What Else Was Happening in America in 1939?

As eventful as the opening of The Wizard of Oz was in 1939, it was far from the only occurrence of importance that year. Here are just some of the other things that happened:

On January 6, the daily newspaper comic strip featuring the man of steel — Superman – debuts.

On January 15, the first NFL pro bowl game was played in Wrigley Field, Chicago; it saw the New York Giants defeating a team of All Stars by a score of 13 to 10.

On January 21, George Kaufman & Moss Hart’s American Way premiered on Broadway.

On January 25, filming begins on Gone With the Wind.

On February 14, Victor Fleming replaces George Cukor as director of Gone With the Wind; the second mega film for Mr. Fleming in two years.

On March 7, Guy Lombardo & the Royal Canadians first recorded Auld Lang Syne, the song forever linked to New Year’s Eve.

March 25, Billboard Magazine introduces the hillbilly (now known as country) music chart.

April 20, Boston Red Sox great, Ted Williams got his first hit (off of Yankee Red Ruffing); it was a double.

May 16, the first American League night game was played in Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, later known as Connie Mack Park; it saw the Cleveland Indians defeating the Philadelphia Athletics by a score of 10 to 3.

July 13, Frank Sinatra made his recording debut.

August 15, The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Two days later, it opened at Loew’s Capitol Theater in New York City.

November 4, the first air-conditioned automobile (it was a Packard) was on exhibit in Chicago, Illinois.

November 11, Kate Smith sang Irving Berlin’s God Bless America for the first time.

December 2, New York’s La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed, one minute after midnight.

December 15, Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta, Georgia.