|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1930s 1940s 1950s – 1960s – 1970s 1980s 1990s|
|Years:||1963 1964 1965 – 1966 – 1967 1968 1969|
|1966 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2719|
|British Regnal year||14 Eliz. 2 – 15 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 乙巳年十二月初十日
— to —丙午年十一月二十日
|- Vikram Samvat||2022–2023|
|- Shaka Samvat||1888–1889|
|- Kali Yuga||5067–5068|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||966–967|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 41
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 55
|Thai solar calendar||2509|
Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.
- January 1 – In a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa takes over as military ruler of the Central African Republic, ousting President David Dacko.
- January 2 – A strike of public transportation workers in New York City begins (it will end January 13).
- January 3 – The first Acid Test is conducted at the Fillmore, San Francisco.
- January 4
- January 10
- January 11
- January 12 – United States President Lyndon Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
- January 13 – Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member, by being appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- January 15 – A bloody military coup is staged in Nigeria, deposing the civilian government.
- January 17
- The Nigerian coup is overturned by another faction of the military, leaving a military government in power. This is the beginning of a long period of military rule.
- A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares, and one into the sea, in the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash.
- Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, is involved in an accident during the recovery of a lost H-bomb which results in the amputation of his leg.
- January 18
- French police announce that Georges Figon has committed suicide, prior to his arrest for the kidnapping of Mehdi Ben Barka.
- About 8,000 U.S. soldiers land in South Vietnam; U.S. troops now total 190,000.
- January 19 – Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India; she is sworn in January 24.
- January 20 – Demonstrations occur against high food prices in Hungary.
- January 21 – Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro resigns due to a power struggle in his party.
- January 22
- January 24 – Air India Flight 101 crashes into Mont Blanc, killing all 117 persons on board, including Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.
- January 26
- Harold Holt becomes Prime Minister of Australia when Robert Menzies retires.
- Beaumont children disappearance: Three children disappear on their way to Glenelg, South Australia, never to be seen again.
- January 27 – The British government promises the U.S. that British troops in Malaysia will stay until more peaceful conditions occur in the region.
- January 29 – The first of 608 performances of Sweet Charity opens at the Palace Theatre in New York City.
- January 31 – The United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.
- February 1 – West Germany procures some 2,600 political prisoners from East Germany.
- February 3 – The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft makes the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.
- February 4 – All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay; 133 are killed.
- February 8 – The National Hockey League announces it will expand to twelve teams for the 1967 season.
- February 10 – Soviet writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky are sentenced to 5 and 7 years, respectively, for 'anti-Soviet' writings.
- February 11 – The Belgian government resigns.
- February 12 – Tay Vinh massacre: Vietnam War.
- February 14 – The Australian dollar is introduced at a rate of 2 dollars per pound, or 10 shillings per dollar.
- February 19 – The naval minister of the United Kingdom, Christopher Mayhew, resigns.
- February 20 – While Soviet author and translator Valery Tarsis is abroad, the Soviet Union negates his citizenship.
- February 23 – An intra-party military coup in Syria replaces the previous government of Amin al-Hafiz by one lead by Salah Jadid.
- February 24 – A military coup in Ghana raises sacked General Ankrah to power while president Kwame Nkrumah is abroad.
- February 26
- February 28 – U.S. astronauts Charles Bassett and Elliott See are killed in an aircraft accident in St. Louis, Missouri.
- March 1
- March 2 – Kwame Nkrumah arrives in Guinea and is granted asylum.
- March 4
- Canadian Pacific Airlines Flight 402 crashes during a night landing in poor visibility at Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing 64 of 72 persons on board.
- In an interview with London Evening Standard reporter Maureen Cleave, John Lennon of The Beatles states that they are " more popular than Jesus now".
- March 5
- BOAC Flight 911 crashes in severe clear-air turbulence over Mount Fuji soon after taking off from Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing all 124 on board.
- A massive theft of nuclear materials is revealed in Brazil.
- Merci Chérie by Udo Jürgens (music by Udo Jürgens, lyrics by Udo Jürgens and Thomas Hörbiger) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 for Austria.
- March 7 – Charles De Gaulle asks U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson for negotiations about the state of NATO equipment in France.
- March 8
- Anti-communist demonstrations occur at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
- Vietnam War: U.S. announces it will substantially increase the number of its troops in Vietnam.
- Nelson's Pillar in O'Connell Street, Dublin, is clandestinely blown up by former Irish Republican Army volunteers marking this year's 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
- March 9 – Ronnie, one of the Kray twins, shoots George Cornell (an associate of rivals The Richardson Gang) dead at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, east London, a crime for which he is finally convicted in 1969.
- March 10 – Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands marries Claus von Amsberg. Some spectators demonstrate against the groom because he is German.
- March 11
- March 12 – Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks sets the National Hockey League single season scoring record against the New York Rangers with his 51st goal.
- March 16 – NASA spacecraft Gemini 8 ( David Scott, Neil Armstrong) conducts the first docking in space, with an Agena target vehicle.
- March 17
- March 19 – The Texas Western Miners defeat the Kentucky Wildcats with five African-American starters, ushering in desegregation in athletic recruiting.
- March 20 – Theft of football's FIFA World Cup Trophy whilst on exhibition in London; it is found seven days later by a mongrel dog named " Pickles" and his owner David Corbett wrapped in newspaper in a south London garden.
- March 22 – In Washington, D.C., General Motors President James M. Roche appears before a Senate subcommittee, and apologizes to consumer advocate Ralph Nader for the company's intimidation and harassment campaign against him.
- March 23 – Pope Paul VI and Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome.
- March 26 – Demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.
- March 27 – In South Vietnam, 20,000 Buddhists march in demonstrations against the policies of the military government.
- March 28
- March 29 – The 23rd Communist Party Conference is held in the Soviet Union; Leonid Brezhnev demands that U.S. troops leave Vietnam, and announces that Chinese-Soviet relations are not satisfactory.
- March 31
- April 2 – The Indonesian army demands that the country rejoin the United Nations.
- April 3 – Luna 10 is the first manmade object to enter lunar orbit.
- April 7 – The United Kingdom asks the United Nations Security Council for authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the embargo against Rhodesia (authority is given April 10).
- April 8 – Buddhists in South Vietnam protest against the fact that the new government has not set a date for free elections.
- April 9 – Norwich City F.C. captain Barry Butler is killed in a car accident.
- April 13 – United States president Lyndon Johnson signs the 1966 Uniform Time Act, dealing with daylight saving time.
- April 14 – The South Vietnamese government promises free elections in 3–5 months.
- April 15 – An anti- Nasser conspiracy is exposed in Egypt.
- April 18
- China declares that it will stop economic aid to Indonesia.
- The 38th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
- April 19 – Bobbi Gibb becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
- April 21
- An artificial heart is installed in the chest of Marcel DeRudder in a Houston, Texas hospital.
- The opening of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is televised for the first time.
- Haile Selassie visits Jamaica for the first time, meeting with Rasta leaders.
- Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court, for the murders of 3 children who vanished between November 1963 and October 1965.
- April 24 – Uniform daylight saving time is first observed in most parts of North America.
- April 26 – A new government is formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.
- April 27 – Pope Paul VI and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko meet in the Vatican (the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Soviet Union).
- April 28 – In Rhodesia, security forces kill 7 ZANLA men in combat; Chimurenga, the ZANU rebellion, begins.
- April 29 – U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000.
- April 30
- May 1 – Floods occur on the Finnish coast.
- May 3 – Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM, with a combined potential 100,000 watts, from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.
- May 4 – Fiat signs a contract with the Soviet government to build a car factory in the Soviet Union.
- May 5 – The Montreal Canadiens defeat the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.
- May 6 – The Moors murders trial ends with Ian Brady being found guilty on all 3 counts of murder and sentenced to 3 concurrent terms of life imprisonment. Myra Hindley is convicted on 2 counts of murder and of being an accessory in the third murder committed by Brady, and receives 2 concurrent terms of life imprisonment and a 7-year fixed term for being an accessory.
- May 12
- African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.
- The Busch Memorial Stadium opens in St Louis, Missouri.
- Radio Peking claims that U.S. planes have shot down a Chinese plane over Yunnan (the U.S. denies the story the next day).
- May 14 – Turkey and Greece intend to start negotiations about the situation in Cyprus.
- May 15
- May 16
- The Communist Party of China issues the ' May 16 Notice', marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
- A seamen's strike is called in Britain.
- The legendary album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys is released.
- Bob Dylan's seminal album, Blonde on Blonde is released in the U.S.
- In New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War.
- May 19 – Gertrude Baniszewski is found guilty of murdering and torturing Sylvia Likens and is sentenced to life in prison. (she is released on parole in December 1985).
- May 24
- May 25 – Explorer program: Explorer 32 is launched.
- May 26 – Guyana achieves independence.
- May 28
- May 31 – The Philippines reestablishes diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
- June 1 – The final new episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show airs (the first episode aired on October 3, 1961).
- June 2
- Éamon de Valera is re-elected as Irish president.
- Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on another world.
- Four former cabinet ministers are executed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for alleged involvement in a plot to kill Mobutu Sese Seko.
- June 3 – Joaquín Balaguer is elected president of the Dominican Republic.
- June 5 – Gemini 9: Gene Cernan completes the second U.S. spacewalk (2 hours, 7 minutes).
- June 6 – Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while trying to march across Mississippi.
- June 8
- An XB-70 Valkyrie prototype is destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and USAF test pilot Carl Cross are both killed.
- Topeka, Kansas is devastated by a tornado that registers as an "F5" on the Fujita Scale, the first to exceed US $100 million in damages. Sixteen people are killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.
- June 13 – Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
- June 14 – The Vatican abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of banned books).
- June 17 – An Air France personnel strike begins.
- June 18 – CIA chief William Raborn resigns; Richard Helms becomes his successor.
- June 20 – French President Charles De Gaulle starts his visit to the Soviet Union.
- June 21 – Opposition leader Arthur Calwell is shot after attending a political meeting in Mosman, Sydney, Australia.
- June 27 – The gothic soap opera Dark Shadows premieres on ABC.
- June 28 – In Argentina, a junta deposes president Arturo Umberto Illia in a coup, and appoints General Juan Carlos Onganía to lead.
- June 29
- June 30
- July – Gangster Charlie Richardson is arrested by police and sentenced to 25 years in prison in the following year for his part in the Torture Gang assaults.
- July 1 – Joaquin Balaguer becomes president of the Dominican Republic.
- July 3 – Rene Barrientos is elected president of Bolivia.
- July 4
- North Vietnam declares general mobilization.
- American President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act, which goes into effect the following year.
- July 6 – Malawi becomes a republic.
- July 7 – A Warsaw Pact conference ends with a promise to support North Vietnam.
- July 8 – King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi is deposed by his son Ntare V, who is in turn deposed by prime minister Michel Micombero.
- July 11 – The 1966 FIFA World Cup begins in England.
- July 12
- July 14
- July 16 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations about the Vietnam War (the Soviet government refutes his ideas).
- July 18
- Gemini 10 ( John Young, Michael Collins) is launched. After docking with an Agena target vehicle, the astronauts then set a world altitude record of 474 miles (763 km).
- The Hough Riots break out in Cleveland, Ohio, the city's first race riot.
- July 22 – The Chinese government declares Dutch delegate G. J. Jongejans persona non grata, but tells him not to leave the country before a group of Chinese engineers has left the Netherlands.
- July 23 – Katangese troops in Stanleyville, Congo, revolt for several weeks in support of the exiled minister Moise Tshombe.
- July 24 – U.N. Secretary General U Thant visits Moscow.
- July 26 – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords, stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
- July 28 – The U.S. announces that a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance plane has disappeared over Cuba.
- July 29
- July 30 – England beats West Germany 4–2 to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at Wembley after extra time.
- August 1
- Sniper Charles Whitman kills 13 people and wounds 31 from atop the University of Texas at Austin Main Building tower, after earlier killing his wife and mother.
- A military coup occurs in Nigeria; General Yakubu Gowon takes over.
- August 2 – The Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.
- August 5
- August 6
- August 7 – Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.
- August 10
- An East German court sentences Günter Laudahn to life imprisonment for spying for the United States.
- Lunar Orbiter 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the moon, is launched.
- August 11 – The Beatles hold a press conference in Chicago, during which John Lennon apologizes for his "more popular than Jesus" remark, saying, "I didn't mean it as a lousy anti-religious thing."
- August 12 – Massacre of Braybrook Street: Harry Roberts, John Duddy and Jack Witney shoot dead 3 plainclothes policemen in London; they are later sentenced to life imprisonment.
- August 13
- August 15
- August 16 – Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee starts investigating Americans who have aided the Viet Cong, with the intent to make these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 are arrested.
- August 17 – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic begin negotiations in Kuwait to end the war in Yemen.
- August 18 – Vietnam War – Battle of Long Tan: D Company, 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, meets and defeats a Viet Cong force estimated to be 4 times larger, at the in Phuoc Tuy Province, Republic of Vietnam.
- August 19 – An earthquake in eastern Turkey destroys whole cities.
- August 21 – Seven men are sentenced to death in Egypt, for anti- Nasser agitation.
- August 22
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) established.
- The United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC), predecessor of the United Farm Workers of America ( UFW), is formed.
- August 24 – The Doors record their self-titled debut LP.
- August 26
- Riots occur in French Somaliland.
- First battle between the South African Defence Force and the armed wing of SWAPO - PLAN takes place at Ongulumbashe in Northern Namibia.
- August 29 – The Beatles end their US tour with a concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. It is their last-ever live performance, except for the short "rooftop concert" at the Apple Corps offices in January 1969.
- August 30 – France offers independence to French Somaliland.
- September 1
- United Nations Secretary-General U Thant declares that he will not seek re-election, because U.N. efforts in Vietnam have failed.
- 98 British tourists die in an air crash in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
- While waiting at a bus stop, Ralph Baer an inventor with Sanders Associates, writes a four-page document which lays out the basic principles for creating a video game to be played on a television: the beginning of a multi billion dollar industry.
- September 6 – In Cape Town, the South African architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, is stabbed to death by Dimitri Tsafendas during a parliamentary meeting.
- September 8 – Star Trek, the science fiction television series, debuts on NBC-TV with its first episode, titled " The Man Trap".
- September 7 – The ocean liner SS Hanseatic catches fire and burns in New York City harbour.
- September 9 – NATO decides to move SHAPE headquarters to Belgium.
- September 12
- Gemini 11 ( Richard Gordon, Pete Conrad) docks with an Agena target vehicle.
- Balthazar Johannes Vorster becomes the new South African Prime Minister.
- September 13 – TASS reports on clashes between the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Guards.
- September 16
- In South Vietnam, Thich Tri Quang ends a 100-day hunger strike.
- The Metropolitan Opera House opens at Lincoln Centre in New York City to the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera, Antony and Cleopatra.
- September 18 – Valerie Percy, 21-year-old daughter of then U.S. Senate candidate Charles H. Percy, is stabbed and bludgeoned to death in the family mansion on Chicago's North Shore.
- September 19
- Scotland Yard arrests Buster Edwards, suspected of involvement in the Great Train Robbery.
- Timothy Leary forms the spiritual group League for Spiritual Discovery.
- September 30
- Baldur von Schirach and Albert Speer are released from Spandau Prison.
- Botswana achieves independence.
- Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton found the Black Panther Party.
- Toyota Corolla car introduced.
- October 1 – West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashes with 18 fatal injuries and no survivors 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Wemme, Oregon. This accident marks the first loss of a DC-9.
- October 3 – Tunisia severs diplomatic relations with the United Arab Republic.
- October 4
- October 5
- UNESCO signs the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers. This event is now celebrated as World Teachers' Day.
- An experimental Reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station suffered a partial meltdown when its cooling system failed.
- October 6
- LSD is made illegal in the United States and controlled so strictly that not only were possession and recreational use criminalized, but all legal scientific research programs on the drug in the US were shut down as well.
- The Love Pageant Rally takes place in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, a narrower section that projects into San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district.
- October 7 – The Soviet Union declares that all Chinese students must leave the country before the end of October.
- October 9
- October 11 – France and the Soviet Union sign a treaty for cooperation in nuclear research.
- October 14 – The city of Montreal inaugurates its metro system (see Montreal Metro).
- October 15
- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill creating the United States Department of Transportation.
- The U.S. Congress passes a bill for the creation of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
- ABC-TV telecasts a highly acclaimed 90-minute television adaptation of the musical Brigadoon, starring Robert Goulet, Peter Falk, and Sally Ann Howes. It wins many Emmy Awards and inaugurates a short-lived series of special television adaptations of famous Broadway musicals on ABC. Goulet stars in all but one of these specials.
- October 16 – Grace Slick performs live for the first time with Jefferson Airplane.
- October 17 – Lesotho and Botswana are admitted to the United Nations.
- October 21
- The Aberfan disaster occurs in South Wales, United Kingdom.
- The AFL-NFL merger is approved by the U.S. Congress.
- October 22
- British spy George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs prison; he is next seen in Moscow.
- Spain demands that the United Kingdom stop military flights to Gibraltar; Britain refuses the next day.
- October 24 – Negotiations about the Vietnam War begin in Manila, Philippines.
- October 25
- October 26
- October 27 – The United Nations takes Namibia from South Africa.
- October 29
- November 2 – The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.
- November 4 – The Arno River floods Florence, Italy, to a maximum depth of 6.7 m (22 ft), leaving thousands homeless and destroying millions of masterpieces of art and rare books.
- November 5 – Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against the Rhodesian government.
- November 6 – Lunar Orbiter 2 is launched.
- November 8
- November 9 – John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at the Indica Gallery.
- November 10 – Seán Lemass retires as Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland to be replaced in the role by fellow Fianna Fáil member Jack Lynch.
- November 11
- November 14 – Jack L. Warner sells Warner Bros. Pictures to Seven Arts Productions, which eventually becomes Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.
- November 15
- Gemini 12 ( James A. Lovell, Buzz Aldrin), splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 km east of the Bahamas.
- Harry Maurice Roberts, who killed 3 policemen in August, is caught near London.
- A Boeing 727 carrying Pan Am Flight 708 crashes near Berlin, Germany, killing all three people on board.
- November 16 – U.S. doctor Sam Sheppard is acquitted in his second trial for the murder of his pregnant wife in 1954.
- November 17
- The U.N. General Assembly decides to found the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
- A spectacular Leonid meteor shower passes over Arizona, at the rate of 2,300 a minute for 20 minutes.
- November 21 – In Togo, the army crushes an attempted coup.
- November 24
- November 26 – In Vancouver, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Ottawa Rough Riders to win the 54th Grey Cup.
- November 27 – The Washington Redskins defeat the New York Giants 72–41 in the highest scoring game in NFL history.
- November 28 – Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ('The Party of the Century') is held in New York City.
- November 29 – The SS Daniel J. Morrell sinks in a storm on Lake Huron, killing 28 of its 29 crewmen.
- November 30 – Barbados achieves independence.
- December 1
- Kurt Georg Kiesinger is elected Chancellor of West Germany.
- British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith negotiate on the HMS Tiger in the Mediterranean.
- December 2 – U Thant agrees to serve a second term as U.N. Secretary General.
- December 3 – Anti-Portuguese demonstrations occur in Macau; a curfew is declared the next day.
- December 6 – Binh Hoa massacre: Vietnam War.
- December 7
- December 8 – The Typaldos Line's ferry Heraklion sinks in rough seas, in the Aegean Sea near Crete, leaving 217 dead.
- December 15 – Walt Disney dies while producing The Jungle Book, the last animated feature under his personal supervision.
- December 16
- The U.N. Security Council approves an oil embargo against Rhodesia.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are adopted by the General Assembly, as Resolution 2200 A (XXI).
- December 17 – South Africa does not join the trade embargo against Rhodesia.
- December 18 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff, is shown for the first time on CBS, becoming an annual Christmas tradition.
- December 19 – ADB operations begin.
- December 20 – Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to the Rhodesian government, and announces that he will agree to independence only after the founding of a Black majority government.
- December 22 – Prime Minister Ian Smith declares that Rhodesia is already a republic.
- December 26 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, founder of Organization US (a black nationalist group) and later chair of Black Studies, at California State University, Long Beach from 1989 to 2002.
- December 31
- East German Premier Walter Ulbricht discusses negotiations about German reunification.
- Thieves steal millions' worth of paintings from the Dulwich Art Gallery in London.
- The Congolese government takes over the Union Minière du Haut Katanga.
- Konstantin Chernenko, later leader of the Soviet Union, becomes a candidate member of the Central Committee.
- Paramount Pictures Corporation becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf+Western Industries, Inc.
- The Surrealist Movement in the United States is founded by Franklin and Penelope Rosemont.
- Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn are awarded the Fermi Prize.
- The Congress of the United States creates the National Council for Marine Resources and Engineering Development.
- Martin Richards designs the programming language BCPL.
- The DKW automobile ceases production.
- The World Buddhist Sangha Council is convened by Theravadins in Sri Lanka, with the hope of bridging differences and working together.
- The Jerusalem Bible, a Roman Catholic translation, is published in English.
- Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann publish The Social Construction of Reality.
- Long-term potentiation (LTP), the putative cellular mechanism of learning and memory, is first observed by Terje Lømo in Oslo, Norway.
- In or about this year, one person returning to Haiti from the Congo is thought to have first brought HIV to the Americas.
- January 1 – Anna Burke, Australian politician
- January 4 – Deana Carter, American singer
- January 5
- Kate Schellenbach, American musician
- Yuri Amano, Japanese voice actress
- January 7
- Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, American actress and model, wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
- Ehab Tawfik, Egyptian singer
- Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, American actress and model, wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
- January 8 – Igor Vyazmikin, Russian ice hockey player
- January 13 – Patrick Dempsey, American actor
- January 17 – Shabba Ranks, Jamaican singer
- January 19
- Stefan Edberg, Swedish tennis player
- Floris Jan Bovelander, Dutch field-hockey player
- January 20 – Stacey Dash, American actress
- January 22 – Jegath Gaspar Raj, Tamil Maiyam Founder
- January 24 – Jimeoin, Northern Irish-Australian comedian and actor
- January 29 – Romário, Brazilian footballer
- January 30 – Neal Chase, Exilarch Religious Educator
- January 30 – Hans Tutschku, German composer
- February 1 – Michelle Akers, American footballer
- February 4 – Kyōko Koizumi, Japanese actress and singer
- February 5 – José María Olazábal, Spanish golfer
- February 6 – Rick Astley, British rock singer
- February 7 – Kristin Otto, German swimmer
- February 8 – Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgarian footballer
- February 9 – Ellen van Langen, Dutch athlete
- February 10 – Daryl Johnston, American football player
- February 11 – Stephen Gregory, American actor
- February 16 – Martin Perscheid, German cartoonist
- February 17 – Luc Robitaille, Canadian hockey player
- February 18 – Richard A Collins, British scientist and author
- February 20 – Cindy Crawford, American model and actress
- February 22
- Rachel Dratch, American actress and comedienne
- Yahya Ayyash, Palestinian bombmaker
- Brian Greig, Australian politician
- February 23 – Michael Arata, American actor
- February 24 – Billy Zane, American actor
- February 25
- Samson Kitur, Kenyan athlete
- Téa Leoni, American actress
- February 26 – Najwa Karam, Lebanese singer
- February 27 – Alison Gertz, American AIDS activist (d. 1992)
- March 1 – Zack Snyder, American actor, film director, screenwriter, and producer
- March 2
- Sheren Tang, Hong Kong Actress
- David Wickham, British concert pianist, Musical Director and conductor.
- March 3
- Tone Lōc, American R&B musician
- Nick Rhodes, British scientist
- March 4
- Daniela Amavia, American actress and international model
- Kevin Johnson, American basketball player
- Steve Bastoni, Australian actor
- Dav Pilkey, American writer
- Wash Westmoreland, British film director
- March 5
- Mark Z. Danielewski, American author
- Michael Irvin, American football player
- March 6 – Maurice Ashley, American chess grandmaster
- March 7
- Jeff Feagles, American football kicker
- Atsushi Sakurai, Japanese singer ( Buck-Tick)
- March 9 – Tony Lockett, Australian rules footballer
- March 10
- Edie Brickell, American singer
- Mike Timlin, American baseball player
- March 16 – Rodney Peete, American football quarterback
- March 19 – Nigel Clough, English footballer
- March 22 – Antonio Pinto, Portuguese long-distance runner
- March 25
- Tom Glavine, American baseball player
- Jeff Healey, Canadian guitarist (d. 2008)
- Anton Rogan, Northern Irish footballer
- March 26 – Michael Imperioli, American actor
- March 29 – Krassimir Balakov, Bulgarian footballer
- April 1 – Chris Evans, British radio disc-jockey
- April 2 – Teddy Sheringham, British footballer
- April 3 – Miina Tominaga, Japanese voice actress
- April 4
- Riduan Isamuddin, Bali bombing suspect
- Mike Starr, American bassist, ( Alice In Chains) (d. 2011)
- April 8
- Robin Wright Penn, American actress
- Bobby Ologun, Nigerian television personality and martial artist
- April 11
- Dustin Rhodes, American professional wrestler
- Lisa Stansfield, British soul singer
- April 13 – Ali Boumnijel, Tunisian footballer
- April 14
- David Justice, American baseball player
- Greg Maddux, American baseball player
- April 15 – Samantha Fox, British model and singer
- April 18 – Trine Hattestad, Norwegian athlete
- April 19 – El Samurai, Japanese professional wrestler
- April 20 – David Chalmers, Australian philosopher
- April 22
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan, American actor
- Dana Barron, American actress
- April 25 – Man Arenas, Spanish comic creator
Tim Easton, American songwriter
- April 26 – Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize winning poet
- April 27 – Siw Anita Andersen Norwegian actress
- April 28
- John Daly, American golfer
- Ali-Reza Pahlavi, titular prince of Iran (d. 2011)
- April 29 – Phil Tufnell, British cricketer
- May 3 – Firdous Bamji, Indian-American actor
- May 5 – Lyubov Yegorova, Russian cross-country skier
- May 6
- Andrea Chiesa, Swiss Formula One driver
- Cindy Hsu, American Emmy-Award-winning journalist
- May 7
- Anderson Cummins, Canadian cricketer
- Jes Høgh, Danish footballer
- May 8
- Robert J. Behnen, American genealogist and a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives
- Rocko Schamoni, German entertainer, author, musician, club proprietor and member of the comedy ensemble Studio Braun
- Kamil Kašťák, Czech ice hockey player
- Marta Sánchez, Spanish female vocalist, entertainer
- Cláudio Taffarel, Brazilian goalkeeper
- May 10
- Mikael Andersson, Swedish ice hockey player
- Jonathan Edwards, British athlete
- Anne Elvebakk, Norwegian biathlete
- Genaro Hernandez, Mexican-American boxer
- May 12
- Stephen Baldwin, American actor
- Bebel Gilberto, Brazilian popular singer
- May 13
- Nereus Acosta, Filipino politician, academician, and political scientist
- Cheryl Dunye, Liberian-born film director, producer, screenwriter, editor and actress
- Alison Goldfrapp, Lead singer of English electronic duo Goldfrapp.
- May 14 – Raphael Saadiq, American singer-songwriter
- May 16
- Juan Manuel Funes, Guatemalan footballer and coach
- Janet Jackson, American singer
- Thurman Thomas, American football player
- May 17 – Hill Harper, American actor
- May 19 – Sophia Crawford, actress, stuntwoman and martial artist
- May 20
- Joey Gamache, American boxer
- Mindy Cohn, American actress and comedienne
- May 21
- Lisa Edelstein, American actress and playwright
- Francois Omam-Biyik, Cameroonian football player
- May 22
- Siri Eftedal, Norwegian team handball player and Olympic medalist
- Johnny Gill, American singer
- May 23 – Graeme Hick, English cricketer
- May 24
- Russell Kun, Nauruan politician
- Eric Cantona, French footballer
- Francisco Javier Cruz, Mexican football player
- May 25
- Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh, Iranian goalkeeper
- Jeff Cross, American football player
- May 26
- Helena Bonham Carter, English actress
- Zola Budd, South African athlete
- May 27
- Heston Blumenthal, British chef
- Carol Campbell, Afro-German actress, model and presenter
- Titi DJ, Indonesian pop singer
- May 28
- Theo Bleckmann, German vocalist and composer
- Larry Davis, American criminal (d. 2008)
- May 29 – Robert Anderson, American child murderer (executed) (d. 2006)
- May 30
- Frank Goosen, German cabaret artist and novel author
- Thomas Häßler, German football player
- June 2 – Candace Gingrich, American LGBT rights activist
- June 3 – Wasim Akram, Pakistani cricketer
- June 4 – Cecilia Bartoli, Italian mezzo-soprano
- June 6 – Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo
- June 8
- Julianna Margulies, American actress
- Jens Kidman, Swedish musician
- June 13 – Grigori Perelman, Russian mathematician
- June 14 – Matt Freeman, American musician
- June 15 – Roberto Carnevale, Italian musician
- June 16
- Jan Železný, Czech javelin thrower
- Phil Vischer, American voice actor, puppeteer,writer, animator, creator of Veggietales.
- June 18 – Kurt Browning, Canadian figure skater
- June 19 – Samuel West, British actor
- June 21 – Rudi Bakhtiar, American journalist
- June 22
- Michael Park, British rally co-driver (d. 2005)
- Emmanuelle Seigner, French actress
- June 23
- Eric Thomas, Inventor of LISTSERV
- Richie Ren, Taiwanese musician
- June 25 – Dikembe Mutombo, Congolese basketball player
- June 27 – J. J. Abrams, American television writer and producer
- June 28
- Mary Stuart Masterson, American actress
- John Cusack, American actor
- June 30
- Cheryl Bernard, Canadian Olympic curler
- Mike Tyson, American boxer
- Marton Csokas, New Zealand actor
- July 1 – Enrico Annoni, Italian footballer
- July 3
- Moisés Alou, American baseball player
- Robin Burgener, Canadian programmer, inventor of 20Q
- July 5
- Claudia Wells, American actress
- Gianfranco Zola, Italian footballer
- July 6 – Brian Posehn, American actor and comedian
- July 7 – Gundula Krause, German violinist
- July 8
- Mike Nawrocki, American voice actor, writer, animator, director, co-founder of Big Idea Entertainment
- Ralf Altmeyer, German virologist
- Shadlog Bernicke, Nauruan politician
- July 10 – Gina Bellman, British actress
- July 11 – Mick Molloy, Australian comedian
- July 14 – Matthew Fox, American actor
- July 15
- Irène Jacob, French-born actress
- Dimitris P. Kraniotis, Greek poet
- July 20 – Enrique Peña Nieto, Governor of the State of Mexico (2005–present)
- July 21 – Sarah Waters, British novelist
- July 22 – Tim Brown, American football player
- July 28 – Miguel Angel Nadal, Spanish footballer
- July 29 – Richard Steven Horvitz, American voice actor
- July 30
- Murilo Bustamante, Brazilian mixed martial artist
- Allan Langer, Australian rugby league footballer
- July 31 – Dean Cain, American actor
- August 2 – Tim Wakefield, American baseball player
- August 3 – Brent Butt, Canadian comedian and TV producer
- August 4 – Kensuke Sasaki, Japanese professional wrestler
- August 7 – Jimmy Wales, American co-founder of Wikipedia
- August 10
- Charlie Dimmock, English TV gardening expert
- Hossam Hassan, Egyptian footballer
- August 11 – Juan Maria Solare, Argentine composer
- August 12 – Les Ferdinand, English footballer
- August 14
- Halle Berry, American actress
- Freddy Rincon, Colombian footballer
- August 15 – Scott Brosius, American baseball player
- August 18 – Gustavo Charif, Argentine artist
- August 19 – Lee Ann Womack, American musician
- August 23 – Rik Smits, Dutch basketball player
- August 25 – Robert Maschio, USA Actor
- August 26 – Jacques Brinkman, Dutch field hockey player
- August 27 – Jeroen Duyster, Dutch rower
- August 27 – Juhan Parts, Estonian politician who was Prime Minister of Estonia
- August 28 – Priya Dutt, Indian social worker and politician
- September 1 – Tim Hardaway, American basketball player
- September 2 – Salma Hayek, Mexican-American actress
- September 4 – Yanka Dyagileva, Russian singer
- September 6 – Eduardo Maruri, Ecuadorian business man and politician
- September 7
- Vladimir Andreyev, Russian race walker
- Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, German speed skater
- September 8 – Carola Häggkvist, Swedish pop singer
- September 9
- Georg Hackl, German luger
- Adam Sandler, American actor and comedian
- September 12 – Princess Akishino of Japan
- September 19 – Soledad O'Brien, American news anchor
- September 20 – Nuno Bettencourt, Portuguese-American guitarist and singer-songwriter
- September 22
