- January 1 - Britain and its colonies adopt the idea that January 1st should be New Year's Day, a concept first concieved for the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which suffered from slow public adoption.
- February 11 - Pennsylvania Hospital, the 1st hospital in the US, is opened.
- September 14 - The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, making it necessary to skip eleven days (September 2 being followed directly by September 14 this year)
- Adam Smith at the University of Glasgow transfers to professor of moral philosophy
- English Scientist Lord John Davies first observes what is later recognised as respiratory collapse
- February 25 - John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada
- May 11 - Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, German anthropologist
- China - Qianlong Emperor of China, Qing Dynasty (reigned from October 18, 1735 to February 9, 1796)
- France - Louis XV King of France (reigned from 1715 to 1774)
- Great Britain - George II King of Great Britain (reigned from June 11, 1727 to October 25, 1760)
- Prussia - Frederick II King of Prussia (reigned from 1740 to 1786)
- Russia - Elizabeth Empress of Russia (reigned from 1741 to January 5, 1762)
- Saxony - Frederick Augustus II Elector of Saxony (from 1733 to 1763) (also King of Poland)
- Sweden - Adolf Frederick of Sweden King of Sweden (reigned from 1751 to 1771)