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|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s|
|Years:||1939 1940 1941 – 1942 – 1943 1944 1945|
Events[change | change source]
- January 1 – World War II: The term "United Nations" is first officially used to describe the Allied pact.
- January 2 – World War II: Manila is captured by Japanese forces. The Japanese Admiral stays in Solvec (owned by Charles Henry de Silva), Philippines.
- January 5 – Amy Johnson disappears in flight over River Thames estuary – assumed drowned.
- January 6 – Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to have a flight go around the world.
- January 7 – World War II: Siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins.
- January 11 – World War II: Japan declares war on the Netherlands and invades the Netherlands East Indies.
- January 11 – World War II: The Japanese capture Kuala Lumpur.
- January 12 – President Franklin Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board.
- January 13 – Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car.
- January 16 – Airplane crashes near Las Vegas. Dead include Carole Lombard and her mother.
- January 19 – World War II: Japanese forces invade Burma.
- January 20 – World War II: Nazis at the Wannsee conference in Berlin decide that the "final solution to the Jewish problem" is relocation, and later extermination.
- January 25 – World War II: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
- January 26 – World War II: The first American forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.
- July 6 - The family of Anne Frank goes into hiding at the secret annex in Amsterdam.
- October 23 - World War II: Battle of El Alamein
Births[change | change source]
- January 8 - Stephen Hawking, British physicist (d. 2018)
- January 17 – Muhammad Ali, American boxer (d. 2016)
- January 25 - Eusebio, Portuguese footballer
- February 12 – Huey Newton, Black Panther
- February 21 - Margarethe von Trotta, German movie director
- February 28 - Dino Zoff, Italian footballer
- March 5 - Felipe Gonzalez, former Prime Minister of Spain
- March 8 – Jan Vyčítal, Czech musician
- March 17 - John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer (d. 1994; executed)
- March 25 - Aretha Franklin, American singer
- April 16 - Frank Williams, British Formula One team principal
- April 20 - Arto Paasilinna, Finnish writer
- April 24 - Barbra Streisand, American singer
- May 22 - Theodore Kaczynski, American serial bomber (unabomber)
- June 7 - Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan leader (d. 2011)
- June 18 – Roger Ebert, American movie critic (d. 2013)
- June 18 – Sir Paul McCartney, British musician
- July 13 - Harrison Ford, American actor
- August 2 - Isabel Allende, Chilean novelist
- August 7 – B.J. Thomas, singer
- September 29 - Madeline Kahn, American actress (d. 1999)
- October 31 – David Ogden Stiers, American actor
- November 7 – Johnny Rivers, American musician
- November 27 – Jimi Hendrix, American musician (d. 1970)
- December 23 - Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia
- December 26 - Gray Davis, former Governor of California
- December 30 – Michael Nesmith, musician and member of the Monkees
- December 30 – Janko Prunk, Slovenian historian
- People who were born in this year but their day of birth is unknown
- Ningali Cullen - Australian activist
Deaths[change | change source]
- January 6 – Henri de Baillet-Latour, Belgian International Olympic Committee president (b. 1876)
- January 14 – Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian poet and writer (born 1883)
- January 16 – Carole Lombard, actress
- January 26 – Felix Hausdorff, German mathematician (born 1868)
- February 19 – Frank Abbandando, Mafia hitman (executed)
- February 28 – Karel Doorman, Dutch admiral
- March 1 – Cornelius Vanderbilt III, military officer, inventor, engineer
- March 8 – José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban chess player
- April 15 – Robert Musil, Austrian novelist
- April 18 – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sculptor and socialite
- May 3 – Thorvald Stauning, Prime Minister of Denmark
- May 7 – Felix Weingartner, Yugoslavian conductor (born 1863)
- May 29 – John Barrymore, actor (born 1882)
- July 13 - Irving Cutler, Airman Aboard a B-24 Bombing Bengazi Libya
- July 23 – Adam Czerniakow, Polish Jew (suicide)
- August 3 – Richard Willstätter, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1872)
- August 6 – Jonathan Campbell, movie pioneer (born 1875)
- August 25 – Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
- November 1 – Hugo Distler, German composer (born 1908)
- November 5 – George M. Cohan, American songwriter and entertainer
- November 19 – Bruno Schulz, Polish writer and painter (shot) (born 1892)
- December 22 – Franz Boas, German anthropologist (born 1858)
- December 25 - Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan British Indian statesman (born 1892)