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1941 ( MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1941st year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 941st year of the Anno Domini 2nd millennium, the 41st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1940s decade.
Below, the events of
World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
January- August – In the first phase of mass killings under the Action T4 program, 10,072 men, women and children with mental and physical disabilities are asphyxiated with carbon monoxide in a gas chamber, at Hadamar Euthanasia Centre in Germany.
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 ( Normalschrifterlass) promulgated in Germany by Martin Bormann, on behalf of Adolf Hitler, requires replacement of blackletter typefaces by Antiqua. 
January 5 – WWII: Battle of Bardia in Libya: Australian and British troops defeat Italian forces, the first battle of the war in which an Australian Army formation takes part.
January 10 – The Lend-Lease Act is introduced into the United States Congress.
January 13 – All persons born in Puerto Rico since this day are declared U.S. citizens by birth, through U.S. federal law. 
Commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser captures the Norwegian whaling fleet near Pinguin Bouvet Island, effectively ending Southern Ocean whaling for the duration of the war.  In a BBC radio broadcast from London, Victor de Laveleye asks all Belgians to use the letter "V" as a rallying sign, being the first letter of victoire (victory) in French and of vrijheid (freedom) in Dutch. This is the beginning of the "V campaign" which sees "V" graffities on the walls of Belgium and later all of Europe and introduces the use of the " V sign" for victory and freedom. Winston Churchill adopts the sign soon afterwards, though he sometimes gets it the wrong way around and uses the common insult gesture. 
January 15 – John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry describe the workings of the Atanasoff-Berry computer in print.
January 19 – WWII: British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
January 20 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in for a third term as President of the United States.
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: Joseph 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 28 – Subhas Chandra Bose, the chief of Indian national Army, reaches Kabul, Afghanistan, by successfully evading the British authorities in British India. 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 – The Air Training Corps is formed in the United Kingdom. 
February 6 – WWII: Benghazi falls to the Western Desert Force. Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel is appointed commander of the new Afrika Korps ( Deutsches Afrika Korps; DAK).
February 7 – Battle of Beda Fomm: The Italian 10th Army capitulates at Beda Fomm in Libya. Between Benghazi to Agedabia, the British and Australian forces take 25,000 prisoners, and capture 107 tanks and 93 guns.
February 8 – WWII: The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease Act. 
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 13 – Aircraft from HMS attack Formidable Massawa in Eritrea.
February 14 – WWII: Admiral Kichisabur? Nomura begins his duties as Japanese Ambassador to the United States.
February 19- 22 – WWII: Three Nights' Blitz over Swansea, South Wales: Over these 3 nights of intensive bombing, which lasts a total of 13 hours and 48 minutes, Swansea's town center is almost completely obliterated by the 896 high explosive bombs employed by the Luftwaffe; 397 casualties and 230 deaths are reported.
February 22 – WWII: HMS bombards Shropshire Barawa, on the coast between Kismayo and Mogadishu.
February 23 – Glenn T. Seaborg isolates and discovers plutonium.
February 25 – WWII:
February 27 – WWII: The New Zealand Division cruiser HMS (1931) sinks Italian armed merchant raider Leander off the Ramb I Maldives.
March 4 – WWII: Operation Claymore – British Commandos carry out a successful raid on the Lofoten Islands, off the north coast of Norway.
March 7 – WWII: The first British troops (some 60,000 men) arrive in Greece at the ports of Piraeus and Volos.
March 8 – WWII: The U.S. Senate passes the Lend-Lease Act.
March 11 – WWII: Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, providing for the U.S. to provide Lend-Lease aid to the Allies.
March 15 – Richard C. Hottelet is arrested by the Gestapo on "suspicion of espionage", but eventually released in July as part of a  prisoner exchange with the U.S.
March 16 – A group of U.S. warships arrives in Auckland, New Zealand, on a goodwill visit. On March 20, they arrive in Sydney, Australia.
March 22 – Washington state's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.
March 24 – WWII: Erwin Rommel launches his first offensive in Cyrenaica. Elements of the 5th Light Division advance to and take El Agheila, at the western limit of Allied territory.
March 25 – WWII: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers in Vienna.
March 27 – WWII:
March 30 – WWII:
All German, Italian and Danish ships anchored in United States waters are taken into "protective custody".
A German Lorenz cipher machine operator sends a 4,000-character message twice, allowing British mathematician Bill Tutte to decipher the machine's coding mechanism.  March 31 – WWII: Erwin Rommel orders the attack on Mersa Brega. Elements of the 5th Light Division capture the city, and the Western Desert Force falls back to Agedabia. 
The breakfast cereal
is introduced as Cheerios by CheeriOats General Mills.
Orson Welles' film premieres in New York City. Citizen Kane The first Defense Bonds and Defense Savings Stamps go on sale in the United States, to help fund the greatly increased production of military equipment.
May 2 – Anglo-Iraqi War: British combat operations against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq begin. 
May 5 – WWII: Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, which has been liberated from Italian forces; this date is subsequently commemorated as Liberation Day in Ethiopia.
May 6 – At California's March Field, entertainer Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
May 8 – WWII: The German auxiliary cruiser is sunk by Pinguin HMS in the Indian Ocean; 555 are killed. Cornwall 
May 9 – WWII: German submarine is captured by the British U-110 Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine, which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
May 11/ May 12 – WWII: The Usta?e massacre 260-373 Serb men in a Catholic church in Glina, Croatia, where the men had assembled to be received into the Catholic faith, in exchange for their lives.
May 12 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
May 13 – WWII: Yugoslav General Dra?a Mihailovi? and a group of 80 soldiers and officers cross the Drina river in Bosnia and Herzegovina, arrive at Ravna Gora, in western Nazi-occupied Serbia and start fighting with German occupation troops.
May 19 – The Viet Minh is formed at Pác Bó in Vietnam to overthrow French rule of the nation, as an alliance between the Indochina Communist party, led by Ho Chi Minh, and the Nationalist party. It will become the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
May 20 – WWII: The Battle of Crete begins, as Germany launches an airborne invasion of Crete, the first mainly airborne invasion in military history.
May 21 – German submarine sinks the U.S.-flagged U-69 SS off the west African coast, having allowed the passengers and crew to disembark. Robin Moor
May 26 – WWII: In the North Atlantic, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS cripple the steering of Ark Royal German battleship in an Bismarck aerial torpedo attack.
May 29 – The Disney animators' strike occurs, due to Walt Disney refusing to recognize his animators and their low pay.
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. May 31 – Anglo-Iraqi War: British troops complete the re-occupation of the Kingdom of Iraq, returning Prince 'Abd al-Ilah to power as regent for Faisal II.
June – WWII: German forces begin occupation of the
Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.
June 1 – WWII: The Battle of Crete ends as Crete surrenders to invading German forces.
June 6 – WWII: The Commissar Order is issued by , requiring all Soviet Oberkommando der Wehrmacht political commissars identified in Operation Barbarossa among captured forces to receive summary execution.
June 8 – WWII: British and Free French forces invade Syria, opening the Allies' Syria-Lebanon campaign against Vichy French possessions in the Levant.
June 12 – Winston Churchill unites the heads of invaded countries to pledge unity against Hitler. 
June 13 – TASS, the official Soviet news agency, denies reports of tension between Germany and the Soviet Union.
All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed, and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
WWII: British Fleet Air Arm aircraft sink the Vichy French ship . Chevalier Paul
June 18 – The German-Turkish Treaty of Friendship is signed between Nazi Germany and Turkey, in Ankara.
Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany (with allies) invades the Soviet Union. 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." Italy and Romania declare war on the Soviet Union. WWII: The
First Sisak Partisan Brigade, the first anti-fascist armed unit in occupied Europe, is founded by Yugoslav partisans near Sisak, Croatia.
June Uprising in Lithuania: A Provisional Government of Lithuania is established by the Lithuanian Activist Front, in an attempt to liberate Lithuania from Soviet occupation. Rapid escalation of the
Holocaust in Lithuania: Between now and the end of the year, an estimated 190,000-195,000 out of 210,000 Lithuanian Jews will be massacred, killing an estimated 95% of the nation's Jewish population. Rapid Vienna beats Schalke 04, in the final of the German Fottballchampionship, after 0:3 with 4:3.
June 23 – WWII: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union.
June 25 – WWII: Finland (as a co-belligerent with Germany) attacks the Soviet Union, to start the Continuation War.
June 28 – WWII: Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.
June 28– 30 – Holocaust: The Ia?i pogrom takes place, killing "at least 13,266" Romanian Jews. June 29 – WWII: Hitler's second-in-command, Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, is appointed as Hitler's successor in a written decree. The decree will come into effect, should Hitler die in the middle of the war. (The decree becomes void in April 1945, after Göring tries to assume power while Hitler is still alive, leading to Göring's expulsion from the Nazi Party.)
July – The British Army's Special Air Service is formed.
Commercial television is authorized by the
Federal Communications Commission in the United States.
NBC Television begins commercial operation on WNBT, on Channel 1. The world's first legal TV commercial, for Bulova watches, occurs at 2:29 PM over WNBT, before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The 10-second spot displays a picture of a clock superimposed on a map of the United States, accompanied by the voice-over "America runs on Bulova time."  As a one-off special, the first quiz show called "Uncle Bee" is telecast on WNBT's inaugural broadcast day, followed later the same day by  Ralph Edwards hosting the second game show broadcast on U.S. television, , as simulcast on radio and TV and sponsored by Truth or Consequences Ivory Soap. Weekly broadcasts of the show commence in 1956, with Bob Barker.
CBS Television begins commercial operation on New York station WCBW (modern-day WCBS-TV), on Channel 2. WWII:
July 2 – WWII:
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 – A massacre of Polish scientists and writers is committed by Nazi German troops, in the occupied Polish city of Lwów.
July 5 – WWII:
July 5- 31: War is fought between Peru and Ecuador.
July 10 – The Holocaust: Jedwabne pogrom: Local ethnic Poles massacre at least 340 Jewish residents of Jedwabne, in occupied Poland. The Jewish residents are locked in a barn and the barn set on fire 
July 11 – The Northern Rhodesian Labour Party holds its first congress in Nkana. 
July 14 – WWII: Vichy France signs armistice terms ending all fighting in Syria and Lebanon, concluding the Allies' Syria-Lebanon campaign.
July 17 – Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak ends.
July 19 – The Tom and Jerry cartoon short is released; it is the second appearance for the duo, and the first in which they are officially named. The Midnight Snack
July 20 – WWII: A BBC radio broadcast by "Colonel Britton" ( Douglas Ritchie) calls on the people of occupied Europe to resist the Nazis, under the slogan "V for Victory". 
July 23 – WWII: Italian aircraft damage the British destroyer HMS which has to be sunk. Fearless
July 25 – Postal codes are introduced in Germany.
July 26 – WWII:
July 29 – The Vichy Regime signs the Protocol Concerning Joint Defense and Joint Military Cooperation with the Empire of Japan, giving the Japanese a total of 8 airfields, allowing them greater troop presence, and the use of the Indochinese financial system, in return for continued French autonomy.
July 30 – WWII: Glina massacre of July-August 1941 – The Usta?e brutally kill 200 Serbs inside a Serbian Orthodox church in Glina, Croatia, with a total of 700-1,200 being killed in the area of the next few days. July 31 – WWII: The Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring orders SS 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 – The Political Warfare Executive is formed in the United Kingdom to disseminate propaganda to Germany and its occupied countries.
August 1 – The Willys MB U.S. Army Jeep is first produced.
August 5 – The Provisional Government of Lithuania is dissolved.
August 6 – Six-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to have an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma, dying 37 years later, still comatose.
August 7 – WWII: British submarine HMS sinks an Italian Severn Marconi-class submarine.
August 9 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet on board ship at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Charter (released August 14), setting goals for postwar international cooperation, is created as a result.
August 19 – The Tiraspol Agreement is signed between Germany and Romania. 
August 21 – In revenge for the execution two days earlier of French Resistance member Samuel Tyszelman, communist activist Pierre Georges (with others) shoots and kills a member of the German military in occupied Paris, initiating a cycle of assassinations and retribution that will claim hundreds of lives. 
August 25 – WWII: The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran to secure the Persian Corridor and oilfields begins.
August 27 – WWII: Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre, 23,600 Jews are shot dead by Einsatzgruppen troops and local collaborators in Ukraine.
August 28 – WWII: Soviet evacuation of Tallinn – German troops capture Tallinn, Estonia from the Soviet Union, while attacks on the evacuating Soviet ships leave more than 12,000 dead in one of the bloodiest naval battles of the war. German forces will capture the entire Estonian territory by December 6.
September 3 – The Holocaust: SS- Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch first uses the pesticide Zyklon B, to execute Soviet prisoners of war en masse at Auschwitz concentration camp; eventually it will be used to kill about 1.2 million people.
