On This Day, Sept. 12, 1938 – Adolph Hitler Calls for Freedom of Sudetland Germans

1938 – In a move very similar to the present Russia/Ukraine tensions and the calls for a referendum by Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

Having secured anschluss with Austria, Hitler turned his attention to the Sudetenland, a western region of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by German-speakers.

Czechoslovakia was itself a relatively new nation, carved out of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire by the Treaty of St Germain (September 1919). But Hitler had no respect for this treaty or for Czechoslovakian sovereignty. He began claiming ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland were being persecuted by Prague. A small but vocal pro-Nazi group in the Sudetenland, led by Konrad Henlein, echoed these grievances, though most were exaggerated or fabricated.

In April 1938 Henlein’s party demanded political autonomy for the Sudetenland. Through mid-1938 they organised terrorist attacks against Czechoslovakian government troops and facilities. Hitler, in an ominous speech in Berlin, promised to protect the Germans in western Czechoslovakia.


1609 – English explorer Henry Hudson sailed down what is now known as the Hudson River.

1873 – The first practical typewriter was sold to customers.

1914 – The first battle of Marne ended when the allied forces stopped the German offensive in France.

1916 – Adelina and August Van Buren finished the first successful transcontinental motorcycle tour to be attempted by two women. They started in New York City on July 5, 1916.

1918 – During World War I, At the Battle of St. Mihiel, U.S. Army personnel operate tanks for the first time. The tanks were French-built.

1922 – The Episcopal Church removed the word “Obey” from the bride’s section of wedding vows.

1940 – The Lascaux paintings were discovered in France. The cave paintings were 17,000 years old and were some of the best examples of art from the Paleolithic period.

1943 – During World War II, Benito Mussolini was taken by German paratroopers from the Italian government that was holding him.

1944U.S. Army troops entered Germany, near Trier, for the first time during World War II.

1953 – Senator John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.


1953 – Nikita Krushchev was elected as the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1954 – “Lassie” made its television debut on CBS. The last show aired on September 12, 1971.

1963 – The last episode of “Leave it to Beaver” was aired. The show had debuted on October 4, 1957.

1974 – Violence occurred on the opening day of classes in Boston, MA, due opposition to court-ordered school “busing.”

1974 – Emperor Haile Selassie was taken out of power by Ethiopia’s military after ruling for 58 years.

1979 – Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox became the first American League player to get 3,000 career hits and 400 career home runs.

1984 – Michael Jordan signed a seven-year contract to play basketball with the Chicago Bulls.

1984 – Dwight Gooden (New York) Mets set a rookie strikeout record with his 251st strikeout of the season.


Source: On-This-Day.com; alphahistory.com