Explore what happened in1939

1939

The year 1939 marked the beginnings of World War Two and another year in the twelve-year presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

1939

In these twelve months, world censuses estimated a world population of roughly 2.3 billion. This number continued to grow throughout the year. The names chosen most often by new parents happened to be Robert and Mary. Included amongst this year’s newborns were famous actor, Ian McKellen; famous fashion designer, Ralph Lauren; well-known assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald; and well-known songstress, Tina Turner.

Those that passed from the mortal coil in 1939 included Amelia Earhart, Pope Pius XI, Sigmund Freud, and Howard Carter. These 365 days saw changes to warfare, wartime alliances, and European diplomatic relationships. The most popular novels happened to be Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Christie’s And Then There Were None. For people who preferred popcorn munching to page turning, cinemas saw popular premieres of movies such as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. For a more in-depth view of what exactly made 1939 unique, keep on reading.

People cognizant of happenings in these twelve months saw many firsts. These included the first rocket test, the first female dean of a US graduate school, the first nylon stocking, the first US food stamp issued, and the first animal (a rabbit) conceived via artificial insemination. In addition, patents were filed for the helicopter and electron microscope.

DC debuted its Superman and Batman comics to the delight of nerds the world over. Overseas, Paris witnessed its last execution via guillotine. All this progress existed beneath the growing shadow of World War II. This world watched as Germany established a short-lived alliance with Russia and Italy. Britain saw the horrors of the first Luftwaffe airstrike. The US maintained its neutrality as Canada and other nations declared war against the Nazis. A failed request for peace by Pope Pius XII signaled one thing: World War II was there to stay.

If you’re currently clad in Batman-centric pajamas, or use a microscope every time you go to work, you need to toss a salute at 1939.

Have a look at how Virginia, United States of America was like in 1939

Old Newspapers

Old Newspapers

Have a look at the old newspapers from 1939 and get them!

Movies

Which were the most popular movies released this year ?

Gunga Din

Directed by: George Stevens

Starring: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen

Country: United States

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Stagecoach

Directed by: John Ford

Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine

Country: United States

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Love Affair

Directed by: Leo McCarey

Starring: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya

Country: United States

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

Directed by: Sidney Lanfield

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene

Country: United States

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Books

Which were the most popular books released in 1939 ?

The Grapes of Wrath

By: John Steinbeck

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers. First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story ...

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All This, and Heaven Too

By: Rachel Field

This number-one bestselling novel is based on the true story of one of the most notorious murder cases in French history. The heroine, Henriette Deluzy-Desportes, governess to the children of the Duc de Praslin, found herself strangely drawn to her ...

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Rebecca

By: Daphne du Maurier

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young ...

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Wickford Point

By: John P. Marquand

- A rediscovery. WICKFORD POINT follows "The Late George Apley as the second of Marquand's acclaimed and bestselling novels that Back Bay has restored to print.-

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Popular names

Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1939 in the USA ?

Top #10 male names
  1. Robert
  2. James
  3. John
  4. William
  5. Richard
  6. Charles
  7. David
  8. Donald
  9. Thomas
  10. Ronald
Top #10 female names
  1. Mary
  2. Barbara
  3. Patricia
  4. Betty
  5. Shirley
  6. Carol
  7. Nancy
  8. Judith
  9. Dorothy
  10. Margaret

What happened in each day of 1939

Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1939

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
01 Jan 1939 01 Feb 1939 01 Mar 1939 01 Apr 1939 01 May 1939 01 Jun 1939
02 Jan 1939 02 Feb 1939 02 Mar 1939 02 Apr 1939 02 May 1939 02 Jun 1939
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Qué pasó cada día del 1939

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01 Ene 1939 01 Feb 1939 01 Mar 1939 01 Abr 1939 01 May 1939 01 Jun 1939
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Tell the world why 1939 is such a special year for you!