1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar).
1945 1946 1947 – 1948 – 1949 1950 1951
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Table of contents
- January 1 – Nationalisation of UK railways to form British Railways. Arab militants lay siege to the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. First day of the Italian republican constitution.
- January 4 – Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- January 5 – Warner Brothers shows the first color newsreel (Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl).
- January 17 – Truce between nationalist Indonesian and Dutch troops in Java
- January 26 – Man masquerading as a doctor poisons 12 out of 15 bank employees of the Tokyo branch of Imperial Bank and takes the money; artist Sadimacha Hirasawa is later sentenced for the crime.
- January 30 – Indian pacifist and leader Mahatma Gandhi is murdered by a Hindu extremist.
- January 30 – 1948 Winter Olympics open in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
- February 1 – Soviet Union begins to jam Voice of America broadcasts.
- February 4 – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth. King George VI becomes King of Ceylon.
- February 18 – Eamon de Valera, head of government since 1932, loses power to an opposition coalition. John A. Costello is appointed Taoiseach of Éire (formerly called the Irish Free State) by President O'Kelly.
- February 24 – The Communist Party seizes control of Czechoslovakia.
- March 8 – The United States Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violated the Constitution.
- March 10 – Czech foreign minister Jan Masaryk killed in fall from his office window.
- March 20 – First elections in Singapore
- April 3 – President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan which authorizes $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
- April 7 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.
- April 9 – Jorge Eliécer Gaitán's assassination provokes a violent riot in Bogotá (the Bogotazo), and a further ten years of violence in all of Colombia (La violencia).
- April 9 – The Deir Yassin massacre takes place in Palestine.
- May 1 – 213 communists executed in Greece.
- May 2 – Hour of Charm's last broadcast.
- May 11 – Luigi Einaudi becomes president of Italy.
- May 14 – Israel is declared as an independent state.
- May 14 – The murder of a three-year-old girl in Blackburn, England leads to the fingerprinting of more than 40,000 men in the city in an attempt to find the murderer.
- May 15 – Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel.
- May 16 – Chaim Weizmann is elected as the first President of Israel.
- May 18 – The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.
- May 26 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 557 which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
- May 30 – A dike along the Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. 15 people died and tens of thousands are left homeless.
- June 3 – Palomar Observatory telescope finished in California.
- June 16 – Communist guerillas kill three rubber planters in Malay.
- June 17 – A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Air Lines Flight 624 crashes near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, killing all 43 people on board.
- June 18 – State of Emergency declared in Malaysia for communist insurgency – Malayan Emergency begins.
- June 21 – The Deutsche Mark becomes official currency of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- June 24 – The Berlin Blockade begins.
- June 28 – Cominform Resolution marks the beginning of the Informbiro period in Yugoslavia and Soviet/Yugoslav split.
- July 5 – British National Health Service Act enacted.
- July 15 – Attempted assassination of Palmiro Togliatti, general secretary of the Italian Communist Party, incites number of strikes all over the country.
- July 15 – First London,England chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous
- July 20 – Cold War: President Harry S. Truman issues the second peacetime military draft in the United States amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union (the first peacetime draft occurred in 1940 under President Roosevelt).
- July 24 – Great oil fire in the harbor of Naantali, Finland
- July 26 – U.S. President signs Executive Order 9981, ending segregation in the United States Armed Forces.
- July 31 – At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
- August 1 – The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations is founded.
- August 12 – USA recognizes the government of South Korea.
- August 19 – Soviet troops fire at German demonstrators that protest against the Berlin Blockade.
- September 4 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicates for health reasons.
- September 6 – Juliana becomes Queen of the Netherlands.
- September 17 – Stern Gang assassinates count Folke Bernadotte.
- October 11 – Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Braves to win the World Series, four games to two.
- November 2 – U.S. presidential election, 1948: Harry S. Truman defeats Thomas E. Dewey for the US presidency.
- November 12 – In Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials to death, including General Hideki Tojo, for their roles in World War II.
- November 15 – Louis Stephen St. Laurent becomes Canada's twelfth prime minister.
- November 16 – Operation Magic Carpet to transport Jews from Yemen to Israel begins.
- November 17 – Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi divorces his second wife, the former Princess Fawzia of Egypt.
- December 10 – United Nations General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- December 28 – Member of Muslim Brotherhood assassinates Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi.
- December 30 – The play Kiss Me, Kate opens for the first of 1,077 performances.
- December 31 – Israeli troops drive Egyptians from Negev.
- Hell's Angels motorcycle gang forms
- Empire Windrush immigrant ship arrives in Britain
- Faroe Islands receive autonomy from Denmark
- Civil war in Costa Rica
- Civil war in Colombia
- Porsche is founded.
- Miranda, the innermost moon of Uranus, is discovered by Gerard Kuiper.
- Casimir effect discovered by Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir.
- Tunnel of Vielha is opened in Val d'Aran, Spanish Pyrenees.
- Fresh Kills, world's largest landfill, opens in Staten Island, New York.
- The law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is founded.
- Brandeis University is founded.
Year in topic
- 1948 in film
- 1948 in literature
- 1948 in music
- 1948 in rail transport
- October 26 – The American Freedom Train, which is carrying the original versions of the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, makes its final public display in Havre de Grace, Maryland before the official end of tour. See also American Freedom Train – 1947–1949 station stops
- 1948 in sports
- February 21 – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was incorporated by William HG France to organize and promote the sport of stock car racing.
- February 28 – Bud Gartiser sets a new world record after clearing the 50-yard low hurdles in 6.8 seconds.
- 1948 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland
- 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom
- Baseball World Series: Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Braves.
- 1948 in television
- CBS begins network programming.
- ABC opens its first television station in New York.
- June 20 – Toast of the Town, with Ed Sullivan, premieres on CBS, with guests Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
- June 21 – The first network telecast of political conventions from Philadelphia.
- July 30 – Professional wrestling premieres in prime-time on the DuMont Network.
- August 10 – Candid Camera debuts on ABC.
- August 15 – The first network nightly newscast, CBS-TV News, debuts on CBS with Douglas Edwards.
- September – Milton Berle becomes the first television star, with Texaco Star Theatre on NBC.
- Television manufacturing begins in Canada.
- January 2 – Mary Archer
- January 7 – Kenny Loggins, singer
- January 10 – Donald Fagen, keyboardist
- January 14 – Carl Weathers, actor
- January 14 – T-Bone Burnett, producer, musician
- January 15 – Ronnie VanZant, musician (d. 1977)
- January 16 – John Carpenter, director
- January 17 – Davíð Oddsson, Prime Minister of Iceland
- January 27 – Mikhail Baryshnikov, dancer
- January 30 – James Hoerig, Architect
- February 4 – Alice Cooper, musician
- February 5 – Christopher Guest, actor, writer, director, composer
- February 5 – Barbara Hershey, actress
- February 11 – Sue Bernard, Playboy playmate for December 1966
- February 14 – Teller, magician (Penn and Teller)
- February 24 – J. Jayalalithaa, Indian politician
- February 28 – Bernadette Peters, actress, singer
- February 28 – Mike Figgis, director, writer, composer
- February 28 – Mercedes Ruehl, actress
- March 1 – Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear, Jamaican roots rock reggae singer and musician
- March 2 – Jeff Kennett, Australian politician
- March 2 – R. T. Crowley, writer, pioneer of Electronic Data Interchange
- March 9 – Jeffrey Osborne, singer
- March 11 – Dominique Sanda, actress
- March 12 – James Taylor, musician
- March 17 – William Gibson, writer
- March 20 – John de Lancie, actor (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager)
- March 20 – Bobby Orr, ice hockey player
- March 22 – Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer
- March 22 – Wolf Blitzer, television journalist
- March 26 – Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith
- March 28 – Dianne Wiest, actress (Hannah and Her Sisters, Law & Order)
- March 31 – Al Gore, former US Vice President
- March 31 – Rhea Perlman, actress
- April 1 – Jimmy Cliff, musician
- April 9 – Jaya Bhaduri(Bachchan), Indian actress
- May 8 – Felicity Lott, English soprano
- May 12 – Steve Winwood, singer
- May 14 – Bob Woolmer, cricket coach
- May 15 – Brian Eno, musician, record producer
- May 18 – Kathleen (Kirchner) Achterberg, organist, music educator
- May 21 – Leo Sayer, musician
- May 26 – Stevie Nicks, singer & songwriter (Fleetwood Mac)
- May 31 – John Bonham ("Bonzo"), British musician, drummer with Led Zeppelin (d. September 25, 1980)
- June 2 – Todd Rundgren, singer and producer
- June 13 – Marc Flanagan, television writer and producer
- June 13 – Garnet Bailey, professional hockey player & scout
- June 13 – David Hallam Member of the European Parliament, author
- June 19 – Phylicia Rashad, actress
- June 21 – Lionel Rose, first aboriginal boxer to win a world title (in 1968)
- June 21 – Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish fantasy writer
- July 16 – Pinchas Zukerman, Israeli violinist
- July 21 – Ed Hinton, sportswriter
- July 21 – Cat Stevens, musician
- July 21 – Garry Trudeau, cartoonist
- July 25 – Peggy Fleming, figure skater
- July 28 – Sally Struthers, actress
- July 30 – Jean Reno, actor
- August 2 – Dennis Prager, radio talk show host and author
- August 3 – Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Prime Minister of France
- August 13 – Kathleen Battle, American soprano
- August 20 – Robert Plant, singer (Led Zeppelin)
- August 30 – Lewis Black, stand-up comedian
- September 4 – Samuel Hui, singer.
- September 5 – Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian diplomat and politician
- September 10 – Bob Lanier, Basketball Hall of Famer
- September 10 – Margaret Trudeau, former First Lady of Canada
- September 22 – Denis Burke, Australian politician
- September 24 – Heinz Chur, German composer
- September 29 – Bryant Gumbel, television broadcaster
- October 2 – Avery Brooks, American television actor
- October 2 – Chris LeDoux, 56, American country music and rodeo star (d. 2005)
- October 8 – Johnny Ramone, American musician, guitarist with The Ramones (d.September 15, 2004)
- October 9 – Jackson Browne, musician
- October 13 – Ted Poe, American politician
- October 17 – George Wendt, American television actor
- October 29 – Roger Gascoigne, New Zealand Broadcaster
- November 1 – Jim Steinman, songwriter and producer
- November 10 – Vincent Schiavelli, actor
- November 14 – Charles, Prince of Wales
- November 16 – Mutt Lange, record producer
- November 20 – John R. Bolton, American neo-conservative
- November 20 – Barbara Hendricks, American-born soprano
- December 6 – JoBeth Williams, American actress
- December 21 – Willi Resetarits, Austrian musician and cabaret artist
- December 27 – Gérard Depardieu, French actor
- January 21 – Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer (b. 1876)
- January 30 – Mohandas Gandhi, leader of the Indian non-violent independence movement (assassinated)
- January 30 – Orville Wright, co-inventor of the airplane
- February 2 – Bevil Rudd, South African athlete
- February 11 – Sergy Eisenstein, film director
- March 6 – Ross Lockridge, Jr., novelist
- March 10 – Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald
- March 10 – Jan Masaryk, Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia
- March 31 – Egon Erwin Kisch, journalist and author
- April 9 – Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Colombian politician (b. 1903)
- April 17 – Suzuki Kantaro, Japanese admiral and prime minister
- May 15 – Father Edward J. Flanagan, priest and founder of Boys Town
- May 28 – Unity Mitford, British friend of Hitler
- June 25 – William C. Lee, American general (b. 1895)
- July 5 – Georges Bernanos, French writer (b. 1888)
- July 23 – David Wark Griffith, film director
- August 12 – Harry Brearley, inventor of stainless steel
- August 16 – Babe Ruth, Baseball Hall of Famer
- September 11 – Muhammed Ali Jinnah, first Governor-General of Pakistan
- October 24 – Franz Lehár, composer
- November 28 – D.D. Sheehan first independent Labour MP in Ireland
- December 23 – Doihara Kenji, Hirota Koki, Itagaki Seishiro, Kimura Heitaro, Matsui Iwane, Muto Akira, and Tojo Hideki, Japanese war leaders (hanged)
- December 31 – Sir Malcolm Campbell, land and water racer (b. 1885)