This Day In History
Thursday, October 28, 2021
On This Day



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January 24, 1939

The deadliest earthquake in...
The deadliest earthquake in Chilean history strikes Chillán. The 1939 Chillán earthquake was a major earthquake in south-central Chile. It is currently the single earthquake that has caused the most deaths in Chile. The earthquake occurred on 24 January 1939 and had an intensity of 8.3 MS. The death toll was around 30,000, compared to the 2,000 of the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960.
earthquake, Chillan, Chile

January 27, 1939

First flight of the...
First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, the P-38 was used in a number of roles, including dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, photo reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning, first flight, fighter aircraft, World War II

March 30, 1939

The Heinkel He 100...
The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 746.606 km/h (463.919 mph). The Heinkel He 100 was a German pre-World War II fighter aircraft design from Heinkel. Although it proved to be one of the fastest fighter aircraft in the world at the time of its development, the design was not ordered into series production. Approximately 19 prototypes and pre-production machines were built. The reason for the failure of the He 100 to reach production status is subject to debate. None are known to have survived the war.
Heinkel He 100, fighter

April 20, 1939

Billie Holiday records the...
Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song "Strange Fruit". "Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who released her first recording of it in 1939, the year she first sang it. Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States. The writer, Abel, set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden.
Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit, song

October 16, 1939

First attack on British...
First attack on British territory by the German Luftwaffe. Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1945; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956.
World War II, Luftwaffe

December 29, 1939

First flight of the...
First flight of the Consolidated B-24. The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and a small number of early models were sold under the name LB-30, for Land Bomber. The B-24 was used in World War II by several Allied air forces and navies, and by every branch of the American armed forces during the war, attaining a distinguished war record with its operations in the Western European, Pacific, Mediterranean, and China-Burma-India Theaters.
bomber, B-24


April 16, 1939
Dusty Springfield

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, known professionally as Dusty Springfield and dubbed The White Queen of Soul, was a British pop singer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual sound, she was an important white soul singer, and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970.
November 26, 1939
Tina Turner

Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock) is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre has led many to call her the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".


November 28, 1939
James Naismith

James A. Naismith was a Canadian-American sports coach and innovator. He invented the sport of basketball in 1891 and is often credited with introducing the first football helmet. He wrote the original basketball rulebook, founded the University of Kansas basketball program, and lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
December 12, 1939
Douglas Fairbanks

Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as «The Thief of Bagdad», «Robin Hood», and «The Mark of Zorro».
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