1939 1940 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944 1945
| Decades: |
1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s
| Centuries: |
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - World War II: The word "United Nations" is first officially used to describe the Allied pact.
- January 2 - World War II: Manila is captured by Japanese forces.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- February 9
- February 15 - World War II: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces.
- February 19
- World War II: About 150 Japanese warplanes attack Darwin, Australia
- World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.
- February 20 - Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's first World War II flying ace
- February 22 - World War II: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defense of the nation collapses.
- February 23 - Japanese I-boat fires 16 high explosive shells into a Santa Barbara oil refinery, causing little damage
- February 24 - Propaganda: The Voice of America begins broadcasting.
- February 25 - Princess Elizabeth registers for war service
- February 26 - Coal dust explosion in Honkeika mine in China - 1549 dead
- February 27 - World War II: the USS Langley, the first United States aircraft carrier, is sunk by Japanese warplanes.
- March 5 - [[Felipe Gonz�lez|Felipe Gonz�lez M�rquez]], Prime Minister of Spain?
- March 8 - World War II: The Dutch surrender to Japanese forces on Java.
- March 8 - World War II: Japan captures Rangoon, Burma.
- March 9 - Effective date of major reorganization of U.S. Army, enhancing status of Army Air Forces.
- March 11 - World War II: General Douglas MacArthur abandons Corregidor
- March 19 - The Thoroughbred Racing Association is established in Chicago, Illinois.
- March 23 - World War II: In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces capture the Anadaman Islands.
- March 26 - World War II: In Poland, Auschwitz receives its first female prisoners.
- March 28 - World War II: In occupied France, United Kingdom naval and commando forces destroy the dry docks at the German-occupied port of St. Nazaire.
- April 3 - World War II: Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula. Bataan fell on April 9 and the Bataan Death March began.
- April 27 - World War II: A national plebiscite is held in Canada on the issue of conscription.
- May - first test of an undersea oil pipeline in Operation Pluto
- May 6 - World War II: On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.
- May 8 - World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end. This is the first time in the naval history where two enemy fleets fought without seeing each other's fleets.
- May 12 - World War II: Battle of Kharkov - In the eastern Ukraine, the Soviet Army initiates its first major offensive of the war. During the battle the Soviets will take the city of Kharkov back from the German Army.
- May 15 - World War II: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
- May 20 - First colored seamen taken into US Navy
- June 4-7 - World War II: The Battle of Midway.
- June 9 - World War II: Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice as reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich.
- June 12 - Holocaust: Future essayist Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday.
- June 13 - The United States opens its Office of War Information, a center for production of propaganda.
- July 1 - July 27 - World War II: the First Battle of El Alamein
- July 9 - Holocaust: Anne Frank's family goes into hiding in an attic above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
- July 13 - World War II: German U-Boats sink three more merchant ships in Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- July 16 - Holocaust: On order from the Vichy France government headed by Pierre Laval, French police officers round-up 13,000-20,000 Jews and imprison them in the Winter Velodrome.
- July 18 - World War II: The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me-262 using only its jets for the first time.
- July 19 - World War II: Battle of the Atlantic - German Grand Admiral [[Karl D�nitz]] orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions in response to an effective American convoy system.
- July 22 - Holocaust: The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto begins.
- August 7 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal begins - US Marines initiate the first American offensive of the war with a landing on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
- August 8 - World War II: In Washington, DC, six German would-be saboteurs are executed (two others were cooperative and received life imprisonment instead).
- August 8 - Quit India resolution was passed by the Bombay session of the AICC, which led to the start of a historical civil disobidience movement across India
- August 9 - Indian leader, Mohandas Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces.
- August 13-14 night - In London instruments detect a massive burst of cosmic rays
- August 16 - Polish-Jewish teacher Janusz Korczak follows a group of Jewish children into Treblinka death camp
- August 19 - World War II: The Dieppe Raid - Allied forces raid Dieppe, France.
- August 22 - World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.
- September 3 - Francisco Franco fires foreign minister [[Serano Su�erin]]
- September 24 - [[Andr�e Borrel]] and Lise de Baissac became the first female SOE agents to be parachuted into occupied France.
- October 2 - British cruiser Curacao collides with the liner Queen Mary off the coast of Donegal and sinks - 338 drowned
- October 3 - The first V-2 rocket (A4 Rocket) is launched into space in [[Peenem�nde]], Germany.
- October 9 - Statute of Westminster Adoption Act formalizes Australian autonomy.
- October 11 - World War II: Battle of Cape Esperance - On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
- October 16 - Hurricane and flooding in Bombay - 40.000 dead
- October 23 - November 4 - World War II: the Second Battle of El Alamein
- October 28 - The Alaska Highway is completed.
- October 29 - Holocaust: In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews.
- November 3 - World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein ends - German forces under Erwin Rommel are forced to retreat during the night.
- November 8 - World War II: Operation Torch - United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa.
- November 10 - World War II: In violation of a 1940 armistice, Germany invades Vichy France following French Admiral [[Fran�ois Darlan]] agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.
- November 12 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal begins - A naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American forces.
- November 13 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal - Aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese heavy cruiser BB- Hiei.
- November 15 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal ends - Although the United States Navy suffered heavy losses, it was able to retain control of Guadalcanal.
- November 19 - World War II: Battle of Stalingrad - Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR's favor.
- November 21 - The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (the "highway" was not usable by general vehicles until 1943, however).
- November 22 - World War II: Battle of Stalingrad - The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seems desperate during the Soviet counter-attack Operation Uranus and General Friedrich von Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th army is surrounded.
- November 23 - German U-boat sinks SS Ben Lomond off the coast of Brazil. One crewman, Chinese second steward Poon Lim, is separated from the others and spends 130 days adrift until he is rescued April 3 1943
- November 28 - In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club kills 491 people.
- December 2 - Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiate the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (a coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" was then sent to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt).
- December 4 - Holocaust: In Warsaw, two Christian women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz risk their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews.
- Catavi massacre - Bolivian soldiers shoot miners
- Serial killer Singing Strangler in Melbourne
- Grand Coulee Dam finished in Columbia River
- DDT first used as a pesticide
Year in topic
- 1942 in art
- 1942 in film
- 1942 in literature
- 1942 in music
- "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
- 1942 in sports
- 1942 in television
- January 1 - Martin Frost, U.S. politician
- January 1 - Gennadi Sarafanov, cosmonaut
- January 3 - John Thaw, actor (d. 2002)
- January 5 - Maurizio Pollini, pianist
- January 5 - Charlie Rose, talk show host
- January 7 - Paul Revere, singer and musician
- January 8 - Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist.
- January 8 - Yvette Mimieux, actress
- January 8 - George Passmore, artist, half of Gilbert and George
- January 11 - Clarence Clemens, musician (E Street Band)
- January 14 - Stig Engstr�m, actor
- January 15 - Charo, singer, actress
- January 17 - Muhammad Ali, boxer
- January 17 - Ulf Hoelscher, violinist
- January 19 - Michael Crawford, singer, actor
- January 25 - [[Eus�bio]], football player
- January 31 - Derek Jarman, director, writer (d. 1994)
- February 1 - Terry Jones, actor, writer ("Monty Python's Flying Circus")
- February 2 - Graham Nash, musician
- February 5 - Roger Staubach, Football Hall of Famer
- February 9 - Carole King, singer, composer
- February 11 - Archie Andrews, (comic book character).
- February 11 - Leon Haywood, vocalist/keyboardist.
- February 11 - Tony Colton, rock producer.
- February 11 - Otis Clay, gospel/R&B-singer.
- February 12 - Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel
- February 13 - Peter Tork, musician/actor.
- February 15 - Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea
- February 20 - Phil Esposito, ice hockey player
- February 21 - Margarethe von Trotta, actor, film director, writer
- February 24 - John Neumeier, choreographer
- February 24 - Joseph Lieberman, politician, candidate for U.S. Vice President
- February 28 - Brian Jones, musician ("The Rolling Stones") (d. 1969)
- March 1 - Gabriel Hudon, FLQ terrorist
- March 2 - John Irving, author
- March 2 - Lou Reed, singer and guitarist
- March 4 - Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps
- March 5 - [[Felipe Gonz�lez|Felipe Gonz�lez M�rquez]], politician
- March 7 - Tammy Faye Bakker, evangelist
- March 7 - Michael Eisner, President of The Walt Disney Company
- March 13 - Dave Cutler, software engineer
- March 16 - James Soong, politician
- March 17 - John Wayne Gacy, serial killer
- March 23 - Walter Rodney, historian, political figure
- March 25 - Aretha Franklin, singer
- March 25 - Richard O'Brien, actor, writer
- March 26 - Erica Jong, author
- March 27 - Michael York, actor
- March 29 - Stingray Davis, musician (P-Funk)
- April 3 - Marsha Mason, actress
- April 3 - Wayne Newton, singer
- April 5 - Peter Greenaway, film maker
- April 5 - Pascal Couchepin, member of the Swiss Federal Council
- April 6 - Barry Levinson, producer, director
- April 14 - Valentin Lebedev, cosmonaut
- April 26 - Bobby Rydell, singer
- May 2 - Jacques Rogge, Belgian IOC president
- May 7 - Gerhard Polt, cabaretist
- May 9 - John Ashcroft, United States Attorney General
- May 12 - Ian Dury, rock star (d. 2000)
- May 17 - Taj Mahal, singer, guitarist
- May 18 - Albert Hammond, musician, composer
- May 19 - Gary Kildall, computer programmer (d. 1994)
- May 22 - Theodore Kaczynski, neo-luddite terrorist
- May 22 - Calvin Simon, musician (P Funk)
- May 22 - Volker Canaris, theatre director
- May 26 - Levon Helm of The Band
- June 10 - Preston Manning, Canadian politician
- June 18 - Roger Ebert, film critic
- June 18 - Hans Vonk, conductor
- July 4 - His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent
- July 7 - Carmen Duncan, soap opera actress (Another World)
- July 10 - Pyotr Klimuk, cosmonaut
- July 10 - Ronnie James Dio, singer
- July 13 - Harrison Ford, Actor/producer
- July 15 - Mil Mascaras, "The Man of a Thousand Masks"
- July 17 - Tim Brooke-Taylor, radio and TV comedian
- July 23 - Myra Hindley, Moors murderess
- July 24 - Chris Sarandon, actor
- July 29 - Tony Sirico, actor
- August 1 - Jerry Garcia, guitarist and singer
- August 7 - Garrison Keillor, radio host
- August 19 - Fred Thompson, U.S. Senator, attorney, actor (Cape Fear, Law & Order)
- August 26 - Dennis Turner, Labour Party member of Parliament since 1987
- September 19 - Freda Payne, singer, actress
- September 29 - Madeline Kahn, actress (d. 1999)
- September 30 - Frankie Lymon, American singer (d. 1968)
- October 11 - Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor
- October 13 - Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys
- October 19 - Andrew Vachss, author and attorney
- October 23 - Michael Crichton, author
- November 1 - Ralph Klein, Premier of Alberta
- November 5 - Harold Krents, lawyer and author
- November 10 - Hans-Rudolf Merz, member of the Swiss Federal Council
- November 13 - John Hammond, blues singer
- November 17 - Martin Scorsese, film director
- November 27 - Jimi Hendrix, rock musician
- November 27 - Henry Carr, American athlete
- December 6 - Peter Handke, Austrian novelist
- December 7 - Peter Tomarken, game show host
- December 9 - Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears linebacker
- December 20 - Bob Hayes, American athlete
- Unknown date - Moammar Al Qadhafi
- January 6 - Henri de Baillet-Latour, Belgian IOC president
- January 16 - Carole Lombard, actress
- January 26 - Felix Hausdorff, German mathematician (b. 1868)
- February 19 - Frank Abbandando (executed), Mafia hitman
- February 28 - Karel Doorman, Dutch admiral
- March 1 - Cornelius Vanderbilt III, military officer, inventor, engineer
- March 8 - [[Jos� Ra�l Capablanca]], Cuban chess player
- April 15 - Robert Musil, Austrian novelist
- April 18 – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sculptor, socialite
- May 3 - Thorvald Stauning, Prime Minister of Denmark
- May 29 - John Barrymore, actor (b. 1882)
- July 23 - Adam Czerniakow, head of the Judenrat in the Warsaw Ghetto
- August 25 - His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
- September 29 - Esther Adolphine, sister of Sigmund Freud, in Theresienstadt concentration camp
- November 5 - George M. Cohan US songwriter & entertainer
- November 19 - Bruno Schulz, Polish-Jewish writer and painter, shot dead by a German officer in the Drohobycz ghetto (b. 1892)
- December 22 - Franz Boas, German cultural anthropologist (b. 1858)
- Ernest Brastins, organizer of Dievturiba
- Physics - not awarded
- Chemistry - not awarded
- Medicine - not awarded
- Literature - not awarded
- Peace - not awarded
Heads of state in 1942
ast:1942 bg:1942 be:1942 ca:1942 cs:1942 cy:1942 da:1942 de:1942 et:1942 el:1942 es:1942 eo:1942 eu:1942 fr:1942 fy:1942 gl:1942 ko:1942년 hr:1942 io:1942 is:1942 it:1942 he:1942 la:1942 lb:1942 nl:1942 ja:1942年 no:1942 pl:1942 pt:1942 ro:1942 ru:1942 sl:1942 sr:1942 fi:1942 sv:1942 tr:1942 uk:1942 wa:1942 zh:1942年