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The following events occurred in January 1938:
- 1 January 1, 1938 (Saturday)
- 2 January 2, 1938 (Sunday)
- 3 January 3, 1938 (Monday)
- 4 January 4, 1938 (Tuesday)
- 5 January 5, 1938 (Wednesday)
- 6 January 6, 1938 (Thursday)
- 7 January 7, 1938 (Friday)
- 8 January 8, 1938 (Saturday)
- 9 January 9, 1938 (Sunday)
- 10 January 10, 1938 (Monday)
- 11 January 11, 1938 (Tuesday)
- 12 January 12, 1938 (Wednesday)
- 13 January 13, 1938 (Thursday)
- 14 January 14, 1938 (Friday)
- 15 January 15, 1938 (Saturday)
- 16 January 16, 1938 (Sunday)
- 17 January 17, 1938 (Monday)
- 18 January 18, 1938 (Tuesday)
- 19 January 19, 1938 (Wednesday)
- 20 January 20, 1938 (Thursday)
- 21 January 21, 1938 (Friday)
- 22 January 22, 1938 (Saturday)
- 23 January 23, 1938 (Sunday)
- 24 January 24, 1938 (Monday)
- 25 January 25, 1938 (Tuesday)
- 26 January 26, 1938 (Wednesday)
- 27 January 27, 1938 (Thursday)
- 28 January 28, 1938 (Friday)
- 29 January 29, 1938 (Saturday)
- 30 January 30, 1938 (Sunday)
- 31 January 31, 1938 (Monday)
- 32 References
- A new constitution went into effect in Estonia.
- George VI gave out six peerages in the New Year Honours list. Gracie Fields and Harriet Cohen were both made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
- The California Golden Bears defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 13-0 in the 24th Rose Bowl.
- The Auburn Tigers beat the Michigan State Spartans 6-0 in the 4th Orange Bowl.
- The Santa Clara Broncos defeated the LSU Tigers 6-0 in the 4th Sugar Bowl.
- The Rice Owls defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 28-14 in the 2nd Cotton Bowl Classic.
- Born: Robert Jankel, coachbuilder, in London, England (d. 2005); Frank Langella, actor, in Bayonne, New Jersey
- Died: Alice Bailly, 65, Swiss painter
- Chinese officials in Canton threatened to carry out a scorched earth policy before surrendering the city to the Japanese.
- Born: David Bailey, fashion and portrait photographer, in Leytonstone, England; Farouk El-Baz, Egyptian-born American space scientist, in Mansoura; Hans Herbjørnsrud, author, in Heddal, Norway; Goh Kun, politician, in Keijo, Korea; Dana Ulery, computer scientist, in East St. Louis, Illinois
- Died: Henry Victor Deligny, 82, French general
- The BBC made its first non-English broadcast, in Arabic. Listeners throughout the Middle East tuned in to a one-hour broadcast mostly consisting of a news bulletin on regional events. The audience reportedly expressed disappointment that the broadcast was not interspersed with love songs like Italy's programming was.
- Egyptian Prime Minister Muhammad Mahmoud Pasha prorogued the fractious parliament for one month. As the President of the Chamber read King Farouk's message of prorogation, the parliamentary deputies held a closed-door session in which they passed a motion of no-confidence against the government, 180-17. However, the government considered the motion illegal and ignored it.
- U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the annual State of the Union address to Congress. Acknowledging that the world was in a state of "high tension and disorder," the president stated that "we must keep ourselves adequately strong in self-defense." Roosevelt also called for legislation to "end starvation wages and intolerable hours" as "an essential part of economic recovery."
- The musical play The Cradle Will Rock written by Marc Blitzstein and directed by Orson Welles made its Broadway debut at the Windsor Theatre.
- The March of Dimes was founded.
- The British government postponed the Peel Commission and appointed the new Woodhead Commission to investigate the proposed partition of Mandatory Palestine.
- All Jews in Romania were banned from employing women under the age of 40.
- Japanese warplanes bombed Hankou.
- Nazi Germany forbade Jews from changing their names to hide their ancestry.
- Born: King Juan Carlos I of Spain, in Rome, Italy
- The Octavian Goga government in Romania recognized the Italian conquest of Ethiopia.
- The drama film In Old Chicago starring Tyrone Power, Alice Faye and Don Ameche was released.
- Born: Mario Rodríguez Cobos, writer, in Mendoza, Argentina (d. 2010)
- Died: John Gavin, 62 or 63, Australian film director
- Italy announced a massive new naval construction program. Two battleships were to be constructed by 1941.
- Born: Roland Topor, illustrator, writer and actor, in Paris, France (d. 1997)
- The United States House Committee on Ways and Means disclosed the salaries of all persons who made more than $15,000 in 1936. Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors was revealed to be the highest-paid CEO in the country, making $561,311. Gary Cooper was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, making $370,214. Claudette Colbert was the top actress at $350,833.
- Born: Bob Eubanks, television and radio personality and game show host, in Flint, Michigan; Vasyl Stus, poet and publicist, in Rakhnivka, Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukrainian SSR (d. 1985)
- Died: Johnny Gruelle, 57, American artist, children's book author and creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy
- Battle of Teruel: The Republicans completed the capture of Teruel.
- Crown Prince Paul of Greece married Frederica of Hanover.
January 10, 1938 (Monday)
- The Japanese captured the strategic port of Qingdao.
- Born: Donald Knuth, computer scientist and mathematician, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Frank Mahovlich, ice hockey player, in Timmins, Ontario, Canada; Willie McCovey, baseball player, in Mobile, Alabama
- Died: Ivan Kleymyonov, 39, Russian scientist (killed in the Great Purge)
January 11, 1938 (Tuesday)
- The Dutch freighter Hannah was torpedoed and sunk by an unidentified submarine seven miles off Cape San Antonio, Spain. All crew were saved.
- Japan held a conference in Tokyo in the presence of Emperor Hirohito. A harsh ultimatum was prepared for China, including payment of reparations and formalization of the separation of northern Chinese territory under Japanese control.
- Adolf Hitler received the newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to Germany Shigenori Tōgō.
- Born: Fischer Black, economist, in Washington, D.C. (d. 1995); Alastair Morton, railway executive, in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2004)
January 12, 1938 (Wednesday)
- The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union opened for the first time.
- German War Minister Werner von Blomberg married his secretary Erna Gruhn at the War Ministry building in Berlin. Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring served as witnesses.
- Austria and Hungary recognized Francoist Spain.
- Born: Teresa del Conde, art critic, in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2017); Lewis Fiander, actor, in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2016); Noel McNamara, justice campaigner, in Australia
January 13, 1938 (Thursday)
- A snap election was called in Northern Ireland to be held February 9. Prime Minister Lord Craigavon called the election so his government would be in a strong position to contend an expected attempt by Éamon de Valera to apply the new Irish Constitution to Ulster.
- Born: Paavo Heininen, composer and pianist, in Järvenpää, Finland; Nachi Nozawa, actor and theatre director, in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2010); Shivkumar Sharma, Santoor player, in Jammu, British India
January 14, 1938 (Friday)
- Norway laid claim to part of the Antarctic including Peter I Island.
- Camille Chautemps resigned as Prime Minister of France when the Socialists withdrew their support.
- Born: Jack Jones, jazz and pop singer, in Hollywood; Allen Toussaint, musician and record producer, in Gert Town, New Orleans (d. 2015)
January 15, 1938 (Saturday)
- The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union announced an expanded naval program and passed a war emergency measure allowing the Presidium to proclaim martial law or a state of war.
- Died: Harold R. Atteridge, 51, American composer, librettist and lyricist; Paul Raphael Montford, 69, English sculptor
January 16, 1938 (Sunday)
- While the Chinese government was still considering how to respond to the Japanese ultimatum, Japan announced it was ending diplomatic relations with China. In Japanese, this was known as the aite ni sezu ("absolutely no dealing") declaration.
January 17, 1938 (Monday)
- The Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme opened in Paris.
- Born: John Bellairs, fantasy novelist, in Marshall, Michigan (d. 1991)
January 18, 1938 (Tuesday)
- 47 perished in a fire at the College of the Sacred Heart in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada.
- Camille Chautemps returned as French Prime Minister with the formation of a new cabinet.
