January 1: Hewlett-Packard is founded as an electronics company in Palo Alto, California.
January 5: Amelia Earhart is officially declared dead after her disappearance
January 6: Naturwissenschaften publishes evidence that nuclear fission has been achieved by Otto Hahn.
January 7: Otto Ciliax Takes command of the Battleship Scharnhorst on 7 January 1939 to 23 September 1939.
January 13: Black Friday: 71 people die across Victoria in one of Australia's worst ever bushfires.
January 23: "Dutch War Scare": Admiral Wilhelm Canaris of the Abwehr leaks misinformation to the effect that Germany plans to invade the Netherlands in February, with the aim of using Dutch air-fields to launch a strategic bombing offensive against Britain. The "Dutch War Scare" leads to a major change in British policies towards Europe.
January 24: An earthquake kills 30,000 in Chile, and razes about 50,000 sq mi (130,000 km2).
January 25: Refik Saydam forms the new government of Turkey. (11 th government)
January 26: Spanish Civil War: Spanish Nationalist troops, aided by Italy, take Barcelona. - o In Paris, French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet, in response to rumours (which are true) that he is seeking to end the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, gives a speech highlighting his government's commitment to the cordon sanitaire.
January 27: Adolf Hitler orders Plan Z, a 5-year naval expansion programme intended to provide for a huge German fleet capable of crushing the Royal Navy by 1944. The Kriegsmarine is given the first priority on the allotment of German economic resources.
January 30: Hitler gives a speech before the Reichstag calling for an "export battle" to increase German foreign exchange holdings. The same speech also sees Hitler's "prophecy" where he warns that if "Jewish financers" start a war against Germany, the...result will be the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe". (source: Wikipedia)