1933 1934 1935 - 1936 - 1937 1938 1939
1900s 1910s 1920s - 1930s - 1940s 1950s 1960s
- January 15 – The first building to be completely covered in glass is completed in Toledo, Ohio, for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company.
- January 16 – Serial killer Albert Fish is executed in Sing Sing Prison.
- January 20 – King George V of the United Kingdom dies. His eldest son succeeds to the throne, becoming Edward VIII. The title Prince of Wales is not used for another 22 years.
- January 31 – The Green Hornet radio show debuts.
- February 4 – Radium E. becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
- February 6 – The IV Olympic Winter Games open in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
- February 26 – The Imperial Way Faction engineers a failed coup against the Japanese government; some politicians are killed.
- February 29 – Emperor Hirohito orders the Japanese army to arrest 123 conspirators in Tokyo government offices; 19 of them are executed in July.
- March 1 – Construction of Hoover Dam is completed.
- March 7 – In violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.
- March 9 – Pro-democratic militarist Keisuke Okada steps down as Prime Minister of Japan and is replaced by radical militarist Koki Hirota.
- March 17-18 – St. Patrick's Day Flood: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suffers the worst flooding in its history.
- April 3 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann, convicted of kidnapping and killing Charles Lindbergh III, is executed in New Jersey.
- April 5 – A tornado hits Tupelo, Mississippi, killing 216 and injuring over 700 (the 4th deadliest tornado in U.S. history).
- April 6 – Two tornadoes strike Gainesville, Georgia. The smaller tornado hits north Gainsville, the stronger tornado the west side of town. 203 die and 1,600 are injured in the 5th deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
- April 19 – The 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine against the British government and opposition to Jewish immigration begins.
- May 2 – Peter and the Wolf, a Russian fairy tale of Sergei Prokofiev's composition, debuts at the Nezlobin Theater in Moscow, Soviet Union.
- May 5 – Italian forces occupy Addis Ababa.
- May 7 – Italy annexes Ethiopia.
- May 9 – Italian East Africa is formed from the Italian territories of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland.
- May 12 – The Santa Fe railroad in the United States inaugurates the all-Pullman Super Chief passenger train between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California.
- May 25 – The Remington Rand strike of 1936–1937 begins, spawning the notorious "Mohawk Valley formula," a corporate plan for strikebreaking.
- May 27
- June 7
- June 15 – An army laboratory explodes in Estonia, killing 60.
- June 19 – Max Schmeling knocks out Joe Louis in the 12th round of their heavyweight boxing match at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
- June 30 – Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind is first published.
- July 11 – Triborough Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic.
- July 13 – 14 – Peak of July 1936 heat wave: The U.S. states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana all set new state records for high temperature. At Mio in northern Michigan, it soars to 113°F (45°C).
- July 18 – The Spanish Civil War begins when nationalist troops under the command of General Francisco Franco rise against the existing republican government.
- August 1 – The 1936 Summer Olympics open in Berlin, Germany, and mark the first live television coverage of a sports event in world history.
- August 19 – The first of the Moscow Trials begins in the Soviet Union.
- August 26 – Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 is signed.
- September – Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence (1936) is signed.
- September 7 – The last surviving Tasmanian Tiger dies in Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.
- October 11 – Earl Bascom, rodeo cowboy and artist, designs and builds Mississippi's first permanent rodeo arena at Columbia, Mississippi.
- October 19 – H.R. Ekins, reporter for the New York World-Telegram, wins a race to travel around the world on commercial airline flights, beating out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of the New York Times. The flight takes 18 1/2 days.
- October 25 – Rome-Berlin Axis is formed.
- November 2
- November 3 – U.S. presidential election, 1936: Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected to a second term in a landslide victory over Alf Landon. Farmers support Roosevelt.
- November 12 – In California, the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge opens to traffic.
- November 20 – A levee failure and continued massive rain at the Mitsubishi Osarizawa mine, Kazuno, northeastern Akita, Japan, results in at least 375 deaths.
- November 23 – The first edition of Life Magazine is published.
- November 25 – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade sails from New York City on its way to the Spanish Civil War.
- November 26 – The Anti-Comintern Pact is signed by Germany and Japan.
- November 30 – In London, the Crystal Palace is destroyed in a fire (it had been built for the 1851 Great Exhibition).
- December 3 – Radio station WQXR is officially founded in New York City.
- December 5 – The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic is dissolved and Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia become full Republics of the Soviet Union.
- December 10-11 – King Edward VIII signs an instrument of abdication at Fort Belvedere in the presence of his three brothers, The Duke of York, The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent.
- December 11
- The British Parliament passes His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 on behalf of the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
- The King performs his last act as sovereign by giving royal assent to the Act.
- Prince Albert, Duke of York, becomes King, ruling as King George VI.
- The abdicated King Edward VIII, now HRH Prince Edward, makes a broadcast to the nation explaining his decision to abdicate. He leaves the country for Austria.
- December 12 – The Irish Free State passes the External Relations Act to legislate for Edward VIII's abdication in that realm.
- December 12 – Xi'an Incident: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China is kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.
- December 29 – The United Auto Workers begins the Flint Sit-Down Strike in Flint, Michigan.