1938: Events and Inventions

February, 1938. U.S. chemical company, du Pont, produces the first nylon-product, toothbrush bristles.

March 14, 1938 The Anchluss. Germany and Austria unite as one country. Hitler makes a speech in Vienna and tells the Austrian people, “The German nation will never again be rent apart.” Not much of a prophet, was he? By the way this event is the climax of the movie, The Sound of Music, as the von Trapp family must decide what to about the Anchluss and the German army’s orders for Herr von Trapp to report for duty.

April, 1938. US. chemist Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovers a new non-stick substance and calls it Teflon.

May, 1938. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet in Rome and pledge friendship and mutual cooperation.

Early June, 1938. Japanese bombers reduce the Chinese city of Canton to rubble. Nationalist leader General Chiang Kai-shek has no more troops available to defend the city.

July 14, 1938. Multimillionaire Howard Hughes flies around the world his in specially built Lockheed 14 Electra in a world’s record time, 3 days, 19 hours, and 8 minutes.

September 30, 1938. After threatening to invade the Czech territory of Sudetenland all year, Adolf Hitler invites Italian Duce Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edourd Deladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to one last conference in Munich. The Czechs themselves are not invited. At the end of the conference, Hitler is promised that the British and the French will not oppose his takeover of Sudetenland, and Hitler promises no more German aggression in Europe. Prime Minister Chamberlain says that his policy of appeasement has led to “peace for our time.”

October, 1938. U.S. physicist and lawyer Chester Carlson makes the first successful Xerox copy with his Xerox machine.

November 10, 1938. Kristallnacht or “The Night of Broken Glass”. More than 7000 Jewish-owned stores and businesses are vandalized and looted. Synagogues are burned to the ground, and Jewish people are beaten in the streets in riots organized by the Nazi party.

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