- Grover Cleveland Alexander was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Born: Curt Flood, baseball player, in Houston, Texas (d. 1997)
January 19, 1938 (Wednesday)
- German bombers of the Condor Legion killed more than 100 people in an air raid on Barcelona.
- Died: Branislav Nušić, 73, Serbian writer
January 20, 1938 (Thursday)
- King Farouk of Egypt married his first wife Farida in Cairo.
- Born: Derek Dougan, footballer, in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 2007)
- Died: Émile Cohl, 81, French caricaturist and animator
January 21, 1938 (Friday)
- A law was passed in Romania that stripped 270,000 Jews of their citizenship.
- Acting on a tipoff from MI5 agent Olga Gray, British police arrested two men performing a handoff of documents in Charing Cross tube station. The documents had been stolen from Woolwich Arsenal.
- Born: Wolfman Jack, disc jockey, in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1995)
- Died: Georges Méliès, 76, French illusionist and filmmaker
January 22, 1938 (Saturday)
- The three-act play Our Town by Thornton Wilder premiered at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey.
January 23, 1938 (Sunday)
- The Honeymoon Bridge at Niagara Falls took severe structural damage from a deluge of ice during a wind storm.
- Born: Georg Baselitz, painter, in Deutschbaselitz, Germany; Giant Baba, professional wrestler, in Sanjō, Niigata, Japan (d. 1999)
January 24, 1938 (Monday)
- The Jubilee Medal "XX Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army" was established in the Soviet Union to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Armed Forces.
- BBC Television broadcast the first televised opera, a production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
January 25, 1938 (Tuesday)
- Austrian police raided Nazi headquarters in Vienna and uncovered plans of a Nazi coup. Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg refused to publish the documents because he feared they could antagonize Hitler.
- Hermann Göring presented Hitler with a file on Werner von Blomberg's new wife, revealing her police record as a former prostitute who had also posed for pornographic photos. Hitler confronted Blomberg the same day and informed him that he could not continue as War Minister.
- Born: Etta James, singer, in Los Angeles (d. 2012); Shotaro Ishinomori, manga artist, in Tome, Miyagi, Japan (d. 1998); Vladimir Vysotsky, singer-songwriter, poet and actor, in Moscow, USSR (d. 1980)
January 26, 1938 (Wednesday)
- Werner von Fritsch was summoned to the Chancellory to answer accusations of homosexuality, which he denied.
- Two truckloads of hand grenades confiscated from La Cagoule exploded in the Parisian suburb of Villejuif, killing 14.
- Australia Day: Australia celebrated the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet.
January 27, 1938 (Thursday)
- Werner von Blomberg resigned his post "for reasons of health" and returned to his honeymoon in Capri, Italy. Hitler had promised to return von Blomberg to his post once the controversy passed, but he was never recalled for duty.
- The Honeymoon Bridge collapsed.
January 28, 1938 (Friday)
- 15 people, including three army officers, were arrested in Greece for plotting to assassinate Ioannis Metaxas.
- Experiencing great personal duress from the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair, Hitler cancelled plans to hold a special session of the Reichstag on Sunday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of coming to power. The official reason given was that the international situation made it an inopportune time to make any foreign policy statements.
- Died: Bernd Rosemeyer, 28, German racing driver (auto accident during a land speed record attempt)
January 29, 1938 (Saturday)
- British police made two more arrests in the Woolwich Arsenal spy case. Both suspects worked in the Arsenal and had connections to the Communist Party of Great Britain. One of them was found to be in possession of a suitcase with a double bottom used for smuggling blueprints.
- German chemist Paul Schlack synthesized Nylon 6, widely known by its tradename Perlon.
- Born: Shuji Tsurumi, gymnast, in Tokyo, Japan
- Died: Armando Palacio Valdés, 84, Spanish novelist and critic
January 30, 1938 (Sunday)
- With the German public mostly oblivious to the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair except for rumors, celebrations were held around the country marking the fifth anniversary of the Nazi regime.
- The Employee and Worker Faithful Service Medal was founded in Nazi Germany.
- The German National Prize for Art and Science was awarded to its first five recipients.
- Born: Norma Jean, country singer, in Wellston, Oklahoma; Islam Karimov, first President of Uzbekistan, in Samarkand (d. 2016)
January 31, 1938 (Monday)
- Hermann Göring ordered the creation of a "council of war economics" with its members appointed by the Minister of War and commanders-in-chief of the military.
- The U.S. Supreme Court decided Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. v. Johnson.
- Born: Beatrix of the Netherlands, in Soestdijk Palace, Baarn; Lynn Carlin, actress, in Los Angeles, California
- "Gay Estonians Celebrate End of Dictatorship". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 1, 1938. p. 2.
- Brewer, Sam (January 1, 1938). "George VI Hands Out 6 Peerages in New Year List". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 2.
- "Chinese to Burn Canton if Japs Close in on City". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 3, 1938. p. 4.
- Darrah, David (January 4, 1938). "Britain's First broadcast to Arabs a Flop". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
- "1938". MusicAndHistory. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Egyptian Parliament Released for Minth by Premier's Order". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 3, 1938. p. 4.
- Peters, Gerbhard; Woolley, John T. "Annual Message to Congress - January 3, 1938". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "The Cradle Will Rock". Playbill Vault. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Chronology 1938". indiana.edu. 2002. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Mercer, Derrik, ed. (1989). Chronicle of the 20th Century. London: Chronicle Communications. p. 492. ISBN 978-0-582-03919-3.
- "Raid China's New Air Fleet". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 5, 1938. p. 1.
- Matthäus, Jürgen; Roseman, Mark (2010). Jewish Responses to Persecution: 1933–1938. AltaMira Press. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-7591-1910-9.
- "Tageseinträge für 6. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Tageseinträge für 7. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Movie and Auto Industries Lead in '36 Salaries". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 9, 1938. p. 1.
- Simkin, John (2014). "Spanish Civil War: Chronology". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Tageseinträge für 9. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "U-Boat Sinks Dutch Vessel Nearing Spain". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 12, 1938. p. 6.
- Mitter, Rana (2013). Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937–1945. Mariner Books. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-547-84056-7.
- "Tageseinträge für 11. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Hitler Becomes Army Commander". History Place. 2001. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Brewer, Sam (January 14, 1938). "Ulster, Uneasy Over De Valera, Calls Election". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 16.
- Taylor, Edmond (January 14, 1938). "Oust French Popular Front". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
- "Russia Plunges into Naval Race; Plans 'Big Ships'". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 16, 1938. p. 6.
- "Today in Canadian History". Canada Channel. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Taylor, Edmond (January 19, 1938). "New Chautemps Cabinet Formed; Reds Left Out". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 5.
- "Alexander is Voted Place in Baseball Hall of Fame". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 19, 1938. p. 17.
- "Tageseinträge für 19. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Small, Alex (January 21, 1938). "Cairo Whoops it Up; 500,000 Hail New Queen". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
- Garbarini, Alexandra (2011). Jewish Responses to Persecution: 1938–1940. AltaMira Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-7591-2041-9.
- West, Nigel; Tsarev, Oleg (1999). The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB Archives. Yale University Press. pp. 124–126. ISBN 978-0-300-07806-0.
- "The Honeymoon Steel Arch Bridge". Niagara Falls Info. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Eubank, Keith (2004). The Origins of World War II, Third Edition. Harlan Davidson, Inc. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-118-81875-6.
- MacDonogh, Giles (2009). 1938: Hitler's Gamble. Basic Books. pp. 11–12, 15. ISBN 978-0-465-02205-2.
- "Hand Grenades Explode Near Paris; 14 Slain". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 27, 1938. p. 3.
- "Werner von Blomberg". World War II Database. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Duffy, James P.; Ricci, Vincent (2011). Target Hitler: The Many Plots to Kill Adolf Hitler. Enigma Books. ISBN 978-1-936274-03-1.
- "Greek Army Men Seized for Plot to Kill Dictator". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 29, 1938. p. 7.
- Schultz, Sigrid (January 29, 1938). "Nazis Reported Split Over War Chief's Wedding". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 7.
- Robinson, Curtis B. (2011). Caught Red Starred: The Woolwich Spy Ring and Stalin's Naval Rearmament on the Eve of War. Xlibris Corporation. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-4653-4042-9.
- "Tageseinträge für 29. Januar 1938". chroniknet. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Schultz, Sigrid (February 1, 1938). "Nazi 'Council of War Economics' to Run Industry". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 8.