- July 3 - Steam locomotive "Mallard" sets the world speed record for steam by reaching 126 mph.
- July 3 - The last reunion of the Blue and Gray commemerates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- July 10 - Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
- July - Building of the concentration camp Mauthausen
- August 18 - The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting the United States with Canada, is dedicated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- September - European crisis over German demand for annexation of Sudeten borderland of Czechoslovakia.
- September 29 - Munich agreement of German, Italian, British and French leaders agrees to German demands regarding annexation of Sudetenland.
- October 1 - German troops march into Sudetenland
- October 5 - Eduard Benes, president of Czechoslovakia, resigns
- October 10 - The Blue Water Bridge opens, connecting Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario
- October 17 - Jan Syrovy's government begins in Czechoslovakia
- November 30 - Czech parliament elects Emil Hácha as the new president of Czechoslovakia
- October 30 - Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast, causing mass panic in the eastern United States.
- October 31 - Great Depression: In an effort to try restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.
- November 9 - Holocaust: Kristallnacht begins - In Germany, the "night of broken glass" begins as Nazi troops and sympathizers loot and burn Jewish businesses (the all night affair saw 7,500 Jewish businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned, 91 Jews killed, and at least 25,000 Jewish men arrested).
- November 10 - On the eve of Armistice Day, Kate Smith sings Irving Berlin's God Bless America for the first time on her weekly radio show.
- November 18 - Trade union members elect John L. Lewis as the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
- December 13 - 100 deportees from Sachsenhausen built the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.
- December 23 - Coelacanth caught off the coast of South Africa.
- Italian mathematician Ettore Majorano disappears
- In Québec, the St. Jean Baptiste Society raised a petition of 128,000 names, demanding restrictions on Jews living in Quebec. Abbe Groulx, the spiritual father of modern Quebec, denounced Jews as a race that refused to be assimilated.
Year in topic
- January 5 - King Juan Carlos of Spain
- January 8 - Bob Eubanks, game show host
- January 10 - Donald Knuth, American mathematician and computer scientist
- January 10 - Willie McCovey, Baseball Hall of Famer
- January 14 - Jack Jones, singer, actor
- January 18 - Curt Flood, baseball star (d. 1997)
- January 23 - Georg Baselitz, painter and sculptor
- January 25 - Etta James, singer
- January 31 - Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
- February 1 - Sherman Hemsley, comedian, actor
- February 11 - Boris Majorov, Soviet ice hockey player
- February 11 - Yevgeniy Majorov, Soviet ice hockey player
- February 11 - Bevan Congdon, New Zealand cricket player
- February 11 - Willy Correa de Oliveira, composer
- February 11 - Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and dictator
- February 12 - Judy Blume, author
- February 13 - Oliver Reed, actor (d. 1999)
- February 18 - Istvan Szabo, director
- February 24 - Phil Knight,founder of Nike, Inc.
- February 25 - Herb Elliott, Australian runner
- February 28 - Klaus Staeck, graphic artist
- March 4 - Don Perkins, American football player
- March 13 - Erma Franklin, singer (d. 2002)
- March 17 - Rudolf Nureyev, dancer and choreographer (d. 1993)
- March 7 - Janet Guthrie, automobile racer
- March 18 - Charley Pride, country musician
- March 25 - Hoyt Axton, musician, actor (d. 1999)
- April 4 - A. Bartlett Giamatti, president of Yale Univ. and baseball commissioner who banned Pete Rose. (d. 1989)
- April 8 - Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
- April 10 - Don Meredith, American football quarterback, Monday Night Football broadcaster
- April 11 - Kurt Moll, German bass
- April 26 - Duane Eddy, musician
- April 29 - Larry Niven, author
- May 22 - Richard Benjamin, actor
- May 28 - Osvaldo Romberg, painter, architect
- May 26 - Teresa Stratas, Canadian soprano
- May 31 - Johnny PayCheck, country music singer (d. 2003)
- May 31 - Peter Yarrow (singer)
- June 5 - Karin Balzer, East German hurdler
- June 15 - Billy Williams, Baseball Hall of Famer
- June 28 - Moy Yat, Chinese Seal-maker, Martial Artist
- July 4 - Bill Withers, singer/songwriter
- July 20 - Natalie Wood, actress (d. 1981)
- July 27 - Gary Gygax, author
- August 9 - Rod Laver, Australian tennis player
- August 9 - Ezola Broussard Foster, Reform Party USA candidate for the position of Vice President of the United States.
- August 15 - Janusz A. Zajdel, Polish science-fiction writer
- August 19 - Diana Muldaur, actress
- August 28 - Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
- August 28 - Maurizio Costanzo, Italian television anchorman
- August 31 - Martin Bell, British journalist and politician
- September 10 - Karl Lagerfeld, fashion designer and photographer
- September 25 - Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland
- September 29 - Wim Kok, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
- October 9 - Heinz Fischer, Austrian politician
- October 14 - Farah Diba, Empress of Iran
- October 23 - H. John Heinz III, member U.S. Senate (d. 1991)
- November 2 - Patrick Joseph Buchanan, conservative journalist, television political commentator and Reform Party USA Presidential candidate
- November 13 - Jean Seberg, actress
- November 16 - Robert Nozick, (philosopher)
- December 4 - Andre V. Marrou, United States Libertarian Party Presidential candidate
- December 4 - Yvonne Minton, Australian soprano
- December 16 - Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress
- December 17 - Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete
- January 20 - Émile Cohl, French caricaturist and animator.
- January 21 - Georges Méliès, French film director, allegedly the first
- February 2 – Frederick William Vanderbilt, railway magnate
- February 7 - Harvey Firestone, manufacturer
- March 1 - Gabriele D'Annunzio, Italian poet, dramatist, daredevil, war hero and politician (b. 1863)
- March 2 - Ben Harney, US composer and ragtime pianist (b. 1871)
- March 13 - Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, Soviet politician and intellectual
- March 13 - Clarence Darrow, attorney
- April 8 - Joe King Oliver, jazz musician (b. 1885)
- April 12 - Feodor Chaliapin, Russian bass (b. 1873)
- April 21 - Allama Iqbal, philosopher-poet
- August 7 - Konstantin Stanislavski, Russian stage actor
- August 16 - Robert Johnson, blues musician
- September 17 - Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet (b. 1901)
- October 22 – May Irwin, actress, singer
- October 27 - Lascelles Abercrombie, English poet and critic.
- November 10 - Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, (b. 1881)
- November 11 - Mary Mallon, Irish servant and cook, famous carrier of Typhoid fever.
- December 25 - Karel Čapek, Czech author, inventor of the word robot (b. 1890)
- December 28 - Florence Lawrence, Hollywood's first "star"
- John Jacob Abel - American pharmacologist.
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