leaders attend the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "final solution to the Jewish question," the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust
Declaration of United Nations
is signed in Washington.
More than 120,000 Japanese and persons of Japanese ancestry living in western U.S. moved to "relocation centers
," some for the duration of the war (Executive Order 9066).
Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston
kills 491. Background: Fires and Explosions
Women's military services established. Kaiser
Foundation Health Plan, first health maintenance organization (HMO), begins in Oakland, Calif.
The first safe self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is accomplished by Erico Fermi
, Edward Teller
and Leo Szilard
at the University of Chicago.
Harvard University chemist Louis F. Fieser invents napalm
, a jelly-like mixture of gasoline and palm oils that sticks to its target until it burns out. Radar
comes into operational use.
The U.S. government establishes the Manhattan Project
, led by Robert Oppenheimer
, to coordinate ongoing American efforts to design and build the atomic bomb.