Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
Years: 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 - 1943 - 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948
January 11 - The United States and United Kingdom give up territorial rights in China.
January 14 - Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to travel by airplane while in office (Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill to discuss World War II).
January 15 - World War II: Japanese driven off Guadalcanal
January 15 - The world's largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated (Arlington, Virginia).
January 18 - World War II: Soviet officials announce they have broken the Wehrmacht's siege of Leningrad.
January 18 - The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto
January 23 - World War II: British forces capture Tripoli from the Nazis.
January 23 - Duke Ellington plays at New York City's Carnegie Hall for the first time.
January 24 - World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill conclude a conference in Casablanca.
January 27 - World War II: 50 bombers mount the first all American air raid against Germany (Wilhelmshaven was the target).
February 1 - World War II: Vidkun Quisling appointed Premier of Norway by the Nazi occupiers
February 2 - World War II: End of the Battle of Stalingrad in Russia.
February 7 - World War II: In the United States it is announced that shoe rationing will go into effect in two days.
February 8 - World War II: Battle of Kursk - the Russian army captures the city
February 8 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal - United States forces defeat Japanese troops.
February 11 - General Eisenhower is selected to command the allied armies in Europe.
February 14 - World War II:Rostov, Russia is liberated.
February 14 - World War II: The Battle of the Kasserine Pass - German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps launch an offensive against Allied defenses in Tunisia; it is the United States' first major battle defeat of the war
February 16 - World War II: Russia reconquers Kharkov
February 18 - The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement
February 20 - American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies
February 22 - Members of White Rose are executed in Nazi Germany.
March 2 - World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea - United States and Australian forces sink Japanese convoy ships
March 3 - 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station in London.
March 8 - World War II: American forces are attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville in a battle that will last five days.
March 13 - World War II: In Bougainville, Japanese troops end their assault on American forces at Hill 700.
March 26 - World War II: Battle of Komandorski Islands - In the Aleutian Islands the battle begins when United States Navy forces intercept Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.
April 22 - Albert Hofmann writes his first report about the hallucinogenic properties of LSD, which he first synthesized in 1938 .
April 25 - Easter occurs on the latest possible date. Last time 1886 next time 2038.
April 27 - The U.S. Federal Writers' Project is shuttered.
May 11 - World War II: American troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
May 13 - World War II: German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allied forces.
May 16 - World War II: The Dambuster Raids by RAF 617 Sqdn on German dams.
May 16 - Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising ends.
May 17 - World War II: Surviving RAF Dam Busters return.
May 17 - The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC.
May 24 - Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer in Auschwitz.
July 5 - World War II: Battle of Kursk - The largest tank battle in history begins.
July 5 - World War II: An Allied invasion fleet sails to Sicily.
July 10 - World War II: The Allies begin their invasion of Axis-controlled Europe with landings on the island of Sicily, off mainland Italy.
July 19 - World War II: Rome is bombed by the Allies for the first time in the war.
July 24 - World War II: Operation Gomorrah begins: British and Canadian aeroplanes bomb Hamburg by night, those of the Americans by day. By the end of the operation in November, 9,000 tons of explosives will have killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings.
July 25 - In Italy the Gran Consiglio del Fascismo retires its consent to Mussolini; Mussolini is arrested and the power is given to Maresciallo d'Italia Gen. Pietro Badoglio.
July 27 - World War II: USSR leader Joseph Stalin issues Order No. 227 in response to alarming German advances into Russia. Under the order all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so will be immediately killed.
July 28 - World War II: Operation Gomorrah - The British bomb Hamburg causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians.
August 17 - World War II: The US 7th Army under General George S. Patton arrive in Messina followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
September 3 - World War II: Mainland Italy is invaded by Allied forces under Bernard L. Montgomery, for the first time in the war.
September 5 - World War II: The 503rd Parachute Regiment under American General Douglas MacArthur lands and occupies Nazdab, just east of the port city of Lae in northeastern Papua New Guinea.
September 8 - World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies.
September 8 - World War II: Julius Fucik, was executed by Nazis.
October 13 - World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.
November 1 - World War II: Operation Goodtime launched - United States Marines invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2 - World War II: British troops, in Italy, reach the Garigliano River
November 15 - Porajmos: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies and "part-Gypsies" were to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps."
November 16 - World War II: After flying from Great Britain, 160 American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vermork, Norway.
November 18 - World War II: 440 Royal Air Force planes bomb Berlin causing only light damage and killing 131. The RAF lost nine aircraft and 53 aviators.
November 20 - World War II: Battle of Tarawa begins - United States Marines land on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands and take heavy fire from Japanese shore guns.
November 22 - World War II: War in the Pacific - US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and ROC leader Chiang Kai-Shek meet in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss ways to defeat Japan.
November 22 - Lebanon gains independence from France.
November 28 - World War II: Tehran Conference - US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin meet in Tehran to discuss war strategy (on November 30 they established an agreement concerning a planned June 1944 invasion of Europe codenamed Operation Overlord).
December 4 - World War II: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
December 4 - Great Depression ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes the Works Progress Administration.
December 24 - World War II: US General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the supreme Allied commander.
December 30 - Chandra Bose raises the flag of Indian independence at Port Blair.
Development of the Colossus computer by British to break German encryption (see History of computing hardware).
Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
January 2 - Baris Manco, Turkish celebrity
January 4 - Doris Kearns Goodwin, writer
January 10 - Jim Croce, singer (+ 1973)
January 11 - Jim Hightower, radio host, author
January 12 - Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors
January 16 - Brian Ferneyhough, composer
January 19 - Janis Joplin, blues singer
January 19 - Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
January 24 - Sharon Tate, actress (+ 1969)
January 25 - Tobe Hooper, director
January 30 - Marty Balin, musician
February 3 - Blythe Danner, actress
February 5 - Nolan Bushnell, video game pioneer
February 5 - Craig Morton, American football star
February 6 - Fabian Forte, singer
February 7 - Gareth Hunt. actor
February 9 - Joe Pesci, actor
February 10 - Frank-Patrick Steckel, theater director
February 11 - Ian Cameron, British brigadier
February 14 - Maceo Parker, musician (P-Funk)
February 15 - Elke Heidenreich, journalist and writer
February 18 - Graeme Garden, writer, comedian, actor
February 20 - Mike Leigh, director
February 21 - David Geffen, producer
February 23 - Fred Biletnikoff, American football star, coach
February 24 - George Harrison, musician, member of The Beatles (+ 2001)
March 2 - Peter Straub, American author
March 8 - Lynn Redgrave, actress
March 9 - Bobby Fischer, chess player
March 15 - David Cronenberg, director
March 22 - Bruno Ganz, actor
March 26 - Bob Woodward, journalist
March 29 - Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, aka Vangelis, new age musician
March 29 - Eric Idle, actor, writer, composer
March 29 - John Major, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
March 31 - Christopher Walken, actor
May 8 - Toni Tennille, singer
May 14 - Jack Bruce, bass guitarist
May 14 - Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland
May 22 - Betty Williams, politician, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Peace
May 23 - John Newcombe, tennis player
May 31 - Joe Namath (Pro American Football Hall of Famer: quarterback)
May 31 - Sharon Gless (actress)
June 15 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
June 17 - Newt Gingrich, United States politician
July 4 - Geraldo Rivera, reporter, talk show host
July 10 - Arthur Ashe, tennis player (+ 1993)
August 14 - Jimmy Johnson, former American Football coach, TV analyst
August 17 - Robert De Niro, United States actor
August 30 - Jean-Claude Killy, skier
September 11 - Gilbert Proesch, artist, half of Gilbert and George
September 11 - Raymond Villeneuve, FLQ terrorist
October 2 - Franklin Rosemont, co-founder of the Surrealist Movement in the United States
November 7 - Joni Mitchell, musician
December 8 - James Douglas Morrison, later known as Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter and poet (+ 1971)
December 17 - Ron Geesin, musician.
December 18 - Keith Richards, guitarist for The Rolling Stones
January 5 - George Washington Carver, educator, activist, botanist
January 7 - Nikola Tesla, inventor
January 23 - Alexander Woolcott, bon vivant
February 14 - David Hilbert, mathematician
March 28 - Sergei Rachmaninov, composer and pianist
May 26 - Edsel Ford
July 21 - Charlie Paddock, American athlete
August 28 - King Boris III of Bulgaria
Physics - Otto Stern
Chemistry - George de Hevesy
Medicine - Henrik Carl Peter Dam, Edward Adelbert Doisy 1939 - Gerhard Domagk
Literature - not awarded
Peace - not awarded