1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar).
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Fiction
- 5 Nobel Prizes
- January 6 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.
- January 10 - Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress.
- January 19 - British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
- January 21 - World War II: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk, Libya.
- January 22 - World War II: British troops capture Tobruk from the Italians.
- January 23 - Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
- February 3 - World War II: The Nazis forcibly restore Pierre Laval to office in occupied Vichy, France.
- February 4 - World War II: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- February 11 - World War II: Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli.
- March 1 - World War II: Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact thus joining the Axis powers.
- March 1 - W47NV begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee becoming the first FM radio station.
- March 1 - Arthur L. Bristol becomes Rear Admiral for the U.S. Navy's Support Force, Atlantic Fleet
- March 11 - World War II: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
- March 17 - In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- March 17 - British Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin, calls for women to fill vital jobs
- March 22 - Washington's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.
- March 25 - World War II: Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Vienna joins the Axis powers
- March 27 - World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor.
- March 29 - World War II: Battle of Cape Matapan - Off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean, British naval forces defeat those of Italy sinking five warships. Battle started on March 27.
- April 6 - World War II: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
- April 9 - Slavomir Rawicz and six others escape from a Soviet prison camp in Yakutsk - they begin 6500 km long walk to India
- April 17 - World War II: Yugoslav Royal Army capitulates.
- April 21 - World War II: Greece capitulates. British troops retract to Crete.
- April 27 - World War II: German troops enter Athens.
- April - Russia and Japan sign a neutrality pact.
- May 1 - Breakfast cereal Cheerios is introduced as CheeriOats by General Mills
- May 1 - Orson Welles' film, Citizen Kane, premieres in New York City
- May 5 - Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, which had been liberated from Italian forces; this date has been since commemorated as Liberation Day in Ethiopia.
- May 6 - At California's March Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
- May 9 - World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the British Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
- May 10 - World War II: The United Kingdom's House of Commons is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
- May 10 - World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland claiming to be on a peace mission.
- May 20 - World War II: Battle of Crete - German troops invade Crete.
- May 21 - World War II: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
- May 24 - World War II: In the North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood killing all but three crewman on what was the pride of the Royal Navy.
- May 26 - World War II: In the North Atlantic, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal fatally cripple the German battleship Bismarck in torpedo attack.
- May 27 - World War II: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
- May 27 - World War II: German battleship Bismarck is sunk in North Atlantic killing 2,300.
- June 1 - World War II: Crete capitulates to Germany.
- June 8 - World War II: Allies invade Syria and Lebanon.
- June 9 - World War II: Finland initiate mobilization and put some units under German command.
- June 14 - Mass deportations by Soviet Union authorities take place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
- June 22 - World War II: Germany attacks the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
- June 25 - World War II: Finland attacked by the Soviet Union seeks the opportunity of revenge in the Continuation War.
- July 4 - Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers, committed by German troops in captured Polish city of Lwów.
- July 5 - World War II: German troops reach the Dnipro River.
- July 5-19 - War between Peru and Ecuador
- July 7 - World War II: American forces land in Iceland to forestall an invasion by the Nazis.
- July 13 - World War II - Montenegro starts the first popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers.
- July 26 - World War II: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
- July 31 - 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 - Formation of the Political Warfare Executive in the United Kingdom
- August 1 - The first jeep is produced
- August 6 - 6-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma. She dies 1978, still in coma.
- August 18 - Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and handicapped due to protests. However, graduates of the T-4 Euthanasia Program were then transferred to concentration camps, where they continued in their trade.
- September 6 - 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 - World War II: Siege of Leningrad begins - German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad. Stalin orders the Volga Deutsche deported to Siberia.
- September 16 - Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran is forced to resign in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
- October 2 - World War II: Operation Typhoon - Germany begins an all-out offensive against Moscow.
- October 8 - World War II: In their invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov with the capture of Mariupol.
- October 21 - World War II: Germans rampage in Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilians
- October 24 - Franz von Werra disappears during a flight over North Sea
- October 30 - World War II: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
- October 31 - After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
- October 31 - World War II: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors.
- November 6 - World War II: Soviet leader Josef Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule (the first time was earlier that year on July 2). He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, that the Germans have lost 4.5 million soldiers (a gross exaggeration) and that Soviet victory was near.
- November 12 - World War II:Battle of Moscow: Temperatures around Moscow drop to −12 °C and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.
- November 13 - World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is hit by German U-boat U-81
- November 14 - World War II: HMS Ark Royal capsizes and sinks, having been torpedoed by U 81.
- November 17 - World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables the State Department that Japan had plans to launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (his cable was ignored).
- November 19 - World War II: The Australian war cruiser HMAS Sydney sinks off the coast of Western Australia, killing 645 sailors.
- November 21 - The radio program King Biscuit Time is broadcast for the first time (it would later become the longest running daily radio broadcast in history and the most famous live blues radio program).
- November 24 - World War II: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French.
- November 26 - US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States (this partly reversed a 1939 action by Roosevelt that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November).
- November 26 - World War II: The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States.
- November 26 - World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor - A fleet of six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo leaves Hitokapu Bay for Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence.
- November 27 - A group of young men stop traffic on highway US 99 south of Yreka, California, handing out fliers proclaiming the establishment of the State of Jefferson.
- November 27 - World War II: Battle of Moscow - Germans reach their closest approach to Moscow. They are subsequently frozen by cold weather and attacks by the Soviets.
- December 1 - World War II: Former mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia, and the director of the Office of Civilian Defense, sign an order creating the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (in April 1943 the CAP was placed under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Air Force).
- December 4 - State of Jefferson declared in Yreka, California, with judge John Childs as a governor
- December 7, December 6 (in Japan standard time) - Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II.
- December 8 - World War II: The United States officially declares war on Japan.
- December 11 - World War II: Germany declares war on the United States.
- December 13 - Sweden's low temperature record with -53° C was set in a village within Vilhelmina Municipality.
- December 25 - World War II: British and Canadians are defeated by the Japanese at Hong Kong.
- December 27 - World War II: British Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vaagso, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defenses
- December 28 - World War II: starts the Operation Anthropoid (the assassination of Heydrich in Prague).
- John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry developed the Atanasoff Berry Computer.
- Ives and Stilwell prove that ions radiate at frequencies affected by their motion.
- In Sweden, Victor Hasselblad forms the Hasselblad camera company.
- The Pinnacle Commune, a Rastafarian community, is destroyed by Jamaican authorities
- Indochina Communist party, led by Ho Chi Minh, combines with Nationalist party to form the Vietminh.
- Meet John Doe is brought out
- Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) (which may or may not be a part of World War II, depending on who's telling the tale)
- World War II (1939-1945)
- January 3 - Van Dyke Parks, American musician
- January 5 - Miyazaki Hayao, Japanese film maker
- January 7 - Iona Brown, British violinist and conductor (d. 2004)
- January 7 - John E. Walker, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- January 8 - Graham Chapman, British comedian (d. 1989)
- January 9 - Joan Baez, American singer and activitist
- January 14 - Faye Dunaway, American actress
- January 14 - Milan Kučan, Slovenian politician and statesman
- January 15 - Captain Beefheart, American singer
- January 18 - David Ruffin, American singer (d. 1991)
- January 21 - Plácido Domingo, Spanish-born tenor
- January 21 - Richie Havens, American musician
- January 26 - Scott Glenn, American actor
- January 26 - Henry Jaglom, English director
- January 30 - Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States
- January 31 - Dick Gephardt, American politician
- February 5 - Kaspar Villiger, Swiss Federal Councilor
- February 6 - Howard Phillips, founding member of the United States Constitution Party
- February 8 - Nick Nolte, American actor
- February 10 - Michael Apted, English director
- February 13 - Sigmar Polke, German painter
- February 16 - Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea
- February 17 - Gene Pitney, American singer
- February 19 - David Gross, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- February 20 - Buffy Sainte-Marie, American singer
- February 26 - Tony Ray-Jones, British photographer (d. 1972)
- February 27 - Paddy Ashdown, British politician
- March 4 - Adrian Lyne, English director
- March 5 - Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian chess player
- March 6 - Willie Stargell, baseball player (d. 2001)
- March 14 - Wolfgang Petersen, German film director
- March 15 - Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
- March 16 - Robert Guéï, military ruler of Côte d'Ivoire (d. 2002)
- March 18 - Wilson Pickett, American singer
- March 26 - Richard Dawkins, British scientist
- March 28 - Jim Turner, American football player
- March 29 - Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr., American astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- March 30 - Wasim Sajjad, President of Pakistan
- April 3 - Philippe Wynne, American musician (d. 1984)
- April 14 - Pete Rose, baseball player
- April 23 - Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland
- April 23 - Ed Stewart, English disc jockey
- April 24 - John Williams, Australian guitarist
- April 27 - Lee Roy Jordan, American football player
- April 28 - K. Barry Sharpless, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- May 5 - Alexander Ragulin, Russian hockey player (d. 2004)
- May 13 - Senta Berger, Swedish actress
- May 13 - Ritchie Valens, American singer (d. 1959)
- May 15 - K.T. Oslin, American musician
- May 19 - Nora Ephron, American film, producer, director, and screenwriter
- May 22 - Paul Winfield, American actor (d. 2004)
- May 24 - Bob Dylan, American poet and musician
- June 5 - Martha Argerich, Argentine pianist
- June 5 - Spalding Gray, American actor and screenwriter (d. 2004)
- June 8 - Fuzzy Haskins, American musician (P-Funk)
- June 10 - Mickey Jones, American actor and musician
- June 24 - Bill Reardon, American politician and educator
- June 27 - Krzysztof Kieślowski, Polish film director (d. 1996)
- July 1 - Myron Scholes, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- July 14 - Maulana Karenga, American author and activist
- July 19 - Vikki Carr, American singer
- July 28 - Riccardo Muti, Italian conductor
- July 31 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
- August 3 - Martha Stewart, American television and magazine personality
- August 22 - Bill Parcells, American football coach
- August 28 - Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Belgian aristocrat
- September 2 - David Bale, South African-born activist (b. 2003)
- September 4 - Sushilkumar Shinde, Indian politician
- September 9 - Otis Redding, American musician (d. 1967)
- September 9 - Dennis Ritchie, American computer scientist
- September 10 - Christopher Hogwood, English conductor
- September 10 - Gunpei Yokoi, Japanese computer game producer
- September 15 - George Saimes, American football player
- September 17 - Bob Matsui, U.S. Senator from Hawaii (d. 2005)
- September 19 - Cass Elliott, American singer (d. 1974)
- October 4 - Anne Rice, American writer
- October 5 - Eduardo Duhalde, President of Argentina
- October 16 - Tim McCarver, baseball commentator
- October 20 - Anneke Wills, British actress
- October 30 - Theodor W. Hänsch, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- November 6 - Doug Sahm, American musician (d. 1999)
- November 18 - David Hemmings, English actor (d. 2003)
- November 27 - Eddie Rabbitt, American musician (d. 1998)
- November 29 - Bill Freehan, baseball player
- December 9 - Beau Bridges, American actor
- December 10 - Colin Kelly, American airman
- December 13 - John Davidson, American singer and actor
- December 18 - Prince William of Gloucester
- December 23 - Tim Hardin, American musician
- December 24 - John Levene, British actor
- December 30 - Mel Renfro, American football player
- Thom Bell, American record producer
- T S Krishnamurthy, Chief Election Commissioner of India
- Peter Sarstedt, English singer and songwriter
- Beatrice Tinsley, English astronomer
- January 4 - Henri Bergson, French philiosopher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (b. 1859)
- January 5 - Amy Johnson, English aviator (b. 1903)
- January 8 - Lord Robert Baden-Powell, English soldier and founder of Scouting (b. 1847)
- January 10 - Frank Bridge, English composer (b. 1879)
- January 10 - Joe Penner, American comedian and actor
- January 13 - James Joyce, Irish writer (b. 1882)
- February 11 - Rudolf Hilferding, German economist and Minister of Finance (b. 1877)
- February 27 - William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (b. 1895)
- February 28 - King Alfonso XIII of Spain (b. 1886)
- March 6 - Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor (b. 1867)
- March 8 - Sherwood Anderson, American author (b. 1876)
- March 15 - Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian painter (b. 1864)
- March 28 - Virginia Woolf, English writer (b. 1882)
- April 13 - Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (b. 1863)
- May 16 - Minnie Vautrin, American missionary and heroine of the Nanjing Massacre (b. 1887)
- June 2 - Lou Gehrig, baseball player (b. 1903)
- June 6 - Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born automobile builder and race car driver (b. 1878)
- June 29 - Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist, composer, and third Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1860)
- July 4 - Antoni Łomnicki, Polish mathematician (b. 1881)
- July 10 - Jelly Roll Morton, American jazz musician and composer (b. 1890)
- July 11 - Arthur Evans, English archaeologist (b. 1851)
- July 26 - Henri Lebesgue, French mathematician (b. 1875)
- August 7 - Rabindranath Tagore, Indian author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1861)
- August 13 - James Stuart Blackton, American film producer (b. 1875)
- August 14 - Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1854)
- August 31 - Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (suicide) (b. 1892)
- October 26 - Arkady Gaidar, Soviet children's writer (died in combat) (b. 1904)
- November 18 - Walther Nernst, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1864)
- November 18 - Chris Watson, third Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1867)
- December 3 - Christian Sinding, Norwegian composer (b. 1856)
- December 30 - El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
- Sometime in this year, events of the Doctor Who episodes The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances take place.
- Sometime in this year, in the movie Citizen Kane, Charles Foster Kane dies.
- Physics - not awarded
- Chemistry - not awarded
- Medicine - not awarded
- Literature - not awarded
- Peace - not awarded
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