World War II begins in earnest the day after Germany invades Poland, and England and France declare war on Germany on September 3, 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt declares that the United States will remain neutral on September 5, 1939. Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf" is published this year.
In the arts, Philip Marlow makes his first appearance in Raymond Chandler's, "The Big Sleep," and John Steinbeck publishes "The Grapes of Wrath." In film, "The Wizard of Oz," and "Gone with the Wind," are two major releases of the year.
Frank Lloyd Wright completes Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, La Guardia Airport in New York City opens for business and the 1939 New York World's Fair opens in April.
Lawrence Technological University