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§Of World Interest

April 18 - The League of Nations, in its last meeting, transfers its mission to the United Nations and disbands itself.

June 3 – The Interpol organization re-founded, telegraphic address “Interpol” adopted.

June 25 – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (World Bank) begins operations.

October 16 - The United Nations' first meeting in Long Island is held.

November 4 – UNESCO established as a specialized agency of the United Nations.

December 2 The International Whaling Commission was signed in Washington to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry".

December 11 – UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund) is founded.

December 12 - The United Nations severs relations with Franco's Spain and recommends that member countries sever diplomatic relations.



April 10 – In Japan, women vote for the first time, during elections for the House of Representatives of the 90th Imperial Diet.

April 29 – Trial against war criminals begin in Tokyo; the accused include Hideki Tōjō, Shigenori Tōgō and Hiroshi Ōshima.

§Japanese Industry

May 7 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with about 20 employees.


August 4 – The 1946 Dominican Republic earthquake (magnitude 8.0) hits the northern Dominican Republic, killing 100, and leaving 20,000 homeless.



January 11 - Enver Hoxha declares the People's Republic of Albania with himself as prime minister.

The first name of the state was the People's Republic of Albania (Albanian Republika Popullore e Shqipërisë) which was used from 1946 to 1976.


January 7 - Allies recognize Austrian republic with 1937 borders - the country is divided into four occupation zones


September 8 – Bulgaria is declared a People's Republic after a referendum; King Simeon II leaves.

October 2 – Communists take over in Bulgaria.


May 26 – Czechoslovak parliamentary election, with Communist victory (38%), last before communist take power


January 16 - Charles de Gaulle resigns as a head of a French provisional government.

January 20 - Charles De Gaulle resigns as president of France

March 19 - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France

October 13 – France adopts the constitution of the Fourth Republic.

December 12 - Léon Blum founds a government of socialist parties in France.

December 24 – France's Fourth Republic is founded.


Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals continue.

October 15 – Nuremberg Trials: Hermann Göring, founder of the Gestapo and recently convicted Nazi war criminal, poisons himself hours before his scheduled execution.

October 16 - Nazi War criminals convicted in the Nuremberg Trials are executed by hanging in a gymnasium in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice premises.

§Great Britain

February 14 - The Bank of England nationalized.

May 20 – The British House of Commons decides to nationalize mines.


May 31 – A Greek referendum supports the return of the monarchy.

September 28 – George II of Greece returns to Athens.


February 1 - Kingdom of Hungary becomes a republic.

August 1 - The Hungarian Forint is introduced in Hungary by the government, ending the world's biggest hyperinflation in the country.


June 2 – In a referendum, Italians decide to turn Italy from a monarchy into a republic. Women vote for the first time.

June 10 – Italy is declared a republic.

June 13 – Humbert II of Italy leaves the country and goes into exile in Portugal; Alcide de Gasperi becomes head of state.


March 6 - A communist-dominated government under Petru Groza assumes power in Romania.

June 1 – Ion Antonescu, prime minister and "Conducator" (Leader) of Romania during World War II is executed; he was found guilty of betraying the Romanian people for benefits of Germany and sentenced to death by the Bucharest People's Tribunal.

November 19 - Romanian general election, 1946: The Romanian Communist Party wins 79.86% of the vote through widespread intimidation tactics and electoral fraud.


January 31 - Yugoslavia's new constitution, modeling the Soviet Union, establishes six constituent republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

April 18 - The United States recognizes Josip Broz Tito's government in Yugoslavia.


March 15 - Clement Attlee promises independence to India as soon as they can agree on constitution

May 10 - Nehru is elected leader of the Congress Party in India.

August 19 - Violence between Muslims and Hindus in Calcutta leaves 3,000 dead.

September 2 – Interim Government of India takes charge with Jawaharlal Nehru as Vice President.

September 4 – Street violence between Muslims and Hindus erupts in Bombay.

October 10 – Commencement of the Noakhali genocide of Hindus in Bengal at the hands of Muslim mobs.

November 27 – Cold War: Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appeals to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would "save humanity from the ultimate disaster."

§Middle East


March 2 - British troops withdraw from Iran according to treaty - Soviets do not.


July 21 – An Irgun bomb explodes in Jerusalem due to secretive talks between Jews and Britain to consolidate the state of Israel.

November 17 – Eight British servicemen are killed in Jerusalem by Jewish nationalists.


March 10 - British troops begin withdrawal from Lebanon


April 17 – Syria's independence from France is officially recognized.


March 22 – The United Kingdom grants Transjordan, as it was then known, its independence. Three years later the country changes its name to Jordan.

May 22 – The Kingdom of Transjordan is founded.

May 25 – The parliament of Transjordan makes emir Abdullah their king.

§North America


February 15 - Canada indicts 22 communist agents.

June 23 - Vancouver Island earthquake, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Vancouver Island, on the Coast of British Columbia, Canada, at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, 1946. The main shock epicenter occurred in the Forbidden Plateau area northwest of Courtenay. While most of the large earthquakes in the Vancouver area occur at tectonic plate boundaries, the 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake was a crustal event. Shaking was felt from Portland, Oregon to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The earthquake is remembered as one of the most damaging earthquakes in the history of British Columbia. However, damage was restricted because there were no heavily populated areas near the epicenter, where the violent shaking occurred.


December 22 – The Havana Conference begins between U.S. organized crime bosses in Havana, Cuba.


American photographer Giles Healey is taken to the Maya city of Bonampak by the native Lacandon who live nearby. Healey becomes the first non-Maya ever to see Bonampak's stunning wall-paintings, which reveal new details about Maya civilization.

December 1 – Miguel Alemán Valdés takes office as President of Mexico.

§United States

January 10 - First meeting of the United Nations

January 17 - The UN Security Council holds its first session

January 29 - Central Intelligence Group established, CIA established in 1947

February 1 - Trygve Lie of Norway is selected to be the first United Nations Secretary General.

March 5 - In his speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill talks about the Iron Curtain.

May 2 - A failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the Battle of Alcatraz.

May 21 – At the Los Alamos Laboratory, Dr. Louis Slotin saves his coworkers but receives a fatal dose of ionizing radiation (the incident is initially classified).

July 7 - Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini becomes the first American saint to be canonized.

July 7 - Howard Hughes nearly dies in a test flight of the Hughes XF-11, which crashes in a Beverly Hills neighborhood due to a propeller malfunction.

July 25 - In the last mass lynching in the United States, a mob of white men shoot and kill two African-American couples near Moore's Ford Bridge in Georgia.

August 1 - The Atomic Energy Commission is established.

August 3 – Holiday World, originally called Santa Claus Land, opens to the public. It became the 1st themed park preceding Disneyland by 9 years.

§U.S. Law

June 3 - In Morgan v. Virginia, the US Supreme Court invalidates provisions of the Virginia Code which require the separation of white and colored passengers where applied to interstate bus transport. The state law is unconstitutional insofar as it is burdening interstate commerce - an area of federal jurisdiction.

November 22, 1946, Judge Bolitha Laws of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed the charges against the defendants in the "Great Sedition Trial", saying that to allow the case to continue would be “a travesty on justice.”

§U.S. Industry

January 25 - The United Mine Workers rejoins the American Federation of Labor.

February 14 - ENIAC (for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer"), the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania

February 28 - In Philadelphia, strikers of General Electric and police clash

In late 1946, as public concern and media scrutiny mounted over air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuel, executives from the Western Oil and Gas Association met in Los Angeles to consider a response. They emerged with a plan, and a Committee. Comprised of executives from leading oil companies (including Union Oil, Standard Oil of California (both now part of Chevron), Esso (now ExxonMobil), and Shell), the newly-created Smoke and Fumes Committee would fund scientific research into smog and other air pollution issues and, significantly, use that research to inform and shape public opinion about environmental issues. The express goal of their collaboration was to use science and public skepticism to prevent environmental regulations they deemed hasty, costly, and unnecessary.

§U.S. Politics

January 17 - Senator Dennis Chavez (D-NM) calls for a vote on an FEPC bill which called for the end to discrimination in the work place. A filibuster prevents it from passing.

"[Secretary of State Dean Acheson] Acheson was never sympathetic to the establishment of a Jewish state, fearing that the mass emigration of Jews from postwar Europe into Palestine would lead to protracted war with the Arabs.

"Acheson ... believed that an Arab-Israeli conflict would then threaten American interests in the region and could lead to an American military involvement there. ... Nonetheless, ...Truman was becoming committed to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. In the wake of the Nazi persecutions of Jews, the moral issue was paramount for the president. ...

"In 1946, when Truman met with America's Middle East diplomats who warned him of the threat to American prestige because of statements indicating sympathy with Zionism, Truman responded: 'I am sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism; I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.'

"As undersecretary of state, Acheson had to contend with the Department's almost overwhelming opposition to American support for a Jewish state, [yet] ... on Yom Kippur, October 4, 1946, Truman declared his ... support for 'the creation of a viable Jewish state in control of its own immigration and economic policies in an adequate area of Palestine.' In effect, he supported the idea of partition. Acheson ... helped him prepare the statement. ...

"For Truman, what was most pressing was to make sure that the British let one hundred thousand refugees emigrate to Palestine. ... Once Israel was created in May 1948, Acheson came to believe that the unstinting efforts of the UN mediator Ralph Bunche to dampen the conflict through cease-fire and negotiations was the only viable American policy. Soon after he became secretary [of state] he offered Bunche the job of heading the Middle East desk as an assistant secretary; Bunche, however, declined the invitation, tired of struggling with unsolvable problems. 'His most heartfelt wish,' Acheson reported, 'was for relief from them, not deeper involvement.'

"Acheson fully sympathized with him, commenting in later years, 'How often I was to remember and echo his wish.' "

July 16 – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within Department of the Interior (formed by merger of Grazing Service and General Land Office).

November 5 – Senate and House elections in the United States both give majorities to the Republicans.

December 31 - President Harry Truman delivers Proclamation 2714, which officially ends hostilities in World War II.


§Soviet Union

March 19 - Soviet Union and Switzerland reform diplomatic relations.



March 4 - C.G.E. Mannerheim resigns from the post of president of Finland

March 9 - Juho Kusti Paasikivi becomes president of Finland

§South America


February 24 - Juan Peron elected president of Argentina


January 11 - Porfirio Barba-Jacob's ashes go back to Colombia.


November 10 - At least 1,400 people are killed in an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale, in the Ancash Region and Quiches District in Peru.

§Southeast Asia


Early 1946, French troops had reoccupied the country which had been largely independent since the defeat of the Japanese in World War II.


June 9 – In Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) accedes the throne after the mysterious death by gunshot wound of his brother, King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII).


March 2 - Ho Chi Minh elected the President of North Vietnam

March 6 - Vietnam War: Ho Chi Minh signs an agreement with France which recognizes Vietnam as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.

November 23 - Fighting broke out in Haiphong after a conflict of interest in import duty at the port between the Viet Minh government and the French. The French fleet began a naval bombardment of the city that killed over 6,000 Vietnamese civilians in one afternoon according to one source or over 2,000 according to another. The Việt Minh quickly agreed to a cease-fire and left the cities. There was never any intention among the Vietnamese to give up, as General Vo Nguyen Giap soon brought up 30,000 men to attack the city. Although the French were outnumbered, their superior weaponry and naval support made any Việt Minh attack impossible. In December, hostilities also broke out in Hanoi between the Việt Minh and the French, and Hồ Chí Minh was forced to evacuate the capital in favor of remote mountain areas. Guerrilla warfare ensued, with the French controlling most of the country except far-flung areas.

December 19 - Beginning of the First Indochina war which lasted until August 1, 1954. It was between the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Emperor Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh and Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in Northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

§South Pacific


May 1 – At least 800 Indigenous Australian pastoral workers walk off the job in Northwest Western Australia, starting one of the longest industrial strikes in Australia.

§Hawaiian Islands

April 1 - A destructive tsunami caused severe damage on the island of Hawaii after an earthquake occurred near Unimak in the Aleutian chain of islands of Alaska. Waves reached 35 meters above sea level which reached Hilo, Hawaii 4.9 hours later. The town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii was hit by a series of 6 to 7 large tsunami waves coming in at 15-20 minute intervals. The highest of these waves had a run up height of 8.1 meters above sea level. The waves completely destroyed Hilo's waterfront killing 159 people. Every house on the main street facing Hilo Bay was ripped off its foundation and was carried across the street smashing against buildings on the other side. Twelve meter high waves struck a school at Hawaii's Laupahoehoe Point just as children were going to school. Children, fascinated by the receding of the ocean, were lured to the shoreline where they were struck by the waves, killing many of them. A total of 165 people lost their lives and damage was estimated to be over $26 million 1946 dollars. Included in the property damage was destruction of much of the Hawaii Consolidated Railway Company's tracks, it ceased operations ending the last train in 20th century Hawaii.


June 8 – In Indonesia, Sukarno incites his supporters to fight Dutch colonial occupation.

November 12 - A truce is declared between Indonesian nationalist troops and the Dutch army in Indonesia.

November 15 – The Netherlands recognizes the Republic of Indonesia.


July 1 – Nuclear testing: Operation Crossroads, a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in Micronesia, is initiated by detonation of Able at an altitude of 520 feet (158 m).

July 25 - Nuclear testing: In the first underwater test of the atomic bomb, the surplus USS Saratoga is sunk near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, when the United States detonates the Baker device during Operation Crossroads.


April 3 – Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma is executed outside Manila, the Philippines for leading the Bataan Death March.

July 4 - After over 381 years of Western dominance, the Philippines attains full independence.


Tahiti and the whole of French Polynesia became an overseas territory (Territoire d'outre-mer). Tahitians were granted French citizenship, a right that had been campaigned for by nationalist leader Pouvanaa a Oopa for many years.


January 10 - Project Diana bounces Radar waves off the Moon, measuring the exact distance between the earth and the moon and proving that the communication was possible between the earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age.


  • Wikipedia:1946
  • James Chace, Acheson, Simon and Schuster, Copyright 1998 by James Chace, pp. 131-132.

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