September 5 - Citizen Kane is released. 
September 6 – The 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: Siege of Leningrad: German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad. Stalin orders the Volga Germans deported to Siberia.
September 14 – The State of Vermont "declares war" on Germany, by defining the United States to be in "armed conflict", in order to extend a wartime bonus to Vermonters in the service. 
September 15 – The Estonian Self-Administration, headed by Hjalmar Mäe, is appointed by the German military administration.
September 16 – Rez? Sh?h of Iran is forced to resign in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, concluding the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.
September 16- 30 – The Nikolaev massacre takes place in Mykolaiv (Soviet Union); 35,782 men, women and children; mostly Jews, are killed by Einsatzgruppe D and local collaborators.
September 22 – The town of Reshetylivka in the Soviet Union is occupied by German forces.
September 23 – The 1941 Texas hurricane makes landfall near Bay City, Texas, causing extensive damage and flooding in Galveston and Houston.
September 28 – WWII: The Drama Uprising against the Bulgarian occupation in northern Greece begins.
September 29 – WWII: The Moscow Conference begins; U.S. representative Averell Harriman and British representative Lord Beaverbrook meet with Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, to arrange urgent assistance for Russia. September 29- 30 – The Holocaust: Babi Yar massacre – German troops, assisted by Ukrainian police and local collaborators, kill 33,771 Jews in Kiev. 
series is launched in the United States, with a version of Classic Comics . The Three Musketeers  Mid-October – The first
P-38E Lightning fighter is produced by Lockheed in the United States.
October 2 – WWII: Operation Typhoon begins, as Germany launches an all-out offensive against Moscow.
October 2 – Tudeh Party of Iran is founded.
October 5 – The Holocaust: In Berdychiv, 20-30,000 Jews are shot dead.
October 7 – John Curtin becomes the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, following the defeat of Arthur Fadden's Country/ UAP Coalition Government, on the floor of the House of Representatives.
October 8 – WWII: In their invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov, with the capture of Mariupol.
October 11 – WWII: Armed insurgents from the People's Liberation Army of Macedonia attack Axis-occupied zones in the city of Prilep, beginning the National Liberation War of Macedonia.
October 11– 12 – Fire destroys a Firestone Tire and Rubber Company plant in Fall River, Massachusetts, consuming 15,850 tons of rubber, and causing a setback to the United States war effort. 
October 13 – The Holocaust: Heinrich Himmler instructs SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik to begin construction of Beec, the first of the Operation Reinhard extermination camps.
October 15 – WWII: British submarine HMS bombards the port of Torbay Apollonia, Cyrenaica in Italian Libya.
October 16 – WWII: The Soviet government moves to Kuibyshev (modern Samara), but Stalin remains in Moscow.
October 17 – WWII: Destroyer USS is torpedoed and damaged near Kearny Iceland, killing 11 sailors (the first American military casualties of the war, in which the US is at this time neutral).
October 18 – General Hideki T?j? becomes the 40th Prime Minister of Japan.
October 18 – Film is released in the United States, starring The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart, directed by John Huston.
October 21 – WWII: Kragujevac massacre – German soldiers and local auxiliaries massacre more than 2,000 civilian men at Kragujevac, in Nazi-occupied Serbia.
October 23 – Walt Disney's fourth animated film is released in the United States. Dumbo
October 25 – WWII: German fighter pilot Franz von Werra disappears during a flight over the North Sea.
October 29 – The Holocaust: Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941 – Over 9,200 Lithuanian Jews are shot dead.
November 5 – WWII: The United States holds peace talks with Japan.
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 this year on July 2). He states that 350,000 Soviet troops have been killed in German attacks, but 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 is sunk by German aircraft while evacuating refugees, wounded military and the staff of several Armenia Crimean hospitals. It is estimated that more than 5,000 die in the sinking.
November 10 – In a speech at the Mansion House, 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:
November 17 – WWII: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables to Washington, D.C. a warning, that Japan may strike suddenly and unexpectedly.
November 18 – WWII: Operation Crusader, a British Eighth Army operation to relieve the Siege of Tobruk in North Africa, begins.
November 19 – WWII: Battle between HMAS – Both Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser and Australian cruiser Kormoran HMAS sink following a battle off the coast of Western Australia. There are no survivors from the 645 Australian sailors aboard Sydney Sydney. 
November 21 – The live blues radio program is broadcast for the first time on King Biscuit Time KFFA in Helena, Arkansas; it will attain its 17,000th broadcast in 2014 making it the longest-running daily American radio broadcast.
November 22 – WWII: HMS sinks Devonshire commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser , ending the longest warship cruise of the war (622 days without in-port replenishment or repair). Atlantis 
November 26 – WWII:
WWII: Germans reach their closest approach to Moscow. They are subsequently frozen by cold weather and stopped by attacks by the
Soviets. 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. November 30 and December 8 – Rumbula massacre: Nazi forces kill approximately 24,000 Latvian Jews and 1,000 German Jews outside of Riga.
December 1 – WWII:
December 2 – WWII: The code message "Climb Mount Niitaka" is transmitted to the Japanese task force, indicating that negotiations have broken down and that the attack on Pearl Harbor is to be carried out according to plan.
December 4 – The State of Jefferson is declared in Yreka, California, with a judge, John Childs, as governor.
December 5 – WWII: The United Kingdom declares war on Finland, Hungary and Romania.
December 6 – WWII:
Soviet counterattacks begin against German troops encircling Moscow. The
is subsequently pushed back over 200 mi (320 km). Heer British submarine HMS is Perseus mined off Cephalonia.
December 7 ( December 8 – 3:18 a.m., Japan Standard Time) – WWII:
Battle of Hong Kong begins shortly after 8:00 a.m. ( local time), less than 8 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when Japanese forces invade Hong Kong, which is defended by British, Canadian and local troops. The United Kingdom officially declares war on the Empire of Japan. WWII: The Japanese Invade
Shanghai International Settlement, to occupy the British and the American sectors, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. WWII: The
Japanese invasion of the Philippines begins 10 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when Japanese forces invade Luzon and destroy U.S. aircraft on Clark Field.  WWII: President of the United States
Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his " Infamy Speech" to a Joint session of the United States Congress at 12:30 p.m. EST (17.30 GMT). Transmitted live over all four major national networks, it attracts the largest audience ever for an American radio broadcast, over 81% of homes. Within an hour, Congress agrees to the President's request for a  United States declaration of war upon Japan, and he signs it at 4:10 p.m. WWII:
Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the Free French, Yugoslavia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras also officially declare war on Japan, and the Republic of China declares war on the Axis powers.  WWII: Japanese forces attack
British Malaya and Thailand.  WWII: The German advance on Moscow (Operation Typhoon) is suspended for the winter.
The Holocaust: The Nazi German Che?mno extermination camp opens in occupied Poland, near the village of Che?mno nad Nerem. Between December 1941-April 1943 and June 1944-January 1945, at least 153,000 Jews will be killed in the camp. The Holocaust The first mass gassing of Jews begins at the Che?mno extermination camp on December 8, 1941, when the Nazis use gas vans to murder people from the Lodz ghetto.
December 10 – WWII:
December 11 – WWII:
December 11– 13 – WWII: Battle of Jitra: Japanese compel British troops to withdraw from their positions in Malaya.
December 12 – WWII:
December 14 – WWII: The Independent State of Croatia declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom.
December 15 – WWII: At Drobytsky Yar, 15,000 Jews are shot dead by German troops.
December 19 – WWII:
December 22 – WWII: The Arcadia Conference opens in Washington, D.C., the first meeting on military strategy between the heads of government of the United Kingdom and the United States, following the latter's entry into the war.
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.  Dutch submarine HNLMS is the first Allied ship to sink a Japanese warship, sinking the destroyer K XVI near Sagiri Sarawak; K XVI is herself torpedoed the following day by Japanese submarine . I-66
December 25 – WWII:
December 26 – WWII: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the United States 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.
February 3 – Dory Funk, Jr., American professional wrestler
February 4 – Laisenia Qarase, Fijian politician (d. 2020) 
February 9 – Kermit Gosnell, American abortionist and serial killer 
February 10 – Michael Apted, British film director (d. 2021) 
February 11 – Sergio Mendes, Brazilian jazz musician 
February 15 – Florinda Bolkan, Brazilian actress and model
February 16 – Kim Jong-il, Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (d. 2011)
February 17 – Ron Meyer, American football coach (d. 2017)
February 18 - Irma Thomas, African-American singer
February 19 – David Gross, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
February 20 – Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
February 27 – Paddy Ashdown, British politician, diplomat (d. 2018)
March 4 – Adrian Lyne, English film director
March 7 – Andrei Mironov, Soviet and Russian theatre and film actor (d. 1987)
March 10 – George P. Smith, American biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate
March 12 – Erkki Salmenhaara, Finnish composer (d. 2002)
March 13 – Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet and author (d. 2008)
March 14 – Wolfgang Petersen, German film director
March 15 – Mike Love, American musician
March 17 – Paul Kantner, American musician (d. 2016)
March 18 – Wilson Pickett, African-American singer (d. 2006) 
March 20 - Kenji Kimihara, Japanese long-distance runner
March 21 - Dirk Frimout, Belgian cosmonaut and astrophysicist
March 22 – Bruno Ganz, Swiss actor (d. 2019)
March 26 – Richard Dawkins, British scientist
March 27 – Ivan Ga?parovi?, 3rd President of Slovakia
March 29 – Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr., American astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate 
March 30 – Wasim Sajjad, President of Pakistan March 31 – Rosario Green, Mexican economist, diplomat and politician (d. 2017)
April 2 – Dr. Demento (Barret Eugene Hansen), American radio disc jockey, novelty music collector
April 3 – Eric Braeden, German-born American actor 
April 5 – Michael Moriarty, American-Canadian actor 
April 8 – Peggy Lennon, American singer ( ) The Lennon Sisters
April 9 – Kay Adams, American country singer
April 10 – Paul Theroux, American travel writer and novelist 
April 11 – Frederick Hauck, American astronaut
April 12 – Bobby Moore, English football captain (d. 1993) 
April 13 – Michael Stuart Brown, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 
April 14 – Pete Rose, American baseball player
April 18 – Michael D. Higgins, 9th President of Ireland 
April 19 – Roberto Carlos, Brazilian singer-songwriter 
April 20 – Ryan O'Neal, American actor ( ) Love Story
April 22 - Amir Pnueli, Israeli computer scientist (d. 2009)
April 26 – Claudine Auger, French actress (d. 2019)  April 28
May 3 – Kornel Morawiecki, Polish politician and theoretical physicist (d. 2019)
May 6 – Ivica Osim, Bosnian football player, manager
May 11 – Eric Burdon, British singer 
May 14 – Jesús Gómez, Mexican equestrian (d. 2017)
May 18 – Miriam Margolyes, British-Australian actress
May 19 – Nora Ephron, American film producer, director, and screenwriter (d. 2012) 
May 20 – Goh Chok Tong, 2nd Prime Minister of Singapore
May 23 – K. Raghavendra Rao, Indian film director, producer, screenwriter and choreographer
May 24 – Bob Dylan, American poet, musician and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
May 25 – Vladimir Voronin, 3rd President of Moldova May 31
June 6 - Alexander Cockburn, Irish-American political journalist and writer (d. 2012)
June 9 – Jon Lord, English composer, pianist and organist (d. 2012)
June 10 – Jürgen Prochnow, German actor 
June 12 – Chick Corea, American jazz pianist (d. 2021) 
June 13 - Esther Ofarim, Israeli singer 
June 15 – Harry Nilsson, American musician (d. 1994) 
June 16 – Rosalind Baker, Australian author
June 17 – Roberta Maxwell, Canadian actress
June 22 – Michael Lerner, American actor
Rod Gilbert, Canadian professional ice hockey forward (d. 2021)
Alfred G. Gilman, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 2015) 
Ursula Koch, Swiss politician
Jaakko Kailajärvi, Finnish weightlifter
Twyla Tharp, American dancer, choreographer, and author 
Zimani Kadzamira, Malawian academic, civil servant and diplomat Myron Scholes, Canadian-American financial economist and Nobel laureate 
July 4 – Sergio Oliva, Cuban bodybuilder (d. 2012)
July 8 – Dario Gradi, Italia amateur football player, coach and manager
July 21 – Diogo Freitas do Amaral, Portuguese politician, 110th Prime Minister of Portugal (d. 2019)
July 23 – Sergio Mattarella, Italian lawyer, judge and politician, 12th President of Italy
July 26 – Darlene Love, African-American singer, actress
July 27 – Bill Baxley, Alabama politician
July 29 - David Warner, British actor  July 30 – Paul Anka, Canadian-American singer, songwriter 
August 2 – Ede Staal, Dutch singer-songwriter (d. 1986)
August 12 – Deborah Walley, American actress (d. 2001)
August 16 – Théoneste Bagosora, Rwandan army officer, alleged planner of the Rwandan genocide (d. 2021)
August 18 - Mohamed Ghannouchi, 8th Prime Minister of Tunisia
August 20 – Slobodan Milo?evi?, 3rd President of Yugoslavia and 1st President of Serbia (d. 2006)
August 21 – Jackie DeShannon, American singer, songwriter (" What the World Needs Now")
August 28 – A. I. Katsina-Alu, Nigerian judge (d. 2018)
August 29 – Robin Leach, English television personality (d. 2018) August 30, Hengky Solaiman, Indonesian Actor
September 3 – Sergei Dovlatov, Russian short-story writer, novelist (d. 1990)
September 4 – Sushilkumar Shinde, Indian politician
September 14 – Alberto Naranjo, Venezuelan musician (d. 2020)
September 15 – Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Hungarian politician (d. 2018)
September 18 – Priscilla Mitchell, American country music singer (d. 2014)
September 19 – Cass Elliot, American singer ( ) (d. The Mamas & the Papas 1974)
September 20 – Dale Chihuly, American glass sculptor
September 23 – George Jackson, American author (d. 1971)
September 24 – Linda McCartney, American activist, musician and photographer (d. 1998) 
September 27 – Gay Kayler Ashcroft, Australian country music singer
September 28 – Edmund Stoiber, German politician September 29 – Fred West, British serial killer (d. 1995)
October 1 - Vyacheslav Vedenin, Soviet cross-country skier
October 3 – Chubby Checker, African-American singer ( ) The Twist 
October 5 – Eduardo Duhalde, 50th President of Argentina 
October 8 – Jesse Jackson, African-American clergyman, civil rights activist and presidential candidate
October 11 – Valerii Postoyanov, Soviet Olympic sport shooter (d. 2018)
October 13 – Paul Simon, American singer-songwriter ( ) Simon and Garfunkel
October 19 – Peter Thornley, English professional wrestler best known for the ring character Kendo Nagasaki 
October 27 – Gerd Brantenberg, Norwegian feminist author, gay rights activist
October 28 – Hank Marvin, British guitarist, singer and songwriter ( ) The Shadows 
October 30 – Theodor W. Hänsch, German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics recipient
October 30 – Otis Williams, American singer October 31 – Sally Kirkland, American actress
November 1 - Robert Foxworth, American actor
November 2 – Bruce Welch, British guitarist, singer and songwriter
November 2 – Arun Shourie, Indian author and economist
November 5 – Art Garfunkel, American singer ( ) Simon and Garfunkel
November 7 – Angelo Scola, Italian cardinal
November 20 – Dr. John, American singer and songwriter (d. 2019)  
November 21 – ?dil Biret, Turkish pianist
November 22 – Tom Conti, British actor and director
November 23 – Franco Nero, Italian actor
November 24 – Pete Best, English drummer
November 28 – Laura Antonelli, Italian actress (d. 2015) November 29 - Lothar Emmerich, German footballer (d. 2003)
December 8 - Geoff Hurst, English footballer
December 11 – Max Baucus, American politician and diplomat
December 12 - Vitaly Solomin, Soviet and Russian actor, director and screenwriter (d. 2002)
December 13 – John Davidson, American singer, actor
December 14 – Karan Armstrong, American opera singer (d. 2021) 
December 16 – Poldy Bird, Argentine writer (d. 2018)
December 21 – Lo Hoi-pang, Hong Kong-born Chinese actor
December 24 – Hans Eichel, German politician December 31 – Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish football manager ( Manchester United)
January 4 – Henri Bergson, French philosopher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (b. 1859) 
January 11 – Emanuel Lasker, German chess champion (b. 1868)
January 13 – James Joyce, Irish novelist, poet and critic (b. 1882) 
January 15 – Guglielmo Pecori Giraldi, Italian nobleman, general, and politician (b. 1856)
January 21 – Rudolf von Brudermann, Austro-Hungarian general (b. 1851) January 29 – Ioannis Metaxas, Greek military officer, politician and Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1871) 
