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Years: 1935 1936 1937 - 1938 - 1939 1940 1941
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1938 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1938

Ab urbe condita 2691
Armenian calendar 1387
Bahá'í calendar 94 – 95
Buddhist calendar 2482
Coptic calendar 1654 – 1655
Ethiopian calendar 1930 – 1931
Hebrew calendar 5698 5699
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat 1993 – 1994
 - Shaka Samvat 1860 – 1861
 - Kali Yuga 5039 – 5040
Holocene calendar 11938
Iranian calendar 1316 – 1317
Islamic calendar 1356 – 1357
Japanese calendar Shōwa


(昭和 13年)

 - Imperial Year Kōki 2598
Julian calendar 1983
Korean calendar 4271
Thai solar calendar 2481
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Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.



January 20: King Farouk

January 16: Benny Goodman in NYC.

  • January 1
    • The new Constitution of Estonia enters into force, ending the Era of Silence and the authoritarian regime.
    • Sir Alexander Cadogan succeeds Sir Robert Vansittart as permanent under-secretary at the British Foreign Office; Vansittart is "kicked upstairs" by being given the new and unimportant office of Chief Diplomatic Advisor to the Government.
    • The Merrie Melodies cartoon short Daffy Duck and Egghead is released, being the first cartoon to give Daffy Duck his current name, as well as his second appearance.
  • January 3 – The March of Dimes is established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
  • January 12 – The German War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg marries Eva Gruhn in Berlin; Hermann Göring is best man at the wedding.
  • January 16 – Two landmark live recordings are produced this day: the very first of Mahler's Ninth by the Vienna Philharmonic under Bruno Walter in the face of dire circumstance; and Benny Goodman and his orchestra become the first jazz musicians to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
  • January 20 – King Farouk of Egypt marries Queen Farida Zulficar in Cairo.
  • January 22Thornton Wilder's play Our Town is performed for the first time anywhere in Princeton, New Jersey. It premieres in New York City on February 4.
  • January 25 – A brilliant aurora borealis described variously as "a curtain of fire" and a "huge blood-red beam of light" startles people across Europe and is visible as far south as Gibraltar.
  • January 27
    • The Niagara Bridge at Niagara Falls, New York collapses due to an ice jam.
    • German War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg resigns, following the revelation that his new wife had previously posed for pornographic photos.
  • January 28 – The first ski tow in America begins operation in Vermont.

January 27: Niagara Bridge collapses in ice.


  • February 4
    • Adolf Hitler abolishes the War Ministry and creates the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces), giving him direct control of the German military. In addition, Hitler sacks political and military leaders considered unsympathetic to his philosophy or policies. General Werner von Fritsch is forced to resign as Commander of Chief of the German Army following accusations of homosexuality, and replaced by General Walther von Brauchitsch. Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath is sacked and replaced by Joachim von Ribbentrop.
    • Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first cel-animated feature in motion picture history, is released in the United States.
  • February 6 – Black Sunday at Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia: 300 swimmers are dragged out to sea in 3 freak waves; 80 lifesavers save all but 5.
  • February 10Carol II of Romania takes dictatorial powers.
  • February 12 – Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg of Austria meets Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden and, under threat of invasion, is forced to yield to German demands for greater Nazi participation in the Austrian government.
  • February 14 – The British naval base at Singapore begins operations.
  • February 20 – Sir Anthony Eden resigns as British Foreign Secretary following major disagreements with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain over the best policy to follow in regards to Italy, and is succeeded by Lord Halifax.
  • February 24 – A nylon bristle toothbrush becomes the first commercial product to be made with nylon yarn.


  • March – Italian mathematician Ettore Majorana disappears.
  • March 3
    • The Santa Ana River in California spills over its banks during a rainy winter, killing 58 people in Orange County and causing trouble as far inland as Palm Springs.[1]
    • Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
    • Sir Nevile Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany, presents a proposal to Hitler for an international consortium to rule much of Africa (in which Germany would be assigned a leading role) in exchange for a German promise never to resort to war to change her frontiers; Hitler rejects the British offer.
  • March 12Anschluss: German troops occupy Austria; annexation is declared the following day.
  • March 14 – French Premier Léon Blum reassures the Czechoslovak government that France will honor its treaty obligations to aid Czechoslovakia in event of German invasion.
  • March 15 – Soviet Union announces officially that Nikholai Bukharin has been executed.
  • March 17 – Poland presents an ultimatum to Lithuania, to establish normal diplomatic relations that were severed over the Vilnius Region.
  • March 18
    • Mexico nationalizes all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.
    • General Werner von Fritsch is acquitted of charges of homosexuality at his court-martial.


  • April 10
    • Édouard Daladier becomes prime minister of France. He appoints as Foreign Minister a leading advocate of the policy of appeasement, Georges Bonnet, effectively negating Blum's reassurances of March 14.
    • In a result that astonished even Hitler, the Austrian electorate in a national referendum approved Anschluss by an overwhelming 99.73%.
  • April 16 – London and Rome sign an agreement that sees Britain recognise Italian control of Ethiopia in return for an Italian pledge to withdraw all its troops from Spain at the conclusion of the civil war there.
  • April 18 – First appearance of Superman. The date Action Comics #1 was published (June Cover) according to court documents released during the legal battle over the rights to Superman. DC Comics recognizes May 3, 1938 as the publishing date.
  • April 24Konstantin Päts becomes president of Estonia.
  • April 25Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins: The U.S. Supreme Court overturns a century of federal common law.
  • April 28 – The towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott in Massachusetts are disincorporated to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir.


  • May 5
    • The Vatican recognizes Franco's government in Spain.
    • General Ludwig Beck, Chief of the German Army's General Staff, submits a memorandum to Hitler opposing Fall Grün (Case Green), the plan for a war with Czechoslovakia, under the grounds that Germany is ill-prepared for the world war likely to result from such an attack.
  • May 9Kaarel Eenpalu becomes prime minister of Estonia.
  • May 12 – U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull rejects Russia's offer of a joint defence pact to counter rise of Nazi Germany.
  • May 14Chile withdraws from the League of Nations.
  • May 17Information Please debuts on NBC Radio.
  • May 20Czechoslovakia orders a partial mobilization of its armed forces along the German border.
  • May 21 – Matsuo Toi kills 30 people in a village in Okayama, Japan, in the Tsuyama massacre, the world's worst spree killing by an individual until 1982.
  • May 23 – Temporarily frustrated by the Czechoslovak mobilization and international diplomatic unity in the face of German demands over the Sudetenland, Hitler orders the Foreign Office to assure the Czechoslovaks that he has no demands on their territory. The world at large mistakenly believes the crisis is averted.
  • May 25
    • Spanish Civil War: Alicante, Spain is bombed, resulting in 313 deaths.
    • The Soviet ambassador to the United States A.A. Troyanovsky declared that Moscow was ready to defend Czechoslovakia. This offer was ignored by Britain and the U.S.A.
  • May 28 – In a conference at the Reichs Chancellery, Hitler declares his decision to destroy Czechoslovakia by military force, and orders the immediate mobilization of 96 Wehrmacht divisions.
  • May 30 – Poland who had its eyes on the Teschen region of Czechoslovakia was reassured by Rumania that it would block any attempt by the Soviet Union to come to the aid of the Czechs in the event of a Polish invasion.


  • June 11 – Fire destroys 212 buildings in Ludza, Latvia.
  • June 12June 18 – The Roma and Sinti peoples in Germany and Austria are rounded up, beaten up and jailed.
  • June 15László Bíró patents the ballpoint pen in Britain.
  • June 19Italy beats Hungary 4–2 to win the 1938 World Cup.
  • June 22Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocks out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
  • June 23
    • The Civil Aeronautics Act is signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.
    • Marineland opens near St. Augustine, Florida.
  • June 24 – A 450-metric-ton (Template:Convert/LonAonSonNa) meteorite explodes about 12 miles (19 km) above the earth near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
  • June 25 – Dr. Douglas Hyde is elected the first President of Ireland.
  • June 30Action Comics #1 is published, which is the first publication featuring the comic book character Superman.


  • July – The Mauthausen concentration camp is built in Austria.
  • July 3
    • The steam locomotive Mallard sets the world speed record for steam by reaching 126 mph.
    • The last reunion of the Blue and Gray commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • July 5 – The Non-Intervention Committee reaches an agreement to withdraw all foreign volunteers from the Spanish Civil War. The agreement is respected by most Republican foreign volunteers, notably by those from England and the United States, but is ignored by the governments of Germany and Italy.
  • July 6 – The Evian Conference on Refugees is convened in France. No country in Europe is prepared to accept Jews fleeing persecution and the United States will only take 27,370. The prospect for European Jewry looks bleak.
  • July 14Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
  • July 18Wrong Way Corrigan takes off from New York, ostensibly heading for California. He lands in Ireland instead.
  • July 22 – Britain rejected a proposal from its ambassador in Berlin, Nevile Henderson, for a four power summit on Czechoslovakia consisting of Britain, France, Germany and the U.S.S.R. London would under no circumstances accept the U.S.S.R. as a diplomatic partner.
  • July 24 – First ascent of the Eiger north face.
  • July 28 – A revolt against the Ioannis Metaxas dictatorship is put down in Chania, Greece.
  • July 30 – The first ever issue of The Beano is published.


  • August – In the face of overwhelming Japanese military pressure, Chiang Kai-shek withdraws his government to Chungking.
  • August 4Lord Runciman arrives in Prague to act as Neville Chamberlain's special envoy in the continuing Sudetenland disturbances.
  • August 6 – The Looney Tunes animated short Porky & Daffy is released.
  • August 10 – At a secret summit with his leading generals, Hitler attacks General Beck's arguments against Fall Grün, winning the majority of his senior officers over to his point of view.
  • August 18
    • The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting the United States with Canada, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    • Colonel General Ludwig Beck, convinced that Hitler's decision to attack Czechoslovakia will lead to a general European war, resigns his position as Chief of the Army General Staff in protest.
    • Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin arrives in London looking for British support for an anti-Nazi putsch, using the looming crisis over the Sudetenland as a pretext. His private mission is dismissed by Neville Chamberlain as unimportant (Chamberlain refers to von Kleist as a "Jacobite"), but he finds a sympathetic if powerless audience in Winston Churchill.
  • August 22Civil Aeronautics Authority (independent agency).
  • August 23Hitler, hosting a dinner on board the ocean liner Patria in Kiel Bay, tells the Regent of Hungary, Admiral Horthy, that action against Czechoslovakia is imminent and that "he who wants to sit at the table must at least help in the kitchen", a reference to Horthy's designs on Carpathian Ruthenia.
  • August 27 General Beck leaves office as Chief of the General Staff; he is replaced by General Franz Halder.
  • August 28Lord Runciman's mission to mitigate the Sudetenland crisis begins to break down. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain recalls the British Ambassador Nevile Henderson from Berlin, to instruct Henderson to set up a personal meeting between Chamberlain and Hitler.
  • August 31Winston Churchill, still believing France and Britain mean to honor their promises to defend Czechoslovakia against Nazi aggression, suggests in a personal note to Neville Chamberlain that His Majesty's Government may want to set up a broad international alliance including the United States (specifically mentioning U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as possibly receptive to the idea) and the Soviet Union.


  • September – The European crisis over German demands for annexation of the Sudeten borderland of Czechoslovakia heats up.
  • September 2 – Soviet Ambassador to Britain Ivan Maisky calls on Winston Churchill, to tell him that Soviet Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov has expressed to the French chargé d'affaires in Moscow that the Soviet Union is willing to fight over the territorial integrity of Czechoslovakia.
  • September 4 – During the ceremony marking the unveiling of a plaque at Pointe de Grave, France celebrating Franco-American friendship, American Ambassador William Bullitt in a speech states, "France and the United States were united in war and peace", leading to much speculation in the press that if war did break out over Czechoslovakia, then the United States would join the war on the Allied side.
  • September 5Czechoslovakian President Edvard Beneš invites mid-level representatives of the Sudeten Germans to the Hradcany palace, to tell them he will accept whatever demands they care to make, provided the Sudetenland remains part of the Republic of Czechoslovakia.
  • September 6 – What eventually proves to be the last of the "Nuremberg Rallies" begins. It draws worldwide attention because it is widely assumed Hitler, in his closing remarks, will signal whether there will be peace with or war over Czechoslovakia.
  • September 7The Times publishes a lead article which calls on Czechoslovakia to cede the Sudetenland to Germany.
  • September 9 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt disallows the popular interpretation of Bullitt's speech at a press conference at the White House. Roosevelt states it is "100% wrong" the U.S. would join a "stop-Hitler bloc" under any circumstances, and makes it quite clear that in the event of German aggression against Czechoslovakia, the U.S. would remain neutral.
  • September 10Hermann Göring, in a speech at Nuremberg, calls the Czechs a "miserable pygmy race" who are "harassing the human race." That same evening, Edvard Beneš, President of Czechoslovakia, makes a broadcast in which he appeals for calm.
  • September 12Hitler makes his much-anticipated closing address at Nuremberg, in which he vehemently attacks the Czech people and President Beneš. American news commentator Hans von Kaltenborn begins his famous marathon of broadcast bulletins over the CBS Radio Network with a summation of Hitler's address.
  • September 13 – The followers of Konrad Henlein begin an armed revolt against the Czechoslovak government in Sudetenland. Martial law is declared and after much bloodshed on both sides order is temporarily restored. Neville Chamberlain personally sends a telegram to Hitler urgently requesting that they both meet.
  • September 15Neville Chamberlain arrives in Berchtesgaden to begin negotiations with Hitler over the Sudetenland.
  • September 17Neville Chamberlain returns temporarily to London to confer with his cabinet. The Russian army masses along the Ukrainian frontier. Rumania agrees to allow Russian soldiers free passage across her territory to defend Czechoslovakia.
  • September 18 – During a meeting between Neville Chamberlain and the recently elected Premier of France, Édouard Daladier, and Daladier's Foreign Minister, Georges Bonnet, it becomes apparent neither the English nor the French governments are prepared to go to war over the Sudetenland. The Soviet Union declares it will come to the defence of Czechoslovakia only if France honours her commitment to defend Czech independence.
  • September 21
    • In the early hours of the day, representatives of the French and British governments call on Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš to tell him France and Britain will not fight Hitler if he decides to annex the Sudetenland by force. Late in the afternoon the Czechoslovak government capitulates to the French and British demands.
    • Winston Churchill warns of grave consequences to European security if Czechoslovakia is partitioned. The same day, Soviet Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov makes a similar statement in the League of Nations.
    • The New England Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long Island and southern New England, killing over 300 along the Rhode Island shoreline and 600 altogether.
    • Following the capitulation of the Czech government to Germany's demands both Poland and Hungary demand slices of Czech territory where their nationals reside.
  • September 22
    • Unable to survive the previous day's capitulation to the demands of the English and French governments, Czechoslovak premier Milan Hodža resigns. General Jan Syrovy takes his place.
    • Neville Chamberlain arrives in the city of Bad Godesberg for another round of talks with Hitler over the Sudetenland crisis. Hitler raises his demands to include occupation of all German Sudeten territories by October 1. That night after a telephone conference, Chamberlain reverses himself and advises the Czechoslovaks to mobilize.
    • Olsen and Johnson's musical comedy revue Hellzapoppin' begins its 3-year run on Broadway.
  • September 23
    • The Czechoslovak army mobilizes.
    • As the Polish army masses along the Czech border the Soviet Union warns Poland if it crosses the Czech frontier Russia will regard the 1932 non-aggression pact between the two countries void.
  • September 24
    • Sir Eric Phipps, British Ambassador to France, reports to London, "all that is best in France is against war, almost at any price", being opposed only by a "small, but noisy and corrupt, war group". Phipps's report creates major doubts about the ability and/or willingness of France to go to war.
    • At 1:30 AM, Adolf Hitler and Neville Chamberlain conclude their talks on the Sudetenland. Chamberlain agrees to take Hitler's demands, codified in the Godesberg Memorandum, personally to the Czech Government. The Czech Government rejects the demands, as does Chamberlain's own cabinet. The French Government also initially rejects the terms and orders a partial mobilizaton of the French army.
  • September 26 – In a vitriolic speech at Berlin's Sportpalast, Hitler defies the world and implies war with Czechoslovakia will begin at any time.
  • September 28 – As his self-imposed October 1 deadline for occupation of the Sudetenland approaches, Adolf Hitler invites Italian Duce Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edourd Deladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to one last conference in Munich. The Czechs themselves are not invited.
  • September 29
    • Colonel Graham Christie, assistant British military attaché in Berlin, is informed by Carl Friedrich Goerdeler that the mobilization of the Royal Navy has badly damaged the popularity of the Nazi regime, as the German public realizes that Fall Grün is likely to cause a world war.
    • Munich Agreement: German, Italian, British and French leaders agree to German demands regarding annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak government is largely excluded from the negotiations and is not a signatory to the agreement.
    • The Republic of Hatay is declared in Syria
  • September 30 – Neville Chamberlain returns to Britain from meeting with Adolf Hitler and declares "Peace for our time".


  • October – The Japanese Imperial Army largely overruns Canton.
  • October 1 – German troops march into the Sudetenland. The Polish government gives the Czech government an ultimatum stating that Zaolzie region must be handed over within twenty-four hours. The Czechs have little choice but to comply. Polish forces occupy Zaolzie.
  • October 2
    • Tiberias massacre: Arabs murder 20 Jews.
    • Disgusted with Neville Chamberlain's conduct at Munich, Duff Cooper resigns his post as First Lord of the Admiralty. With his resignation, formal debate begins in the Parliament of the United Kingdom on the Munich Agreement, but with Chamberlain at the peak of his popularity, there can be little doubt His Majesty's Government will receive a vote of confidence.
  • October 4 – The Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War begin withdrawing their foreign volunteers from combat as agreed on July 5.
  • October 5
    • Edvard Beneš, president of Czechoslovakia, resigns.
    • In Nazi Germany Jews’ passports were invalidated, and those who needed a passport for emigration purposes were given one marked with the letter J (Jude – Jew).[2]
  • October 10 – The Blue Water Bridge opens, connecting Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
  • October 16Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the United States, condemns the Munich Agreement as a defeat and calls upon America and western Europe to prepare for armed resistance against Hitler.
  • October 18 – The German government expels 12,000 Polish Jews living in Germany; the Polish government accepts 4,000 and refuses admittance to the remaining 8,000, who are forced to live in the no-man's land on the German-Polish frontier.
  • October 21 – In direct contravention of the recently signed Munich Agreement, Adolf Hitler circulates among his high command a secret memorandum stating that they should prepare for the "liquidation of the rest of Czechoslovakia" and the occupation of Memel.
  • October 24
    • The minimum wage is established by law in the United States.
    • French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet carries out a major purge of the Qui d'Orsay, sacking or exiling a number of anti-appeasement officials such as Pierre Comert and René Massigli.
    • At a "friendly luncheon" in Berchtesgaden, German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop tells Józef Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Germany, that the Free City of Danzig must return to Germany, that the Germans must be given extraterritorial rights in the Polish Corridor, and that Poland must sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.
  • October 27
    • Du Pont announces a name for its new synthetic yarn: "nylon".
    • Jews with Polish citizenship are evicted from Nazi Germany.[2]
  • October 30Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast, causing panic in various parts of the United States.
  • October 31Great Depression: In an effort to try restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a 15-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.


  • November 1Horse Racing: Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral by four lengths in their famous match race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • November 2 – Arising from The Munich Agreement Hungary is "awarded" the Felvidek region of South Slovakia and Ruthenia.
  • November 4 – At a public meeting in Epping, Winston Churchill narrowly survives an attempt by fellow Conservative and constituent Sir Colin Thornton-Kemsley to remove him from Parliament.
  • November 7 Ernst vom Rath, the Third Secretary at the German Embassy in Paris, is assassinated by Herschel Grynszpan.
  • November 9HolocaustKristallnacht: In Germany, the "night of broken glass" begins as Nazi activists and sympathizers loot and burn Jewish businesses (the all night affair sees 7,500 Jewish businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned, 91 Jews killed, and at least 25,000 Jewish men arrested).[3]
  • November 10
    • On the eve of Armistice Day, Kate Smith sings Irving Berlin's God Bless America for the first time on her weekly radio show.
    • İsmet İnönü becomes the second president of Turkey.
  • November 11Celal Bayar forms the new government of Turkey. (10 th government; Celal Bayar had served twice as a prime minister)
  • November 12 – French Finance Minister Paul Reynaud brings into effect a series of laws aiming at improving French productivity (thus aiming to undo the economic weaknesses which led to Munich), and undoes most of the economic and social laws of the Popular Front.
  • November 16
    • The first reported "attack" of The Halifax Slasher mass hysteria incident.
    • Britain formally recognised Italy's control of Ethiopia. In return Mussolini agreed to withdraw 10,000 troops from Spain.
  • November 18Trade union members elect John L. Lewis as the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
  • November 25 – French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet informs Léon Noël, the French Ambassador to Poland, that France should find an excuse for terminating the 1921 Franco-Polish alliance.
  • November 30
    • The Czechoslovak parliament elects Emil Hácha as the new president of Czechoslovakia.
    • Benito Mussolini and his Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano order "spontaneous" demonstrations in the Italian Chamber of Deputies, demanding that France cede Tunisia, Nice, Corsica and French Somaliland to Italy. This begins an acute crisis in Franco-Italian relations that lasts until March 1939.
    • Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, leader of the Romanian fascist Iron Guard, is murdered on the orders of King Carol II. Officially, Codreanu and the 13 other Iron Guard leaders are "shot while trying to escape".
    • A general strike is called in France by the French Communist Party to protest the laws of November 12.


  • December – President Roosevelt agrees to loan $25 million to Chiang Kai-shek, cementing the Sino-American relationship and angering the Japanese government.
  • December 1 – Slovakia granted the status of an autonomous state under the Catholic priest Fr. Joseph Tiso
  • December 6 – German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop visits Paris, where he is allegedly informed by French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet that France now recognizes all of Eastern Europe as being in Germany's exclusive sphere of influence. Bonnet's alleged statement (Bonnet always denied making the remark) to Ribbentrop is a major factor in German policy in 1939.
  • December 11
    • Kingdom of Yugoslavia parliamentary election: The opposition gains votes but not seats.
    • Following elections in the Lithuanian city of Memel the Lithuanian Nazi party wins over 90% of the votes.
  • December 13 – The Neuengamme concentration camp opens near Hamburg.
  • December 16MGM releases its successful film version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. The film is originally intended to star Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge, but Barrymore, ill with arthritis, is replaced by Reginald Owen.
  • December 17Otto Hahn discovers the nuclear fission of Uranium, the scientific and tecnological basis of nuclear energy, which marks the beginning of the Atomic age.
  • December 23 – A coelacanth, a fish thought to have been extinct, is caught off the coast of South Africa near Chalumna River.
  • December 27 – A massive avalanche of snow hits a construction worker dormitory site in Kurobe, Japan, killing 87.
  • December 30 – The ballet Romeo and Juliet with music by Prokofiev receives its first full performance at the Mahen Theatre in Brno, Czechoslovakia.

Date unknown[]

  • Establishment of Majlis Khuddam-ul Ahmadiyya by Khalifat-ul Masih II, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  • In West Java, Daeng Soetigna tunes the traditional angklung to play the diatonic scale.
  • Adolf Hitler is Time magazine's "Man of the Year", as the most influential person of the year.
  • The Walther P38 pistol is introduced in Germany.
  • The first cartoon to feature a prototypical Bugs Bunny, Porky's Hare Hunt, is released.
  • The Schomburgk's Deer becomes extinct by this date.
  • Herbert E. Ives and G. R. Stilwell execute the Ives-Stilwell experiment, showing that ions radiate at frequencies affected by their motion.[4]
  • Family plots produce 22% of all Soviet agricultural produce on only 4% of all cultivated land.
  • Women are limited by law to a maximum of 10% of the better-paying jobs in industry and government in Italy.



  • January 1
    • Robert Jankel, British coachbuilder (d. 2005)
    • Frank Langella, American actor
  • January 2
    • Hans Herbjørnsrud, Norwegian author
    • Ian Brady, British serial killer
    • Goh Kun, Mayor of Seoul
    • Dana Ulery, American computer scientist
  • January 5 – King Juan Carlos I of Spain
  • January 6Mario Rodríguez Cobos, "Silo", Argentine author and spiritual guide
  • January 7Roland Topor, French illustrator (d. 1997)
  • January 8Bob Eubanks, American game show host
  • January 10
    • Donald Knuth, American mathematician and computer scientist
    • Willie McCovey, American baseball player
  • January 11Fischer Black, American economist (d. 1995)
  • January 12
    • Noel McNamara, Australian justice campaigner and commentator
    • Lewis Fiander, Australian actor
  • January 13Shivkumar Sharma, Indian musician
  • January 14
    • Jack Jones, American singer and actor
    • Allen Toussaint, American musician & composer
  • January 17John Bellairs, American writer (d. 1991)
  • January 18Curt Flood, American baseball player (d. 1997)
  • January 20Derek Dougan, Northern Irish footballer (d. 2007)
  • January 21Wolfman Jack, American disc-jockey and actor (d. 1995)
  • January 23Georg Baselitz, German painter and sculptor
  • January 25
    • Etta James, American singer (d. 2012)
    • Vladimir Vysotsky, Russian singer-songwriter, poet, actor (d. 1980)
  • January 29Shuji Tsurumi, Men's artistic gymnastics
  • January 30Islam Karimov, President of Uzbekistan
  • January 31 – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
  • February 1Sherman Hemsley, American comedian and actor (d. 2012)
  • February 2Max Alvis, American baseball player
  • February 8Prentice Gautt, American football player
  • February 11
    • Bevan Congdon, New Zealand cricketer
    • Simone de Oliveira, Portuguese actress and singer
    • Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and dictator
  • February 12Judy Blume, American author
  • February 13Oliver Reed, English actor (d. 1999)
  • February 14Lee Chamberlin, African-American actress
  • February 17Yvonne Romain, English actress
  • February 18Istvan Szabo, Hungarian film director
  • February 19René Muñoz, Cuban actor, screenwriter of telenovelas and the cinema of Mexico (d. 2000)
  • February 24
    • James Farentino, American actor (d. 2012)
    • Phil Knight, American sportswear entrepreneur
  • February 25Herb Elliott, Australian runner
  • February 27Jake Thackray, English singer-songwriter (d. 2002)


