1940 events in history

Jan 5 FM radio is demonstrated to the Federal Communications Commission for the first time
Jan 7 Winter War: The Finnish 9th Division stops and completely destroys the overwhelming Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road
Jan 8 World War II: Britain introduces food rationing
Jan 29 Three trains on the Sakurajima Line, in Osaka, Japan, collide and explode while approaching Ajikawaguchi Station. 181 people are killed
Feb 7 The second full length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premieres
Feb 10 The Soviet Union begins mass deportations of Polish citizens from occupied eastern Poland to Siberia
Feb 16 World War II: Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners are freed
Feb 27 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14
Feb 28 Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden)
Feb 29 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations
Feb 29 In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, because of the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence receives the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Sweden's Consul General in San Francisco
Feb 29 For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award
Mar 3 Five people are killed in an arson attack on the offices of the communist newspaper Norrskensflamman in Luleå, Sweden
Mar 5 Six high-ranking members of Soviet politburo, including General Secretary Joseph Stalin, sign an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs, in what will become known as the Katyn massacre
Mar 12 Winter War: Finland signs the Moscow Peace Treaty with the Soviet Union, ceding almost all of Finnish Karelia. Finnish troops and the remaining population are immediately evacuated
Mar 13 The Russo-Finnish Winter War ends
Mar 16 First person killed in a German bombing raid on the UK in World War II during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, James Isbister
Mar 18 World War II: Axis Powers – Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom
Mar 23 The Lahore Resolution (Qarardad-e-Pakistan or the then Qarardad-e-Lahore) is put forward at the Annual General Convention of the All India Muslim League
Mar 30 Second Sino-Japanese War: Japan declares Nanking capital of a new Chinese puppet government, nominally controlled by Wang Jingwei
Apr 7 Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp
Apr 9 Vidkun Quisling seizes power in Norway
Apr 9 World War II: Operation Weserübung – Germany invades Denmark and Norway
Apr 14 World War II: Royal Marines land in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later
Apr 15 The Allies begin their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which is occupied by Nazi Germany
Apr 23 The Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, kills 198 people
May 1 The 1940 Summer Olympics are cancelled due to war
May 5 World War II: Norwegian Campaign – Norwegian squads in Hegra Fortress and Vinjesvingen capitulate to German forces after all other Norwegian forces in southern Norway had laid down their arms
May 5 World War II: Norwegian refugees form a government-in-exile in London
May 6 John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath
May 7 The Norway Debate in the British House of Commons begins, and leads to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill three days later
May 9 World War II: The German submarine U-9 sinks the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder
May 10 World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain
May 10 World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
May 10 World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin
May 10 World War II: German fighters accidentally bomb the German city of Freiburg
May 10 World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom
May 13 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees her country to Great Britain after the German invasion. Princess Juliana takes her children to Canada for their safety
May 13 World War II: Germany's conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse. Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons
May 14 The Yermolayev Yer-2, a long-range Soviet medium bomber, makes its first flight
May 14 World War II: The Battle of the Netherlands ends with the Netherlands surrendering to Germany
May 14 World War II: Rotterdam is bombed by the German Luftwaffe
May 15 McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California
May 15 World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrender to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation
May 15 USS Sailfish is recommissioned. It was originally the USS Squalus
May 17 World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium
May 17 World War II: the old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburg is bombed by the German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland
May 20 The Holocaust: The first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz
May 24 Acting on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, NKVD agent Iosif Grigulevich orchestrates an unsuccessful assassination attempt on exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky in Coyoacán, Mexico
May 24 Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight