2 January 1941 A new constitution for Panama goes into effect. Women are allowed to vote for the first time.
3 January 1941 Johann Wilhelm Rangell replaces Rudolf Walden as Prime Minister of Finland.
The Seventy-seventh Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. Healthy Democratic majorities in both houses remain essentially unchanged by the last election.
Symphonic Dances op.45 by Sergey Rakhmaninov (67) is performed for the first time, at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia.
4 January 1941 Greek forces resume their offensive against the Italians in Albania.
The Vichy government grants dominion status to French Indochina.
5 January 1941 The Chinese communist New Fourth Army is ambushed by Nationalist troops in Kiangsi (Jiangxi). In a week of fighting, 3,000 men or more are killed.
British and Australian forces enter Bardia (Bardiyah), Libya, taking 35,000 Italians prisoner.
Introduction and Rondo alla burlesca op.23/1 for two pianos by Benjamin Britten (27) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York.
No For an Answer, an opera by Marc Blitzstein (35) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Mecca Temple, New York.
6 January 1941 Allied troops take El Adam airfield south of Tobruk (Tubruq).
New York License Commissioner Paul Moss, who attended last night’s premiere, bans further staging of No For An Answer by Marc Blitzstein (35) claiming that the building violates several municipal codes. Under public pressure, Mayor La Guardia will prevail upon Moss to issue a temporary permit.
President Roosevelt designates the “Four Freedoms” basic to humanity to be freedom of speech and religion, freedom from want and fear.
7 January 1941 Music Lovers’ Set of Five for flute, violin, cello, and piano by Henry Cowell (43) is performed for the first time, in the Community Playhouse, San Francisco.
8 January 1941 Siam declares martial law in provinces bordering French Indochina.
British planes bomb Naples.
Piano Sonata no.2 op.6 by Vincent Persichetti (25) is performed for the first time, in El Dorado, Kansas by the composer’s future wife, Dorothea Flanagan.
9 January 1941 Reel no.2 for small orchestra by Henry Cowell (43) is performed for the first time, in Minneapolis.
10 January 1941 In the first German air action in the Mediterranean, the Luftwaffe attacks a British convoy between Gibraltar and Malta. Two ships are sunk, two damaged.
Greek troops capture Klissura (Këlcyra), Albania.
All Dutch Jews are required to register with the German authorities.
Afternoon. Frank Bridge dies of a heart attack in Eastbourne, aged 61 years, ten months, and 15 days. The ashes of his mortal remains will be buried in Friston churchyard.
11 January 1941 Ecuba, an opera by Gian Francesco Malipiero (58) to his own words after Euripedes, is performed for the first time, in Rome. It uses music from his incidental music to the play.
12 January 1941 Ancient Desert Drone for orchestra by Henry Cowell (43) is performed for the first time, in South Bend, Indiana.
13 January 1941 James Joyce dies in Zürich at the age of 58.
15 January 1941 With an out of tune piano with atrocious touch, Olivier Messiaen (32) (wearing a Czech uniform and wooden shoes) and three fellow prisoners (Étienne Pasquier, Henri Akoka, and Jean Le Boulaire) perform the world premiere of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps in Stalag 8-A near Görlitz, Silesia. He wrote the quartet for the four instruments and musicians that he had available: clarinet, violin, cello and piano. Of the audience of 5,000 prisoners the composer will say: “Never have I been heard with as much attention and understanding.”
16 January 1941 German planes launch their first attack on Malta, killing 50 people, destroying 200 buildings and damaging the port of Valetta.
18 January 1941 German and Italian planes attack Malta.
19 January 1941 British and Indian forces reoccupy Kassala, Sudan, simultaneously attacking the Italians in Eritrea, Somaliland, and Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia reenters his country.
German and Italian planes attack Malta.
Valley Town, a documentary film with music by Marc Blitzstein (35), is shown for the first time, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
20 January 1941 Australian forces attack Italians at Tobruk (Tubruq).
String Quartet no.6 by Béla Bartók (59) is performed for the first time, in New York.
21 January 1941 The Communist Party newspaper The Daily Worker is suppressed by the British government.
An anti-government faction of the Romanian Iron Guard rises up in Bucharest and begins battling government troops. They oppose Prime Minister Antonescu and demand the return of Transylvania. Over the next four days, thousands of Iron Guards are killed in battles with the army in Bucharest.
22 January 1941 British and Australian forces capture Tobruk (Tubruq), Libya taking 25,000 Italians prisoner.
An anti-government faction of the Romanian Iron Guard gains control of the radio station in Bucharest and several military bases.
23 January 1941 Charles Lindbergh testifies before the US Congress that it would be a mistake to send aid to Great Britain.
Lady in the Dark, a musical play with a book by Hart, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by Kurt Weill (40), opens in New York, at the Alvin Theatre. It is a smash and will see 467 performances. See 30 December 1940.
24 January 1941 The revolt by an anti-government faction of the Iron Guard is effectively suppressed in Romania. An estimated 4,000-6,000 people have been killed in four days of fighting. 400 students and 300 Jews have been killed by government troops.
27 January 1941 Indian troops occupy Agordat (Ak’ordat), Eritrea.
28 January 1941 Quiet City by Aaron Copland (40), arranged for english horn, trumpet, and strings from his incidental music to Shaw’s play of the same name, is performed for the first time, in New York. See 27 February 1939.
29 January 1941 Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas of Greece dies in Athens of a throat infection and is succeeded by Alexandros Georgiou Korizis.
John Cage (28) begins teaching an extension course in percussion at Mills College in Oakland.
30 January 1941 Speaking in Berlin, Adolf Hitler warns that if the United States decides to send aid to Great Britain, its ships will be sunk by German submarines.
Australian forces capture Derna (Darnah), Libya.
31 January 1941 An armistice is signed between France and Siam aboard a Japanese warship in Saigon, ending their border dispute of four months.
In Newton, New Jersey, nine leaders of the German-American Bund are sentenced to prison terms of 12-14 months for violating New Jersey’s race hatred law.
Evocations for piano by Carl Ruggles (64) is performed publicly for the first time, at the Detroit Institute of the Arts. The concert begins an exhibition of 20 of Ruggles’ paintings. See 18 November 1940.
1 February 1941 The Japanese government announces it will begin to ration rice.
3 February 1941 President Fulgencio Battista of Cuba suspends civil rights and takes over personal command of the armed forces. He fires the heads of the Army, Navy, and Police.
2 February 1941 An orchestral suite from the ballet Filling Station by Virgil Thomson (44) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of radio station WNYC, New York. See 6 January 1938.
4 February 1941 Colloque for soprano, baritone, and piano by Francis Poulenc (42) to words of Valéry is performed for the first time, in Théâtre des Mathurins, Paris, the composer at the keyboard.
The first complete, public performance of Contrasts for violin, clarinet, and piano by Béla Bartók (59) takes place in Boston. A recording was made last April. See 9 January 1939.
Roy J. Plunkett receives a US patent for Tetrafluoroethylene Polymers, which will be marketed under the name Teflon.
5 February 1941 Over three months after their arrival, all the belongings of Béla Bartók (59) and his wife arrive in New York from Lisbon. The Bartók’s are currently in Boston.
6 February 1941 On the day that Erwin Rommel assumes command of the Afrika Corps, Australian forces enter Benghazi, Libya.
Concerto for Orchestra by Zoltán Kodály (58), composed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is performed for the first time, in Chicago.
7 February 1941 After a two-day battle, an Italian army surrenders to Allied forces at Beda Fomm, near Antalat, Libya. 25,000 Italians are made prisoner.
Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber (30) is performed for the first time, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. It is greeted by thunderous applause from the audience. Critics are generally positive.
Cello Concerto by Paul Hindemith (45) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
8 February 1941 The governing body of Yale University approves a permanent position for Paul Hindemith (45).
9 February 1941 The Royal Navy bombards Genoa. British planes attack Genoa, Livorno, and La Spezia.
Dutch fascists attack an exhibit of Jewish artists in Amsterdam. Jews begin to resist and organize themselves.
10 February 1941 Great Britain severs relations with Romania due to the presence of 500,000 German troops in the country.
General Walter G. Krivitsky, once the Red Army Chief of Intelligence for Western Europe, is found dead of a gunshot wound in the Bellevue Hotel, Washington. It is made to look like an accident, but Soviet agents are suspected. Krivitsky broke with Stalin in 1937.
11 February 1941 German Social Democrat Rudolf Hiferding, who twice served as finance minister for the Weimar Republic, dies in prison from injuries inflicted by the Gestapo.
Jews battle Germans and Dutch fascists in Waterloo Square, Amsterdam.
The Old Maid and the Thief, an opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti (29) to his own words, is staged for the first time, in Philadelphia. See 22 April 1939.
12 February 1941 German troops in civilian clothes begin entering Bulgaria.
Germans close off the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam with barbed wire.
General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli (Tarabulus) to take command of German troops in Libya.
At Radcliffe Hospital, Ernst B. Chain and Howard Florey, who developed penicillin as an antibiotic, supervise the first injection of penicillin into a human patient, Albert Alexander, a 48-year-old London policeman who developed septicemia from a shaving cut. After showing initial progress, the tiny supply of penicillin will run out and the patient will die.
13 February 1941 Germans order all gentiles to leave Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter.
King Alfonso XIII, in exile in Rome, renounces the throne of Spain in favor of his son, Don Juan.
14 February 1941 British and South African forces from Kenya capture Kismayu (Kismaayo) in Italian Somaliland.
The first units of the German Afrika Korps land at Tripoli.
15 February 1941 Anti-Jewish legislation based on the Nuremberg Laws receives royal assent in Bulgaria.
Italy requires that the United States close consulates in Naples and Palermo.
In Los Angeles, Duke Ellington (41) and his Orchestra record what will become his signature tune, Billy Strayhorn’s Take the A Train.
16 February 1941 William Walton’s (38) orchestral work Music for Children is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London.
18 February 1941 Thousands of Australian troops arrive in Singapore to prepare the island and Malaya for a possible attack by Japan.
South African troops capture Mega, just north of the Kenya-Ethiopia border, taking a thousand Italians prisoner.
20 February 1941 After discovering that the family tree of Johann Strauss (†41) contains unbaptized Jews, the Nazi government publishes on vellum, a statement officially “purifying” Strauss and his music. They then secretly replace a matrimonial record in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna with a forgery.
Adagio for Orchestra by Leos Janácek (†12) is performed for the first time before a live audience, in Brno. The work was already broadcast over Czechoslovak Radio-Brno in 1930.
21 February 1941 Salavat Iulaev, a film with music by Aram Khachaturian (37), is released.
22 February 1941 British and South African forces defeat Italians at Gelib, Italian Somaliland.
Germans and Dutch fascists invade the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam. They cause much destruction and take around 400 young men prisoner. All but one of these will die in death camps.
Ballad of a Railroad Man for chorus and orchestra by Roy Harris (43) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WNYC originating at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
23 February 1941 Virgil Thomson (44) writing in the New York Herald Tribune, attacks Kurt Weill (40) and Lady in the Dark saying, “It smells of Hollywood. It is hokum, like Louise, sincere hokum. If it really touches you, you go all to pieces inside. If not, it is still something anyway, though not so much...Mr. Weill seems to have a great facility for writing banal music and the shamelessness to emphasize its banality with the most emphatically banal instrumentation.”
Rebus for orchestra by Frank Bridge (†0) is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London.
Roy Harris’ (43) symphonic overture Cimarron for band is performed for the first time, in Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago.
25 February 1941 British and South African forces capture Mogadishu (Muqdisho), the capital of Italian Somaliland.
A general strike in Amsterdam against the treatment of Dutch Jews shuts down the city. A march by workers is attacked by German troops. Order is restored by evening.
26 February 1941 The general strike in Amsterdam spreads to other Dutch cites.
27 February 1941 Strikes against the treatment of Jews in the Netherlands end by today.
28 February 1941 British planes bomb Asmera, Eritrea.
Former King Alfonso XIII of Spain dies in exile, at the Grand Hotel in Rome.
1 March 1941 As German troops march from Romania into Bulgaria, King Boris signs the Tripartite Pact in Vienna.
Free French troops from Chad capture the Al Kufrah Oasis, Libya in the Sahara.
Beginning today, the Italian government reduces rations of olive oil, butter, and fat. It bans pastry baked with flour, milk, or fat and also bans ice cream.
2 March 1941 German troops reach the Greek border, having completed their takeover of Bulgaria.
Turkey closes the Dardanelles to all ships without special permits.
3 March 1941 Turkey ends a two-week old non-aggression treaty with Bulgaria.
4 March 1941 The British launch a commando raid against the Lofoten Islands off the northern coast of Norway. 14 people are killed, 215 Germans are taken prisoner, and ten ships are sunk. 300 Norwegian volunteers are taken back to Britain. The British capture sufficient code information to read all German naval communication for the next two months.
5 March 1941 Great Britain breaks off relations with Bulgaria, citing the “growing subservience of the Bulgarian Government to German policy…”
La cheminée du roi René op.205 for wind quintet by Darius Milhaud (48) is performed for the first time, at Mills College, Oakland. Also premiered is Quartet in C Major for winds by Arthur Berger (28).
6 March 1941 The United States orders that Italian consulates be closed in Detroit and Newark in retaliation for the closings of 15 February.
7 March 1941 In Warsaw, 17 Polish hostages are shot to death when the murderer of a German is not produced. Among the dead are two Warsaw University professors.
8 March 1941 Evening Piece (no.2 of the Three Pieces for orchestra) by Roy Harris (43) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall.
9 March 1941 Italian forces begin an offensive against the Greeks in Albania.
Episode for organ by Aaron Copland (40) is performed for the first time, in New York.
Sandburg Phrases (later called Suite for piano) by Norman Dello Joio (28) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Chamber Music Hall, New York.
Symphony no.2 “Anthropos” by Henry Cowell (43) is performed for the first time, at the Brooklyn Museum, conducted by the composer.
Ode to Truth for orchestra by Roy Harris (43) is performed for the first time, in Memorial Chapel, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.
10 March 1941 Olivier Messiaen (32) writes from Neussargues, Cantal that he is no longer a prisoner of war and is now with his wife and son.
Sinfonietta for orchestra by Walter Piston (47) is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston.
11 March 1941 The Cambodian provinces of Siem Reap and Battambang are annexed by Siam under a peace treaty between Siam and France mediated by Japan.
Six people are killed when bombs planted in the luggage of George Rendel, British ambassador to Bulgaria, explode in the lobby of an Istanbul hotel. Mr. Rendel is not present at the time.
US President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Bill. Five minutes later he approves a list of materials to be sent to Great Britain and Greece.
12 March 1941 U.S. President Roosevelt asks Congress for $7,000,000,000 in lend-lease aid.
13 March 1941 15 members of the Dutch resistance are executed by firing squad at Scheveningen.
14 March 1941 A Poznan newspaper reports that two Poles were sentenced to death for singing the Polish national anthem.
All able-bodied Romanians above the age of twelve are conscripted for agricultural work.
The Italian offensive in Albania is halted by the Greeks.
Sergey Rakhmaninov (67) conducts for the last time, in Chicago.
15 March 1941 British and Indian forces attack Italians at Keren, Ethiopia.
Sergey Prokofiev (49) leaves his wife and children to live with his mistress Mariya (Mira) Abramovna Mendelson, first in Leningrad, then in Moscow.
16 March 1941 The announcement that Dmitri Shostakovich (34) has won the Stalin Prize for his Piano Quintet is published in Pravda.
British forces land at Berbera, British Somaliland and advance inland.
The Pan American Union announces the creation of a music division to be headed by Charles Seeger.
17 March 1941 British and South African forces capture Jijiga, Ethiopia, 450 km east of Addis Ababa.
The National Gallery of Art is dedicated in Washington by President Roosevelt. The building and the paintings were a gift of Andrew Mellon.
Hanya Holm Music, dance music by Henry Cowell (44) to a scenario by Holm, is performed for the first time, in New York.
Sonata for cello and piano by Norman Dello Joio (28) is performed for the first time, at the MacDowell Club, New York the composer at the keyboard.
18 March 1941 Aria and Hymn for orchestra by David Diamond (25) is performed for the first time, in New York.
19 March 1941 Representatives of the United States and Canada sign an agreement in Ottawa to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway and a power project.
20 March 1941 British troops take Hargeysa, British Somaliland.
Major Barbara, a film with music by William Walton (38), is shown for the first time, in the Savoy Theatre, Nassau, Bahamas, in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Words for Music, Perhaps, a cycle for voice and piano by Arthur Berger (28) to words of Yeats, is performed for the first time, in San Francisco, the composer at the keyboard.
21 March 1941 British forces push the Italians back at the Marda Pass, west of Jijiga, Ethiopia.
Bohuslav Martinu (50) and his wife Charlotte depart Lisbon for the United States aboard the SS Exeter.
The United States merchant ship Robin Moor is sunk by a German submarine in the South Atlantic after 35 passengers and crew are ordered into lifeboats.
The United States Army calls for volunteers for the first African-American air unit, to be called the 99th Pursuit Squadron. It will be stationed in Tuskegee, Alabama.
22 March 1941 British troops overrun the Italians in Babile Pass, west of Jijiga, Ethiopia.
The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River begins operation. It is the largest concrete structure in the world.
23 March 1941 Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis op.8 for chorus and organ or piano by Vincent Persichetti (25) is performed for the first time, in Arch Street Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia.
24 March 1941 German troops retake El Agheila (Al’Uqaylah), Libya.
Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play King Lear by Dmitri Shostakovich (34) is performed for the first time, in the Gorky Bolshoy Dramatic Theatre, Leningrad.
25 March 1941 Prime Minister Dragisa Cvetkovic of Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact with Hitler in Vienna. The ceremony is broadcast over Belgrade Radio. Anti-fascist demonstrations begin in Yugoslavia.
26 March 1941 British and South African forces capture Harer, Ethiopia, 370 km east of Addis Ababa.
Martial law is declared in Syria after two days of riots over food shortages and nationalist agitation.
Mass demonstrations and riots occur throughout Yugoslavia against the Tripartite Pact.
27 March 1941 After two weeks of battle, the Italian defenders of Keren, Ethiopia surrender to British and Indian troops.
Air Force General Dusan Simovic, backed by elements of the Yugoslav armed forces, effects a bloodless coup in the name of King Petar II and denouncing the Tripartite Pact. Simovic replaces Dragisa Cvetkovic as Prime Minister.
The Germans begin deporting Jews from Paris. 1,012 leave today for Auschwitz.
U.S. President Roosevelt signs a bill authorizing $7,000,000,000 in lend-lease aid.
Béla Bartók (60) begins transcribing the recordings of Serbo-Croatian folk music held in the Milman Parry Collection of Harvard University. He is doing his work in New York at Columbia University.
Symphony no.3 by Alfredo Casella (57) is performed for the first time, in Chicago.
28 March 1941 British naval forces destroy two Italian cruisers and one heavy cruiser south of Greece, ending any challenge to British naval superiority in the eastern Mediterranean.
17-year-old Petar II takes the oath as King of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. He is met with cheering throngs.
59-year-old Virginia Woolf kills herself by walking into the River Ouse near Rodmell, Sussex. (at least that is the date on the suicide note) Her remains will not be found until 18 April.
29 March 1941 British and South African forces capture Diredawn (Dire Dawa), Ethiopia, 350 km east of Addis Ababa.
Sinfonia da Requiem op.20 by Benjamin Britten (27) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York. The work was composed on commission from the government of Japan to celebrate the 2,600th anniversary of the Japanese dynasty but was rejected as insulting.
31 March 1941 German and Italian forces attack Agheila (Al’Uqaylah), Libya.
Bohuslav Martinu (50) and his wife reach New Jersey from Lisbon aboard the Exeter.
1 April 1941 British forces capture Asmera, Eritrea.
German troops take Mersa Brega (Marsa al’Burayqah), Libya.
400,000 soft coal miners go on strike in twelve US states.
Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador seize 16 Italian and seven German merchant ships. Mobs set fire to a German-owned hotel in Caracas. Peru seizes assets of Lufthansa airlines.
2 April 1941 German and Italian forces drive the British out of Agedabia (Ajdabiya), Libya.
General Rashid Ali stages a successful coup in Iraq. He is a foe of the British.
Two plays with incidental music by Arthur Honegger (49) are performed for the first time, in Théâtre Monceau, Paris: La Mandragore by Machiavelli and L’Ombre de la ravine by Synge.
The customs receivership held by the United States over the Dominican Republic since 1905 is ended.
Four striking miners are shot to death in Harlan County, Kentucky when they are fired upon with machine guns. Seven employees of the Crummies Creek Coal Co. are arrested on murder charges.
Sonata for Two Pianos op.13 by Vincent Persichetti (25) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York, by the composer and his future wife, Dorothea Flanagan.
3 April 1941 Despondent over the decision of Regent Admiral Horthy to involve the country more overtly in the war and allow German troops into his country, Hungarian prime minister Pál, Count Teleki de Szék shoots himself to death in Sandor Palace, Budapest. He is replaced by László Bárdossy.
Scapino overture by William Walton (39) is performed for the first time, in Orchestra Hall, Chicago. It was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
4 April 1941 Germans and Italians take Benghazi, Libya.
King Petar II of Yugoslavia orders the complete mobilization of the armed forces.
The Italian government bans all films from the United States.
Four Songs op.13 by Samuel Barber (31) are performed for the first time, in Philadelphia: A Nun Takes the Veil, to words of Hopkins, The Secrets of the Old, to words of Yeats, Sure on This Shining Night, to words of Agee, and Nocturne, to words of Prokosch.
Concertino in Stilo Classico for piano and orchestra by Norman Dello Joio (28) is performed for the first time, in New York.
Slow Piece for orchestra by Ross Lee Finney (34) is performed for the first time, in Minneapolis.
5 April 1941 The USSR concludes a non-aggression and friendship pact with the new government of Yugoslavia.
The Duke of Aosta, Italian Viceroy of Ethiopia, orders the evacuation of Addis Ababa.
Verklungene Feste, a ballet by Richard Strauss (76) to a choreography by Pia and Pino Mlaker, is performed for the first time, in the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.
6 April 1941 05:00 German bombs begin dropping on Belgrade. German forces invade Yugoslavia from Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Another German army drives out of Bulgaria into Greece towards Thessaloniki. Air attacks on Piraeus almost completely destroy the port.
British and South African forces reach Addis Ababa.
Igor (58) and Vera Stravinsky move into their new home on North Wetherly Drive in Beverly Hills.
Music for Auden and Stern’s (after Lawrence) play The Rocking-Horse Winner by Benjamin Britten (27) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the CBS radio network originating in New York.
7 April 1941 German troops capture Strumica and Skopje, Yugoslavia (Macedonia).
Axis troops take Derna (Darnah), Libya.
Great Britain and Greece break diplomatic relations with Hungary on the grounds that it is a staging ground for the German offensive in the Balkans.
8 April 1941 British forces capture Massawa (Mits’iwa), Ethiopia.
German troops occupy Thessaloniki taking 70,000 Greek soldiers captive.
A bomb explodes in the German consulate in Havana. No injuries are reported.
9 April 1941 The United States and Denmark agree to an American protectorate over Greenland for the duration of the German occupation of Denmark.
The USS North Carolina is commissioned at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. It is the first battleship built in the United States since 1923.
The Jealous Man for male chorus by Leos Janácek (†12) is performed for the first time, in Vizovice.
The Berlin Opera unter den Linden is destroyed by bombs.
10 April 1941 A German attack on the Allied army (Greece-Britain-New Zealand-Australia-Poland) in northern Greece begins.
Axis troops cut off and besiege the Australians and British in Tobruk (Tubruq).
German forces take Zagreb. Croat nationalist Ante Pavelic declares the independence of Croatia, allied with Germany.
The Italian government announces that gasoline rations for civilians will be cut in half beginning tomorrow.
11 April 1941 German and Italian forces under General Erwin Rommel push the British back to the border of Egypt.
Italian forces take Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (Slovenia) and recross the Albanian border into Greece.
Arnold Schoenberg (66) becomes a citizen of the United States.
12 April 1941 German and Italian forces capture Bardia (Bardiyah), Libya.
13 April 1941 A neutrality pact is signed by the Soviet Union and Japan in Moscow.
German forces enter Belgrade.
14 April 1941 In northern Yugoslavia, Hungarian soldiers take 500 Jews and Serbs and shoot or stab them to death. The synagogue in Osijek is destroyed by fire. King Petar II is evacuated by the Royal Air Force.
15 April 1941 Germany and Italy recognize the newly proclaimed Croatia.
In a gun battle in Harlan County, Kentucky over a coal strike, four men a killed. Among those dead are the president and vice-president of the Fork Ridge Coal Co., a deputy sheriff and a miner. 25 miners are wounded.
16 April 1941 In bombing raids from 16-17 April over London, 2,300 people are killed. The north transept of St. Paul’s Cathedral is destroyed.
Mills Fanfare op.224 for strings by Darius Milhaud (48) is performed for the first time, in Oakland.
17 April 1941 Yugoslavian forces capitulate to the Germans.
Italian troops take Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (Croatia).
German forces take Sarajevo and they immediately burn down the synagogue, an important center of Sephardic Jewish culture.
German forces break through New Zealanders defending the Aliakhman Line in central Greece.
Olivier Messiaen (32) is appointed Professor of Harmony at the Paris Conservatoire.
Colonel Charles Lindbergh tells an America First rally in Chicago that Britain has lost the war and the United States can’t help them.
The United States auto industry agrees to cut production of cars by 20% in order to produce more armaments.
A Song for Illinois for orchestra by John Alden Carpenter (65) is performed for the first time, in Orchestra Hall, Chicago.
18 April 1941 British troops land at Basra, Iraq.
Despondent over disasters at the front and the discovery of treason in his cabinet, Greek Prime Minister Alexandros Georgiou Korizis shoots himself to death in Athens.
The Vichy government of France withdraws from the League of Nations.
O Happy Land for voice and piano by John Ireland (61) to words of Linton is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating in Bedford the composer at the keyboard.
19 April 1941 King Georgios II of Greece takes over the duties of prime minister.
Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht is first performed in Zürich.
20 April 1941 Greek armies in Albania surrender to Axis forces.
In reprisal for the killing of a German soldier in Paris, 22 French civilians are executed.
Canada and the United States announce a joint production agreement for the defense of the hemisphere and to help the Allies.
Two dances to scenarios by Hawkins are performed for the first time, in New York: Trickster by Henry Cowell (44), and Pilgrim’s Progress by Wallingford Riegger (55).
21 April 1941 The Royal Navy bombards Tripoli (Tarabulus), Libya.
Emmanouil Ioannou Tsouderos replaces King Georgios II as Prime Minister of Greece.
King Petar II of Yugoslavia and his government arrive in Jerusalem.
This is the first night of nine successive night attacks by the Luftwaffe on Plymouth.
14 American composers sue the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcasting System, and Broadcast Music, Inc. for $1,215,500 for conspiring to “usurp and acquire complete domination and control of the business of song writing and musical composition in the United States.” 13 of the plaintiffs are members of ASCAP.
22 April 1941 Vaucochard et fils Ier, an operetta by Emmanuel Chabrier (†46) to words of Verlaine and Viotti, is performed for the first time, at the Salle de l’Ancien Conservatoire, Paris, 77 years after it was composed.
23 April 1941 The army of Greece north of Thermopylae surrenders to invading Germans and Italians. King Georgios II is evacuated to Crete.
Fantasia de movimentos mistos for violin and orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos (54) is performed completely for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro. See 9 December 1922.
Danse Calinda, a ballet by Ulysses Kay (24) after Torrence is performed for the first time, in Rochester, New York, Howard Hanson (44) conducting. See 23 May 1947.
24 April 1941 After holding off the Germans in a delaying action, the Allies abandon Thermopylae. The Royal Navy begins evacuating Allied (Britain-Australia-New Zealand-Poland) forces from Greece. German paratroopers land on Lemnos, Thasos, and Samothrace.
Arthur Lourié leaves Vichy France making for the United States.
26 April 1941 German forces capture a bridge over the Corinth Canal and enter the Peloponnesus.
Leonard Bernstein (22) conducts his first broadcast performance, directing the Curtis Institute Orchestra in the A major Serenade of Johannes Brahms (†44).
27 April 1941 German forces enter Athens. Greece is divided into three zones of occupation, German, Italian and Bulgarian.
German troops capture Sollum (Salûm),Egypt.
Over the next two days, Ustase kill 196 Serbs in Gudovar in retaliation for the death of one Croatian soldier.
28 April 1941 Prime Minister Rashid Ali of Iraq seals off the British airbase at Habbaniyah.
This is the last night of evacuation of Allied forces from Greece. Over 50,000 people have been evacuated from Greece.
US coal mine operators and unions agree to a formula proposed by President Roosevelt which ends the walkout of 400,000 miners ongoing since 1 April. Miners will now receive $6.60 per day.
President Roosevelt freezes all Greek assets in the United States, estimated at around $50,000,000.
29 April 1941 Georgios Tsolakoglou heads the government of Greece under German occupation.
In nine days of bombing the city of Plymouth, ending today, 600 people have been killed.
Elegie und Reigen op.45 by Hans Pfitzner (71) is performed for the first time, in Salzburg.
30 April 1941 A massive German attack on Tobruk (Tubruq) meets stiff resistance from Australian defenders.
The first anti-Jewish racial laws are proclaimed in Yugoslavia.
1 May 1941 Citizen Kane, a film by Orson Welles, is first shown at the RKO Palace in New York.
Piccolo Concerto per Muriel Couvreux for piano and chamber orchestra by Luigi Dallapiccola (37) is performed for the first time, in Teatro delle Arti, Rome, the composer at the keyboard.
This night marks the beginning of seven successive nights of bombing over Liverpool.
2 May 1941 British forces in Habbaniyah, Iraq attack Iraqi forces sent from Baghdad to subdue them.
The US Federal Communications Commission authorizes the commercialization of television broadcasting to begin 1 July.
Miss Sally’s Party, a ballet by William Grant Still (45) to a scenario by Arvey, is performed for the first time, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Howard Hanson (44) conducting.
3 May 1941 Italy annexes part of Slovenia including Ljubljana.
Leonard Bernstein (22) graduates from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with a diploma in conducting.
4 May 1941 New anti-Jewish measures are instituted in Croatia. Jewish property is to be confiscated and Jews are barred from government employment.
Commemorative March for violin, cello, and piano by Samuel Barber (31) is performed for the first time, at the wedding of the composer’s sister on this day in the New York apartment of Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti (29).
5 May 1941 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie enters his capital, Addis Ababa.
Iraqi forces withdraw from the plain of Habbaniyah.
Paul Bunyan op.17, an operetta by Benjamin Britten (27) to words of Auden, is performed for the first time, in Brander Matthews Hall, Columbia University, New York.
6 May 1941 Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin replaces Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov as Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR.
7 May 1941 Josip Broz, a communist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, sets up the beginning of a Yugoslav revolt, in Belgrade. He is also known by his alias, Tito.
Olivier Messiaen (32) enters into duties as Professor of Harmony at the Paris Conservatoire. In his first class is a young pianist named Yvonne Loriod.
Speaking to the Association of American Physicians in Atlantic City, Dr. Harold G. Wolff of the Cornell University Medical School recommends two ounces of whiskey and an aspirin tablet be used to alleviate pain.
9 May 1941 Siam annexes West bank Champsask and Xainyaburi provinces of French Indochina (Laos).
Ustase kill 400 Serbians from the village of Veljun.
10 May 1941 Glavrepertkom, the state committee in charge of approving theatre productions, telegraphs Dmitri Shostakovich (34) that the libretto on which he intends to compose an opera, Mariengof’s Katyusha Maslova, has been banned.
In bombing raids over London 10-11 May, 1,436 people are killed, another 1,500 injured. In the most devastating night of the Blitz, the chamber of the House of Commons is destroyed, as is Queen’s Hall. Meanwhile, in a desperate, solo peace initiative, Rudolf Hess, late this night, parachutes into Scotland near the estate of the Duke of Hamilton. He is captured by a local farmer and placed under arrest in Glasgow. He will remain in captivity until his death by his own hand, 17 August 1987.
Symphony no.1 by Robert Ward (23) is performed for the first time, in New York, directed by the composer.
Sinfonietta for orchestra by Norman Dello Joio (28) is performed for the first time, at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.
11 May 1941 As members of the London Philharmonic arrive for a Sunday morning rehearsal at Queen’s Hall, they find nothing but smoke rising from the ruins. Many of the orchestra’s instruments were left there and destroyed with the building.
Bulgaria occupies the Greek area of Western Thrace.
Admiral Darlan meets with Hitler at Berchtesgaden.
A pageant in celebration of the life of Jeanne d’Arc in ten tableaux by Pierre Schaeffer (30) and Pierre Barbier is performed simultaneously throughout Vichy France. The music is a collection of composers including Olivier Messiaen (32) and his Choeurs pour une Jeanne d’Arc for chorus. 35,000 people see it in Lyon, 25,000 in Marseille, and 20,000 in Toulouse.
Tales of the Countryside for piano and orchestra by Henry Cowell (44) is performed for the first time, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the composer at the keyboard.
12 May 1941 Arthur Lourié (49) reaches the United States from Vichy France. His wife will join him in June.
Vignettes de danse for orchestra by Frank Bridge (†0) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating in Glasgow.
13 May 1941 The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem broadcasts from Baghdad urging all Moslems to join the fight against the British. Meanwhile, the Arab Legion crosses from Transjordan to Iraq to support the British.
Ustase kill 260 Serbs at Glina.
Excerpts from Tarquin, a chamber opera by Ernst Krenek (40) to words of Lavery, are performed for the first time, in Avery Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. The composer plays a piano reduction of the score. See 16 July 1950.
14 May 1941 Japanese negotiators send an ultimatum to the government of the Dutch East Indies. They demand a permanent Japanese presence in the region.
Bulgaria annexes Greek Macedonia, Greek Thrace and most of Yugoslavian Macedonia.
As a diversion from their Crete operation, the Germans launch a massive air attack on Malta.
Third Construction for four percussionists by John Cage (28) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco conducted by the composer. Among the performers are Lou Harrison and the composer’s wife. Also premiered are Lou Harrison’s Song of Quetzalcoatl and Simfony #13, both for four percussionists, on the composer’s 24th birthday. The two combine on a piece called Double Music for percussion. The concert is organized entirely by Cage and Harrison.
15 May 1941 The Germans begin an air attack on Crete.
British forces capture Sollum (Salum), Egypt and Ft. Capuzzo (Musa’id), Libya but they will be forced out by the Germans tomorrow.
16 May 1941 The Luftwaffe raids Birmingham. This is generally considered to be the end of the “Blitz” as regular night raids over England cease.
17 May 1941 Remnants of the Italian army in East Africa, with its commander the Duke of Aosta, surrender to the British.
18 May 1941 The Duke of Spoleto is named King of Croatia. He will never see Croatia. Almost all of Italy annexes Dalmatia.
Exposition of a Cause for piano by Lou Harrison (24) is performed for the first time.
19 May 1941 British forces attack Iraqi and German forces at Falluja (Al Fallujah).
20 May 1941 German forces begin an airborne invasion of Crete. Morning air raids on Maleme and Canea are followed by afternoon landings at Retimo and Heraklion. After initial setbacks, they take Maleme airfield.
21 May 1941 During the night of 21-22 May the Royal Navy surprises a German invasion force 29 km north of Canea, Crete. At least twelve troop transports are sunk with the loss of approximately 4,000 lives.
Fiançailles pour rire, a cycle for voice and piano by Francis Poulenc (43), to words of Vilmorin, is performed for the first time, at the École normale, Paris, the composer at the piano.
The US State Department announces that Germany has requested all countries with diplomatic staffs in Paris to withdraw them by 10 June.
22 May 1941 German planes sink six British ships around Crete.
Croatia requires Jews to wear yellow badges.
23 May 1941 Mélancolie for piano by Francis Poulenc (42) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Gaveau, Paris.
Incidental music to Aristophanes’ play The Peace by Leonard Bernstein (22) is performed for the first time, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
24 May 1941 The British battle cruiser HMS Hood is destroyed between Greenland and Iceland by the German battleship Bismarck. Over 1,500 crew are killed, three survive.
A British submarine sinks the Italian liner Conte Rosso on its way to Libya with 1,500 troops aboard.