- Mike Richter, American ice hockey player
- Moustafa Amar, Egyptian pop star
- September 24 – Michael J. Varhola, American author and publisher
- September 25 – Jason Flemyng, English actor
- October 1 – George Weah, Liberian politician and football player
- October 2 – Rodney Anoa'i, Samoan-American professional wrestler (d. 2000)
- October 3 – Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, Israeli settler leader (d. 2000)
- October 5 – Inessa Kravets, Ukrainian athlete
- October 6 – Niall Quinn, Irish footballer
- October 7 – Sherman Alexie, Native American author
- October 8 – Aaron Callaghan, Irish football club executive
- October 9 – David Cameron, British Prime Minister
- October 10
- Tony Adams, English footballer
- Elana Meyer, South African athlete
- October 11 – Stephen Williams, British politician
- October 12 – Brian Kennedy, Irish musician and author
- October 15 – Jorge Campos, Mexican footballer and coach
- October 16 – Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, American voice actress
- October 18 – Angela Visser, Miss Universe 1989
- October 19 – Jon Favreau, American actor and director
- October 22 – Valeria Golino, Italian-Greek film and television actress
- October 24 – Roman Abramovich, Russian oil magnate
- October 25 – Wendel Clark, Canadian hockey player
- October 27 – Matt Drudge, American conservative Internet journalist
- October 28
- Steve Atwater, American football player
- Andy Richter, American actor, writer, comedian, and late night talk show announcer
- October 30 – Zoran Milanović, Prime Minister of Croatia
- October 31
- Koji Kanemoto, Japanese professional wrestler
- Mike O'Malley, American actor and playwright
- Adam Horovitz, American rapper ( Beastie Boys)
- November 2
- David Schwimmer, American actor
- Yoshinari Ogawa, Japanese professional wrestler
- November 3 – Joe Hachem, Lebanese-born Australian poker player
- November 6
- Christian Lorenz, German rock musician ( Rammstein)
- Kae Araki, Japanese voice actress
- November 8 – Gordon Ramsay, British chef
- November 10 – Vanessa Angel, English model and actress
- November 13 – Susanna Haapoja, Finnish politician (d. 2009)
- November 14 – Curt Schilling, American baseball player
- November 15 – Rachel True, American actress
- November 17
- Jeff Buckley, American singer-songwriter (d. 1997)
- Daisy Fuentes, Cuban-born American model and television personality
- Sophie Marceau, French actress
- November 19 – Shmuley Boteach, American rabbi
- November 21 – Troy Aikman, American football player
- November 23 – Vincent Cassel, French actor
- November 25 – Tim Armstrong, American singer-songwriter
- Billy Burke, American actor
- November 28 – Narumi Yasuda, Japanese actress
- November 29 – John Bradshaw Layfield, American professional wrestler
- November 30
- Wil Mara, American author
- David Nicholls, English novelist and screenwriter
- December 1 – Larry Walker, Canadian Major League Baseball player
- December 4 – Fred Armisen, American actor, comedian and musician
- December 7
- C. Thomas Howell, American actor
- Linn Ullmann, Norwegian journalist and author
- December 8 – Sinéad O'Connor, Irish pop singer
- December 9
- Tim Bull, Australian politician
- Michael Foster, drummer for rock band FireHouse
- Kirsten Gillibrand, American politician
- Montserrat Gil Torné, Andorran politician
- Dave Harold, English professional snooker player
- Toby Huss, American actor
- Dana Murzyn, Canadian hockey player
- Spencer Rochfort, Canadian-American actor
- Julio Alberto Rodas Hurtarte, former soccer player
- Mateo Romero, Native American painter
- Gideon Sa'ar, Israeli politician
- Kadyrbek Sarbayev, foreign minister
- Shane Scott, American director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor, musician
- Martin Taylor, footballer coach
- Natee Thongsookkaew, Thailand footballer
- December 11
- Leon Lai, Hong Kong singer and actor
- Gary Dourdan, American actor
- December 12
- Último Dragón, Japanese professional wrestler
- Greg Long, American Christian musician
- Royce Gracie, Brazilian martial artist
- December 13 – Don Roff, American writer and filmmaker
- December 14 – Bill Ranford, Canadian hockey player
- December 15 – Katja von Garnier, German film director
- December 16 – Dennis Wise, English footballer
- December 17 – Milos Tichy, Czech astronomer
- December 19
- Tim Sköld, Swedish multi-instrumentalist musician
- Alberto Tomba, Italian alpine skier
- December 20 – Ed de Goeij, Dutch footballer
- December 21 – Kiefer Sutherland, Canadian actor
- December 22 – Dmitry Bilozerchev, Soviet gymnast
- December 25 – Stephen Twigg, British politician
- December 26 – Jay Yuenger, American musician and producer
- December 27
- Bill Goldberg, American professional wrestler
- John Harrington, American photographer
- December 30 – Eric Kot, Hong Kong singer and actor
- Kivi Larmola, Finnish artist
- January 1 – Vincent Auriol, President of France (b. 1884)
- January 3
- January 11
- January 14 – Bill Carr, American athlete (b. 1909)
- January 15
- January 17 – Vincent J. Donehue, American stage director (b. 1917)
- January 18 – Kathleen Norris, American writer (b. 1880)
- January 22 – Herbert Marshall, English actor (b. 1890)
- January 25 – Saul Adler FRS, Russian-born British-Israeli expert on parasitology (b. 1895)
- January 31 – Elizabeth Patterson, American actress (b. 1875)
- February 1
- February 3 – June Walker, American actress (b. 1900)
- February 6 – Narcisa de Leon, Filipino film mogul (b. 1877)
- February 9 – Sophie Tucker, American singer (b. 1884)
- February 10
- February 15 – Gerard Ciołek, Polish architect and historian of gardens (b. 1909)
- February 17 – Hans Hofmann, German-American painter (b. 1880)
- February 18 – Robert Rossen, American film director (b. 1908)
- February 20 – Chester Nimitz, American admiral (b. 1885)
- February 26 – Gino Severini, Italian painter (b. 1883)
- February 28 – Jonathan Hale, American actor (b. 1891)
- March 1
- March 3
- March 5 – Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet (b. 1889)
- March 7 – Donald B. Beary, American admiral (b. 1888)
- March 8 – William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor, British politician (b. 1907)
- March 10
- March 27 – Helen Menken, American actress (b. 1901)
- March 30 – Erwin Piscator, German theatre director (b. 1893)
- April 1 – Flann O'Brien, Irish humorist (b. 1911)
- April 2 – C.S. Forester, English author (b. 1899)
- April 3 – Battista Farina, Italian car designer (b. 1893)
- April 6 – Julia Faye, American actress (b. 1893)
- April 10 – Evelyn Waugh, English author (b. 1903)
- April 11 – Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Salvadorian military dictator (assassinated) (b. 1882)
- April 13
- April 19 – Javier Solis, Mexican ranchera & bolero singer (b. 1931)
- April 21 – Sepp Dietrich, Nazi German military leader (b. 1892)
- April 23 – Georges Ohsawa, Japanese diet founder (b. 1893)
- April 29 – Eugene O'Brien, American actor (b. 1880)
- May 8 – Erich Pommer, German film producer (b. 1889)
- May 21 – Patrick H. O'Malley, Jr., American actor (b. 1890)
- May 22 – Tom Goddard, English cricketer (b. 1900)
- May 23 – Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (b. 1902)
- May 24 – Jim Barnes, English golf champion (b. 1886)
- May 25 – Vernon Sturdee, Australian general (b. 1890)
- May 26 – Don Castle, American actor (b. 1917)
- May 29 – James Woolf, British film producer (b. 1919)
- June 1 – Papa Jack Laine, American jazz musician (b. 1873)
- June 6 – Ethel Clayton, American actress (b. 1882)
- June 7 – Jean Arp, Alsatian sculptor, painter, and poet (b. 1887)
- June 8 – Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (b. 1890)
- June 11 – Wallace Ford, English-born American actor (b. 1898)
- June 12 – Hermann Scherchen, Austrian conductor (b. 1891)
- June 19 – Ed Wynn, American actor (b. 1886)
- June 20 – Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest and astrophysicist (b. 1894)
- June 30 – Giuseppe Farina, Italian race car driver (b. 1906)
- July 2 – Jan Brzechwa, Polish poet (b. 1900)
- July 3 – Deems Taylor, American composer (b. 1885)
- July 5
- July 6
- July 7 – Carmelita Geraghty, American actress (b. 1901)
- July 11 – Delmore Schwartz, American poet (b. 1913)
- July 14 – Julie Manet, French painter (b. 1878)
- July 18 – Bobby Fuller, American Musician Guitarist (b. 1942)
- July 23 – Douglass Montgomery, American actor (b. 1907)
- July 24 – Montgomery Clift, American actor (b. 1920)
- July 25 – Frank O'Hara, American poet (b. 1926)
- July 31 – Bud Powell, American jazz pianist (b. 1924)
- August 3 – Lenny Bruce, American comedian (b. 1925)
- August 6 – Cordwainer Smith, American author (b. 1913)
- August 8 – Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Professional Wrestler (b. 1891
- August 12 – Artur Alliksaar, Estonian poet (b. 1923)
- August 15
- August 19 – Fritz Bleyl, German painter (b. 1880)
- August 23 – Francis X. Bushman, American actor (b. 1883)
- August 26 – Art Baker, American actor (b. 1898)
- September 5 – Dezső Lauber, Hungarian sportsman and architect (b. 1879)
- September 6
- September 11 – C. E. Woolman, American Airlines founder (b. 1889)
- September 14
- September 17 – Fritz Wunderlich, German tenor (b. 1930)
- September 21 – Paul Reynaud, French politician (b. 1878)
- September 26 – Helen Kane, American singer (b. 1904)
- September 28
- October 7 – Smiley Lewis, African-American R&B musician (b. 1913)
- October 10 – Wilfrid Lawson, English actor (b. 1900)
- October 13 – Clifton Webb, American actor (b. 1889)
- October 16 – George O'Hara, American actor (born 1899)
- October 18 – Elizabeth Arden, Canadian-born beautician and cosmetics entrepreneur (b. 1878)
- October 23 – Claire McDowell, silent screen actress (b. 1877)
- October 24 – Hans Dreier, German art director (b. 1885)
- October 26 – Alma Cogan, English singer (b. 1932)
- October 28 – Robert Charpentier, French Olympic cyclist (b. 1916)
- November 2
- November 4 – Dietrich von Choltitz, Nazi German military governor of Paris in World War II (b. 1894)
- November 8 – Bernhard Zondek German-born Israeli gynecologist, developer of first reliable pregnancy test (b. 1891)
- November 9 – Jisaburō Ozawa, Japanese admiral (b. 1886)
- November 12 – Shakeb Jalali, Pakistani poet (b. 1934)
- November 14 – Zengo Yoshida, Japanese admiral (b. 1885)
- November 17 – James "Jabby" Jabara, American aviator, the first American jet fighter ace (b. 1923)
- November 19 – Arthur Haynes, English comedian (b. 1914)
- November 23 – Seán T. O'Kelly, second President of Ireland (b. 1882)
- December 14
- December 15 – Walt Disney, American animated film producer and founder of The Walt Disney Company and Disneyland Resort (b. 1901)
- December 22
- December 27 – Guillermo Stabile, Argentine football player and Manager (b. 1905)
- December 30 – Christian Herter, United States Secretary of State (b. 1895)