January 17 – The first VW Type 1 to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, is brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. Unable to interest dealers or importers in the Volkswagen, Pon sells the sample car to pay his travel expenses. Only two 1949 models were sold in America that year, convincing Volkswagen chairman Heinrich Nordhoff the car had no future in the U.S. (The Type 1 went on to become an automotive phenomenon.)
Belgian astronomer Jean Meeus asserts that the orbits of all the planets of the Solar System are within the same 90° arc of the Solar System on this date. The next time it is thought this will occur is on May 6, 2492.
Grady the Cow, a 1,200-pound cow, gets stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and garners national media attention in the United States.
February 28 – Margaret Roberts, the future Margaret Thatcher, is adopted as the Conservative candidate for Dartford. She will go on to fight two elections in the constituency unsuccessfully in 1950 and 1951.
April 20 – The Royal NavyfrigateHMS Amethyst goes up the Yangtze river to evacuate British Commonwealth refugees escaping the advance of Mao's Communist forces. Under heavy fire, she grounds off Rose Island. After an abortive rescue attempt on April 26, she anchors 10 miles upstream. Negotiations with the Communists to let the ship leave drag on for weeks, during which time the ship's cat Simon raises the crew's morale.
May 4 – Superga air disaster: The Fiat G.212 airliner of Avio Linee Italiane carrying the entire Torino F.C. football team, crashes into the back wall of the Basilica of Superga, killing all 31 on board.
August 8 – Bhutan signs a Treaty of Friendship with the newly-independent India, agreeing non-interference in internal affairs but allowing India to "guide" its foreign policy (similar to the previous arrangements with the British administration in India).