1939 Newspaper Headlines
The world in 1939 didn’t feel like the most safe place. Germany’s invasion of Poland marked the beginning of WWII, commencing the 6 year war that would devastate and destroy the lives of millions of people. 1939 headlines includes the declaration of war on Germany by the allied forces, the United States announcing its neutrality in the war, and Adolf Hitler’s narrow escape of an assassination attempt in Munich.
1939 was a fascinating year in history, filled with events that would forever change the course of history. Read about how the war began step by step, with reports covering the beginning of it all. The best way to understand our world today is to gain an insight into the past and the people and events, good and bad, that have shaped society and the world today. A 1939 newspaper can give perspective on all of these things.
Also, take a look at a full breakdown of the year 1939 in our 1939 timeline.
January 1, 1939
The Hewlett-Packard Company is founded and becomes the largest technology company in the world.
January 5, 1939
Amelia Earhart is officially declared dead after her 1937 disappearance.
February 6, 1939
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain officially declares that any German attack on France will also be considered an attack on Great Britain.
March 2, 1939
Pope Pius XII (Cardinal Pacelli) succeeds Pope Pius XI as the 260th Pope.
April 1, 1939
The Spanish Civil War comes to an end when the last of the Republican forces surrender.
April 14, 1939
John Steinbeck’s classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is published for the first time.
April 30, 1939
The 1939 New York World’s Fair opens.
May 1, 1939
Batman makes his first appearance in Detective Comics #27.
June 17, 1939
Murderer Eugen Weidmann is decapitated by the guillotine in the last public guillotining to take place in France.
June 24, 1939
The government of Siam changes its name to Thailand, which means ‘Free Land’.
August 2, 1939
Albert Einstein writes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about developing the atomic bomb using uranium. This leads to the creation of the Manhattan Project.
August 15, 1939
MGM’s classic musical film The Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s famous novel, and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
September 1, 1939
Nazi Germany invades Poland, thus beginning the Second World War in Europe.
September 3, 1939
The United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany.
September 5, 1939
The United States declares its neutrality in the war.
November 8, 1939
Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in Munich by Georg Elser, while celebrating the sixteenth anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.
November 16, 1939
Al Capone is released from Alcatraz prison.
December 15, 1939
The film Gone with the Wind premieres at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Mitchell and is the longest American film made up to this time (almost four hours long).
December 27, 1939
The 1939 Erzincan earthquake kills 30,000 people in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The earthquake features seven powerful tremors and one of these tremors is measured at 8.2 on the Richter scale of magnitude.
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