What Happened in 1941

Significant Events

  • Jan 6 President Franklin Roosevelt's "4 Freedoms" speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during US State of Union address
  • Jan 9 6,000 Jews exterminated in pogrom in Bucharest, Romania
  • Jan 17 Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire at communist forces, resuming the Chinese Civil War after World War II
  • May 5 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa
  • May 6 Joseph Stalin becomes Premier of the Soviet Union
  • May 9 British intelligence at Bletchley Park breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen
  • May 24 German battleship Bismarck sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood; 1,416 die, 3 survive
  • Jun 14 Estonia loses 11,000 inhabitants as a consequence of mass deportations into Siberia
  • Jun 22 Germany, Italy and Romania declare war on the Soviet Union
  • Jul 14 6,000 Lithuanian Jews are exterminated at Viszalsyan Camp
More Historical Events

1941 in Film & TV

  • Oct 3 "The Maltese Falcon" directed by John Huston and based off Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, premieres in New York City
  • Oct 23 Walt Disney's animated film "Dumbo" released
  • Oct 28 "How Green Was My Valley" based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, directed by John Ford and starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara premieres in New York (Best Picture 1942)

1941 in Sport

Did You Know?

Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin

On May 12, 1941


World Leaders in 1941

Famous People in 1941

Would You Believe?

Adolf Hitler says Russia is "already broken and will never rise again" in a broadcast to the German people

On October 3, 1941

Famous Weddings

More Weddings & Divorces