January 4 – Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with
Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and
U Nu its first Prime Minister.
January 26 – Teigin poison case: a man masquerading as a doctor poisons 12 of 16 bank employees of the Tokyo branch of Imperial Bank and takes the money; artist
Sadamichi Hirasawa is later sentenced to death for the crime, but is never executed.
Accra Riots: Riots take place in
Accra, capital of the British colony of
Gold Coast, when a peaceful protest march by ex-servicemen is broken up by police, leaving several members of the group dead, among them Sergeant Adjetey, one of the leaders.
March 18 – The Round Table Conference in
The Hague, Netherlands for the preparation of the decolonization process for Aruba and the other Dutch Colonies. Aruba presents the mandate of the Aruban People for Aruba to become an Independent Country, under the souvereignty of the House of Orange, based on Aruba's first state constitution presented officially since August 1947, and a (4th) Member State of the future Dutch Commonwealth.
LP record – Columbia Records introduced its long playing 33 1/3 rpm phonograph format.
June 20 – The
U.S. Congress recesses for the remainder of 1948, after an overtime session closes at 7:00 a.m. (to be shortly interrupted by Truman's recall from Congressional recess for July 20, 1948).
Harry S. Truman issues the second peacetime
military draft in the United States, amid increasing tensions with the
Soviet Union (the first peacetime draft occurred in 1940 under President Roosevelt)
December 20 –
Indonesian National Revolution: The Dutch military captures Yogyakarta, the temporary capital of the newly formed Republic of Indonesia.
December 23 – Seven Japanese military and political leaders convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East are executed by Allied occupation authorities at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, Japan.