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- January 5 - Semiramis Hotel bombing: members of Haganah blow up a hotel in West Jerusalem, killing 24-26 civilians.
- January 30 - Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated at the Birla House compound in New Delhi by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse.
- April 9 - Jorge Eliécer Gaitán is assassinated by Juan Roa Sierra, who later the same day would be lynched by a mob to death. This event would trigger the beginning of La Violencia in Colombia.
- April 9 - Deir Yassin massacre: fighters from Irgun and Lehi kill at least 107 Palestinian Arabs, including women and children, in Deir Yassin, a village of roughly 600 people near Jerusalem.
- May 15 - Beginning of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
- June 4 - Daniel François Malan is elected Prime Minister of South Africa, allowing the National Party to become the ruling party and marking the beginning of Apartheid in South Africa.
- June 11 - Irgun is dissolved.
- June 12 - Mátyás Rákosi is named General Secretary of the Hungarian Working People's Party.
- June 16 - Beginning of the Malayan Emergency.
- June 28 - Josip Broz Tito withdraws Yugoslavia from Cominform following ideological differences with Joseph Stalin.
- August 12 - The Babrra Massacre takes place.
- August 15 - The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is declared. Syngman Rhee is elected as the nation's inaugural president.
- September 3 - Bolesław Bierut is named General Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party.
- September 8 - Max Amann is sentenced to ten years in a labor camp by an Allied court.
- September 9 - Kim Il-sung declares the formation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and names himself premier.
- September 17 - Swedish UN diplomat Folke Bernadotte is assassinated in Jerusalem by Lehi.
- December 23 - Six high-ranking officials of Imperial Japan, including former Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, are hanged for war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
- December 28 - Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi is assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
- January 1 - Ismael Zambada García & Arthur J. Jones
- January 9 - John McMichael
- January 24 - Elliott Abrams
- January 28 - Charles Taylor
- February 5 - Roy Norris
- February 13 - Allan Legere
- February 16 - James Edward Pough
- March 9 - Mike Ramirez
- April 4 - Abdullah Öcalan
- May 7 - Susan Atkins
- July 24 - Zoran Milenković
- August 3 - Michael W. Ryan
- August 14 - Abdul Quader Molla
- September 9 - Billie Wayne Coble
- October 7 - Varnado Simpson
- October 8 - Pedro López
- October 22 - Lynette Fromme
- October 30 - Barbara Stager
- November 12 - Hassan Rouhani
- December 18 - Edmund Kemper
- Unknown - James Patterson Smith
- September 24 - Phil Hartman
- January 14 - Ans van Dijk
- January 24 - Maria Mandel
- April 9 - Juan Roa Sierra
- June 2 - Viktor Brack, Waldemar Hoven, Karl Brandt ＆ Wolfram Sievers
- August 5 - Alfred Leonard Cline
- September 1 - Feng Yuxiang
- December 23 - Hideki Tojo, Kenji Doihara, Heitarō Kimura, Koki Hirota, and Iwane Matsui
- January 30 - Mahatma Gandhi
- April 9 - Jorge Eliécer Gaitán
- September 17 - Folke Bernadotte
- December 28 - Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi