President Roosevelt signed Executive Order #9066, which authorized the designation of military areas “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The order was used to remove Japanese Americans to internment camps.
After a months-long battle at Stalingrad, Soviet troops recaptured the city in a key victory. The victory came at a great price in civilian and military casualties—as many as two million between the Russians and the Axis powers. The battle weakened German military might and damaged German morale.
World War I veterans, who in 1924 had been promised a bonus for their military service to be paid in 1945, marched on Washington, DC, to demand immediate payment of their bonuses. The Great Depression had taken a huge economic toll on the veterans, and many were unemployed and unable to find work. Though the House approved their request, the Senate defeated the Bonus Army bill, sparking a weeks-long protest in the capital. Eventually, troops were sent to disperse the “Bonus Army.”
John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath was published. The book told the story of an Oklahoma sharecropper family forced to migrate to California in search of work. The book instantly became a literary emblem of the Great Depression and soon earned the Pulitzer Prize and was instrumental in his selection for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The German passenger airship Hindenburg was destroyed in a disastrous fire as it tried to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-seven aboard were killed. A radio broadcaster assigned to cover the ship’s arrival described the disaster as it happened, declaring, “Oh, the humanity!”