This is the year in which the victorious United States avoids one major ground war in Asia but fails to prevent the Western European imperial powers--Britain, France and the Netherlands--from restoring colonial rule in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The result will be tragedy in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria and Palestine. Europe and Asia are hungry, the Chinese Civil War begins and the defeated Axis powers Japan, Germany and Italy begin rebuilding the economies. Thet will succeed because they are already advanced industrial economies with secular national identities.
- United States withdraws its miltiary forces from north China and avoids at least one bloody ground war in Asia.
- Manuel Roxas y Acuña elected first president of the newly independent Philippines.
- Final withdrawal of French forces from Lebanon.
- General Strike by Black workers in South Africa.
- Frank Capra releases It's a Wonderful Life
- Second Cannes Film Festival; first was held in 1939.
- Soichiro Honda establishes Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu. Two years before the establishment of Honda Motor Co., Honda launches first product: a motorized bicycle.
- Kim Song-su founds the Korea Democratic Party.
- January 1: Anglo-Thai Peace Treaty signed.
- January 1: Japanese Emperor Hirohito disclaims his divinity in a New Year's message to the Japanese people. This was not a big secret to most Japanese.
- January 2: Risible "King" Zog of Albania deposed.
- January 6: First and last free election is held in Vietnam. French colonial officials actually ban the election in Cochin China, but Vietnamese voters participate secretly. Ho Chi Minh wins election in the district of [[Hanoi, winning 90% of the vote.
- January 8: French colonial troops begin landing at Haiphong Harbor.
- January 10: First United Nations General Assembly opens.
- January 22: Pres. Harry Truman establishes the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA from the OSS apparatus.
- January 24: United Nations establisheds the International Atomic Energy Commission or IAEA.
- February 1: Trygve Lie elected first Secretary General of the United Nations.
- February 14: Bank of England nationalized and reorganized.
- February 16: Ho Chi Minh writes the U.S. government complaining about the French re-occupation of Vietnam, and making using of the Munich Analogy.
- February 21: Finnish court sentences ex-President Risto Ryti to prison term for war crimes. Pardoned in 1949.
- March 18: Cross-examination of former German Lutwafe chief Hermann Goring begins at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal.
- Britain unveils plans for a United Somalia in Paris, without having consulted Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.
- April 5: Soviet troops withdraw from Iran.
- April 18: League of Nations formally dissolved; assets transferred to the new United Nations.
- May 2: Alcatraz prisoner rebellion.
- May 28: Blum-Byrnes Accords are signed, effectively extinguishing French lend-lease debts.
- June 3: The U.S. Supreme Court rules 7 to 1 in Morgan v. Virginia that a Virginia law requiring segregated seating on interstate buses is an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.
- June 12: British arrest the Indonesian station master of Tijrandong for distributing seditious posters in Gurkhali.
- July 1: The planet's fourth atomic bomb test takes place above the lagoon of Bikini Atoll at 34 seconds after 9:00 a.m.
- July 2: Ron Silver is born in New York City.
- July 4: The Philippines, a United States protectorate (colony), gains its independence.
- July 4: Ron Kovic is born.
- July 6: The Bikini swimsuit is introduced. Designed by French engineer Louis Reard, it is first modeled by Micheline Bernardini.
- July 6: George W. Bush is born.
- July 14: Dr. Benjamin Spock's Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care is published.
- July 22: Zionist terrorists bomb the King David Hotel.
- July 25: KKK terrorists in Monroe, Georgia murder two couples, Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey, who was seven months' pregnant. U.S. President Harry Truman dispatchs FBI to Monroe, 45 miles east of Atlanta. The FBI gives up when it is met a wall of white silence and black fear. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover would rather chase communists than racists, anyway.
- July 26: U.S. President Harry Truman orders desegregation of all US armed forces. Why did this take so long?
- August 3: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is born in Essex.
- August 13: H.G. Wells dies in London.
- August 13: Britain transferrs European Jewish illegal immigrants bound for Palestine to Cyprus.
- August 16: Sectarian rioting in Calcutta leaves 4,000 dead.
- August 19: Bill Clinton is born in Hope, Arkansas.
- September 15: Oliver Stone is born.
- October 1: Nazi war criminals receive sentencing at the Nuremberg trials.
- October 4: President Harry Truman sends message to the British government appealing for "substantial immigration" of Jews into Palestine (a British League of Nations Mandate since 1923) and expressing support for the Zionist project of creating a "viable Jewish state."
- October 12: Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell dies.
- October 15: former German Lutwafe chief Hermann Goring escapes execution by hanging by committing suicide in his prison cell with cyanide provided by his U.S. guard, a 'good ole boy' from Texas with whom Goring had struck up a friendship over their mutual fascination with guns and hunting. Executions of the other convicted war criminals begin that day. Julius Streicher goes to his death screaming "Heil Hitler."
- October 17: Winston Churchill proclaims "an Iron Curtain has swept across the continent," beginning the Cold War.
- November 5: John F. Kennedy is elected as U.S. representative for the 11th Congressional District in Boston at age 29. He wil be re-elected in 1948 and 1950.
- November 23: French Navy kill 6000 in a bombardment of Haiphong, Vietnam.
- December 3: General Strike shut down Oakland, CA for 2 days.
- December 14: United Nations General Assembly voted to establish the U.N. world headquarters in New York City.
- December 17: British Chancellor of the Exchequr Hugh Dalton admits that British military occupation of the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia cost Britain 15 million pounds and it was uncertain that any of it would ever be recovered. Result: Dutch colonial rule over Indonesia is only temporarily restored.
- December 18: Stephen Biko is born.
- December 20: Andrei Codrescu is born in Sibiu, Romania.