  • March 2Ricardo Lagos Escobar, President of Chile
  • March 3 Bruno Bozzetto in Milan, Italy.
  • March 4
    • Don Perkins, American football player
    • Paula Prentiss, American actress
    • Angus MacLise, American musician, occultist and calligrapher; drummer for the Velvet Underground (d. 1979)
  • March 7
    • David Baltimore, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    • Janet Guthrie, American race car driver
  • March 8Bruno Pizzul, Italian sports journalist
  • March 9Charles Siebert, American actor and director (Trapper John, M.D.)
  • March 13Erma Franklin, American singer (d. 2002)
  • March 14Eleanor Bron, British actress
  • March 17
    • Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer (d. 1993)
    • Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • March 18
    • Shashi Kapoor, Indian actor, director, and producer
    • Charley Pride, American baseball player and country musician
  • March 19Joe Kapp, American football player and coach
  • March 23Maynard Jackson, American mayor of Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2003)
  • March 25Hoyt Axton, American country music singer-songwriter and actor (d. 1999)
  • March 26Anthony James Leggett, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • March 31Joel Godard, American announcer
  • April 1John Quade, American actor (d. 2009)
  • April 2John Larsson, the 17th General of The Salvation Army
  • April 3Jeff Barry, American record producer and songwriter
  • April 4A. Bartlett Giamatti, American president of Yale University and baseball commissioner (d. 1989)
  • April 7Freddie Hubbard, American jazz trumpeter
  • April 8Kofi Annan, Ghanaian Secretary General of the United Nations, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • April 10
    • Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russian politician (d. 2010)
    • Don Meredith, American football player and broadcaster (d. 2010)
  • April 11
    • Michael Deaver, Reagan Administration Deputy White House Chief of Staff (d. 2007)
    • Kurt Moll, German bass
  • April 12Roger Caron, Canadian author
  • April 15Claudia Cardinale, Tunisian-born Italian actress
  • April 17Kerry Wendell Thornley, American counterculture figure, writer, and co-founder of Discordianism
  • April 20Tamási Eszter, Hungarian TV announcer and actress (d. 1991)
  • April 22
    • Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Palestinian chairman of TAGorg
    • Adam Raphael, English journalist and editor
    • Issey Miyake, Japanese fashion designer
  • April 26
    • Duane Eddy, American musician
    • Maurice Williams, American musician
  • April 29
    • Bernard Madoff, American fraudster
    • Larry Niven, American author


  • May 2 – Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (d. 1996)
  • May 10Henry Fambrough, American singer (The Spinners)
  • May 12Luana Anders, American actress (d. 1996)
  • May 17Jason Bernard, American actor (d. 1996)
  • May 22Richard Benjamin, American actor
  • May 26
    • William Bolcom, American composer
    • Teresa Stratas, Canadian operatic soprano
    • Pauline Parker, New Zealand murderess
  • May 28Jerry West, American basketball player and executive
  • May 31
    • Johnny PayCheck, American country singer (d. 2003)
    • Peter Yarrow, American singer
  • June 1Khawar Rizvi, Pakistani Poet and Scholar
  • June 5Karin Balzer, German athlete
  • June 6Prince Luís of Orléans-Braganza, pretender to the Brazilian throne
  • June 7Goose Gonsoulin, American football player
  • June 8Mack Vickery, American musician (d. 2004)
  • June 12Tom Oliver, Australian actor
  • June 15Billy Williams, American baseball player
  • June 16James Bolam, British actor
  • June 19
    • Wahoo McDaniel, American football player and professional wrestler (d. 2002)
    • Ian Smith, Australian actor
  • June 21Ron Ely, American actor (Tarzan)


  • July 3Bolo Yeung, Hong Kong actor
  • July 4Bill Withers, American singer and songwriter
  • July 6
    • Tony Lewis, English cricketer
    • Luana Patten, American actress (d. 1996)
  • July 8Justin Leiber, American philosopher and science fiction writer.
  • July 10Tura Satana, Japanese-born American actress (d. 2011)
  • July 12Wieger Mensonides, Dutch swimmer
  • July 14Tommy Vig, Hungarian composer, arranger, vibraphonist
  • July 18Paul Verhoeven, Dutch film director
  • July 19Jayant Narlikar, Indian astrophysicist
  • July 20
    • Natalie Wood, American actress (d. 1981)
    • Diana Rigg, English actress
    • Roger Hunt, English footballer
  • July 23
    • Juliet Anderson, American actress
    • Bert Newton, Australian actor and television show host
    • Ronny Cox, American actor
  • July 24Eugene J. Martin, American painter, artist
  • July 27Gary Gygax, American author and game designer (d. 2008)
  • July 28
    • Alberto Fujimori, President of Peru
    • Luis Aragones, Spanish football player and manager
  • July 29Peter Jennings, Canadian-born television news reporter (d. 2005)
  • August 3Terry Wogan, Irish TV and radio broadcaster
  • August 8
    • Connie Stevens, American actress, singer and businesswoman
    • Otto Rehhagel, German football player and manager
  • August 9
    • Ezola B. Foster, American U.S. Vice Presidential Candidate
    • Rod Laver, Australian tennis player
    • Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine
  • August 15Janusz A. Zajdel, Polish writer (d. 1985)
  • August 16Bill Masterton, Canadian hockey player (d. 1968)
  • August 19Diana Muldaur, American actress
  • August 20Alain Vivien, French politician
  • August 21Kenny Rogers, American country singer
  • August 22Paul Maguire, American football player
  • August 24
    • Halldór Blöndal, Icelandic politician
    • David Freiberg, American musician (Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship)
  • August 26Susan Harrison, American actress
  • August 28
    • Maurizio Costanzo, Italian television news reporter
    • Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
  • August 29Robert Rubin, American banker who served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury
  • August 31Martin Bell, British journalist and politician


