1946 History Events: What Happened in 1946

In 1946, the first full year following WWII, new global struggle erupted – the Cold War. While the Allies triumphed over their Axis adversaries, the world began to fracture into East and West. On the 5th of March, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in this context. This was the year that the United Nations held its inaugural meeting. The League of Nations handed its mission to the United Nations and was disbanded shortly after this first meeting in London.

Effort Diana, a US Army Signal Corps project, catapulted the United States into the Space Age. Radar waves were reflected off the Moon in this experiment, demonstrating that easily available technology allowed for space communication between the Earth and the Moon. In 1946, there were also some important cultural developments. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra held its first rehearsal in this year, and American musician BB King began his professional career in Memphis, Tennessee.

This year saw the premiere of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James “Jimmy” Stewart. This film would go on to become a holiday ritual for millions of people and one of the most culturally significant films of all time. This year also saw the release of Disney’s Song of the South. Despite some criticism that the film had racist overtones, it remains a key part of Disney history, as the film’s music “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” received an Academy Award in 1947, and the film also inspired the Disney theme park attraction Splash Mountain. In the world of fashion, the contemporary bikini made its debut in Paris, ushering in a new era in women’s swimwear.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1946.


(January 03, 1946)
The annual George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award is established to remember popular Canadian American jockey George Woolf, who died in a freak accident during a race. photo source:


(January 10, 1946)
Project Diana, in which the US Army Signal Corps bounces radio waves off the Moon and receives the reflected signals, is a success. photo source:

(January 19, 1946)
Dolly Parton, an American country music singer, guitarist, and actress, was born. She is widely recognised for pioneering the crossover between country and pop music styles.

(March 05, 1946)
In a speech in Fulton, Missouri, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill popularised the term "Iron Curtain" to describe the separation of the Soviet Union and its eastern and central European allies from Western nations.

(April 03, 1946)
In the Philippines, Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma is executed for directing the Bataan Death March.


(May 07, 1946)
Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio formed Sony Corporation, a large Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics devices.

(May 20, 1946)
Cher, an American singer and actress famous for her flamboyant manner, was born.

(July 05, 1946)
Micheline Bernardini models the first contemporary bikini at a swimming pool in Paris.

(July 07, 1946)
Mother Francesca S. Cabrini is canonised as the first American.


(July 15, 1946)
The United Kingdom annexed the state of North Borneo, now known as Sabah in Malaysia.

(July 25, 1946)
The Crossroads Baker device is the first nuclear bomb test conducted underwater.

(July 26, 1946)
Aloha Airlines commences operations from Honolulu International Airport.

(August 03, 1946)
The world's first themed amusement park, Santa Claus Land, opens in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States.

Happy Birthday! (August 19, 1946)
Bill Clinton, American lawyer and politician, 42nd President of the United States. photo source:


Happy Birthday! (September 05, 1946)
Freddie Mercury, Tanzanian-English singer-songwriter and producer. photo source:

(September 20, 1946) After being put off for seven years due to World War II, the first Cannes Film Festival is held. photo source:

(December 18, 1946)
Steven Spielberg, a well-known American director best known for his work on films including Jaws (1975), E.T. (1982), Schindler's List (1993), and Saving Private Ryan (1998), was born today. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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1945 History Events: What Happened in 1945

1947 History Events: What Happened in 1947