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World War and Cold War

Joe the Hero

In 1940, Joe the Hero made his big speech. To read about him >>

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

January 16
Hitler postpones his European invasion because of bad weather.

A census reports there are 13 million Americans.

April 1
Charles Lindbergh and others urge the U.S. to stay out of the war.

April 9
The Nazis invade Scandinavia.

June 22
France capitulates to Hitler.

July 10
The Battle of Britain begins.

October 29
The first man is conscripted under a peacetime draft.

November 5
Roosevelt reelected.

December 29-30
London bombed. FDR calls the United States the "arsenal of democracy" in a fireside chat.

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

Joe the hero's big speech

Jane the hero's last stand

Movies in 1940
Henry Fonda is common man Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath

Charlie Chaplin ridicules Hitler in The Great Dictator

Walt Disney's Fantasia

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are witty reporters in His Girl Friday

Books in 1940
In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway wrote about the Spanish Civil War of 1937.

Richard Wright's Native Son is about a young black man trying to escape a Chicago slum.
Music in 1940
For a Library of Congress recording made March 1940, Woody Guthrie plays "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," "Dust Bowl Blues," "Do-Re-Mi," and other songs. He later wrote "Pastures of Plenty," "The Grand Coulee Dam," and his most famous number, "This Land Is Your Land."

Charlie Parker meets Dizzy Gillespie and releases First Recordings