The year 1940 is a year according to the Christian era.
January8 - The first Noorder Rondritten is won by the Groninger Gerrit Duiker.
20 - In the Samariterstift Grafeneck in Württemberg the Nazis start with Aktion T4, the systematic killing of the mentally handicapped.
30 - The sixth Elfstedentocht is held. Five skaters cross the finish line at the same time, all of whom are declared the winner, Sjoerdtsje Faber is the first woman to cross the finish line.
In the snowy Netherlands there is a new craze: skijöring. Someone gets pulled by a car on skis. In a newspaper photo, Prince Bernhard practices the new sport.februari5 - The Dutch government dismisses the commander-in-chief General Izaäk Reijnders. He resigns on 6 February and is succeeded by General Henri Winkelman.
14 - The British merchant fleet is equipped with armaments.
22 - Gyatso is inaugurated as the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet.
29 - Gone with the Wind, one of the greatest cinema successes of all time, wins eight Oscars.March3 - Pete Seeger meets Woody Guthrie at an evening organized to support the poor farmhands in California, following the book 'Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, which just came out and has since been made into a movie. According to Alan Lomax, who is also present, modern folk music is created on that evening.
18 - Sultan Hamengkoebuwono IX of Yogyakarta ascends the throne.
22 - The "Law on the adoption of a child" allows the adoption of minors in Belgium.
Publication in the Netherlands of the first issue of a magazine for homosexuals: Levensrecht.april7 - Booker T. Washington is the first black American to appear on a postage stamp, in a series about pedagogues.
9 - Germany invades Denmark and Norway ("Operation Weserübung"). The Danes offer no resistance (Battle of Denmark), the Norwegians do (details).
15 - The first McDonald's restaurant opens in California San Bernardino.
21 - The Dutch national football team plays against Belgium. It is the last international match led by Bob Glendenning.mei10 - German troops invade the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Fall Gelb). As a result, these countries also become involved in the Second World War. See also Battle of France
11am - 2am. Begin German attack on the Grebbeberg.
11 - In the dawn of May 11, the Fort Eben-Emael Belgium is taken by German troops who land on the Fort with nine gliders.
12 - The Dutch mine lighter Bulgia is lost after the attack of a German aircraft. Thirteen people on board are killed.
13 - Evacuation of the Royal Family and Government to London.
14 - German bombers over Rotterdam carry out the Bombardment on Rotterdam.
15 - The Dutch armed forces (in the Netherlands) surrender, with the exception of those in Zeeland. General Winkelman signs the surrender in the school (today the Museum Johannes Postschool) at 101 Rijksstraatweg in Rijsoord.
15 - The CPN decides to transform itself into an underground resistance organization. Bernardus IJzerdraat spreads a call in Rotterdam to resist the German occupation, this is the beginning of the resistance group De Geuzen.
15 - The left-wing writer Menno ter Braak commits suicide through a combination of a sleeping pill and an injection, administered by his brother, because he has little good to expect from the Germans.
16 - The German occupiers introduce Central European Time and summer time in the Netherlands, instead of the usual Amsterdam Time until then. The clock is advanced one hour and forty minutes.
20 - Abbeville massacre: French soldiers shoot 21 rather haphazardly arrested fascists, Jews and Italian resistance fighters in Belgium. Among them is the leader of Verdinaso Joris van Severen.
23 - German troops reach Boulogne and the Channel.
23-28 - The Battle of the Lys, the only one