, it is not until 1941 that his name is adopted. A Wild Hare August [edit ] August 1 – WWII: British submarine HMS is sunk. Spearfish (69S) August 3 – The Lithuanian SSR, Latvian SSR ( August 5) and Estonian SSR ( August 6) are incorporated into the Soviet Union six weeks after their annexation. August 4 – Gen. John J. Pershing, in a nationwide radio broadcast, urges all-out aid to Britain in order to defend the Americas, while Charles Lindbergh speaks to an isolationist rally at Soldier Field in Chicago. August 8 – WWII: Wilhelm Keitel signs the " Aufbau Ost" directive, which eventually leads to the invasion of the Soviet Union. August 10 – WWII: British armed merchant cruiser HMS is torpedoed off Transylvania (F56) Malin Head, Ireland, by German submarine . U-56 August 13 – WW II: The "Eagle Day" strike on southern Great Britain occurs, starting the rapid escalation of the Battle of Britain air offensive of the Luftwaffe against RAF Fighter Command. August 18 – HRH The Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, is installed as Governor of the Bahamas. [7 ] August 20 August 21 – Leon Trotsky dies of injuries sustained. August 24 August 25 – WWII: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia incorporated into Soviet Union. August 26 – WWII: Chad is the first French colony to proclaim its support for the Allies. August 30 – Second Vienna Award: Germany and Italy compel Romania to cede half of Transylvania to Hungary. September [edit ] September – The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division (previously a National Guard Division in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma), is activated and ordered into federal service for 1 year, to engage in a training program in Ft. Sill and Louisiana, prior to serving in WWII. September 2 – WWII: An agreement between America and Great Britain is announced to the effect that 50 U.S. destroyers needed for escort work will be transferred to Great Britain. In return, America gains 99-year leases on British bases in the North Atlantic, West Indies and Bermuda. September 5 – WWII: Commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser enters the Komet Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait after crossing the Arctic Ocean from the North Sea with the help of Soviet icebreakers Lenin, Stalin, and Kaganovich. [10 ] September 7 September 9 – Treznea Massacre: The Hungarian Army, supported by local Hungarians kill 93 Romanian civilians in Treznea, Sălaj, a village in Northern Transylvania, as part of attempts to ethnic cleansing. September 12 September 14 – Ip Massacre: The Hungarian Army, supported by local Hungarians, kill 158 Romanian civilians in Ip, Sălaj, a village in Northern Transylvania, as part of attempts to ethnic cleansing. September 16 – WWII: The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 is signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt, creating the first peacetime draft in U.S. history. September 17– 18 – WWII: SS is City of Benares torpedoed by German submarine in the U-48 Atlantic with the loss of 248 of the 406 on board, including child evacuees bound for Canada. This results in cancellation of the British Children's Overseas Reception Board's plan to relocate children overseas. September 22 – Japan enters French Indochina: an agreement is signed in which Japan promises to station no more than 6,000 troops there, and never have more than 25,000 transiting the colony. Rights were also given for three airfields. September 25 – Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany: German Reichskommissar Josef Terboven appoints a provisional council of state from the pro-Nazi Nasjonal Samling party under Vidkun Quisling as a puppet government for Norway. September 26 – A group of Japanese officers in violation of an agreement signed four days earlier with French Indochina, take Đồng Đăng and Lam Son with 40 Franco-Vietnamese troops killed and around 1,000 deserting. The same day the United States imposes a total embargo on all scrap metal shipments to Japan. September 27 – WWII: Germany, Italy and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact. October [edit ] November [edit ] November – In Cambodia the Khmer Issarak is formed to overthrow the French Army within the nation. November 2– 8 – WWII ( Greco-Italian War): In the Battle of Elaia–Kalamas in Epirus outnumbered Greek forces repel the Italian Army. November 5 – United States presidential election, 1940: Democrat incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican challenger Wendell Willkie and becomes the United States' first and only third-term president. November 6 – Agatha Christie's mystery novel is published in book form in the And Then There Were None United States. November 7 – In Tacoma, Washington, the 600-foot (180 m)-long center span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (known as Galloping Gertie) collapses. November 8 – WWII: MS is sunk by a naval mine, the first City of Rayville United States Merchant Marine loss of the war, off Cape Otway, Australia November 9 – Joaquin Rodrigo's premieres in Concierto de Aranjuez Barcelona, Spain. November 10 – An earthquake in Bucharest, Romania kills 1,000. November 11 November 13 – Walt Disney's is released. It is the first box office failure for Disney, though it eventually recoups its cost years later, and becomes one of the most highly regarded of Disney's films. Fantasia November 14 – WWII: The city centre of Coventry, England is destroyed by 500 Luftwaffe bombers: 150,000 fire bombs, 503 tons of high explosives, and 130 parachute mines level 60,000 of the city's 75,000 buildings; 568 people are killed, during the Coventry Blitz. November 16 November 18 – WWII: German leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano meet to discuss Benito Mussolini's disastrous invasion of Greece. November 20 – WWII: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia join the Axis Powers. November 25 November 26– 27 – Jilava Massacre: In Romania, coup leader General Ion Antonescu's Iron Guard arrests and executes over 60 of exiled king Carol II of Romania's aides, starting at at a penitentiary near Bucharest. Among the dead is former minister and acclaimed historian Nicolae Iorga. November 27 – WWII: The British Royal Navy and Italian Regia Marina fight the Battle of Cape Spartivento. December [edit ] December – Timely Comics' Captain America Comics #1 (cover dated March 1941), first appearance of Captain America and Bucky, hits newsstands in the United States. December 1 – Manuel Ávila Camacho takes office as President of Mexico. December 6 – British submarine HMS is sunk near Regulus (N88) Taranto. December 8 – The Chicago Bears, in what will become the most one-sided victory in National Football League history, defeat the Washington Redskins 73–0 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. December 9 – WWII: Operation Compass – British forces in North Africa begin their first major offensive with an attack on Italian forces at Sidi Barrani, Egypt. December 12 and December 15 – WWII: " Sheffield Blitz" – The Yorkshire city of Sheffield is badly damaged by German air-raids. December 14 December 16 – WWII: Operation Abigail Rachel – RAF bombing of Mannheim. December 17 – President Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, first sets forth the outline of his plan to send aid to Great Britain that will become known as Lend-Lease. December 23 – WWII: Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the people of Italy, blames Benito Mussolini for leading his nation to war against the British, contrary to Italy's historic friendship with them: "One man has arrayed the trustees and inheritors of ancient Rome upon the side of the ferocious pagan barbarians." December 24 – Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual non-violence leader writes his second letter to Adolf Hitler addressing him "My friend", requesting him to stop the war Germany had begun. December 29 December 30 Undated [edit ] Births [edit ] January [edit ] January 2 – Jim Bakker, American televangelist and former husband of Tammy Faye January 4 January 6 – Penny Lernoux, American journalist and author (d. 1989) January 9 – Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Costa Rican politician, lawyer, economist, and businessman January 14 – Julian Bond, American civil rights activist January 19 – Mike Reid, English actor (d. 2007) January 20 – Carol Heiss, American figure skater January 21 January 22 – John Hurt, English actor January 27 – James Cromwell, American actor January 28 – Carlos Slim, Mexican businessman February [edit ] February 1 February 2 – David Jason, English actor February 3 – Fran Tarkenton, American football player February 4 – George A. Romero, American film writer and director February 5 – H. R. Giger, Swiss artist February 6 February 8 February 9 February 12 February 17 – Gene Pitney, American singer (d. 2006) February 18 – Fabrizio De André, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 1999) February 19 – Smokey Robinson, American musician February 20 – Jimmy Greaves, English footballer February 21 February 22 February 23 – Peter Fonda, American actor February 24 February 25 – Ron Santo, American baseball player (d. 2010) February 27 – Howard Hesseman, American actor February 28 – Mario Andretti, American race car driver March [edit ] March 3 March 6 – Willie Stargell, American baseball player (d. 2001) March 7 – Rudi Dutschke, German radical student leader (d. 1979) March 8 – Susan Clark, Canadian actress ( Webster) March 9 – Raúl Juliá, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1994) March 10 March 12 – Al Jarreau, American singer March 13 – Candi Staton, American singer March 15 – Phil Lesh, American musician ( Grateful Dead) March 16 March 17 – Mark White, Governor of Texas March 21 – Solomon Burke, American singer and songwriter (d. 2010) March 22 – Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian actor (d. 1996) March 25 – Anita Bryant, American entertainer March 26 March 27 – Cale Yarborough, American race car driver March 29 – Ray Davis, American musician ( P-Funk) (d. 2005) March 30 – Astrud Gilberto, Brazilian-born singer April [edit ] May [edit ] May 1 – Elsa Peretti, Italian jewelry