News and Events of 1942

World Events

  • Nazi leaders attend the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "final solution to the Jewish question," the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust.

  • Declaration of United Nations is signed in Washington.

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: Franklin D Roosevelt
Vice President: Henry A. Wallace
Population: 134,859,553

More U.S. Statistics...


Federal spending:   $35.14 billion
Federal debt:   $79.2 billion
Consumer Price Index:   16.3
Unemployment:   4.7%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.03


World Series
St. Louis Cardinals d. NY Yankees (4-1)
Stanley Cup
Toronto d. Detroit (4-3)
Women: Not held (World War II)
Men: Not held (World War II)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Shut Out
NCAA Basketball Championship
Stanford d. Dartmouth (53-38)
NCAA Football Champions
Ohio St. (9-1-0)
World Cup
Not held (World War II)


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: In This Our Life, Ellen Glasgow

Oscars awarded in 1942
Academy Award, Best Picture: How Green Was My Valley (Twentieth Century-Fox)

Miss America: JoCaroll Dennison (TX)

More Entertainment Awards...


  • Casablanca premieres in theaters.
  • Bing Crosby releases "White Christmas," from the film Holiday Inn. The song goes on to be the all-time, top-selling song from a film.
  • RCA Victor sprays gold over Glenn Miller's million-copy-seller Chattanooga Choo Choo, creating the first "gold record."


Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: None awarded

Physics: None awarded

Physiology or Medicine: None awarded

  • The first safe self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is accomplished by Erico Fermi, Edward Teller and Leo Szilard at the University of Chicago.
  • Harvard University chemist Louis F. Fieser invents napalm, a jelly-like mixture of gasoline and palm oils that sticks to its target until it burns out.
  • Radar comes into operational use.
  • The U.S. government establishes the Manhattan Project, led by Robert Oppenheimer, to coordinate ongoing American efforts to design and build the atomic bomb.
or enter a year: