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1946

Jan 1  MacArthur's command in Japan has ordered the Shinto religion disestablished. Emperor Hirohito issues a law denying that he is descended from Japan's sun goddess – a tenet of Shintoism.

Jan 11  In Albania, Communists have emerged triumphant and eager to suppress those who supported fascism and Germany. They have imprisoned thousands, and in elections they have bullied opposition politicians. The new national assembly abolishes the Albanian monarchy and creates a People's Republic.

Jan 19  The U.N. Security Council hears its first complaint. It is made by Iran against the Soviet Union for interfering in its internal affairs and refusing to remove Soviet troops from Iranian territory.

Jan 22  President Truman creates the Central Intelligence Agency.

Feb 14  Juan Peron is elected president of Argentina.

Feb 14  Britain's Labour government nationalizes the Bank of England.

Mar 5  Winston Churchill, no longer prime minister, makes a speech in Fulton Missouri about an "iron curtain" having descended across the continent of Europe. He says: "We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas. Above all, we welcome constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic."

Mar 14  Stalin's tells people in the Soviet Union that, "In substance, Mr. Churchill now stands in the position of a firebrand of war."

Mar 14  According to publicity, a rocket launched from the United States goes through the earth's atmosphere and coasts to a distance of 80 kilometers. It is said to have been capable of taking 11 kilograms (24.2 pounds) to an altititude of 30 kilometers and was powered by a liquid propellant engine.

Mar 31  Greece's government has invited observers and experts to supervise elections. Election results give a majority to the Populist Party, which supports the monarchy.

Apr 1  The Allied occupation of Indochina is officially ended. The United States recognizes Indochina, including Vietnam, as under French control.

Apr 5  The first issue brought to the UN Security Council is resolved. The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw army units from Iranian Azerbaijan in exchange for reforms in the region and the establishment of a Soviet-Iranian oil company.

Apr 10  Elections in Japan include women voting for the first time.

Apr 14  In China, the truce between Chiang's government and the Communists, brokered by US Secretary of State General George C. Marshall, breaks down. 

Apr 17  Negotiations in the UN Security Council have led to a simultaneous withdrawal of British and French forces and authority from Syria and Lebanon. Syria, already a member of the United Nations, is recognized as independent. 

May 9  The last Soviet troops leave Iran.

May 20   Britain's Labour government nationalizes mines.

May 26  Communists win 38 percent of the votes and the most seats in parliamentary elections held in Czechoslovakia. They become one-third of the cabinet of a new coalition government headed by Klement Gottwald, a Communist, with Eduard Benes, a liberal, continuing as president.

Jun 1  The United States tests a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Jun 1  Ho Chi Minh has been in France trying to negotiate independence and an avoidance of war. The French high commissioner for Indochina aggravates the Vietnamese by proclaiming a French-controlled government for the southern half of Vietnam.

Jun 2  Women vote for the first time in Italy.

Jun 3  In France, moderates win 161 seats in parliament. The Communists win 145 seats. 

Jun 29  The British in Palestine, in what they call Operation Agatha, arrest around 2,700 Jews they believe to be waging war against their authority.

Jul 4  With a plan in place since 1934, the US grants the Philippines independence.

Jul 5  Bikinis go on sale in Paris.

Jul 22  In response to Operation Agatha, members of a militant Zionist group, the Irgun, bomb British headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The blast kills 28 Brits, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews, 5 others and injures 45 others.

Aug 16-19  In Calcutta, during a day of demonstrations for a separate state, Muslims attack Hindus. In response, Hindus rampage against Muslims across much of India. An estimated 3,000 Hindus and 7,000 Muslims are killed. Sikhs and Buddhists are also killed.

Sep 2  In agreement with the British, Nehru forms an interim government to organize the transition to independence for India.

Sep 19  Wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, gives his United States of Europe speech. Kansas does not go to war with Nebraska over disputes, and Churchill does not want more wars to develop in Europe.

Sep 27  In Greece, King George II returns from exile in Britain. In the mountainous north, bordering Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, Communists continue to wage war against the government in Athens. A delegation of British Laborites are writing a report critical of the right-wing government of Constantino Tsaldaris of the Populist Party. Leftists and people opposed to monarchy are being dismissed from government jobs and jobs in the private sector. Rightwing death squads are assassinating people.

Sep 30  In the US zone of occupation in Korea, unhappiness abounds with a shortage of rice and its rising price. In more than a hundred cities, towns and villages are demonstrations, riots, assaults on police stations and mobs murdering policemen. The rioting will last into November, with US troops involved in restoring order while leftists, labor unionists and Communists strike back against what they see as an attempt to crush them.

Oct 15  Hermann Göring (Goering) poisons himself hours before he is scheduled to be hanged.

Oct 27  In elections in Bulgaria, Communists receive a majority of the votes and 277 seats in the 465-seat National Assembly. An additional 87 seats go to those in coalition with them.

Oct 28  In an interview, Stalin says that the Soviet Union remains interested in a loan from the United States, that US-Soviet tensions have not grown and that the presence of the US fleet in the Mediterranean is of no interest to the Soviet Union.

Nov 5  In the United States, meat shortages, economic difficulties and labor unrest help the Republican Party win majorities in the Senate and the House and for the first time since 1930. The Republican Richard Nixon wins a congressional seat after accusing the incumbent, Jerry Voorhis, of being soft on Communism.  Another Republican, Joseph McCarthy, wins a senate seat, campaigning with exaggerated stories about his military service in the Pacific. He also speaks of being for "world cooperation" that would "bring peace not only for us but for all countries of the world."

Nov 6  In Britain, the National Health Service Act is established, providing free and fully comprehensive health service for everyone.

Nov 19  In Romania, a Communist-led coalition wins a general election with 79.9 percent of the votes cast. The United States and Britain denounce the election as undemocratic.

Nov 21  In Bulgaria, Georgi Dimitrov, a well known anti-fascist and Stalinist who, back in 1933, had been arrested by the Germans for complicity in setting the Reichstag fire, is elected prime minister.  

Nov 23  War between the Viet Minh (an acronymn meaning Vietnam Independence League) and the French has intensified. French warships bombard Haiphong, killing around 6,000. The French expect to take care of the Viet Minh in eight days or so.

Nov 25  In Romania, the coalition dominated by Communists acquires an almost 85 percent majority in parliament.

Dec 1  Romania's King Michael opens the newly elected parliament. In his speech he affirms Romania's Soviet-oriented foreign policy and reports that the National Bank will be state run.

Dec 28  Josef Bogmar, Hungarian Minister of Information, announces that "many persons" have been arrested in a purge of discontented Hungarian politicians.

Dec 31  In the Philippines, Luis Turac, who led the Hukbalahap guerrilla war against Japan's occupation forces, has not been allowed to take the congressional seat he won in the July elections. 

Dec 31  President Truman announces that "we, together with the other United Nations, set about building a world in which justice shall replace force." He adds: "Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the cessation of hostilities of World War II, effective twelve o'clock noon."

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Copyright © 2006-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.