Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for his third term in office.
Yankees centerfielder Joe DiMaggio set a record by safely hitting his 56th consecutive game.
Baseball great Lou Gehrig died of the neurological disease that would be named after him.
The National Gallery Of Art was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
The Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington State opened two years ahead of schedule.
The Japanese attacked the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th. The next day, President Roosevelt announced a declaration of war against Japan. Japanese allies Italy & Germany declared war on the U.S.
Popular movies included Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, Walter Pidgeon & Maureen O'Hara in How Green Was My Valley and Gary Cooper in Meet John Doe, Suspicion and Sergeant York.
Jazz piano pioneer Jelly Roll Morton died of liver failure.
The year's most-popular song was Chatanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra.