1938 in the United States
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|1938 in the United States|
|Years:||1935 1936 1937 – 1938 – 1939 1940 1941|
48 stars (1912–59)
Events from the year 1938 in the United States.
- President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic)
- Vice President: John Nance Garner (Democratic)
- Chief Justice: Charles Evans Hughes
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: William B. Bankhead (D-Alabama)
- Senate Majority Leader: Alben W. Barkley (D-Kentucky)
- Congress: 75th
- January 3 – The March of Dimes is established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- January 16 – Two landmark live recordings are produced this day: the very first of Mahler's Ninth by the Vienna Philharmonic under Bruno Walter in the face of dire circumstance; and Benny Goodman and his orchestra become the first jazz musicians to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- January 22 – Thornton Wilder's play Our Town is performed for the first time anywhere in Princeton, New Jersey. It premieres in New York City on February 4.
- 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.
- March 3 – The Santa Ana River in California spills over its banks during a rainy winter, killing 58 people in Orange County and causing trouble as far inland as Palm Springs.
- 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.
- April 30 – The first cartoon to feature a prototypical Bugs Bunny, Porky's Hare Hunt, is released.
- May 17 – Information Please debuts on NBC Radio.
- June 22 – Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocks out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
- June 23
- June 24 – A 450-metric-ton (496-short-ton) meteorite explodes about 12 miles (19 km) above the earth near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
- June 25 – Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was signed into law by president Franklin D. Roosevelt
- June 30 – Action Comics #1 is published, which is the first publication featuring the comic book character Superman.
- July 3 – The last reunion of the Blue and Gray commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- 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 18 – Wrong Way Corrigan takes off from New York, ostensibly heading for California. He lands in Ireland instead.
- August 6 – The Looney Tunes animated short Porky & Daffy is released.
- August 18 – The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting the United States with Canada, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- August 31 – Winston Churchill, still believing France and Britain mean to honor their promises to defend Czechoslovakia against Nazi aggression, suggests in a personal note to Neville Chamberlain that His Majesty's Government may want to set up a broad international alliance including the United States (specifically mentioning U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as possibly receptive to the idea) and the Soviet Union.
- September 1 – Haggar debuts a new pant concept, "Slacks", as the appropriate pant to wear during a man's "Slack Time."
- September 4 – During the ceremony marking the unveiling of a plaque at Pointe de Grave, France celebrating Franco-American friendship, American Ambassador William Bullitt in a speech states, "France and the United States were united in war and peace", leading to much speculation in the press that if war did break out over Czechoslovakia, then the United States would join the war on the Allied side.
- 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 12 – Hitler makes his much-anticipated closing address at Nuremberg, in which he vehemently attacks the Czech people and President Beneš. American news commentator Hans von Kaltenborn begins his famous marathon of broadcast bulletins over the CBS Radio Network with a summation of Hitler's address.
- September 21 – The New England Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long Island and southern New England, killing over 300 along the Rhode Island shoreline and approximately 600 in total.
- September 22 – Olsen and Johnson's musical comedy revue Hellzapoppin' begins its 3-year run on Broadway.
- 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 Adolf Hitler.
- October 24 – The minimum wage is established by law in the United States.
- 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 intended to upgrade protection for the investing public.
- November 1 – Horse Racing: Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral by four lengths in their famous match race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
- November 10 – On the eve of Armistice Day, Kate Smith sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" for the first time on her weekly radio show.
- December – President Franklin Roosevelt agrees to lend $25 million to Chiang Kai-shek, cementing the Sino-American relationship and angering the Japanese government.
- New Deal (1933–1938)
- Recession of 1937–1938 (1937–1938)
- The Dictionary of Occupational Titles was established. It would run until 1998, when it was replaced with O*Net OnLine
- January 18 – Paul G. Kirk, United States Senator from Massachusetts from 2009 till 2010.
- February 4 – Donald W. Riegle, Jr., United States Senator from Michigan from 1976 till 1995.
- April 23 – Steve Symms, United States Senator from Idaho from 1981 till 1993.
- July 20 – Natalie Wood, actress (died 1981)
- August 15 – Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1994.
- August 20 – Kaneaster Hodges, Jr., United States Senator from Arkansas from 1977 till 1979.
- September 6 – Dennis Oppenheim, artist (died 2011)
- September 8 – Sam Nunn, United States Senator from Georgia from 1972 till 1997.
- October 6 – Peter F. Donnelly, arts patron, vice-chairman of Americans for the Arts, complications of pancreatic cancer (died 2009)
- October 22 – Christopher Lloyd, actor and entrepreneur
- "A Look Back: Flood of ’38 was county’s worst natural disaster". Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- Media related to 1938 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons