Historical Events For Year 1940

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?

February 7, 1940

Pinocchio, the second full-length animated film made by Disney Studios, debuts for the first time.
Read More

February 10, 1940

The well-known cat and mouse cartoon Tom and Jerry is released for the first time in Puss Gets the Boot, but they are not referred to by their names until 1941.
Read More

February 27, 1940

Carbon-14 is identified for the first time by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben. Read More

February 29, 1940

An Academy Award is won by an African American for the first time, Hattie McDaniel. Read More

March 12, 1940

The Winter War is ended by the signing a peace treaty between the Soviet Union and Finland, but the severe terms of the treaty leave the entire world in shock.
Read More

March 18, 1940

An alliance between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini is made against the French and British.
Read More

April 13, 1940

The 1940 Stanley Cup Finals is won by the New York Rangers, their last win for the next 54 years.
Read More

May 10, 1940

During World War II, the Battles of France, the Netherlands, and Belgium begin along with the invasions of Luxembourg and Iceland.
Read More

May 10, 1940

Winston Churchill takes Neville Chamberlain's place as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Read More

May 14, 1940

The Local Defense Volunteers begin recruitment for a home defense force in Britain, later being renamed as the Home Guard.
Read More

May 15, 1940

San Bernardino, California is home to the first ever McDonald's restaurant. Read More

May 20, 1940

The largest Nazi German concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, opens and will lead to the deaths of 1.1 million or more people from now until the beginning of 1945.
Read More

May 22, 1940

The Emergency Powers Act is ratified by the United Kingdom's Parliament, intending to give control of all persons and property to the government.
Read More

May 24, 1940

All forces under the rule of the Anglo-French Supreme War Council are withdrawn from Norway.
Read More

June 10, 1940

War is declared on France and the United Kingdom by Italy, and on Italy by Canada. Read More

June 14, 1940

Soviet imperialism is demonstrated when the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are annexed by the Soviet Union.
Read More

July 10, 1940

The beginning of the Battle of Britain is initiated. Read More

July 27, 1940

The Oscar-nominated cartoon A Wild Hare showcases Bugs Bunny for the first time, although his name is not established until the following year.
Read More

August 25, 1940

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia merges into the Soviet Union. Read More

September 4, 1940

A declaration of revenge is made by Adolf Hitler towards the night air raids made against Germany by England.
Read More

September 12, 1940

Paintings dating back to the Stone Age at about 17,000 years old are unearthed by a group of French hikers in Lascaux, France.
Read More

October 16, 1940

Military draft registration starts in the United States with about 16 million men being drafted.
Read More

November 11, 1940

The first aircraft carrier strike is set in motion by the Royal Navy against the Taranto naval base's Italian battleship fleet.
Read More

December 8, 1940

The 1940 NFL Championship Game sees the biggest one-sided victory in NFL history with the defeat of the Washington Redskins by the Chicago Bears with a final score of 73-0.
Read More

December 30, 1940

The Arroyo Seco Parkway opens in Pasadena, California as California's first modern freeway, and will eventually become the State Route 110.
Read More