British Royal Air Force Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade's bomber is hit over Germany and he has to bail out without a parachute from a height of over 4,000 meters (13,123 ft). Tree branches interrupt his fall and he lands safely on deep snow.
April 14 – Bombay Explosion: The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a mixed cargo of ammunition, cotton bales and gold, explodes in harbour at Bombay (India), sinking surrounding ships and killing around 800 people.
The Battle of Tali-Ihantala (the largest battle ever in the Nordic countries) begins between Finnish and Soviet troops. Finland is able to resist the attack and thus manages to stay as an independent nation.
Hartford circus fire: More than 100 children die in one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.
WWII: At Camp Hood, Texas, future baseball star and 1st Lt. Jackie Robinson is arrested and later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated U.S. Army bus. He is eventually acquitted.
July 9 – WWII: British and Canadian forces capture Caen.
The new Polish Committee of National Liberation publishes the PKWN Manifesto in Chełm, calling for a continuation of fighting against Nazi Germany, radical reforms including nationalisation of industry, and a "decent border in the West" (the Oder–Neisse line).
United States v. Masaaki Kuwabara, the only Japanese American draft avoidance case to be dismissed on a due process violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the United Nations.
United States and Filipino troops with Filipino guerrillas begin the Battle of Leyte.
American forces land on the beaches in Dulag, Leyte, the Philippines, accompanied by Filipino troops entering the town, and fiercely opposed by the Japanese occupation forces. The combined forces liberate Tacloban
October 21 – WWII: Aachen, the first German city to fall, is captured by American troops.
December 10 – Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini leads a concert performance of the first half of Beethoven's Fidelio (minus its spoken dialogue) on NBC Radio, starring Rose Bampton. He chooses this opera for its political message – a statement against tyranny and dictatorship. Conducting it in German, Toscanini intends it as a tribute to the German people who are being oppressed by Hitler. The second half is broadcast a week later. The performance is later released on LP and CD, the first of 7 operas that Toscanini conducts on radio.
December 12–December 13 – WWII: British units attempt to take the hilltop town of Tossignano, but are repulsed.
The first complete U.S. production of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker is presented in San Francisco, choreographed by Willam Christensen. It will become an annual tradition there, and for the next ten years, the San Francisco Ballet will be the only company in the United States performing the complete work.