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- January 21 - Joseph Stalin becomes the de facto leader of the Soviet Union following the death of Vladimir Lenin.
- April 1 - Adolf Hitler is sentenced to 5 years in jail for his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch; he, however, only serves 8 months.
- April 6 - The National Fascist Party wins the elections in Italy with a two-thirds majority.
- May 10 - J. Edgar Hoover is named the inaugural director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- July 19 - The Napalpí Massacre takes place.
- December 30 - The Barmat Scandal: the Social Democratic Party of Germany (the ruling party of the Weimar Republic) is implicated in various corruption, war profiteering, fraud, and bribery schemes involving two Russian Jewish brothers. This leads to a rise in anti-semitism in Germany as well as growing support for the Nazi Party.
- January 1 - Francisco Macías Nguema
- February 21 - Robert Mugabe
- April 13 - J. B. Stoner
- May 18 - Viktoras Jacenevicius
- July 19 - Petras Griskevicius
- August 1 - Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud
- August 12 - Muhammad Zia-ul Haq
- August 25 - Samuel Bowers
- September 2 - Daniel Arap Moi
- October 21 - Chin Peng
- Unknown - Elizaphan Ntakirutimana
- Janruary 1 - Helen List
- June 23 - Ranasinghe Premadasa
- July 12 - Lee Miglin
- July 29 - Elizabeth Short
- September 18 - J. D. Tippit
- January 21 - Vladimir Lenin