Montana History Calendar 1942

January 1942

• January 1 – A fire in downtown Missoula destroyed the Shapard Hotel, Gambles Auto Supply, and damaged Yandt’s Men’s Store and the Army induction center.

• January 2 – Manila captured by the Japanese.

• January 12 – Collie “Shep” killed at Fort Benton.

• January 23 – The Montana Grizzlies defeated Western Montana Normal 57 to 35.

• January 30 – The Montana Grizzlies defeated the Bobcats 47 to 44. The following day the Grizzlies again beat their arch-rivals, 44 to 43 on a free throw in the final seconds.

February 1942

• February 1 – Blackfeet tribal leader Mountain Chief died in Browning at age 94.

• February 8 – Burma was invaded by the Japanese.

• February 9 – “War Time” was instituted to save electricity.

• February 15 – Singapore fell to the Japanese.

• February 16 – The Third draft registration began.

• February 19 – Federal inspectors began to survey junkyards for usable scrap metal.

• February 20 – Delegates to the 1942 High School Week were introduced to the war–time training available at Montana colleges.

• February 26 – Gary Cooper, originally from Helena, won an Academy award for his role in “Sergeant York.”

March 1942

• March 6 – Distribution of sugar rationing books began at local grade schools.

• March 8 – Japanese forces landed in New Guinea.

• March 13 – Washing machine production was halted, bicycle production was curtailed, and typewriters were rationed.

• March 14 – Abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Montana were turned over to the military.

• March 15 – The Missoula Spartans defeated Helena 53 to 22 in the Northern Division Basketball Championships.

• March 19 – The luxury liner Queen Elizabeth left San Francisco with Montana National Guardsmen aboard.

• March 21 – Two trains collided in Missoula.

April 1942

• April 1 – A mass evacuation of all people of Japanese ancestry was ordered on the west coast.

• April 5 – Great Falls native George Montgomery married actress Hedy Lamarr.

• April 7 – The 163rd Infantry Regiment, Montana National Guard, arrived in Australia.

• April 8 – The War Production Board announced that Montana was the largest chromium producer in the world, thanks to mines in Sweetgrass and Stillwater counties.

• April 9 – The Bataan Death March began in the Philippines.

• April 10 – The production of golf clubs and balls was halted.

• April 18 – The Doolittle Raiders bombed targets in Japan.

• April 23 – Sugar rationing stamps were introduced.

• April 29 – Price ceilings set on all food and clothing.

May 1942

• May 4 – U.S. and Japanese naval forces fought in the battle of the Coral Sea.

• May 6 – American defenders of Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese.

• May 14 – 500 athletes from 77 schools arrived in Missoula for the Montana State High School Track championship. Two days later the Missoula Spartans won their fourth straight Interscholastic Track and Field title, edging out Butte.

• May 17 – Governor Ford proclaimed “I Am An American Day”

June 1942

• June 3 – The Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

• June 4 – Four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk during the battle of Midway.

• June 5 – Governor Ford commuted the sentence of 24 inmates at Montana State Prison so the men could enlist.

• June 7 – USS Yorktown was sunk by a Japanese submarine.

• June 10 – The Nazis destroyed the Czech town of Lidice.

• June 11 – Six drowned at Fort Peck Reservoir.

• June 12 – The Japanese occupied the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska.

• June 21 – The Germans seized Tobruk, Libya from the British.

• June 25 – Governor Ford reduced the state speed limit to 40 miles per hour.

• June 28 – Doolittle Raiders David Thatcher and Edward Saylor were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in Washington, D.C.

• June 30 – A flying instructor and student were injured in a plane crash west of Billings.

July 1942

• July 2 – British General Bernard Montgomery halted a German offensive at El Alamein.

• July 7 – The Blue Fountain Room (soda fountain) opened at the Florence Hotel in Missoula.

• July 10 – Dave Thatcher was awarded the Silver Star in Billings.

• July 22 – Japanese-American students were denied entry to state universities in Montana. Japanese forces landed at Buna, New Guinea.

August 1942

• August 2 – Miners Field Day celebrated in Butte.

• August 7 – U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal. Vern Haugland, former reporter for the Missoulian, parachuted from a crippled bomber over New Guinea. The funeral for Frances Corbin, former UM literature professor and Dean of Women, was held in Missoula.

• August 9 – Japanese sank four American cruisers at Savo.

• August 17 – U.S. Marines raided Makin Island.

• August 19 – Allied and Canadian soldiers mounted an abortive raid against the French port of Dieppe.

• August 21 – Marines on Guadalcanal withstood a major Japanese attack across the Tenaru River.

• August 23 – Doolittle Raider E.J. Saylor of Brusett was the guest of honor at Missoula’s Heroes Day Parade.

• August 25 – Japanese forces landed at Milne Bay, New Guinea.

• August 26 – The Soviets counterattacked at Stalingrad.

September 1942

• September 1 – Five planes lifted off from Great Falls, bound for the U.S.S.R., where German troops were near the outskirts of Stalingrad.

• September 12 – The Japanese attacked “Bloody Ridge” on Guadalcanal.

• September 14 – The USS Helena rescued 400 survivors after the USS Wasp was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in the Solomons.

• September 15 – The search for reporter Vern Haugland was abandoned in New Guinea.

• September 16 – Australian troops in New Guinea halted Japanese forces only 30 miles from Port Moresby.

• September 23 – AP reporter Vern Haugland reached Port Moresby after 47 days lost in the New Guinea jungle.

• September 26 – The start of bird hunting season.

• September 27 – Brigham Young University football team defeated the Montana Grizzlies 12 to 6 in Missoula.

October 1942

• October 1 – A 35-mile-per-hour speed limit was implemented.

• October 4 – The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series after defeating the New York Yankees four games to one.

• October 7 – The U.S. Marines began an offensive at the mouth of Matanikau River on Guadalcanal.

• October 8 – Gold mining in the state was halted in order to free up miners and materials for more vital mineral production.

• October 11 & 12 – The USS Helena played a crucial part during the night sea battle of Cape Esperance.

• October 14 – Five German divisions attacked Soviet troops holed up in the Tractor Factory at Stalingrad.

• October 23 – The British began an offensive at El Alamein.

• October 31 – The Idaho Vandal football team defeated the Montana Grizzlies 21 to 0.

November 1942

• November 2 – Arthur L. Higgins, fourth and last son of Missoula founder C.P.Higgins, died at age 69.
• November 7 – Montana Grizzly football team was defeated 33 to 0 by Oregon State.
• November 8 – U.S. troops landed in North Africa.
• November 12 – British troops retook Tobruk.
• November 13 – The USS Helena fired first in a sea battle off Guadalcanal which prevented the Japanese from landing reinforcements.
• November 14 – Butte theaters reopened after a three-week strike. The Montana Grizzlies were defeated 13 to 0 by the California Golden Bears.
• November 18 – Gas rationing books were issued.
• November 21 – African-American soldiers arrived in Butte to work in the mines.

December 1942

• December 2 – The world’s first nuclear reaction occurred at the University of Chicago.
• December 5 – The Montana Grizzlies lost their final game of the season, 38 to 0 against UCLA.
• December 9 – The first Women Air Service Pilots (WASP) began ferrying planes into Great Falls.
• December 18 – The meat ration was cut to 35 ounces per week.
• December 21 – Two Army officers were killed in a crash of their light plane near Helena.
• December 24 – “The World’s Most Awful Battle” was underway on the outskirts of Stalingrad. Ralph “Red” Morrison of Helena, a pioneer of Montana aviation and a former state legislator, died in a plane crash at MacDill Field, Florida.
• December 27 – The 163rd Infantry Regiment, Montana National Guard, arrived at Port Moresby, New Guinea.
• December 28 – Military Policemen from the Great Falls Army Air Base were involved in a gunfight at a Black Eagle bar that wounded four civilians.
• December 30 – A B-17 crashed 11 miles south of Musselshell, killing all 12 aboard.

Go to 1941                                                                                               Go to January 1943

Share

We want to know what YOU think.