25 May 1941 British and Commonwealth troops on Crete counterattack at Galatos with 25 bayonet charges. King Georgios of Greece evacuates Crete for Egypt.
27 May 1941 Australians and New Zealanders drive Germans back at Pirgos, Crete.
German forces capture Halfaya, Egypt.
Free French defenders of Bir Hakeim drive off an Italian attack.
Admiral Darlan signs the Protocols of Paris on behalf of the Vichy government. They agree to allow Germany to use French military facilities in Syria, Tunisia, and West Africa.
President Roosevelt declares an unlimited national emergency throughout the United States. He pledges that Nazi domination will not spread to the Western Hemisphere and that the US will give all assistance necessary to Britain and all who oppose Hitler.
Ships of the Royal Navy sink the German battleship Bismarck in the north Atlantic 650 km off Brest. Almost 200 crew are killed, 115 survive.
28 May 1941 Indian troops occupy Ur, Iraq.
Allied evacuation from Crete begins tonight at Sphakia (Khora Sfakion).
Kurt Weill (41) and Lotte Lenya buy a house in New City, New York.
29 May 1941 The Allied garrison at Heraklion, Crete is evacuated.
30 May 1941 British forces reach the outskirts of Baghdad. Prime Minister Rashid Ali, the ministers of Germany and Italy, and the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem all flee to Persia.
31 May 1941 An armistice in Iraq is signed.
Germany abandons the use of Gothic type, in favor of Roman.
Expropriation of Jewish property begins in Belgium.
Nicolas de flue, a dramatic oratorio by Arthur Honegger (49) to words of de Rougemont, is staged for the first time, in Neuchâtel. See 26 October 1940.
1 June 1941 British troops enter Baghdad. Regent Emir Abdul Illah, uncle of King Faisal, returns to Iraq.
The last British and Imperial troops to be evacuated from Crete embark from Sphakia (Khora Sfakion). The 5,000 remaining are authorized to capitulate. In the Crete campaign, approximately 30,000 people were killed, injured, or imprisoned. 17,000 were evacuated.
Rationing of clothing begins in Great Britain.
2 June 1941 Supporters of Rashid Ali carry out a pogrom in the Jewish quarter of Baghdad. Over 150 people are killed.
The Vichy government institutes an anti-Jewish law and begins expropriation of Jewish property.
3 June 1941 British troops take Mosul (Al Mawsil) in northern Iraq.
Vincent Persichetti (25) marries Dorothea Flanagan, a pianist.
4 June 1941 A new, pro-British government takes office in Iraq.
Former Kaiser Wilhelm II dies in exile in Doorn, the Netherlands.
US President Roosevelt transfers the ocean-going part of the Coast Guard to the command of the Secretary of the Navy.
6 June 1941 Talks between Japan and the Dutch East Indies collapse. The Dutch make no concessions to the Japanese.
German troops arrive in Finland.
7 June 1941 Selections from Sergey Prokofiev’s (50) unperformed opera Betrothal in a Monastery are performed for the first time, in a radio broadcast from Moscow.
Werner Egk (40) is appointed head of the composers’ section of the Reichsmusikkammer.
8 June 1941 Allied forces (Australia-Britain-India-Free France-Palestine Jews) advance from Palestine into Syria, a province presently administered by the Vichy government.
9 June 1941 Allied troops enter Tyre (Sur), Marjayoun (Marj ‘Uyun), El Quneitra (Al Qunaytirah) and Dera’a in Syria.
11 June 1941 Indian troops capture Aseb, Eritrea, the last Red Sea port held by Italians.
12 June 1941 Jean Sibelius (75), his wife and their grandchildren are evacuated from Helsinki and return to Järvenpää.
13 June 1941 Vichy authorities arrest 12,000 Jews.
The Soviet news agency TASS acknowledges that German troops are massing in German-held territory on the Soviet border, but that this has no bearing on relations between the two countries.
14 June 1941 President Roosevelt freezes all German and Italian assets in the United States.
15 June 1941 Australian troops enter Sidon (Sayda), Syria but a Vichy counterattack retakes Marjayoun (Marj ‘Uyun).
Allied forces begin a major offensive in Libya, taking Capuzzo (Musa’id) but meeting stiff resistance elsewhere.
16 June 1941 Vichy troops retake El Quneitra (Al Qunaytirah).
President Roosevelt orders all 24 German consulates in the United States closed, claiming that they have engaged in “subervisive activities.”
The National Broadcasting Company in the United States petitions the Federal Communications Commission for permission to create commercial television stations in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia.
Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward is performed for the first time, in Manchester.
17 June 1941 Australian troops take Jazzin near Sidon (Sayda).
The Allied offensive in Libya, begun 15 June, ends with little result.
Immigration officials in the United States are ordered to bar any of the 330,000 German nationals in the country from leaving.
18 June 1941 Germany and Turkey sign a treaty of peace and friendship in Ankara.
19 June 1941 Germany and Italy require the United States to close all of its 31 consulates in the two countries and areas they dominate. This is retaliation for similar moves by the United States.
20 June 1941 Finland mobilizes all reservists under age 45.
US President Roosevelt calls Germany an “international outlaw” for the sinking of the Robin Moor on 21 March. He demands full reparations.
The United States requires Italy to close its 47 consulates and seven agencies in the country.
21 June 1941 Australian forces capture Damascus.
The USSR begins to evacuate civilians 100 km from the border with Germany and Romania.
Incidental music to Lermontov’s play Masquerade by Aram Khachaturian (38) is performed for the first time, in the Vakhtangov Theatre. See 6 August 1944.
Le mangeur de rêves, a ballet by Arthur Honegger (49) to a story by Lenormand, is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.
22 June 1941 04:15 On a 1,500 km front from the Baltic to the Black Sea, German and Romanian forces invade the Soviet Union. 66 airfields are bombed along with Kovno, Minsk, Rovno, Odessa, Sevastopol, and the Libava air base. By noon the Soviets have lost 1,200 planes, most of the Bug bridges are captured intact and German troops surround Brest-Litovsk (Brest, Belarus). Italy and Romania declare war on the USSR. Hitler claims that Finland is his ally but the Finnish government rejects this, protesting neutrality. The Soviets attack Finland anyway.
The Germans begin a roundup of Czech communists.
The Communist Party of Yugoslavia meets and appoints Josip Broz Tito commander-in-chief of communist military forces. They begin military actions against the Germans.
23 June 1941 German troops enter Lithuania and Latvia.
Dmitri Shostakovich (34) volunteers for active service in the Red Army but is refused because of poor eyesight.
24 June 1941 German troops capture Kovno (Kaunas) and Vilna (Vilnius).
An underground Bulgarian Communist Party begins a partisan movement.
At a concert in the Théâtre des Mathurins celebrating the return of the composer to Paris from a prisoner-of-war camp, Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen (32) is given its Paris premiere. The composer is at the piano and the cellist of 15 January, Étienne Pasquier, also performs. Turning pages for Messiaen is one of his students, Yvonne Loriod. See 15 January 1941.
25 June 1941 Japan announces a protectorate over Indochina.
US President Roosevelt signs an executive order forbidding racial and religious discrimination in defense industries.
US President Roosevelt refuses to invoke the Neutrality Act regarding the USSR. This allows American ships to carry war materials to the Soviet Union.
This night, Lithuanian partisans in Kovno (Kaunas), without any urging from the Germans, kill 1,500 Jews, burn several synagogues plus 60 houses in the Jewish quarter. Over the next few nights, 2,300 Jews will be killed.
Irving Fine (26) marries Verna Rudnick, from a wealthy family and a recent graduate of Wellesley College, at the Kenmore Hotel in Boston.
26 June 1941 All Japanese assets in the Dutch East Indies are frozen by the government.
German troops capture Dvinsk (Daugavpils), 500 km southwest of Leningrad and the bridges across the Dvina.
Lithuanian citizens of Kovno (Kaunas) begin a pogrom against the 35,000 Jewish inhabitants. More than a thousand people are killed.
The Germans reach Bialystok and immediately burn down part of the Jewish quarter. They lock 1,000 Jews into the synagogue and set the building alight. All inside are killed. Pogroms will go on until mid-July.
Finland declares war on the USSR.
A decree in Croatia orders the arrest and internment of Jews.
27 June 1941 Hungary declares war on the USSR.
German panzer units join east of Minsk, encircling 300,000 Soviets.
28 June 1941 German troops capture Minsk.
Finns joined by Germans from Norway attack into Karelia.
Albania declares war on the USSR.
29 June 1941 212,000 children from Leningrad are evacuated, mostly to Yaroslavl.
A Greek government-in-exile is set up in London under Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsouderos.
After a week of heavy fighting, Australian troops drive the Vichy French from Marjayoun (Marj ‘Uyun), Syria.
As the Germans approach Lvov (Lviv), the NKVD puts 3,000 Ukrainian political prisoners to death. After the evacuation of Soviet forces, Ukrainian nationalists begin killing Jews in the streets. By night, the Germans enter the city.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski dies in New York at the age of 80. President Roosevelt offers Arlington National Cemetery as a temporary resting place for his remains “until Poland is free.”
30 June 1941 In a heroic action in the Borisov region, Soviet troops halt the German advance for two days.
German forces establish a bridgehead across the Berezina at Bobruysk.
300 Jews are shot in Lutsk.
300 Dutch Jews are rounded up and sent to the stone quarries at Mauthausen. None will survive.
1 July 1941 The Soviets effect the escape of two encircled tank units east of Slonim, southwest of Minsk.
A train leaves Leningrad for the east carrying 22 cars of treasures from the Hermitage including works by Rembrandt, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Rubens, Murillo, Van Dyck, Velazquez, and El Greco.
German troops capture Riga.
Romanian forces advance into Ukraine moving towards Vinnitsa.
Indian troops move into Syria from Iraq.
The first license to broadcast television in the United States is granted to WCBW and WNBT in New York.
Petit Cours de Morale for voice and piano by Arthur Honegger (49) to words of Giraudoux, is performed for the first time, in the Salle Gaveau, Paris.
2 July 1941 1,160 Jews are shot in Lutsk.
The Hungarian Parliament prohibits marriages between Jews and Gentiles.
After his application to join the Red Army is rejected, Dmitri Shostakovich (34) applies for a second time today. This will also be rejected, so the composer volunteers for the Home Guard. “I am going to defend my country and am prepared, sparing neither life nor strength, to carry out any mission I am assigned.”
3 July 1941 British forces take Palmyra (Tadmur), Syria.
The San Quentin Prison Board restores the civil rights of Henry Cowell (44). This allows him to enter government service.
4 July 1941 Jean Sibelius (75) makes an appeal to the government and people of the United States for aid in fighting invading Soviets.
Lithuanians kill 463 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas) and Germans kill 54 Jews in Vilna (Vilnius).
5 July 1941 German troops reach the Soviet defensive line west of Zhitomir.
Germans kill 93 Jews in Vilna (Vilnius).
An order is published, retroactive to 16 March 1939, extending the Nuremberg Laws to Bohemia and Moravia.
Edgard Varèse (57) sends a telegraph to John Cage (28) and Lou Harrison (24) asking them not to use the term “organized sound” on their recording of Harrison’s Simfony #13. Varèse claims authorship of the term. The two can not comply as the recording is already being produced.
Incidental music to Aeschylus’ play Les Suppliantes by Arthur Honegger (49) is performed for the first time, in Stade Roland-Garros, Paris. Also premiered is Honegger’s incidental music to Obey’s play 800 metres.
6 July 1941 Romanian troops capture Chernovtsy, Ukraine and are welcomed by the citizens.
German forces take Tartu, Estonia, 270 km southwest of Leningrad, but are repulsed at Zhlobin, southeast of Minsk.
Germans kill 2,514 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas).
Fighting begins between Ecuadorian and Peruvian border forces. Their common border has been disputed for many years.
7 July 1941 1,150 Jews are shot in Dvinsk (Daugavpils).
Iceland, which falls within a United States defense zone, receives American troops, replacing British forces previously guarding the island.
8 July 1941 German forces take Pskov 260 km southwest of Leningrad.
9 July 1941 Soviet forces reach a defensive line Korosten-Novgorod-Shepetovka-Starokonstantinov-Proskurov.
Hungarian troops capture Zhitomir.
Germans kill 24 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas).
