The year 1939 marked the beginnings of World War Two and another year in the twelve-year presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
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.
All Academy Awards Prize winners of the 12nd edition of the Oscar ceremony
Gone with the Wind
Best supporting actress
Time Person of the Year
Who was the person of the year of 1939?
All Nobel Prize winners of 1939
- Frans Eemil Sillanpää
- Ernest Lawrence
- Adolf Butenandt
- Leopold Ružička
Physiology or Medicine
- Gerhard Domagk
Which were the most popular Movies released in those months?
Watch popular movies, TV series and live events, start your 30-day free trial
Which were the important events of 1939?
- 01 Jan 1939 William Hewlett and David Packard found Hewlett-Packard in the USA.
- 03 Jan 1939 Gene Cox becomes 1st girl page in US House of Representatives
- 04 Jan 1939 Frieda Wunderlich elected 1st woman Dean of a US graduate school
- 05 Jan 1939 Felix Frankfurter is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Frankfurter had been born in Vienna, Austria and immigrated to the U.S. with his family at age 12.
- 06 Jan 1939 ''Naturwissenschaften'' publishes evidence that nuclear fission has been achieved by Otto Hahn.
- 07 Jan 1939 US workers' union leader Tom Mooney freed (jailed since 1916).
- 13 Jan 1939 Belgian premier signs Burgos-treaty for trade relations with Franco.
- 14 Jan 1939 All commercial ferry service to East Bay ends
- 15 Jan 1939 Municipal Railway and Market St. RR begin service to Transbay Terminal
- 16 Jan 1939 Comic strip Superman debuts in the USA.
- 17 Jan 1939 Ed Barrow is elected New York Yankees president succeeding deceased J Ruppert.
- 19 Jan 1939 Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin, USA sets chicken-plucking record-4.4 seconds.
- 21 Jan 1939 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer.
- 22 Jan 1939 Aquatic Park, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco California, is dedicated.
- 23 Jan 1939 quotDutch War Scarequot: Admiral Wilhelm Canaris of the ''Abwehr'' leaks misinformation to the effect that Germany plans to invade the Netherlands in February, with the aim of using Dutch air-fields to launch a strategic bombing offensive against Britain. The quotDutch War Scarequot leads to a major change in British policies towards Europe.
- 24 Jan 1939 30,000 killed by earthquake in Concepcion Chile.
- 25 Jan 1939 Joe Louis knocks out John Henry Lewis in one round for heavyweight boxing title.
- 26 Jan 1939 Filming begins on Gone With the Wind
- 27 Jan 1939 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
- 30 Jan 1939 Hitler calls for extermination of European Jews
- 02 Feb 1939 Hungary joins the Anti-Comintern Pact.
- 04 Feb 1939 Glenn Cunningham (top miler) says 4-minute mile beyond human effort.
- 05 Feb 1939 Generalisimo Francisco Franco becomes the 68th ''Caudillo de Espana'', or Leader of Spain.
- 06 Feb 1939 Spanish government flees to France.
- 09 Feb 1939 Belgian Spaak government falls.
- 10 Feb 1939 Spanish Nationalists complete their offensive in Catalonia.
- 11 Feb 1939 A Lockheed XP-38 flies from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes.
- 14 Feb 1939 Victor Fleming replaces George Cukor as Director of Gone With the Wind
- 15 Feb 1939 German battleship Bismarck was launched
- 17 Feb 1939 Katwijk soccer team forms.
- 18 Feb 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition opens on Treasure Island, San Francisco, California.
- 21 Feb 1939 Belgian government of Pierlot forms.
- 22 Feb 1939 Netherlands recognizes Franco-regime in Spain.
- 23 Feb 1939 Lou Thesz beats E Marshall in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA to become wrestling champion.
- 27 Feb 1939 US Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes.
- 28 Feb 1939 The erroneous word ''dord'' is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
- 01 Mar 1939 A Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump explodes at Hirakata, Osaka, Japan, killing 94.
- 02 Mar 1939 Massachusetts Legislature votes to ratify the Bill of Rights; 147 years late.
- 03 Mar 1939 In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.
- 07 Mar 1939 Glamour magazine begins publishing
- 12 Mar 1939 Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies.
- 14 Mar 1939 Nazi Germany dissolves Republic of Czechoslovakia
- 15 Mar 1939 Hitler occupies Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia); Slovakia independ
- 16 Mar 1939 Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
- 17 Mar 1939 Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan begins,
- 18 Mar 1939 American President Franklin Roosevelt imposes punitive tariffs on imports from Germany.
- 19 Mar 1939 Hitler sends a registered letter to the government of Lithuania stating that Germany intends to annex the port of Memel.
- 20 Mar 1939 7,000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania.
- 21 Mar 1939 Nazi-Germany demands Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland
- 22 Mar 1939 Lithuania state, forced to give Memel territory to Germany
- 23 Mar 1939 The Hungarian air force attacks the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spisska Nova Ves, kills 13 people and began the Slovak : Hungarian War.
- 24 Mar 1939 Marks the seventh successive year of the world wide boycott of all German exports initiated by front page declarations in Britain and the U.S. 'Judea declares war on Germany'
- 25 Mar 1939 Billboard Magazine introduces hillbilly (country) music chart.
- 28 Mar 1939 Dutch hunter shoots English bombers down.
- 30 Mar 1939 The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.
- 31 Mar 1939 Britain and France agree to support Poland if invaded by Germany
- 01 Apr 1939 US recognizes Franco government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war.
- 02 Apr 1939 6th Golf Masters Championship: Ralph Guldahl wins, shooting a 279.
- 03 Apr 1939 Adolf Hitler orders the German military to start planning for Fall Weiss, the codename for the invasion of Poland.
- 05 Apr 1939 Membership in Hitler Youth becomes obligatory in Germany.
- 06 Apr 1939 Great Britain and Poland sign military pact.
- 07 Apr 1939 World War II: Italy invades Albania.
- 08 Apr 1939 King Zog I of Albania, flees
- 09 Apr 1939 Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial, after having been refused the right to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution's Constitution Hall.
- 10 Apr 1939 Grens mobilization due to Italian invasion in Albania
- 11 Apr 1939 Hungary leaves League of Nations.
- 13 Apr 1939 Britain offers a quotguaranteequot to Romania and Greece.
- 14 Apr 1939 John Steinbeck novel The Grapes of Wrath published
- 15 Apr 1939 Albert Lebrun elected President of France.
- 16 Apr 1939 Stanley Cup: Boston Bruins beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 1.
- 17 Apr 1939 Joe Louis knocks out Jack Roper in one for heavyweight boxing title.
- 18 Apr 1939 Franz von Papen becomes German ambassador in Turkey.
- 19 Apr 1939 Connecticut finally approves Bill of Rights (148 years late).
- 20 Apr 1939 New York World's Fair opens.
- 23 Apr 1939 Boston Red Sox Ted Williams hits his 1st HR
- 25 Apr 1939 The Federal Security Agency (FSA) is founded in the USA, along with the Civilian Conservation Corps and Public Health Service.
- 27 Apr 1939 Ely Racecourse in Cardiff closes.
- 28 Apr 1939 Hitler claims German-Polish non-attack treaty still in effect
- 29 Apr 1939 Whitestone Bridge connecting Bronx and Queens opens (New York).
- 30 Apr 1939 Tropicana ballet of Havana, Cuba forms.
- 01 May 1939 Batman comics hit street
- 02 May 1939 Vyacheslav Molotov succeeds Maxim Litvinov as Soviet Foreign Commissar.
- 03 May 1939 The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- 05 May 1939 Flash floods kill 75 in Northeast Kentucky, USA.
- 06 May 1939 65th Kentucky Derby: James Stout aboard Johnstown wins in 2:03.4.
- 07 May 1939 Germany and Italy announce an alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.
- 09 May 1939 Catholic church beatifies the first Native American, Kateri Tekakwitha.
- 13 May 1939 SS St. Louis departs Hamburg with 937 Jews fugitives
- 14 May 1939 Lina Medina, a 5-year old Peruvian girl, gives birth to a baby boy, becoming the youngest confirmed mother in medical history.
- 16 May 1939 1st AL night game, Philadelphia Shribe Park (Indians 8, Athletics 3 in 10)
- 17 May 1939 The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the United States' first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
- 20 May 1939 3 Little Fishies, by Kay Kyser hits #1
- 21 May 1939 The Canadian National War Memorial is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.
- 22 May 1939 Hitler and Mussolini sign Pact of Steel
- 23 May 1939 Dmitri Shostakovitch appointed Professor at Conservatory of Leningrad
- 25 May 1939 Carl Storck becomes the second NFL president.
- 29 May 1939 Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.
- 01 Jun 1939 1st boxing match to be televised, Lon Nova defeats Max Baer
- 03 Jun 1939 71st Belmont: James Stout aboard Johnstown wins in 2:29.6
- 04 Jun 1939 Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.
- 06 Jun 1939 New York Giants beat Reds 17-3, with 5 HRs in 4th inning
- 07 Jun 1939 Cleveland Indians set American League record of 16-inning game without striking out, however lose game 5-4 to New York Yankees.
- 08 Jun 1939 British King George VI visits US
- 10 Jun 1939 Barney Bear, cartoon character, by MGM, debuts
- 11 Jun 1939 King and Queen of England taste first "hot dogs" at US President Franklin Roosevelt's party.
- 12 Jun 1939 43rd US Golf Open: Byron Nelson shoots a 284 at Philadelphia Country Club
- 14 Jun 1939 Tientsin Incident: The Japanese blockade the British concession in Tianjin, China, beginning a crisis which almost causes an Anglo-Japanese war in the summer of 1939.
- 17 Jun 1939 Last public guillotining in France: Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison.
- 20 Jun 1939 Test flight of first rocket plane using liquid propellants.
- 21 Jun 1939 Doctors reveal Lou Gehrig has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- 22 Jun 1939 Future Queen Elizabeth of England meets future husband Philip
- 23 Jun 1939 Bronko Nagurski beats Lou Thesz in Houston, to become wrestling champ
- 24 Jun 1939 Siam is renamed to Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the country's third prime minister.
- 27 Jun 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers tie Boston Braves, 2-2, in 23 innings
- 28 Jun 1939 Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title
- 29 Jun 1939 4th Dutch government of Colijn falls
- 02 Jul 1939 The 1st World Science Fiction Convention opens in New York City.
- 03 Jul 1939 Lou Gehrig day; baseball player Gehrig makes "luckiest man" speech.
- 04 Jul 1939 Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tells a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considers himself ''The luckiest man on the face of the earth'' as he announces his retirement from major league baseball.
- 06 Jul 1939 Holocaust: the last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany are closed.
- 07 Jul 1939 52nd Wimbledon Womens Tennis: Alice Marble beats Kay Stammers (62 60)
- 08 Jul 1939 59th Wimbledon Mens Tennis: Bobby Riggs beats E Cooke (26 86 36 63 62)
- 11 Jul 1939 7th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, New York New York Yankee / AL maanager Joe McCarthy starts 6 Yankees
- 13 Jul 1939 Frank Sinatra made his recording debut
- 15 Jul 1939 Clara Adams (NYC) is 1st woman to complete round world flight
- 17 Jul 1939 22nd PGA Championship: Henry Picard at Pomonok Country Club - Flushing, New York
- 19 Jul 1939 Dr Roy P Scholz is 1st surgeon to use fiberglass sutures
- 22 Jul 1939 1st black woman judge (Jane Matilda Bolin-NYC)
- 23 Jul 1939 Mahatma Gandhi the spiritual leader from India writes a personal letter to Adolf Hitler addressing him quotMy friendquot, requesting to prevent any possible war.
- 25 Jul 1939 5th and last Dutch government of Colijn, forms
- 26 Jul 1939 Yankee catcher Bill Dickey hits 3 consecutive HRs
- 27 Jul 1939 The first recorded snowfall in Auckland, New Zealand since records began in 1853.
- 28 Jul 1939 5th Dutch government of Colijn falls
- 02 Aug 1939 Hatch Act prohibits political activity by federal workers.
- 03 Aug 1939 Jean Genets Ondine, premieres in Paris
- 04 Aug 1939 Neville Chamberlain dismisses Parliament until October 3.
- 06 Aug 1939 1st broadcast of Dinah Shore Show on NBC-radio
- 10 Aug 1939 2nd Dutch De Geer government forms (1st with Social Democrats)
- 11 Aug 1939 Sergei Rachmaninovs last appearance in Europe
- 13 Aug 1939 Sabotage suspected in crash of the City of San Francisco which fell into the Humboldt River killing 24. (Elko, Nevada).
- 15 Aug 1939 In 1st night game at Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2
- 17 Aug 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie opens at Loew's Capitol Theater in New York.
