1945 in the United States
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- President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (D-New York) (until April 12), Harry S. Truman (D-Missouri) (starting April 12)
- Vice President:
- Chief Justice: Harlan F. Stone (New York)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)
- Senate Majority Leader: Alben W. Barkley (D-Kentucky)
- Congress: 78th (until January 3), 79th (starting January 3)
- January – American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Belgium.
- January 6 – Naval lieutenant George H. W. Bush, future President of the United States, and future First Lady Barbara Pierce marry in Rye, New York.
- January 20 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States. No president before, or since, reaches a third term in office.
- January 30 – Raid at Cabanatuan: 121 American soldiers and 800 Filipino guerrillas free 813 American POWs from the Japanese-held camp at Cabanatuan City, Philippines.
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad for desertion, the first American soldier since the American Civil War, and last to date to be executed for this offense.
- February 2 – WW II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference.
- February 3 – United States forces capture Manila, Philippines from the Japanese Imperial Army.
- February 4 – WW II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin begin the Yalta Conference (ends February 11).
- February 7 – WW II: General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila.
- February 16
- February 19 – WW II – Battle of Iwo Jima: About 30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.
- February 23
- The American and Filipino troops enter Intramuros, Manila.
- The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined American and Filipino ground troops.
- Battle of Iwo Jima: A group of United States Marines reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (taken by Joe Rosenthal), later wins a Pulitzer Prize.
- March 1 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives what will be his last address to a joint session of Congress, reporting on the Yalta Conference.
- March 2 – Former Vice President Henry Agard Wallace starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, serving under President Roosevelt.
- March 3 – WW II: United States and Filipino troops take Manila, Philippines.
- March 7 – WW II: American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany and begin to cross.
- March 15 – The 17th Academy Awards ceremony is held, broadcast via radio for the first time. Best Picture goes to Going My Way.
- March 19 – WW II: Off the coast of Japan, bombers hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing about 800 of her crewmen and crippling the ship.
- March 24 – The cartoon character Sylvester the cat debuts in Life with Feathers
- March 29 – The "Clash of Titans" in basketball: George Mikan and Bob Kurland duel at Madison Square Garden as OSU defeats DePaul 52–44.
- April 1 – WWII – Battle of Okinawa: United States troops land on Okinawa.
- April 4 – WWII – American troops liberate their first Nazi concentration camp, Ohrdruf death camp in Germany.
- April 7 – The only flight of the German ramming unit known as the Sonderkommando Elbe takes place, resulting in the loss of some 24 B-17s and B-24s of the United States Eighth Air Force.
- April 12 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes the 33rd President.
- April 18 – The American war correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off Okinawa.
- April 19 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, a musical play based on Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, opens on Broadway and becomes their second long-running stage classic.
- April 25
- April 27 – U.S. Ordnance troops find the coffins of 18th-century Prussian kings Frederick Wilhelm I and Frederick the Great, in addition to German President Paul Von Hindenburg and his wife.
- May 3 – Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and 120 members of his team surrender to U.S. forces (later he became at the forefront and a pioneer of the U.S. space program).
- May 5
- A Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb kills five children and a grown woman, Elsie Mitchell, near Bly, Oregon, when it explodes as they drag it from the woods. They are the only people killed by an enemy attack on the American mainland during World War II.
- The US 11th Armored Division liberates the prisoners of Mauthausen concentration camp, including Simon Wiesenthal.
- Ezra Pound, the poet and author, is arrested by American soldiers in Italy for treason.
- May 8 – Victory in Europe Day: The Allies accept Germany's unconditional surrender.
- May 9 – Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army; Norway arrests the traitor Vidkun Quisling.
- July 8 – WW II: President Harry S. Truman is informed that Japan will talk peace if it can retain the reign of the Emperor.
- July 16 – The Trinity test detonates the world's first atomic bomb.
- July 21 – WW II: President Harry S. Truman approves the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan.
- July 28 – A U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people, including all on board.
- July 30 – WW II: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis is hit and sunk by torpedoes from the I-58 in the Philippine Sea. Some 900 survivors jump into the sea and are adrift for up to four days. Nearly 600 die before help arrives. Captain Charles B. McVay III of the cruiser is later court-martialed and convicted.
- August 6 – WW II: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima: The United States drops an atomic bomb (nicknamed "Little Boy") on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. (local time). This sent shockwaves throughout the world as the first atomic bomb used on civilians.
- August 7 – President Harry Truman announces the successful bombing of Hiroshima with the atomic bomb, while returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser USS Augusta in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
- August 8 – The United Nations Charter is ratified by the United States Senate, and this nation becomes the third one to join the new international organization.
- August 9 – The United States drops an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, at 11:02 a.m. (local time).
- August 14 (August 15 in Japan) – Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender on the radio. The United States calls this day V-J Day (Victory over Japan). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupied Japan.
- August 17 – The United States and the U.S.S.R. split up the Korean Peninsula making North Korea and South Korea
- September 2
- World War II ends: The final official surrender of Japan is accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the United States, and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, and others from a Japanese delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, on board the American battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay (but in Japan August 14 is recognized as the day the Pacific War ended).
- Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American forces at Kiangan, Ifugao.
- September 5
- The Russian code clerk Igor Gouzenko comes forward with numerous documents implicating the Soviet Union in numerous spy rings in North America: both in the United States and in Canada.
- Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose", is arrested in Yokohama.
- September 8 – American troops occupy southern Korea, while the Soviet Union occupies the north, with the dividing line being the 38th parallel of latitude. This arrangement proves to be the indirect beginning of a divided Korea.
- September 9 – The first actual case of a (computer) bug being found, is a moth lodged in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia.
- October 3–10 – The Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
- October 5 – A strike by the Set Decorator's Union in Hollywood results in a riot.
- October 23 – Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Montreal Royals.
- October 29 – At Gimbel's Department Store in New York City, the first ballpoint pens go on sale at $12.50 each.
- November 15 – Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Mackenzie King call for a U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
- November 16 – Cold War: The United States controversially imports 88 German scientists to help in the production of rocket technology.
- December 4 – By a vote of 65–7, the United States Senate approves the entry of the United States into the United Nations.
- December 21 – General George S. Patton dies from injuries sustained in a car accident on December 9.
- The U.S. House of Representatives calls for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to establish a Jewish commonwealth there.
- The Berklee College of Music is founded in Boston.
- Russian-American physicist Vladimir Kosma Zworykin coauthors Electron Optics and the Electron Microscope.
- World War II, U.S. involvement (1941–1945)
- January 1 – Diahnne Abbott, American actress and singer
- January 3 – Stephen Stills, American rock singer, songwriter (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
- January 4 – Richard R. Schrock, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005
- January 6 – Allen Appel, American author, illustrator, and photographer
- January 7 – Tony Conigliaro, American baseball player (d. 1990)
- January 10 – Steven P. Perskie, American politician, judge
- January 15 – Vince Foster, American deputy White House counsel during the first term of President Bill Clinton (d. 1993)
- January 20
- January 22 – Jophery Brown, American baseball player, actor and stuntman (d. 2014)
- January 25 – Leigh Taylor-Young, American actress
- January 28
- January 29 – Tom Selleck, American actor (Magnum, P.I.)
- January 30 – Michael Dorris, American author (d. 1997)
- January 31 – Joseph Kosuth, American artist
- February 3 – Bob Griese, American football player
- February 9 – Mia Farrow, American actress
- February 12 – David D. Friedman, American economist
- February 14 – Carl Bernstein, American investigative journalist and author
- February 15 – Douglas Hofstadter, American cognitive scientist
- February 17 – Zina Bethune, American actress, dancer and choreographer (d. 2012)
- February 20 – Henry Polic II, American actor (d. 2013)
- February 22 – Oliver, American singer (Good Morning Starshine) (d. 2000)
- February 24 – Barry Bostwick, American actor
- February 25 – Roy Saari, American swimmer (d. 2008)
- February 27 – Carl Anderson, American singer, actor (Jesus Christ Superstar) (d. 2004)
- February 28 – Bubba Smith, American football player, actor (d. 2011)
- March 1 – Dirk Benedict, American actor
- March 2 – Joy Garrett, American actor and vocalist (d. 1993)
- March 3 – Hattie Winston, American actress
- March 4 – Gary Williams, American basketball coach
- March 7 – Arthur Lee, American musician (d. 2006)
- March 8
- March 9 – Dennis Rader, American serial killer
- March 12 – Sammy Gravano, American mobster
- March 14
- March 20
- March 21 – Charles Greene, American Olympic athlete
- March 22 – Sheila Frahm, American politician
- March 24 – Curtis Hanson, American film director, screenwriter (d. 2016)
- March 29 – Walt Frazier, African-American basketball player
- March 31
- April 2 – Linda Hunt, American actress
