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- January 23 - The Iron Guard is dissolved.
- February 14 - The National Legionary State is dissolved.
- April 1 - Rashid Ali al-Gaylani seizes power in Iraq after a successful Axis-backed coup d'état.
- April 10 - The Ustaše take control of most of Yugoslavia, establishing the Independent State of Croatia.
- April 30 - The Hellenic State is established in Greece by the Axis Powers.
- May 10 - Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom, but ends up being captured.
- May 11 - End of the Blitz.
- May 13 - The Chetniks are founded by Draža Mihailović.
- May 19 - Hồ Chí Minh establishes the Việt Minh.
- June 1 to 2 - The Farhud pogrom is carried out against Jews in Baghdad, Iraq by order of Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani. Over 180 Jews are killed and 1,000 are injured.
- June 3 - The village of Kandanos in Western Crete is razed by Nazi forces, killing 180 people.
- June 14 - The Communist Party of the Soviet Union deports about 65,000 people from the Baltic states to Siberia.
- June 22 - The Axis Powers launch Operation Barbarossa, subsequently invading the Soviet Union.
- June 24 to 25 - The Rainiai massacre takes place when the NKVD, with help from the Red Army, kills 70 to 80 Lituanian political prisoners in a forest near Telšiai, Lithuania.
- June 26 - The massacre in Pravieniskes camp takes place.
- June 29 - Adolf Hitler designates Hermann Göring as his successor.
- July 7 - The League of Communists of Yugoslavia raises an uprising against the Nazi occupation, beginning when Žikica Jovanović Španac kill two gendarmes in the village of Bela Crkva.
- August 24 - Action T4 is discontinued.
- September 16 - Mohammad Reza Pahlavi becomes Shah of Iran following the abdication of his father, Reza Shah.
- October 17 - Hideki Tojo is named Prime Minister of Japan.
- October 22 to 24 - The Odessa Massacre takes place.
- November 8 - The Party of Labour of Albania is established.
- December 7 - Imperial Japan launches a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States formally enters World War II the following day.
- February 9 - Kermit Gosnell
- March 16 - Thomas Hagan
- April 30 - Buddy Cianci
- June 5 - Robert Kraft
- June 22 - Ariffin Mohammed
- June 24 - Charles Whitman
- August 16 - Théoneste Bagosora
- August 20 - Slobodan Milošević
- August 27 - Bernard Ebbers
- September 29 - Fred West
- November 13 - Patrick Sherrill
- November 17 - James Pratt Craig
- December 6 - Richard Speck
- December 19 - Lee Myung-bak
- July 22 - Vernon Hunter
- July 25 - Emmett Till
- August 8 - George Tiller
- Unknown - Reyna Marroquín
- Janruary 29 - Ioannis Metaxas
- March 9 - J.B. McNamara
- May 8 - John J. McNamara
- June 4 - Wilhelm II
- July 26 - Paul Ogorzow
- July 28 - Ben Zion Halberstam