- 19 Aug 1939 37.6 cm rainfall at Tuckerton, New Jersey (state record)
- 20 Aug 1939 1st black bowling league formed (National Bowling Association)
- 22 Aug 1939 Dutch border guards take positions for German invasion
- 23 Aug 1939 John Cobb (Britain) drives 365.85 mph (593.48 km/h) at Bonneville Flats
- 24 Aug 1939 Germany and the USSR sign 10-year non-aggression pact
- 25 Aug 1939 The United Kingdom and Poland form a military alliance in which the UK promises to defend Poland in case of invasion by a foreign power.
- 26 Aug 1939 1st major league baseball telecast-Reds beat Brooklyn Dodgers (W2XBS NY)
- 27 Aug 1939 Erich Warsitz makes 1st jet-propelled flight (in a Heinkel He-178)
- 28 Aug 1939 Monty becomes Commandant of 3rd Iron Infantry division
- 29 Aug 1939 Chaim Weizmann informs England that Palestine Jews will fight in war.
- 30 Aug 1939 6th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: New York Giants 9, All-Stars 0 (81,456)
- 31 Aug 1939 Japanese invasion army driven out of Mongolia
- 01 Sep 1939 Hitler orders extermination of mentally ill
- 02 Sep 1939 The German-American League for Culture in Cleveland, Ohio, representing 103,000 German-Americans, issues a resolution calling on German people to rise up and defeat Adolf Hitler.
- 03 Sep 1939 Britain declares war on Germany. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada
- 04 Sep 1939 German submarine U-30 sinks British passenger ship Athenia
- 05 Sep 1939 34th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in Haverford (3-2)
- 06 Sep 1939 1st German air attack on Great-Britain in WWII
- 07 Sep 1939 Radio New York Worldwide-WRUL begins radio transmission
- 08 Sep 1939 FDR declares limited national emergency due to war in Europe
- 09 Sep 1939 Nazi army reaches Warsaw
- 10 Sep 1939 In WWII, Canada declared war on Germany
- 11 Sep 1939 Battle of Kutno-pocket: Germans advance to Warsaw
- 13 Sep 1939 Igor Stravinsky invents 1st helicopter
- 14 Sep 1939 British fleet attacks German U-39 boat
- 15 Sep 1939 WWII: Diverse elements of the German Wehrmacht surround Warsaw and demand its surrender. The Poles refuse and the siege begins in earnest.
- 16 Sep 1939 53rd US Womens Tennis: Alice Marble beats Helen Hull Jacobs (60 810 64)
- 17 Sep 1939 German U-29 sinks British aircraft carrier Courageous, 519 die
- 18 Sep 1939 Polish government of Moscicki flees to Romania
- 19 Sep 1939 British Expeditionary Force reaches France
- 20 Sep 1939 British fleet takes German U-27 boat
- 21 Sep 1939 Reinhard Heydrich meets in Berlin to discuss final solution of Jews
- 22 Sep 1939 Joint victory parade of Wehrmacht and Red Army in Brest-Litovsk at the end of the Invasion of Poland.
- 23 Sep 1939 Cookie Lavagetto goes 6 for 6; Brooklyn Dodgers get 27 hits and beat Philadelphia Phillies 22-4.
- 25 Sep 1939 German Luftwaffe strikes Warsaw with (fire)bombs
- 26 Sep 1939 German seaplane shoots KLM-aircraft (1 killed)
- 27 Sep 1939 Warsaw Poland, surrenders to Germans after 19 days of resistance
- 28 Sep 1939 Estonia accepts Soviet military bases
- 29 Sep 1939 Gerald J. Cox, speaking at an American Water Works Association meeting, becomes the first person to publicly propose the fluoridation of public water supplies in the United States.
- 30 Sep 1939 41 U-boats sunk this month (153,000 ton)
- 01 Oct 1939 Churchill calls Soviets riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma
- 02 Oct 1939 Birdbaths installed in Union Square, San Francisco
- 03 Oct 1939 Lemmer-Urk Dike closes
- 04 Oct 1939 Last Polish troops surrender
- 06 Oct 1939 Adolf Hitler denies he intends to go to war against France and Britain
- 07 Oct 1939 HALL airship Binnendijk runs up German my
- 08 Oct 1939 New York Yankees sweep Cincinnati Reds in 36th World Series, fourth straight World Series win.
- 11 Oct 1939 Albert Einstein informs FDR of possibilities of atomic bomb
- 14 Oct 1939 BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) formed
- 15 Oct 1939 Yeshiva of Mir closes after 124 years
- 16 Oct 1939 Sugar rationing begins in the Netherlands
- 18 Oct 1939 R Rodgers and Lorenz Harts Too Many Girls, premieres in New York City
- 20 Oct 1939 All the Things You Are recorded by Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
- 22 Oct 1939 1st TV NFL game-Eagles vs. Dodgers
- 24 Oct 1939 Joe DiMaggio wins AL MVP, Jimmie Foxx is runner-up
- 25 Oct 1939 Nylon stockings go on sale in US for 1st time
- 26 Oct 1939 Polish Jewish forced into obligatory work service
- 28 Oct 1939 Anti-German demonstrations / strikes in Czechoslovakia
- 29 Oct 1939 NHL Babe Seibert Memorial Game: All-Stars beat Montreal 5-3
- 30 Oct 1939 German U-boat fails on attack of English battleship Nelson with Winston Churchill, Dudley Pound and Charles Forbes aboard
- 31 Oct 1939 27 U-boats sunk this month (135,000 ton)
- 01 Nov 1939 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Sertum laetitiae
- 04 Nov 1939 US allows cash & carry arms sales during WWII
- 06 Nov 1939 WRGB TV channel 6 in Schenectady-Alby-Troy, New York (CBS) 1st broadcast
- 08 Nov 1939 In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.
- 09 Nov 1939 Ninotchka, with Greta Garbo premieres
- 11 Nov 1939 Kate Smith first sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America".
- 14 Nov 1939 Oil refinery fire kills 500 and destroys Lagunillas, Venezuela.
- 15 Nov 1939 Anti-German demonstrations in Czechoslovakia
- 16 Nov 1939 Al Capone freed from Alcatraz jail
- 17 Nov 1939 German U-boat torpedoes passenger ship
- 18 Nov 1939 Netherlands KNSM passenger ship Simon Bolivar hits German mine, 86 die
- 19 Nov 1939 Don Lash wins 6th straight Amateur Athletic Union cross-country 10km championship.
- 23 Nov 1939 Nazi Gov of Poland Hans Frank requires Jews to wear a blue star
- 26 Nov 1939 4 soviet soldiers killed on Finnish-Russian border
- 28 Nov 1939 Nazi Governor-General of Poland, Hans Frank organizes Judenrat
- 29 Nov 1939 Cor Klint swims world record 200 m backstroke (2:38.8)
- 30 Nov 1939 21 U-boats sunk this month (52,000 ton)
- 02 Dec 1939 New York's La Guardia Airport begins operations as an airliner from Chicago lands, one minute after midnight.
- 04 Dec 1939 World War II: HMS Nelson is struck by a mine (laid by U-31) off the Scottish coast and is laid up for repairs until August 1940.
- 06 Dec 1939 5th Heisman Trophy Award: Nile Kinnick, Iowa (HB).
- 09 Dec 1939 Russian air raid on Helsinki, Finland.
- 10 Dec 1939 Green Bay Packers win NFL championship, beat the New York Giants 27-0
- 12 Dec 1939 Russ Indigirka capsizes in blizzard off Japanese coast; 750 die
- 13 Dec 1939 Battle at La Plata - 3 British cruisers vs. German Graf Spee
- 14 Dec 1939 Soviet Union attacks Finland-League of Nations drops Soviet Union
- 15 Dec 1939 Gone with the Wind receives its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
- 17 Dec 1939 German pocket battleship Graf Spee scuttled by its crew off Uruguay
- 19 Dec 1939 Russian air and ground attack against Finnish positions near Summa.
- 20 Dec 1939 Radio Australia begins overseas short-wave service.
- 22 Dec 1939 99 die in 2nd wreck at Friedrichshafen Germany
- 23 Dec 1939 South Australia score 7-821 against Queensland in cricket.
- 24 Dec 1939 World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
- 25 Dec 1939 Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer.
- 26 Dec 1939 Earthquake in East Anatolia Turkey
- 27 Dec 1939 Between 20,000 and 40,000 die in magnitude 8 quake (Erzincam Turkey)
- 28 Dec 1939 The Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber prototype first flies.
- 29 Dec 1939 First flight of the Consolidated B-24.
- 31 Dec 1939 25 U-boats sunk this month (81,000 ton)