designer May 2 – Jo Ann Pflug, American former actress and motivational speaker May 5 – Lance Henriksen, American actor and potter May 7 – Jim Connors, American radio personality (d. 1987) May 8 May 9 May 11 – Juan Downey, Chilean-born video artist (d. 1993) May 13 – Bruce Chatwin, British author (d. 1989) May 14 – 'H'. Jones, British soldier (VC recipient) (d. 1982) May 15 May 17 May 18 – Lenny Lipton, American inventor May 20 May 22 – Bernard Shaw, American journalist and television news reporter May 24 – Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born poet, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1996) May 29 – Farooq Leghari, President of Pakistan (d. 2010) June [edit ] June 1 – Rene Auberjonois, American actor June 2 – King Constantine II of Greece June 4 – Ludwig Schwarz, Austrian bishop June 6 – Richard Paul, American actor (d. 1998) June 7 – Tom Jones, Welsh singer June 8 June 16 June 17 June 19 – Paul Shane, English-born actor (d. 2013) June 20 – John Mahoney, English-born actor June 21 – Mariette Hartley, American actress June 22 June 23 June 25 – A. J. Quinnell, English writer (d. 2005) June 27 – Anil Karanjai, Indian painter of the Hungry generation movement. June 28 – Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Prize laureate June 29 – Vyacheslav Artyomov, Russian composer July [edit ] August [edit ] August 1 – Ram Loevy, Israeli screenwriter and director August 3 – Martin Sheen, American actor August 7 – Jean-Luc Dehaene, Prime Minister of Belgium August 8 – Dilip Sardesai, former Indian cricketer (d. 2007) August 9 – Beverlee McKinsey, American actress August 10 – Bobby Hatfield, American singer ( Righteous Brothers) (d. 2003) August 14 – Galen Hall, American football coach August 19 – Jill St. John, American actress August 20 August 25 – José Van Dam, Belgian bass-baritone August 28 – Tom Baker, American actor (d. 1982) August 29 August 31 – Jack Thompson, Australian actor September [edit ] September 3 – Joseph C. Strasser, American admiral September 5 – Raquel Welch, American actress September 7 – Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia (d. 2009) September 10 – David Mann, American artist (d. 2004) September 11 – Brian De Palma, American film director September 12 September 13 – Óscar Arias, Costa Rican politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize September 14 – Larry Brown, American basketball coach September 20 – Taro Aso, Prime Minister of Japan September 23 – Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, Iranian traditional singer September 24 – Michiko Suganuma, Urushi Japanese lacquer artist October [edit ] October 9 – John Lennon, British musician and singer ( The Beatles) (d. 1980) October 13 – Pharoah Sanders, American saxophonist October 14 – Cliff Richard, Pop Sensation October 15 – Peter C. Doherty, Australian immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine October 16 – Ivan Della Mea, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 2009) October 19 – Michael Gambon, Irish actor October 20 – Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States October 21 October 23 – Pelé, Brazilian footballer October 25 – Bobby Knight, American basketball coach October 27 – John Gotti, American gangster (d. 2002) November [edit ] December [edit ] December 1 – Richard Pryor, American actor and comedian (d. 2005) December 4 December 5 – Peter Pohl, Swedish writer December 11 – Donna Mills, American actress and dancer December 12 December 20 – Pat Chapman, English author December 21 – Frank Zappa, American musician, composer, and satirist (d. 1993) December 22 – Noel Jones, British ambassador to Kazakhstan (d. 1995) December 23 December 24 – Janet Carroll, American actress and singer (d. 2012) December 26 – Edward C. Prescott, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate Deaths [edit ] January–March [edit ] January – Fusajiro Yamauchi, Japanese business executive (b. 1859) January 4 – Flora Finch, English-born actress and comedian (b. 1869) January 18 – Kazimierz Tetmajer, Polish poet and writer (b. 1865) January 27 – Isaac Babel, Ukrainian writer (b. 1894) February 1 – Philip Francis Nowlan, science fiction writer, creator of (b. Buck Rogers 1888) February 2 – Vsevolod Meyerhold, Russian Theatre Practitioner (b. 1874) February 4 – Samuel M. Vauclain, American engineer (b. 1856) February 11 – John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada (b. 1875) February 26 – Michael Hainisch, 2nd President of Austria (b. 1858) February 29 – Edward Frederic Benson, English writer March 1 – Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Estonian writer (b. 1878) March 5 March 10 – Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian writer (b. 1891) March 11 – John Monk Saunders, American writer (b. 1897) March 16 – Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1858) March 20 – Alfred Ploetz, German physician, biologist, and eugenicist (b. 1860) March 26 – Spiridon Louis, Greek runner (b. 1873) March 27 March 30 – George Egerton, British admiral (b. 1852) March 31 – Tinsley Lindley, English footballer (b. 1865) April–June [edit ] April 1 – John