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Century 20 5 th. Decade
Century c 20 1941-1950

1941

 
Jan 19  The British attack Italy's forces in Eritrea.

Jan 22  The British and Australians have driven Italian forces from Egypt, and across the Egypt-Libya border, on the coast, they win against the Italians at Tobruk.

Jan 22 - 23  Anti-Jewish violence in Romania leaves 120 Jews dead in the streets. Jews are hunted by armed gangs. Some flee to Palestine.

Jan 23  Charles Lindbergh testifies before the US Congress and recommends that the US establish a neutrality pact with Hitler.

Jan 27  The US Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew, cables the US State Department that he has learned of a plan by the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor should Japan and the US go to war.

Jan 31  In Baghdad, in response to British victories against Italian forces, the nationalistic, anti-British and pro-German prime minister, Sayyad Rashid Ali al-Gillani, resigns under pressure from the regent to the five-year-old king, Faisal II.

Feb 10  Britain breaks relations with Romania.

Feb19-22  The British have been bombing Germany. The Germans bomb Britain. Reported British dead: 230.

Feb 25  Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary: "Cables from the USA to the short-wave service are generally very positive. My work is also greatly respected there. America does not consist entirely of Jews and plutocrats. It is just that they can shout the loudest."

Feb 26  Against the Italians, British troops take Somalia and invade Ethiopia.

Feb 27  The French regime at Vichy makes religious education in school mandatory.

Feb 27  Jewish musicians in Berlin perform Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony.

Mar 1 - 5  Bulgaria joins the German-Italian-Hungarian-Romanian alliance and in return is promised most of Thrace and Macedonia as well as parts of eastern Serbia. German troops enter Bulgaria welcomed. The Soviet Union, despite its pact with Hitler, denounces Bulgaria's move. Britain severs relations with Bulgaria.

Mar 4  Hitler invites Yugoslavia's Prince Paul to take his share in the "New World Order." Prince Paul gathers from Hitler's comments that Germany will invade the Soviet Union. He will tell his brother-in-law, the king of Greece, who will tell the British.

Mar 7  Five thousand British soldiers land in Greece. Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary: "The Pope and his cardinals are praying for peace. Too late. The game must be played to its conclusion."

Mar 7   A leader of India's independence movement, Subhash Chandra Bose, a believer in socialist authoritarianism, has escaped British authority and fled to Germany. British authorities secretly order his assassination.

Mar 11  Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act, enabling him to send war materials, including ships, to those nations at war.

Mar 25  Yugoslavia joins the German-Italian-Hungarian-Romanian alliance.

Mar 26- 27  A coup in Belgrade, Yugoslavia brings to power a regime hostile to Germany and Italy. People in Belgrade celebrate with the slogan "Rather death than slavery."

Mar 30  Hitler tells his generals that Communism is criminal and requires extermination of Bolshevik commissars and the Communist intelligencia. The war against the Soviet Union, he says, will be different from what it was in the West, and it is no job for the military courts.

April 1  The Iraqi army surrounds the royal palace in Baghdad. Royalty escape toward Amman in Transjordan. At stake for the Germans is access to Iraqi oil, promised by the former prime minister, Gillani. The British still have a few hundred troops in Iraq.

Apr 3  In Baghdad, Gillani and four army generals take power. Demonstrators loot the property and beat Jews in the cities of Mosul, Kirkuk, Irbil, Basrah, Amara and Fallujah. In Baghdad the killing of Jews takes place.

Apr 3  Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill warns Stalin of German plans to invade.

Apr 4  President Roosevelt allows the British Navy to repair and refuel its ships in the United States, and he notifies the British that he is extending the US defense zone eastward as far as Iceland and to the western coast of Africa.

Apr 5  The Soviet Union signs a treaty of friendship with the new anti-fascist regime in Yugoslavia.

Apr 6  To secure his southern front, Hitler sends troops to Greece and Yugoslavia. Italian and Albanian forces join in the invasion of Yugoslavia. Bulgaria joins in the invasion of Greece, toward occupation of the  Khalkidhiki Peninsula. German planes bomb Belgrade.

Apr 7  Hitler postpones his invasion of the Soviet Union five weeks, to June 22.

Apr 10  An independent Croatia is declared, led by Ante Pavelic and approved by Hitler. Serbs, gypsies and Communists in Croatia are threatened. The Catholic Church in Croatia begins to compel the country's Serbs of the Orthodox faith to convert to Catholicism.

Apr 10  Goebbels writes in his diary: "With the fall of Yugoslavia, we shall also take possession of enormous potential sources of raw materials. Particularly copper, which we could do with."

Apr 13  The peace agreement between Japan and the Soviet Union goes into effect.

Apr 14  German troops, led by Erwin Rommel, have been in North Africa for a month. They attack the British and Australians at Tobruk.

Apr 14  The British are still in Egypt, and they warn that if Cairo is bombed their air force will attack Rome.

Apr 20  Goebbels delivers an "Our Hitler" speech on Hitler's fifty-second birthday:

We Germans ... have been formed by our age, and we in turn are forming it. It will be the task of later generations to evaluate it properly and to determine what is really admirable and what is simply normal. Future generations will surely envy the fact that we have lived a life of struggle, that we had the good fortune to have political passion ... a new world is now being born...[Hitler has ] forged the path and showed the way, giving meaning, content, and direction to our age. We are experiencing the greatest miracle that history offers: a genius is building a new world.

Apr 21-28.  Greece and its army surrenders to Germany. German tanks enter Athens. British troops evacuate and some are forced to surrender. Goebbels writes in his diary: Hearst [William Randolph] has launched a swinging attack on Churchill as a warmonger. Things are still seesawing in the United States. But we are not inactive in this respect.

Apr 30  An Iraqi force moves to the edge of  the British air base at Habbaniya and warns the British to keep their planes on the ground.

Apr 30  In Croatia, persons of Aryan descent are prohibited association with Jews.

May 2 - 6  British planes take off from the Habbaniya air base and rout the Iraqi force. The British land a division of Indian troops at Basra, which heads toward Baghdad. 

May 10  From Greece, German airplanes begin to strike against the British in Iraq, and German planes destroy the House of Commons in London.

May 14  In Paris, 3,600 Jews are arrested. In a radio broadcast the leader of Vichy France's armed forces claims that only within the confines of the German Third Reich can France thrive.

May 14  At Glina, in Croatia, hundreds of Serbs attend an obligatory service of thanksgiving for the fascist state of Croatia. The two who can present certificates of conversion are released. The rest are slaughtered.

May 20  Britain's war in East Africa ends with an Italian surrender.

Jun 1-2  British forces enter Baghdad and reinstate King Faisal's regent. Violence against Jews erupts in Iraq. Some Moslems open their homes, feed and protect Jews.

Jun 4  Germany bombs the port at Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt's cabinet resigns. The Republic of Croatia orders all Jews to wear a star.

Jun 8  The British and Free French attack French forces in Syria. Britain offers Syria independence.

Jun 12  In London a declaration of unity and sense of purpose is signed by Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa. Also signing are governments-in-exile: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Yugoslavia. Signing for a "Free France" is Charles de Gaulle. It is the beginning of what will become the United Nations.

Jun 14   The Soviet Union begins deportations to Siberia from Estonia (around 10,000 persons), Latvia (15,000) and Lithuania (18,000).

Jun 14  Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary that Hitler, looking forward to his invasion of the Soviet Union, says "And victory is right, moral and necessary. And once we have won, who is going to question our methods?"

Jun 18  Germany and Turkey sign a Treaty of Friendship.
 
Jun 22  Soviet intelligence has doubted that the Germans would soon invade. The German military facing east has not been equipped for the coming winter. But today a massive military operation against the Soviet Union begins. Hitler describes the  invasion as preemptive, that he is invading the Soviet Union because it was planning to invade Germany. Stalin had amassed a military force facing Germany that did not appear defensive in character, and although Stalin was not planning to attack Germany both Hitler and Stalin have a kill-or-be-killed view of political survival. Stalin believes eventually will have to destroy capitalist-fascist Germany. Hitler's view includes struggle between races. Hitler sees his invasion as an expansion of Germanic superiority over the weak and inferior Slavs.

Jun 22  Germany occupies Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Jun 24  President Roosevelt pledges support to the Soviet Union in what it will call the Great Patriotic War.

Jun 24  The entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania is exterminated.

Jun 25  The uneasy peace between Finland and the Soviet Union since March 1940 has ended. Finland sends troops into the Karelia, an area with some Finnish population that has been disputed by Finland and Russia. Sweden's government is to allow German troops to cross Sweden into Finland.

Jun 27  Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union.

Jun 30  A shaken and depressed Stalin has withdrawn to his country dacha, expecting to be ousted from power because of his failures. A few Politburo members arrive. Stalin asks why they have come and they announce their proposal to set up a "Supreme Defense Council" with Stalin as chairman. Stalin agrees and pulls himself together.

Jul 2  Germany, Italy and their allies recognize Japan's puppet government of China. China breaks diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy.

Jul 5  Peru, with one of the strongest armies in South America, invades Ecuador.

Jul 14  Lithuanian Jews, said to number 6,000, are exterminated.

Jul 21  In Poland, the Majdanek concentration camp opens.

Jul 25  The US government freezes Japanese assets in the United States.

Jul 27  The German army enters Ukraine.

Jul 28  The Japanese extend their occupation across the whole of Indochina, as agreed to by the government in Vichy, France.

Jul 30  Fighting between Peru and Ecuador ends in an armistice. Peru holds Ecuador's El Oro province and eastern tropical forest territory held by Ecuador since the 1830s.

Aug 5- 7  Thousands of Jews in Romania are abducted or rounded up and killed.

Aug 14  Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt meet at an anchorage in New Foundland and create the "Atlantic Charter."  The Charter expresses "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live."

Sep 1  In Germany the government's euthanasia program - the killing of mentally handicapped adults and children - is officially ended due to widespread protest, begun by a Catholic bishop.

Sep 3  At their Auschwitz One facility in Poland, Germany's SS conduct poison gas tests, killing 600 Soviet prisoners of war.

Sep 4  The Germans begin to bombard Leningrad with artillery shells.

Sep 6  Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives his approval "with misgivings" to simultaneous efforts to negotiate peace with the US and to prepare for an attack if the efforts failed.

Sep 7  The Finns, advancing southward toward Leningrad, stop at the old border between Finland and the Soviet Union, and they refuse a German request to bomb Leningrad. The Germans will be unable to approach Stalingrad from the north.

Sep 8  The Germans stop ten miles from Leningrad (St. Petersburg). They start to besiege the city, severing its last land connection. Shelling creates 178 fires in the city.

Sep 11  President Roosevelt, in response to submarine attacks on US ships, orders any German ship found in American waters to be sunk on sight.

Sep 11  Charles Lindbergh, speaking for the America First Committee, blames "the British, the Jewish [sic] and the Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into World War II.

Sep 19  In Germany, Jews are ordered to wear a yellow star describing them as "Jew." German troops enter Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and they are welcomed by some who hope for independence from the Soviet Union.

Sep 24  In London, governments-in-exile - Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia --  join with the Soviet Union and Charles de Gaulle of the Free French to proclaim adherence to principles of the Atlantic Charter. Hitler sees the alliance as an international Jewish conspiracy and looks forward to his Final Solution to the "Jewish problem."

Sep 28  In Kiev, Soviet agents (NKVD members) have been blowing up German targets. The Germans decide it is the work of the Jews. All Jews in the city of Kiev and its vicinity are ordered to report at 8 o'clock the following morning and to bring with them documents, money, valuables, warm clothes and underwear.

Sep 29  In Kiev tens of thousands of Jews arrive for what they expect is deportration - some early to be sure for a seat on the train. They are herded into a nearby Jewish cemetery through a narrow corridor of enraged German soldiers, machine gunned, their bodies buried in a ravine known as Babi Yar.

Oct 3  Adolf Hitler declares that Russia is "broken" and will "never rise again." In Paris, six synagogues are blown up.

Oct 9  Roosevelt requests congressional approval for arming US merchant ships.

Oct 12  Moscow is partially evacuated.   

Oct 16  France's head of state, Marshall Petain, orders the arrest of former prime ministers Daladier, Blum, and Reynaud. Jews in Germany are beginning to be deported to Jewish ghettos in Lodz, Riga and Minsk.

Oct 18  Emperor Hirohito elevates General Hideki Tojo, Japan's War Minister, to head Japan's government. Prime Minister Tojo represents the rightist true-believers in Japan's aggressive imperialism.

Oct 22- 23  Odessa, on the Black Sea in the south of Ukraine, has had a Jewish population of around 180,000. Invading Romanian troops target the Jews. Some Jews are shot. Many are burned to death in a public square or in warehouses that were locked shut. The dead will be described as between 25,000 and 34,000.

Oct 23  Germany's Jews are no longer allowed to emigrate.

Nov 7  Stalin appears in Red Square for the traditional commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution. Parading troops head for the nearby front against the Germans. The British continue their year-long air raids against Germany. They bomb Berlin, Mannheim and Ruhrgebied.

Nov 28  A Japanese fleet of warships sails from Hiroshima Bay heading for the Hawaiian Islands.

Dec 1  Emperor Hirohito signs the decision by the Ruling Council of Japan to wage war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

Dec 6  Germans near Moscow are exhausted and without proper winter clothing in unusually cold weather. Soviet forces attack. The German line in front of Moscow disintegrates. Thousands are taken prisoner.

Dec 6  Britain and Canada declare war on Finland.

Dec 6   Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii discusses with two operations officers whether they should recall liberty parties, put everyone on alert and send the entire fleet out to sea in silence after dark. The two operations officers object. They agree to follow the orders of Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, that nothing be done to alarm the people of Honolulu.

Dec 7  Airplanes from Japanese aircraft carriers strike at US military installations at Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu. The Japanese bomb the US military at Clark Field in the Philippines. Most US aircraft are destroyed on the ground. General MacArthur is dismayed and wonders whether Germans were flying the Japanese planes.

Dec 8  The Japanese move against the British and Commonwealth force at Hong Kong.

Dec 11  Germany and Italy join their ally the Japanese and declare war against the United States. Hitler describes himself as having wanted peace with Britain, as defending European civilization and Roosevelt as aiming at "an unlimited world dictatorship."

Dec 12  Goebbels writes in his diary: "With respect of the Jewish Question, the Führer [Hitler] has decided to make a clean sweep. He prophesied to the Jews that if they again brought about a world war, they would live to see their annihilation in it. That wasn't just a catch-word. The world war is here, and the annihilation of the Jews must be the necessary consequence."

Dec 12  The British are defeated at the Battle of Jitra in Malaya and are retreating southward toward Singapore.

Dec 13  Bulgaria and Hungary join in declaring war against the United States.

Dec 20  Japanese troops land on Mindanao, in the Philippines.

Dec 25  At Hong Kong, the British surrender.

Dec 29  Soviet troops re-take Kerch and Feodosiya in the Crimea. The Japanese bomb Rangoon, Burma, knocking out the main railway station, wharfs, and warehouses with lend-lease supplies intended for China.

Dec 30  Gandhi resigns from India's Congress Party because of its support for the British and US war effort.

Dec 31  Leningrad enters its 112th day of being cut off by the Germans. It is extremely cold by Leningrad standards, with fuel for heating scarce. There is a bread ration of 110 grams (4 ounces) per day per person. Three to four thousand people are dying each day in Leningrad from starvation.

1942
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Jan 2  Japan captures Manila.

Jan 4  The Red Army is counterattacking and retakes Kaluga about 100 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

Jan 11  Japan declares war against the Netherlands and lands forces in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Borneo. Japan lands forces on New Guinea, threatening Australia.

Jan 18  The Red Army cuts the main supply route for the German 2nd and 10th Corps at Demyansk, about 100 miles south of Leningrad, forcing the Luftwaffe to begin flying in supplies.

Jan 19  Japan invades Burma. Second Generation Japanese members of Hawaii's National Guard are discharged and classified as "enemy-aliens."

Jan 21  In Libya, Germans under the command of Erwin Rommel start a drive to push the British eastward toward Egypt and the Suez Canal.

Jan 23  On the US mainland, Japanese-Americans are segregated out of US Army units.

Jan 25  Fuel supply ends for Leningrad's last operating power station. Young volunteers forming a chain must haul water from the Neva River for the bakeries making what bread they can for the city's starving inhabitants. With no place for warmth, crows, gulls and pigeons have disappeared. Sparrows and starlings have starved and some have been seen dropping like stones, freezing to death in flight across the Neva. What is bad for the birds is bad for people. People are eating their pets. Evidence of cannibalism has appeared.

Feb 2  Many in Egypt, including its king, Farouk, look forward to Germany driving out the British. The British surround Farouk's palace with tanks and force the king to appoint Nahas Pasha prime minister of Egypt.

Feb 2  A column in the Los Angeles Times argues that a Japanese-American "almost inevitably ... grows up to be a Japanese, not an American."

Feb 3  At West Hollywood Grammar School, in California, there are children from the hills above Sunset Boulevard, including Beverly Hills, and there are children from the community of adobe homes with dirt floors just below Santa Monica Boulevard, next to the streetcar barns. The children I knew didn't think anything about economic status. Being friendly and doing well on the playground is what mattered. It did not registered that friends, Sanchez and Enriquita, were living in a house with a dirt floor. I had never been there. We were not that close. It did not register either that the Japanese gardener on our block was no longer around.

Feb 8  Japan lands a force at Singapore.

Feb 16  In Tokyo, Prime Minister Tojo describes a "new order of coexistence" for East Asia.

Feb 18  Japan lands troops on the island of Bali.

Feb 23   A Japanese submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.

Feb 26  The German physicist Werner Heisenberg informs the Hitler regime about a new wonder weapon (Wunderwaffen) -an atomic weapon.

Feb 28  Japan lands troops on Java.

Mar 2  The western halves of California, Oregon and Washington and the southern third of Arizona are designated as military areas.

Mar 7  Japanese troops land in New Guinea.

Mar 8  The Japanese have taken control of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). They announce a new era of peace and prosperity and the closing of all banks and European schools. Dutch males are put into camps.

Mar 17  General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia, from the Philippines.

Mar 21  Jews are removed from their ghetto in Lublin, Poland, and sent to extermination camps.

Mar 23  The US government begins moving Japanese-Americans to internment camps from war zone areas on the Pacific Coast, but not from the Territory of Hawaii, where they are more numerous. 

Mar 27  The deportation of Jews from France to the extermination camp at Auschwitz, in Poland, begins. From elsewhere in Europe, since February, box cars carrying Jews have been arriving at Auschwitz. The Jews there are sixty percent of the prison population.

Mar 28  Subhash Chandra Bose was disappointed by Hitler and critical of Hitler's treatment of Jews and invasion of the Soviet Union. On a submarine, Bose has journeyed to Japan, and, in Tokyo, Bose calls for the creation of an army for the liberation of India.

Mar 31  A campaign to free Leningrad has failed, with an official death toll of 20,000. Soviet officials are ashamed of events regarding Leningrad and of all failures. Some claim that the death toll was as high as 300,000.

Apr 9  Russian troops attack at Kerch on the eastern edge of the Crimean Peninsula.

Apr 10  The 65-mile Bataan Death March begins.

Apr 18  Sixteen small bomber aircraft from a US aircraft carrier strike Tokyo and other cities, doing little material damage, but it gives Americans a couple of days with something to cheer about.

Apr 27  In Belgium, Jews are ordered to wear stars.

May 1  Heavy fighting also continues around Leningrad.

May 1  Daily air battles around Port Moresby, in New Guinea just north of Australia, have reduced the Australian air squadron there to just three airworthy machines.

May 6  A force of about 1,000 Filipinos and Americans on the island fortress of Corregidor Island, in Manila Bay, surrender to the Japanese.

May 8  A seven-day naval battle in the Coral Sea is somewhat of a draw, except that it averts a seaborne invasion near Port Moresby.

May 8  Rather than Moscow, Hitler aims to secure the oil fields and passes in the Caucasus region of the Soviet Union. A part of this southern strategy is to take the port of Sevastopol in the Crimea. His commander on the Eastern Front, Halder, dislikes Hitler's new offensive, questioning the wisdom of such a deep penetration into Soviet territory. 

May 12  A German U-boat sinks an American cargo ship at the mouth of Mississippi River.

May 12  The Soviet Army launches an assault to take back the city of Kharkov, about 640 kilometers (400 miles) west of Stalingrad.

May 12  1,500 Jews are gassed at Auschwitz.

May 14   British troops retreating from Burma reach India.

May 15  Gasoline rationing begins in 17 states in the United States.

May 20  Japan has finished its conquest of Burma.

May 20  The Germans have eliminated the Soviet army in the Crimea.  Around 170,000 Russians have been taken prisoner.

May 29   Germans have encircled the Kharkov region of the Soviet Union. The Red Army has lost over 250,000 men including many as prisoners.
 
Jun 1  The Unites States begins sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union.

Jun 2  Two Czech commandos, who have parachuted into their homeland, wound Germany's governor in Prague, Reinhard Heydrich.

Jun 4-7  The Battle of Midway, a clear sign of progress for the US in the first year of their war. Japanese have attempted to lure the US naval fleet into a trap in order to eliminate US aircraft carriers and naval supremacy in the Pacific. And they planned to push their defense perimeter farther eastward across the Pacific - a step toward invading the Hawaiian Islands. Superior intelligence sources have given the United States an advantage. The US outmaneuvers the Japanese and wins the Battle of Midway, permanently damaging the striking power of Japan's navy. From now on the US Navy will be on the offensive in the Pacific.

Jun 7  Japan invades Attu and Kiska islands in the Aleutians.

Jun 10  Reinhard Heydrich dies of his wounds. The Germans retaliate by massacring 173 male residents of Lidice.

Jun 11  Germans court-martial their army captain, Michael Kitzelmann, winner of an Iron Cross Second Class for bravery. To his fellow officers he has called those Germans committing atrocities "criminals." He is shot by a firing squad.

Jun 12  In Amsterdam, Anne Frank receives a diary as a present for her thirteenth birthday.

Jun 21  A Japanese submarine lobs 17 shells at Fort Stevens, Oregon, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. No damage done. No return fire.

Jun 21  Rommel defeats the British at Tobruk and races into Egypt. The war between Germany and the Soviet Union enters its second year. The Soviet Union will lose 8.7 million military personnel in the war, which is to last 46 months. This is more than 6,200 lost per day. The Germans would lose 2,415,690 military men against the Soviet Union - an average of about 1, 700 per day.

Jun 22  Germans begin "resettling" Jews from the Warsaw ghetto (a walled Jewish community equivalent to 11 kilometers or 7 miles square). Anyone trying to leave the ghetto or refusing resettlement is to be shot.  Exempt are those Jews working for German institutions and companies.

Jul 1  In the Crimea, German troops capture the naval base and port city of Sevastopol.

Jul 13 At  Rovno, in the Polish Ukraine, Germans execute 5,000 Jews. At Josefov, in Poland, Germans shoot 1,500 Jews.

Jul 15  The Burma Road to China having been cut, US transport planes make their first flight of supplies from India, across high mountains, "the hump," to China.

Jul 16  A half-dozen German Catholic church leaders protest. In Paris, French police gather 12,887 and send them to the Drancy Internment Camp outside the city. Jews from the Netherlands are being sent to their deaths.

Jul 18  A German jet-propelled aircraft makes its first flight.

Jul 21  The Japanese begin landing a force of 8,000 men in New Guinea, at Buna, a hundred miles northeast of Port Moresby. Fighting by Australians to stop Japan's advance toward Port Moresby begins.

Jul 24  In southern Russia, Germans capture Rostov-on-Don, clearing their way to the Caucasus.

Jul 27  The British have stopped Rommel's drive to the Suez Canal - the 1st Battle of Alamein - about 100 miles short of Alexandria, Egypt. Rommel will not occupy the grand suite reserved for him at Cairo's famous Shepherd's Hotel.

Jul 28-31  Germans kill an estimated 10,000 Jews in Minsk, Byelorussia.

Aug 3   The filming of "Casablanca" with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, is finished.

Aug 4  The first train load of Jews from Belgium departs for Auschwitz.

Aug 7  The Nazi 36th Police Battalion, made up of ethnic Estonians, massacre some 2,500 Jews at Novogrudok, Byelorussia.

Aug 7  United States Marines land on Guadalcanal, the first US amphibious landing of the war.

Aug 8  With the Japanese at India's border, Britain has attempted to negotiate with India's leaders. Mahatma Gandhi has asked all Indians to be ready to sacrifice their life for freedom from British rule, to "do or die, " and he has asked the British to "quit India." The All-India Congress agrees with the "quit India" declaration and demands complete independence for India immediately.

Aug 9  The British imprison Gandhi and fifty members of the All-India Congress, including Jawaharlal Nehru. The British declare all Congress Committees illegal.

Aug 10-11  Following a minor fight between rival gangs of Chicanos, thirty-four members of the "38th Street Gang" are arrested. A young Mexican national, José Diaz,  is found dead, evidence eventually suggesting that his death is not related to the gang fight. In Los Angeles newspapers, Diaz's death is associated with a crime wave by "Mexican Goon Squads" and "Pachuko Killers." Police respond by rounding up and incarcerating around 600 "Zoot Suiter" Mexicans, charging them with suspicion of assault or suspicion of robbery. Some support the round up as necessary for national security, claiming that the "zoot-suiters" are a pro-fascist "fifth column" within the United States.

Aug 11  Vichy government official Pierre Laval publicly declares that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."

Aug 13  The "Quit India" movement begins, with calls for boycotting British goods and disassociation with British factories, public services and other programs. Demonstrations and labor strikes against the British break out across India. 

Aug 13  Walt Disney's animated feature "Bambi" premiers at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Aug 22  Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy.

Aug 23  On this warm day In southern Russia, by the Volga River, Germans begin to assault the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.

Aug 26  In Vichy France, 7000 Jews are rounded up.

Aug 26  A Russian offensive west of Moscow has pushed the Germans back 15-20 miles.

Aug 26  Japanese troops land at Milne Bay in New Guinea.

Aug 31  The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt.

Aug  Colonel Anwar Sadat, 24, has been dismissed from Egypt's army and imprisoned by the British for plotting with the Germans.

Sep 1  The German army has reached as far south as Mozdok, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Groznyy, at the edge of the Caucasus Mountains - one richest petroleum-producing areas of the Soviet Union.

Sep 4  Soviet planes bomb Budapest, the first air raid on Hungary's capital.

Sep 9  A Japanese float plane, launched from a submarine, drops incendiary bombs on a US forest near Brookings, Oregon. The forests fail to ignite. Blackout drills are stepped-up along the the US Pacific Coast.

Sep 23  The Russians launch a counter-offensive at Stalingrad. For Germany the tide of war now turns to defeat.

Sep -- More than 400 villagers die of bubonic plague in China's eastern Zhejiang province after Japanese warplanes drop "germ" bombs.

Sep -- In Albania the Communist Party organizes a National Liberation Movement as a popular front resistance organization.

Oct -- Conducting war against the Soviet Union was not the snap Hitler had imagined. Germany has discovered a great need of additional labor power. The country's number two, Hermann Georing, issues a directive that rather than executing hostile Belarussian men they are to be sent as forced laborers to Germany. The policy of exterminating all Jews has been amended for the same reason.

Oct 23  At El Alamein, in Egypt, the British begin an offensive with perhaps the greatest artillery barrage since World War I.

Oct 27  In Starachowice, Poland, Germans separate weak Jews from the strong. The strong are sent to work and the weak are sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

Oct 29  The Alaska highway is completed. Nazis murder some 16,000 Jews in the Soviet city of Pinsk.

Oct  Captain E Duran Ayres, chief of the Foreign Relations Bureau of the Los Angeles sheriff's office, submits to a committee of the Grand Jury a report that describes Mexicans as essentially Orientals and therefore with less regard for human life than Europeans. Mexicans, he claims, have inherited "naturally violent" tendencies from Mexico's "bloodthirsty Aztecs."  The Aztecs, he observes, tore out the hearts of their victims with stone knives. Mexicans, he adds, have "a desire to use a knife or some lethal weapon." They have a desire to kill or at least to "let blood."  In Los Angeles the "Sleeply Lagoon" trial begins. Twenty-four are charged with the murder of José Diaz. The actor Anthony Quinn helps organize a defense committee.

Nov 4  The British offensive at El Alamein ends after thirteen days - a major victory for British forces commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.  German forces under Erwin Rommel retreats during the night, eastward to Tunesia's highlands.

Nov 8  United States and British forces, under the command of General Eisenhower, land at Casablanca, in the French colony of Morocco. The British land at Oran and British and Americans land at Algiers in the French colony of Algeria, at the rear of Rommel's army in Tunisia. Resistance to the invasion is light despite General Eisenhower having estimated a less than 50 percent chance of success. Vichy France breaks diplomatic relations with the United States. In a Munich beer hall, Hitler proclaims the fall of Stalingrad.

Nov 11  In response to the Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria, German troops are being flown from Sicily to Tunsia. Germans and Italians move to take control of what had been unoccupied France. Montgomery's army has moved from Egypt into eastern Libya and retake Tobruk. Also on this day, 745 French Jews are deported to Auschwitz.

Nov 13-15  A series of combined air and sea engagements produce losses for both sides. Japan navy gives up trying to send reinforcements to Guadalcanal and the army gives up hope of retaking the island. US killed in action in and around Guadalcanal at this point is close to 1,500.

Nov 14   Last Vichy French troops in Algeria surrender. In Operation Torch the United States Army has lost 526 killed, 837 wounded and 41 missing.

Nov 19  The Red Army opens its winter offensive with a pincer movement around the German army at Stalingrad. They overrun and scatter the Romanian 3rd and 4th Army.

Nov 29  Germans begin in earnest an attempt to deliver supplies to over 200,000 men trapped at Stalingrad.

Dec 1  In the United States, nationwide gasoline rationing begins.

Dec 2  At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and others initiate a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Dec 10  With torpedoes, the Italian navy sinks four supply ships in the port of Algiers. Montgomery's army, after a rest and refitting, starts to advance westward across Libya.

Dec 12  In the United States, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI restarts its file on Charlie Chaplin, which describes Chaplin as wanting more help for the Soviet Union's war effort and tolerance and understanding for its Communist system.

Dec 16  Mussolini believes that a two-front war is not winnable and sends an envoy to Hitler to discuss a possible peace settlement with the Soviet Union. Soviet forces overrun Italian and Roman troops at the River Don, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Stalingrad. Along the southern front in Russia, Germans forces are spread thin and without reserves for adequate backup counter-offensives.

Dec 16  The deportation of persons of mixed "Gypsy blood" from Germany to Auschwitz begins.

Dec 17  Britain's foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, tells the House of Commons about Germany's policy of exterminating Jews. He reads a United Nations (Allied) declaration condemning the policy "in the strongest possible terms." Members of the House rise for a minute of silence in sympathy with the victims.

Dec 21  British troops re-enter Burma.

Dec 25  Pope Pius XII issues an encyclical vaguely critical of Germany but with no explicit mention of Jews. It is the position of the Holy Sea in the interest of remaining neutral regarding the war not to mention particular atrocities. The Pope's message is that Jesus "promises mercy, love, and peace" to the countless who have been suffering "in the tempestuous strife and hate of our stormy days."

Dec 30  Five thousand screaming girls shout "Frankie! Frankie!" when Frank Sinatra appears with Benny Goodman's band at New York's Paramount Theater.

Dec 31  Germany's attempt to send supplies to Stalingrad is failing. Soviet anti-aircraft fire and fighter plane interceptions are downing German transport aircraft. Only ten percent of the needed supplies are being delivered.

1943
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Jan 1  In the Caucasus region, Germany's 1st Panzer Army retreats to avoid a cut off by Soviet forces from the northeast.

Jan 4  Seven Soviet armies launch "Operation Ring," against the Germans at Stalingrad. It should be obvious to Hitler that he had grossly underestimated the Soviet Union's ability to defend itself. The German army still has a lot of power, but all that Hitler can hope for is the spending of a vast amount of money and men in continuing to occupy the Soviet Union. Finland's government already sees Germany as losing the war and is interested in getting out as soon as it can.

Jan 18  A six-day offensive, Operation Spark (Iskra), establishes a land bridge to Leningrad.

Jan 18  People in Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto rise up and try to defend themselves.

Jan 19  Romania's foreign minister, Mihai Antonrscu, asks Mussolini to start negotiations with the Allies.

Jan 20  Chile's government sees the handwriting on the wall. It severs diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy and Japan.

Jan 21  Italian occupation authorities on French territory refuse to deport Jews.

Jan 23  World War II: British forces capture Tripoli from the Nazis.

Jan 24  Roosevelt, Churchill and two French leaders, Henri Giraud and Charles DeGaulle conclude a ten-day meeting at Casablanca and decide that the war must end with unconditional surrender of enemy nations.

Jan 24  Hitler orders troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death.

Jan 27  The United States makes its first bombing raid on Berlin without British bombers.

Jan 28  Japan's Prime Minister Tojo tells parliament of his government's intention to recognize the independence of Burma and the Philippines and to aid India in its liberation from British rule.

Jan 30  The British bomb Berlin in daylight for the first time.

Jan 31  German troops at Stalingrad surrender, including their commander, Field Marshal Paulus and 16 other generals. The Soviet offensive in the southern region, begun on December 17 and known as "Little Saturn," ends. Since December 11, Italy has suffered 84,830 killed.

Feb 1  Wanting to make their government in Norway appear more Norwegian, Germany's authority in Norway appoints the unpopular fascist leader, Vidkun Quisling, prime minister.

Feb 3  Hitler's government cannot hide its defeat at Stalingrad. German radio announces three days of mourning for the German troops who died there. A government directive orders journalists to put a special spin on the loss. Rather than the result of Hitler's mistakes, the defeat at Stalingrad is described "as an example of the highest heroism and complete willingness to sacrifice for the victory of the German people."

Feb 7  Across the land bridge to Leningrad, within range of Germany artillery, a Soviet train arrives at a bomb-damaged station in Leningrad. People weakened by hunger and hardship are jubilant over the breakthrough.

Feb 8 Japan ends its three-day evacuation of Guadacanal.

Feb 16  Three students paint with tar on a university building and other buildings in Munich, the words "Freedom" and "Down with Hitler." Some copycat signs are posted by others elsewhere in the city.

Feb 17  Dutch churches protest persecution of Jews.

Feb 20  In the United States, studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.

Feb 22  In Munich, five students and a professor have been reported by those viewing their graffiti and leaflet-making as treason, and on this day the six are beheaded.

Mar 2  Germany begins to transport Dutch Jews to the Sobibor concentration camp.

Mar 5  The Japanese have decided to take 100,000 troops from China and Japan and put them on New Guinea. At the five-day Battle of the Bismarck Sea, north of New Guinea, much of Japan's navy is destroyed. According to the Australians, 2,890 Japanese soldiers and sailors have been killed. About 800 Japanese soldiers make it to New Guinea.

Mar 13  Plans by army officers to assassinate Hitler when he visits army headquarters at Smolensk fail. Hitler has arrived with too many SS body guards. During Hitler's return trip by air, a bomb in a package fails to explode.

Apr 12  The Germans announce their discovery of a grave in Katyn forest containing the bodies of some 4,100 murdered Polish military officers.

Apr 19  Germans launch a large-scale attack on Jews fighting street by street in the Warsaw ghetto.

May 13  British and US forces defeat the German and Italian forces in North Africa.

May 15  The uprising since January in Warsaw's Jewish ghetto is defeated.
 
Jun 21  The war between Germany and the Soviet Union is two years-old.

Jul 5-12  Against the Red Army at Kursk, the Germans strike back with their last major offensive on their Eastern Front. The battle is the largest armored engagement of all time. The Soviet position consists of numerous lines of trenches 95 miles deep. They have some 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,400 aircraft. The Germans have some 2,700 tanks and assault guns, 1,800 aircraft and 800,000 men. The Germans lose between 50,000 and 57,000 men. Russian casualty figures are a mystery, perhaps around 96,000. The Russians win. The war between Germany and Russia is fairly well decided.

Jul 8 The Gestapo has captured a French resistance leader, Jean Moulin. He refuses to disclose the identities of other resistance members and is tortured to death.

Jul 10  British and US forces land on on the southeast coast of Sicily.

Jul 11  The Germans begin to evacuate Sicily.

Jul 19  Mussolini believes that he needs Germany's protection. He visits Hitler and approves of Germany taking military control over Italy. The US airforce bombs Rome.

Jul 25-26  Mussolini's fascist colleagues have turned against him and speak with king Emanuel III. With this support, the king has had Mussolini arrested. A new government is formed, headed by the conservative military leader, Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

Jul 27-28  Bombing with explosives and incendiaries at Hamburg creates many little fires that unite into a firestorm that kills 30,482, including 5,586 children.

Jul 31  Hitler is still holding on to his siege of Leningrad. For July, casualties from shelling the city add up to 210 killed, and 921 wounded.

Aug 6 Sweden cancels its agreement with Germany about the passage of German soldiers and war material across Sweden to and from Norway.

Aug 6  The former Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, has been working with the Germans in the creation of an army of about 20,000 Bosnian Muslims. Heinrich Himmler, leader of Hitler's SS, writes of these Muslims having "come to us out of hatred for the common Jewish-Anglo-Bolshevik enemy."

Aug 17  Germany's evacuation of Sicily is complete.

Sep 3  In secret with the Allies, the government of Pietro Badoglio signs an unconditional armistice. British and Canadian troops cross from Sicily to Italy at Calabria.

Sep 8  In a radio broadcast, Prime Minister Badoglio announces that hostilities against the Anglo-American forces will cease, wherever they may be. German radio speaks of  "treacherous intrigue which for weeks had been enacted by an Italian clique, serfs to Jews and alien to their own people." German forces take over the north and disarm Italian ground units.

Sep 9  US and British forces land at the Gulf of Salerno, just south of Naples, in southern Italy.

Sep 11  German forces occupy Rome.

Sep 12  Germans rescue Mussolini from his prison in the Abruzzi mountains. Germans begin an attack against the Allied forces around Salerno.

Oct 1  British and US forces have pushed northward to Naples.

Oct 1 In China's north, Mao Zedong, guerrilla leader against the Japanese, calls for a reduction in rents. The Communists have been appealing to and organizing peasants and spreading their influence. Meanwhile, government forces under Chiang Kai-shek are angering peasants with dire taxation and price increases that will amount to a multiple of 250 between 1942 and 1944.

Oct 13  Prime Minister Badoglio tells General Eisenhower that "His Majesty the King of Italy has declared war on Germany."

Oct 14  The US Air Force bombs ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Sixty of its aircraft are shot down, 599 airmen killed and 40 wounded. 

Oct 25  The Japanese open the railway from Burma to Siam, built with British and Commonwealth prisoner-of-war labor.

Nov 3  London says that Finland is an Axis power and the principle of unconditional surrender applies also to Finland.

Nov 5  Prime Minister Tojo, like his ally Adolf Hitler, is engaged in wishful thinking. He speaks to foreign dignitaries at the Greater East Asia Conference, in Tokyo, and states that "The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural intercourse and the opening of resources throughout the world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind."

Nov 6  The Soviet army has been pushing the Germans back in the Ukraine and has taken Kiev.

Nov 10  Ambassador Litvinov says in Moscow that the principle of unconditional surrender does not include Finland.

Nov 10  The destroyer USS Spence attempts to rescue four Japanese in a raft. With his pistol a Japanese officer kills the other three and then himself.

Nov 20-23  A US force consisting of 17 aircraft carriers, 12 battleships, 8 heavy and 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers and 36 transports, carrying 35,000 US Marines and part of the Army's 27th Infantry Division, attack the atoll (24 little islands) of Tarawa. It is a point in a drive northward toward Japan. The US loses more than 1,000 killed and 2,200 wounded. The Japanese lose 4,690 killed. On the Japanese side, only 110 survive.

Nov 22-26  President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang Kai‑shek meet in Cairo, Egypt. They agree that Japan will be "stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914," and that "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China."

Dec 4  Josip Broz Tito, guerrilla war leader and Communist, proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government.

Dec 24  General Eisenhower is made supreme commander of the Allied invasion of western Europe.

Dec 30  Subhash Chandra Bose has announced in Japanese occupied Singapore the creation of a liberated Indian government in exile. The Japanese have given him nominal rule on the Andaman islands (between Burma and India) and there, at Port Blair, Bose raises the flag of Indian independence.


1944
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Jan 1 DNA, the nucleic acid that contains genetic instructions involved in the development and functioning of all known living organisms, is discovered by Oswald Avery (1877-1955), a Canadian born medical researcher, working in New York City.

Jan 18 The Soviet Army is driving the Germans back from around Leningrad. The siege of Leningrad is lifted. Around 830,000 civilians have died at Leningrad since the siege began in late 1941.

Jan 20  US Secretary of War Henry Stimson announces that Japanese-Americans are eligible for the draft.

Jan 22  British and US forces, totaling 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles, land on the beaches around Anzio - about 60 kilometers south of Rome. They meet little resistance.  Thirteen of the invading force are killed and 97 wounded. They take 200 German prisoners.

Jan 26  After several days of fighting in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, the Australians have won a major battle, sending the Japanese in retreat.

Feb 3  The Germans have sent troops against the Allies around Anzio. Hard fighting there begins.

Feb 14  On the island of Java some Indonesians revolt against Japanese rule.

Feb 26   In a six-week campaign moving in the direction of Estonia, the Red Army has destroyed three German divisions, routed 17 other German divisions, captured 189 tanks and 1800 artillery pieces, and guerrilla forces have killed more than 21,500 Germans soldiers and derailed 136 military trains.

Mar 1  Amin Al-Husseini, in one of his many broadcasts from Berlin, heard in much of the Arab world, tells Muslim SS soldiers: "Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, History and Religion. This saves your honor. God is with you."

Mar 12  Britain prohibits travel to Ireland following accusations that Ireland, a proclaimed neutral in the war, is collaborating with Germany.

Mar 19  Hitler sends troops into Hungary to defend his Eastern Front against the Red Army.

Mar 22  Japan is not succeeding well in defending territory that it already holds, but it tries to extend its power farther in Asia. It sends an army on a march from Burma to a new objective: Delhi, India.

Mar 24  Roosevelt warns Hungary to refrain from anti-Jewish measures.

Mar 27  In Kaunas, Lithuania's second largest city, about 1,800 people in a Jewish ghetto, mostly elderly and children, have been dragged from their homes and murdered. Also killed are 40 officers of the Jewish police for having given aid to the Jewish underground in the ghetto. Less than 18,000 persons remain in the ghetto.

Apr 2  Field Marshall Erich von Manstein has been advocating tactical withdrawals to shorter and more defensible lines while Hitler has been insisting on "standing fast." Hitler replaces Manstein with a more compliant commander.

Apr 14  The first Jews from Athens, numbering about 5,200, arrive at Auschwitz.

Apr 16  Hungary's government begins registering Jews and confiscating their property.

May 6  Gandhi's health has been deteriorating. The British release him from prison.

May 16  The first of 180,000 Hungarian Jews arrive at Auschwitz.

May 18  Stalin has accused Tatars of having collaborated with the Germans. He begins to expel more than 200,000 of them from the Crimea.

May 19  The Germans transport 245 "gypsies" from the city of Westerbork, in the Netherlands, to Auschwitz.

May 31  The Japanese have made it no deeper into India than 70 kilometers - in Nagaland.  They are without supplies and starving. Their commander begins to retreat without permission from a superior commander to his rear, who has ordered him to hold his position.

Jun 6  D-Day. From England 50,000 British, Canadian and US troops land on the beaches of Normandy. The hardest going is at "Omaha Beach," where about 1000 are killed, mostly in earlier hours. It is the largest amphibious landing ever. Allied bombing has helped by limiting supplies to the Germans.
 
Jun 7  Pesident Roosevelt tells Polish exile leader Stanislaw Mikolajczyk: "Stalin doesn't intend to take freedom from Poland. He wouldn't dare do that because he knows that the Unied States govenment stands solidly behind you." (Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain, p21)

Jun 12  Approximately 40,000 Polish children, ages ten to fourteen, are being taken from concentration camps to Germany for slave labor.

Jun 13  From France, Germany begins to send V1 rockets to London, daily. An average of 75 people per day will be killed during these attacks.

Jun 15  US Marines make it ashore at Saipan and suffer 2,000 casualties. The fight for Saipan begins - about 20,000 US forces against 30,000 Japanese troops.

Jun 18  The Japanese are on the offensive in central China, eager to push back US airforce bases. They overrun Changsha.

Jun 22  The Soviet Union begins a summer offensive, "Operation Bagration," at the middle of its line, opposite 34 German divisions. The Russian offensive has 200 divisions, 2.3 million soldiers, almost 6,000 tanks and massed artillery.

Jun 29  The Allies are well established on the ground in Normandy. Hitler fires Field Marshal Rommel and Field Marshal von Rundstedt for suggesting that Germany should sue for peace.

Jul 7  The Soviet army is approaching, and Hungary's ruler, Admiral Horthy, halts the deportation of Jews.

Jul 20   An attempt by German Army officers to assassinate Hitler fails.

Jul 22  Representatives from the 44 Allied nations sign an agreement at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The agreement creates the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It creates what will be the "pegged rate" currency system for international monetary exchanges. The dollar is to be the reserve currency, capable of conversion to gold.

Jul 22  Japan's government cannot hide the loss of Saipan. Public sentiment and the outrage of fervent patriots force Prime Minister Tojo to resign.

Jul 23  The Red Army liberates inmates of the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, near Lublin.

Jul 24  US forces land at Tinian, 5 kilometers southwest of Saipan. Napalm is used for the first time. Tinian is suitable for a bomber airbase within range of Japan.

Aug 1  The Red Army is about 50 kilometers east of Warsaw and coming to a halt after a 900-kilometer (562-mile) advance since June 22. The Polish government-in-exile in London, with whom Stalin has severed relations, has ordered an uprising in Warsaw, and underground members of their Polish Home Army in Warsaw begin to attack the Germans.

Aug 4  Anne Frank and family are arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam.

Aug 8  Eight German army officers are hanged, with piano wire, for their part in the attempted assassination of Hitler on June 20.

Aug 10  US troops have completed their victory over the Japanese on the island of Guam, south of Saipan and Tinian.

Aug 23  King Michael of Romania orders his forces to stop fighting the Allies.

Aug 25  The German in command of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, disobeys Hitler's order to destroy the city. He surrenders Paris to de Gualle's Free French.

Aug 28  On the 28th day of the Warsaw uprising, Polish resistance fighters are forced by German air power and artillery fire to take cover in the city's sewers.

Aug 29  Slovak troops, numbering about 60,000, have turned against the pro-German government of Jozef Tiso. Germany occupies Slovakia. The deportation of Jews from Slovakia begins again.

Aug 31  Soviet troops overrun the capital of Romania: Bucharest.

Sep 6  Bulgaria declares war on Germany.

Sep 8   The Red Army enters Bulgaria unopposed. The Bulgarians are friendly in keeping with their history of Russian relations with Bulgarians, especially in 1878 when Bulgarians won freedom from Turkish rule.

Sep 8  Germans can no longer launch their V1 rockets from France. They now have a longer range rocket, the V2, which they launch from the Netherlands. Hitler has hoped that his rockets will turn the war around for Germany.

Sep 9   Finland and the Soviet Union sign a preliminary peace agreement. The borders of 1940 are reestablished. Finland agrees to expel all German troops from its territory, to abolish various rightwing political organizations, to give legal status to its Communist Party, to a restriction of the size of its armed forces and to hold war crimes trials.

Sep 11  US troops cross Germany's western border. The Allies are only 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the German city of Darmstadt. There, Britain's airforce creates another firestorm. The number of German military personnel who die is 936. Prisoners of war who die number 368. Also killed are 492 foreigners doing forced labor. Identifiable German civilians who die number 1,766 men, 2,742 women and 2,129 children. Those who die and are not identifiable will be estimated as roughly 6,000. Nothing is accomplished that would speed the end of the war.

Sep 17  Paratroops and gliders land behind the German line in the Netherlands, in operation "Market Garden," the largest of airborne operations, consisting of US, British and Polish troops. It is hoped that by taking key bridges the Allies will be in Berlin before the end of the year.

Sep 27  Thousands of British troops are killed trying to capture the Arnhem Bridge that crosses the Rhine River in the Netherlands. The Germans hold to a new line in the Netherlands, frustrating operation Market Garden.

Sep 28   Yugoslavia's partisan leader, Josip Broz Tito, agrees to the Soviet army entering Yugoslavia temporarily.

Oct 1  The Soviet army pushes into Yugoslavia.

Oct 2   In Warsaw, the last of the Polish Home Army surrenders to the Germans. The uprising has proven to be poor judgment by the London based Polish government in exile. The uprising has suffered from a lack of cooperation by Stalin, who preferred his own Poles to that of the London government in exile. 150,000 Poles have died and 26,999 Germans. The Germans are evacuating and destroying the city in accordance with Hitler's orders. It will be January before Soviet troops arrive.

Oct 4   British troops land at Crete and in Greece. An anti-fascist partisan army, the ELAM, led by Communists, controls much of Greece's countryside. ELAM soldiers number about 50,000.

Oct 10  Churchill is in Moscow and without a representative of the United States present he makes a secret agreement with Stalin concerning spheres of influence. Stalin stays with his old policy of getting along with the capitalist West rather than pursuing revolution. He cedes interest in Italy to Britain. From Churchill he receives 90 percent interest in Romanian affairs and he gives Britain 90 percent interest in Greece. They split Yugoslavia fifty-fifty.

Oct 14  British troops enter Athens and land on the Island of Corfu. Communist Party leadership in Greece have been advised by Moscow not to precipitate a crisis that would risk Stalin's post-war objectives of cooperation with the Western powers. Greece's Communist Party leadership is ready to accept membership in a liberal coalition government, led by George Papendreou.

Oct 14  Field Marshall Rommel is suspected of complicity with the attempted assassination of June 20. Because of Rommel's popularity with the German people, Hitler gives Rommel the option of committing suicide with cyanide or facing a humiliating trial and the murder of his family and staff. Rommel dies by suicide.

Oct 15-17 In a radio broadcast, Hungary's ruler, Horthy, asks for a non-aggression treaty with the Soviet Union. He is seized by German commandos. The German army occupies Budapest. Count Szalasi becomes prime minister. Adolf Eichmann arrives in Budapest and orders 50,000 able-bodied Jews to be marched to Germany, on foot, to serve as laborers.

Oct 16  The Red Army is at Germany's eastern border in East Prussia.

Oct 18  General Joseph Stillwell has been leading the US effort to help the Chinese fight the Japanese. He has been urging reforms by Chiang. Stillwell has wanted a united front against the Japanese while Chiang has seen the Communists as more of a threat than the Japanese. Chiang dislikes Stillwell. Roosevelt replaces Stillwell.

Oct 19  The Germans evacuate Belgrade.

Oct 20   The Soviet army enters Belgrade.

Oct 25  The Japanese are outgunned in the Pacific and are losing their war, but rather than starting to bargain with the United States, today, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese resort to its first kamikaze ("divine wind") suicide airplane attacks against US ships.

Oct 27 
 U.S. submarine Kingfish (SS-234) sinks the Japanese landing ship T-138 and army cargo vessel Tokai Maru No.4, 30 miles north-northeast of Iwo Jima.

Oct 28  In an agreement signed in Moscow by the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States, Bulgaria accepts an armistice, agreeing to sever relations with Germany and to withdrawal from Greece.

Nov 3  The pro-German government of Hungary flees.

Nov 7  Roosevelt has done something Hitler does not have to do. He has stood for election, and he wins a fourth four-year term.

Nov 20  Hitler retreats from his East Prussian headquarters to a bunker below the "Reichskanzlei" in Berlin.

Nov 24  From the Island of Tinian, approximately 100 B29 bombers journey 1550 miles for their first raid on Tokyo. Sixteen bombs hit their target: a factory. The Japanese capture the city of Nanning in south-central China.

Nov 25  In the Philippines the Japanese are resorting to a god-is-on-their-side strategy. They believe Japan was saved by a divine wind (kami-kaze) from a Mongol invasion in 1281. The Japanese believe that they will be saved again. Their pilots launch suicide - kamikaze - attacks against the US Navy in the Philippines, damaging four aircraft carriers, two battleships, two cruisers and two destroyers.

Nov 29  The last German troops are withdrawn from Albania. The Communist leader of Albania's coalition partisan movement, Enver Hoxha, a former school teacher, has taken control of Albania.

Dec 12  In Greece, the Communist dominated partisan army has balked at giving up its weapons, fearing that it would leave them vulnerable to rightist militias. Fighting has erupted. The left takes control of Athens and the nearby port of Piraeus.

Dec 16  Hitler launches an offensive against the US forces in Belgium - called Operation Watch on the Rhine by Germans and Battle of the Bulge by Americans. Hitler hopes it will defeat four Allied armies and result in the US and Britain negotiating a settlement in his favor.

Dec 24  The British have flown in a force from Italy, which has regained control of Athens. Churchill flies into Athens but fails to persuade the ELAS to stop fighting.

Dec 25  The first goal of Operation Watch on the Rhine has been the port city of Antwerp. The German offensive toward Antwerp has been halted more than 100 kilometers short of the city.

Dec 29  A top secret German report describes Allied bombing as having destroyed telephone usage and roads and railways in the Saar region, making impossible the re-routing of supply trains.

Dec 31 The British bomb the Gestapo headquarters in Oslo, Norway. They destroy half of the building, but the results do not add up to a success. There is the usual collateral damage, including a bomb striking a tram filled with people. All but four are killed.

1945
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Jan 5  In the liberated city of Lublin, Polish Communists have created a provisional government. The Soviet Union announces recognition of that government. Stalin is hostile to the London Poles and wants a friendly government in Poland. Churchill cables Stalin and complains.

Jan 11  The Soviet Army enters Warsaw.

Jan 12  The Soviet Army resumes its offensive - 180 divisions against 75 German divisions. Hitler has 28 other divisions defending his front in Hungary. Hitler orders sixteen divisions in the West to the East.

Jan 12  In a conversation at a private party a 27-year-old nurse, Gertrude Seele, expressed dislike for Hitler's regime. Someone reported her, and it was been learned that she had helped some Jews. She was imprisoned, and, on this day, she is executed.

Jan 18  With the Red Army approaching, a German order is given to evacuate slave laborers and inmates in the Auschwitz area to points farther west. Marching on foot in freezing weather, anyone who does not keep up is shot.

Jan 20  Soviet troops are pushing into East Prussia. More than 2 million Germans from East Prussia are fleeing westward.

Jan 26  Soviet troops enter Auschwitz.

Jan 30  In a raid behind Japanese lines on the Island of Luzon, 100 US soldiers and more than 400 Filipino guerrillas rescue 531 American prisoners of war. One US soldier and 26 guerrillas die.

Feb 2  Ecuador announces that it is at war with Japan.

Feb 3  The US Army is converging on Manila from three directions and has pushed into the northern outskirts of the city. The battle for Manila begins.

Feb 3-11  Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Yalta and firm up agreements, including a coalition government for Poland. Stalin speaks of continuing good relations but warns that after the war will come a difficult time when they will be divided by "diverse interests."

Feb 7  Paraguay declares war on Germany and Japan.

Feb 12  Peru announces it is at war with Germany and Japan.

Feb 13  The Soviet army drives German forces from Budapest.

Feb 13  British bombers make two raids against railway yards at Dresden. A firestorm results that burns eleven squared miles of the city. The city has been filled with people fleeing from the advancing Soviet forces.

Feb 14  Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru join the United Nations.

Feb 15  Dresden is still burning. The US Airforce joins in bombing the city, believing that more havoc will be created by hitting the city when firefighting equipment is in the streets. Dresden is to burn for five more days. The identifiable dead number 39,773. The unidentifiable are 20,000 or more.

Feb 15  Venezuela and Uruguay declare war on Germany and Japan.

Feb 17  In Manila, Japanese troops are holding 5,000 Filipinos hostage. Japanese troops release their frustration and anger against civilians. A young Japanese soldier writes in his diary of the killing of "several thousand ... young and old, men and women."

Feb 19  Two divisions of U.S Marines land at Iwo Jima, a small island with an airfield closer to Japan than Tinian Island.

Feb 23  On Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi, Marines and a Navy Corpsman raise the US flag.

Feb 24  The Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Pasha, announces that Egypt has declared war on Germany and Japan. Later on this day he is assassinated.

Feb 26  Egypt's parliament approves the declarations of war.

Feb  A Russian artillery officer at the front in eastern Germany, Captain Alexander Solzhenitsyn, has been arrested for a deprecatory remark about Stalin in a letter to a friend.

Mar 1  Iran and Saudi Arabia declare war on Japan.

Mar 3  The battle for Manila ends. There, approximately 100,000 Filipinos have died. The US Army has lost 1,010 dead, the Japanese about 16,000.

Mar 3  Finland declares war on Germany retroactive to Sept 15, 1944.

Mar 6  King Michael of Romania gives power to a coalition government dominated by the National Democratic Front and Romanian Communists.

Mar 7  Romania declares war on Japan.

Mar 8  In Yugoslavia, Josip Tito creates a federal republic. He is premier.

Mar 9  The dropping of tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo begins. A firestorm  consumes oxygen and suffocates thousands. Liquid glass rolls down streets. As many 120,000 die. Perhaps as many as 200,000.

Mar 16  The last of the Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends. Of the 22,000 Japanese fighting men on the Island only 1,083 survive. The US Marines have lost 6,891.

Mar 23   US, British and Canadian forces have crossed the Rhine River.

Mar 28  Churchill sends a memorandum to Air Marshall Arthur Harris saying that "It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed."

Apr 1  The US Army and Navy land 50,000 troops on an eight-mile beachhead at Okinawa - a part of Japanese homeland - against about 100,000 Japanese troops.

Apr 4  A provisional government for Czechoslovakia is established in the eastern Slovak town of Kosice, cleared of Germans by the Soviet Army. Eduard Benes, a liberal, is the provisional government's president. A leader of the Czech Social Democrats is prime minister. Communists dominate the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Apr 5  The Soviet Union ends its neutrality pact with Japan.

Apr 11  Hitler's Gestapo telephones the Buchenwald concentration camp and says that it is coming to blow up the camp and its inmates. Camp administrators have already fled. An inmate answers the phone and, pretending to be an administrator, says not to bother, that it has already been done. The Gestapo does not arrive. A few hours later the US 3rd Army arrives.

Apr 11  Chile declares war on Japan.

Apr 12  President Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorage.

Apr 13  The Soviet army takes Vienna.

Apr 15  British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They are shocked by what they find.

Apr 15  Since early February the Allies have bombed Berlin eighty-three times. Berliners are living without water and electricity and with little food. The bombs are accomplishing little strategically but making rubble bounce, killing more civilians and killing Allied airmen. In Berlin people joke about Hitler having promised that under his administration they would eventually not recognize their city.

Apr 25  US and Soviet troops meet at the Elbe River.

Apr 28  Benito Mussolini has been fleeing northward toward Germany and is caught by Italian partisans. Mussolini is reported to have said he is sorry just before he is shot. At an Esso gas station In Milan, the bodies of Mussolini, his mistress and some other leading fascists are hung by their heels, on display as executed criminals.

Apr 30  Hitler has written his will and testament. He names the head of his armed forces, Admiral Donitz, chief of state and apologizes for nothing. All failure he sees as the work of others. He commits suicide.

May 1  Joseph Goebbel's commits suicide, taking with him his wife Magda, six children and dogs.

May 2  In Berlin, soldiers place the Soviet flag over the parliament building. The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.

May 8  Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allied forces. The Soviet army enters Prague.

May 9  In Prague the usual civility of the Czech people has broken down. A public announcement calls for "Death to Germans." A week of revenge begins. A former mistress to a German officer is murdered in the street. German-speaking civilians, male and female, are brutalized and some others killed. Taking advantage of the rampage, some engage in rape and thievery.

May 23  In western Germany, Heinrich Himmler has been found by the British. While in custody he commits suicide with a hidden vial of cyanide.

May 29  In Damascus, French troops have fired upon people demonstrating against their presence, and this creates more anger and demonstrations.
 
Jun 4  Amid famine in northern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh establishes a provisional government in a region free of Japanese in northern Vietnam. It abolishes the "corvee" (forced labor) and begins distribution of French owned lands to peasants. It begins literacy programs and the training of local militia.

Jun 21  After three months and 21 days, the fighting on Okinawa ends. US Army, Navy and Marines dead or missing are 18,900. At least 150,000 Japanese civilians have died - about one-third of the population - many by suicide. About 100,000 Japanese soldiers have died, many by suicide. 7,000 were taken alive. 

Jun 22  Emperor Hirohito tells his ministers that he desires concrete plans to end the war.

Jun 26  At San Francisco, 50 nations sign the United Nations charter.

Jul 16  In New Mexico, the first atomic bomb is successfully exploded.

Jul 17  Stalin has just reaffirmed his commitment to have the Soviet Union enter the war against Japan on August 15. Truman writes in his diary: "Fini Japs when that comes about."

Jul 21  Since July 17, Stalin, Churchill and President Truman have been attending the Potsdam Conference, not far from Berlin. Truman approves use of the atomic bomb against

Jul 25  The Japanese have been talking to Soviet officials regarding an end to the war. The United States has been intercepting messages between Tokyo and Japan's representatives in Moscow, and US leaders are aware that Japan realizes that the war for them is lost. The Japanese consider the "formality of unconditional surrender" an unacceptable dishonor.

Jul 26  Britain's Labour Party has won elections in a landslide, Clement Attlee replaces Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Jul 27  From Potsdam, Truman cables the Japanese and warns of "utter devastation of the Japanese homeland" unless Japan surrenders unconditionally.

Aug 6  The Japanese have not accepted Truman's demand for unconditional surrender, and rather than wait patiently for the Japanese to change their mind, the US military has been waiting for good weather. The military has participated in choosing Hiroshima as the target, and there the United States drops its atomic bomb.

Aug 8  The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.

Aug 9  The United States drops its second demonstration bomb, on Nagasaki.

Aug 15  Japan surrenders. Emperor Hirohito breaks the news of surrender to the Japanese people.

Aug 15  Japan's governor, General Abe, transfers power to a Korean Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence. Koreans are jubilant, believing that Korea is an independent nation again.

Aug 17  Sukarno reads his declaration of independence for Indonesia.

Aug 22  Stalin announces his treaty with the government of Chiang Kai-shek. He orders Mao to dissolve his army and work for Chiang Kai-shek.

Aug 22  Near Tokyo, a revolt by diehard soldiers has been quelled. Japan's military high command, following the will of Emperor Hirohito, has established calm and order.

Aug 24  The Soviet forces have entered Pyongyang in northern Korea, in agreement with the Allies at the Potsdam Conference. They are rounding up Japanese forces, some of whom are coming south from Manchuria.

Aug 25  Saigon comes under the control of the Communist Viet Minh. Vietnam's Emperor Bao Dai follows Ho Chi Minh's advice and abdicates.

Aug 28   In agreement with the Japanese, an advance party of 150 US experts and engineers and 38 combat troops arrive at Atsugi airbase near Tokyo.

Aug 30  The US 11th Airborne arrives at Atsugi airbase on transport planes. General MacArthur arrives in the afternoon. The 11th Airborne band plays "Ruffles and Flourishes." A motorcade takes him to his temporary headquarters. Japanese soldiers line the route, their backs facing the motorcade - a gesture of respect and also a security measure.

Sep 2  Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's Independence. Bao Dai has agreed to be "supreme advisor" to the new Communist government in Hanoi.

Sep 2  On board the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese sign the instrument of surrender.

Sep 3  Japanese authorities learn of US plans to put Japan under military governance - contrary to the Potsdam agreement, which declared the right of Japan's government to continue to exist. Japanese authorities fear losing credibility with the Japanese people. MacArthur listens and agrees to rescind rule by military governance. He agrees to keep Japan's paramount social and political institutions in place. The occupation is to be seen as background and secondary. In the US, authorities are to see MacArthur's authority in Japan as "indirect governance."

Sep 7  General MacArthur assumes power over the southern half of the Korean peninisula. He delegates that authority of US Lieutenant General John R. Hodge.

Sep 8  The US military is welcomed at the Port of Inchon, near Seoul, by a delegation of Japan's military.

Sep 8  British troops parachute into Jakarta's Kemayoran Airport. Japan's military begins surrendering to Australian forces.

Sep 9  In Seoul the US military accepts the surrender of the Japanese. It frees English and Australians prisoners of war. It establishes a US military government south of the 38th parallel. Koreans are hostile and frequently violent toward those among them who had collaborated with the Japanese, but the US general in charge, John R. Hodge, includes those who had collaborated with the Japanese in his Korean administration and police.  Many Koreans see the Americans as occupiers.

Sep 13  British forces arrive in Saigon for the expressed purpose of disarming the Japanese there.

Sep15  The freeing of Dutch prisoners in Indonesia begins.

Sep 22  In Saigon 1,400 French soldiers and some of the 20,000 or so French civilians there, attack the Viet Minh and kill civilians, including children. A French struggle for control of Vietnam begins.

Oct 9  The British arrange for the transport of additional French troops to Indochina, including Vietnam, and agree to turn over responsibilities there to the French.

Oct 15  Poland becomes the 51st member of the United Nations.

Oct 24  In Norway, Quisling has been convicted of treason and is hanged.

Nov 10  The government of Enver Hoxha in Albania is recognized by Western Powers.

Nov 11  Yugoslavia's population has more than a 90 percent voter turn-out, and it gives overwhelming support to the popular front government of Josip Tito.

Nov 20  In Nuremberg Germany, war crimes trials begin.

Dec 4  US Senator James O. Eastland joins others in helping alarm the Russians about opinion in the United States. He speaks of "Mongolian hordes stalking the streets of Western civilization as conquerors." He adds that the American people "must realize that Russia is a predatory, aggressor nation, and that today she follows the same fateful road of conquest and aggression with which Adolf Hitler set the world on fire."

Dec 29  The US and the Soviet Union have agreed to the formation of a provisional government for a united and independent Korea. With Britain they have agreed to "trusteeship" for Korea not to exceed five years. In Korea news of the trusteeship is greeting with disappointment, anger and violence.

Dec 1-31  Australians are turning over areas in Indonesia to Dutch forces.

1946
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Jan 1  MacArthur's command in Japan has ordered the Shinto religion disestablished. Emperor Hirohito issues a law denying that he is descended from Japan's sun goddess - a tenet of Shintoism.

Jan 11  In Albania, Communists have emerged triumphant and eager to suppress those who supported fascism and Germany. They have imprisoned thousands, and in elections they have bullied opposition politicians. The new national assembly abolishes the Albanian monarchy and creates a People's Republic.

Jan 19  The U.N. Security Council hears its first complaint. It is made by Iran against the Soviet Union for interfering in its internal affairs and refusing to remove Soviet troops from Iranian territory.

Jan 22  President Truman creates the Central Intelligence Agency.

Feb 14  Juan Peron is elected president of Argentina.

Feb 14  Britain's Labour government nationalizes the Bank of England.

Mar 5  Winston Churchill, no longer prime minister, makes a speech in Fulton Missouri about an "iron curtain" having descended across the continent of Europe. He says: "We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas. Above all, we welcome constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic."

Mar 14  Stalin's tells people in the Soviet Union that, "In substance, Mr. Churchill now stands in the position of a firebrand of war."

Mar 14  According to publicity, a rocket launched from the United States goes through the earth's atmosphere and coasts to a distance of 80 kilometers. It is said to have been capable of taking 11 kilograms (24.2 pounds) to an altititude of 30 kilometers and was powered by a liquid propellant engine.

Mar 31  Greece's government has invited observers and experts to supervise elections. Election results give a majority to the Populist Party, which supports the monarchy.

Apr 1  The Allied occupation of Indochina is officially ended. The United States recognizes Indochina, including Vietnam, as under French control.

Apr 5  The first issue brought to the UN Security Council is resolved. The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw army units from Iranian Azerbaijan in exchange for reforms in the region and the establishment of a Soviet-Iranian oil company.

Apr 10  Elections in Japan include women voting for the first time.

Apr 14  In China, the truce between Chiang's government and the Communists, brokered by US Secretary of State General George C. Marshall, breaks down.

Apr 17  Negotiations in the UN Security Council have led to a simultaneous withdrawal of British and French forces and authority from Syria and Lebanon. Syria, already a member of the United Nations, is recognized as independent.

May 9  The last Soviet troops leave Iran.

May 20   Britain's Labour government nationalizes mines.

May 26  Communists win 38 percent of the votes and the most seats in parliamentary elections held in Czechoslovakia. They become one-third of the cabinet of a new coalition government headed by Klement Gottwald, a Communist, with Eduard Benes, a liberal, continuing as president.
 
Jun 1  The United States tests a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Jun 1  Ho Chi Minh has been in France trying to negotiate independence and an avoidance of war. The French high commissioner for Indochina aggravates the Vietnamese by proclaiming a French-controlled government for the southern half of Vietnam.

Jun 2  Women vote for the first time in Italy.

Jun 3  In France, moderates win 161 seats in parliament. The Communists win 145 seats.

Jun 29  The British in Palestine, in what they call Operation Agatha, arrest around 2,700 Jews they believe to be waging war against their authority.

Jul 4  With a plan in place since 1934, the US grants the Philippines independence.

Jul 5  Bikinis go on sale in Paris.

Jul 22  In response to Operation Agatha, members of a militant Zionist group, the Irgun, bomb British headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The blast kills 28 Brits, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews, 5 others and injures 45 others.

Aug 16-19  In Calcutta, during a day of demonstrations for a separate state, Muslims attack Hindus. In response, Hindus rampage against Muslims across much of India. An estimated 3,000 Hindus and 7,000 Muslims are killed. Sikhs and Buddhists are also killed.

Sep 2  In agreement with the British, Nehru forms an interim government to organize the transition to independence for India.

Sep 19  Wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, gives his United States of Europe speech. Kansas does not go to war with Nebraska over disputes, and Churchill does not want more wars to develop in Europe.

Sep 27  In Greece, King George II returns from exile in Britain. In the mountainous north, bordering Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, Communists continue to wage war against the government in Athens. A delegation of British Laborites are writing a report critical of the right-wing government of Constantino Tsaldaris of the Populist Party. Leftists and people opposed to monarchy are being dismissed from government jobs and jobs in the private sector. Rightwing death squads are assassinating people.

Sep 30  In the US zone of occupation in Korea, unhappiness abounds with a shortage of rice and its rising price. In more than a hundred cities, towns and villages are demonstrations, riots, assaults on police stations and mobs murdering policemen. The rioting will last into November, with US troops involved in restoring order while leftists, labor unionists and Communists strike back against what they see as an attempt to crush them.

Oct 15  Hermann Göring (Goering) poisons himself hours before he is scheduled to be hanged.

Oct 27  In elections in Bulgaria, Communists receive a majority of the votes and 277 seats in the 465-seat National Assembly. An additional 87 seats go to those in coalition with them.

Oct 28  In an interview, Stalin says that the Soviet Union remains interested in a loan from the United States, that US-Soviet tensions have not grown and that the presence of the US fleet in the Mediterranean is of no interest to the Soviet Union.

Nov 5  In the United States, meat shortages, economic difficulties and labor unrest help the Republican Party win majorities in the Senate and the House and for the first time since 1930. The Republican Richard Nixon wins a congressional seat after accusing the incumbent, Jerry Voorhis, of being soft on Communism.  Another Republican, Joseph McCarthy, wins a senate seat, campaigning with exaggerated stories about his military service in the Pacific. He also speaks of being for "world cooperation" that would "bring peace not only for us but for all countries of the world."

Nov 6  In Britain, the National Health Service Act is established, providing free and fully comprehensive health service for everyone.

Nov 19  In Romania, a Communist-led coalition wins a general election with 79.9 percent of the votes cast. The United States and Britain denounce the election as undemocratic.

Nov 21  In Bulgaria, Georgi Dimitrov, a well known anti-fascist and Stalinist who, back in 1933, had been arrested by the Germans for complicity in setting the Reichstag fire, is elected prime minister. 

Nov 23  War between the Viet Minh (an acronymn meaning Vietnam Independence League) and the French has intensified. French warships bombard Haiphong, killing around 6,000. The French expect to take care of the Viet Minh in eight days or so.

Nov 25  In Romania, the coalition dominated by Communists acquires an almost 85 percent majority in parliament.

Dec 1  Romania's King Michael opens the newly elected parliament. In his speech he affirms Romania's Soviet-oriented foreign policy and reports that the National Bank will be state run.

Dec 28  Josef Bogmar, Hungarian Minister of Information, announces that "many persons" have been arrested in a purge of discontented Hungarian politicians.

Dec 31  In the Philippines, Luis Turac, who led the Hukbalahap guerrilla war against Japan's occupation forces, has not been allowed to take the congressional seat he won in the July elections.

Dec 31  President Truman announces that "we, together with the other United Nations, set about building a world in which justice shall replace force." He adds: "Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the cessation of hostilities of World War II, effective twelve o'clock noon."


1947
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Jan 17   A harsh winter is aggravating Europe. There is economic stagnation, inflation, hunger and political unrest. Churchill is visiting the United States as a private citizen and asks the United States for help in policing Europe. Doing so is too much of a financial burden for Britain.

Jan 17  A US military unit has been in China to disarm the Japanese. The court martial of a US Marine begins, accused of raping a Peiping (Beijing) university student. The rape has touched off monstrous demonstrations across China against the US military presence, targeting China's government for allowing foreign troops on Chinese territory. The Pentagon believes that US forces are no longer needed in China. The Marines will be out by the end of May.

Jan 19  In Poland, a coalition dominated by the Communist Party wins 80 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections. Stalin is succeeding for the time being in having a friendly Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany.

Jan 21  The Soviet Union asks the UN Security Council to look into Britain's interventions in Greece and Indonesia.

Jan 28  Unhappy with the recent elections in Poland, the United States charges that the Provisional Government of Poland has "failed to carry out its solemn pledges" to conduct free and untrammeled elections as called for in the Yalta and Potsdam Agreements.

Feb 17  The US begins Voice of America radio transmissions into the Soviet Union, viewed by Russians as hostility.

Feb 28  Chiang Kai-shek, China's anti-Communist ruler, sends soldiers against rioting Taiwanese. Between 18,000 and 28,000 will be said to have been massacred. Many Taiwanese disappear.

Mar 12  To a joint session of Congress, President Truman proclaims what will become known as the Truman Doctrine. The US is to aide Greece and Turkey, to support "free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way." A few conservatives are opposed. One Congressman complains about do-gooders getting "us all broke."

Mar 19  Chiang Kai-shek's troops take control of Yenan, which had been a base for China's Communist Party. Chiang has created a National Assembly that the Communists think is bogus in that it does not have representation for those who side with them rather than with Chiang.

Mar 21 President Truman sees fears of a Communist takeover or influence on the US government as ridiculous, but he is responding to public pressure. He institutes a program of loyalty oaths for federal employees.

Mar 29  A nationalist group in Madagascar rises against French rule. The revolt spreads quickly, with some expecting help from the United States.

Apr 3  In the US, the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations is created under President Truman's Executive Order 9835. Among those on the list are 71 organizations and 11 schools viewed as "adjuncts of the Communist Party." Also on the list are the Ku Klux Klan and a patriotic society for Japanese veterans of the Russo-Japanese War.

Apr 15  Jackie Robinson begins playing baseball, at first base, for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Apr 16  With "enemies" in mind the phrase "Cold War" is invented. In his home state of South Carolina, Bernard Baruch, multimillionaire financier and adviser to presidents, says "Let us not be deceived. We are today in the midst of a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this." Some in the US would think of Russia and communists as intent on destroying the US or at least intent on helping Americans change their way of life. Some others would think it a mistake to consider philosophical or political adversaries as enemies and that the "Cold War" was fiction.

Apr 18  Father Josef Tiso, wartime "leader" in Slovakia, is hanged.

Apr 22  In a game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, players for the Phillies shout continual abuse at Jackie Robinson, calling him "nigger" and advising him to go back to the jungle.
 
Jun 5  A few people in the US are concerned that hardship in Europe will bolster Marxist arguments and add to the appeal of Communism. At Harvard University, the US Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, outlines an economic recovery plan for Europe. He speaks of the need to protect political stability and peace. "Our policy, he says, "is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

Jun 30  In China, the Communists have begun mobile warfare against Chiang's government. They have crossed the Yellow River, recruiting people as they advance.

Jul 3  Stalin is hostile toward the Marshall Plan - not yet approved by the US Congress. He accuses the Western powers of seeking to divide Europe into two hostile camps.

Jul 11  A Czech delegation returns from Moscow and announces that the decision to receive Marshall Plan assistance has been cancelled.

Aug 14  Pakistan splits from India and gains independence from the British Empire.

Aug 15  India gains independence from the British Empire.

Sep 7  Stalin is worried about economic recovery in that part of Germany occupied by Britain, France and the United States. He proclaims that "imperialists want war."

Sep 9  In Argentina, women receive the right to vote

Sep 12  In Haifa, Palestine, a labor leader, Sami Taha, is assassinated.

Sep 13  Thousands of Arab workers form a funeral procession for Sami Taha. British authorities detain two Jewish women regarding the assassination.

Sep 16   Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha rejects a Jewish plan for partition, saying. "Nations never concede, they fight." About the Jews fighting for partition he says "We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we'll succeed, but we'll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it's too late to talk of peaceful solutions."

Sep 19  The rightist Jewish guerrilla fighters, the Irgun, bomb a police station in Haifa, killing four British policemen, four Arab policemen, two Arab civilians and wound 46 others.

Sep 30  In the United States around 14,000 television sets are in use, and the World Series is televised for the first time.

Oct 16   Britain urges the United Nations to begin creating a suitable authority to replace the British administration of Palestine.

Oct 27  Film stars who belong to the Committee for the First Amendment arrive in Washington D.C. They include John Huston, William Wyler, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye and Gene Kelly. They are unhappy with the committee's investigation of communism in the film industry. They are for letting artists work free of government interference. Danny Kaye claims that the motion picture industry has not been putting propaganda into its work. Gene Kelly follows, saying: "As Mr. Kaye has remarked, its pretty hard to find any propaganda in pictures."

Nov 29  By a narrow margin, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution for the partition of Palestine. The Soviet Union and Truman administration have voted in favor. The resolution calls for Jerusalem to be under international control.

Dec 9   France has been paralyzed by a general strike, said to have been a Communist Party bid for power. The strike is considered a failure and called off.

Dec 16  William Shockley, at Bell Laboratories, invents the transistor, destined to replace glass tubes in electrical equipment.

Dec 25  The French have not yet completely suppressed the revolt in Madagascar. Around 60,000 people have died. Europeans and those friendly toward the French have been attacked and killed.

Dec 27  Greece's pro-monarchist government outlaws the country's Communist Party.

Dec 30  In Communist dominated Romania, King Michael, great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, is forced to abdicate.


1948
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Jan 1  Britain nationalizes its railways. Palestinian militants attack and surround the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem. And Jews carry out a series of raids as reprisals for the massacre of forty-one Jews in Haifa.

Jan 2  Jews call upon the United Nations to restore order in Palestine.

Jan 4  Burma gains independence from Britain.

Jan 5  In Britain, the BBC begins its Television Newsreel.

Jan 10  In Cairo, Egypt, police search fifty houses and hotels for Jews suspected of subversive activities. Among those arrested, young girls who had been raising funds for the Zionist cause.

Jan 12  General MacArthur is reported to favor an early withdrawal of all outside military troops from Korea.

Jan 17  The Netherlands has not accepted Indonesia's claim of independence. The Netherlands still wants to hang on to its East Indies colony. But it agrees to a truce with the Indonesian republicans.

Jan 18  The United Nations Commission on Korea remains hopeful that the Soviet Government will allow it to oversee free elections in both the Soviet and US zones in Korea.

Jan 30  Mahatma Gandhi has been supporting peace between Hindus and Muslims. On his way to a prayer meeting he is shot dead by a Hindu who sees him as weakening India.

Feb 1  The Soviet Union begins to jam Voice of America broadcasts.

Feb 4  Ceylon, to be named Sri Lanka, acquires independence and is to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Feb 6  The Russian newspaper Trud claims that the United States is planning war.

Feb 8  North Korea announces the creation and activation of its own army.

Feb 8  In Czechoslovakia the Communist party intends to speed up socialism. In cooperation with the General Confederation of Labor and left-wing Social Democrats they are preparing measures to nationalize apartment houses, office buildings and department stores.

Feb 13  Czechoslovakia's parliament passes a resolution demanding a report from the Minister of the Interior - a Communist - on the misuse of the police for political purposes.

Feb 15  The second most powerful Communist in Czechoslovakia, Antonio Zapotocky, declares in a speech: "Away with parliament if it will not fulfill the program of the General Confederation of Labor."

Feb 18  The Czechoslovak Communist Party announces that certain measures will be taken to safeguard the republic. It summons members and sympathizers to be ready for action.

Feb 19  Czechoslovakia's Communist labor leadership is putting through resolutions demanding that the Government nationalize every industry in the foreign and wholesale trades with more than fifty employees.

Feb 20  In Czechoslovakia, the ruling coalition breaks apart. Non-Communist ministers resign, hoping to force an early election.

Feb 25  Czechoslovakia's Interior Minister (the state's top cop and a communist) puts his police around all government buildings.

Feb 25  Czechoslovakia's communist prime minister, Klement Gottwald, orders "action committees" to take authority in Prague and throughout the country. The liberal Eduard Benes remains as president, but powerless. He does not want a civil war.

Mar 6  In the Philippines, Luis Turak and other alleged leaders of the Hukbalahap rebellion are declared outlaws. Men hired by landlords and military and police have retaliated indiscriminately against peasants - mostly tenant farmers. Those fighting "subversion" have burned villages, killed and created more sympathy for the Hukbalahap rebellion, which claims to be fighting for land reform and against feudal conditions.

Mar 10  Jan Masaryk, Czechoslovakia's liberal nationalist leader and foreign minister, is found dead, dressed in his pajamas, in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window.

Mar 17  President Truman speaks to a joint session of Congress, blames the Soviet Union for the Communist take over in Czechoslovakia and calls on Congress to pass the Marshall Plan and to enact a universal military training and a Selective Service bill.

Apr 3  Republicans in Congress have been opposing the Marshall Plan, complaining about throwing billions of dollars into "a bottomless pit of wasteful altruism."  But the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia has turned them around, and they help approve the $5.3 billion for the plan.

Apr 7  The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization.

Apr 8  President Truman orders the withdrawal of US troops in Korea - to be completed in 1949.

Apr 9  A member of the US State Department, Joseph Jacobs, complains of the Soviet Union's opposition to elections for the whole of Korea.

Apr 9  The Irgun and Stern Gang have been attacking at the town of Dier Yassin in an effort to break through Arab forces and reach Jerusalem, where the food shortage in the Jewish quarter is dire. An Arab account is to tell of 250 villagers, - old men, women and children being massacred. A Jewish account, by Menachem Begin, head of the Irgun from 1944 to 1948, is to tell of civilians failing to heed warnings by loudspeakers that heavy bombardment is about to begin.

Apr 12  In Italy a one-hour work stoppage ordered by the Communist dominated General Confederation of Labor is considered only 30 percent successful.

Apr 17  In Europe, sixteen nations join in the Marshall Plan's economic cooperation organization. Not joining are Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Albania. Finland also does not join, to avoid antagonizing the Soviet Union.

Apr 20  Italian-Americans, including Frank Sinatra, have tried to help defeat communism in Italy by broadcasts selling the American way-of-life. Money from the United States has been given to the Christian Democratic Party's candidate, Alcide de Gasperi. Election results give a big win to the Christian Democrats. The Vatican is pleased by what it sees as a defeat for atheistic communism. In the United States those fearing communism are relieved.

Apr 22  In Korea, Communists are leading a drive to force the U.N. Commission to abandon observation of the elections to be held in the US zone. Attacks are being made on elections officials. A report claims such attacks have caused twenty deaths since the closing of registration on April 8.

Apr 22  In a furious battle, the liberal Zionist militia, the Haganah, takes control of Haifa, Palestine's only deep-water port.

Apr 23  Germans and Japanese are banned from playing tennis at Wimbledon.

May 1  Kim Il-sung defies the United Nations, sealing his border with southern Korea and claims jurisdiction over all of Korea.

May 1  In the United States, in the May edition of the Communist monthly, Max Weiss writes that the Soviet Union has "the most advanced democracy the world has known."

May 2  A war is raging on the island of Cheju, 65 miles off the southern coast of Korea where, according to reports, bands of Communists are terrorizing the island's 276,000 inhabitants.

May 10  More than 85 per cent of  the voters in South Korea's 8,000,000 eligible voters cast a ballot in the United Nations-sponsored election.

May 14  A national council, "representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement" meets and states that "by virtue of a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations," it establishes the state that is to be called Israel.

May 15  Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia go to war against the declared creation of Israel.  The 1,700 residents of Jewish Quarter in Jersualem is bombarded by artillery.

May 17 In Oregon, the first-ever radio debate between presidential candidates takes place, between Harold Stassen and John Dewey. Stassen is by reputation more liberal than Dewey, but he argues in favor of outlawing the US Communist Party. Dewey favors civil rights for everyone and argues against it, saying "you can't shoot an idea with a gun."

May 28  In Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, the Arab Legion takes as prisoners all males between the ages of 16 and 50 -

Jun 7  President Eduard Benes of Czechoslovaka cites poor health and resigns. Klement Gottwald, the prime minister, is to replace him.
 
Jun 18  Malaya's Communists, who had been granted legal status for their fight against the Japanese, have decided on guerrilla warfare and a Communist revolution. Communist guerrillas have killed three rubber plantation workers, and Britain declares a state of emergency to deal with the insurgents.

Jun 18  In their sectors in Germany, the US, Britain and France cooperate in replacing occupation currency with the Deutsche Mark.

Jun 24  The Soviet Union is unhappy with the policies toward Germany by the US Britain and France. It cuts rail and road routes to the Western held sectors of Berlin deep inside the Soviet zone of occupation - East Germany. The Berlin Blockade begins.

Jun 25  The daily flights and transport of goods to West Berlin have started. The airlift is to last more than a year.

Jun 28  Stalin is trying to tighten his influence in East Europe by combating nationalistic independence among Communists. At a meeting of his  Cominform organization, held in Romania, the Yugoslavs are charged with nationalism and warned that their independent-mindedness has put Yugoslavia on a path back to bourgeois capitalism. The Yugoslav Communist Party is expelled from the organization.

Jul 5  Britain launches in National Health Service.

Jul 12  South Korea creates a constitution.

Jul 15  In Italy an attempt to assassinate Palmiro Togliatti, general secretary of Italy's Communist Party, incites strikes across the country.

Jul 20  President Truman begins military conscription.

Jul 20  The US federal government indicts each of the twelve members of the governing board of the Communist Party USA, charging them with advocating "destruction of the government of the United States by force and violence."

Jul 29  From London, the BBC televises the summer Olympic Games.

Jul 31  Yugoslavia has ended its support of the Greek rebels.

Aug 15 The Republic of Korea (South Korea) declares its existence.

Aug 15  In the United States, CBS-TV begins a 15-minute nightly newscast.

Aug 19 In Berlin, Soviet troops fire upon Germans demonstrating against the blockade.

Sep 8  North Korea has countered developments in South Korea with single slate elections, their own constitution and, on this day, the constitution is validated and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially proclaimed.

Sep 17  In downtown Jerusalem, members of the Stern Gang assassinate Count Foke Bernadotte, a Swedish UN mediator in Palestine, in retaliation for Bernadotte having proposed an Arab administration for Jerusalem. The assassination outrages Ben-Gurion and most other Israelis.

Sep 21  Making speeches from the back of his train, President Truman, in Ogden Utah, says, "It was due to the plans and policies of the Democratic administrations to develop the western resources for the benefit of the western people themselves, not for the benefit of the few bloodsuckers who have offices in Wall Street."

Sep 24  Bulgaria has complained about United States opposition to Bulgaria becoming a member state of the United Nations. The United States, in turn, condemns those in power in Bulgaria for having obliterated Bulgarian democracy.

Nov 1  In China, a Communist army captures the main city in Manchuria, Mukden. They are capturing vast quantities of arms and ammunition and using weaponry given to Chiang Kai-shek by the United States.

Nov 2  President Truman defeats Thomas Dewey and wins re-election, without much ado between the two about the Cold War. The Progressive Party candidate, Henry Wallace, who campaigned against hostility toward the Soviet Union, wins only 2.4 percent of the vote. The Dixiecrat candidate, Governor J. Strom Thurmond, wins slightly more votes than Wallace while carrying four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and his home state, South Carolina. Most people have merely read about the campaigns in the newspapers. Television was is still uncommon.

Nov 3  In the US, polling organizations are embarrassed and apologetic about their methods. They predicted that Dewey would win.

Nov 12  The war crimes tribunal in Tokyo sentences seven Japanese to death, including Hideki Tojo.

Nov 17  The UN General assembly passes a resolution condemning the practice by the Communist side in Greece's civil war. The Communists have been removing children from their parents and sending them to neighboring Communist countries. The resolution demands return of the children.

Nov 23  A land reform bill has angered Venezuela's landowners, and advocacy of a reduced military budget has upset military officers. A military coup ousts President Romulo Betancourt. Betancourt's democratic government is replaced by a three-man junta, one of whom is Perez Jimenez, who had been unhappy with his rank of major. They describe their coup as "a democratic necessity in the face of Communist influence." Betancourt's political party is declared illegal.  The new regime puts 4,000 opponents in prison, disbands congress and begins censoring newspapers.

Nov 29  The cool-headed English diplomat Harold Nicolson writes in his dairy about Russia preparing for a "final battle for world mastery and that once she has enough bombs she will destroy Western Europe, occupy Asia, and have a final death struggle with America." He writes there is a chance that the danger will pass and that peace will be maintained and adds: "I admit that it is a frail chance - not one in ninety."

Dec 10  The United Nations General Assembly adopts a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dec 10  Alarmed by the success of the Communists in China, Britain begins consulting quietly with various governments in southeast Asia concerning a program of protection from the spread of Communism.

Dec 11  After six months of stalemate in talks between the Dutch and Indonesians, the Dutch have broken off negotiations and announced their intention of setting up a government in the East Indies.

Dec 19  Talks have broken down and the Dutch have started its second military offensive in Indonesia, including bombing the capital of the Indonesian republic, Jakarta, and taking Sukarno and other leading Indonesians prisoner. In the United Nations is outrage, and various Asian countries begin a boycott against the Dutch.

Dec 22  The United States demands that the Netherlands stop its "police action" in Indonesia and release the Indonesian leaders it has taken prisoner.

Dec 26  Expecting trouble, Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary has written a note claiming that he has not been involved in any conspiracy and that any confession he might make will be the result of duress. On this day, Mindszenty is arrested and accused of treason, conspiracy and offenses against current laws.

Dec 26  The last Soviet troops leave North Korea.

Dec 28  A member of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinates Egypt's Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi.

Dec 31  Egypt bans the Muslim Brotherhood, but many are already out of Egypt, in Transjordan, where they are engaged in hostilities against Israel.


1949
a_compass1
 
Jan 1  Japan is still under Allied (SCAP) military occupation. Japan's stock market prices have doubled in one year, and Japan's food situation has improved, but not enough for the US to discontinue food aid. It is costly being both humanitarian and a conqueror. Aid to Japan is costing the United States more than $1 million per day. The US wants Japan to develop foreign trade so that it can buy its own food. Many Japanese, meanwhile, are again visiting their Shinto shrines.

Jan 10  In China, morale is low among Chiang Kai-shek's troops. 300,000 of them surrender to the Communist army.

Jan 10  In the US, music on seven-inch vinyl disks hits the market. The disk plays at 45 rpm and replaces breakable 78 rpm records that had been around since 1910.

Jan 21  George C. Marshall retires. Dean Acheson replaces him as secretary of state.

Jan 22  In China, the advancing Communist army is replacing Chiang Kai-shek's authority in Beijing.

Jan 24  MacArthur does not fear a Communist takeover in Japan. Japanese Communists have been allowed to run in the nation's general election. The Democratic Liberal Party candidates (conservatives) win a majority of the votes. The Communists increase their seats from 4 to 35, out of 466 seats in Japan's lower legislative house.

Feb 8  In Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty is sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. He has "confessed" his guilt. More people are convinced of the evil nature of "Communist" regimes.

Feb 12  The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Banna, now back in Cairo, is shot and left to bleed to death on the floor of a hospital. His killer is unknown but many suspect an Egyptian government agent.

Feb 24  Israel signs an armistice with Egypt, seen by the Egyptians as merely ending military hostilities. The Israelis, on the other hand, want it to represent a permanent settlement. Egypt keeps control over the Gaza Strip and is not to allow Arabs there Egyptian citizenship or to migrate to Egypt.

Mar 1  In an interview in Tokyo, General MacArthur speaks of the Pacific Ocean as having become an Anglo-Saxon lake. He describes a line of defense for the US running from the Philippines, north through Okinawa and other Ryukyo islands, through Japan and the Aleutian Islands to Alaska. Dean Acheson is to agree with this assessment without thought of abandoning South Korea.

Mar 1  Nine months since his second and last fight with Jersey Joe Walcot, Joe Louis announces his retirement from boxing.

Mar 7  In Moscow, while talking to Stalin, North Korea's Kim Il Sung says he believes "the situation" makes it necessary and possible to liberate South Korea. Stalin disagrees and cites the USSR-USA agreement on the 38th parallel as dividing Korea and the possibility of an American intervention against a move by Kim's forces into the south.

Mar 23  Israel signs an armistice with Lebanon.

Mar 24  The academy award for best picture in 1948 goes to "Treasure of Sierra Madre."

Mar 25  The Soviet Union is conducting a program of deportations, said to number 92,000 people,  from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to remote areas of the Soviet Union.

Mar 28  United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal is mentally ill and resigns.

Apr 3  Israel signs an armistice with Syria and with Transjordan.

Apr 4  The North Atlantic Treaty is signed by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. It is the first peacetime military alliance for the United States.

Apr 11  The defeat of Arab forces by Israelis has shaken confidence in Syria's parliamentary democracy. A Syrian general, Husni al-Zaim, seizes power in a bloodless coup and temporarily imprisons Syria's president, Shukri al-Kuwatli. The coup has been carried out, it would be said, with discrete backing from the US embassy in Damascus, which did not plan the coup, or pay for it, but al-Zaim, it would be said, has promised the Americans to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Apr 22  William F. Knowland, Republican from California, is concerned about the advancing Communist army in China, and in a speech in the Senate he accuses Secretary of State Dean Acheson of having "pulled the rug out from under" Chiang Kai-shek's government, and he demands an investigation. Events in China, meanwhile, are being driven by the hearts and minds of the Chinese, and there is widespread dislike for Chiang kai-shek's regime, and China's Communist forces are benefiting from it.

Apr 24  Communist troops have crossed that Yangtze River and take over what had been Chiang's capital city: Nanking. The Communists begin pushing toward Shanghai.

Apr 28  Speaking to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, former President Herbert Hoover calls for expelling Communist countries from the United Nations. His speech is greeted with "thunderous, almost impassioned ovation."

Apr 29  In the United States, George F. Kennan is concerned about public opinion. A critic of Soviet policies and an architect of the US policy of "containing" the Soviet Union, he draws from his experience as a diplomat in the Soviet Union and states publicly that the Russians are not an enemy of the American people, that they still believe in "decency, honesty, kindliness, and loyalty in the relations between individuals."

May 11  Israel becomes the 59th member state in the United Nations.

May 11  The Kingdom of Siam becomes the Kingdom of Thailand.

May 12  The Soviet Union responds to futility and lifts its blockade of Berlin.

May 22  James Forrestal, Secretary of Defense to March 28, is found dead on a third-floor roof below the 16th-floor kitchen across the hall from his room.

May 23  In West Germany, military occupation by the US, Britain and France ends. The  Federal Republic of Germany is established. Austria remains under Allied occupation.

May 23  The first computer that has a stored program within it - with lists of instructions and memory - begins operation at Cambridge University in Britain. The computer can both calculate and control the sequence of calculations at electronic speed. It's a glorified calculator.

Jun 2  In what will now be called Jordan, King Abdullah has dropped the name Transjordan.

Jun 3  Israel is reported to be bargaining with Egypt regarding acquisition of the Gaza Strip and its absorption of Arabs there.
 
Jun 5  The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, has finished talks with the ruler of Syria, General Zaim. The Mufti's Palestinian regiment is to be attached to the Syrian Army.

Jun 5  The General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, Matyas Rokosi, has denounced "chauvinism" and "cosmopolitanism" among Hungarian Communists and has begun a purge of people within the Party.

Jun 8  George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is published. It's about Britain becoming super-Stalinist. It's about a political party driven by its desire for power. It allows only its own interpretations of history. Thought Crimes, Big Brother, Double Think, News-Speak and Room 101 are phrases from the book that will be popularized.

Jun 15  In Hungary, it is officially declared that the high ranking Communists, Laszlo Rajk and Tibor Szonyi, have been expelled from the Party because they are "spies and Trotskyist agents of foreign and imperialist powers." Rokosi has seen Rajk as a rival and as insufficiently Stalinist.

Jun 29  The last US troops withdraw from South Korea.

Jul 4  In the US the Department of Classroom Teachers, representing 350,000  teachers, unanimously opposes loyalty oaths.

Jul 15  President Truman establishes a national housing policy, providing federal aid to slum clearance programs and low-cost housing projects.

Jul 20  Iraq has withdrawn its troops from Palestine and leaves Jordan in possession of much on the west bank of the Jordan River - the West Bank. Israel controls western Jerusalem and Jordan controls the rest of Jerusalem.

Jul 27  The first production passenger jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet, makes its maiden flight. The plane is British.

Jul 29
  Under economic and diplomatic pressure from the United States, the Netherlands government agrees with Indonesian leaders to a cease fire.

Aug 5  In Ecuador an earthquake of only 6.75 on the Richter scale destroys 50 towns and kills about 6,000 people.

Aug 5  In the United States, Secretary of State Dean Acheson proclaims that the failures of the Chinese National Government "...do not stem from any inadequacy of American aid. Our military observers on the spot have reported that the Nationalist armies did not lose a single battle during the crucial year of 1948 through lack of arms or ammunition."

Aug 6  In Damascus, Syria, a synagogue is bombed and six or seven persons killed and twenty-seven injured. The bombing is believed to be a demonstration against peace negotiations with Israel conducted by the United Nations.

Aug 8  For the last two years India has been handling Bhutan's foreign affairs, a task it was given by the British. Today, Bhutan becomes completely independent.

Aug 14  Syria's new ruler, Husni al-Zaim, has made enemies by proposing to give women the vote and allowing them freedom from wearing the veil, by raising taxes, signing a cease-fire with Israel and by associating with US oil companies in the building of a Trans-Arabian pipeline. He is overthrown by his military colleagues, and he and his prime minister, Muhsen al-Barazi, are shot dead.

Aug 28  The last significant area held by Greece's leftist guerrillas is taken by the government in Athens.

Aug 29  The Soviet Union tests an atomic bomb.

Sep 1  In the last twelve years in Britain the divorce rate has increased tenfold.

Sep 4  It's Labor Day. Near Peekskill, New York, a pro-union celebration and concert to benefit the Civil Rights Congress is taking place. Paul Robeson and Pete Seeger sing. The local American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Jewish and Catholic veterans' groups had urged people to demonstrate against the gathering, believing they were defending the American way. Robeson had said, "It's America. I have a right to sing. I'm going to sing." Instead of tolerating the freedom of their fellow citizens to assemble peaceably, the mob blocked the roadway. They shouted "nigger bastards" and "Jew bastards". Later they attacked concert-goers physically. When Pete Seeger and his family left at the end of the concert they passed through a hail of rocks and a chorus of "Go back to Russia! Kikes! Nigger-lovers!" (Seeger describes the event.) Soviet news sources used the event to publicize their view of life in the United States.

Sep 11  Stalin orders his embassy in North Korea to examine the military, political and international aspects of a possible invasion by North Korea into South Korea.

Sep 13  The Soviet Union vetoes United Nations membership for Ceylon, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan and Portugal.

Sep 15  The Yugoslav government has denounced the coming trial of Laszlo Rack in Hungary as a hoax aimed against Yugoslavia, and it accuses the Soviet Union of spurring the trial.

Sep 16  The trial against Rajk and seven other defendants opens. Rajk names Cardinal Mindszenty, now in prison, as the leader of a Vatican scheme to help him take over the Hungarian Government by inciting anti-government riots to coincide with a coup. In the Soviet Union, The Soviet press describes Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia as on trial in Hungary as well as Laszlo Rajk.

Sep 17  In the treason trial in Hungary, Winston Churchill is named as one of the plotters, among Americans and the Yugoslavs in a scheme to seize power in the Balkans.

Sep 22  In court, all eight defendants in the Hungarian treason trial confess their guilt.

Sep 23  President Truman tells the people of the United States of the Soviet Union having tested an atom bomb.

Sep 24  Laszlo Rajk and co-defendants are sentenced to death.

Sep 29  The Soviet Union announces that it has formally denounced its treaty of friendship, mutual assistance and post-war cooperation with Yugoslavia.

Sep 30  Hungary renounces its 1947 treaty of treaty of friendship and mutual assistance with Yugoslavia.

Oct 1  At Tiananmen Square, standing before 300,000 people, Mao Zedong, in a high-pitched voice, declares the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the United Nations, a representative of Chiang Kai-shek's "nationalist" Chinese complains that if the Communists in China win a "full victory," they will send men and arms and imperil a half-dozen neighboring states.

Oct 7  The Soviet Union's zone of occupation in East Germany is officially proclaimed as an independent state: Democratic Republic of Germany.

Laszlo Rajk is hanged
Laszlo Rajk is hanged

László Rajk was accused of being a "Titoist Spy",
Oct 15  Laszlo Rajk is hanged.

Nov 2  The Netherlands officially recognizes the end of its colonialism in Indonesia. "Unconditionally and irrevocably" it recognizes Indonesia as a federation of autonomous states. The Dutch did not recognize, however, Indonesia's claim to the western half of New Guinea, known also as West Irian.

Dec 8  From China, anti-Communist forces have finished their evacuation to Taiwan. Most Taiwanese consider themselves Taiwanese rather than Chinese and they resent the invasion, dictatorial impositions, bullying and thievery of the invading Chinese.

Dec 14  Stalin has been putting pressure on the Bulgarian Communist Party, and other East European Communist parties, to adhere to the Soviet way of looking at things. Traicho Kostov, who helped lead the Communist Party in Bulgaria in 1944, has not followed the Stalin line closely enough. He has been forced from power by Bulgarian Stalinists, and on this day he is shot.

Dec 16  Sukarno is elected President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Dec 17  Burma recognizes the People's Republic of China.

Dec 30  India recognizes the People's Republic of China.

1950
a_compass1

Jan 6  Britain recognizes the People's Republic of China.

Jan 9  Israel recognizes the People's Republic of China.

Jan 11  President Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

Jan 13  Finland opens diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

Jan 13  The Soviet Union's representative to the United Nations announces that the Soviet Union will not recognize the legality of Security Council actions until Chiang Kai-shek's representative on the Security Council is removed. The Soviet representative walks out of the United Nations, removing for the time being the Soviet Union's veto power on the Security Council.

Jan 23  Israel makes formal its claim of Jerusalem as its capital.

Feb 1  On Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek is re-elected president of what he still calls the Republic of China.

Feb 4  In Vietnam the French have invited Emperor Bao Dai back to Vietnam and given him the titles of premier and emperor, hoping to take nationalist sentiment away from Ho Chi Minh.  President Truman approves recognition of Bao Dai's government and aid to the French in their war against the Viet Minh.

Feb 7  In a hospital in Rome, the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman has given birth to boy. The father is Roberto Rossellini. For years Bergman had been alienated from her Swedish husband, and Rossellini was separated from his wife. Many in the United States are outraged. Theatres in various cities in the United States refuse to run the film Stromboli, a film written and directed by Rossellini, starring Bergman. 

Feb 9   Speaking to a Republican Women's club in the state of West Virginia, Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin claims that among those in the US State Department are 205 Communists.

Feb 14  The Soviet Union and People's Republic of China sign a treaty of mutual defense.

Feb 14  The politically conservative Winston Churchill, more than one year from returning as Britain's prime minister, calls for more talks with the Soviet Union - a position to be opposed by some anti-Communists in the United States. Churchill says, "It is not easy to see how things could be worsened by a parley at the summit." Climbing Mt. Everest is on the minds of people, and Churchill coins "summit" to describe talks among world leaders.

Mar 1&2  In England, Klaus Fuchs, a 39 year-old theoretical physicist who has worked at Los Alamos, New Mexico, on top-secret atom bomb projects, is convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison --  the maximum sentence for passing military secrets to a friendly nation: the Soviet Union.
 
Northgate Shopping Mall, Seattle
Northgate Shopping Mall, Seattle


Mar 7  The Soviet government denies that Klaus Fuchs has served the Soviet Union as a spy.

Mar 20  Poland's government confiscates church property.

Mar 31  In the Philippines, the Huks now number around 15,000 fighters and perhaps 150,000 collaborators. They have launched an offensive: five simultaneous attacks in five provinces near Manila.

Apr 21  In Seattle the Northgate shopping mall opens, beginning a new trend in the United States. Use of the automobile and the need to park is making shopping on main streets difficult. Modern shopping malls with huge parking lots will start to take customers away from main street. 

Apr 27  The West Bank formally becomes a part of Jordan, and Britain formally recognizes Israel.
 
Kim il-Sung, the father of North Korea
Kim il-Sung, the father of
North Korea posing for his subjects


Apr 27  South Africa's parliament passes the Group Areas Act, which assigns races to different residential and business sections in urban areas.

Apr 30  North Korea's Kim Il Sung has spent almost all of April in the Soviet Union.

May 1  In the People's Republic of China a marriage law is promulgated that abolishes marriage practices such as bigamy, concubinage, childbrides and the superiority of males over females. Marriages are to be based on the free choice of partners.

May 9  France's foreign minister, Robert Schuman, proposes some economic integration for Europe - joint management of the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany. It is the beginning of what in 1992 will become the European Union.

Jun 17  US Secretary of State Dean Acheson has sent John Foster Dulles to South Korea. Dulles visits the 38th parallel and speaks of his country's determination to stand by South Korea.

Jun 25  With Russian tanks and other Russian military equipment, North Korea chooses to storm into South Korea. The Korean War begins.

Jun 27  The Soviet Union is still vacating its representation on the U.N. Security Council, and without its veto there the Security Council condemns North Korea's invasion and moves to create a force to defend South
Korea. The Security Council asks the US to appoint a supreme commander for the U.N. force.

Jun 28  The North Koreans capture Seoul.

Jun 29  Eighteen B-26 bomber aircraft strike against the North Korea's airfield near Pyongyang.

Jun 30?  Truman has been getting advice on whether to go to Congress for approval to intervene in Korea. His Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, says that seeking a war resolution from Congress would be unnecessary. Acheson tells Truman he should act on his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief. Truman agrees. He doesn't want to set a precedent that would make it more difficult for future presidents to deal with emergencies. (David McCullough, Truman, p 789)

Jul 3-4  The aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge and the British carrier, HMS Triumph, send aircraft against various airbases in North Korea.

Jul 20  US ground forces have been rushed to Korea from Japan. They are overrun and decimated about 150 kilometers south of Seoul. Amercans are giving advice to President Truman, as follows: "We demand that you stop merdering Americn boys and Korean peope ... We have nothing to do with Korea. These people are capable of settling their own affairs." Concerning a nuclear bomb, one writes: "You did it once before. Drop one over the Kremlin and get it over with." (Quotes from David McCullough, p 791)
Aug 22  North Korea claims that air raids on Pyongyang and five other cities between July 2 and August 3  have killed 11,582 civilians.

Aug 23
  Rosselini and Bergman are now married, but, in the US Senate, Rosselini is described as a fascist libertine, and the motion picture industry is warned that the Senate objects to movies made by Communists, Nazis and Fascists.

Sep 1  North Korea's forces are stalled at what has become known as the Pusan Perimeter, defended by US and South Korean troops.

Sep 15 Allied troops land at Inchon, near Seoul, behind enemy lines.

Sep 22  Truman vetoes the Internal Security Act (also known as the McCarran-Wood Act), saying it would "betray our finest traditions" and "curb the simple expression of opinion."

Sep 23  Congress overrides Truman's veto, the Macarn-Wood Act becomes law.

Sep 28  A report by the CIA holds claims that China has missed its opportunity to intervene.

Oct 3  North Korea has asked China to send troops into Korea. China fears what it sees as aggressive US imperialism. China warns the  world-at-large that if the United States crosses the 38th parallel China will intervene.
 
Chinese Troops, October 25
Chinese Troops, October 25, skirmishing near the Yalu River


Oct 12  The CIA argues that intervention by China is unlikely because it would jeopardize China's domestic program and economy. Secretary of State Dean Acheson believes China's statement is a bluff and that the US should show no "hesitation or timidity."

Oct 15  The commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, Douglas MacArthur, and President Truman meet on Wake Island. MacArthur asks permission to pursue North Korea's military into North Korea. Truman does not want the war to spread to China and asks MacArthur about the chances of China coming into the war should U.N. forces move into North Korea. "Very little," replies MacArthur. "If the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be the greatest slaughter."

Nov 1  Indonesia becomes a member of the United Nations.

Nov 1  In Washington D.C., a couple of Puerto Ricans favoring independence attempt to assassinate President Truman.

Nov 8   Congressman Richard (Dick) Nixon, running for a seat in the US Senate, wins against Helen Gahagan Douglas, whom he has described as pink (almost communist) while she has coined the phrase "Tricky Dick."

Nov 15  The US has been attacking Chinese airbases in Manchuria. Air battles have been taking place, and Mao thanks Stalin for the heroism of Soviet pilots.

Nov 17  A US army regiment reaches the town of Hyesan on the Yalu River. Korea's border with China.

Nov 20  A field ambulance and surgical unit from India joins the U.N. forces in Korea.

Nov 21  Egypt has demanded that Britain remove its troops from the Suez Canal Zone. The treaty by which Britain is there is not due to expire until 1956, and Britain's foreign secretary
proclaims that Britain will not begin leaving until then.

Nov 22  Anti-British riots erupt in Egypt.

Nov 23  In Korea, a battalion of Dutch troops joins 11,000 troops from Britain and 1,000 from Australia.

Nov 26  Chinese forces begin crossing into Korea in large numbers.

Dec 2  In Egypt's parliament a demand is made for closer ties with Communist regimes, including the recognition of Communist China, as pressure for a British evacuation of the Suez Canal.

Dec 16  The US Army arrives back at the 38th Parallel, covering 120 miles southward in ten days. The Chinese drive is weakened because of their slow supply system, the Chinese moving by foot, oxcart, pack horse and camel.  In below freezing weather, the US Marines have walked out of the mountains in North Korea (from the "frozen Chosin" reservoir), reaching the port of Hungnan , where they are picked up by the US Navy.






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