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In 1939, the world was on the brink of a major conflict. World War II had begun with Germany's invasion of Poland in September, and by the end of the year, much of Europe was under Nazi control. The United States was still neutral at this point, but it would soon become involved in the war.
The year 1939 saw some major advances in technology and science. The first commercial jet airliner took off from London to Johannesburg that year, while scientists made significant progress in nuclear fission research. In addition, television broadcasts began to become more common across Europe and North America.
In politics, Adolf Hitler continued his aggressive expansionist policies throughout Europe during 1939. He signed a non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union in August which allowed him to invade Poland without fear of Soviet interference; this marked the beginning of World War II. By November he had annexed western Poland into Germany and declared all Poles living there German citizens; he also annexed Lithuania into Germany that month as well as parts of Czechoslovakia and Romania later on in December.
Meanwhile, Britain and France declared war on Germany following its invasion of Poland but were unable to prevent further German advances throughout Europe during 1939 due to their lack of military power compared with Nazi forces at that time; they did however manage to keep their own territories safe from attack for most part until 1940 when Hitler launched his Blitzkrieg against them both simultaneously (which marked the beginning proper for WWII).
On December 7th 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor which finally brought America into WWII after months spent trying desperately not too get involved - this event changed everything as it meant that now all three major powers (Britain/France/USA) were officially fighting against Nazi aggression together rather than separately like before - this would eventually lead towards Allied victory over Axis forces by 1945 when WWII ended completely after 6 long years full bloodshed & destruction worldwide...