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- February 3 - Hồ Chí Minh establishes the Indochinese Communist Party.
- February 26 - Beginning of the Castellammarese War.
- April 30 - The Communist Party of Malaya is founded.
- July 4 - The Nation of Islam is founded by Wallace Fard Muhammad.
- August 7 - Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith are lynched by a mob of thousands of people in Marion, Indiana; James Cameron survives. This will be the last recorded lynching of African Americans in the Northern United States.
- August 12 - The Federal Bureau of Narcotics is established, with Harry J. Anslinger being named commissioner.
- August 16 - Rafael Trujillo is elected President of the Dominican Republic.
- September 14 - The Nazi Party wins 107 seats in the Reichstag (18.3% of all the votes), making them the second largest party.
- January 16 - Clarence Ray Allen
- March 3 - Ion Iliescu
- May 6 - David Carpenter
- August 1 - Juozas Kuolelis
- August 20 - Carl Robert Brown
- September 9 - Frank Lucas
- October 6 - Hafez al-Assad
- October 14 - Mobutu Sese Seko
- October 24 - Ahmad Abu Bakar of Pahang
- November 16 - Salvatore Riina
- May 22 - Harvey Milk
- June 22 - Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
- November 22 - Thora Chamberlin
- February 23 - Horst Wessel
- June 25 - James Kimble Vardaman
- September 5 - Carl Panzram
- October 2 - Gordon Northcott
- August 7 - Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith