Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
Years: 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 - 1940 - 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
- January 5 - FM radio is demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.
- January 12 - World War II: Russia bombs cities in Finland.
- June 21 - France surrenders to Germany
- February 2 - Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra
- February 2 - The Complex Number Calculator, a calculator for complex arithmetic based on relays, was completed. (see History of computing).
- February 2 - The first transposons are discovered in maize (Zea mays, aka corn) by Barbara McClintock.
- February 23 - World War II: Soviet Union troops conquer Lasi Island[?].
- February 29 - For her role as as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress).
- March 12 - Soviet Union and Finland sign a peace treaty in Moscow ending the Winter War. Finns, and the World opinion, shocked by the harsh terms.
- March 18 - World War II: Axis powers - Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.
- April 7 - Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.
- May 10 - World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
- May 13 - World War II: Nazi Germany's conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse River.
- May 14 - World War II: The Dutch city of Rotterdam is bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
- May 14 - World War II: The Netherlands surrender to Germany.
- May 15 - World War II: German troops occupy Amsterdam and invade Northern France.
- May 15 - Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in the United States.
- May 17 - World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium
- May 20 - Holocaust: The first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz.
- May 24 - Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
- May 25 - World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
- May 26 - World War II: Battle of Dunkirk - In France, Allied forces begin a massive evacuation from Dunkirk.
- May 28 - World War II: Belgium surrenders to Germany.
- July 5 - World War II: The United Kingdom and the Vichy France government break off diplomatic relations.
- November - Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Wendell L. Wilkie in the U.S. presidential election
- November 11 - The Royal Navy launches the first aircraft carrier strike in history, on the Italian fleet at Taranto
- November 11 - The German Hilfskreuzer (cruiser) Atlantis captures top secret[?] British mail, and sends it to Japan
- December 30 - California opens its first freeway the Arroyo Seco Parkway[?].
- USSR annexes the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
- Germany begins a bombing campaign against Britain in preparation for an invasion, in what becomes known as the Battle of Britain.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 14 - Julian Bond[?], civil rights activist[?] (cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, chairman of NAACP board of directors)
- January 20 - Carol Heiss[?], Olympic figure skating gold medalist
- January 22 - John Hurt, actor
- February 3 - Fran Tarkenton[?], Football Hall of Famer
- February 4 - George Romero[?], horror movie writer, producer, director
- February 5 - H.R. Giger, artist
- February 6 - Tom Brokaw, news anchorman
- February 8 - Ted Koppel, journalist
- February 19 - Smokey Robinson, musician
- February 25 - Ron Santo[?], baseball player
- February 28 - Mario Andretti[?], automobile driver
- February 29 - Edward Frederick Benson, American writer
- March 7 - Rudi Dutschke[?], student leader (+ 1979)
- March 7 - Daniel J. Travanti[?], actor
- March 9 - John Cale, composer, musician
- March 9 - Raul Julia[?], actor (+ 1994)
- March 10 - Dean Torrence[?], musician ("Jan and Dean")
- March 10 - Chuck Norris, actor, martial arts practitioner
- March 12 - Al Jarreau[?], singer
- March 15 - Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead
- March 16 - Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian writer and film director
- March 22 - Haing S. Ngor[?], actor (+ 1996)
- March 24 - Bob Mackie[?], costume designer
- March 30 - Astrud Gilberto[?], singer
- April 2 - Penelope Keith, actress
- April 16 - Queen Margaret II of Denmark
- April 25 - Al Pacino, actor
- April 26 - Giorgio Moroder, composer
- May 8 - Ricky Nelson, pop singer, (+ 1985)
- May 9 - James L. Brooks[?], producer, writer
- May 11 - Juan Downey, video artist (+ 1993)
- May 20 - Stan Mikita[?], Hockey Hall of Famer
- May 20 - Sadaharu Oh, baseball star
- June 23 - Adam Faith, English singer and actor
- June 23 - Wilma Rudolph, American runner
- July 7 - Ringo Starr, English drummer (Beatles)
- August 3 - Martin Sheen, American actor
- November 27 - Bruce Lee
- October 9 - John Lennon, English musician and singer (Beatles)
- October 14 - Cliff Richard, English pop singer
- December 21 - Frank Zappa, American rock musician, composer and satirist
- February 11 - John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada (1935-1940).
- March 10 - Mikha´l Boulgakov[?], Russian writer
- March 16 - Selma Lagerl÷f, writer
- May 25 - Joe De Grasse, pioneer Hollywood film director
- May 28 - Friedrich Karl von Hessen (*1868)
- June 10 - Marcus Mosiah Garvey, publisher, entrepreneur, black nationalist
- June 29 - Paul Klee, Swiss artist
- August 21 - Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary
- October 10 - Berton Churchill, pioneer Hollywood actor
- October 11 - LluÝs Companys, President of Catalan Generalitat, shot at Montju´c Castle, Barcelona.
- November 9 - Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom