Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
Years: 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 - 1941 - 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946
- January 10 - Lend-Lease is introduced into the United States Congress.
- January 19 - British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
- January 21 - World War II: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk[?], Libya.
- January 22 - World War II: The United Kingdom captures Tobruk[?] from Nazi forces.
- January 23 - Charles Lindbergh testifies before the United States Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
- February 3 - World War II: The Nazis forcibly restore Pierre Laval[?] to office in occupied Vichy, France.
- February 4 - World War II: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- February 11 - World War II: Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli.
- March 1 - World War II: Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact thus joining the Axis powers.
- March 1 - W47NV[?] begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee becoming the first FM radio station.
- March 11 - World War II: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
- March 17 - In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art[?] is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- March 22 - Washington's Grand Coulee Dam[?] begins to generate electricity.
- March 25 - World War II: Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers
- March 27 - World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor.
- March 29 - World War II: Battle of Cape Matapan - Off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean, British naval forces defeat those of Italy sinking five warships. Battle started on March 27.
- April 6 - World War II: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
- April 27 - World War II: German troops enter Athens.
- April - Russia and Japan sign a neutrality pact.
- May 6 - At California's March Field Bob Hope performs his first USO Show[?].
- May 9 - World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by United Kingdom's Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptergraphers later use to break coded German messages.
- May 10 - World War II: The United Kingdom's House of Commons is destroyed by the Luftwaffe in an air raid[?].
- May 10 - World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland claiming to be on a peace mission.
- May 20 - World War II: Battle of Crete - German troops invade Crete.
- May 21 - World War II: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor[?] becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
- May 24 - World War II: In the North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood killing all but three crewman on what was the pride of the Royal Navy.
- May 26 - World War II: In the North Atlantic, Swordfish from the carrier HMS Ark Royal fatally cripple the Bismarck in torpedo attack, allowing the Royal Navy Fleet.
- May 27 - World War II: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
- May 27 - World War II: German pocket battleship Bismarck is sunk in North Atlantic killing 2,300.
- June 9 - World War II: Finland initiate mobilization and put some units under German command
- June 22 - World War II: Germany attacks the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
- June 25 - World War II: Finland attacked by the Soviet Union seeks the opportunity of revanche in the Continuation War.
- July 5 - World War II: German troops reach the Dniepr[?] River.
- November 14 - World War II: HMS Ark Royal is hit by German U-boat U-81 and sinks.
- December 7, December 6 (in Japan standard time) - Japanese navy launches a suprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 3 - Van Dyke Parks, musician, composer
- January 4 - Henri Bergson, writer
- January 5 - Miyazaki Hayao, Japanese film maker
- January 5 - Grady Thomas[?], singer (P-Funk)
- January 8 - Graham Chapman, comedian
- January 14 - Faye Dunaway, actress
- January 15 - Captain Beefheart, singer
- January 18 - David Ruffin[?], singer (+ 1991)
- January 21 - Richie Havens, musician
- January 21 - Placido Domingo, opera singer
- January 26 - Henry Jaglom[?], director
- January 26 - Scott Glenn[?], actor
- January 30 - Dick Cheney, politician
- January 31 - Richard Gephardt, American politician
- February 8 - Nick Nolte, actor
- February 10 - Michael Apted[?], director
- February 11 - Glenn Randall Jr[?], stuntman
- February 11 - Jeremy Mackenzie[?], general
- February 13 - Sigmar Polke[?], painter
- February 17 - Julia McKenzie[?], actress
- February 17 - Gene Pitney, singer
- February 20 - Buffy Sainte-Marie[?], singer
- February 27 - Paddy Ashdown, British politician
- March 3 - Jutta Hoffmann[?], actress
- March 4 - Adrian Lyne[?], director
- March 6 - Willie Stargell[?], Baseball Hall of Famer
- March 14 - Wolfgang Petersen, director, Das Boot
- March 15 - Mike Love[?], musician ("The Beach Boys")
- March 16 - Bernardo Bertolucci, film director
- March 18 - Wilson Pickett, singer
- April 6 - Hans W. Geissendörfer[?], German film director
- May 13 - Ritchie Valens, singer (+ 1959)
- May 13 - Senta Berger[?], actress
- May 15 - K.T. Oslin[?], country musician
- May 19 - Nora Ephron, screenwriter
- May 31 - Johnny Paycheck[?] (singer)
- June 5 - Martha Argerich, Argentinian pianist
- June 27 - Krzysztof Kieslowski, film director
- October 4 - Anne Rice, horror/fantasy writer
- Richard Dawkins, British scientist
- Bob Dylan, US poet and musician
- January 5 - Amy Johnson, aviator
- January 10 - Joe Penner[?], comedian, actor
- January 13 - James Joyce, writer
- February 11 - Rudolf Hilferding[?], German economist, Minister of Finance
- February 28 - King Alfonso XIII of Spain
- March 6 - Gutzon Borglum[?], sculptor
- March 8 - Sherwood Anderson[?], author
- March 15 - Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian impressionist painter
- March 28 - Virginia Woolf, writer
- July 10 - Jelly Roll Morton - jazz musician & composer
- August 31 - Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (suicide)
- August 7 - Rabindranath Tagore, author
- Arthur Evans, archaeologist
1941 is the title of a Steven Spielberg movie made in 1979.