- April 9 – Peter Gammons, American baseball sportswriter
- April 10 – Shirley Walker, American composer and conductor for film and television (d. 2006)
- April 13
- April 20 – Steve Spurrier, American football player and coach
- April 24
- April 25 – Stu Cook, American bassist
- April 27 – August Wilson, American playwright (d. 2005)
- April 29 – Tammi Terrell, African-American soul singer (d. 1970)
- April 30 – Mike Smith, American astronaut (d. 1986)
- May 1 – Rita Coolidge, American pop singer
- May 3 – Jeffrey C. Hall, American geneticist and chronobiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2017
- May 5
- May 6
- May 8 – Keith Jarrett, American musician
- May 21 – Richard Hatch, American actor (Battlestar Galactica) (d. 2017)
- May 22 – Victoria Wyndham, American actress (Another World)
- May 23 – Lauren Chapin, American child actress, evangelist
- May 24 – Priscilla Wagner, American actress, businesswoman and wife of singer Elvis Presley
- May 28
- May 30
- June 1 – Frederica von Stade, American mezzo-soprano
- June 2 – Jon Peters, American film producer
- June 3 – Hale Irwin, American professional golfer
- June 4 – Anthony Braxton, American composer, musical instrumentalist
- June 5
- June 6 – David Dukes, American actor (d. 2000)
- June 7 – Billy Butler, American singer, songwriter (d. 2015)
- June 8 – Steven Fromholz, American singer, songwriter (d. 2014)
- June 11 – Adrienne Barbeau, American actress, television personality and author (Maude)
- June 13 – Rodney P. Rempt, American admiral
- June 16 – Chip Damiani, American drummer (The Remains) (d. 2014)
- June 17
- June 19 – Greil Marcus, American music journalist, cultural critic
- June 23 – Jim Fouratt, American gay activist, entertainer
- June 24 – George Pataki, Governor of New York
- June 25
- June 26 – Dwight York, American musician, fashion consultant, cult leader, and child molester
- June 27 – Norma Kamali, American fashion designer
- June 30
- July 1
- July 2 – Linda Warren, American author
- July 6 – Burt Ward, American actor and activist (Batman)
- July 9 – Dean Koontz, American novelist
- July 10 – Ron Glass, African-American actor (Barney Miller) (d. 2016)
- July 11 – Richard Wesley, American playwright, screenwriter
- July 12
- July 13
- July 15 – Jan-Michael Vincent, American actor (d. 2019)
- July 18
- July 20
- July 28 – Jim Davis, American cartoonist (Garfield)
- July 30
- July 31 – William Weld, American politician
- August 1 – Douglas Osheroff, American physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996
- August 2 – Joanna Cassidy, American actress
- August 4 – Alan Mulally, American businessman, former CEO of the Ford Motor Company
- August 5 – Loni Anderson, American actress (WKRP in Cincinnati)
- August 7 – Alan Page, American football player
- August 12 – J. D. McClatchy, American poet, literary critic (d. 2018)
- August 14 – Steve Martin, American actor, comedian
- August 15
- August 20 – Jonathan Goodson, American television game show producer, son of Mark Goodson
- August 22
- August 24 – Vincent K. "Vince" McMahon, American professional wrestling promoter, chairman and CEO of WWE
- August 26
- August 29 – Wyomia Tyus, American Olympic athlete
- August 31 – Bob Welch, American musician (d. 2012)
- September 4 – Danny Gatton, American guitarist (d. 1994)
- September 8 – Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, American musician (d. 1973)
- September 9 – Doug Ingle, American singer, songwriter
- September 12
- September 14 – Benjamin Harjo Jr., Native American artist
- September 15 – Jessye Norman, African-American operatic soprano (d. 2019)
- September 16 – Pat Stevens, American voice actress (d. 2010)
- September 17 – Phil Jackson, American basketball coach
- September 18 – P. F. Sloan, American singer, songwriter (d. 2015)
- September 19 – Randolph Mantooth, American actor, motivational speaker (Emergency!)
- September 20
- September 21 – Kay Ryan, American poet
- September 23 – Paul Petersen, American child actor, advocate for other child actors
- October 1 – Donny Hathaway, African-American soul singer, songwriter (d. 1979)
- October 2 – Don McLean, American rock singer, songwriter (American Pie)
- October 3 – Kay Baxter, American bodybuilder (d. 1988)
- October 4 – Clifton Davis, African-American actor, minister (Amen)
- October 12 – Dusty Rhodes, American wrestler (d. 2015)
- October 13 – Susan Stafford, American television presenter
- October 15 – Jim Palmer, American baseball player
- October 18 – Huell Howser, American television personality, host of California's Gold (d. 2013)
- October 19 – John Lithgow, American actor (Third Rock from the Sun)
- October 20 – George Wyner, American actor
- October 22 – Buzz Potamkin, American television producer (d. 2012)
- October 24
- October 25 – David Schramm, American astrophysicist (d. 1997)
- October 26
- October 27 – Carrie Snodgress, American actress (d. 2004)
- October 29
- October 30
- October 31 – Brian Doyle-Murray, American actor (Saturday Night Live)
- November 7 – Bob Englehart, American editorial cartoonist
- November 12
- November 21 – Goldie Hawn, American actress, producer and singer (Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In)
- November 22 – Robert Ben Rhoades, American serial killer, rapist known as "The Truck Stop Killer"
- November 23 – Jerry Harris, American sculptor
- November 25
- November 26 – Daniel Davis, American actor
- November 27
- November 30
- December 1 – Bette Midler, American actress and singer
- December 2 – Charles "Tex" Watson, American prisoner, 'Manson Family' member
- December 6 – Larry Bowa, American baseball player, manager
- December 9 – Michael Nouri, American actor
- December 13
- December 16 – Patti Deutsch, American voice actress (d. 2017)
- December 17
- December 18 – Carolyn Wood, American professional swimmer
- December 19 – Elaine Joyce, American actress, game show panelist
- December 20
- December 22
- December 23 – Donald A. Ritchie, American historian
- December 24 – Nicholas Meyer, American screenwriter, producer, director and novelist
- December 25 – Gary Sandy, American actor
- December 26 – John Walsh, American media personality (America's Most Wanted)
- full date unknown – David M. Alexander, science fiction and mystery author
- January 3 – Edgar Cayce, mysticist (born 1877)
- January 7
- January 13 – Margaret Deland, novelist (born 1857)
- January 22 – Blind Willie Johnson, African American gospel singer and guitarist (born 1897; pneumonia)
- January 23 – Newton E. Mason, U.S. Navy rear admiral (born 1850)
- January 30 – Herbert L. Clarke, cornet virtuoso (born 1867)
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik, soldier (born 1920; executed for desertion)
- February 2 – Joe Hunt, tennis player (born 1919; killed in naval aviation accident)
- February 5 – Volga Hayworth, showgirl (born c. 1898)
- February 11 – Al Dubin, songwriter (born 1891 in Switzerland)
- March 4
- March 30 – Maurice Rose, U.S. Army general (born 1899; killed in action)
- March 31 – Harriet Boyd Hawes, archaeologist (born 1871)
- April 10 – Gloria Dickson, actress (born 1917; killed in domestic fire)
- April 12 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945 (born 1882)
- April 17 – Ernie Pyle, journalist (born 1900)
- April 29 – Malcolm McGregor, silent film actor (born 1892)
- April 30 – William Orlando Darby, U.S. Army colonel, creator of the Rangers (born 1911; killed in action)
- May 14 – Heber J. Grant, 7th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (born 1856)
- May 17 – Bobby Hutchins, Our Gang films child actor (born 1925; killed in military aviation accident)
- May 18 – William Joseph Simmons, founder of the second Ku Klux Klan (born 1880)
- June 16 – Henry Bellamann, author (born 1882)
- June 18 – Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., U.S. Army general (born 1886; killed in action at Battle of Okinawa)
- 20 June – Bruno Frank, German author, poet, dramatist and humanist (born 1887)
- July 13 – Alla Nazimova, scriptwriter and actress (born 1879 in Crimea)
- July 16 – Addison Randall, Western film actor (born 1906)
- July 25 – Charles Gilman Norris, novelist (born 1881)
- August 9 – Harry Hillman, track athlete (born 1881)
- August 10 – Robert H. Goddard, rocket scientist (born 1882)
- August 25 – Willis Augustus Lee, U.S. Navy admiral and Olympic shooter (born 1888; heart attack on active service)
- September 1 – Frank Craven, actor (born 1881)
- September 6 – John S. McCain Sr., U.S. Navy admiral (born 1884; heart attack on active service)
- September 20 – Jack Thayer, survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic (born 1894)
- September 26 – A. Peter Dewey, soldier, first American casualty in Vietnam (born 1916)
- October 1 – Walter Bradford Cannon, physiologist (born 1871)
- October 13 – Milton S. Hershey, chocolate tycoon (born 1857)
- October 24 – Charles D. Barney, stockbroker (born 1844)
- October 28 – Gilbert Emery, film actor and author (born 1875)
- November 7 – Gus Edwards, songwriter (born 1879 in Germany)
- November 11 – Jerome Kern, popular composer (born 1885)
- November 21
- November 23 – Charles Armijo Woodruff, U.S. Navy officer and 11th Governor of American Samoa from 1914 to 1915 (born 1884; suicide)
- November 25 – Doris Keane, stage actress (born 1881)
- November 26 – Johnny Jenkins, auto racing driver (born 1875 in Wales)
- November 28 – Dwight F. Davis, tennis player (born 1879)
- December 4 – Thomas Hunt Morgan, biologist, geneticist and embryologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 (born 1866)
- December 21 – George S. Patton, U.S. Army general (born 1885; died as result of auto accident in Germany)
- December 28 – Theodore Dreiser, novelist (born 1871)
- List of American films of 1945
- Timeline of United States history (1930–1949)
- Timeline of World War II
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2005-12-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "On This Day", New York Times, retrieved 24 August 2016
- "Susan Rothenberg". FAMSF Search the Collections. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
- "Bette Midler | Biography, Music, Movies, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- Media related to 1945 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons