March 20 – WWII:
RAF Flight Sergeant
Nicholas Alkemade's bomber is hit over Germany, and he has to bail out without a
parachute from a height of over 4,000 meters. Tree branches interrupt his fall and he lands safely on deep snow.
April 14 –
Bombay Explosion: The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a mixed cargo of ammunition, cotton bales and gold, explodes in harbour at
Bombay (India), sinking surrounding ships and killing around 800 people.
Rome falls to the
Allies, the first
Axis capital to fall.
A hunter-killer group of the
United States Navy captures the
German submarine U-505, marking the first time a U.S. Navy vessel has captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century. Some significant intelligence data is acquired.
Battle of Tali-Ihantala (the largest battle ever in the
Nordic countries) begins between Finnish and Soviet troops. Finland is able to resist the attack and thus manages to stay as an independent nation.
Hartford circus fire: More than 100 children die in one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.
Camp Hood, Texas, future baseball star and 1st Lt.
Jackie Robinson is arrested and later
court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated U.S. Army bus. He is eventually acquitted.
July 9 – WWII: British and Canadian forces capture
The new Polish Committee of National Liberation publishes the
PKWN Manifesto in
Chełm, calling for a continuation of fighting against Nazi Germany, radical reforms including nationalisation of industry, and a "decent border in the West" (the
United States v. Masaaki Kuwabara, the only
Japanese American draft avoidance case to be dismissed on a due process violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the
United States and Filipino troops with Filipino guerrillas begin the
Battle of Leyte.
American forces land on the beaches in
Dulag, Leyte, the
Philippines, accompanied by Filipino troops entering the town, and fiercely opposed by the Japanese occupation forces. The combined forces liberate
December 10 – Italian conductor
Arturo Toscanini leads a concert performance of the first half of
Beethoven's Fidelio (minus its spoken dialogue) on
NBC Radio, starring
Rose Bampton. He chooses this opera for its political message – a statement against tyranny and dictatorship. Conducting it in German, Toscanini intends it as a tribute to the German people who are being oppressed by Hitler. The second half is broadcast a week later. The performance is later released on LP and CD, the first of 7 operas that Toscanini conducts on radio.
December 13 – WWII: British units attempt to take the hilltop town of Tossignano, but are repulsed.
The first complete U.S. production of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker is presented in
San Francisco, choreographed by
Willam Christensen. It will become an annual tradition there, and for the next ten years, the San Francisco Ballet will be the only company in the United States performing the complete work.