|1996 : January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s – 1990s – 2000s 2010s 2020s|
|Years:||1993 1994 1995 – 1996 – 1997 1998 1999|
|1996 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2749|
|British Regnal year||44 Eliz. 2 – 45 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 乙亥年十一月十一日
— to —丙子年十一月廿一日
|- Vikram Samvat||2052–2053|
|- Shaka Samvat||1918–1919|
|- Kali Yuga||5097–5098|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||996–997|
|Japanese calendar|| Heisei 8
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 85
|Thai solar calendar||2539|
1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year that started on a Monday. In the Gregorian calendar, it was the 1996th year of the Common Era or of Anno Domini; the 996th year of the 2nd millennium; the 96th year of the 20th century; and the 7th of the 1990s.
- January 1 – King Fahd of Saudi Arabia temporarily gives power to Crown Prince Abdullah, his legal successor, due to illness.
- January 3 – Motorola introduces the Motorola StarTAC Wearable Cellular Telephone, the world's smallest and lightest mobile phone to date.
- January 4 – Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, appoints a new government in response to accusations of corruption in the parliamentary elections in late 1995.
- January 5 – Hamas operative Yahya Ayyash is assassinated by an Israeli Shabak-planted, bomb-laden cell phone.
- January 7 – One of the worst blizzards in American history hits the eastern states, killing more than 150 people. Philadelphia receives a record 30.7 inches (78 cm) of snowfall, New York City's public schools close for the first time in 18 years and the federal government in Washington, D.C. is closed for days.
- January 8 – A Zairean cargo plane crashes into a crowded market in the centre of the capital Kinshasa, killing 300.
- January 9 – Art forger Eric Hebborn is assassinated in Rome, Italy.
- January 9– January 20 – Serious fighting breaks out between Russian soldiers and rebel fighters in Chechnya.
- January 11 – Ryutaro Hashimoto, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, becomes Prime Minister of Japan.
- January 13 – Italy's prime minister, Lamberto Dini, resigns after the failure of all-party talks to confirm him. New talks are initiated by president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro to form a new government.
- January 14 – Jorge Sampaio is elected president of Portugal.
- January 15 – Amber Hagerman, a 9-year old American child victim and namesake for the AMBER Alert system is murdered in Arlington, Texas.
- January 16 – President of Sierra Leone Valentine Strasser is deposed by the chief of defence, Julius Maada Bio. Bio promises to restore power following elections scheduled for February.
- January 19
- The North Cape Oil Spill occurs as an engine fire forces the tugboat Scandia ashore on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. The North Cape Barge is pulled along with it and leaks 820,000 gallons of home heating oil.
- An Indonesian ferry sinks off the northern tip of Sumatra, drowning more than 100 people.
- January 20 – Yasser Arafat is re-elected president of the Palestinian Authority.
- January 21 – France tests the last atomic bomb.
- January 22 – Andreas Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, resigns due to health problems; a new government forms under Costas Simitis.
- January 24 – Polish Premier Józef Oleksy resigns amid charges that he spied for Moscow. He is replaced by Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
- January 26 – Whitewater scandal: U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies before a grand jury.
- January 27 – Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposes the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane, in a military coup.
- January 29
- President Jacques Chirac announces a "definitive end" to French nuclear testing.
- Fire destroys La Fenice, Venice's opera house.
- Imia-Kardak crisis: A Greek flag is hoisted on a small rocky island named Imia (Greek) / Kardak ( Turkish).
- January 30 – Irish National Liberation Army leader Gino Gallagher is killed in an internal feud.
- January 30– February 5 – Sarah Balabagan is caned in the United Arab Emirates.
- January 31
- Central Bank bombing: an explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.
- An explosion in Shaoyang, China kills 122 and injures over 400 when 10 tons of dynamite in an illegal explosives warehouse underneath an apartment building detonate.
- February 4 – An earthquake near Lijiang in southwest China, measuring up to 7 on the Richter scale, kills at least 240 people, injures more than 14,000 and makes hundreds of thousands homeless.
- February 6 – Birgenair Flight 301, on an unauthorised charter flight from the Caribbean to Germany, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Dominican Republic, killing all 189 passengers and crew.
- February 7 – René Préval succeeds Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president of Haiti, in the first peaceful handover of power since the nation achieved independence.
- February 8 – An IRA ceasefire ends with a half-tonne bomb in London's Canary Wharf District, killing 2 and causing over £85 million worth of damage.
- February 9 – The element Copernicium is discovered.
- February 10
- February 14 – Violent clashes erupt between Filipino soldiers and Vietnamese boat people, as the Philippines government attempts to forcibly repatriate hundreds of Vietnamese asylum seekers.
- February 15
- In south-west Wales, the oil tanker Sea Empress runs aground, spilling 73,000 tonnes of crude oil, killing many birds.
- The U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece comes under mortar fire.
- A Long March 3 rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China crashes into a rural village after liftoff, killing as many as 50.
- Begum Khaleda Zia is reelected as prime minister of Bangladesh. The country's second democratic election is marred by low voter turnout, due to several boycotts and pre-election violence, which result in at least 13 deaths.
- The UK government publishes the Scott Report.
- February 17
- February 18 – An IRA briefcase bomb in a bus kills the bomber and injures 9 in the West End of London.
- February 19 – A wooden ferry capsizes as it enters the port of Cádiz in the Philippines, killing 54 people.
- February 21 – King Fahd of Saudi Arabia announces his medical recovery in the national press and assumes power again from his brother, Crown Prince Abdullah.
- February 24 – Cuban fighter jets shoot down 2 American aircraft belonging to the Cuban exile group, Brothers to the Rescue. Cuban officials assert that they invaded Cuban airspace.
- February 25 – Two suicide bombs in Israel kill 25 and injure 80; Hamas claims responsibility.
- February 27 – Pokemon Green was released in Japan as the first game in the world famous Pokemon series.
- February 28 – Canadian singer Alanis Morissette wins the top honour, Album of the Year award, at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards. She is the youngest person to ever win this award, a record she held until 2010.
- February 29
- In Lumberton, North Carolina, Daniel Green is convicted of the murder of James Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan.
- Faucett Flight 251 in route from Lima to Rodriguez Ballon airport crashes into a mountain near Arequipa; all 123 people on board are killed.
- At least 81 people drown when a boat capsizes 120 kilometres east of Kampala, Uganda.
- The Bosnian government declares the end of the Siege of Sarajevo.
- March 1 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi forces refuse UNSCOM inspection teams access to 5 sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites only after delays of up to 17 hours.
- March 2
- March 3 – José María Aznar, leader of the Popular Party, is elected prime minister of Spain, replacing Felipe González.
- March 3– March 4 – Two more suicide bombs explode in Israel, killing 32. The Yahya Ayyash Units admit responsibility, and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat condemns the killings in a televised address. Israel warns of retaliation.
- March 6
- Mesut Yılmaz, of ANAP forms the new government of Turkey (53rd government)
- A boat carrying market traders capsizes outside Freetown harbour, in Sierra Leone, killing at least 86.
- Chechen rebels attack the Russian government headquarters in Grozny; 70 Russian soldiers and policemen and 130 Chechen fighters are killed.
- March 8 – The People's Republic of China begins surface-to-surface missile testing and military exercises off Taiwanese coastal areas. The United States government condemns the act as provocation, and the Taiwanese government warns of retaliation.
- March 9 – Jorge Sampaio is the new Portuguese president.
- March 11 – John Howard is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Australia.
- March 13 – Dunblane massacre: Unemployed former shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton walks into the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and opens fire, killing 16 infant school pupils and one teacher before fatally shooting himself.
- March 14 – An international peace summit is held in Egypt, in response to escalating terrorist attacks in the Middle East.
- March 16 – Robert Mugabe is reelected president of Zimbabwe, although only 32 percent of the electorate actually voted.
- March 17 – Sri Lanka wins the Cricket World Cup by storming to a famous victory against the tournament favourite Australia.
- March 18 – The Ozone Disco Club fire in Quezon City, Philippines kills 163.
- March 20 – The British Government announces that Bovine spongiform encephalopathy has been likely transmitted to people.
- March 23 – The Republic of China or Taiwan holds its first direct elections for president; Lee Teng-hui is re-elected.
- March 24
- March 25
- An 81-day long standoff begins between antigovernment Freemen and federal officers in Jordan, Montana.
- The 68th Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Braveheart winning Best Picture.
- March 26 – The International Monetary Fund approves a $10.2 billion loan to Russia for economic reform.
- March 28
- Fire breaks out at the Pasar Anyar shopping centre in Bogor, West Java. The first death toll estimate is 78 until rescuers notice that 68 of them are mannequins.
- Three British soldiers are found guilty of the manslaughter of Danish tour guide Louise Jensen in Cyprus. Allan Ford, Justin Fowler and Geoffrey Pernell receive life sentences for the September, 1994 rape/murder.
- April 1
- The Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia is created.
- An overcrowded ferry sinks off the coast of Irois, Haiti, killing more than 200 people.
- April 3
- A Boeing 737 military jet crashes into a mountain north of Dubrovnik, Croatia. All 35 people on board die, including United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown (see 1996 Croatia USAF CT-43 crash).
- Suspected "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski is arrested at his Montana cabin.
- Massacres of Hutus by Tutsis in Burundi take place, with more than 450 killed in a few days.
- April 6
- Fighting breaks out in Monrovia, Liberia, between various rebel factions struggling for power in the country's interrupted civil war. Several foreign nationals leave the nation.
- Major League Soccer kicks off in front of an overflow crowd of 31,683 packed in Spartan Stadium, to witness the historic first game. San Jose Clash forward Eric Wynalda scores the league's first goal in a 1–0 victory over D.C. United.
- Turkish authorities begin Operation Hawk, an army offensive against rebels from the Kurdish Worker's Party in southeastern Turkey.
- April 9 – In a common statement, the European Union officially recognized the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
- April 11 – The Israeli government launches Operation Grapes of Wrath, consisting of massive attacks on Lebanon, in retaliation for prior terrorist attacks, and sparking off a violent series of retaliations.
