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Chronology 1946
   

Date Event Historical Background
January 1, 1946 Hirohito Divinity Disclaimer Japanese Emperor Hirohito disclaimed his divinity in a New Year's message to the Japanese people. This represented a significant break with Japan's traditional past and reflected the impact of General Douglas MacArthur's reform efforts.
January 1, 1946 Anglo-Thai Peace Treaty The British and Thai governments officially ended the state of war between their two countries.
January 1, 1946 Transfer of Bolzano to Italy With the transfer of Bolzano province by the Allies to the Italian government, the entire country, with the exception of Venezia Giulia (which was claimed by both Italy and Yugoslavia) came under Italian sovereignty.
January 2, 1946 King Zog of Albania Deposed The Communist provisional government under Inver Hoxha deposed King Zog of Albania in preparation of the establishment of a people's republic.
January 4, 1946 U.S. Resumption of Relations with Thailand The Truman administration resumed full diplomatic relations with Thailand.
January 5, 1946 Independence of Mongolia Following the terms of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of August 1945, the Nationalist Chinese government recognized the independence of Outer Mongolia.
January 7, 1946 Allied Recognition of the Austrian Republic The Allied occupying powers recognized the Austrian Republic with its 1937 frontiers.
January 7, 1946 Reorganization of the Romanian Government Under intense Western Allied pressure, the Romanian government included members of the opposition parties in the regime. Despite the broadening of the government, the Communists continued to hold the country's most important posts.
January 10, 1946 First Session of the UN General Assembly The first session of the United Nations General Assembly met in London with 51 nations in attendance. Paul Spaak of Belgium was elected the first president of the General Assembly.
January 10, 1946 National-Communist Chinese Truce General George Marshall, serving as a mediator, negotiated a truce between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese. The two Chinese factions agreed to create a national army, form a coalition government, and draw up a new constitution. The truce lasted until mid-April.
January 11, 1946 People's Republic of Albania Proclaimed The Constituent Assembly proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of Albania. The new government's domestic and foreign policies closely followed the Communist, pro-Soviet lines of other Eastern European governments. As a result, Albanian relations with the West, especially with the British, rapidly deteriorated.
January 12, 1946 UN Secretariat Membership The membership of the United Nations Secretariat was completed with the election of six non-permanent members (Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Poland). They joined the five permanent members (Britain, China, France, the USSR, and the U.S.).
January 19, 1946 Iranian Protest to UN Security Council The Iranian government protested against Soviet interference in the civil war in Iranian Azerbaijan to the United Nations Security Council. The Soviets supported the Tudeh rebellion against the Iranian authorities and the Iranians argued that the Soviets were keeping Red Army troops in Iranian territory after the evacuation date accepted by Britain, the U.S., and USSR.
January 19, 1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East Working under a charter adopted in London in August 1945 to try Japanese war criminals of crimes against peace, humanity, and the laws of war, the Allies established the International Military Tribunal for the Far East on January 19th. The tribunal conducted trials between June 3, 1946 and November 12, 1948, which resulted in death sentences for seven Japanese leaders, life sentences for 14, and prison sentences for two others.
January 20, 1946 Resignation of De Gaulle as French President General Charles De Gaulle resigned abruptly as President of the Provisional Government due to continued political position from the left. Felix Gouin, a Socialist, was elected as president two days later.
January 24, 1946 Atomic Energy Commission Established The United nations General Assembly created a commission to study the control of atomic energy on January 25th.
January 25, 1946 COMECON Established The Soviet government established the Council for Economic Aid (COMECON) in Moscow to assist countries develop socialist economies. Most Eastern European countries under Red Army occupation eventually joined the organization.
January 31, 1946 New Yugoslav Constitution The Yugoslav government adopted a new constitution, which closely resembled the Soviet constitution. The Western Allies recognized the new government, although it was clear that the regime was pro-Soviet.
January 31, 1946 End of Permanent Court of International Justice Deliberations Following the decisions reached at the final session of the Permanent Court of International Justice in October 1945, the members of the court resigned. The International Court of Justice, associated with the United Nations Organization, became the new international court.
February 1, 1946 Lie Elected UN Secretary General The UN membership elected Trygve Lie of Norway as the first General Secretary of the United Nations Organization.
February 1, 1946 Hungarian Republic Proclaimed The Hungarians proclaimed the establishment of a republic, under the leadership of Zoltan Tildy as president. Ferenc Nagy, leader of the Smallholder's Party, became the premier on February 4th.
February 10, 1946 Soviet General Elections In the first general elections since 1937, the Soviet people returned the official list of approved candidates for the Supreme Soviet.
February 14, 1946 Bank of England Nationalized The Bank of England was reorganized and came under public ownership.
February 17, 1946 Dispute over Manchuria The Chinese Communists demanded joint control over Manchuria with the Nationalist Chinese. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ignored the Communist demands and this set the stage for a renewal in the fighting.
February 17, 1946 Belgian General Election While none of the political parties received a clear majority in the Belgian election, the Catholic Christian Socialists won the most seats. The Christian Socialists were unable, however, to form a coalition cabinet due to political disagreement over the future of the Belgian monarchy.
February 19, 1946 Dutch-Indonesian Negotiations While British and Dutch military forces slowly pushed Indonesian forces into central and eastern Java, Dutch and Indonesian officials began negotiations over the future of the colony. A compromise political solution was reached in November, following the conclusion of a military truce.
February 21, 1946 Finnish Treason Trials A Finnish court sentenced a number of wartime leaders, including ex-President Risto Ryti, to prison for involving Finland in the war or preventing the conclusion of peace. The Soviet Union protested the sentences and the convicts received pardons in 1949.
February 26, 1946 Argentinean Presidential Elections Colonel Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina and his supporters won majorities in both houses. During the campaign, the U.S. government accused Argentina and Colonel Peron of collaborating with the Axis powers, based on captured German documents.
February 28, 1946 Acheson-Lilienthal Report on Atomic Energy The U.S. Department of State issued the Acheson-Lilienthal report on the international control of nuclear energy.
February 28, 1946 U.S. UN Security Pledge Secretary of State James Byrnes declared that the American government would not stand aloof if force or the threat of force was used contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. This declaration was a veiled threat to Soviet foreign policy.
March 4, 1946 Western Appeal to Oust Franco The U.S., British, and French governments issued a general appeal to the Spanish people to oust the Franco regime and to prepare the way for democratic elections.
March 5, 1946 Churchill "Iron Curtain" Speech Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during a visit to Fulton, Missouri, advocated Anglo-American "fraternal association" against Soviet expansion and warned that an "Iron Curtain" had descended upon the nations of Eastern Europe.
March 6, 1946 French Recognition of Viet Namese State The French government recognized Viet Nam as a free state within the Indo-Chinese Federation and the French Union. Vietnamese nationalists rejected French rule and demanded complete independence, continuing the civil war against the French.
March 10, 1946 Treason Trial of Mihailovitch The Yugoslav government captured General Drzaha Mihailovitch, the wartime resistance leader, and tried him for treason. The court found General Mihailovitch guilty of collaboration with the enemy and, despite Western protests, executed him on July 17th.
March 10, 1946 Anglo-French Evacuation of Lebanon The British and French governments concluded an agreement with the Lebanese government to withdraw British and French troops from Lebanon. The last Anglo-French units departed Lebanon by August 31st.
March 14, 1946 British Proposal for Full Indian Independence The British government offered India full independence in light of the political tensions arising between the Hindus and Muslims in India. Serious food shortages and frequent rioting resulted in thousands of deaths. In ensuing negotiations between the British and the Indians, no agreement could be reached which satisfied both the All-India Congress and the Moslem League. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Moslem League, insisted on the creation of the separate state of Pakistan and decided on "direct action" to achieve his goal.
March 15, 1946 Fourth Soviet Five-Year Plan The Supreme Soviet adopted the fourth Five-Year Plan which was designed to increase pre-war industrial production by more than 50 percent. The bulk of the necessary industrial equipment needed to reach these goals was collected from regions under Soviet occupation.
March 19, 1946 Swiss Resumption of Relations with the USSR The Swiss government reestablished full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
March 19, 1946 Soviet Government Reorganization President Michael Kalinin resigned his post due to ill health and was succeeded by the former trade union leader Shvernik. The new Council of Ministers, with Josef Stalin as chairman and Vyacheslav Molotov as deputy chairman, replaced the old Council of People's Commissars.
March 22, 1946 Independence of Transjordan The British government recognized the independence of Transjordan and concluded a Treaty of Alliance with the new regime.
March 25, 1946 German Assets Agreement The Swiss government signed an agreement with the Allied powers which provided for the disposal of German assets invested in Switzerland.
March 26, 1946 Allied Limitations on German Production The Allied Control Council decided to limit the future level of German production to one-half of 1938 production levels, with steel production set at 7.5 million tons. These limitations proved to be unworkable and seriously undermined German economic recovery.
March 29, 1946 Turco-Iraqi Treaty of Friendship The Iraqi and Turkish governments negotiated a Treaty of Friendship. The agreement called for joint control over the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
March 31, 1946 Greek General Elections The Royalist Popular Party won an overwhelming majority in Greece's first post-war general elections. The EAM and other leftist political parties boycotted the elections and rejected the results. By May, guerilla warfare broke out in Greece which escalated into a major civil war.
March 31, 1946 New Bulgarian Government Premier Kimon Georgiev, who had formed the a Soviet sponsored coalition government in September 1944, formed a Communist dominated regime. In sweeping purges, the new Bulgarian government killed thousands of high-ranking and minor members of the old regime.
April 1, 1946 Malayan Union Established The British reorganized the Malay government, establishing the Malayan Union with greater self-government.
April 2, 1946 Swiss Neutrality and UN Membership The Swiss government decided that Switzerland would not join the United Nations in an effort to maintain the confederation's tradition of neutrality.
April 3-May 6, 1946 International Court of Justice Meeting The International Court of Justice met for its first post-war meeting in the Hague to set up the new organization and rules of procedure.
April 5, 1946 Withdrawal of Soviet Troops from Iran The Soviet government agreed to withdraw Red Army units from Iranian Azerbaijan in exchange for Iranian reforms in the region and the establishment of a Soviet-Iranian oil company which would operate in northern Iran. The last Soviet troops evacuated Iran on May 9th.
April 8-18, 1946 Twenty-First League Assembly Session The League of Nations Assembly concluded the twentieth session and held its twenty-first session in Geneva to terminate the organization and allocate the League's remaining resources.
April 10, 1946 Japanese General Elections The Japanese held their first post-war general elections, which resulted in a victory for Shigeru Yoshida. The moderate political parties won majorities whereas the Communists made negligible gains.
April 14, 1946 Renewal of Chinese Civil War The January truce collapsed and a full-scale civil war resumed, with another temporary truce between May 12th and June 20th amid peace overtures from both sides. In the initial campaigns, the Nationalist Chinese forces made initial gains against the Communist Chinese.
April 15, 1946 Evacuation of Anglo-French Forces from Syria In accordance with the Anglo-French agreement of December 1945 with the Syrian government, the British and French governments evacuated their remaining troops from Syria.
April 18, 1946 Dissolution of the League of Nations The members of the Assembly of the League of Nations voted to dissolve the organization and transfer its property and assets to the United Nations. This marked the end of the post-World War I experiment in collective security and the advent of the new order under the United Nations.

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Blandine Blukacz-Louisfert, Chief, UNOG Registry, Records and Archives Unit, United Nations