The year 1938 is the year before the official start of World War II. It saw many of the important events that led to World War II, and we want to bring this information to you in a convenient manner. Our archive holds the most notable events that led up to the start of World War II in the year of 1938, including the revoking of Jewish passports in Nazi Germany, Hitler's announcement of his plan to destroy Czechoslovakia, the banishment of Polish Jews from Germany, the burning of Jewish buildings and business by the Nazi Party, and much more. Each title is available individually, and all are searchable via an interface that allows users to easily view, search, zoom, print and save digital page images.
Search 1938 newspapers
Unearth your ancestors and family history in newspapers from 1938.
For Year 1938
There is no better source of the stories of yesterday, as they were actually told, than Newspaper Archives. Discover your ancestry with records from every world history event and find treasures that simply aren't available anywhere else. Newspaper Archives have preserved essential accounts of your family, famous people and events that shaped this nation for hundreds of years.
What will you discover?
January 22, 1938
The play Our Town by Thornton Wilder is premiered for the first time in Princeton, New Jersey.
March 3, 1938
The discovery of oil is made in Saudi Arabia.
February 12, 1938
The Chancellor of Austria, Kurt von Schuschnigg, meets with Adolf Hitler and, under threat of invasion, must render to German demands in an effort of gaining greater participation from the Nazis.
March 18, 1938
All oil properties within Mexico's borders become nationalized, deeming every one operated by the state.
April 16, 1938
An agreement between London and Rome establishes that Italian control of Ethiopia is to be recognized by Britain in exchange for the withdrawal of Italian troops from Spain during the end of the Spanish Civil War.
May 5, 1938
The government in Spain created by Francisco Franco is recognized by the Vatican.
May 14, 1938
The League of Nations loses Chile as a member.
May 28, 1938
Hitler announces his plan to destroy Czechoslovakia at a conference at the Reichs Chancellery and gives instruction for the mobilization of 96 Wehrmacht divisions.
July 14, 1938
A new record is set by Howard Hughes when he completes an around the world airplane flight in 91 hours.
September 15, 1938
Negotiations over the Sudetenland are discussed between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden.
September 26, 1938
Hitler gives a caustic speech at Berlin's Sportpalast, defying the world and suggesting that war with Czechoslovakia could begin at any moment.
September 29, 1938
German demands on annexing the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia are agreed upon by Italy, Britain, and French leaders in what is known as the Munich Agreement.
The passports of the Jewish were revoked in Nazi Germany, aside from those who needed them for emigration purposes, then they were given one marked with the letter J.
October 2, 1938
19 Jewish immigrants are killed in a raid by the Arabs in what is known as the Tiberias Massacre.
October 18, 1938
12,000 Polish Jews are banished from Germany, 4,000 of which are accepted into Poland, leaving the remaining 8,000 to establish homes in the frontier between Germany and Poland.
October 24, 1938
The United States set a minimum wage to be enforced by law.
October 30, 1938
The radio broadcast of Orson Welles' The War of The Worlds ensues a wave of panic throughout the United States.
October 31, 1938
A 15 point program is initiated by the New York Stock exchange in an effort to reinstate the security and confidence of investors.
November 7, 1938
The assassination of the Third Secretary at the German Embassy, Ernst von Rath, takes place and is performed by Herschel Grynszpan.
November 9, 1938
Jewish businesses and buildings are burned down, and almost 100 Jews are killed, as part of the Holocaust by Nazis and their supporters in what is known as the "night of broken glass."
November 16, 1938
The first attack on a local resident of Halifax, England is reported and marks the beginning of the mass hysteria following such attacks by the Halifax Slasher.
The Sino-American relationship is further established by the loaning of $25 million to the Chinese government by President Franklin Roosevelt, which in turn creates a disturbance with the Japanese government.
December 16, 1938
The film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is released by media company MGM.
December 17, 1938
The beginning of the Atomic Age is marked by the discovery of Uranium and it's nuclear fission by Otto Hahn, which ended up being the foundation of nuclear energy.
December 30, 1938
The Mahen Theatre in Brno, Czechoslovakia is home to the first performance of the ballet Romeo and Juliet.