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Top News Stories from 1939

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decadeMore World Statistics...
  • Germany invades Poland; occupies Bohemia and Moravia; renounces pact with England and concludes 10-year non-aggression pact with U.S.S.R.
  • Russo-Finnish War begins; Finns to lose one-tenth of territory in 1940 peace treaty.
  • World War II begins.

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

Vice President: John N. Garner
Population: 130,879,718
More U.S. Statistics...

Economics

Federal spending: $9.14 billion
Consumer Price Index: $13.9
Unemployment: 17.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03

Sports

World Series
NY Yankees d. Cincinnati (4-0)
Stanley Cup
Boston d. Toronto
Wimbledon
Women: Alice Marble d. K. Stammers (6-2 6-0)
Men: Bobby Riggs d. E. Cooke (2-6 8-6 3-6 6-3 6-2)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Johnstown
NCAA Basketball Championship
Oregon d. Ohio St.
NCAA Football Champions
Texas A&M (11-0-0)

Entertainment

Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Drama: Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Robert E. Sherwood
Academy Award, Best Picture: You Can't Take It With You (Columbia)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Frans Eemil Sillanpää (Finland)
Miss America: Patricia Donnelly (MI)
More Entertainment Awards...

Events

  • The big-screen adaptation of Gone with the Wind premieres, and will go on to gross $192 million, making it one of the most profitable films of all time. It's also one of the longest films, clocking in at 231 minutes.
  • Robert Kane introduces the Batman cartoon.

Science

Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Adolf Butenandt (Germany), for work on sexual hormones (declined the prize); and Leopold Ruzicka (Switzerland), for work with polymethylenes
Physics: Ernest Orlando Lawrence (US), for development of the cyclotron
Physiology or Medicine: Gerhard Domagk (Germany), for antibacterial effect of prontocilate
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • Albert Einstein writes a letter to President Roosevelt regarding the possibility of using uranium to initiate a nuclear chain reaction, the fundamental process behind the atomic bomb.
  • Paul Muller develops DDT.
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