Australian troops take Damour (Ad Damur) and British take Homs (Hims), Syria. The Vichy administration asks for an armistice.
10 July 1941 Soviets counterattack southwest of Korosten into fierce resistance.
Stalin becomes Chairman of the High Command.
Jump for Joy, a revue with music mostly by Duke Ellington (42), opens at the Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles.
11 July 1941 A cease-fire goes into effect in Syria.
The Germans announce the establishment of a ghetto in Slobodka, a suburb of Kovno (Kaunas), to house all Jews of the city. Jews are ordered to sell all property and move to the ghetto.
The United States seizes 17 Italian and one German ship in US ports under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Leonard Bernstein (22) conducts a professional orchestra for the first time. He directs the Boston Pops on the Esplanade in the Prelude to Die Meistersinger of Richard Wagner (†58).
Peru agrees to mediation of their border dispute by Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.
12 July 1941 German planes bomb Moscow for the first time.
With an accord signed in Moscow, Great Britain and the Soviet Union agree to mutual assistance and not to make a separate peace.
The Vichy defenders of Syria sign an armistice giving control of the region to the Allies. About 11,100 people have been killed or injured in the Syria campaign.
Through the Associated Press, Jean Sibelius (75) appeals to the world for understanding in Finland’s alliance with Germany and war against the Soviet Union.
Ecuador agrees to mediation of their border dispute by Brazil, Argentina and the United States.
13 July 1941 The first units of Spanish volunteers depart Bordeaux for the Russian front.
14 July 1941 The Soviets introduce a multiple rocket launcher at Orsha which fires 320 rockets in 25 seconds. Red Army soldiers name it after the heroine of a popular song: Katyusha.
15 July 1941 Soviet troops counterattack at Lake Ilmen to gain time for the defense of Leningrad.
Control of Zhitomir passes from Hungarians to Germans who immediately begin actions against Jews.
Canada bans the sale of gasoline from 19:00 to 07:00 on weekdays and all day Sunday.
16 July 1941 German troops capture Smolensk.
Finnish forces take Sortavala and reach Lake Ladoga southeast of town, cutting off Red Army troops in the west.
Some Red Army units are surrounded near Uman, south of Kiev.
Some of the 14 chants pour flûte et piano op.157 by Charles Koechlin (73) are performed for the first time, in Paris the composer at the keyboard. See 17 October 1985.
A filmed version of the musical Lady, Be Good! with music by George Gershwin (†4) is released.
17 July 1941 Hitler orders the annihilation of the following elements in all territory captured from the Soviets: Communist activists, officials, intellectuals, and all Jews.
Germans gain a bridgehead over the Dnieper at Mogilev, 500 km west of Moscow.
Rationing of food and manufactured products begins in Moscow.
700 Jews are killed at the resort of Ponar, near Vilna (Vilnius).
A two-week rampage against Jews begins in Kishinev (Chisinau, Moldova).
18 July 1941 53 Jews are shot by Germans at Marijampole, southwest of Kovno (Kaunas).
Concerto Argentino no.1 for piano and chamber orchestra by Alberto Ginastera (25) is performed for the first time, in Montevideo.
19 July 1941 Stalin assumes the title Minister of Defense.
Germans kill 19 Jews and seven communists in Kovno (Kaunas).
20 July 1941 A second trainload of treasures from the Hermitage leaves Leningrad for Sverdlovsk.
21 July 1941 At Marijampole, 45 Jews are forced to dig a pit. Then they are roped together and thrown in. The SS orders 30 Byelorussians to cover them alive with earth. When the Byelorussians refuse, the SS opens fire, killing all 75.
The concentration camp at Majdanek, near Lublin, begins operations with the arrival of Soviet POWs.
After waiting for a week to get through the Panama Canal, five Japanese merchant ships give up and head for Rio de Janeiro. Other ships are allowed through. Acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles says that shipping through the canal is scaled back to permit “urgent repairs.”
US troops arrive in Georgetown, British Guiana to take over two bases leased by Great Britain.
22 July 1941 Japan and Vichy France agree to a mutual defense pact.
23 July 1941 The Vichy government of Indochina agrees to the peaceful entry of Japanese troops into Indochina.
After 30 days of resistance, the Soviet border garrison at Brest-Litovsk (Brest, Belarus) surrenders.
Fighting resumes between Ecuador and Peru over their common undefined border.
24 July 1941 125,000 Japanese troops move into French Indochina.
The Holy Ghost’s Ark for mezzo-soprano, oboe, clarinet, viola, and cello by Ernst Krenek (40) to words of Donne, is performed for the first time, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
25 July 1941 German forces enter Tallinn, Estonia.
Responding to the Japanese seizure of Indochina, the United States imposes economic sanctions on Japan, including the freezing of all Japanese assets.
26 July 1941 Ukrainians in Lvov (Lviv) begin three days of looting and killing of Jews, unencumbered by occupying Germans.
Romanian troops complete the occupation of Bessarabia and Bukovina which had been taken from them by the USSR in 1940.
Great Britain imposes economic sanctions on Japan and freezes all Japanese assets in areas under their control.
US President Roosevelt orders the 150,000 men of the Philippine military into the United States Army for the duration of the current national emergency.
27 July 1941 German forces complete the encirclement of Smolensk, taking 100,000 prisoners.
120 Jews in Belgrade are shot in retaliation for partisan attacks.
28 July 1941 The government of the Netherlands East Indies cuts off all oil shipments to Japan, canceling an agreement of last year. They freeze all Japanese assets and severely restrict all commerce with Japanese-held areas. This effectively cuts Japan off from most of its oil supplies.
German forces capture Kingisepp, 115 km southwest of Leningrad.
After three days of murder by Ukrainians in Lvov (Lviv), at least 2,000 Jews lay dead.
Finland and Great Britain break diplomatic relations.
29 July 1941 Japanese ships begin landing troops at Cam Ranh Bay, French Indo-China.
The Red Army creates a new defense line for Moscow between Rzhev and Vyazma.
Photographs of fireman Dmitri Shostakovich (34) are taken at his post on the roof of the Leningrad Conservatory. These are disseminated around the world as a symbol of Soviet resistance against Nazi aggression.
30 July 1941 Japanese bombs damage the United States gunboat Tutiula in Chungking (Chongqing). Japan will apologize for the incident.
About 13,000 Japanese troops occupy Saigon.
British carrier planes attack Kirkenes, Norway and Petsamo (Pechenga), Finland. 15 planes are lost.
The USSR and the Polish government-in-exile agree to end their state of war and to respect pre-war borders.
31 July 1941 German forces reach the south shore of Lake Ilmen.
The United States recognizes the Czechoslovak government-in-exile.
Peru and Ecuador cease hostilities once again.
Henry Cowell’s (44) Shipshape Overture for band is performed for the first time, in State College, Pennsylvania. Also premiered is Cowell’s Four Assorted Movements for flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, and piano (ad lib).
1 August 1941 A ghetto is set up in Bialystok.
US President Franklin Roosevelt forbids the export of oil to any country outside the Western Hemisphere or the British Empire.
2 August 1941 The Red Army counterattacks against the Yelnya Salient 300 km southwest of Moscow.
Germans kill 205 Jews and four communists in Kovno (Kaunas).
3 August 1941 German pincers close at Pervomaysk 270 km south of Kiev.
4 August 1941 Japan ends all steamship traffic with the United States.
5 August 1941 Smolensk surrenders to the Germans. 310,000 Soviets are taken prisoner.
6 August 1941 Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia appoints a committee to purge all textbooks of anything that advocates Nazism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism, or racial equality.
7 August 1941 Rabindranath Tagore dies in Calcutta at the age of 80.
From this Earth, a ballet by Roy Harris (43) to his own scenario, is performed for the first time, at Colorado College, Colorado Springs.
8 August 1941 Sergey Prokofiev (50) and his mistress Mira Mendelson board a special train along with other “artistic laborers” to be evacuated from Moscow to Nalchik in the Caucasus. They will remain there for three months.
9 August 1941 Germans kill 534 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas).
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt meet aboard the USS Augusta in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.
10 August 1941 First Concerto for Flute and Percussion by Lou Harrison (24) is performed for the first time, at Bennington College, Vermont by Otto Luening (41), Henry Cowell (44), and Frank Wigglesworth.
11 August 1941 Soviet planes bomb Berlin for the first time.
12 August 1941 Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt agree to the Atlantic Charter in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.
14 August 1941 The Polish and Soviet governments form an eastern Polish army.
The Atlantic Charter is issued jointly by the United States and the United Kingdom, setting forth mutually held principles such as self-government, economic cooperation, peace, and the end of Nazism.
15 August 1941 600 Jews are shot in Stawiski, 150 km northeast of Warsaw.
Germans decree that all Jews in occupied Russia will wear two yellow badges, they will receive only food surplus to the needs of gentiles and they must join public works crews.
The United States reduces by 10% the amount of gasoline that can be delivered to filling stations in 17 states.
16 August 1941 After two days of killing in Roskiskis, Lithuania 3,200 Jews lay dead.
Soviet officials offer to evacuate Dmitri Shostakovich (34) from Leningrad. He refuses.
17 August 1941 German forces capture Novgorod.
The US-owned merchant ship Sessa is torpedoed and sunk in the north Atlantic by a German submarine. Only three of the 27-man crew survive.
18 August 1941 534 Jewish intellectuals in Kovno (Kaunas) are taken outside the city and shot. They are part of 1,811 Jews killed today in Kovno.
The Kovno ghetto is sealed off.
George Rochberg (23) marries Gene Rosenfeld in Minneapolis.
19 August 1941 Aaron Copland (40) begins a four month tour of nine Latin American countries.
20 August 1941 German troops reach Gatchina, 50 km south of Leningrad.
As Italians occupy the town of Gospic and the Island of Pag, Yugoslavia (Croatia), they find evidence of mass murder of Jews and Serbs by local Ustase fascists.
3,477 foreign Jews are arrested in France for deportation east.
21 August 1941 Germans take Chudovo, cutting the railway between Leningrad and Moscow.
German troops take Kherson, at the mouth of the Dnieper.
Australian troops besieged in Tobruk (Tubruq) for four months are removed and replaced by fresh British troops.
In Sabac, Yugoslavia, Germans shoot down Jews and Serbs in the street in reprisal for partisan attacks. Other Jews are arrested and ordered to hang the corpses from lampposts.
A young French communist kills a German officer-cadet in a Paris metro station. It is the first act of resistance in Paris and will cost 150 Frenchmen their lives.
24 August 1941 Due to protest and pressure within Germany, the euthanasia program is rescinded by Adolf Hitler.
Lou Harrison’s (24) dance score Green Mansions is performed for the first time, in Stern Grove, San Francisco.
25 August 1941 Great Britain and the USSR present an ultimatum to Iran, requiring them to accept Allied “protection.” Simultaneously, British and Indian forces attack from Iraq into Iran capturing the Abadan oil refinery, Khorramshahr, and Ahwaz. The Soviets bomb Tabriz.
British, Canadian, and Norwegian commandos raid Spitsbergen, destroying raw materials and liberating 2,000 Soviet civilians and 50 French POWs.
26 August 1941 Allied troops take control of the Abadan area. Soviet troops enter Tabriz and bomb Teheran.
German forces capture Dnepropetrovsk.
Unaware that Hitler has ended the policy of euthanasia, Pastor Bernard Lichtenburg, Provost of St. Hedwig’s Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, writes a letter to the Reich’s chief medical officer protesting the euthanasia program. He will be arrested and die at Dachau.
27 August 1941 British and Indian forces reach Eslamabad, Iran. The British take Shahabad. The Iranian government resigns.
The Soviets begin the evacuation of 23,000 troops from Tallinn.
Former French Prime Minister Pierre Laval and Marcel Déat, editor of the Paris newspaper L’Oeuvre are shot and wounded near Versailles by Paul Colette, a young member of the Resistance.
28 August 1941 Iranian forces surrender to the British and Indians at Kermanshah. Reza Shah Pahlavi is forced to abdicate in favor of his son. A new government under Mohammad Ali Khan Forughi takes power.
Because of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Stalin dissolves the Autonomous Republic of the Volga Germans and sends all ethnic Germans east. Harry Schnittke, father of Alfred Schnittke (6) proves that he is a Jew and this allows his family to remain in Engels (Boronsk).
Finnish forces capture Viipuri (Vyborg), 120 km northwest of Leningrad.
German troops take Tallinn.
Soviet soldiers destroy the Zaporozhe dam on the Dnieper.
Acting Governor Charles Poletti of New York bans an exhibit on birth control at the state fair in Syracuse. A law describes educating the public about birth control as “detrimental to the state.”
29 August 1941 Arthur William Fadden replaces Robert Gordon Menzies as Prime Minister of Australia.
The Finns take Terioki (Zelenogorsk, Russia) and halt, not wishing to advance beyond their 1939 frontier.
At Kamenets Podolskiy, SS troops complete three days of murder of 23,000 Jews.
A puppet government is set up in Serbia under Milan Nedic.
Jews are barred from public school in the Netherlands.
30 August 1941 German troops take Mga, west of Leningrad, cutting the last rail link out of the city.
Milan Nodic becomes prime minister of the anti-German provisional government of Yugoslavia, in Serbia.
British and Soviet forces meet at Senna (Sanandaj), Iran.
31 August 1941 Soviet forces drive the Germans out of Mga.
3,700 Jewish residents of Kovno (Kaunas) are taken to the resort at Ponar and shot to death.
1 September 1941 German troops recapture Mga from the Soviets.
All Jews in Greater Germany are required to wear yellow stars of David.
Richard Strauss (77) signs an agreement with Baldur von Schirach, Gauleiter of Vienna. Strauss will help restore Viennese musical life in return for von Schirach’s protection of his daughter-in-law (a Jew) and grandsons.
3 September 1941 600 Soviet POWs and 300 Jews are brought to Auschwitz and gassed with prussic acid as part of an experiment to find the most effective method of mass murder. The experiment is a success.
With the approval of Prime Minister Churchill, the British chiefs of staff begin the development of an atomic bomb.
4 September 1941 The first shipment of American fuel for the Soviet Union arrives in Vladivostok.
German forces begin an artillery bombardment of Leningrad.
A German submarine attacks the destroyer USS Greer, in the north Atlantic. After dropping depth charges, the Greer sails to Iceland. President Franklin Roosevelt warns of grave consequences to German and Italian ships if they attack US ships.
Old California for orchestra by William Grant Still (46) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the Mutual Broadcasting System. The work was commissioned for the 160th anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles.
6 September 1941 The Vilna (Vilnius) ghetto is sealed off.
7 September 1941 Gondoleiro for chorus and band by Heitor Villa-Lobos (54) to words of Alves is performed for the first time, in Vasco da Gama stadium, Rio de Janeiro. The composer conducts 30,000 singers and 500 instrumentalists.
8 September 1941 Finnish troops cut the Murmansk-Leningrad railway at Lodeynoye Polye. German troops reach Lake Ladoga. Leningrad is effectively surrounded. German planes drop over 6,000 incendiary bombs on Leningrad.
The Soviet authorities begin the evacuation of 600,000 ethnic Germans whose ancestors have lived on the River Volga for two centuries.
9 September 1941 Iran agrees to terms of the occupying Allied forces. They will close all diplomatic missions of Germany, Italy, and their allies and turn over all German nationals to the British or Russians. British and Russian occupation zones are set up. Allies will control roads, airports and communication.
A division of Spanish fascist volunteers arrives at Leningrad to help the Germans.
10 September 1941 German forces reach Konotop, 200 km northeast of Kiev.
Josef Terboven declares a state of emergency in Oslo to head off a planned general strike. Union leaders are arrested, two are executed.
In Bratislava, the Slovak government announces Codex Judaicum, the stripping of all rights from Slovakia’s 135,000 Jews and approving their internment and deportation.
200 citizens of Leningrad are killed in a German air raid.
11 September 1941 In light of recent attacks on American vessels, President Roosevelt orders the US Navy to destroy any German or Italian war vessel in the self-proclaimed defense zone.
At an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Charles Lindbergh declares that “the three most important groups which have been pressing this country towards war are the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt Administration.”
12 September 1941 The Norwegian government of Vidkun Quisling bans the Boy Scouts. Boys are now required to join youth leagues of the Nasjonal Samling Party.
The first snow falls on the Russian front.
15 September 1941 Jews in the Netherlands are required to transfer all sums of cash over 1,000 gulden into a German-controlled bank.
Peruvian planes bomb three Ecaudorian towns, killing three people.
16 September 1941 German forces complete the surrounding and capture of 600,000 Red Army troops east of Kiev.
German troops capture Pushkin, a suburb of Leningrad.
SS troops and Ukrainian militia murder several hundred Jews at Uman.
Roger J. Williams of the University of Texas announces to a symposium in Chicago that he has discovered a new member of the Vitamin B group called folic acid.
17 September 1941 Great Britain and the Soviet Union set up a joint occupation of Tehran. As British and Soviet troops reach Teheran, Mohammed Shah Pahlevi takes the oath to uphold the constitution, in front of Parliament.
Dmitri Shostakovich (34) speaks on Leningrad radio to bolster the morale of the city. He arrives at the studio only at the last minute, having to take refuge along the way from German artillery. “All of us are now standing militant watch. As a native of Leningrad who has never abandoned the city of my birth, I feel all the tension of this situation most keenly. My life and work are completely bound up with Leningrad.” This evening, several musicians gather at the Shostakovich apartment to hear him play through two completed movements of his Seventh Symphony. In the middle, as air raid sirens begin, Shostakovich brings his wife and children to an air raid shelter, then returns to complete his performance.
In San Francisco, Harry Partch (40) pays 21 cents for the ferry to Berkeley, leaving $3.29 in his pocket, and boards a freight train to Chicago where a friend of a friend has offered him a place to stay. He will keep sketchy records of this trip, conversations, graffiti, place names. These will form the basis of US Highball.
18 September 1941 Incidental music to Machiavelli’s play La Mandragore by Arthur Honegger (49) is performed for the first time, in Théâtre Fontaine, Paris.
19 September 1941 German forces enter Kiev, capturing 500,000 Red Army troops.
276 German planes attack Leningrad, killing over 1,000 civilians.
Cross-border clashes resume between Ecuador and Peru.
20 September 1941 The Shah of Iran restores the constitutional monarchy at the head of a neutral regime.
The Bulgarian government declares martial law.
21 September 1941 180 German bombers attack Kronstadt, seriously damaging Leningrad’s naval facilities.
String Quartet no.1 op.25 by Benjamin Britten (27) is performed for the first time, in Belle Wilber Thorne Hall, Occidental College, Los Angeles.
23 September 1941 La Coronela, a ballet by Silvestre Revueltas (†0) completed and orchestrated by Huizar and Galindo, is performed for the first time.
24 September 1941 70,000 Yugoslav partisans capture Uzice and its rifle factory. They will hold the town for two months.
The Comité national français is established in London by Charles de Gaulle.
25 September 1941 A new German offensive pushes south toward Kharkov (Kharkiv) and the Crimea.
26 September 1941 1,608 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas) are loaded into trucks, driven to the outskirts of the city and killed.
Aaron Copland (40) meets Alberto Ginastera (25) for the first time, in Buenos Aires calling him the “white hope” of Argentine music.
27 September 1941 3,446 Jews in Eisiskes, Lithuania are taken to pits dug in the Jewish cemetery and machine-gunned into them.
Reinhard Heydrich becomes Reich protector of Bohemia and Moravia.
The Communist Party of Greece creates the National Liberation Front (EAM) to oppose Nazi occupation.
The first Liberty Ship, the Patrick Henry, is launched in Baltimore.
Henry Cowell (44) marries Sidney Robertson, an ethnomusicologist, in New York.
28 September 1941 The first British convoy of war supplies for the Soviet Union leaves Iceland for Arkhangelsk.
29 September 1941 Finnish forces break through to Petrozavodsk on Lake Onega.
30 September 1941 German forces break out of Dnepropetrovsk, moving southeast toward Donetsk.
1 October 1941 Dmitri Shostakovich (35), his wife, son and daughter, are evacuated by plane from Leningrad to Moscow, later to Kuibyshev.
A conference between high-ranking officials of Great Britain, the United States, and the USSR ends in Moscow. The United States will send to the Soviet Union $1,000,000,000 worth of arms and equipment for the Red Army.
Finnish troops capture Petrozavodsk.
Deportations of Slovak Jews to death camps begins.
2 October 1941 German forces launch a massive offensive toward Moscow.
2,146 Jews are shot to death in Zagare, Lithuania.
976 Jews are shot to death in Butrimonys, Lithuania. German soldiers place benches at the site to give the Lithuanians a “good view.”
Six synagogues in Paris are dynamited by the SS.
Movements 2, 5, and 6 of American Melting Pot for chamber orchestra by Henry Cowell (44) are performed for the first time, in Philadelphia. See 3 May 1943.
3 October 1941 A seventh synagogue in Paris is dynamited by the SS.
German forces capture Orel, 350 km southwest of Moscow.
Peru and Ecuador agree to set up a neutral zone along their disputed border.
John Melby is born in Whitehall, Wisconsin.
John Huston’s film The Maltese Falcon is shown for the first time, in New York.
4 October 1941 The Parliament of New Zealand passes a bill guaranteeing free medical care to all citizens.
At Kovno (Kaunas), all patients, doctors, and nurses at the ghetto hospital, along with orphans from the nearby Jewish orphanage, are locked in the hospital building which is then set afire. Germans shoot any who manage to escape. They are among 1,845 Jews who are killed today in Kovno (Kaunas).
Household Music for string quartet by Ralph Vaughan Williams (68) is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.
5 October 1941 Music for Hecht and MacArthur’s pageant Fun to be Free by Kurt Weill (41) is performed for the first time, in Madison Square Garden, New York. It is an attempt to rally the country to enter the war against Germany.
6 October 1941 German forces reach Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov, cutting off 100,000 Soviets.
The government of Panama refuses to allow the arming of US-owned merchant ships under Panamanian registry.
7 October 1941 John Curtin replaces Arthur William Fadden as Prime Minister of Australia.
After a US-backed coup, President Arnulfo Arias of Panama flees the country incognito.
8 October 1941 German forces capture Mariupol (Ukraine) on the Sea of Azov.
Over the BBC Foreign Service, a voice says in German over a ticking clock: Every seven seconds, a German dies in Russia. Is it your husband? Is it your son? Is it your brother?
49th Parallel, a film with music by Ralph Vaughan Williams (68), is shown for the first time, in the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square, London.
Incidental music to Exbrayat’s play La fille du jardinier by Francis Poulenc (42) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
9 October 1941 US President Roosevelt sends a message to Congress supporting the repeal of Section Six of the Neutrality Act of 1939 and the immediate arming of US merchant ships.
Two days after President Arnulfo Arias left the country, the Panamanian cabinet elects Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia to replace him. The new president pledges close cooperation with the United States “in the defense of the continent.”
11 October 1941 The Soviet government announces that all women and children not engaged in war work will be evacuated from Moscow.
12 October 1941 German forces capture Kaluga, 165 km southwest of Moscow.
Germans murder several hundred Jews and Gypsies in Zasavica, Yugoslavia.
Freedom’s Land for chorus by Roy Harris (43) to words of MacLeish is performed for the first time, in a CBS radio broadcast originating in Sage Chapel, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
13 October 1941 German troops enter Vyazma, 200 km west of Moscow.
14 October 1941 German forces take Kalinin, 160 km northwest of Moscow, against fierce Soviet resistance.
Eleven alleged Communists are sentenced to death in Bulgaria.
Igor Stravinsky’s (59) arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner, for orchestra and chorus ad lib, is performed for the first time, in Embassy Auditorium, Los Angeles.
15 October 1941 German forces reach Mozhaysk, 110 km west of Moscow.
The diplomatic corps and most of the Soviet government leave Moscow for Kuibyshev. Stalin remains in the capital. The overcrowded train includes a car reserved for the Bolshoy Theatre. On it are Dmitri Shostakovich (35) and his family, and several other important Soviet artists including Aram Khachaturian (38).
The Soviets evacuate 120,000 men from Odessa to Sevastopol.
Édouard Daladier, Paul Reynaud, and Léon Blum are all arrested by Marshal Pétain on charges that they are responsible for the defeat of France.
16 October 1941 German and Romanian troops capture Odessa after a two-month siege.
The first deportations of Jews from Greater Germany to Poland take place. Between today and 4 November, 19,827 Jews are sent to Lodz.
When five US destroyers from Iceland come to the aid of a convoy, a German submarine puts a torpedo into the USS Kearney, killing eleven sailors.
John Cage (29) moves from Oakland, California to Chicago.
17 October 1941 Symphony no.3 by William Schuman (31) is performed for the first time, in Boston. The critics are extremely positive.
18 October 1941 Hideki Tojo replaces Prince Fumimaro Konoye as Prime Minister of Japan.
19 October 1941 Kabul radio announces that King Mohammed Zahir Shah is ordering all German and Italian nationals out of Afghanistan. The British guarantee them safe conduct through India.
Stalin proclaims a “State of Siege” in Moscow.
Professor Iosif Orbeli, Director of the Hermitage, gains permission for six of Leningrad’s leading orientalists to be released from the front line for a few hours to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Nizami, the national poet of Azerbaijan.
Even though he has raised most of the money needed for a production, Marc Blitzstein (36) writes in today’s New York Times that his opera No For An Answer will not be staged at present. Its theme of leftist non-intervention in the war has been overshadowed by the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Congressman Martin Dies, chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee, sends a list of 1,121 federal employees to Attorney General Francis Biddle, claiming that they are members of subversive groups. As a result of extensive FBI investigations, two people will be dismissed.
The US merchant ship Lehigh is torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine off Sierra Leone. All 39 crew and five stowaways are rescued by a British ship.
Baal Shem for violin and orchestra by Ernest Bloch (61) is performed for the first time, in New York.
20 October 1941 German troops take Stalino (Donetsk).
Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Hotz, the German commander in Nantes, is shot and killed by three Communists.
The new government of Panama allows Panamanian-registered merchant ships to be armed.
21 October 1941 2,300 Serbian men and boys are murdered by Ustase fascists at Kragujevac. 7,000 Serbians are murdered at Kraljevo. 6,000 Serbians are murdered at Macva.
50 French hostages are shot at Nantes for the killing of the local German commander yesterday.
Piano Sonata by Aaron Copland (40) is performed for the first time, by the composer, in Buenos Aires.
22 October 1941 Tokyo carries out its first practice blackout.
Germans in Odessa lock 12,000 Jews into four giant warehouses. Three are set afire. Those managing to escape through the roof meet machine gun bullets and hand grenades. The fourth warehouse, filled with men, is destroyed by artillery. In all, 25,000 Jews will be killed in Odessa.
Most of the Soviet government, diplomatic corps, and numerous important cultural figures including Dmitri Shostakovich (35) and Aram Khachaturian (38) arrive from Moscow by train in Kuibyshev.
23 October 1941 Plain-chant for America for baritone, orchestra, and organ by William Grant Still (46) to words of Chapin is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York. Chapin is the wife of Francis Biddle, the Attorney-General of the United States.
24 October 1941 German troops capture Kharkhov.
In Vilna (Vilnius), 3,700 Jews are taken from the ghetto to Ponar and shot. Hundreds more caught hiding are dragged into the street and shot on the spot.
25 October 1941 In Minsk, Germans conduct the first public hanging of partisans.
Incidental music to Roux’s play La Ligne d’horizon by Arthur Honegger (49) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
26 October 1941 Croatian partisans organize themselves on Petrova Gora mountain.
27 October 1941 German forces capture Kramatorsk, Ukraine.
A new policy of gassing, rather than shooting Jews is tested by the Germans in Kalisz, Poland. 290 Jews are transported by van to a wood beyond the outskirts of the town. The exhaust pipe has been connected to the inside of the van. By the time they reach the wood, all in the van are dead. The surviving Jews of Kalisz are charged for the cost of transport.
8,000 local Jews and 9,000 Jews from Germany are shot to death outside Kovno (Kaunas).
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem arrives in Rome for talks with fascist leaders.
28 October 1941 German forces capture Volokolansk, 120 km northwest of Moscow, but the German offensive is starting to bog down.
A German bomb lands on the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow damaging the lobby.
The first organized mass action against the occupation of Greece takes place in Athens, commemorating the first anniversary of the Italian invasion. Members of the resistance groups take part in a major demonstration. Among them is Iannis Xenakis (19).
Overture for a Drama for orchestra by Ross Lee Finney (34) is performed for the first time, in Rochester, New York.
29 October 1941 Germans kill 9,200 Jews in Kovno (Kaunas).
30 October 1941 Charles Lindbergh speaks to 20,000 people at an America First rally in Madison Square Garden, New York. He claims that President Franklin Roosevelt is using “dictatorship and subterfuge” to draw the country into war.
Benjamin Britten (27) is awarded the Coolidge Medal by the Library of Congress, Washington.
31 October 1941 The Luftwaffe flies 45 separate bombing attacks over Moscow.
220 Jews are shot at Kletsk (Belarus) for asking for food from gentiles.
SS General von dem Bach Zelewski reports cheerily to Berlin: “Today there are no more Jews in Estonia.”
Six days of executions begins today in Poltava. 740 people, almost all of whom are Jews or the mentally ill, will be killed.
Cetniks and puppet Serbs attack Yugoslav partisans at Uzice. The Partisans are forced out of their Serbian base into eastern Bosnia.
A German U-Boat sinks the American destroyer USS Reuben James as it is escorting a convoy 965 km west of Iceland. 101 lives are lost, 44 saved.
1 November 1941 The “Rainbow Bridge”, an international bridge over the Niagara River, opens to traffic.
Sergey Rakhmaninov (68) plays a benefit recital at Carnegie Hall for Russian relief charities.
2 November 1941 US President Roosevelt transfers the entire Coast Guard to the command of the Secretary of the Navy.
Acceleration for orchestra by Roy Harris (43) is performed for the first time, in Washington.
String Quartet no.2 by Ross Lee Finney (34) is performed for the first time, in Cleveland.
3 November 1941 German forces take Kursk.
Germans cut the railway line from Leningrad to Vologda near Tikhvin.
The Cathedral of the Dormition in Kiev is blown up by the Germans.
4 November 1941 German forces capture Feodosiya in the Crimea.
New regulations deny Jews in Greater Germany sick pay, accident insurance, paid vacations, or pensions. They may be fired without notice and may not be apprentices.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, departs Rome for Berlin.
5 November 1941 The Japanese government announces that it has dispatched a top diplomat, Saburo Kurusu, to Washington to aid in negotiations.
6 November 1941 Jewish citizens of Rovno are assembled in the central square and taken to five large pits dug by Red Army prisoners, forced to strip in a blizzard and jump into the pits. They are then killed. Today and tomorrow 17,500 Jews will be killed.
The Grand Mufti of Jersusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, leader of Palestinian Arabs, arrives in Berlin, where a government spokesman calls him a “great man.”
7 November 1941 US President Roosevelt extends the Lend-Lease Act to include the USSR.
The New York Herald Tribune reports that the naval commander on Guam has ordered dependents of naval personnel to evacuate.
Symphony no.2 “Kormtchaya” by Arthur Vincent Lourié (50) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
8 November 1941 German troops take Tikhvin, completing the encirclement of Leningrad.
The Albanian Communist Party is formed in Tirana, electing a central committee with Enver Hoxha as secretary.
9 November 1941 German forces capture Yalta in the Crimea.
Great Britain sends an ultimatum to Hungary to withdraw from the USSR
Karl Eliasberg directs the Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s (†114) Ninth Symphony at Philharmonic Hall, broadcast live to London. At the beginning of the third movement, British listeners can hear sirens, bombs, and anit-aircraft guns. The symphony is completed and the announcer signs off.
10 November 1941 The Germans order the death penalty for any Jew leaving the Warsaw ghetto.
British Prime Minister Churchill announces that “should the United States become involved in war with Japan, a British declaration will follow within the hour.”
13 November 1941 German submarines attack and badly damage the British carrier HMS Ark Royal between Malta and Gibraltar.
The National Broadcasting Company and the Mutual Broadcasting System, both from the United States, end broadcasts from their correspondents in Berlin due to heavy Nazi censorship.
The United States House of Representatives votes to amend the Neutrality Act to allow arming of merchant ships and their passage into war zones.
Several selections from the series for piano Guia prática by Heitor Villa-Lobos (54) are performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro: Album 1 (no.4), Album 5 (nos.1,2), Album 7 (nos. 1,3), Album 9 (nos.2,5), Album 10 (nos.2,6).
14 November 1941 New laws in Hungary prohibit marriages between Jews and Gentiles, prohibit Jews in the army, and expropriate Jewish lands.
Germany bans correspondents of three American radio networks: NBC, CBS and Mutual.
The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks in the Mediterranean, 40 km from Gibraltar.
US President Roosevelt announces that the 970 Marines currently in China will be withdrawn.
Concerto grosso for chamber orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu (50) is performed for the first time, in Boston. A scheduled 1938 premiere in Vienna was cancelled due to the Anschluss. One scheduled in Prague was cancelled because of the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. And a premiere scheduled in Paris in May 1940 was called off due to the German invasion of Belgium.
15 November 1941 Trois poèmes for voice and piano by Arthur Honegger (49), to words of Claudel, is performed for the first time, in the Salle Gaveau, Paris. Francis Poulenc (42) plays the piano part.
16 November 1941 German forces capture Kerch at the far eastern end of the Crimea.
England, My England, a choral song by Ralph Vaughan Williams (69) to words of Henley, is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC.
17 November 1941 US President Roosevelt signs the changes to the Neutrality Act passed by the Congress on 13 November.
Serenade for orchestra by Ross Lee Finney (34) is performed for the first time, at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Symphony no.2 by Virgil Thomson (44) is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Seattle. See 5 July 1975.
18 November 1941 Allied forces begin an offensive into Libya to relieve Tobruk (Tubruq).
Samuel Barber (31) is inducted in the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
19 November 1941 In a speech in Chicago, former President Herbert Hoover says that sending armies overseas to fight would be a “futile waste of American life.”
20 November 1941 German troops occupy Rostov at the mouth of the Don.
21 November 1941 Symphony in E flat by Paul Hindemith (46) is performed for the first time, in Minneapolis.
Béla Bartók (60) gives his last solo recital, in Chicago.
22 November 1941 60 trucks cross Lake Ladoga with food for the city of Leningrad, the first of hundreds of such crossings.
The last Italian holding in East Africa, Gonder, Ethiopia, surrenders to the British.
In a tank battle at Sidi Rezegh, Allied forces are pushed away from Tobruk (Tubruq).
23 November 1941 A bomb explodes at the United States consulate in Saigon. There is considerable damage but no injuries.
German forces take Istra, 50 km west of Moscow.
German and Italians troops attack British and South Africans at Sidi Rezegh. Losses are so high on both sides that German soldiers dub this day Totensonntag. At Gambut, New Zealand troops capture German headquarters and much valuable communication equipment.
Sonata for english horn and piano by Paul Hindemith (46) is performed for the first time, in New York.
24 November 1941 German forces take Klin, 85 km northwest of Moscow and Solnechnogorsk, 60 km northwest of the city.
342 young Jews are sent to Theresienstadt (Terezín) to transform the town into a camp for Czech Jews.
Sergey Prokofiev (50) and his mistress Mira Mendelson arrive in Tbilisi, having been evacuated further from the German lines.
US troops land in Surinam to secure the bauxite mines necessary for aluminum production. The action was agreed to by Brazil.
25 November 1941 Germans cross the Moscow-Volga Canal at Yakhroma and Dmitrov, 65 km north of Moscow.
2,900 Jews are shot near Kovno (Kaunas).
Bulgaria signs the Anti-Comintern Pact.
The police in Providence, Rhode Island ban the Greta Garbo film Two-Faced Woman on grounds that it is immoral.
26 November 1941 The Republic of Lebanon, carved from the predominantly Christian districts of Syria, is declared independent, although French and British troops remain in the country.
Contact is made between the Tobruk (Tubruq) garrison and relieving Allied forces.
27 November 1941 The Japanese news agency Domei says that “there is little hope of bridging the gap between the opinions of Japan and the United States.”
28 November 1941 The Red Army forces the Germans out of Rostov-on-Don.
New Zealand troops link up with the Tobruk (Tubruq) garrison at El Duda, thus lifting the siege.
Palestinian leader Haj Amin el-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, meets Hitler in Berlin. The two pledge mutual support in a common cause.
Scottish Ballad op.26 for two pianos and orchestra by Benjamin Britten (28) is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Cincinnati.
29 November 1941 The Finnish Parliament declares that its war against the USSR is only to regain territory lost in the 1939-1940 war.
German troops are forced to evacuate Taganrog on the Sea of Azov.
4,500 Jews are murdered in Kerch, Crimea before hundreds of onlookers.
2,000 Jews are shot near Kovno (Kaunas).
Sarnia: an Island Sequence for piano by John Ireland (62) is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.
30 November 1941 9,000 of Riga’s Jews are shot to death on the way to and in the Rumbuli Forest.
The first thousand inmates arrive at the new model concentration camp, Theresienstadt (Terezín), 50 km north of Prague. No one will be put to death here but 32,000 people will die of hunger and disease.
1 December 1941 The British colonial administration in Malaya declares a state of emergency after reports of Japanese preparations for attack.
The Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force is mobilized.
Germans attempt to break through the Soviet defenses at Moscow but fail.
German forces finally force New Zealanders out of Sidi Rezegh.
Martial law is lifted in Bohemia and Moravia.
Little Gidding by TS Eliot is published.
2 December 1941 A German reconnaissance unit comes within ten km of the Kremlin in a blinding snowstorm but is driven away.
Many German soldiers refuse to continue the attack at Moscow due to extreme cold and Soviet tenacity.
3 December 1941 Under siege since 29 June, the Soviets evacuate the naval base at Hangö, Finland.
5 December 1941 All the existing bones of Peking Man are taken aboard a train by nine US Marines, trying to smuggle the bones out of China before the arrival of Japanese troops. After Pearl Harbor, the bones are lost in the confusion. Only plaster casts and sketches remain.
After a night of -35° temperatures on the Russian Front panzers do not start and German guns do not fire. None of the Wehrmacht is equipped for winter fighting. The German advance towards Moscow stalls.
Leonard Bernstein (23) sends out cards announcing “the opening of his studio for the teaching of Piano and Musical Analysis” in his newly acquired apartment on Huntington Avenue in Boston. He will attract one student.
6 December 1941 03:00 The Red Army counterattacks along an 800 km front from Kalinin to Yelets west of Moscow. They cross the Volga near Kalinin and drive the Germans from Yakhroma, thus reconnecting the rail line from Moscow to the north.
Their ultimatum to withdraw from the USSR ignored, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom declare war on Finland, Hungary, and Romania. The declaration of war is reciprocated by Hungary.
A new, secret government committee meets in Washington. Its task is to determine if an atomic bomb can be produced in the United States and at what cost.
7 December 1941 Peter Sculthorpe (12) is confirmed in the Anglican Church in Launceston by the Lord Bishop of Tasmania.
As the Red Army attacks Tikhvin, near Leningrad, the Germans retire to a defensive line before Moscow on a line Kursk-Orel-Medyn-Rzhev.
Areas ceded by Finland to the USSR on 12 March 1940 are reintegrated into Finland.
06:30 Fighting at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii begins as an American destroyer hits a Japanese mini-submarine within the harbor area.
07:55 Japanese planes attack the American Pacific Fleet and other installations in Hawaii. 2,394 people are killed, 19 ships are sunk or disabled, 217 planes are destroyed, one Japanese sailor is taken prisoner.
Canada, Costa Rica, and Guatemala declare war on Japan.
8 December 1941 01:15 Japanese naval forces begin the war in the Pacific by shelling the Malayan coast at Kota Baharu and at Singora and Pattani, Siam. (This actually happened one and a half hours before Pearl Harbor). Landing forces later capture Kota Baharu airport. They go on to capture Bandon (Surat Thani), Batan Island, Kota Baharu, Pattani and Singora (Songkhla).
04:00 Japanese planes bomb Singapore, killing 63 people.
Noon Tokyo time. Japan simultaneously declares war on the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. Japanese planes bomb Manila and other targets on Luzon and Davao in the Philippines as well as Guam, Wake Island, Midway, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Japanese troops occupy the whole of Shanghai, including the United States garrison.
The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, the United Kingdom, and the United States declare war on Japan. Several governments-in-exile declare war on Japan: France, Greece, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia. Mexico and Colombia break off diplomatic relations with Japan.
Soviet forces retake Tikhvin, 180 km southeast of Leningrad.
Hitler announces the suspension of military operations against the Soviet Union due to severe weather conditions.
A German policy of killing Jews by gas is put into effect. 700 Jews from Kulmhof (Chelmo), 60 km northeast of Lodz, are taken by van (with the exhaust system hooked into the van) to a nearby wood. By the time they arrive, they are dead. From this day on, Jews from the surrounding district are daily transported to Kulmhof for the same purpose. This is the first death camp to begin operations. The region will be emptied of its 360,000 Jews.
Croatia declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Dominican Republic declares war on Japan.
9 December 1941 Japanese troops occupy Bangkok.
Soviet forces capture Yelets, 330 km south of Moscow.
Australia, China, Cuba, New Zealand, and South Africa declare war on Japan.
Mazurka elegiaca op.23/2 for two pianos by Benjamin Britten (28) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York.
The United States freezes all assets of Siam in the country.
10 December 1941 Japanese forces land on Luzon in the Philippines and occupy Vigan and Aparri. They also capture the British-controlled islands of Abemama, Makin (Butaritari), and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati) and the US controlled island of Guam.
Two British capital ships, the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, are sunk by Japanese air forces off Malaya. 840 people are killed.
German and Italian forces begin a full retreat to the west from Tobruk (Tubruq).
SS Commander Heinrich Himmler orders that the ill, mentally ill, and those otherwise unfit for work be removed from concentration camp populations and gassed to death.
Brazil freezes all German, Italian, and Japanese assets in the country. Argentina freezes all Japanese assets.
11 December 1941 The American defenders of Wake Island repel a Japanese invasion force.
Soviet forces capture Istra, 50 km west of Moscow.
Italy and Germany declare war on the United States. The United States reciprocates. Hungary breaks off relations with the United States.
Canti di prigionia for chorus, two pianos, two harps, and percussion by Luigi Dallapiccola (37), to words of Mary, Queen of Scots, Boethius, and Savonarola, is performed completely for the first time, in Teatro delle Arti, Rome. See 10 April 1940.
Alberto Ginastera (25) marries Mercedes de Toro.
Cuba, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua declare war on Germany and Italy. Mexico breaks diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy and freezes their funds.
12 December 1941 Japanese forces occupy Legaspi in southern Luzon.
Japanese troops push Indian defenders out of Jitra, Malaya, 670 km northwest of Singapore, while Japanese planes bomb Pinang, killing 600 people.
Slovakia declares war on the United States and Great Britain. Romania declares war on the United States. The Polish government-in-exile declares war on Japan.
In retaliation for the attempted murder of a German officer in Paris, 743 Jews are arrested in Paris and imprisoned at Compiègne.
Cuba institutes a draft. Cuba, Uruguay, and Venezuela freeze all German, Italian, and Japanese assets.
Several demonstrations supporting the United States are dispersed by police in Buenos Aires.
13 December 1941 British forces withdraw from the mainland onto Hong Kong Island.
New Zealand declares war on Bulgaria.
Hungary and Bulgaria declare war on the United States. Bulgaria declares war on Great Britain.
Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria.
Allied forces (Britain-India-New Zealand-Poland) attack Germans and Italians at Gazala, Libya.
A mudslide in Huaraz, Peru kills 6,000-7,000 people.
14 December 1941 Calypso, a cabaret song by Benjamin Britten (28) to words of Auden, is performed for the first time, in Southold High School, Long Island, New York.
Ireland and Turkey declare their neutrality.
15 December 1941 Soviet forces capture Klin, 85 km northwest of Moscow. They immediately begin to rebuild the Tchaikovsky Museum which was destroyed by the Germans.
95 hostages are executed in Mont Valérien Prison for the attempted murder of a German officer in Paris.
16 December 1941 Japanese forces invade northern Borneo, capturing Miri, Sarawak. They also occupy Victoria Point, Burma (Kawthaung, Myanmar).
The Chinese Expeditionary Army is created to support the British in Burma.
The Red Army captures Kalinin, 160 km northwest of Moscow.
German and Italian forces retreat from Gazala, Libya toward El Agheila (Al’Uqaylah).
The Czechoslovakian governement-in-exile declares war on all countries presently at war with Great Britain and the United States.
17 December 1941 Japanese forces invade Penang.
Australian and Dutch troops occupy Portuguese Timor.
18 December 1941 Japanese troops land on Hong Kong Island.
The British Parliament passes the National Service Act. Every adult male under 50 and every adult unmarried woman under 30 is liable for national service of some kind.
19 December 1941 Allied forces reach Derna (Darnah), Libya.
Spanish dictator Francisco Franco declares that his country will remain a non-belligerent in the war between the Allies and Japan.
Three Italian midget submarines penetrate Alexandria harbor sinking the British battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant.
Blaming his generals for reverses in Russia, Hitler takes personal command of the army.
Nicaragua declares war on Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Piano Concerto no.2 op.225 by Darius Milhaud (49) is performed for the first time, in Chicago the composer at the keyboard.
20 December 1941 Japanese forces capture Davao in the southern Philippines.
The Belgian government-in-exile declares war on Japan.
21 December 1941 Japan and Siam sign a ten-year military alliance in Bangkok.
Symphony no.1 by David Diamond (26) is performed for the first time, in New York.
22 December 1941 The main Japanese invasion force for the Philippines lands in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon.
The Netherlands government-in-exile declares war on Italy.
23 December 1941 On their second attempt, Japanese invaders capture Wake Island from American defenders.
Mexico severs diplomatic relations with Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
24 December 1941 53 British and Canadian POWs are roped together in Hong Kong and shot or stabbed to death by the Japanese.
10,000 Japanese land at Lamon Bay in south Luzon.
Japanese forces capture the Philippine islands of Tawi Tawi and Jolo in the Sulu group.
Japanese forces attack British installations at Kuching, Sarawak.
Japanese planes bomb Rangoon.
The United States declares Manila an open city.
The German administration of the Baltic states declares that Romani are to be treated the same as Jews.
Free French troops land from naval vessels and occupy St. Pierre and Miquelon off Newfoundland.
25 December 1941 Japanese forces capture the British crown colony of Hong Kong and Kuching, capital of the British possession of Sarawak on Borneo. 11,000 Allied troops are captured in Hong Kong.
The Japanese in Hong Kong kill two doctors and seven nurses attending wounded soldiers at St. Stephens College Emergency Hospital. They then kill the 50 wounded in the hospital.
Allied troops reach Benghazi and Agedabia (Ajdabiya), Libya.
Soviet troops are put ashore on the Kerch peninsula, Crimea.
Citizens on the island of St. Pierre vote 98% in favor of a Free French administration.
27 December 1941 The British mount a commando raid on the German naval base at Malöy, Norway. Five merchant ships are sunk.
28 December 1941 United States and Philippine troops on Luzon fall back to a line Tarlac-Cabanatuan.
Allied forces fall back to Kampar, Malaya, 450 km northwest of Singapore.
Citizens on the island of Miquelon vote 69-4 for a Free French administration.
Olivier Messiaen (33) gives the first public performance of two movements from Les corps glorieux for organ, at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. See 15 November 1943.
29 December 1941 A New Year Carol for chorus and piano by John Ireland (62) to traditional words is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating in Bedford.
30 December 1941 Japanese forces occupy Kuantan, Malaya, 280 km north of Singapore.
United States and Philippine troops on Luzon fall back to the last defensive line before Bataan.
Mohandas K. Gandhi resigns as leader of the All-India National Congress Party because he feels the party’s committee has abandoned non-violence.
Soviet troops capture Kaluga, 160 km southwest of Moscow, Tula, 165 km south of Moscow and Kozelsk, 220 km southwest of Moscow.
31 December 1941 Red Army troops are put ashore at Feodosiya, Crimea.
Jewish children are excluded from the public schools of Belgium.
Venezuela breaks diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy, and Japan.
©2004-2012 Paul Scharfenberger
20 November 2012
Last Updated (Tuesday, 20 November 2012 06:58)