  • September 1Per Kirkeby, Danish artist
  • September 2
    • Clarence Felder, American actor
    • Giuliano Gemma, Italian actor
  • September 3Ryōji Noyori, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • September 6Dennis Oppenheim, American artist (d. 2011)
  • September 8Kenichi Horie, Japanese adventurer
  • September 10
    • David Hamilton, British radio and TV personality
    • Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer and photographer
  • September 13
    • John Smith, Scottish politician (d. 1994)
    • Angus Alan Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 15th Duke of Hamilton and 12th Duke of Brandon (d. 2010)
  • September 18Poornachandra Tejaswi, Kannada writer (d. 2007)
  • September 22Gene Mingo, American football player
  • September 23Tom Lester, American actor and evangelist
  • September 25Jonathan Motzfeldt, Prime Minister of Greenland (d. 2010)
  • September 28Ben E. King, American singer
  • September 29Wim Kok, Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1994 until 2002
  • October 3Eddie Cochran, American rock 'n' roll singer (d. 1960)
  • October 4Kurt Wüthrich, Swiss chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • October 9Heinz Fischer, Austrian politician
  • October 14
    • Farah Diba, Empress of Iran
    • Ron Lancaster, Canadian Football League quarterback and coach
  • October 15Fela Kuti, Nigerian musician and activist (d. 1997)
  • October 16
    • Carl Gunter Jr, Louisiana State Representative (d. 1999)
    • Nico, German-American singer (d. 1988)
  • October 17Evel Knievel, American motorcycle daredevil (d. 2007)
  • October 18Dawn Wells, American actress
  • October 20Iain Macmillan, Abbey Road photographer (d. 2006)
  • October 22Christopher Lloyd, American actor
  • October 23H. John Heinz III, U.S. Senator (d. 1991)
  • October 28Anne Perry, English-born novelist
  • October 29
    • Ralph Bakshi, Israeli cartoonist, film director, and video producer
    • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia


  • November 2
    • Pat Buchanan, American right-wing political operative, journalist, pundit and one-time presidential candidate
    • David Lane, American white nationalist (d. 2007)
  • November 5
    • Joe Dassin, French singer (d. 1980)
    • Enéas Carneiro, Brazilian politician (d. 2007)
  • November 6
    • Mack Jones, American baseball player (d. 2004)
    • Branko Mikasinovich, Serbian-American slavist, journalist
  • November 10Michael Schultz, American film director and producer
  • November 12Benjamin Mkapa, Tanzanian president
  • November 13Jean Seberg, American actress (d. 1979)
  • November 16Robert Nozick, American philosopher (d. 2002)
  • November 17Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk singer
  • November 19Ted Turner, American entrepreneur
  • November 24Oscar Robertson, American basketball player
  • November 26Porter J. Goss, American politician and Central Intelligence Agency director
  • December 2
    • Luis Artime, Argentine footballer
    • Sir Richard Carew Pole, 13th Baronet, Baronet, Antony House, Cornwall
  • December 4
    • Andre V. Marrou, U.S. Presidential candidate
    • Yvonne Minton, Australian soprano
  • December 5J. J. Cale, American singer
  • December 8
    • Ken Delo, American singer
    • John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana
  • December 12Connie Francis, American singer and actress
  • December 14Hal Williams, American actor
  • December 15Billy Shaw, American football player
  • December 16
    • Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress
    • Frank Deford, American sportswriter
  • December 17
    • Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete
    • Carlo Little, British drummer (d. 2005)
  • December 18Roger E. Mosley, African-American actor
  • December 20John Harbison, American composer
  • December 22Brian Locking, English bassist (The Shadows)
  • December 23Bob Kahn, American Internet pioneer
  • December 24Bobby Henrich, American baseball player
  • December 25Duane Armstrong, American painter
  • December 28Lagumot Harris, Nauruan politician and President (d. 1999)
  • December 29Jon Voight, American actor

Date unknown[]

  • Yusuf Lodhi, Pakistani editor and cartoonist (d. 1996)
  • Neila Sathyalingam, Singaporean classical Indian dancer, choreographer and instructor




November 10: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Date unknown[]

  • Harry Grant Dart, American cartoonist (b. 1869)

Nobel Prizes[]

  • PhysicsEnrico Fermi
  • ChemistryRichard Kuhn
  • Physiology or MedicineCorneille Jean François Heymans
  • LiteraturePearl S. Buck
  • PeaceNansen International Office For Refugees, Geneva


  1. ^ "Daily Pilot - Serving Newport Beach & Costa Mesa, California". Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  2. ^ a b Nazi Germany and the Jews: 1938 – “The Fateful Year” on the Yad Vashem website
  3. ^ It Came From Within... 71 Years Since Kristallnacht - Online exhibition from Yad Vashem, including survivor testimonies, archival footage, photos, and stories
  4. ^ Ives, Herbert E.; Stilwell, G. R. (1938). "An Experimental Study of the Rate of a Moving Atomic Clock". Journal of the Optical Society of America 28 (7): 215–19. DOI:10.1364/JOSA.28.000215. Retrieved on 2011-09-23. 

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at 1938. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

People of the year 1938 at Familypedia

85 people were born in 1938

 FatherMotherAge mother at birth
Nancy Adnet (1938-1998)
John Malcolm Allerton (1938)Jack Allerton (1904-1950)Minnie Young (1906-1995)
Claire Almirante (1938)Romeo Almirante (1912-1999)Rachel Vasari (1908-1990)
Lyle Roland Amlin (1938-2011)
Barbara Jean Armagost (1938-1938)Loran Wallace Armagost (1914-2002)Catherine Doris Owen (1916-2002)
Albert David Bauer (1938-2001)Donald Henry Bauer (1900-1962)Laurel J Glazier (1907-1999)
Alyssa Bracey (1938-2012)
Joy Carol Bradeen (1938-2020)Hubert Frederick Bradeen (1907-2005)Helen Carol Sellars (1912-1994)
Jo Wilder Brower (1938)Israel Brower (1910-2000)Clara Rockoff (1907-1969)
William Henry Trotter Bush (1938-2018)Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895-1972)Dorothy Wear Walker (1901-1992)
David Hoyt Canary (1938-2015)Hilary A. Canary (1910-2002)Lorena Heal (1912-1991)
Roger Combs (1938-2017)Paul Roger Combs (1906-1980)Jessie Marie Cruse (1910-1978)
Barbara Demetriescu (1938-2018)Teophil Demetriescu (1891-1958)Sonia Bruhns (1913-1996)
Victor Dionne (1938-2007)Oliva Dionne (1904-1979)Elzire Legros (1909-1986)
Joseph M. Donatacci (1938-2007)Mario Donatacci (1903-1969)Carmella M. Rossetti (1907-1978)
... further results

