Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1910s  1920s  1930s  - 1940s -  1950s  1960s  1970s

Years: 1937 1938 1939 - 1940 - 1941 1942 1943
1940 by topic:
ArchaeologyArchitectureArtAviationAwardsComicsFilmLiterature (Poetry) – MeteorologyMusic (Country) – Rail transportRadioScienceSportsTelevision
By country
AustraliaCanadaChinaEcuadorFranceGermanyGreeceIndiaIrelandItalyJapanMalayaMexicoNew ZealandNorwayPalestine MandatePhilippinesSingaporeSouth AfricaSoviet UnionUKUSA
Sovereign statesState leadersReligious leadersLaw
Birth, marriage and death categories
Establishments and disestablishments categories
Works and introductions categories
1940 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1940

Ab urbe condita 2693
Armenian calendar 1389
Bahá'í calendar 96 – 97
Buddhist calendar 2484
Coptic calendar 1656 – 1657
Ethiopian calendar 1932 – 1933
Hebrew calendar 5700 5701
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat 1995 – 1996
 - Shaka Samvat 1862 – 1863
 - Kali Yuga 5041 – 5042
Holocene calendar 11940
Iranian calendar 1318 – 1319
Islamic calendar 1358 – 1359
Japanese calendar Shōwa


(昭和 15年)

 - Imperial Year Kōki 2600
Julian calendar 1985
Korean calendar 4273
Thai solar calendar 2483
Wikimedia Community Logo.png
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.


Below, the events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix.


  • January 4 – WWII: Axis powers: Luftwaffe General Hermann Göring assumes control of most war industries in Germany.
  • January 6 – WWII: Winter War: General Semyon Timoshenko takes command of all Russian forces.
  • January 8
    • WWII: Winter WarBattle of Suomussalmi: The Russian 44th Assault Division is destroyed by Finnish forces.
    • WWII: Food rationing begins in Great Britain.
  • January 9 – WWII; British submarine HMS Starfish (19S) is sunk.
  • January 10 – WWII: Mechelen Incident: A German plane carrying secret plans for the invasion of western Europe makes a forced landing in Belgium, leading to mobilization of defense forces in the Low Countries.
  • January 26 – Brisbane, Australia swelters through its hottest day ever, 43.2 degrees Celsius (109.76 Fahrenheit).
  • January 27 – WWII: A peace resolution introduced in the Parliament of South Africa is defeated 81–59.
  • January 29 – Three gasoline-powered trains carrying factory workers crash and explode while approaching Ajikawaguchi station, Yumesaki Line (Nishinari Line), Osaka, Japan, killing at least 181 people and injuring at least 92.


  • February 1 – WWII: Winter War – Russian forces launch a major assault on Finnish troops occupying the Karelian Isthmus.
  • February 2Vsevolod Meyerhold is executed in the Soviet Union on charges of treason and espionage. He is cleared of all charges 15 years later in the first waves of de-Stalinization
  • February 7RKO release Walt Disney's second full-length animated film, Pinocchio.
  • February 10Tom and Jerry make their debut in Puss Gets the Boot. However it is not until 1941 that their current names are adopted.
  • February 16 – WWII: Altmark Incident: The British destroyer HMS Cossack (F03) pursues the German tanker Altmark into Jøssingfjord in southwestern Norway.
  • February 22 – In Tibet, province of Ando, 4-year-old Tenzin Gyatso is proclaimed the tulku (rebirth) of the thirteenth Dalai Lama.
  • February 27Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14.
  • February 29Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African-American to win an Academy Award.


  • March – Truth or Consequences debuts on NBC Radio.
  • March 2 – Cartoon character Elmer Fudd makes his debut in the animated short Elmer's Candid Camera.
  • March 3 – In Sweden, a time bomb destroys the office of Norrskenflamman (a Swedish communist newspaper), killing 5.
  • March 5Katyn massacre: Members of the Soviet Politburo (Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Kliment Voroshilov and Lavrenty Beria) sign an order, prepared by Beria, for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs.
  • March 11Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck and six others leave Monterey, California for The Sea of Cortez on a collecting expedition.
  • March 12 – The Soviet Union and Finland sign a peace treaty in Moscow ending the Winter War; Finns, along with the world at large, are shocked by the harsh terms.
  • March 18 – WWII: Axis powers: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.
  • March 21Édouard Daladier resigns as prime minister of France; Paul Reynaud succeeds him.
  • March 23 – The Pakistan Resolution is rallied around by the All-India Muslim League; Muslims from every corner of India meet up around Iqbal Park, Lahore (now in modern-day Pakistan).
  • March 31 – WWII: Commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis, leaves the Wadden Sea for what will become the longest warship cruise of the war. (622 days without in-port replenishment or repair)[1]


  • April 3 – WWII: Operation Weserübung: German ships set out for the invasion of Norway.
  • April 5Neville Chamberlain, in what proves to be a tragic misjudgment, declares in a major public speech that Hitler has "missed the bus".
  • April 7Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.
  • April 9 – WWII: Germany invades Denmark and Norway in Operation Weserübung. The British campaign in Norway is simultaneously commenced.
  • April 12
    • The Faroe Islands are occupied by British troops, following the taking over of Denmark by Nazi Germany. This action is taken to avert a possible German occupation of the islands, which would have had very grave consequences for the course of the Battle of the Atlantic
    • Opening day at Jamaica Racetrack features the use of pari-mutuel betting equipment, a departure from bookmaking heretofore used exclusively throughout New York state. Other NY tracks follow suit later in 1940.
  • April 13 – The New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup. It would be another 54 years before their next win.
  • April 21Take It or Leave It makes it debut on CBS Radio, with Bob Hawk as host.
  • April 23 – A fire at the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Mississippi, kills 198.


May 10: Winston Churchill

  • May 13
    • Winston Churchill, in his first address as Prime Minister, tells the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."
    • WWII: German armies open a 60-mile (97 km) wide breach in the Maginot Line at Sedan, France.
  • May 14
    • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her government flee to London; Rotterdam is subjected to savage terror bombing by the Luftwaffe; 980 are killed, and 20,000 buildings destroyed.
    • Recruitment begins in Britain for a home defence force: the Local Defence Volunteers, later known as the Home Guard.
  • May 15
    • The very first McDonald's restaurant opens in San Bernardino, California.
    • Women's stockings made of nylon are first placed on sale across the United States. Almost five million pairs are bought on this day.[2]
    • WWII: The Dutch army surrenders.
  • May 16President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress, asks for an extraordinary credit of approximately $900 million to finance construction of at least 50,000 airplanes per year.
  • May 17Brussels falls to German forces; the Belgian government flees to Ostend.
  • May 18 – Marshal Philippe Pétain is named vice-premier of France.
  • May 19 – General Maxime Weygand replaces Maurice Gamelin as commander-in-chief of all French forces.
  • May 20
    • WWII: German forces (2nd Panzer division), under General Rudolf Veiel, reach Noyelles on the English Channel.
    • Holocaust: The Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the German concentration camps, opens in occupied Poland near the town of Oświęcim. Between May 1940 and January 1945, around 1.1 million people will be killed here.
  • May 22 – WWII: The British Parliament passes a further Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, giving the government full control over all persons and property.
  • May 24 – WWII: The Anglo-French Supreme War Council decides to withdraw all forces from Norway.
  • May 26
    • WWII: The Dunkirk evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force starts.
    • First free flight of Igor Sikorsky's Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter.
  • May 28
    • WWII: King Leopold III of Belgium orders the Belgian forces to cease fighting. Leaders of the Belgian government on French territory declare Leopold deposed.
    • Winston Churchill warns the House of Commons to "prepare itself for hard and heavy tidings."
  • May 29 – The Vought XF4U-1, prototype of the F4U Corsair U.S. fighter later used in WWII, makes its first flight.


  • June 3
    • The Holocaust: Franz Rademacher proposes the Madagascar Plan.
    • Weather Bureau transferred to the Department of Commerce.
    • WWII: Paris is bombed by the Luftwaffe for the first time.
  • June 4
    • WWII: The Dunkirk evacuation ends – British and Dutch forces complete evacuating 300,000 troops from Dunkirk in France to England.
    • WWII: Winston Churchill tells the British House of Commons, "We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight on the beaches... on the landing grounds... in the fields and the streets.... We shall never surrender."
  • June 9 – WWII: The British Commandos are created.
  • June 10
  • June 12 – WWII: 13,000 British and French troops surrender to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux.
  • June 13 – WWII: Paris is declared an open city.
  • June 14
    • WWII: The Soviet Union annexes three Baltic States which are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This is the most popular date to be said when the term Soviet Empire was coined.
    • WWII: The French government flees to Bordeaux and Paris falls under German occupation.
    • WWII: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Naval Expansion Act into law, which aims to increase the United States Navy's tonnage by 11%.
    • WWII: A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first residents of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • June 15 – WWII: Verdun falls to German forces.
  • June 16 – The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held for the first time in Sturgis, South Dakota.
  • June 17
    • Philippe Pétain becomes Prime Minister of France and immediately asks Germany for peace terms.
    • The Soviet Army enters the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
    • WWII: Operation Ariel begins: Allied troops start to evacuate France, following Germany's takeover of Paris and most of the nation.
    • WWII: A Luftwaffe Junkers 88 bomber sinks the British ship RMS Lancastria, which was evacuating troops from near Saint-Nazaire, France, killing some 5,800 men.[3] (Wartime censorship prevents the story from becoming public.)
  • June 18
    • WWII: Winston Churchill says to the House of Commons: "The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin."
    • WWII: Appeal of 18 June: General Charles de Gaulle, de facto leader of the Free French Forces, makes his first broadcast appeal over Radio Londres from London rallying French Resistance, calling on all French people to continue the fight against Nazi Germany: "France has lost a battle. But France has not lost the war".
  • June 21 – WWII: Vichy France and Germany sign an armistice at Compiegne, in the same wagon-lit railroad car used by Marshal Ferdinand Foch to accept the surrender of Germany in 1918.
  • June 23 – WWII: German leader Adolf Hitler surveys newly defeated Paris in now occupied France.[4]
  • June 24
    • United States politics: The Republican Party begins its national convention in Philadelphia and nominates Wendell Willkie as its candidate for president.
    • WWII: Vichy France signs armistice terms with Italy.
  • June 28 – General Charles de Gaulle is officially recognized by Britain as the "Leader of all Free Frenchmen, wherever they may be."
  • June 30
    • WWII: German forces land in Guernsey, marking the start of the 5-year Occupation of the Channel Islands.
    • Federal government of the United States reorganisation:
      • The Civil Aeronautics Administration is placed under the Department of Commerce.
      • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is placed under the Federal Security Agency.
      • The Fish and Wildlife Service is placed under the Department of the Interior.


  • July 1 – The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opens for business, built with an 8-foot (2.4 m) girder and 190 feet (58 m) above the water, as the third longest suspension bridge in the world.
  • July 2 – WWII: British-owned SS Arandora Star, carrying civilian internees and POWs of Italian and German origin from Liverpool to Canada, is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-47 off northwest Ireland with the loss of around 865 lives.
  • July 3 – WWII: British naval units sink or seize ships of the French fleet anchored in the Algerian ports of Oran and Mers-el-Kebir. The following day, Vichy France breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain
  • July 6 – British submarine HMS Shark (54S) is sunk.
  • July 10 – WWII: The Battle of Britain begins
  • July 11
    • WWII: British destroyer HMS Escort (H66) is torpedoed and sunk by an Italian submarine.
    • WWII: Vichy France begins with a constitutional law which only 80 members of the parliament vote against.
  • July 14 – WWII: Winston Churchill, in a worldwide broadcast, proclaims the intention of Great Britain to fight alone against Germany whatever the outcome: "We shall seek no terms. We shall tolerate no parley. We may show mercy. We shall ask none."
  • July 15 – U.S. politics: The Democratic Party begins its national convention in Chicago, and nominates Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term as president.
  • July 19
    • WWII: Allied victory at the Battle of Cape Spada HMAS Sydney (D48) and five destroyers sink the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni.
    • WWII: Adolf Hitler makes a peace appeal to Britain in an address to the Reichstag. Lord Halifax, the British foreign minister, flatly rejects peace terms in a broadcast reply on July 22.
  • July 21 – The Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR are proclaimed in Moscow.
  • July 25 – General Henri Guisan addresses the officer corps of the Swiss army at Rütli resolving to resist any invasion of the country.
  • July 27Bugs Bunny makes his debut in the Oscar-nominated cartoon short, A Wild Hare.


  • August 1 – WWII: British submarine HMS Spearfish (69S) is sunk.
  • August 3 – The Lithuanian SSR, Latvian SSR (August 5) and Estonian SSR (August 6) are incorporated into the Soviet Union six weeks after their anaxation.
  • August 4 – Gen. John J. Pershing, in a nationwide radio broadcast, urges all-out aid to Britain in order to defend the Americas, while Charles Lindbergh speaks to an isolationist rally at Soldier Field in Chicago.
  • August 8 – WWII: Wilhelm Keitel signs the "Aufbau Ost" directive, which eventually leads to the invasion of the Soviet Union.
  • August 10 – WWII: British armed merchant cruiser HMS Transylvania (F56) is torpedoed off Malin Head, Ireland, by German submarine U-56.
  • August 18HRH The Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, is installed as Governor of the Bahamas.[5]
  • August 20
    • WWII: Winston Churchill pays tribute in the House of Commons to the Royal Air Force: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
    • Leon Trotsky is attacked with an ice axe in his Mexico home by NKVD agent Ramón Mercader.
  • August 21Leon Trotsky dies of injuries sustained.
  • August 24Howard Florey and a team including Ernst Chain and Norman Heatley at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, publish their laboratory results showing the in vivo bactericidal action of penicillin. They have also purified the drug.[6][7]
  • August 26 – WWII: Chad is the first French colony to proclaim its support for the Allies.
  • August 30Second Vienna Award: Germany and Italy compel Romania to cede half of Transylvania to Hungary.


  • September – The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division (previously a National Guard Division in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma), is activated and ordered into federal service for 1 year, to engage in a training program in Ft. Sill and Louisiana, prior to serving in WWII.
  • September 2 – WWII: An agreement between America and Great Britain is announced to the effect that 50 U.S. destroyers needed for escort work will be transferred to Great Britain. In return, America gains 99-year leases on British bases in the North Atlantic, West Indies and Bermuda.
  • September 5 – WWII: Commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser Komet enters the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait after crossing the Arctic Ocean from the North Sea with the help of Soviet icebreakers Lenin, Stalin, and Kaganovich.[8]
  • September 7
    • Treaty of Craiova: Romania loses Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria.
    • WWII: The BlitzNazi Germany begins to rain bombs on London (the first of 57 consecutive nights of strategic bombing).
  • September 12
    • In Lascaux, France, 17,000-year-old cave paintings are discovered by a group of young Frenchmen hiking through Southern France. The paintings depict animals and date to the Stone Age.
    • The Hercules Munitions Plant in Succasunna-Kenvil, New Jersey explodes, killing 55 people.
  • September 16 – WWII: The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 is signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt, creating the first peacetime draft in U.S. history.
  • September 17September 18 – WWII: SS City of Benares is torpedoed by German submarine U-48 in the Atlantic with the loss of 248 of the 406 on board, including child evacuees bound for Canada. This results in cancellation of the British Children's Overseas Reception Board's plan to relocate children overseas.
  • September 26 – WWII: The United States imposes a total embargo on all scrap metal shipments to Japan.
  • September 27 – WWII: Germany, Italy and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact.


  • October 16 – The draft registration of approximately 16 million men begins in the United States.
  • October 18October 19 – WWII: Thirty-two ships are sunk from Convoy SC 7 and Convoy HX 79 by the most effective "wolfpack" of the war including U-boat aces Kretschmer, Prien and Schepke
  • October 28 – WWII: Italian troops invade Greece, meeting strong resistance from Greek troops and civilians. This action signals the beginning of the Balkans Campaign.
  • October 29 – The Selective Service System lottery is held in Washington, D.C..


  • November – In Cambodia the Khmer Issarak is formed to overthrow the French Army within the nation.
  • November 5United States presidential election, 1940: Democrat incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican challenger Wendell Willkie and becomes the United States' first and only third-term president.
  • November 6Agatha Christie's mystery novel And Then There Were None is published in book form in the United States.
  • November 7 – In Tacoma, Washington, the 600-foot (180 m)-long center span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (known as Galloping Gertie) collapses.
  • November 8MS City of Rayville is sunk by a naval mine, the first US merchant to be lost in the war off Cape Otway, Australia
  • November 9Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez premieres in Barcelona, Spain.
  • November 10 – An earthquake in Bucharest, Romania kills 1,000.
  • November 11
    • WWII: The Royal Navy launches the first aircraft carrier strike in history, on the Italian battleship fleet anchored at Taranto naval base.
    • WWII: German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis captures top secret British mail, and sends it to Japan.
    • Armistice Day Blizzard: An unexpected blizzard kills 144 in the Midwestern United States.
  • November 13Walt Disney's Fantasia is released. It is the first box office failure for Disney, though it eventually recoups its cost years later, and becomes one of the most highly regarded of Disney's films.
  • November 14 – WWII: The city of Coventry, England is destroyed by 500 Luftwaffe bombers: 150,000 fire bombs, 503 tons of high explosives, and 130 parachute mines level 60,000 of the city's 75,000 buildings; 568 people are killed.
  • November 16
    • WWII: In response to Germany levelling Coventry 2 days before, the Royal Air Force begins to bomb Hamburg (by war's end, 50,000 Hamburg residents will have died from Allied attacks).
    • An unexploded pipe bomb is found in the Consolidated Edison office building (only years later is the culprit, George Metesky, apprehended).
    • The Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers is founded.
  • November 18 – WWII: German leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano meet to discuss Benito Mussolini's disastrous invasion of Greece.
  • November 20 – WWII: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia join the Axis Powers.
  • November 27
    • In Romania, coup leader General Ion Antonescu's Iron Guard arrests and executes over 60 of exiled king Carol II of Romania's aides. Among the dead is former minister and acclaimed historian Nicolae Iorga.
    • WWII: The Royal Navy and Regia Marina fight the Battle of Cape Spartivento.


  • December – Timely Comics' Captain America Comics #1 (cover dated March 1941), first appearance of Captain America and Bucky, hits newsstands in the United States.
  • December 1Manuel Ávila Camacho takes office as President of Mexico.
  • December 6 – British submarine HMS Regulus (N88) is sunk near Taranto.
  • December 8 – The Chicago Bears, in what will become the most one-sided victory in National Football League history, defeat the Washington Redskins 73–0 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.
  • December 9 – WWII: Operation Compass – British forces in North Africa begin their first major offensive with an attack on Italian forces at Sidi Barrani, Egypt.
  • December 12 and December 15 – WWII: "Sheffield Blitz" – The Yorkshire city of Sheffield is badly damaged by German air-raids.
  • December 14
    • WWII British destroyers HMS Hereward (H93) and HMS Hyperion (H97) sink an Italian submarine off Bardia.
    • Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish based on Malta bomb Tripoli.
    • Plutonium is first synthesized in the laboratory by a team led by Glenn T. Seaborg and Edwin McMillan at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • December 16 – WWII: Operation Abigail RachelRAF bombing of Mannheim.
  • December 17 – President Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, first sets forth the outline of his plan to send aid to Great Britain that will become known as Lend-Lease.
  • December 23 – WWII: Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the people of Italy, blames Benito Mussolini for leading his nation to war against the British, contrary to Italy's historic friendship with them: "One man has arrayed the trustees and inheritors of ancient Rome upon the side of the ferocious pagan barbarians."
  • December 24Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual non-violence leader writes his second letter to Adolf Hitler addressing him "My friend", requesting him to stop the war Germany had begun.
  • December 29
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a fireside chat to the nation, declares that the United States must become "the great arsenal of democracy."
    • WWII: "Second Great Fire of London" – Luftwaffe carries out a massive incendiary bombing raid, starting 1,500 fires. Many famous buildings, including the Guildhall and Trinity House, are either damaged or destroyed.
  • December 30California's first modern freeway, the future State Route 110, opens to traffic in Pasadena, California, as the Arroyo Seco Parkway (now the Pasadena Freeway).
  • December 30 – In Sweden, Victor Hasselblad forms the Victor Hasselblad AB Camera Company.


  • In Korea, the Hunminjeongeum (1446) is discovered, explaining the basis of the Hangul alphabet.
  • US historian Arthur Marder publishes The Anatomy of British Sea Power: a history of British naval policy in the pre-Dreadnought era, 1880-1905.
  • Olympic Games, assigned to Tokyo, Japan, and later to Helsinki, Finland, are suspended due to WWII.



  • January 2Jim Bakker, American televangelist and former husband of Tammy Faye
  • January 4
    • Brian David Josephson, Welsh physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
    • Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born writer, Nobel Prize laureate
  • January 6Penny Lernoux, American journalist and author (d. 1989)
  • January 9Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Costa Rican politician, lawyer, economist, and businessman
  • January 14Julian Bond, American civil rights activist
  • January 19Mike Reid, English actor (d. 2007)
  • January 20Carol Heiss, American figure skater
  • January 21
    • Jeremy Jacobs, American businessman, owner (Boston Bruins)
    • Jack Nicklaus, American golfer
  • January 22John Hurt, English actor
  • January 27James Cromwell, American actor
  • January 28Carlos Slim, Mexican businessman
  • January 29Katharine Ross, American actress


  • February 1
    • Bibi Besch, Austrian-born American actress (d. 1996)
    • Ajmer Singh, Indian athlete and educator (d. 2010)
  • February 2David Jason, English actor
  • February 3Fran Tarkenton, American football player
  • February 4George A. Romero, American film writer and director
  • February 5H. R. Giger, Swiss artist
  • February 6
    • Tom Brokaw, American television news reporter
    • Jimmy Tarbuck, English comedian
  • February 8
    • Ted Koppel, American journalist
    • Joe South, American singer and songwriter
  • February 9
    • J. M. Coetzee, South African writer, Nobel Prize laureate
    • Brian Bennett, British drummer and songwriter (The Shadows)
  • February 12
    • Ralph Bates, English actor (d. 1991)
    • Richard Lynch, American actor (d. 2012)
  • February 17Gene Pitney, American singer (d. 2006)
  • February 18Fabrizio De André, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 1999)
  • February 19Smokey Robinson, American musician
  • February 20Jimmy Greaves, English footballer
  • February 21
    • Akihiko Kumashiro, Japanese politician
    • James Wong, Hong Kong composer (d. 2004)
  • February 22
    • Judy Cornwell, British actress
    • Johnson Mlambo, South African politician
    • Billy Name, American photographer and Warhol archivist
  • February 23Peter Fonda, American actor
  • February 24
    • Pete Duel, American actor (d. 1971)
    • Denis Law, Scottish football player
  • February 25Ron Santo, American baseball player (d. 2010)
  • February 27Howard Hesseman, American actor
  • February 28Mario Andretti, American race car driver


  • March 3
    • Germán Castro Caycedo, Colombian writer and journalist
    • Owen Spencer-Thomas, English broadcaster, journalist and clergyman
  • March 6Willie Stargell, American baseball player (d. 2001)
  • March 7Rudi Dutschke, German radical student leader (d. 1979)
  • March 8Susan Clark, Canadian actress (Webster)
  • March 9Raúl Juliá, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1994)
  • March 10
    • Dean Torrence, American singer (Jan and Dean)
    • Chuck Norris, American actor and martial artist
  • March 12Al Jarreau, American singer
  • March 13Candi Staton, American singer
  • March 15Phil Lesh, American musician (Grateful Dead)
  • March 16
    • Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian writer and film director
    • Jan Pronk, Dutch politician and diplomat
  • March 17Mark White, Governor of Texas
  • March 21Solomon Burke, American singer and songwriter (d. 2010)
  • March 22Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian actor (d. 1996)
  • March 25Anita Bryant, American entertainer
  • March 26
    • James Caan, American actor
    • Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • March 27Cale Yarborough, American race car driver
  • March 29Ray Davis, American musician (P-Funk) (d. 2005)
  • March 30Astrud Gilberto, Brazilian-born singer


  • April 1Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • April 2Penelope Keith, English actress
  • April 8John Havlicek, American basketball player
  • April 12
    • Herbie Hancock, American musician
    • John Hagee, American televangelist
  • April 13Max Mosley, British motorsport boss
  • April 16 – Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • April 18Joseph L. Goldstein, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • April 25Al Pacino, American actor
  • April 26Giorgio Moroder, Italian film composer


  • May 1Elsa Peretti, Italian jewelry designer
  • May 2Jo Ann Pflug, American former actress and motivational speaker
  • May 5Lance Henriksen, American actor and potter
  • May 7Jim Connors, American radio personality (d. 1987)
  • May 8
    • Peter Benchley, American author (d. 2006)
    • Angela Carter, English author and editor (d. 1992)
    • Ricky Nelson, American singer (d. 1985)
    • Toni Tennille, American singer
  • May 9
    • James L. Brooks, American film producer and writer
    • Nuala O'Faolain, Irish journalist and author (d. 2008)
  • May 11Juan Downey, Chilean-born video artist (d. 1993)
  • May 14'H'. Jones, British soldier (VC recipient) (d. 1982)
  • May 15
    • Lainie Kazan, American actress and singer
    • Don Nelson, American basketball player and coach
  • May 17
    • Alan Kay, American computer scientist
    • Reynato Puno, Filipino Supreme Court Chief Justice
  • May 18Lenny Lipton, American inventor
  • May 20
    • Stan Mikita, Slovakian-born Canadian hockey player
    • Sadaharu Oh, Japanese baseball player
  • May 22Bernard Shaw, American journalist and television news reporter
  • May 24Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born poet, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1996)
  • May 29Farooq Leghari, President of Pakistan (d. 2010)


  • June 1Rene Auberjonois, American actor
  • June 2 – King Constantine II of Greece
  • June 4Ludwig Schwarz, Austrian bishop
  • June 6Richard Paul, American actor (d. 1998)
  • June 7Tom Jones, Welsh singer
  • June 8
    • Carole Ann Ford, British actress
    • Nancy Sinatra, American singer
  • June 16
    • Neil Goldschmidt, Governor of Oregon
    • Taylor Gun-Jin Wang, Chinese-American astronaut
  • June 17
    • George Akerlof, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
    • Alan Murray, Australian professional golfer
  • June 20John Mahoney, English-born actor
  • June 21Mariette Hartley, American actress
  • June 22
    • Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film producer
    • Esther Rantzen, British broadcaster
  • June 23
    • Adam Faith, English singer and actor (d. 2003)
    • Lord Irvine of Lairg, Lord Chancellor of England
    • Wilma Rudolph, American athlete (d. 1994)
  • June 25A. J. Quinnell, English writer (d. 2005)
  • June 27Anil Karanjai, Indian painter of the Hungry generation movement.
  • June 28Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Prize laureate
  • June 29Vyacheslav Artyomov, Russian composer


  • July 3César Tovar, Venezuelan baseball player (d. 1994)
  • July 6Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan
  • July 7Ringo Starr, British drummer (The Beatles)
  • July 10
    • Gene Alley, American baseball player
    • Tom Farmer, Scottish entrepreneur
    • Helen Donath, American soprano
  • July 13
    • Patrick Stewart, English actor
    • Paul Prudhomme, American celebrity chef and cookbook author
  • July 17
    • Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian
    • Verne Lundquist, American sportscaster
  • July 18
    • Joe Torre, American baseball player and manager
    • James Brolin, American actor and director
  • July 22
    • George Clinton, American musician
    • Alex Trebek, Canadian game show host
  • July 24Stanley Hauerwas, American theologian
  • July 26Mary Jo Kopechne, American aide to Ted Kennedy (d. 1969)
  • July 27
    • Pina Bausch, German choreographer (d. 2009)
    • Bharati Mukherjee, Indian-born novelist
  • July 31Roy Walker, Northern Irish comedian


  • August 1Ram Loevy, Israeli screenwriter and director
  • August 3Martin Sheen, American actor
  • August 7Jean-Luc Dehaene, Prime Minister of Belgium
  • August 8Dilip Sardesai, former Indian cricketer (d. 2007)
  • August 9Beverlee McKinsey, American actress
  • August 10Bobby Hatfield, American singer (Righteous Brothers) (d. 2003)
  • August 14Galen Hall, American football coach
  • August 19Jill St. John, American actress
  • August 20
    • Musa Geshaev, Chechen poet and historian
    • Rubén Hinojosa, American politician
  • August 25José Van Dam, Belgian bass-baritone
  • August 28Tom Baker, American actor (d. 1982)
  • August 29
    • Johnny Paris, American musician (Johnny and the Hurricanes) (d. 2006)
    • Bennie Maupin, American musician
  • August 31Jack Thompson, Australian actor



  • October 9John Lennon, British musician and singer (The Beatles) (d. 1980)
  • October 13Pharoah Sanders, American saxophonist
  • October 14Cliff Richard, English singer
  • October 15Peter C. Doherty, Australian immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • October 16Ivan Della Mea, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 2009)
  • October 19Michael Gambon, Irish actor
  • October 20Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States
  • October 21
    • Manfred Mann (Manfred Lubowitz), South African rock musician
    • Geoffrey Boycott, English cricketer
  • October 23Pelé, Brazilian footballer
  • October 25Bobby Knight, American basketball coach
  • October 27John Gotti, American gangster (d. 2002)


  • November 1Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, Chief Justice of India
  • November 12Glenn Stetson, Canadian singer
  • November 15
    • Sam Waterston, American actor
    • Roberto Cavalli, Italian designer
  • November 17Luke Kelly, Irish ballad singer (The Dubliners)
  • November 18Qaboos bin Said al Said, sultan Oman
  • November 21Richard Marcinko, U.S. Navy SEAL team member and author
  • November 25Joe Gibbs, American football coach
  • November 27Bruce Lee, Chinese-American martial artist and actor (d. 1973)
  • November 29Chuck Mangione, American flugelhorn player


  • December 1Richard Pryor, American actor and comedian (d. 2005)
  • December 4
    • Freddy Cannon, American singer
    • Gary Gilmore, American murderer (d. 1977)
  • December 5Peter Pohl, Swedish writer
  • December 11Donna Mills, American actress and dancer
  • December 12
    • Sharad Pawar, Indian politician
    • Dionne Warwick, American singer
  • December 20Pat Chapman, English author
  • December 21Frank Zappa, American musician, composer, and satirist (d. 1993)
  • December 22Noel Jones, British ambassador to Kazakhstan (d. 1995)
  • December 23
    • Jorma Kaukonen, American musician (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
    • Robert Labine, former mayor of Gatineau, Quebec
  • December 24Janet Carroll, American actress and singer (d. 2012)
  • December 26Edward C. Prescott, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate

Date unknown[]

  • Seamus Deane, Irish poet and novelist
  • Christopher Awdry, English children's writer & son of Wilbert Awdry



  • January – Fusajiro Yamauchi, Japanese business executive (b. 1859)
  • January 4Flora Finch, English-born actress and comedian (b. 1869)
  • January 18Kazimierz Tetmajer, Polish poet and writer (b. 1865)
  • January 27Isaac Babel, Ukrainian writer (b. 1894)
  • February 1Philip Francis Nowlan, science fiction writer, creator of Buck Rogers (b. 1888)
  • February 2Vsevolod Meyerhold, Russian Theatre Practitioner (b. 1874)
  • February 4Samuel M. Vauclain, American engineer (b. 1856)
  • February 11John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada (b. 1875)
  • February 26Michael Hainisch, 2nd President of Austria (b. 1858)
  • February 29Edward Frederic Benson, English writer
  • March 1Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Estonian writer (b. 1878)
  • March 5
    • Maxine Elliott, American actress (b. 1868)
    • Cai Yuanpei, Chinese educator (b. 1868)
  • March 10Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian writer (b. 1891)
  • March 11John Monk Saunders, American writer (b. 1897)
  • March 16Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1858)
  • March 20Alfred Ploetz, German physician, biologist, and eugenicist (b. 1860)
  • March 26Spiridon Louis, Greek runner (b. 1873)
  • March 27
    • Madeleine Astor, American survivor of Titanic (b. 1893)
    • Michael Joseph Savage, Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1872)
  • March 31Tinsley Lindley, English footballer (b. 1865)


  • April 1John A. Hobson, English economist (b. 1858).
  • April 26Carl Bosch, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874)
  • April 28Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian opera singer (b. 1871)
  • May 11Chujiro Hayashi, Japanese Reiki Master (b. 1880)
  • May 14Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-born anarchist (b. 1869)
  • May 15Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer (b. 1902)
  • May 19Diego Mazquiarán, Spanish matador (b. 1895)
  • May 20Verner von Heidenstam, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1859)
  • May 25Joe De Grasse, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
  • May 26Wilhelm of Prussia, Prussian prince (b. 1906)
  • May 28
    • Walter Connolly, American actor (b. 1887)
    • Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse (b. 1868)
  • May 29Mary Anderson, American stage actress (b. 1859).
  • June 7
    • James Hall, American actor (b. 1900)
    • Hugh Rodman, American admiral (b. 1859)
  • June 10Marcus Garvey, Jamaican-born publisher, entrepreneur, and black nationalist (b. 1887)
  • June 11Alfred S. Alschuler, American architect (b. 1876)
  • June 13George Fitzmaurice, American director (b. 1885)
  • June 14Henry W. Antheil, Jr., American diplomat (b. 1912)
  • June 17Arthur Harden, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
  • June 19Maurice Jaubert, French composer (b. 1900)
  • June 20Charley Chase, American comedian (b. 1893)
  • June 21
    • Smedley Butler, U.S. general (b. 1881)
    • Janusz Kusocinski, Polish athlete (b. 1907)
  • June 29Paul Klee, Swiss artist (b. 1879)


  • July 1Ben Turpin, American actor (b. 1869)
  • July 15Robert Pershing Wadlow, tallest man ever (infection) (b. 1918)
  • August 5Frederick Albert Cook, American explorer (b. 1865)
  • August 8Johnny Dodds, American jazz clarinetist (b. 1892)
  • August 18Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer (b. 1875)
  • August 21
    • Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary (b. 1879)
    • Hermann Obrecht, Swiss Federal Councillor (b. 1882)
  • August 22Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist (b. 1860)
  • August 30J.J. Thomson, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)
  • September 2Eddie Collins, American vaudeville-veteran comic (b. 1883)
  • September 4George William de Carteret, author from Jersey island (b. 1869)
  • September 5Charles de Broqueville, Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1860)
  • September 25Marguerite Clark, American actress (b. 1883)
  • September 27Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Austrian neuroscientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1857)


Nobel Prizes[]

  • Physics – not awarded
  • Chemistry – not awarded
  • Physiology or Medicine – not awarded
  • Literature – not awarded
  • Peace – not awarded


  1. ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. p. 14. ISBN 0-13-354027-8. 
  2. ^ Trossarelli, L. (2010). "the history of nylon" (in English). Club Alpino Italiano, Centro Studi Materiali e Tecniche. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  3. ^ Hooton, E.R. (2007). Luftwaffe at War: Blitzkrieg in the West. London: Chervron/Ian Allan. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-85780-272-6. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Bloch, Michael (1982). The Duke of Windsor's War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-77947-8. 
  6. ^ Drews, Jürgen (March 2000). "Drug Discovery: a Historical Perspective". Science 287 (5460): 1960–4. DOI:10.1126/science.287.5460.1960. PMID 10720314. 
  7. ^ Robertson, Patrick (1974). The Shell Book of Firsts. London: Ebury Press. p. 124. 
  8. ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. p. 58. ISBN 0-13-354027-8. 

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at 1940. 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 1940 at Familypedia

104 people were born in 1940

 FatherMotherAge mother at birth
Lenice Loraine Abbott (1940-)
Adam Abernathy (1940-2006)James Abernathy (1912-1979)Arlene McGlinchey (1916-2000)
Margaret Alfonesca (1940-1989)Stephen Alfonesca (1908-1959)Samantha Apolloni (1893-1973)
Akihito Amachi (1940-2017)
Ioana Anca Orășanu (1940-)Dumitru Orășanu (1905-1979)Maria Cătuneanu (c1915-c1990)
Margaret Antinori (1940-2002)Albert Antinori (1900-1970)April De Sanctis (1900-1990)
Henry Angus Armstrong (1940)Reginald Armstrong (1897-1968)Phyllis Fenwick (1910-1998)
James Orsen Bakker (1940)Raleigh Bakker (1906-1998)Furnia Lynette Irwin (1906-1998)
Eldy Banda (1940)
Martha Barak (1940-1997)Joseph Barak (1907-1987)Hannah Sandler (1902-1971)
Harry Barron (1940-1999)
John Vincent Belcher (1940)Victor Cecil Belcher (1899-1971)Noelene Catherine Geraghty (1903-1974)
Fausto Bertinotti (1940)Enrico Bertinotti (bef1940)Rosa (bef1940)
Margaret Blank (1940-2000)Adam Blank (1910-1999)Elizabeth Goldenberg (1912-1999)
Michael Albemarle Bowes-Lyon (1940)Michael Claude Hamilton Bowes-Lyon (1893-1953)Elizabeth Margaret Cator (1899-1959)
... further results

45 children were born to the 44 women born in 1940

357 people died in 1940

 FatherMotherAge at death
Sarah Achenbach (1875-1940)Arnold Achenbach (1852-1921)Jennifer Bach (1850-1929)
Hans Ahrendt (1851-1940)
Sophia Ahrendt (1870-1940)David Ahrendt (1847-1920)Josephine Sturzenegger (1849-1909)
Frederika Ahrens (c1866-1940)Heinrich Ahrens (c1815-1891)Sophia Fischer (c1826-1886)
Keiko Akisada (1873-1940)
Chester Holmes Aldrich (1871-1940)Elisha Smith Aldrich (1836-1905)Anna Elizabeth Gladding (1837-1897)
Thomas Goldsborough Alford (1873-1940)Stephen Goldsborough Alford (-c1893)Clarissa Jane Hilliar (-c1883)67
Janet Algie (c1851-1940)William Algie (1813-1868)Janet Carslaw (c1818-1867)89
Caroline Allen (1856-1940)Robert Allen (bef1856)Mary unknown (bef1856)84
Redick Reddin Allred (1848-1940)Reddick Newton Allred (1822-1905)Lucy Hoyt (1824-1907)
Alfred Thompson Archer (1874-1940)Robert Archer (1848-1929)Caroline Cramp (1849-1929)
William George Archer (1869-1940)Robert Archer (1848-1929)Caroline Cramp (1849-1929)
Caitlyn Aumann (1898-1940)
Pompilia Bagdat (c1885-c1940)Constantin Bagdat (1851-1885)Paulina Stănescu (c1854-c1920)
Petrus Bakker (1859-1940)Leendert Bakker (1825-1866)Gerarda van Steen (1822-1893)81
... further results

12615 people lived in 1940

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)
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)
Janet Abbot (1910-1970)
... further results

Events of the year 1940 at Familypedia

135 people were married in 1940.

 Joined with
Thomas Boylston Adams (1910-1997)Ramelle Frost Cochrane (1916-2004)
George Underwood Alley (1912-1943)Rita Maud Croker (bef1940-)
Reva Ann Andrus (1912-2006)Wesley Hyrum Atkin (1913-2008) + James Arthur Beard (1905-1961)
Marvin Jeremy Ashton (1915-1994)Norma Wilson Berntson (1917-2007)
Ava Alice Muriel Astor (1902-1956)Sergei Platonovich Obolensky (1890-1978)+Raimund Hofmann von Hofmannsthal (1906-1974)+Philip John Ryves Harding (1906-1972)+David Bartholomew Pleydell-Bouverie (1911-1994)
Ethel Avison (1909-1980)Murray Douglas Ross (1915-1975)
Elizabeth Condie Baird (1918-1980)Wilford Measome Patterson (1916-2001)+Eldon Delbert Tolley (1916-2000)
Lucille Desiree Ball (1911-1989)Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III (1917-1986) + Gary Morton (1924-1999)
Frances Bandeira (1919-1975)Aaron Jordan Roberts (1916-1979)
James Arthur Beard (1905-1961)Reva Ann Andrus (1912-2006)
Henriette Ernestine Belinfante (1916-1994)Hermanus Lodewijk Maria Divendal (1914-1992)
Norma Wilson Berntson (1917-2007)Marvin Jeremy Ashton (1915-1994)
Herbert Oswald Berry (1918-1952)Mary Clementine Pratt (1921-2002)
Elżbieta Bisping von Gallen (1915-2004)Henryk Morman (1909-1963)
Audrey Melba Blackman (1918-2009)Lindsay Alexander Clements (bef1940)
... further results

There were 0 military battles in 1940.

0.0082441537851764 1.0227272727273 0.028299643281807