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1939 -- End of the Civil War in Spain. 1939 -- Joint Distribution Committee refuses to feed Polish Jews in Lithuania because they had crossed the border illegally.
January 25, 1939 -- Enrico Fermi and John Dulling in Columbia University use cyclotron to split uranium and obtain a huge energy release.
February 21, 1939 -- Jews are ordered to turn in all their gold and silver.
March 15, 1939 -- Germany occupies Czechoslovakia.
April 19, 1939 -- Slovakian "Nuremberg Laws" go into effect.

April 30, 1939 -- The World's Fair, at a cost of $150 million, opens in New York amid a blaze of fireworks. England's king and queen arrive for the opening. Regular television broadcasting begins from the Fair.

May 1939 -- First appearance of Batman (by Bob Kane) in Detective Comics.


May 17, 1939 -- British issue the Palestine "White Paper" fixing the upper limit to 75,000 Jews to be admitted into Palestine over the next five years.

June 1939 -- The S.S. St. Louis, carrying 930 Jewish refugees, is turned away by Cuba. The U.S. refuses to admit the refugees, who are then forced to return to Europe.
July 4, 1939 -- Jews are forbidden to hold government jobs in Germany. July 4, 1939 -- Lou Gehrig's farewell to baseball after being stricken with a devastating neurological disease.


August 23, 1939 -- Soviet-German pact is signed by Molotov and Ribbentrop.

August 1939 -- A directive requires registration of all children under three who are suspected of suffering from a serious hereditary disease. August 2, 1939 -- First letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, saying that uranium may be used for a new source of energy. He urges quick action on the part of the administration.


August 12, 1939 -- World premier of "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland. The film wins 2 Academy Awards.

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