1942 in the United States
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Events from the year 1942 in the United States.
- 1 Incumbents
- 2 Events
- 3 Births
- 4 Deaths
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (D-New York)
- Vice President: Henry A. Wallace (D-Iowa)
- Chief Justice: Harlan F. Stone (New York)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)
- Senate Majority Leader: Alben W. Barkley (D-Kentucky)
- Congress: 77th
- January 1
- January 10 – WWII: The last German air-raid on the English port of Liverpool destroys the home of William Patrick Hitler, Adolf Hitler's nephew. After his house is destroyed, William Hitler goes to the United States and joins the navy to fight against his uncle.
- January 14–15 – WWII: Operation Drumbeat – German submarine U-123 under the command of Reinhard Hardegen sinks a Norwegian tanker within sight of Long Island before entering New York Harbor and sinking a British tanker off Sandy Hook as she leaves heading south along the East Coast.
- January 16 – Film actress Carole Lombard and her mother are among all 22 aboard TWA Flight 3 killed when the Douglas DC-3 plane crashes into Potosi Mountain near Las Vegas in Nevada while she is returning from a tour to promote the sale of war bonds.
- January 19
- January 25 – WWII: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
- January 26 – WWII: The first American forces arrive in Europe, landing in Northern Ireland.
- February 2 – WWII: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an executive order directing the internment of Japanese Americans and the seizure of their property.
- February 8
- February 9 – WWII: The ocean liner SS Normandie catches fire while being converted into the troopship USS Lafayette at pier 88 in New York City. In the early hours of February 10 she capsizes.
- February 18 – WWII: More than 200 American sailors die in Newfoundland when the USS Truxtun runs aground near Chambers Cove and the USS Pollux runs aground at Lawn Point.
- February 19 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.
- February 20 – Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's first World War II flying ace.
- February 22 – WWII: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defense of the nation collapses.
- February 23 – WWII: The Japanese submarine I-17 fires 17 high-explosive shells toward an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.
- February 24 – The Voice of America begins broadcasting.
- February 25 – Battle of Los Angeles: Over 1,400 AA shells are fired at an unidentified, slow-moving object in the skies over Los Angeles. The appearance of the object triggers an immediate wartime blackout over most of Southern California, with thousands of air raid wardens being deployed throughout the city. In total there are 6 deaths. Despite the several hour barrage no planes are downed.
- February 26 – The 14th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles; How Green Was My Valley wins Best Picture.
- March – Construction begins on the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (the largest in the United States during WWII).
- March 9 – WWII: Executive order 9082 (February 28, 1942) reorganizes the United States Army into three major commands: Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply, later redesignated Army Service Forces.
- April 3 – WWII: Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula.
- May 6 – WWII: On Corregidor, the last American and Filipino forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.
- May 14 – Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait is performed for the first time by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
- May 15 – WWII: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
- May 20 – The first African-American seamen are taken into the United States Navy.
- June 4–7 – World War II – Battle of Midway: The United States Navy defeats an Imperial Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll.
- June 7 – World War II – Aleutian Islands Campaign: Japanese forces invade the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
- June 13 – The United States opens its Office of War Information, a propaganda center.
- June 21 – World War II – Bombardment of Fort Stevens: Fort Stevens, Oregon is fired upon by a Japanese submarine.
- July 4 – WWII in the European Theater of Operations: US Eighth Air Force flies its first inauspicious mission in Europe using borrowed British planes; six aircraft went out, only three came back.
- July 19 – WWII – Battle of the Atlantic: German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions, in response to an effective American convoy system.
- August 7 – WWII: Battle of Guadalcanal begins – USMC initiate the first American offensive of the war with a landing on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
- August 8 – WWII: In Washington, DC, six German would-be saboteurs are executed (two others were cooperative and received life imprisonment instead).
- August 15 – WWII: The American tanker SS Ohio reaches Malta as part of the convoy of Operation Pedestal.
- August 16 – The U.S. Navy blimp L-8 (Flight 101) comes ashore near San Francisco, eventually coming down in Daly City (the crew is missing).
- October 11 – WWII – Battle of Cape Esperance: On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
- October 23 – Award-winning composer and Hollywood songwriter Ralph Rainger ("Thanks for the Memory") is among 12 people killed in the mid-air collision between an American Airlines DC-3 airliner and a U.S. Army bomber near Palm Springs, California.
- October 26 – WWII – Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: Two Japanese aircraft carriers are heavily damaged and one U.S. carrier is sunk.
- October 28 – The Alaska Highway is completed.
- November 8 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa.
- November 9 – WWII: U.S serviceman Edward Leonski is hanged at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison for the "Brown-Out" murders of three women in May.
- November 12 – WWII – Battle of Guadalcanal: A naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American forces.
- November 13 – Battle of Guadalcanal: Aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese battleship Hiei.
- November 15 – The Battle of Guadalcanal ends: Although the United States Navy suffers heavy losses, it retains control of Guadalcanal.
- November 21 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the "highway" is not usable by general vehicles until 1943).
- November 26 – The movie Casablanca premieres at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.
- November 28 – In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club kills 491 people.
- December 1 – Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.
- December 2 – Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (a coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is then sent to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt).
- December 22 – In Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, an avalanche kills 26, including Vulcan Crucible Steel Co heir-apparent Samuel A. Stafford Sr., when two 100 ton boulders fall on a bus filled with wartime steel workers on their way home.
- World War II, U.S. involvement (1941–1945)
- The Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals open in the American Museum of Natural History, with 10 dioramas
- January 1
- Al Hunt, American journalist
- Billy Lothridge, American football player (d. 1996)
- Country Joe McDonald, American musician (The "Fish" Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag)
- January 2
- January 3 – Donna Axum, American beauty pageant winner and model (d. 2018)
- January 4 – Jim Downing, race car driver and inventor
- January 5 – Charlie Rose, American television anchor and talk show host
- January 11 – Clarence Clemons, African-American saxophonist (d. 2011)
- January 17 – Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, African-American boxer, activist, and philanthropist (d. 2016)
- January 18 – Ruby Winters, American singer (d. 2016)
- January 24
- January 25 – Carl Eller, American football player
- January 27
- January 30 – Marty Balin, American singer, songwriter, and musician (d. 2018)
- February 5 – Roger Staubach, American football player
- February 9 – Carole King, American singer and composer
- February 10 – Howard Mudd, American offensive lineman & offensive line coach
- February 11
- February 13
- February 14 – Michael Bloomberg, American businessman
- February 15 – Sherry Jackson, American actress
- February 19 – Paul Krause, American football player
- February 20 – Mitch McConnell, American politician, United States Senator (R-KY)
- February 24 – Joe Lieberman, American politician, longtime Connecticut Senator (1989–2013)
- February 25 – Karen Grassle, American actress
- February 27 – Robert H. Grubbs, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- March 2
- March 7
- March 12 – Jimmy Wynn, American baseball player
- March 13
- March 17 – John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer (d. 1994)
- March 20 – Earl Bramblett, American mass murderer (d. 2003)
- March 21 – Willie Brown, American football player and coach (d. 2018)
- March 25 – Aretha Franklin, African-American singer, songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist (d. 2018)
- March 26
- March 28
- March 29
- April 1
- April 2 – Leon Russell, singer-songwriter, keyboard player and guitarist (d. 2016)
- April 3
- April 5 – Peter Magowan, American businessman (d. 2019)
- April 6 – Barry Levinson, American film producer and director
- April 8 – Douglas Trumbull, American film director
- April 15
- April 23 – Sandra Dee, American actress (d. 2005)
- April 24 – Barbra Streisand, American singer, actress, composer, and film director
- April 25 – Jon Kyl, U.S. Senator from Arizona from 1995 to 2013
- April 26 – Bobby Rydell, American singer
- April 27
- May 1
- May 5 – Tammy Wynette, American country singer (d. 1998)
- May 6 – David Friesen, bassist
- May 9
- May 10
- May 14 – Byron Dorgan, American politician
- May 15
- May 17 – Taj Mahal, African-American singer and guitarist
- May 19 – Gary Kildall, American computer scientist and microcomputer entrepreneur (d. 1994)
- May 20 – Carlos Hathcock, American Marine sniper (d. 1999)
- May 21 – Robert C. Springer, American astronaut and test pilot
- May 22
- May 27
- May 28 – Stanley B. Prusiner, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- May 29 – Kevin Conway, American actor and director
- May 31 – Happy Hairston, American basketball player (d. 2001)
- June 3 – Curtis Mayfield, African-American musician (d. 1999)
- June 7 – Charles R. Boutin, lawyer and politician
- June 8
- June 18 – Roger Ebert, film critic (d. 2013)
- June 19 – Bob Kasten, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin from 1981 to 1993
- June 20
- June 21
- June 22 – George Banks, American spree killer
- June 24 – Michele Lee, American actress and singer
- June 25
- June 26
- June 27 – Bruce Johnston, American singer and songwriter
- June 28 – Frank Zane, American professional bodybuilder and author
- July 1 – Andraé Crouch, American gospel singer (d. 2015)
- July 3 – Willie Porter, American basketball player
- July 4
- July 5 – Louise Shaffer, American actress, script writer, and author
- July 7 – Thomas D. Pollard, American educator, cell biologist and biophysicist
- July 8 – Phil Gramm, American politician
- July 9 – Richard Roundtree, African-American actor
- July 10 – Sixto Rodriguez, American singer-songwriter
- July 12 – Steve Young, American country music singer-songwriter (d. 2016)
- July 13
- July 16 – John Purdin, American baseball player (d. 2010)
- July 18 – Bobby Susser, American songwriter and producer
- July 19 – Frederick Kantor, American physicist
- July 24 – Chris Sarandon, American actor
- July 27 – Dennis Ralston, American tennis player
- July 28 – Henry Wessel Jr., American photographer and educator (d. 2018)
- August 1 – Jerry Garcia, American musician (d. 1995)
- August 4 – Cleon Jones, American baseball player
- August 7
- August 9 – Tommie Agee, American baseball player (d. 2001)
- August 13 – Arthur K. Cebrowski, American admiral (d. 2005)
- August 16 – Barbara George, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006)
- August 19 – Fred Thompson, American politician and actor (d. 2015)
- August 20 – Isaac Hayes, African-American singer and actor (d. 2008)
- August 23 – Nancy Richey, American tennis player
- August 24 – Max Cleland, American politician
- August 27 – Daryl Dragon, American musician (d. 2019)
- August 29 – Sterling Morrison, American musician (d. 1995)
- September 2 – Robert Shapiro, American lawyer and entrepreneur
- September 3 – Al Jardine, American musician
- September 6
- September 7 – Alan Haskvitz, American educator
- September 17 – Lupe Ontiveros, American actress (d. 2012)
- September 19 – Freda Payne, American singer and actress
- September 22
- September 29
- September 30 – Frankie Lymon, American singer (d. 1968)
- October 3 – Earl Hindman, American actor (d. 2003)
- October 6 – Fred Travalena, American comedian and impressionist (d. 2009)
- October 7
- October 10 – Janis Hansen, American singer and author (d. 2017)
- October 13 – Jerry Jones, American football team owner
- October 19 – Andrew Vachss, American author and attorney
- October 21
- October 22
- October 23 – Michael Crichton, American author (d. 2008)
- October 25 – Gloria Katz, American screenwriter and film producer (d. 2018)
- October 29
- October 31 – David Ogden Stiers, American actor and voice-over artist (d. 2018)
- November 1
- November 2
- November 7 – Tom Peters, American writer
- November 10 – Robert F. Engle, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- November 17
- November 18
- November 20
- November 21 – Al Matthews, African-American actor and singer (d. 2018)
- November 22
- November 23 – Susan Anspach, American actress (d. 2018)
- November 26 – Olivia Cole, American actress (d. 2018)
- November 27 – Jimi Hendrix, African-American rock musician, singer and songwriter (d. 1970)
- November 28
- December 4 – Al Hunt, American columnist
- December 6 – Chelsea Brown, American actress (d. 2017)
- December 7
- December 9 – Dick Butkus, American football player
- December 15 – Kathleen Blanco, American politician, 54th Governor of Louisiana (d. 2019)
- December 17 – Paul Butterfield, American musician (d. 1987)
- December 19 – Gene Okerlund, American wrestling announcer (d. 2019)
- December 20 – Bob Hayes, African-American athlete (d. 2002)
- December 21 – Carla Thomas, American singer
- December 27
- December 29 – Gifford Pinchot III, management consultant
- December 30
- January 3 – Charles Mann Hamilton, politician (b. 1874)
- January 4
- January 6 – John Bernard Flannagan, sculptor, suicide (b. 1895)
- January 16 – Carole Lombard, film actress, air crash (b. 1908)
- January 18 – James P. Parker, U.S. Navy commodore (b. 1855)
- January 18 – Mason Patrick, Chief of United States Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces 1918. (b. 1863)
- February 9 – Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, portrait and genre painter (b. 1856)
- February 12 – Grant Wood, painter (b. 1892)
- February 18 – Albert Payson Terhune, journalist and author (b. 1872)
- March 26 – Carolyn Wells, prolific novelist and poet (b. 1862)
- April 18 – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art (b. 1875)
- April 27 – Arthur L. Bristol, U.S. Navy admiral (b. 1886)
- May 29 – John Barrymore, actor (b. 1882)
- June 4 – killed in action at the Battle of Midway
- William Abercrombie, U.S. Navy officer and aviator (b. 1914)
- Edgar R. Bassett, U.S. Navy officer (b. 1914)
- Harold John Ellison, U.S. Navy officer (b. 1917)
- Lofton R. Henderson, U.S. Marine Corps aviator and commanding officer of Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 241 (VMSB-241) (b. 1903)
- John C. Waldron, U.S. Navy aviator and commander of Torpedo Squadron 8 (b. 1900)
- June 5 – Virginia Lee Corbin, silent film actress (b. 1910)
- June 19 – Frank Irons, Olympic field athlete (b. 1886)
- June 23 – William Couper, sculptor (b. 1853)
- June 30 – William Henry Jackson, explorer and photographer (b. 1843)
- July 30 – Jimmy Blanton, African American jazz double bassist (b. 1918)
- August 7
- September 7 – Cecilia Beaux, portrait painter (b. 1855)
- October 5 – Dorothea Klumpke, astronomer (b. 1861)
- November 4 – Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, novelist and textbook and children's writer (b. 1863)
- December 5 – Richard Tucker, film actor (b. 1884)
- December 6 – Amos Rusie, baseball player (b. 1871)
- December 7 – Orland Steen Loomis, Governor of Wisconsin (b. 1893)
- December 8 – Albert Kahn, architect (b. 1869 in Germany)
- December 12 – Helen Westley, character actress (b. 1875)
- December 13 – Robert Robinson Taylor, first accredited African American architect (b. 1868)
- December 27 – William G. Morgan, inventor of volleyball (b. 1870)
- List of American films of 1942
- Timeline of United States history (1930–1949)
- Timeline of World War II
- Media related to 1942 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons