Millennium: 2nd millennium Centuries: 19th century – 20th century – 21st century Decades: 1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s Years: 1942 1943 1944 – 1945 – 1946 1947 1948 1945 by topic: Subject Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Aviation – Awards – Comics – Film – Literature (Poetry) – Meteorology – Music (Country) – Rail transport – Radio – Science – Spaceflight – Sports – Television By country Australia – Canada – China – Ecuador – France – Germany – Greece – India – Ireland – Italy – Japan – Malaya – Mexico – New Zealand – Norway – Palestine Mandate – Philippines – Singapore – South Africa– Soviet Union – UK – USA Leaders Sovereign states – State leaders – Religious leaders – Law Birth and death categories Births – Deaths Establishments and disestablishments categories Establishments – Disestablishments Works and introductions categories Works – Introductions 1945 in other calendars Gregorian calendar 1945
Ab urbe condita 2698 Armenian calendar 1394
Assyrian calendar 6695 Bahá'í calendar 101 – 102 Bengali calendar 1352 Berber calendar 2895 British Regnal year 9 Geo. 6 – 10 Geo. 6 Buddhist calendar 2489 Burmese calendar 1307 Byzantine calendar 7453 – 7454 Chinese calendar 甲申年十一月十八日
(4581/4641-11-18)— to —乙酉年十一月廿七日
Coptic calendar 1661 – 1662 Ethiopian calendar 1937 – 1938 Hebrew calendar 5705 – 5706 Hindu calendars - Bikram Samwat 2001 – 2002 - Shaka Samvat 1867 – 1868 - Kali Yuga 5046 – 5047 Holocene calendar 11945 Iranian calendar 1323 – 1324 Islamic calendar 1364 – 1365 Japanese calendar Shōwa 20
Korean calendar 4278 Minguo calendar ROC 34
Thai solar calendar 2488
Below, events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
- January – American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Belgium.
- January 5 – Australia recognizes the new pro-Soviet government of Poland.
- January 7 – British General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference at Zonhoven describing his supporting role at the Battle of the Bulge.
- January 12 – WWII: The Soviet Union begins the Vistula-Oder Offensive in Eastern Europe against the Nazis.
- January 17 – WWII: A Soviet patrol arrests Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary.
- January 20
- January 22 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States. No president before, or since, has ever reached a third term in office.
- January 23 – Hungary drops out of WWII, agreeing to an armistice with the Allies.
- January 26 – WWII: Infantry action at Holtzwihr, France, for which Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor.
- January 27 – The Holocaust: The Red Army liberates the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps.
- January 28 – WWII: Supplies begin to reach China over the newly reopened Burma Road.
- January 30
- The Wilhelm Gustloff, with over 10,000 mainly civilian Germans from Gotenhafen (Gdynia) in the Gdansk Bay, is sunk by three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea; up to 9,400 are thought to have died – the greatest loss of life in a single ship sinking in war action in history..
- Raid at Cabanatuan: 121 American soldiers and 800 Filipino guerrillas free 813 American POWs from the Japanese-held camp at Cabanatuan City, Philippines.
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad for desertion, the first American soldier since the American Civil War, and last to date to be executed for this offense.
- February 3 – WWII:
- February 4–February 11 – WWII: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin hold the Yalta Conference.
- February 6 – French writer Robert Brasillach is executed for collaboration with the Germans.
- February 7 – WWII: General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila.
- February 9
- February 10 – WWII: The SS General von Steuben is sunk by the Soviet submarine S-13.
- February 13 – WWII:
- February 14 – Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru join the United Nations.
- February 16 – WWII:
- February 19–February 20 – 980 Japanese soldiers die as a result of a killing spree by long saltwater crocodiles in Ramree, Burma.
- February 19 – WWII – Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.
- February 21 – The last V-2-rocket is launched from Peenemünde.
- February 23 – WWII:
- Battle of Iwo Jima: A group of United States Marines reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (taken by Joe Rosenthal), later wins a Pulitzer Prize.
- The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, freed the captives of the Los Baños internment camp.
- The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined American and Filipino ground troops.
- American and Filipino troops enter Intramuros, Manila.
- The German garrison in Poznań capitulates to Red Army and Polish troops.
- Turkey joins the war on the allies side.
- February 24 – The Egyptian Premier Ahmad Mahir Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
- February 28 – In Bucharest, a violent demonstration takes place, during which the bolşevic group opens fire on the army and protesters. In response, Andrei Y. Vishinsky, USSR vice commissioner of foreign affairs and president of the Allied Control Commission for Romania, travels to Bucharest to compel Nicolae Rădescu to resign as premier.
- March – Anne Frank, dies in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Lower Saxony, Germany, of typhus.
- March 1 – Franklin D. Roosevelt gives what will be his last address to a joint session of Congress, reporting on the Yalta Conference.
- March 2 – Former U.S. Vice-President Henry A. Wallace starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, serving under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- March 2 – The Bachem Ba 349 Natter is launched from Stetten am kalten Markt. The Natter is the first manned rocket, developed as anti-aircraft weapon. The launch fails and the pilot dies.
- March 3 – WWII:
- March 4 – In the United Kingdom, The Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Army's Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service as a truck driver/mechanic.
- March 4 – Football club FC Red Star (in Serbian: FK Crvena Zvezda) formed in Belgrade, Yougoslavia.
- March 6 – A Communist-led government is formed in Romania under Petru Groza following Soviet intervention.
- March 7 – WWII: American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany and begin to cross.
- March 8 – Josip Broz Tito forms a government in Yugoslavia.
- March 9 – Film Les Enfants du Paradis premieres in Paris.
- March 9–March 10 – WWII: American B-29 bombers attack Japan with incendiary bombs; Tokyo is fire-bombed, killing 100,000 citizens.
- March 15 – The 17th Academy Awards ceremony is held, broadcast via radio for the first time. Best Picture goes to Going My Way.
- March 16 – WWII: The Battle of Iwo Jima unofficially ends, with small pockets of guerrilla resistance persisting past the official conclusion of the battle.
- March 17 – WWII: Kobe, Japan is fire-bombed by 331 B-29 bombers, killing over 8,000 people.
- March 18 – WWII: 1,250 American bombers attack Berlin.
- March 19 – WWII:
- March 21 – WWII: British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
- March 22 – The Arab League is formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.
- March 24
- March 26 – WWII: The Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends, with the mopping up of the remaining areas of Japansese resistance.
- March 29 – The "Clash of Titans": George Mikan and Bob Kurland duel at Madison Square Garden. OSU defeats DePaul 52–44.
- March 30 – WWII:
- April 1 – WWII – Battle of Okinawa: United States troops land on Okinawa.
- April 4 – WWII: American troops liberate their first Nazi concentration camp, Ohrdruf death camp in Germany.
- April 6 – WWII: Sarajevo is liberated from the Nazi Germany and Nazi Croatia (German puppet state) by the Yugoslav Partisans.
- April 7 – WWII:
- The only flight of the German ramming unit known as the Sonderkommando Elbe takes place, resulting in the loss of some 24 B-17s and B-24s of the United States Eighth Air Force.
- The Japanese battleship Yamato is sunk 200 miles (320 km) north of Okinawa while enroute on a suicide mission.
- Kantarō Suzuki becomes Prime Minister of Japan.
- April 9
- April 10 – WWII:
- April 12 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945) dies suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes the 33rd President, serving until 1953.
- April 15 – The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated.
- April 16 – WWII: The Goya is sunk by the Soviet submarine L-3.
- April 17 – Brazilian forces liberate the town of Montese, Italy, from German forces.
- April 18 – American war correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off Okinawa.
- April 19 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, a musical play based on Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, opens on Broadway and becomes their second long-running stage classic.
- April 22 – Heinrich Himmler, through Count Bernadotte, puts forth an offer of German surrender to the Western Allies, but not the Soviet Union.
- April 24 – Retreating German troops destroy all the bridges over the Adige in Verona, including the historical Ponte di Castelvecchio and Ponte Pietra.
- April 25
- April 26 – Battle of Bautzen (WWII): The last "successful" German panzer-offensive in Bautzen ends with the city recaptured.
- April 27
- U.S. Ordinance troops find the coffins of Frederick Wilhelm I, Frederick the Great, Paul von Hindenburg, and his wife.
- The Western Allies flatly reject any offer of surrender by Germany other than unconditional on all fronts.
- April 28 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are executed by Italian partisans as they attempt to flee the country. Their bodies are then hung by their heels in the public square of Milan.
- April 29
- Operation Manna: British Lancaster bombers drop food into the Netherlands to prevent the starvation of the civilian population.
- Brazilian forces liberate the commune of Fornovo di Taro, Italy, from German forces.
- Adolf Hitler marries his longtime mistress Eva Braun in a closed civil ceremony in the Berlin Führerbunker.
- April 30 – Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide as the Red Army approaches the Führerbunker in Berlin. Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany; Joseph Goebbels succeeds Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.
- May – For all practical purposes the ICPC ceases to exist (recreated on June 3, 1946).
- May 1 – WWII:
- Hamburg Radio announces that Hitler has died in battle, "fighting up to his last breath against Bolshevism."
- Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide after killing their six children. Karl Dönitz appoints Count Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as the new Chancellor of Germany.
- Troops of the Yugoslav 4th Army, together with the Slovene 9th Corpus NOV, enter Trieste.
- Mass suicide in Demmin.
- May 2 – WWII:
- May 3 – WWII:
- The prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland are sunk by the RAF in Lübeck Bay.
- Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and 120 members of his team surrender to U.S. forces (later going on to help to start the U.S. space program).
- German Protestant theologian Gerhard Kittel is arrested by the French forces in Tübingen, Germany.
- May 4 – WWII:
- The concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.
- The North German army surrenders to Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
- Holland is liberated by British and Canadian troops. German forces officially surrender one day later.
- Denmark is liberated. German forces officially surrender one day later.
- May 5 – WWII:
- Prague rises up against the Nazis.
- Ezra Pound, the poet and author, is arrested by American soldiers in Italy for treason.
- The US 11th Armored Division liberates the prisoners of Mauthausen concentration camp, including Simon Wiesenthal.
- Canadian soldiers liberate the city of Amsterdam from Nazi occupation.
- Admiral Karl Dönitz orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases.
- A Japanese balloon bomb kills five children and a woman, Elsie Mitchell, near Bly, Oregon, when it explodes as they drag it from the woods. They are the only people killed by an enemy attack on the American mainland during WWII.
- May 6 – WWII: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops (the first was on December 11, 1941).
- May 7 – WWII: General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany's participation in the war. The document takes effect the next day.
- May 8 – WWII:
- V-E Day (Victory in Europe, as Nazi Germany surrenders) commemorates the end of WWII in Europe, with the final surrender being to the Soviets in Berlin, attended by representatives of the Western Powers.
- Canadian troops move into Amsterdam, after German troops surrender.
- Surrender of the Dodecanese is signed in Symi.
- The British 8th Army, together with Slovene partisan troops and a motorized detachment of the Yugoslav 4th Army, arrives in Carinthia and Klagenfurt.
- May 8–29 – Sétif massacre: In Algeria, thousands die as French troops and released Italian POWs kill an estimated 6,000 to 40,000 Algerian citizens.
- May 9 – WWII:
- The Soviet Union marks V-E Day.
- Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army.
- The Norwegian resistance movement in Oslo, Norway, arrests the traitor Vidkun Quisling.
- The Red Army enters Prague.
- General Alexander Löhr, Commander of German Army Group E near Topolšica, Slovenia, signs the capitulation of German occupation troops.
- The German occupation of the Channel Islands ends with the liberation by British troops.
- Alderney, an annex of the concentration camp Neuengamme, is liberated.
- May 12
- May 14–15 – WWII – Battle of Poljana: The last battle of the War in Europe is fought at Poljana near Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia.
- May 23 – President of Germany Karl Dönitz and Chancellor of Germany Count Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk are arrested by British forces at Flensburg. They are respectively the last German Head of state and Head of government until 1949.
- May 23 – Heinrich Himmler, former head of the Nazi SS, commits suicide in British custody.
- May 28 – William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") is captured. He is later charged with high treason in London for his English-language wartime broadcasts on German radio, convicted, and then hanged in January 1946.
- May 29
- May 30 – The Iranian government demands that all Soviet and British troops leave the country.
- June 1 – The British take over Lebanon and Syria.
- June 5 – The Allied Control Council, military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.
- June 6 – King Haakon VII of Norway returns to Norway.
- June 11
- June 12 – The Yugoslav Army leaves Trieste, leaving the New Zealand Army in control.
- June 21 – WWII: The Battle of Okinawa ends.
- June 24 – WWII: A victory parade is held in Red Square in Moscow.
- June 25 – Seán T. O'Kelly is elected the second President of Ireland.
- June 26 – The United Nations Charter is signed.
- June 29 – Czechoslovakia cedes Carpathian Ruthenia to the Soviet Union.
- July 1 – WWII: Germany is divided between the Allied occupation forces.
- July 5 – WWII: The Philippines are declared liberated.
- July 8 – WWII: Harry S. Truman is informed that Japan will talk peace if it can retain the reign of the Emperor.
- July 9 – A forest fire breaks out in the Tillamook Burn (the third in that area since 1933).
- July 15 – The Scott Morrison Award of Minor Hockey Excellence was first given out to recipient Gordie Howe
- July 16 – The Trinity Test, the first of an atomic bomb, using about six kilograms of plutonium, succeeds in unleashing an explosion equivalent to that of 19 kilotons of TNT.
- July 16 – WWII: A train collision near Munich, Germany kills 102 war prisoners.
- July 17–August 2 – WWII – Potsdam Conference: At Potsdam, the three main Allied leaders hold their final summit of the war.
- July 21 – WWII: President Harry S. Truman approves the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan.
- July 23 – WWII: French marshal Philippe Pétain, who headed the Vichy government during WWII, goes on trial for treason.
- July 26 – Winston Churchill resigns as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister after his Conservative Party is soundly defeated by the Labour Party in the 1945 general election. Clement Attlee becomes the new Prime Minister.
- July 26 – The Potsdam Declaration demands Japan's unconditional surrender; Article 12 permitting Japan to retain the reign of the Emperor has been deleted by President Truman.
- July 28 – An U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people, including all on board.
- July 28 – WWII: Japan ambiguously rejects the Potsdam Declaration..
- July 29 – The BBC Light Programme radio station is launched, aimed at mainstream light entertainment and music.
- July 30 – WWII: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis is hit and sunk by torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58 in the Philippine Sea. Some 900 survivors jump into the sea and are adrift for up to four days. Nearly 600 die before help arrives. Captain Charles B. McVay III of the cruiser is later court-martialed and convicted.
- August 6 – WWII: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima: A United States B-29 Superfortress, the Enola Gay, drops an atomic bomb, codenamed "Little Boy", on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. (local time).
- August 7 – President Harry Truman announces the successful bombing of Hiroshima with the atomic bomb, while returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
- August 8
- August 9 – WWII:
- August 10 – WWII: Japan offers to surrender to the Allies, "provided this does not prejudice the sovereignty of the Emperor".
- August 11 – WWII: The Allies reply to the Japanese surrender offer by saying that Emperor Hirohito will be subject to the authority of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.
- August 13 – The Zionist World Congress approaches the British government to discuss the founding of the country of Israel.
- August 14 – WWII: Emperor Hirohito accepts the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.
- August 15
- Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization founded as a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- WWII: Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender on the radio. The United States calls this day V-J Day (Victory in Japan). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupied Japan.
- WWII: Korea gains independence following Japan's surrender.
- August 17
- August 19
- September 2
- Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American forces at Kiangan, Ifugao.
- WWII ends: The final official surrender of Japan is accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the United States, and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, and others from a Japanese delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, on board the American battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay (but i August 14 is recognized as the day the Pacific War ended).
- Ho Chi Minh promulgates the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, and unity from the north to the south.
- September 4 – WWII: Japanese forces surrender on Wake Island after hearing word of their country's surrender.
- September 5
- Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose", is arrested in Yokohama.
- The Russian code clerk Igor Gouzenko comes forward with numerous documents implicating the Soviet Union in numerous spy rings in North America: both in the United States and in Canada.
- September 8
- American troops occupy southern Korea, while the Soviet Union occupies the north, with the dividing line being the 38th parallel of latitude. This arrangement proves to be the indirect beginning of a divided Korea.
- Hideki Tōjō, Japanese prime minister during most of WWII, attempts suicide to avoid facing a war crimes tribunal.
- September 9 – The first case of a computer bug is found: a moth lodged in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia.
- September 11
- September 12 – The Japanese Army formally surrenders to the British in Singapore.
- September 18 – Typhoon Makurazaki in Japan kills 3,746 people.
- September 20 – Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru demand that all British troops depart India.
- October – Arthur C. Clarke puts forward the idea of a communications satellite in a Wireless World magazine article.
- October 1–October 15 – Operation Backfire: Three A4 rockets are launched near Cuxhaven in order to show Allied forces the rocket with liquid fuel.
- October 3–October 10 – The Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, who have not made it to the World Series since.
- October 4 – The Partizan Belgrade sports society is founded in Belgrade, Serbia.
- October 5 – A strike by the Set Decorator's Union in Hollywood results in a riot.
- October 15 – WWII: Pierre Laval, the former premier of Vichy France, is shot to death by a firing squad for treason against France.
- October 16 – FAO established as a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- October 17 – A massive number of people, headed for CGT, gather in the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina to demand Juan Perón's release. This is known to the Peronists as the Día de la lealtad (Loyalty Day). It is considered the founding day of Peronism.
- October 18 – Isaías Medina Angarita, president of Venezuela, is overthrown by a military coup.
- October 21 – Women's suffrage: Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time.
- October 23 – Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Montreal Royals.
- October 24
- October 27 – Indonesian separatists riot and fight Dutch and British security forces.
- October 29
- October 30 – The undivided country of India joins the United Nations. Pakistan is formed and joins later.
- November 1
- November 9 – Soo bahk do Moo Duk Kwan is founded.
- November 13 – Charles De Gaulle is elected head of a French provisional government
- November 15 – Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Mackenzie King call for a U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
- November 16
- Cold War: The United States controversially imports 88 German scientists to help in the production of rocket technology.
- The motion picture The Lost Weekend, starring Ray Milland, is released. The most realistic film portrayal of alcoholism up to that time, it wins several Oscars in the following year.
- November 16
- Yeshiva College is founded.
- November 20 – The Nuremberg Trials begin: Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals of WWII start at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice.
- November 28 – An earthquake in Balochistan (Pakistan) causes a tsunami and kills 4,000.
- November 29
- The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is declared (this day is celebrated as Republic Day until the 1990s). Marshal Tito is named president.
- Assembly of the world's first general purpose electronic computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), is completed. It covers 1,800 square feet (170 m2) of floor space. The first set of calculations is run on the computer.
- December 2
- December 3 – Communist demonstrations in Athens presage the Greek Civil War.
- December 4 – By a vote of 65–7, the United States Senate approves the entry of the United States into the United Nations.
- December 5 – A flight of USAF Avenger torpedo bombers known as Flight 19 disappears on a training exercise.
- December 21 – General George S. Patton dies from injuries sustained in a car accident on December 9.
- December 27
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is founded.
- Poland has two rival governments.
- The Nag Hammadi scriptures are discovered.
- Female suffrage is enacted in Guatemala and Japan.
- Saskatchewan Government Insurance, the first state-owned automobile insurance company in North America, is created.
- Denmark recognizes independent Iceland.
- The U.S. House of Representatives calls for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to establish a Jewish commonwealth there.
- Knox's Translation of the Vulgate New Testament (commissioned by the Catholic Church) is published.
- The Berklee College of Music is founded in Boston.
- The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, the first chiropractic college in Canada, initiates its four year doctoral program.
- At the Mayo Clinic, streptomycin is first used to treat tuberculosis.
- Percy Spencer accidentally discovers that microwaves can heat food. The invention of the microwave oven follows.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Newburgh, New York, become the first cities or towns to add fluoride to municipal drinking water.
- The first nuclear reactor outside of the U.S. is completed in Chalk River, Ontario.
- High-altitude, west-to-east winds across the Pacific Ocean (discovered by the Japanese in 1942 and by U.S. Army Air Forces in 1944) are dubbed the jet stream.
- Salvador Edward Luria and Alfred Day Hershey independently recognize that viruses undergo mutations.
- The herbicide 2,4-D is introduced; it is later used as a component of Agent Orange.
- A team led by Charles D. Coryell discovers chemical element 61, the only one still missing between one and 96 on the periodic table. The new element is called promethium.
- Raymond Libby develops the oral penicillin antibiotic.
- American Canamid discovers folic acid, a vitamin abundant in green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney, and yeast.
- The first geothermal milk pasteurization is done in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
- January 3
- January 4 – Richard R. Schrock, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- January 10
- January 14 – Einar Hákonarson, Icelandic painter
- January 15
- January 20 – Robert Olen Butler, American writer
- January 25 – Leigh Taylor-Young, American actress
- January 26 – Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist (d. 1987)
- January 27 – Harold Cardinal, Cree political leader, writer, and lawyer (d. 2005)
- January 29
- January 30 – Michael Dorris, American author (d. 1997)
- January 31 – Joseph Kosuth, American artist
- February 2 – David D. Friedman, American economist
- February 3
- February 6 – Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae singer and musician (d. 1981)
- February 7 – Gerald Davies, Welsh rugby player
- February 9 – Mia Farrow, American actress
- February 12 – Maud Adams, Swedish actress
- February 14 – Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein
- February 16 – Jeremy Bulloch, English actor
- February 17 – Brenda Fricker, Irish actress
- February 20 – Henry Polic II, American actor
- February 24 – Barry Bostwick, American actor
- February 25
- February 26 – Marta Kristen, Norwegian actress
- February 27 – Carl Anderson, American singer and actor (d. 2004)
- February 28 – Bubba Smith, American football player and actor (d. 2011)
- March 1 – Dirk Benedict, American actor
- March 4
- March 7 – John Heard, American actor
- March 8
- March 9 – Dennis Rader, American serial killer
- March 13 – Anatoly Fomenko, Russian mathematician
- March 15 – A. K. Faezul Huq, Bangladeshi lawyer and politician (d. 2007)
- March 17 – Katri Helena, Finnish singer
- March 19 – Cem Karaca, Turkish musician (d. 2004)
- March 20
- March 26 – Mikhail Voronin, Russian gymnast (d. 2004)
- March 29
- March 30 – Eric Clapton, English rock guitarist
- March 31 – Gabe Kaplan, American actor, comedian, and professional poker player
- April 2 – Linda Hunt, American actress
- April 4 – Daniel Cohn-Bendit, French activist
- April 7 – Werner Schroeter, German film director
- April 9 – Peter Gammons, American baseball sportswriter
- April 12 – Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization (d. 2006)
- April 13
- April 14 – Ritchie Blackmore, English rock guitarist (Deep Purple)
- April 21 – Diana Darvey, British actress, singer and dancer (d. 2000)
- April 25 – Björn Ulvaeus, Swedish rock songwriter (ABBA)
- April 27 – August Wilson, American playwright (d. 2005)
- April 29
- May 1 – Rita Coolidge, American pop singer
- May 2 – Sarah Weddington, American attorney
- May 4 – Narasimhan Ram, Indian journalist
- May 5 – Kurt Loder, American film critic, author, and television personality
- May 6
- May 8 – Keith Jarrett, American musician
- May 14 – Yochanan Vollach, Israeli footballer and president of Maccabi Haifa, CEO
- May 15 – Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
- May 16 – Nicky Chinn, English rock songwriter (The Sweet, Suzi Quatro)
- May 17 – Tony Roche, Australian tennis player
- May 19 – Pete Townshend, English rock guitarist and lyricist (The Who)
- May 21
- May 22 – Victoria Wyndham, American actress (Another World)
- May 23
- May 24 – Priscilla Presley, American actress and businesswoman
- May 28 – John Fogerty, American rock singer (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
- May 29 – Gary Brooker, English pianist and singer (Procol Harum)
- May 30 – Gladys Horton, American singer (The Marvelettes) (d. 2011)
- May 31
- June 1 – Frederica von Stade, American mezzo-soprano
- June 2 – Jon Peters, American film producer
- June 3 – Hale Irwin, American professional golfer
- June 4
- June 5 – John Carlos, American athlete
- June 6 – David Dukes, American actor (d. 2000)
- June 7 – Wolfgang Schussel, Chancellor of Austria
- June 8 – Steven Fromholz, American singer-songwriter
- June 9 – Nike Wagner, German woman of the theater
- June 11 – Adrienne Barbeau, American actress, television personality and author
- June 12 – Pat Jennings, Northern Irish footballer player
- June 14 – Jörg Immendorff, German painter
- June 15 – Françoise Chandernagor, French writer
- June 16 – Claire Alexander, Canadian ice hockey player
- June 17
- June 19
- June 20 – Anne Murray, Canadian singer
- June 24 – George Pataki, Governor of New York
- June 25 – Carly Simon, American singer-songwriter
- June 26 – Dwight York, American musician, fashion consultant, cult leader, and child molester
- June 28 – David Knights, British bassist (Procol Harum)
- June 29 – Chandrika Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka
- July 1 – Debbie Harry, American rock singer (Blondie)
- July 5 – Lu Sheng-yen, leader of the True Buddha School
- July 6 – Burt Ward, American actor
- July 7 – Michael Ancram, British politician
- July 8 – Micheline Calmy-Rey, Swiss Federal Councilor
- July 9 – Dean Koontz, American writer
- July 10 – Ron Glass, American actor
- July 11 – Richard Wesley, American playwright and screenwriter
- July 15 – Jürgen Möllemann, German politician (d. 2003)
- July 16 – Victor Sloan, Irish artist
- July 17 – Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
- July 20
- July 21 – John Lowe, English darts player
- July 24 – Azim Premji, Indian businessman
- July 26 – Dame Helen Mirren, British actress
- July 28 – Jim Davis, American cartoonist
- July 30 – Roger Dobkowitz, American game show producer
- August 1 – Douglas D. Osheroff, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- August 2 – Joanna Cassidy, American actress
- August 4 – Alan Mulally, American businessman, current CEO of the Ford Motor Company
- August 5
- Loni Anderson, American actress
- Ja'net Dubois, American actress and singer
- August 6 – Ron Jones, British director (d. 1993)
- August 7 – Alan Page, American football player
- August 9 – Posy Simmonds, English cartoonist
- August 14
- August 19 – Ian Gillan, English rock singer (Deep Purple)
- August 22 – Ron Dante, American rock singer, songwriter, and record producer (The Archies)
- August 24 – Vince McMahon, is an American professional wrestler, promoter, in-ring announcer, play-by-play commentator and film producer. He currently serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment
- August 26 – Tom Ridge, American politition
- August 31
- September 1 – Mustafa Balel, Turkish writer
- September 4 – Danny Gatton, American guitarist (d. 1994)
- September 5 – Al Stewart, Scottish singer-songwriter
- September 7 – Jacques Lemaire, Canadian ice hockey coach
- September 8
- September 9 – Doug Ingle, American songwriter and singer for Iron Butterfly
- September 10 – José Feliciano, Puerto Rican singer
- September 11 – Franz Beckenbauer, German footballer and coach
- September 14 – Martin Tyler, British sports broadcaster
- September 15 – Jessye Norman, American soprano
- September 16 – Pat Stevens, American voice actress (d. 2010)
- September 17 – Phil Jackson, American basketball coach
- September 19 – Randolph Mantooth, American actor and motivational speaker
- September 21
- September 23 – Paul Petersen, child actor and advocate of other child actors
- September 25 – Dee Dee Warwick, American singer (d. 2008)
- September 26 – Bryan Ferry, English singer-songwriter and musician (Roxy Music)
- September 27
- September 29 – Nadezhda Chizhova, Russian athlete
- September 30 – Ehud Olmert, 12th Prime Minister of Israel
- October 2 – Don McLean, American rock singer-songwriter
- October 3
- October 4 – Clifton Davis, American actor
- October 5 – Brian Connolly, Scottish musician
- October 6 – Ivan Graziani, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 1997)
- October 12
- October 13 – Susan Stafford, American television presenter
- October 15 – Jim Palmer, American baseball player
- October 18
- October 19 – John Lithgow, American actor
- October 20 – George Wyner, American actor
- October 22 – Yvan Ponton, Canadian actor and sportscaster
- October 24 – Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education
- October 25
- October 27
- October 29 – Melba Moore, American singer and actress
- October 29 – Daniel Albright, American literary critic and musicologist
- October 30 – Henry Winkler, American actor, producer and director
- October 31 – Brian Doyle-Murray, American actor
- November 3 – Gerd Müller, German footballer
- November 5 – Jacques Lanctôt, Canadian terrorist
- November 12
- November 15 – Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Norwegian rock singer (ABBA)
- November 18
- November 21 – Goldie Hawn, American actress
- November 23 – Jerry Harris, American sculptor
- November 26
- November 27 – Barbara Anderson, American actress
- November 30 – Mary Millington, British porn star (d. 1979)
- December 1 – Bette Midler, American actress, comedienne and singer
- December 2 – Charles "Tex" Watson, American prisoner
- December 7 – Clive Russell, English actor
- December 9 – Michael Nouri, American actor
- December 13 – Kathy Garver, American actress, author and online radio hostess
- December 16 – Patti Deutsch, American voice actress
- December 17
- December 19 – Elaine Joyce, American actress and game show panelist
- December 20
- December 22 – Diane Sawyer, American news journalist
- December 24
- December 25 – Gary Sandy, American actor (WKRP in Cincinnati)
- December 26 – John Walsh, American media personality
- December 28 – Birendra of Nepal (d. 2001)
- December 30 – Davy Jones, English actor and singer (The Monkees)
- December 31 – Barbara Carrera, Nicaraguan-born American actress
- January 2 – Bertram Ramsay, British admiral (b. 1883)
- January 3 – Edgar Cayce, American psychic (b. 1877)
- January 6 – Josefa Llanes Escoda, Filipino advocate of women's suffrage and founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (b. 1898)
- January 9
- January 22 – Else Lasker-Schüler, German poet (b. 1869)
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik, American soldier (executed) (b. 1920)
- February 1 – Prince Kiril of Bulgaria (b. 1895)
- February 2
- February 3 – Roland Freisler, Nazi German judge (b. 1893)
- February 5
- February 10 – Anacleto Diaz, Filipino jurist (murdered during the Battle of Manila) (b. 1878)
- February 11 – Al Dubin, Swiss songwriter (b. 1891)
- February 12 – Antonio Villa-Real, Filipino jurist (murdered during the Battle of Manila) (b. 1878)
- February 17 – Gabrielle Weidner, Belgian WWII heroine (b. 1914)
- February 21 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (b. 1902)
- February 25 – Mário de Andrade, Brazilian writer and photographer (b. 1893)
- March – Margot Frank (b. 1926) and her younger sister Anne Frank, German-born Jewish diarist (typhus) (b. 1929)
- March 2 – Emily Carr, Canadian artist (b. 1871)
- March 3 – Aleksandra Samusenko, Soviet WWII tank commander (b. 1922)
- March 4
- March 16 – Börries von Münchhausen, German poet (b. 1874)
- March 18 – William Grover-Williams, French race car driver and war hero (b. 1903)
- March 19 – Friedrich Fromm, German Nazi official (b. 1888)
- March 20 – Lord Alfred Douglas, English poet (b. 1870)
- March 22
- March 23 – Elisabeth de Rothschild, French WWII heroine (executed) (b. 1902)
- March 26 – David Lloyd George, Welsh Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1863)
- March 29 – Ferenc Csik, Hungarian swimmer (b. 1913)
- March 30 – Élise Rivet, French nun and war heroine (b. 1890)
- March 31
- April – Auguste van Pels, German-Jewish housemate of Anne Frank (b. 1900)
- April 5 – Huldreich Georg Früh, Swiss composer (b. 1903)
- April 7 – Elizabeth Bibesco, writer (b. 1897) (pneumonia)
- April 9
- April 10
- April 12 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (b. 1882)
- April 18
- April 22 – Käthe Kollwitz, German artist (b. 1867)
- April 24 – Ernst-Robert Grawitz, German Reichsphysician (S.S. and Police) in the Third Reich (b. 1899)
- April 27 – Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, Turkish author (b. 1867)
- April 28 – Benito Mussolini, Italian Fascist dictator (executed) (b. 1883)
- April 29 – Malcolm McGregor, American actor (b. 1892)
- April 30
- May 1
- May 2 – Martin Bormann, German Nazi leader (b. 1900)
- May 5 – Peter van Pels, German-Jewish love interest of diarist Anne Frank (b. 1926)
- May 8
- May 11 – Kiyoshi Ogawa, Kamikaze pilot (b. 1922)
- May 14 – Heber J. Grant, 7th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1856)
- May 15 – Charles Williams, British author (b. 1886)
- May 17 – Bobby Hutchins, Our Gang films child actor (b. 1925)
- May 18 – William Joseph Simmons, American founder of the second KKK (b. 1880)
- May 19 – Philipp Bouhler, German Nazi leader (b. 1899)
- May 23 – Heinrich Himmler, German head of the SS (suicide) (b. 1900)
- May 31 – Odilo Globocnik, Austrian Nazi leader (suicide) (b. 1904)
- June 8 – Robert Desnos, French poet and French resistance fighter (b. 1900)
- June 15 – Nikola Avramov, Bulgarian painter (b. 1897)
- June 16
- July 5 – John Curtin, 14th Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1885)
- July 13 – Alla Nazimova, Russian actress (b. 1879)
- July 16 – Addison Randall, American actor (b. 1906)
- July 20 – Paul Valéry, French poet (b. 1871)
- July 28 – Margot Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith (b. 1864)
- July 31 – Artemio Ricarte, Filipino general (b. 1866)
- August 2 – Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (b. 1863)
- August 9 – Harry Hillman, American athlete (b. 1881)
- August 10 – Robert Goddard, American rocket scientist (b. 1882)
- August 15 – Korechika Anami, Japanese general (b. 1887)
- August 18 – Subhash Chandra Bose, Indian political leader (b. 1897)
- August 19 – Tomas Burgos, Chilean philanthropist (b.1875)
- August 26 – Franz Werfel, Austrian writer (b. 1890)
- August 31 – Stefan Banach, Polish mathematician (b. 1892)
- September 1 – Frank Craven, American actor (b. 1881)
- September 12 – Sugiyama Hajime, Japanese general (b. 1880)
- September 15 – Anton Webern, Austrian composer (b. 1883)
- September 16 – John McCormack, Irish tenor (b. 1884)
- September 20
- September 24 – Johannes Hans Geiger, German physicist and inventor (b. 1882)
- September 26
- October 10 – Joseph Darnand, Vichy France politician (executed) (b. 1897)
- October 13 – Milton S. Hershey, American chocolate tycoon (b. 1857)
- October 15 – Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of France (executed) (b. 1883)
- October 19
- October 21 – Henry Armetta, Italian actor (b. 1888)
- October 24 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian traitor (executed) (b. 1887)
- October 25 – Robert Ley, German Nazi politician (suicide) (b. 1890)
- October 26 – Paul Pelliot, French explorer (b. 1878)
- October 28 – Gilbert Emery, American actor (b. 1875)
- October 31 – Henry Ainley, English actor (b. 1879)
- November 7 – Gus Edwards, American songwriter (b. 1879)
- November 8 – August von Mackensen, German field marshal (b. 1849)
- November 11 – Jerome Kern, American composer (b. 1885)
- November 16 – Sigurður Eggerz, Prime Minister of Iceland during World War I (b. 1875)
- November 20 – Francis William Aston, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- November 21
- November 23 – Charles Armijo Woodruff, 11th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1884)
- November 25 – Doris Keane, American stage actress (b. 1881)
- November 28 – Dwight F. Davis, American tennis player (b. 1879)
- December 4 – Thomas Hunt Morgan, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1866)
- December 5 – Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1864)
- December 13 – Josef Kramer, commandant of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (executed) (b. 1906)
- December 14 – Forrester Harvey, Irish actor (b. 1884)
- December 16 – Fumimaro Konoe, Prime Minister of Japan (suicide) (b. 1891)
- December 21 – George S. Patton, U.S. general (car accident) (b. 1885)
- December 22 – Otto Neurath, Austrian philosopher and political economist (b. 1892)
- December 25 – Duy Tan, emperor of Vietnam (b. 1899)
- December 28 – Theodore Dreiser, American author (b. 1871)
- Physics – Wolfgang Pauli
- Chemistry – Artturi Ilmari Virtanen
- Physiology or Medicine – Sir Alexander Fleming, Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Howard Walter Florey
- Literature – Gabriela Mistral
- Peace – Cordell Hull
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