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- January 1 - A United Nations-sponsored ceasefire brings an end to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. The war results in a stalemate and the division of Kashmir.
- February 12 - Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna is assassinated in Cairo during an operation ordered by King Farouk of Egypt.
- March 10 - End of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
- March 25 to 28 - The Communist Party of the Soviet Union orders the mass deportation of kulaks from the Baltic states. This is known as Operation Priboi.
- June 30 - The Workers' Party of Korea is founded by Kim Il-sung to serve as the ruling political party of North Korea.
- July 2 - The State of Vietnam is declared in opposition to Hồ Chí Minh's North Vietnam. Former Emperor Bảo Đại is named Chief of State.
- August 5 - The 1949 Menarsha synagogue attack takes place in Damascus, Syria, when several hand grenades are thrown into the synagogue, killing 12 people. The culprits were later revealed to be a gang of militant Islamists operating in the area.
- September 6 - The Walk of Death: Howard Unruh commits a mass shooting in his neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey, killing 13 people.
- October 1 - Mao Zedong declares the formation of the People's Republic of China.
- October 16 - End of the Greek Civil War.
- November 15 - Nathuram Godse is hanged for his role in assassinating Mahatma Gandhi at Ambala Central Jail in East Punjab, India.
- December 7 - Chiang Kai-shek orders the Kuomintang to formally withdraw from mainland China. They subsequently retreat to Taiwan. End of the Chinese Civil War.
- December 16 - Sukarno is elected president of the Republic of Indonesia.
- January 3 - Paul Fromm
- January 31 - Robert Berdella
- February 18 - Gary Ridgway
- April 1 - Paul Manafort
- April 26 - Issei Sagawa & John Orr
- May 23 - Alan García
- June 11 - Ingrid Newkirk
- June 21 - Linda Kasabian
- July 7 - Suthep Thaugsuban
- July 15 - Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- August 1 - Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
- August 23 - Leslie Van Houten
- September 4 - Michael McKevitt
- October 14 - Fraser Anning
- October 21 - Benjamin Netanyahu
- October 24 - Robert Pickton
- October 29 - Abdullah Gül
- December 1 - Pablo Escobar
- December 19 - Steven Powell
- December 21 - Thomas Sankara
- December 25 - Nawaz Sharif
- January 3 - Sylvia Likens
- May 2 - James Byrd, Jr.
- Unknown - Gary Matson
- February 12 - Hassan al-Banna
- August 10 - John Haigh
- November 12 - Walter Buch
- November 15 - Nathuram Godse
- August 6 - Thelma Taylor