April 3 – Pál Teleki, 2-time Prime Minister of Hungary (b. 1879)
April 5 – Sir Nigel Gresley, English steam locomotive engineer ( and Flying Scotsman ) (b. Mallard 1876)
April 13 – Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (b. 1863)
April 16 – Josiah Stamp, British baron, banker, civil servant, industrialist, economist and statistician (b. 1880)
April 17 – Hans Driesch, German biologist, philosopher (b. 1867)
April 24 – King Sisowath Monivong of Cambodia (b. 1875) April 30 – Edwin S. Porter, American film director (b. 1870)
May 4 – Theodor Tobler, Swiss chocolatier, founder of Toblerone (b. 1876)
May 6 – Sh?z? Kuki, Japanese philosopher (b. 1888)
May 7 – Sir James Frazer, Scottish social anthropologist (b. 1854)
May 11 – Peggy Shannon, American actress (b. 1910)
May 12 – Ruth Stonehouse, American actress (b. 1892)
May 16 – Minnie Vautrin, American missionary, heroine of the Nanjing Massacre (b. 1887)
May 24 – Lancelot Holland, British admiral (b. 1887)
May 27 – Günther Lütjens, German admiral (b. 1889)
May 27 – Ernst Lindemann, Captain of the Battleship Bismarck (b. 1894) May 30 – Prajadhipok (Rama VII), King of Siam (b. 1893)
June 2 – Lou Gehrig, American baseball player ( New York Yankees), MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1903)
June 4 – Wilhelm II, German Emperor, last Emperor of Germany (b. 1859) 
June 6 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born automobile builder and racing driver (b. 1878)
June 15 – Evelyn Underhill, British writer (b. 1875)
June 25 – Luigi Capello, Italian general (b. 1859) June 29 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist, composer, and third Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1860)
July 3 – Friedrich Akel, Estonian diplomat, politician (b. 1871)
July 4 – Antoni ?omnicki, Polish mathematician (b. 1881)
July 10 – Jelly Roll Morton, African-American jazz musician and composer (b. 1890)
July 11 – Sir Arthur Evans, English archaeologist (b. 1851)
July 15 – Walter Ruttmann, German director (b. 1887)
July 22 – Dmitry Pavlov, Soviet general (executed) (b. 1897)
July 23 – José Quiñones Gonzales, Peruvian aviator (b. 1914)
July 24 – Rudolf Ramek, 5th Chancellor of Austria (b. 1881)
July 26 – Henri Lebesgue, French mathematician (b. 1875)
July 30 – Hugo Celmi, Prime Minister of Latvia (b. 1877) July 31 – Ron Barassi Sr., Australian rules footballer (b. 1913)
August 1 – James Drake, Australian politician (b. 1850)
August 7 – Rabindranath Tagore, Indian author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1861)
August 12 – Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, British politician and colonial administrator, 22nd Viceroy of India (b. 1866)
August 13 – J. Stuart Blackton, American film producer (b. 1875) 
August 20 – John Baird, 1st Viscount Stonehaven, British politician, 8th Governor-General of Australia (b. 1874)
August 30 – Peder Oluf Pedersen, Danish engineer, physicist (b. 1874) August 31 – Marina Tsvetaeva, Soviet and Russian poet (b. 1892)
November 7 – Frank Pick, British transport administrator, designer (b. 1878)
November 10 - Carrie Derick, Canadian botanist and geneticist (b. 1862)
November 17 – Ernst Udet, German World War I fighter ace, Nazi Luftwaffe official (suicide) (b. 1896)
November 23 – Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, dramatist, impersonator, and public speaker (b. 1860)
November 25 – Pedro Aguirre Cerda, President of Chile (b. 1879)
November 26 – Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Danish sculptor, ceramist (b. 1861) November 27 – Sir Charles Briggs, British general (b. 1865)
December 2 – Edward Rydz-?mig?y, Polish marshal (b. 1886)
December 3 – Christian Sinding, Norwegian composer (b. 1856)
December 7 – Isaac C. Kidd, American admiral (killed in action) (b. 1884)
December 8 – Izidor Kürschner, Hungarian football player and coach (b. 1885) 
December 10 – Tom Phillips, British admiral (b. 1888) 
December 11 – Émile Picard, French mathematician (b. 1856)
December 15 – Blessed Martyrs of Drina, Croatian nuns
December 25 – Blanche Bates, American stage actress (b. 1873)
December 29 – Tullio Levi-Civita, Italian mathematician (b. 1873)
December 30 – El Lissitzky, Russian artist, architect (b. 1890) December 31 - Jock Lewes, British Army officer and founding principal of the Special Air Service (b. 1913)
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