January: Amelia Earhart officially declared dead after disappearing whilst flying over the Pacific Ocean.
February: Stagecoach, directed by John Ford premieres. It will make John Wayne a global superstar.
March: Cardinal Pacelli succeeds Pope Pius XI as the 260th pope. As Pope Pius XII, he is the last to take the name Pius.
April: African-American singer Marian Anderson performs before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial.
May: Lou Gehrig ("The Iron Horse") ends a 2,130 consecutive games played streak after contracting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
June: St. Louis carrying 907 Jewish refugees denied permission to land in Florida. Many of its passengers will die in Nazi death camps.
July: Theodore Roosevelt is the last of the four Presidents to have his head dedicated at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
August: MGM's classic musical The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
September: World War II begins after Nazi Germany invades Poland. United Kingdom, France, New Zealand & Australia declare war.
October: The ageing HMS Royal Oak is torpedoed & sunk by a German submarine. The crew death toll will eventually reach 833.
November: Hedda Hopper's Hollywood debuts on radio, making the gossip columnist a powerful Hollywood figure. It runs until 1951.
December: The lengthy film Gone with the Wind, starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland & Leslie Howard, premieres.