1940 News and Interesting History Tidbits



Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky the Russian revolutionary and Marxist theorist and one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution in 1917, is assassinated by a Soviet agent at Coyoacán, in Mexico City. where he lived in exile.









Sister Elena Aiello
The bleeding that came out of the forehead of a Nun stunned both physicians and priests. Sister Elena Aiello experienced this phenomenon for the 16th consecutive Good Friday in a row. It was like a spiritual occurrence that happened on the very day of the remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion.








Not Working Class War
Concerns arose among the working class that the current war was an imperialistic one. Further accounts reveal that many workers of England had no desire to be a part of it. They felt that the purpose of it was to fight for the protection of French and English Possessions. Working class unions advocated against this war (World War II).








Billboard magazine published its first listing of best-selling singles
"Billboard" magazine published its first listing of best-selling singles. 10 songs were on the list. Today, it's the premier publication for official music charts and music-related business in the industry.









Glenn Miller Records "Pennsylvania 6-5000"
"Pennsylvania 6-5000," by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, was recorded. The song's title refers to the oldest existing New York City phone number at the time belonging to the Hotel Pennsylvania. Many prominent acts played at this venue, including the Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington and the Glenn Miller Orchestra as well.








Queen Mary Ocean Liner Troop Ship Duties
The Queen Mary Ocean Liner is leaving the safe harbor of New York together with the Ocean Liner The Mauritania for the first time since the War started to start new lives as troop ship carriers, The Queen Elizabeth is still currently in New York undergoing changes to accommodate troop carrying duties. No information has been given on where the final destination will be in Europe as secrecy is paramount to the survival of the Ships.








Hitler and Mussolini
Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass and agree to fight together in war against France and Britain.










Battle Of France
Germany and Italy begin the battle for France beginning on 10th May and ending on
25th June, at which point Germany put the non-democratic government collaborating with Germany, Vichy Government in control of the country.
The battle of France was a major victory for the Axis Powers and part of the battle involved Dunkirk where British and Allied forces were separated from the main body of the French defenses by the German advance causing the evacuation of 192,226 British and 139,000 French soldiers who were rescued by a hastily assembled fleet of 860 boats which included fishing boats, pleasure craft and RNLI lifeboats.

France stayed in German hands until Operation Overlord "D-Day" on June 6, 1944 as part of the Invasion of Normany in the prelude to taking back control of France for the allies.










British Destroy French Fleet
Following the German invasion and occupation of France, French warships fled to the port of Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria . Britain gave the french Vichi government the options of the following for it's French Navy


1. Join British naval forces in the fight against Germany,


2. Hand the ships over to British crews,


3. Disarm the French Navy Ships


4. Scuttle the ships



The French refused , So Britain fearing the French Ships would be used by the Germans to help with an invasion of England circled the port with British Warships and opened fire on the French fleet, killing 1,250 French sailors, damaging the battleship Dunkerque and destroying the Bretagne and the Provence.










Nylon Stockings Go On Sale
Nylon stockings from DuPont ( Nylon invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers ) went on general sale for the first time in the United States.









Disney releases "Pinocchio"
Disney releases it's second animated feature film "Pinocchio" following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The movie is based on the book written by Carlo Collodi about a wooden puppet being brought to life by a blue fairy, the fairy assigns Jiminy Cricket to act as Pinocchio's conscience and keep him out of wrong so that he can become a real boy if he is "brave, truthful, and unselfish".








Churchill First Speach As Prime Minister
Following Winston Churchill becoming leader of the British Coalition Government in his first speach as prime minister he told the British House of Commons "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."









The Home Guard Is Formed
The Home Guard is formed in Britain to provide a local defence organisation in case of invasion. ( When First Announced the name was Local Defence Volunteers but changed to "The Home Guard" )
The creation of The Home Guard was a direct result of Germany's conquest of Norway so quickly and the beginning of the invasion of France by German forces.
Anthony Eden announced during the radio broadcast

Radio Broadcast Requesting Volunteers

The government had expected 150,000 men to volunteer in total, but by the end of the first month 750,000 men had volunteered. By the end of June 1940, there were nearly 1.5 million volunteers.









Germany invades Norway and Denmark
Nazi Germany invades neutral Norway and Denmark, surprising the Norwegian, Danish and British defenders of the countries and capturing several strategic points along the coast.








Battle Of Britain
The Germans Luftwaffe begin bombing raids against Great Britain, signaling the start of the Battle of Britain, the bombing continued over major Ports and Cities across the UK for 3 months and the Royal Air Force ( RAF ) Spitfires and Hurricanes try to combat German Bf 109E while also trying to stop German Bombers ( Junkers Ju 87 ) reaching their destinations to drop their bombs, the new introduction of Radar along the English coast provided much needed intelegence for UK fighter pilots. Winston Churchill made many memorable speaches in World War II but one of the sentences that is his famous speach where he used the words "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few", refering to the allied pilots who faught against the German pilots in the Battle of Britain

Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London causing Hundreds of fires throughout the city with Londoners filling the subway stations and underground shelters until the all clear sometime after midnight.













Aircraft In Use By Britain and Germany World War II
Bristol Bomber England1940 Bristol Bomber England


Heinkel German Bomber1940 Heinkel German Bomber


Supermarine Spitfire Fighter Plane Britain1940 Supermarine Spitfire Fighter Plane Britain


Messerschmidt fighter plane Germany1940 Messerschmidt fighter plane Germany












First Social Security Check Issued
For the first time ever, a U.S. Social Security check was issued to Ida May Fuller. Her first payment was $22.54, and she received benefits until she was age 100.








Coventry Bombed
German bombers devastate the British industrial city of Coventry, demolishing 27 war factories and tens of thousands of other buildings killing hundreds of men, women, and children








London Bombing World War II
A Request for Blankets for People Sleeping in Underground Tunnels and Shelters during the bombing blitz of London. Times were hard in many areas of the world during World War II. Many Londoners spent winter nights in underground tunnels and shelters. Supplies of any new or old blankets that could be spared were called for in order to provide additional warmth for these people.









Annular Solar Eclipse
An Annular Solar Eclipse is seen for the first time in North America since 1930 and the sun was blocked completely out for 6 to 7 minutes by the moon with a narrow circle of brilliance around it's rim. Austin in Texas had the closest to a full eclipse with 93% of the sun covered at 3.16 PM followed by Tallahassee in Florida at 6.22 PM .








Tacoma Suspension Bridge Collapses
Strong winds gusting to 35 MPH break the the Narrows suspension Bridge to pieces in Tacoma, Washington causing the bridge to fall to the bottom of Puget Sound .








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