1941 in the United States
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|1941 in the United States|
|Years:||1938 1939 1940 – 1941 – 1942 1943 1944|
48 stars (1912–59)
- President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic)
- Vice President: John Nance Garner (Democratic) (until January 20), Henry A. Wallace (Democratic) (starting January 20)
- Chief Justice: Charles Evans Hughes (until June 30), Harlan F. Stone (starting July 3)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)
- Senate Majority Leader: Alben W. Barkley (D-Kentucky)
- Congress: 76th (until January 3), 77th (starting January 3)
- January 4 – The short subject Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released, marking the second appearance of Bugs Bunny, and also the first to have his name on a title card.
- January 6 – The keel of the USS Missouri is laid at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn.
- January 10 – Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress.
- January 13 – All persons born in Puerto Rico since this day are declared U.S. citizens by birth, through U.S. federal law 8 U.S.C. § 1402.
- January 20 – Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his third term.
- January 23 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
- January 27 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew passes on to Washington, D.C. a rumor overheard at a diplomatic reception about a planned surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
- February 4 – World War II: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- February 8 – World War II: The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease Act (260–165).
- February 9 – Winston Churchill, in a worldwide broadcast, asks the United States to show its support by sending arms to the British: "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job."
- February 14 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Admiral Kichisaburō Nomura begins his duties as Japanese ambassador to the United States.
- March – Captain America Comics #1 issues the first Captain America & Bucky comic.
- March 1
- March 8 – World War II: The U.S. Senate passes the Lend-Lease Act (60–31).
- March 11 – World War II: President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
- March 16 – A fleet of U.S. warships arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on a goodwill visit. On March 20, they visit Sydney, Australia.
- March 17 – In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- March 22 – Washington state's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.
- March 27 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor.
- March 30 – All German, Italian, and Danish ships anchored in United States waters are taken into "protective custody".
- April 9 – The U.S. acquires full military defense rights in Greenland.
- April 10 – World War II: The U.S. destroyer Niblack, while picking up survivors from a sunken Dutch freighter, drops depth charges on a German U-boat (the first "shot in anger" fired by America against Germany).
- April 15 – World War II: The U.S. begins shipping Lend-Lease aid to China.
- April 23 – The America First Committee holds its first mass rally in New York City, with Charles Lindbergh as keynote speaker.
- April 25 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, criticizes Charles Lindbergh by comparing him to the Copperheads of the Civil War period. In response, Lindbergh resigns his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve on April 28.
- May – Woody Guthrie records the Columbia River Ballads
- May 1
- May 6 – At California's March Field, entertainer Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
- May 15 – Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak begins as the New York Yankee center fielder goes one for 4 against Chicago White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith.
- May 21 – World War II: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
- May 27 – World War II: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
- June 14 – All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen.
- June 16 – All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
- June 20
- July 7 – World War II: American forces take over the defense of Iceland from the British.
- July 26
- World War II: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
- World War II: General Douglas MacArthur is named commander of all U.S. forces in the Philippines; the Philippines Army is ordered nationalized by President Roosevelt.
- July 30 – World War II: The U.S. gunboat Tutuila is attacked by Japanese aircraft while anchored in the Yangtze River at Chungking. Japan apologizes for the incident the following day.
- August 1 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt bans the export of U.S. aviation fuel from the western hemisphere except to Britain and allies
- August 6 – Six-year-old Elaine Esposito undergoes an appendectomy and lapses into a coma that lasts for a record-breaking 37 years until her death in 1978.
- August 9 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Atlantic Charter is created as a result.
- August 12 – By one vote (203–202), the U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation extending the draft period for selectees and the National Guard from 1 year to 30 months.
- August 31 – The Great Gildersleeve debuts on NBC Radio.
- September 4 – World War II: The USS Greer becomes the first United States ship fired upon by a German submarine in the war, even though the United States is a neutral power. Tension heightens between the nations as a result.
- September 11 – World War II: Charles Lindbergh, at an America First Committee rally in Des Moines, Iowa, accuses "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration" of leading the United States toward war. Widespread condemnation of Lindbergh follows.
- September 27 – The first liberty ship, the SS Patrick Henry, is launched at Baltimore.
- September 29 – World War II: The first Moscow Conference begins; U.S. representative Averell Harriman and British representative Lord Beaverbrook meet with Soviet foreign minister Molotov to arrange urgent assistance for Russia.
- September – First production P38E Lightning fighter produced by Lockheed.
- September – Rowis, the most well acknowledged basketball legend, was born.
- October 17 – World War II: The destroyer USS Kearny is torpedoed and damaged near Iceland, killing 11 sailors (the first American military casualties of the war).
- October 23 – Walt Disney's animated film Dumbo is released.
- October 30 – World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
- October 31
- November 10 – In a speech at the Mansion House in London, Winston Churchill promises, "should the United States become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration will follow within the hour."
- November 14 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Japanese diplomat Saburō Kurusu arrives in the United States to assist Ambassador Kichisaburō Nomura in peace negotiations.
- November 17 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables to Washington a warning that Japan may strike suddenly and unexpectedly at any time.
- November 24 – World War II: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French.
- November 26
- U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States (this partly reverses a 1939 action by Roosevelt that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November).
- The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States.
- November 27
- Wonder Woman comic begins publication.
- December 1 – World War II: Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signs Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol under the authority of the United States Army Air Forces.
- December 4 – The State of Jefferson is declared in Yreka, California, with John C. Childs as a governor.
- December 6 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a personal peace appeal to Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
- December 7, (December 8, Japan Standard Time) – The Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II.
- December 8 – World War II: Franklin Roosevelt gives his Infamy Speech. Within an hour the United States officially declares war on Japan.
- December 11
- World War II: American forces repel a Japanese landing attempt at Wake Island.
- World War II: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The U.S. responds in kind.
- December 12
- December 20 – Admiral Ernest King is appointed C-in-C of the US fleet
- December 23 – World War II: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after a full night and morning of fighting.
- December 26 – World War II: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
- World War II, U.S. involvement (1941–1945)
- The Centenary College Choir (America's Singing Ambassadors) is formed by Dr. A. C. Voran at Centenary College of Louisiana.
- March 30 – Bob Smith, United States Senator from New Hampshire from 1990 till 2003.
- April 21 – David L. Boren, United States Senator from Oklahoma from 1979 till 1994.
- May 13 – Ritchie Valens, Mexican American singer, songwriter and guitarist (d. 1959)
- May 17 – Ben Nelson, United States Senator from Nebraska from 2001 till 2013.
- September 8 – Bernie Sanders, United States Senator from Vermont since 2007.
- October 9 – Trent Lott, United States Senator from Mississippi from 1989 till 2007.
- October 10 – Peter Coyote, actor, author, director, screenwriter and narrator of films, theatre, television and audio books
- December 11 – Max Baucus, United States Senator from Montana from 1978 till 2014.
- Media related to 1941 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons