On This Day

What Happened in 1945

Important Events in 1945

  • Jan 20 Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4th term as US President
  • Jan 27 Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps in Poland
  • Feb 5 US troops under General Douglas MacArthur enter Manilla
  • Feb 13 Allied planes begin bombing Dresden, Germany; a firestorm results and over 22,000 die
  • Feb 13 USSR captures Budapest, after a 49-day battle with Nazi Germany in which 159,000 die
  • Feb 19 US 5th Fleet launches invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese with 30,000 US Marines
  • Feb 23 US Marines raise American flag on top of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Photo of which by Joe Rosenthall later became iconic, inspiring the Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture
  • Mar 23 Battle of Okinawa: US Navy ships bomb the Japanese island of Okinawa in preparation for the Allied invasion; it would become the largest battle of the Pacific War in World War II
  • Apr 25 "Elbe Day" - US and Soviet forces meet at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River during the invasion of Germany in WWII
  • Apr 26 Marshal Philippe P├ętain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during World War II, arrested for treason
  • Apr 27 Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini at Dongo (Lake Como)
  • Apr 29 US Army liberates 31,601 people from the Dachau Nazi concentration camp in Germany
  • May 2 More than 1,000,000 German soldiers officially surrender to the Western Allies in Italy and Austria
  • May 2 World War II: Battle of Berlin ends as Soviet army takes Berlin and General Weidling surrenders
  • May 3 World War II: German ship "Cap Arcona" laden with prisoners sunk by Royal Air Force in East Sea, 5,800 killed - one of largest maritime losses of life
  • May 7 World War II: Unconditional German surrender to the Allies signed by General Alfred Jodl at Rheims
  • May 8 V-E Day: World War II ends in Europe after Germany signs an unconditional surrender
  • May 9 World War II: The Soviet Union marks Victory Day
  • Jun 4 US, Soviet Union, Britain and France agree to divide up occupied Germany
  • Jun 26 United Nations Charter signed by 50 nations in San Francisco
  • Jul 17 Potsdam Conference: Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill hold 1st post-World War II meeting
  • Jul 26 Declaration of Potsdam: US, Britain and China demand the unconditional surrender of Japan during WWII
  • Aug 6 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the US B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay"
  • Aug 8 USSR establishes a communist government in North Korea
  • Aug 9 US drops second atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, destroying part of the city
  • Aug 11 Allies refuse Japan's offer to surrender on the condition that Emperor Hirohito retains his status
  • Aug 14 V-J Day, Japan surrenders unconditionally to end WW II (also August 15 depending on time zone)
  • Aug 16 Puyi, the last Chinese Emperor and ruler of Manchukuo is captured by Soviet troops
  • Aug 17 Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declare Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) independent from the Netherlands
  • Aug 17 Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel
  • Aug 22 Vietnam conflict begins as Ho Chi Minh leads a successful coup
  • Aug 31 The Liberal Party of Australia is founded by Robert Menzies
  • Sep 2 V-J Day, formal Surrender of Japan aboard USS Missouri marks the end of World War II (Japanese date, 1st September in US)
  • Oct 11 Chinese civil war begins between Kuomintang government led by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong's Communist Party
  • Nov 16 Founding of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Dec 27 International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes

More Historical Events

1945 in Film & TV

  • Jul 6 Abbott and Costello's film "The Naughty Nineties" released featuring longest version of their "Who's on First" routine
  • Sep 28 "Mildred Price" starring Joan Crawford opens at Strand
  • Nov 29 "The Lost Weekend", based on Charles R. Jackson's novel, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman premieres in Los Angeles (Academy Awards Best Picture 1946)

1945 in Music

  • Mar 15 Billboard publishes its 1st album chart (King Cole Trio is #1)
  • Jun 5 Benjamin Britten's opera "Peter Grimes" premieres in London
  • Nov 26 Charlie "Bird" Parker leads recording session for the Savoy label marketed as the "greatest Jazz session ever" with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis

Do you know this fact about today?Did You Know?

Physicist Raemer Schreiber and Lieutenant Colonel Peer de Silva arrive on the Pacific island of Tinian with the plutonium core used to assemble the Fat Man bomb used in the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9

On July 28, 1945


Famous People in 1945

World Leaders in 1945

Would you believe this fact about today?Would You Believe?

"Elevator girl" Betty Lou Oliver survives falling 75 stories after fog causes a US bomber plane to crash into the Empire State Building, breaking the cables supporting the elevator she was operating. This remains a world record for the longest survived elevator fall

On July 28, 1945

Famous Weddings in 1945

Famous Divorces in 1945

  • Dec 21 American author and journalist "The Old Man and the Sea" Ernest Hemingway and journalist Martha Gellhorn divorce after 5 years of marriage.
  • Dec 25 Actor John Wayne (38) divorces Josephine Saenz (37) after 12 years of marriage

More Weddings & Divorces

1945 in Articles and Photos