A. Hobson, English economist (b. 1858). April 26 – Carl Bosch, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874) April 28 – Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian opera singer (b. 1871) May 11 – Chujiro Hayashi, Japanese Reiki Master (b. 1880) May 14 – Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-born anarchist (b. 1869) May 15 – Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer (b. 1902) May 19 – Diego Mazquiarán, Spanish matador (b. 1895) May 20 – Verner von Heidenstam, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1859) May 25 – Joe De Grasse, Canadian film director (b. 1873) May 26 – Wilhelm of Prussia, Prussian prince (b. 1906) May 28 May 29 – Mary Anderson, American stage actress (b. 1859). June 7 June 10 – Marcus Garvey, Jamaican-born publisher, entrepreneur, and black nationalist (b. 1887) June 11 – Alfred S. Alschuler, American architect (b. 1876) June 13 – George Fitzmaurice, American director (b. 1885) June 14 – Henry W. Antheil, Jr., American diplomat (b. 1912) June 17 – Arthur Harden, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865) June 19 – Maurice Jaubert, French composer (b. 1900) June 20 – Charley Chase, American comedian (b. 1893) June 21 June 28 – Italo Balbo, Italian Fascist leader (b. 1896) June 29 – Paul Klee, Swiss artist (b. 1879) July–September [edit ] July 1 – Ben Turpin, American actor (b. 1869) July 15 – Robert Pershing Wadlow, tallest man ever (infection) (b. 1918) July 30 – Spencer S. Wood, United States Navy rear admiral (b. 1861) August 5 – Frederick Albert Cook, American explorer (b. 1865) August 8 – Johnny Dodds, American jazz clarinetist (b. 1892) August 18 – Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer (b. 1875) August 21 August 22 Gerald Strickland, 4th Prime Minister of Malta, 23rd Governor of New South Wales, 15th Governor of Western Australia and 9th Governor of Tasmania (b. 1861 Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist (b. 1860) August 30 – J.J. Thomson, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856) September 4 – George William de Carteret, author from Jersey island (b. 1869) September 5 – Charles de Broqueville, Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1860) September 25 – Marguerite Clark, American actress (b. 1883) September 27 – Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Austrian neuroscientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1857) October–December [edit ] October 5 October 9 – Wilfred Grenfell, English medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador (b. 1865) October 10 – Berton Churchill, Canadian actor (b. 1876) October 12 – Tom Mix, American actor (b. 1880) October 17 – George Davis, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1870) November 5 – Otto Plath, father of American Poet, Sylvia Plath, and entomologist (b. 1885) November 9 November 17 November 19 – Ralph W. Barnes, American journalist (b. 1899) December 5 – Jan Kubelík, Czech violinist (b. 1880) December 14 – Anton Korošec, Slovenian political leader (b. 1872) December 15 or December 16 (unclear) – Billy Hamilton, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1866) December 19 – Kyösti Kallio, President of Finland (b. 1873) December 21 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer (b. 1896) December 22 – Nathanael West, American writer (b. 1903) December 23 – Eddie August Schneider, American aviator (b. 1911) December 25 – Agnes Ayres, American actress (b. 1898) December 26 – Daniel Frohman, American theater producer (b. 1851) Nobel Prizes [edit ] References [edit ] ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. p. 14. ISBN 0-13-354027-8. ^ Trossarelli, L. (2010). "the history of nylon". Club Alpino Italiano, Centro Studi Materiali e Tecniche. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02 . Retrieved 2012-02-28. ^ Borgersrud, Lars (1995). "Nøytralitetsvakt". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik; Hjeltnes, Guri; Nøkleby, Berit; Ringdal, Nils Johan; Sørensen, Øystein (ed.). (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. p. 313. Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45 ISBN 82-02-14138-9 . Retrieved 2012-06-29. ^ "Lancastria's end told by survivors; Italian and Nazi Planes Said to Have Shot at Swimmers and Fired Oily Waters; Many Caught Below Deck; Rescue Craft Reported Set Ablaze; Victims Include Women and Children". . 26 July 1940 New York Times . Retrieved 22 May 2010. ^ Hooton, E.R. (2007). Luftwaffe at War: Blitzkrieg in the West. London: Chervron/Ian Allan. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-85780-272-6. ^ "Hitler Picture: Hitler in Paris". 20th Century History. About.com . Retrieved 2013-03-25. ^ Bloch, Michael (1982). The Duke of Windsor's War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-77947-8. ^ Drews, Jürgen (March 2000). "Drug Discovery: a Historical Perspective". Science 287 (5460): 1960–4. doi: 10.1126/science.287.5460.1960. PMID 10720314. ^ Robertson, Patrick (1974). The Shell Book of Firsts. London: Ebury Press. p. 124. ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. p. 58. ISBN 0-13-354027-8.