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1940 Fifty Years Ago

May 2024
1min read


The “phony war” ended on April 9, when Germany, after a quiet winter, invaded Denmark and Norway. Claiming a mission to “defend true neutrality in the north,” the German occupation forces rolled over the scant military resistance they met and quickly installed Nazi governments in both countries. The day after the invasion Iceland repudiated Denmark’s control over the island and declared itself an independent state.

∗In Chicago’s Comiskey Park on April 16, twenty-one-year-old Bob Feller pitched the only opening-day no-hit game in baseball history, leading his Cleveland Indians to a 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Feller went on to win a career-high twenty-seven games in 1940.

∗Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film, Rebecca , starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, opened in April. Adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca was to be the only Hitchcock film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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