1935 1936 1937 - 1938 - 1939 1940 1941
1900s 1910s 1920s - 1930s - 1940s 1950s 1960s
- January 1
- January 3 – The March of Dimes is established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- January 11 – Frances Moulton is named the first female president of a U.S. national bank.
- 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 20 – King Farouk of Egypt marries Queen Farida Zulficar in Cairo.
- 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.
- January 28 – The first ski tow in America begins operation in Vermont.
- 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.
- 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 10 – Carol II of Romania takes dictatorial powers.
- 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 3 – Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
- March 12 – Anschluss: German troops occupy Austria; annexation is declared the following day.
- March 14 – French Premier Leon 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.
- April 10 – Edouard 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.
- April 24 – Konstantin Päts becomes president of Estonia.
- April 25 – Erie 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 a attack.
- May 9 – Kaarel Eenpalu becomes prime minister of Estonia.
- May 14 – Chile withdraws from the League of Nations.
- May 20 – Czechoslovakia orders a partial mobilization of its armed forces along the German border.
- 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.
- May 25 – Spanish Civil War: Alicante, Spain is bombed, resulting in 313 deaths.
- June 11 – Fire destroys 212 buildings in Ludes, Latvia.
- June 15 – László Bíró patents the ballpoint pen in Britain.
- June 25 – Dr. Douglas Hyde is elected the first President of Ireland.
- July 3
- 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 12 – The Turkish army carries out the Kurdish Genocide in Dersim, Turkey.
- July 14 – Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
- June 23 – Siam is officially renamed Thailand.
- July 24 – First ascent of the Eiger north face.
- July 28 – A revolt against the Ioannis Metaxas dictatorship is put down in Chania, Greece.
- August 4 – Lord Runciman arrives in Prague to act as Neville Chamberlain's special envoy in the continuing Sudetenland disturbances.
- 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 7 – The 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 15 – Neville Chamberlain arrives in Berchtesgaden to begin negotiations with Hitler over the Sudetenland.
- September 17 – Neville Chamberlain returns temporarily to London to confer with his cabinet.
- 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 that neither the English nor the French governments are prepared to go to war over the Sudetenland.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- September 23 – The Czechoslovak army mobilizes.
- September 24 -
- Sir Eric Phipps, British Ambassador to France, reports to London that "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". Phipp'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 National Socialist 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 In Our Time".
- October 1 – German troops march into the Sudetenland. The Polish government gives the Czech government an ultimatum stating that Teschen must be handed over within twenty-four hours. The Czechs have little choice but to comply.
- 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.
- October 10 – The Blue Water Bridge opens, connecting Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
- October 16 – Winston 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 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 extra-territorial 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".
- October 30 – Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast, causing panic in various parts of the United States.
- October 31 – Great 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 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 Jew Herschel Grynszpan.
- November 9 – Kristallnacht: In Germany, the "night of broken glass" begins as german citizens burn Jewish businesses.
- 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 laws of the Popular Front.
- November 13- The people of New York City hold a fruit tasting contest held by managers.
- November 18 – Trade 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 Noel, 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.
- A general strike is called in France by the French Communist Party to protest the laws of November 12.
- 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.
- December 27 – A massive avalanche of snow hits a construction worker dormitory site in Kurobe, Japan, killing 87.
- January 6 - John Patler, assassin of George Lincoln Rockwell
- November 2 - David Lane, American White Nationalist and founding member of The Order (d. 2007)