Millennium: 2nd millennium Centuries: 19th century – 20th century – 21st century Decades: 1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s Years: 1938 1939 1940 – 1941 – 1942 1943 1944 1941 by topic: Subject Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Aviation – Awards – Comics – Film – Literature (Poetry) – Meteorology – Music (Country) – Rail transport – Radio – Science – 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 1941 in other calendars Gregorian calendar 1941
Ab urbe condita 2694 Armenian calendar 1390
Assyrian calendar 6691 Bahá'í calendar 97 – 98 Bengali calendar 1348 Berber calendar 2891 British Regnal year 5 Geo. 6 – 6 Geo. 6 Buddhist calendar 2485 Burmese calendar 1303 Byzantine calendar 7449 – 7450 Chinese calendar 庚辰年十二月初四日
(4577/4637-12-4)— to —辛巳年十一月十四日
Coptic calendar 1657 – 1658 Ethiopian calendar 1933 – 1934 Hebrew calendar 5701 – 5702 Hindu calendars - Bikram Samwat 1997 – 1998 - Shaka Samvat 1863 – 1864 - Kali Yuga 5042 – 5043 Holocene calendar 11941 Iranian calendar 1319 – 1320 Islamic calendar 1359 – 1360 Japanese calendar Shōwa 16
Korean calendar 4274 Minguo calendar ROC 30
Thai solar calendar 2484
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 References
Below, events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
- January 1 – Thailand Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram decrees January 1 as the official start of the Thai solar calendar new year (thus the previous year that began April 1 had only 9 months).
- January 3 – A decree in Germany outlaws the use of Blackletter Gothic typefaces in favour of Antiqua.
- January 4 – The short subject Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released, marking the second appearance of Bugs Bunny, and also the first to have his name on a title card.
- January 6 – The keel of the USS Missouri is laid at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn.
- January 10 – Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress.
- January 13 – All persons born in Puerto Rico since this day are declared U.S. citizens by birth, through U.S. federal law 8 U.S.C. § 1402.
- January 14 – WWII: Commerce raiding hilfskreuzer Pinguin captures the Norwegian whaling fleet near Bouvet Island, effectively ending Southern Ocean whaling for the duration of the war.
- January 15 – John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry describe the workings of the Atanasoff–Berry Computer in print.
- January 19 – WWII: British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
- January 20 – Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his third term.
- January 22 – WWII: Battle of Tobruk: Australian and British forces capture Tobruk from the Italians.
- January 22 – In Sweden, Victor Hasselblad had the Victor Hasselblad AB Camera Company registered.
- January 23 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
- January 27 – WWII – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Joseph C. Grew, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, reports to Washington a rumor overheard at a diplomatic reception concerning a planned surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
- January 30 – WWII – Australians capture Derna, Libya from the Italians.
- February 3 – WWII: The Nazis forcibly restore Pierre Laval to office in occupied Vichy France.
- February 4 – WWII: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- February 5 – Air Training Corps: The Air Training Corps was formed.
- February 6 – WWII – Fall of Benghazi to the Western Desert Force. Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel is appointed commander of Afrika Korps.
- February 8 – WWII – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease Act (260–165).
- February 9 – Winston Churchill, in a worldwide broadcast, tells the United States to show its support by sending arms to the British: "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job."
- February 12
- WWII: Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli.
- Reserve Constable Albert Alexander, a patient at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, becomes the first person treated with penicillin intravenously, by Howard Florey's team. He reacts positively but there is insufficient supply of the drug to reverse his terminal infection. A successful treatment is achieved during May.
- February 14 – WWII – Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura begins his duties as Japanese Ambassador to the United States.
- February 19–February 22 – WWII: Three Nights' Blitz over Swansea, South Wales: Over these 3 nights of intensive bombing, which last a total of 13 hours and 48 minutes, Swansea's town centre is almost completely obliterated by the 896 high explosive bombs employed by the Luftwaffe. A total of 397 casualties and 230 deaths are reported.
- February 23 – Glenn T. Seaborg isolates and discovers plutonium.
- March 1
- March 4 – WWII: Operation Claymore - British Commandos carry out a successful raid on the Lofoten Islands off the north coast of Norway.
- March 8 – WWII: The U.S. Senate passes the Lend-Lease Act (60–31).
- March 11 – WWII: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law.
- March 15 – Richard C. Hottelet is arrested by the Gestapo on "suspicion of espionage". He is eventually released in July as part of a prisoner exchange.
- March 16 – A group of U.S. warships arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on a goodwill visit. On March 20, they visit Sydney, Australia.
- March 17
- March 22 – Washington's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.
- March 24 – WWII: Rommel launches his first offensive in Cyrenaica.
- March 25 – WWII: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers in Vienna.
- March 27
- WWII: An anti-Axis coup d'état in Yugoslavia forces Prince Paul into exile; 17-year-old King Peter II assumes power.
- WWII – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Empire of Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
- WWII – Battle of Cape Matapan: Off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean, British naval forces defeat those of Italy, sinking 5 warships. Battle ends on March 29.
- March 30
- April 4 – WWII: Axis forces capture Benghazi.
- April 6 – WWII: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
- April 9 – The U.S. acquires full military defense rights in Greenland.
- April 10 – WWII: The U.S. destroyer USS Niblack, while picking up survivors from a sunken Dutch freighter, drops depth charges on a German U-Boat (the first "shot in anger" fired by America against Germany).
- April 12 – WWII: German troops enter Belgrade.
- April 13 – The Soviet Union and Japan sign a neutrality pact.
- April 15 – WWII: Axis forces reach Halfaya Pass on the Libyan-Egyptian frontier.
- April 17 – WWII: The Yugoslav Royal Army capitulates.
- April 18 – WWII: Prime Minister of Greece Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide as German troops approach Athens.
- April 19 – Bertolt Brecht's anti-war play Mother Courage and Her Children (German: Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder) receives its first theatrical production at the Schauspielhaus Zürich.
- April 21 – WWII: Greece capitulates. Commonwealth troops and some elements of the Greek Army withdraw to Crete.
- April 23 – The America First Committee holds its first mass rally in New York City, with Charles Lindbergh as keynote speaker.
- April 25 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, criticizes Charles Lindbergh by comparing him to the Copperheads of the Civil War period. In response, Lindbergh resigns his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve on April 28.
- April 27 – WWII: German troops enter Athens.
- May 1
- May 5 – WWII: Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, which had been liberated from Italian forces; this date has been since commemorated as Liberation Day in Ethiopia.
- May 6 – At California's March Field, entertainer Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
- May 9 – WWII: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the British Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine, which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
- May 10
- May 12 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
- May 15
- May 20 – WWII: The Battle of Crete begins as Germany launches an airborne invasion of Crete.
- May 24 – WWII: In the North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck sinks battlecruiser HMS Hood, killing all but 3 crewmen aboard the pride of the Royal Navy.
- May 26 – WWII: In the North Atlantic, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal cripple the steering of Bismarck in an aerial torpedo attack.
- May 27
- WWII: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
- WWII:Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic, killing 2,300.
- May 30 – WWII: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas tear down the Nazi swastika on the Acropolis in Athens, and replace it with the Greek flag
- June 5
- June 8 – WWII: British and Free French forces invade Syria.
- June 13 – TASS, the official Soviet news agency, denies reports of tension between Germany and the Soviet Union.
- June 14
- June 16 – All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
- June 20
- Army Air Forces.
- Walt Disney's live-action animated feature, The Reluctant Dragon, is released.
- June 22
- WWII: Italy and Romania declare war on the Soviet Union.
- WWII: Germany invades the Soviet Union under Operation Barbarossa.
- WWII: Winston Churchill promises all possible British assistance to the Soviet Union in a worldwide broadcast: "Any man or state who fights against Nazidom will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler is our foe."
- WWII: The First Sisak Partisan Brigade, the first anti-fascist armed unit in occupied Europe, is founded by partisans near Sisak, Croatia.
- June 23 – WWII: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union.
- June 24 – Founding of RIA Novosti.
- June 25 – WWII: Finland attacks the Soviet Union to seek the opportunity of revenge in the Continuation War.
- June 28 – WWII: Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.
- July – The British Army's Special Air Service is formed.
- July 2 – WWII: Empire of Japan calls up 1 million men for military service.
- July 3 – WWII: Joseph Stalin, in his first address since the German invasion, calls upon the Soviet people to carry out a "scorched earth" policy of resistance to the bitter end.
- July 4 – The Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers is committed by German troops in the captured Polish city of Lwów.
- July 5 – WWII: German troops reach the Dnieper River.
- July 5–July 31: War is fought between Peru and Ecuador.
- July 7
- July 13 – WWII: Montenegro starts the second popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers, the first being the so-called February strike against deportation of Jews in Amsterdam and surroundings on February 25th, 1941.
- July 14 – WWII: Vichy France signs armistice terms, ending all fighting in Syria and Lebanon.
- July 17 – Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak ends.
- July 19
- July 25 – The Postal Code system is introduced in Germany.
- July 26
- WWII: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
- WWII: General Douglas MacArthur is named commander of all U.S. forces in the Philippines; the Philippines Army is ordered nationalized by President Roosevelt.
- July 31 – WWII – Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring orders S.S. General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question."
- August – Political Warfare Executive is formed in the United Kingdom.
- August 1 – The first Jeep is produced.
- August 6 – Six-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma. She dies in 1978, still in a coma.
- August 9 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Atlantic Charter is created as a result.
- August 16 – The HMS Mercury, Royal Navy Signals School and Combined Signals School open at Leydene, near Petersfield, Hampshire, England.
- August 18 – Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's systematic euthanasia of the mentally ill and handicapped due to protests. However, graduates of the T-4 Euthanasia Program are then transferred to concentration camps, where they continue in their trade.
- August 22 – WWII – France: The German Occupation Authority announces that anyone found either working for or aiding the Free French will be sentenced to death.
- August 24 – WWII: A Luftwaffe bomb hits an Estonian steamer with 3,500 Soviet-mobilized Estonian men on board, killing 598 of them.
- August 25 – WWII: Operation Countenance begins with United Kingdom and Soviet forces invading Iran.
- August 27 – WWII – Pierre Laval is shot in an assassination attempt at Versailles, France.
- August 28 – WWII: The Soviets announce the destruction of the massive Dnieper River dam at Zaporozhye, to prevent its capture by the Germans.
- August 31 – The Great Gildersleeve debuts on NBC Radio.
- September 6 – Holocaust: The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word "Jew" inscribed, is extended to all Jews over the age of 6 in German-occupied areas.
- September 8 – WWII – The Siege of Leningrad begins: German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad. Stalin orders the Volga Germans deported to Siberia.
- September 11 – WWII: Charles Lindbergh, at an America First Committee rally in Des Moines, Iowa, accuses "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration" of leading the United States toward war. Widespread condemnation of Lindbergh follows.
- September 12 – WWII: The first snowfall is reported on the Russian front.
- September 14 – The State of Vermont declares war on Germany.
- September 15 – The Estonian Self-Administration, headed by Hjalmar Mäe, is appointed by the German military administration.
- September 16 – Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran is forced to resign in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran, under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
- September 22 The town of Reshetylivka in the Soviet Union is occupied by German forces.
- September 27 – The first Liberty Ship, the SS Patrick Henry, is launched at Baltimore, Maryland.
- September 29 – WWII: The Moscow Conference begins; U.S. representative Averill Harriman and British representative Lord Beaverbrook meet with Soviet foreign minister Molotov to arrange urgent assistance for Russia.
- September 29–September 30 – Holocaust: Babi Yar massacre – German troops, assisted by Ukrainian police and local collaborators, killed 33,771 Jews of Kiev, Ukraine.
- October 1 – Holocaust: the Nazi German extermination camp Konzentrationslager Lublin (commonly known as "Majdanek") opens in occupied Poland on the outskirts of the town Lublin. Between October 1941 and July 1944 at least 200,000 people were killed in the camp.
- October 2 – WWII: Operation Typhoon begins as Germany launches an all-out offensive against Moscow.
- October 7 – John Curtin becomes the 14th Prime Minister of Australia.
- October 8 – WWII: In their invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov with the capture of Mariupol.
- October 11–October 12 – Fire destroys a Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Fall River, Massachusetts, consuming 15,850 tons of rubber and causing a setback to the United States war effort.
- Mid-October – First production P-38E Lightning fighter produced by Lockheed.
- October 16 – WWII: The Soviet Union government moves to Kuibyshev (modern Samara), but Joseph Stalin remains in Moscow.
- October 17 – WWII: The destroyer USS Kearny is torpedoed and damaged near Iceland, killing 11 sailors (the first American military casualties of the war).
- October 18 – General Hideki Tojo becomes the 40th Prime Minister of Japan.
- October 21 – WWII: The Germans rampage in Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilians.
- October 23 – Walt Disney's animated film Dumbo is released.
- October 24 – Franz von Werra disappears during a flight over the North Sea.
- October 30 – WWII: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
- October 31
- November 6 – WWII: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule (the first time was earlier that year on July 2). He states that even though 350,000 troops have been killed in German attacks so far, that the Germans have lost 4.5 million soldiers (a gross exaggeration) and that Soviet victory is near.
- November 7 – WWII: The Soviet hospital Ship Armenia is sunk by German planes while evacuating refugees, wounded military and the staff of several Crimean hospitals. It is estimated that over 5,000 people die in the sinking.
- November 10 – In a speech at the Mansion House in London, Winston Churchill promises, "should the United States become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration will follow within the hour."
- November 12 – WWII: As Battle of Moscow begins, temperatures around Moscow drop to -12 °C, and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.
- November 14 – WWII: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks after being torpedoed by U-81.
- November 17 – WWII – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables to Washington a warning that Japan may strike suddenly and unexpectedly.
- November 18 – WWII: Operation Crusader in North Africa begins
- November 19 – WWII: Both commerce raiding hilfskreuzer Kormoran and Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney sink following a battle off the coast of Western Australia. There are no survivors from the 645 Australian sailors aboard Sydney.
- November 21 – The radio program King Biscuit Time is broadcast for the first time (it later becomes the longest running daily radio broadcast in history and the most famous live blues radio program).
- November 22 – WWII: HMS Devonshire sinks commerce raiding hilfskreuzer Atlantis, ending the longest warship cruise of the war. (622 days without in-port replenishment or repair)
- November 26 – WWII – Attack on Pearl Harbor: A fleet of 6 aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo leaves Hitokapu Bay for Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence
- November 27
- A group of young men stop traffic on U.S. Highway 99 south of Yreka, California, handing out fliers proclaiming the establishment of the State of Jefferson.
- WWII: Germans reach their closest approach to Moscow. They are subsequently frozen by cold weather and attacks by the Soviets.
- December 1
- December 2 – WWII – Attack on Pearl Harbor: The code message "Climb Mount Niitaka" is transmitted to the Japanese task force, indicating that negotiations have broken down and that the attack is to be carried out according to plan.
- December 4 – The State of Jefferson is declared in Yreka, California, with judge John Childs as a governor.
- December 6
- WWII – Soviet counterattacks begin against German troops encircling Moscow. Wehrmacht is subsequently pushed back over 200 miles.
- WWII – The United Kingdom declares war on Finland.
- December 7
- (December 8, Japan standard time) – The Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II. The attack is announced on radio stations in the US at about 2:26 p.m. EST (19.26 GMT).
- WWII – Canada declares war on Japan.
- Tobruk's garrison is relieved.
- December 8
- WWII: The United States, United Kingdom, China and The Netherlands officially declare war on the Empire of Japan.
- President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Infamy" Address to a Joint Session of Congress at 12:30 p.m. EST (17.30 GMT) and transmitted live over all four major national networks attracts the largest audience ever for an American radio broadcast, over 81% of homes.
- WWII: Empire of Japan launches invasions in Hong Kong, Malaya, Manila, Singapore and the Philippines.
- Holocaust: the Nazi German extermination camp Chelmno opens in occupied Poland near a small village called Chełmno nad Nerem. Between December 1941-April 1943 and June 1944-January 1945 at least 153,000 people were killed in the camp.
- December 10 – WWII: The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse are sunk by Japanese aircraft in the South China Sea north of Singapore.
- December 11 – WWII: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The U.S. responds in kind.
- December 12
- December 13 – Sweden's low temperature record of -53°C is set in a village within the Vilhelmina Municipality.
- December 19 – WWII: Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
- December 23 – WWII: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after a full night and morning of fighting.
- December 24 – WWII: British forces capture Benghazi.
- December 25 – WWII: The British and Canadians are defeated by the Japanese at Hong Kong.
- December 26 – WWII: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
- December 27 – WWII: British Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vaagso, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defenses, drawing vital troops away from other areas.
- The Valley of Geysers is discovered in Russia.
- The Indochina Communist party, led by Ho Chi Minh, combines with the Nationalist party to form the Viet Minh.
- Classic Comics series launched in the United States with a version of The Three Musketeers.
- January 1 – Dardo Cabo, Argentine journalist and activist (d. 1977)
- January 3 – Van Dyke Parks, American composer, producer, and musician
- January 4
- January 5
- January 7
- January 8 – Graham Chapman, English comedian (d. 1989)
- January 9 – Joan Baez, American singer and activist
- January 11
- January 12 – Long John Baldry, British singer (d. 2005)
- January 14
- January 15 – Captain Beefheart, American singer (d. 2010)
- January 18 – David Ruffin, American singer (The Temptations) (d. 1991)
- January 19 – Pat Patterson, Canadian professional wrestler
- January 20 – Allan Young (d. 2009)
- January 21
- January 24
- January 25
- Theo Berger, German criminal
- January 26
- January 27 – Beatrice Tinsley, English astronomer (d. 1981)
- January 30
- January 31
- February 1 – Jerry Spinelli, American children's author
- February 3 – Dory Funk, Jr., American professional wrestler
- February 5
- February 6 – Howard Phillips, American politician
- February 7 – Peter Foxhall, Australian evangelist
- February 8 – Nick Nolte, American actor
- February 10 – Michael Apted, English film director
- February 12 – Naomi Uemura, Japanese adventurer (d. 1984)
- February 13
- February 19 – David Gross, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- February 20 – Buffy Sainte-Marie, American singer
- February 26 – Tony Ray-Jones, British photographer (d. 1972)
- February 27 – Paddy Ashdown, British politician
- February 28 – Suzanne Mubarak, Egyptian first lady
- March 1 – Joo Hyun, South Korean actor
- March 4
- March 5 – Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian chess player
- March 6 – Willie Stargell, American baseball player (d. 2001)
- March 13 – Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian prominent poet and writer of prose (d. 2008)
- March 14 – Wolfgang Petersen, German film director
- March 15 – Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
- March 16
- March 17 – Paul Kantner, American rock guitarist (Jefferson Airplane)
- March 18 – Wilson Pickett, American singer (d. 2006)
- March 20 – Kenji Kimihara, Japanese long-distance runner
- March 23 – Jim Trelease, American educator and author
- March 26 – Richard Dawkins, British scientist
- March 28 – Jim Turner, American football player
- March 29 – Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr., American astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- March 30 – Wasim Sajjad, President of Pakistan
- April 2 – Dr. Demento (Barret Eugene Hansen), American radio disc jockey and novelty music collector
- April 3
- April 8 – Peggy Lennon, American singer (The Lennon Sisters)
- April 9 – Kay Adams, American country singer
- April 11 – Shirley Stelfox, English actress
- April 12 – Bobby Moore, English football player and World Cup winning captain (d. 1993)
- April 13 – Michael Stuart Brown, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- April 14
- April 20 – Ryan O'Neal, American actor
- April 23
- April 24 – John Williams, Australian guitarist
- April 27 – Lee Roy Jordan, American football player
- April 28
- May 5 – Alexander Ragulin, Russian hockey player (d. 2004)
- May 6 – Ivica Osim, Bosnian football player and manager
- May 11 – Eric Burdon, English singer (The Animals)
- May 13
- May 19
- May 20 – Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore
- May 21 – Bobby Cox, American baseball manager
- May 22 – Menzies Campbell, British politician
- May 24 – Bob Dylan, American poet and musician
- May 26 – John Kaufman, English sculptor
- May 31 – Louis J. Ignarro, American pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- June 2 – Stacy Keach, American actor
- June 4 – Erkin Koray, Turkish musician
- June 5
- June 6 – Neal Adams, American comic book artist
- June 8
- June 9 – Jon Lord, organist of Deep Purple, the "Lord of the Hammond organ"
- June 10
- June 12 – Marv Albert, American sports announcer
- June 14 – Roy Harper, English guitarist
- June 15 – Harry Nilsson, American musician (d. 1994)
- June 19
- June 21 – Joe Flaherty, American-Canadian actor and comedian
- June 22
- June 24
- June 27 – Krzysztof Kieślowski, Polish film director (d. 1996)
- June 28 – Joseph Goguen, American computer scientist (d. 2006)
- July 1
- July 6 – Harold Leighton Weller, American conductor
- July 7 – Bill Oddie, English comedian and ornithologist
- July 10 – Jackie Lane, English actress
- July 11 – Tommy Vance, English disc jockey (d. 2005)
- July 12
- July 14
- July 16 – Hans Wiegel, Dutch politician
- July 19
- July 27 – Bill Baxley, Alabama politician
- July 28 – Riccardo Muti, Italian conductor
- July 29
- July 30 – Paul Anka, Canadian-American singer and songwriter
- July 31 – Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
- August 3 – Martha Stewart, American television and magazine personality
- August 2 – Ede Staal, Dutch singer-songwriter
- August 6 – Lyle Berman, American poker player
- August 8 – George Tiller, American physician (d. 2009)
- August 12 – Deborah Walley, American actress (The Mothers-in-Law) (d. 2001)
- August 14
- August 16
- August 17 – Ibrahim Babangida, former President of Nigeria
- August 20 – Slobodan Milošević, President of Serbia (d. 2006)
- August 22 – Bill Parcells, American football coach
- August 28 – Joseph Shabalala, South African musician (Ladysmith Black Mambazo)
- September 2
- September 3 – Sergei Dovlatov, Russian short-story writer and novelist (d. 1990)
- September 4 – Sushilkumar Shinde, Indian politician
- September 9
- September 10
- September 13
- September 14 – Alberto Naranjo, Venezuelan musician
- September 15
- September 17 – Bob Matsui, U.S. Congressman from California (d. 2005)
- September 19 – Cass Elliott, American singer (d. 1974)
- September 20 – Dale Chihuly, American glass sculptor
- September 24
- September 26 – Martine Beswick, British actress and model
- September 27 – Gay Kayler Ashcroft, Australian country music singer
- September 28 – Sam Zell, American billionaire investor and publisher
- October 2 – Zareh Baronian, Archimandrite doctor, theologian of the Armenian Church, Bucarest
- October 4
- October 5 – Eduardo Duhalde, President of Argentina
- October 8 – Jesse Jackson, American clergyman and civil rights activist
- October 9 – Trent Lott, former United States Senate Minority Leader and United States Senate Majority Leader
- October 10 – Peter Coyote, American actor
- October 13 – Paul Simon, American singer and composer
- October 16 – Tim McCarver, American baseball commentator
- October 20 – Anneke Wills, British actress
- October 23 – Mel Winkler, American actor
- October 25
- October 27 – Gerd Brantenberg, Norwegian feminist author and gay rights activist
- October 28
- October 30 – Theodor W. Hänsch, German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics
- October 31 – Sally Kirkland, American actress
- November 1
- November 2 – Bruce Welch, British guitarist, singer and songwriter (The Shadows)
- November 5 – Art Garfunkel, American singer
- November 6 – Doug Sahm, American musician (d. 1999)
- November 17 – Tova Traesnaes, American cosmetician and fifth wife of Ernest Borgnine
- November 18 – David Hemmings, English actor (d. 2003)
- November 21 – Juliet Mills, English actress
- November 23 – Derek Mahon, Irish poet
- November 25
- Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, Sufi, author, poet and a growing following consider him to be the Mehdi, Messiah & Kalki Avatar
- Ralph Haben, American politician, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
- November 26 – G. Alan Marlatt, American psychologist
- November 27 – Eddie Rabbitt, American country musician (d. 1998)
- November 29 – Bill Freehan, American baseball player
- December 9 – Beau Bridges, American actor
- December 10 – Kyu Sakamoto, Japanese singer and actor (d. 1985)
- December 11 – J. Frank Wilson, American singer (J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers) (d. 1991)
- December 13 – John Davidson, American singer and actor
- December 18 – Prince William of Gloucester
- December 19 – Lee Myung Bak, 17th president of South Korea
- December 21 – Lo Hoi Pang, Hong Kong actor
- December 23
- December 24 – John Levene, English actor
- December 30 – Mel Renfro, American football player
- December 31 – Alex Ferguson, English football manager (Manchester United)
- January 4 – Henri Bergson, French philosopher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (b. 1859)
- January 5 – Amy Johnson, English aviator (b. 1903)
- January 8 – Lord Robert Baden-Powell, English soldier and founder of the Boy Scouts (b. 1857)
- January 10
- January 13 – James Joyce, Irish writer (b. 1882)
- February 6 – Banjo Paterson, Australian poet & journalist (b. 1864)
- February 9 – Aaron S. Watkins, American temperance movement leader (b. 1863)
- February 11 – Rudolf Hilferding, German economist and Minister of Finance (b. 1877)
- February 21 – Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1891)
- February 24 – Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, German submariner (b. 1886)
- February 27 – William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (b. 1895)
- February 28 – King Alfonso XIII of Spain (b. 1886)
- March 5 – Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, Russian royal (b. 1891)
- March 6 – Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor (Mount Rushmore) (b. 1867)
- March 8 – Sherwood Anderson, American author (b. 1876)
- March 15 – Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian painter (b. 1864)
- March 28
- April 5 – Sir Nigel Gresley, English steam locomotive engineer (Flying Scotsman and Mallard) (b. 1876)
- April 13 – Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (b. 1863)
- April 16 – Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp, Bt, GCB, GBE, FBA, British civil servant, industrialist, economist, statistician and banker (b.1880)
- April 24 – Karin Boye, Swedish poetess (suicide) (b. 1900)
- April 30 – Edwin S. Porter, American film director (b. 1870)
- May 1 – Jenny Dolly, American singer (b. 1892)
- May 11 – Peggy Shannon, American actress (b. 1910)
- May 12 – Ruth Stonehouse, American actress (b. 1892)
- May 16 – Minnie Vautrin, American missionary and heroine of the Nanjing Massacre (b. 1887)
- May 30 – Prajadhipok, Rama VII, king of Thailand (b. 1893)
- June 1 – Hugh Walpole, British writer (b. 1884)
- June 2 – Lou Gehrig, American baseball player (b. 1903)
- June 4 – Wilhelm II, last Emperor of Germany (b. 1859)
- June 6 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born automobile builder and race car driver (b. 1878)
- June 21 – Elliott Dexter, American actor (b. 1870)
- June 29 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist, composer, and third Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1860)
- July 3 – Friedrich Akel, Estonian diplomat and politician (b. 1871)
- July 4 – Antoni Łomnicki, Polish mathematician (b. 1881)
- July 10 – Jelly Roll Morton, African-American jazz musician and composer (b. 1890)
- July 11 – Arthur Evans, English archaeologist (b. 1851)
- July 15 – Walter Ruttmann, German director (b. 1887)
- July 20 – Lew Fields, American vaudeville performer (b. 1867)
- July 25 – Allan Forrest, American actor (b. 1885)
- July 26 – Henri Lebesgue, French mathematician (b. 1875)
- July 29 – James Stephenson, British actor (b. 1889)
- August 7 – Rabindranath Tagore, Indian author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1861)
- August 13 – James Stuart Blackton, American film producer (b. 1875)
- August 14 – Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1854)
- August 30 – Peder Oluf Pedersen, Danish engineer and physicist (b. 1874)
- August 31 – Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (suicide) (b. 1892)
- September 1 – Karl Parts, Estonia military commander (b. 1886)
- September 12 – Hans Spemann, German embryologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1869)
- September 18 – Fred Karno, British music hall comedian (b. 1866)
- October 5 – Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1856)
- October 8
- October 9 – Helen Morgan, American singer and actress (b. 1900)
- October 26
- October 29 – Harvey Hendrick, American baseball player (b. 1897)
- November 16 – Miina Härma, Estonian composer (b. 1864)
- November 18
- November 21 – Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, dramatist, impersonator, public speaker (b. 1860)
- November 26 – Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Danish sculptor and ceramist (b. 1861)
- November 30 – Esmond Romilly, British socialist (b. 1918)
- December 3 – Christian Sinding, Norwegian composer (b. 1856)
- December 7 – Isaac Campbell Kidd, American admiral (died in the attack on Pearl Harbor) (b. 1884)
- December 12 – César Basa, Filipino pilot (b. 1915)
- December 25 – Blanche Bates, stage actress (b. 1873)
- December 30 – El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
- Physics – not awarded
- Chemistry – not awarded
- Medicine – not awarded
- Literature – not awarded
- Peace – not awarded
- ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. pp. 140–143. ISBN 0-13-354027-8.
- ^ Robertson, Patrick (1974). The Shell Book of Firsts. London: Ebury Press. pp. 124–5.
- ^ BBC
- ^ "No Sabotage Found in Firestone Blaze by FBI Men Making Probe." Fall River, Herald News, October 14, 1941, p.1
- ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0-13-354027-8.
- ^ Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. p. 114. ISBN 0-13-354027-8.
- ^ Brown, Robert J. (1998). Manipulating the Ether: the Power of Broadcast Radio in Thirties America. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. pp. 117–120. ISBN 0-7864-2066-9.
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