VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > K. World War II, 1939–1945 > 7. Defense of the Western Hemisphere, 1939–1945
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
7. Defense of the Western Hemisphere, 1939–1945
1939, Oct. 2
A Pan-American conference at Panama declared that the waters surrounding the Western Hemisphere for a distance of 300 miles from shore and as far north as Canada constituted “sea safety zones” and must be kept free from hostile acts by non-American belligerent nations. The conference also issued a general declaration of neutrality of the American republics.  1
Nov. 4
President Roosevelt signed an amendment to the Neutrality Act which repealed the embargo on the sale of arms and placed exports to belligerent nations on a cash-and-carry basis.  2
Dec. 13
Three British cruisers attacked the German battleship Graf Spee and drove it into the harbor of Montevideo. When forced to leave harbor, it was scuttled by the German crew (Dec. 17). In the name of the American republics the president of Panama protested to Great Britain, France, and Germany at this and other belligerent acts committed in American waters.  3
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.