37 children were born to the 36 women born in 1938

256 people died in 1938

 FatherMotherAge at death
Joshua Tumer Adair (1849-1938)Samuel Jefferson Adair (1806-1889)Nancy Fountain White (1811-1880)
Maria Alecsandri (1857-1938)Vasile Alecsandri (1821-1890)Paulina Lucasievici (1840-1921)
Annie Patience Allphin (1866-1938)Israel Dodge Allphin (1814-1903)Susan Emeline Dameron (1833-1879)
Walter McHendry Alston (1878-1938)Archibald Alston (1827-1905)Lillias Jane Alston (1838-1911)
Alice Amory (1865-1938)Robert Amory (1842-1910)Marianne Appleton Lawrence (1843-1882)
Rachel Anthoney (1872-1938)Richard Anthoney (c1837-1929)Ann Betts (c1846-1902)66
William Reierson Arbuthnot (1866-1938)William Reierson Arbuthnot (1826-1913)Mary Helen Anstruther (1839-1912)
Barbara Jean Armagost (1938-1938)Loran Wallace Armagost (1914-2002)Catherine Doris Owen (1916-2002)
Emma Esther Ashby (1863-1938)Richard Hammond Ashby (1836-1909)Esther Ann Busby (1842-1914)
Joseph Thompson Atkin (1863-1938)William Atkin (1835-1900)Rachel Thompson (1835-1903)
John Winthrop Auchincloss (1853-1938)John L. Auchincloss (1810-1876)Elizabeth Buck (1816-1902)
Agnes Elizabeth Austin (1861-1938)William Austin (1800-1887)Agnes McIntire (1830-1900)
Archie Smith Avery (1880-1938)Daniel Burton Avery (1850-1930)Emma Jane Smith (1855-1930)
Adele Augusta Ayer (1867-1938)George Manney Ayer (1840-1914)Amy Gridley Butler (1848-1916)
Robert Low Bacon (1884-1938)Robert Bacon (1860-1919)Martha Waldron Cowdin (1860-1940)
... further results

13062 people lived in 1938

Lady Irina Bud de BudfalvaLord János Bud de BudfalvaBaroness Anna Tisza de Borosjenő et Szeged
Tsunekichi Yonogi (1905-2015)Shigeru Yonogi (1876-1940)Miyoko Yonogi (1882-1950)
Ludwik Wiktor Plater-Zyberk h. wł (1853-1938)Henryk Wacław Ksawery Plater-Zyberk (1811-1903)Adelaida von Keller (1817-1905)
Geertje Aangeenbrug (1871-1947)Pieter Aangeenbrug (1834-1908)Grietje Breed (1845)
Alfred Alonzo Aaron (1883-1969)Thomas Aaron (1850-1932)Sarah Dobbs (1858-1948)
Hubert Charles Titus Aaron (1919-1941)Alfred Alonzo Aaron (1883-1969)Jemima Davis (1884-1966)
Sadie Aaronson (1908-1970)Jack Aaronson (1880-1927)Laura Barenboim (1882-1932)
Rebecca Ababio (1926-1998)
Isabella Abadiano (1930-2003)
Amanda Abadie (1898-1957)Jean-Claude Abadie (1848-1930)Jeanette Armellino (1860-1934)
Annabelle Abargil (1922-2000)
Dominique Abasolo (1882-1947)Rafael Abasolo (1849-1900)Nancy Haugen (1855-1929)
Jennifer Abaya (1918-1996)
Alysson Abberton (1935-2012)
Charles Greeley Abbot (1872-1973)Harris Abbot (1812-1884)Caroline Ann Greeley (1836-1911)
... further results

Events of the year 1938 at Familypedia

124 people were married in 1938.

 Joined with
Arthur Abicht (1900-1980)Amanda Krieger (1899-1959)
Alexandra Adorf (1916-1982)Benjamin LeMay (1900-1953)
Claire Jeanne Agnelli (1920)Tassilo von Fürstenberg (1903-1989)
Thomas William Arnold Anson (1913-1958)Anne Ferelith Fenella Bowes-Lyon (1917-1980)+Monica Neville (1920-1969)
Edmund Norwood Bacon (1910-2005)Ruth Hilda Holmes (1916-1991)
Merle Barrus (1913-2007)Lynn Jay Olsen (1914-1981)
Erma Kathleen Merle Bates (1920-2000)Frederick James Fletcher (1914-1995)
Dennis Beavers (1918-1989)Josephine Hughes (1916-1992)
Barrie Thomas Berggy (1904-1968)Annie Evelyn Hodges (1908-1951)
Arthur George Bevege (1918-1993)Agnes Eileen Cramp (1912-1975)
Humphrey DeForest Bogart (1899-1957)Helen Meinken (1901-1966)+Mary Philips (1901-1975)+Mayo June Methot (1904-1951)+Betty Joan Perske (1924-2014)
Cornelia Pieternella Boot (1910-1985)Arie Bremer (1909-1980)
Amy Louisa Botting (1917-1995)Gordon Walter Maynard (1915-1995)
Anne Ferelith Fenella Bowes-Lyon (1917-1980)Thomas William Arnold Anson (1913-1958)+Georg Valdemar Carl Axel of Denmark (1920-1986)
Arie Bremer (1909-1980)Cornelia Pieternella Boot (1910-1985)
... further results

There were 0 military battles in 1938.

0.006507426121574 1.0277777777778 0.019598836319094