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- January 5 - Josip Broz Tito is named General Secretary of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
- February 18 - End of the Rape of Nanking.
- March 12 - The Anschluss: the Nazi Party annexes Austria as a part of Germany.
- May 25 - Falange de las J.O.N.S bombs the city of Alicante, killing between 275 and 393 people and injuring a thousand.
- August 16 - The final victim of the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run is discovered on East 9th Street in the Kingsbury Run neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The victim, a male, has never been identified.
- November 9 to 10 - The Nazi Party launches the Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom against Jewish citizens of Germany. The attacks, carried out primarily by the Sturmabteilung, result in the destruction of over 7,000 Jewish businesses, 30,000 Jewish men being arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps, and at least 91 deaths. The event is considered to be the official beginning of the Holocaust.
- November 17 - Joseph Stalin declares the Great Purge to be over.
- December 16 - Plaek Phibunsongkhram is named Prime Minister of Siam and subsequently establishes a fascist military dictatorship.
- January 2 - Ian Brady
- January 6 - John Patler
- January 30 - Islam Karimov
- February 21 - Stanislava Juoniene
- April 9 - Tom Metzger
- April 29 - Bernard Madoff
- May 3 - Omar Abdel Rahman
- May 9 - Carroll Cole
- July 28 - Alberto Fujimori & Chuan Leekpai
- November 2 - Pat Buchanan & David Lane
- November 24 - Charles Starkweather
- December 31 - Marien Ngouabi
- March 15 - Alexei Rykov
- August 1 - Andrei Bubnov
- August 29 - Leonid Zakovsky & Béla Kun
- September 24 - Joe Ball
- October 29 - Jane Toppan
- November 10 - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
- December 7 - Anna Marie Hahn
- August 23 - Ricardo Moreno Cañas & Carlos Echandi