January 3 - The March of Dimes is established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
January 11 - Frances Moulton is the first woman to become president of a US national bank.
January 28 - The first ski tow in America begins operation in Vermont.
February 4 - Thornton Wilder's play Our Town opens (New York City).
February 12 - World War II: German troops enter Austria.
February 24 - A nylon bristle toothbrush becomes the first commercial product to be made
with nylon yarn.
March 3 - Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
March 12 - Anschluss: German troops occupy Austria; annexation declared the following
March 18 - Mexico nationalizes all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.
June 1 - Action Comics issues the first Superman comic.
June 23 - The Civil Aeronautics Act is signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics
Authority in the United States.
June 23 - Marineland opens near St. Augustine, Florida.
June 25 - Dr. Douglas Hyde is elected the first President of Ireland..
July 3 - Steam locomotive "Mallard" sets the world speed record for steam by reaching 126
July 10 - Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around
July - Building of the concentration camp Mauthausen.
August 18 - The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting the United States with Canada, is
dedicated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
September - European crisis over German demand for annexation of Sudeten borderland
September 29 - Munich agreement of German, Italian, British and French leaders agrees
to German demands.
October 10 - The Blue Water Bridge opens, connecting Port Huron, Michigan and
October 30 - Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast,
causing mass panic in the eastern United States.
October 31 - Great Depression: In an effort to try restore investor confidence, the New
York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection
for the investing public.
November 9 - Holocaust: Kristallnacht begins - In Germany, the "night of broken glass"
begins as Nazi troops and sympathizers loot and burn Jewish businesses (the all
night affair saw 7,500 Jewish businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned,
91 Jews killed, and at least 25,000 Jewish men arrested).
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.
November 18 - Trade union members elect John L. Lewis as the first president of
the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
December 13 - 100 deportees from Sachsenhausen built the Neuengamme
concentration camp near Hamburg.
December 23 - Coelacanth caught off the coast of South Africa.
In Québec, the St. Jean
Baptiste Society raised a petition of 128,000 names, demanding restrictions on Jews
living in Quebec. Abbe Groulx, the spiritual father of modern Quebec, denounced
Jews as a race that refused to be assimilated.Ongoing events
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).Year in topic
1938 in film
January - MGM announces that Judy Garland would be cast in the role of "Dorothy"
in the upcoming The Wizard of Oz motion picture. Ray Bolger is cast as the "Tinman"
and Buddy Ebsen is cast as the "Scarecrow". At Bolger's insistence, the roles
are switched between the two actors.
April 5 - Noel Langley completes the first script for The Wizard of Oz.
May 7 - Lyricist Edgar Yipsel Harburg and composer, Harold Arlen, begin work
on the musical score for The Wizard of Oz.
July 25 - MGM announces that Bert Lahr has been cast as the "Cowardly Lion" in
The Wizard of Oz.
October 13 - Filming starts on The Wizard of Oz.
October 21 - Buddy Ebsen suffers from a near fatal allergic reaction to the aluminum
dust used in his "Tinman" make-up on the set of The Wizard of Oz. Ebsen is replaced
by Jack Haley.
December 23 - Margaret Hamilton is severely burned during a mishap on the set
of The Wizard of Oz. Hamilton, who was cast in the role of the "Wicked Witch",
left the film for six weeks.
1938 in music
January 16 - Benny Goodman plays Carnegie Hall.
1938 in television
May 31 - W2XBS telecasts the film The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel, starring
Leslie Howard. The staff projectionist accidentally played the last reel out of order,
ending the film 20 minutes early. NBC was unable to obtain the rights to first run
movies for many years to follow.
November 15 - NBC's W2XBT airs what was the first telecast of an unscheduled
event, a fire which broke out on Ward's Island.Births
January 5 - King Juan Carlos
January 10 - Donald Knuth
, American mathematician and computer scientist.
January 10 - Willie McCovey
, Baseball Hall of Famer.
January 14 - Jack Jones
, singer, actor.
January 18 - Curt Flood
, baseball star (d. 1997).
January 23 - Georg Baselitz
, painter and sculptor.
January 25 - Etta James
January 31 - Queen Beatrix
of the Netherlands.
February 1 - Sherman Hemsley
, comedian, actor.
February 11 - Boris Majorov
, Soviet ice hockey player.
February 11 - Yevgeniy Majorov
, Soviet ice hockey player.
February 11 - Bevan Congdon
, New Zealand cricket player.
February 11 - Willy Correa de Oliveira
February 11 - Manuel Noriega
, Panamanian general and dictator.
February 12 - Judy Blume
February 13 - Oliver Reed
, actor (d. 1999).
February 18 - Istvan Szabo
February 24 - Phil Knight
, founder of Nike, Inc.
February 25 - Herb Elliott
, Australian runner.
February 28 - Klaus Staeck
, graphic artist.
March 13 - Erma Franklin
, singer (d. 2002).
March 17 - Rudolf Nureyev
, dancer and choreographer (d. 1993).
March 7 - Janet Guthrie
, automobile racer.
March 18 - Charley Pride
, country musician.
March 25 - Hoyt Axton
, musician, actor (d. 1999).
April 4 - A. Bartlett Giamatti
, president of Yale Univ. and baseball commissioner who
banned Pete Rose. (d. 1989).
April 8 - Kofi Annan
, Secretary General of the United Nations.
April 24 - Nehemia de Vin
April 26 - Duane Eddy
April 29 - Larry Niven
May 22 - Richard Benjamin
May 28 - Osvaldo Romberg
, painter, architect.
May 31 - Johnny PayCheck
, country music singer (d. 2003).
May 31 - Peter Yarrow
June 5 - Karin Balzer
, East German hurdler.
June 15 - Billy Williams
, Baseball Hall of Famer.
June 21 - Johannes (Johan) van den Houten
June 28 - Moy Yat
, Chinese Seal-maker, Martial Artist.
July 4 - Bill Withers
July 20 - Natalie Wood
, actress (d. 1981).
July 27 - Gary Gygax
August 9 - Rod Laver
, Australian tennis player.
August 15 - Janusz A. Zajdel
, Polish science-fiction writer.
August 19 - Diana Muldaur
, actress (L.A. Law, Star Trek: The Next Generation).
August 28 - Paul Martin
, Prime Minister of Canada.
August 31 - Martin Bell
, British journalist and politician.
September 5 - Cornelia Jacoba (Corrie) Flikweert
September 10 - Karl Lagerfeld
, fashion designer and photographer.
September 25 - Jonathan Motzfeldt
, first Prime Minister of Greenland.
September 29 - Wim Kok
, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
October 9 - Cornelia Lijntje Tanis
October 9 - Heinz Fischer
, Austrian politician.
October 14 - Farah Diba
, Empress of Iran.
October 23 - H. John Heinz III
, member U.S. Senate (d. 1991).
November 13 - Jean Seberg
November 16 - Robert Nozick
December 17 - Peter Snell
, New Zealand athlete.Deaths
January 1 - Gerardus Jan van den Houten
January 1 - Jacobus de Jong
January 3 - Gerard Minheere
January 12 - Johanna Krina de Zwarte
January 13 - Willem (William) van Houten
January 21 - Georges Méliès
, French film director, allegedly the first.
February 2 - Frederick William Vanderbilt
, railway magnate.
February 7 - Harvey Firestone
March 13 - Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin
, Soviet politician and intellectual.
March 13 - Clarence Darrow
April 5 - Maarten van den Houten
April 8 - Joe King Oliver
, jazz musician (b. 1885).
April 21 - Allama Iqbal
August 7 - Konstantin Stanislavski
, Russian stage actor.
August 16 - Robert Johnson
, blues musician.
September 14 - Boudewina Houdkamp
October 8 - Adriaan van den Houten
October 22 - May Irwin
, actress, singer.
November 10 - Kemal Atatürk
, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, (b. 1881).
November 11 - Mary Mallon
, Irish servant and cook, famous carrier of Typhoid fever.
November 12 - Pieter van den Houten
November 28 - Marta van den Houten
December 10 - Janna Boogerd (Boogert)
December 20 - Leuntje Roos
December 25 - Karel Capek
, Czech author, inventor of the word robot (b. 1890).
December 28 - Florence Lawrence
, Hollywood's first "star".Jacob Aaron Troast
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