- April 18
- April 21 – A general election in Italy proclaims a new government headed by Romano Prodi and his Olive Tree coalition, replacing Silvio Berlusconi.
- April 24 – At the urging of Yasser Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization drops its clause calling for the removal of Israel. The Israeli government responds by dropping a similar clause concerning the existence of Palestine.
- April 26 – Regional security treaty signed by the “ Shanghai Five”.
- April 28
- Port Arthur massacre: Martin Bryant kills 35 people at the Port Arthur, Tasmania tourist site, Australia.
- A bomb explodes in Bhaiperu, Pakistan, killing more than 60 people.
- May – Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM supervises the destruction of Al-Hakam, Iraq's main production facility of biological warfare agents.
- May 4 – A Sudanese Federal Airlines jet crashes on a domestic flight in a severe dust storm, while making an emergency landing 325 kilometres northeast of Khartoum, killing all 53 passengers and crew.
- May 8 – The Keck II telescope is dedicated in Hawaii.
- May 9
- South Africa's National Party pulls out of the 2-year-old coalition government, and the African National Congress assumes full political control.
- Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni wins a landslide victory in the country's first direct presidential elections, securing 75% of the vote.
- May 10
- 1996 Everest disaster: A sudden storm engulfs Mount Everest with several climbing teams high on the mountain, leaving 8 dead. By the end of the month, at least 4 other climbers die in the worst season of fatalities on the mountain to date.
- The Australian government introduces a nationwide ban on the private possession of both automatic and semi-automatic rifles, in response to the Port Arthur massacre.
- Vietnamese Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong, facing forced repatriation due to their classification as economic migrants rather than refugees, stage a protest at the Whitehead Detention Centre.
- May 11 – After takeoff from Miami, Florida, a fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592, causes the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 on board.
- May 13 – Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kill 600.
- May 15 – Nine hostages held by the Free Papua Organization in Irian Jaya are rescued after an operation by the Indonesian military; 2 other hostages are later found dead.
- May 17– 28 – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, is elected the new prime minister of India, replacing P. V. Narasimha Rao of the Indian National Congress. However, the party does not receive an overall majority and Vajpayee resigns 13 days later rather than face a no confidence vote, and is replaced by the United Front, led Deve Gowda.
- May 18 – The X Prize Foundation launches the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which is won in 2004, by Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne.
- May 20 – Gay rights – Romer v. Evans: The Supreme Court of the United States rules against a law that prevents any city, town or county in the state of Colorado from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to protect the rights of homosexuals.
- May 21
- May 23
- May 27 – First Chechnya War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire in the war.
- May 28 – Albania's general election of May 26 is declared unfair by international monitors, and the ruling Democratic Party under President Sali Berisha is charged by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe with rigging the elections. Several hundred protestors gather in Tirana to demonstrate against the election result.
- May 30
- May 31 – FIFA decides to give the FIFA World Cup 2002, the first World Cup in Asia, to Japan and South Korea, becoming the first World Cup with co-host countries in the history of the event.
- June – Iraq disarmament crisis: As Iraq continues to refuse inspectors access to a number of sites, the U.S. fails in its attempt to build support for military action against Iraq in the UN Security Council.
- June 1– June 3 – The Czech Republic's first general election ends inconclusively. Prime Minister Václav Klaus and his incumbent Civic Democratic Party emerge as the winners, but are unable to form a majority government. President Václav Havel refuses to invite Klaus to form a coalition.
- June 4 – The space rocket Ariane 5 explodes 40 seconds after takeoff in French Guiana. The project costs European governments 7.5 billion US dollars over 11 years.
- June 6 – Leighton W. Smith, Jr. resigns as NATO commander in the face of increasing criticism.
- June 7 – An IRA gang kills Detective Garda Jerry McCabe during a botched armed robbery in Adare, County Limerick.
- June 8
- June 10 – Peace talks begin in Northern Ireland without Sinn Féin.
- June 11
- An explosion in a São Paulo suburban shopping centre kills 44 and injures more than 100.
- A peace convoy carrying Chechen separatist leaders and international diplomats is targeted by a series of remotely controlled land mines; 8 are killed.
- June 12 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a panel of federal judges blocks a law against indecency on the internet. The panel says that the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe upon the free speech rights of adults.
- June 13 – An 81-day standoff between the Montana Freemen and FBI agents ends with their surrender in Montana.
- June 15 – In Manchester, UK, a massive IRA bomb injures over 200 people and devastates a large part of the city centre.
- June 19 – Boris Yeltsin emerges as the winner in Russia's first round of presidential elections.
- June 20 – Thousands of Megawati Sukarnoputri supporters clash with police in Jakarta.
- June 23
- The Nintendo 64 video game system is released in Japan.
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu is given an official farewell at his retirement service.
- June 25 – The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia kills 19 U.S. servicemen.
- June 26 – Journalist Veronica Guerin is shot and killed in her car just outside Dublin.
- June 28 – A new government is formed in Turkey, with Necmettin Erbakan of Refah Partisi becoming prime minister of the coalition government, and deputy and foreign minister Tansu Çiller of the True Path Party succeeding him after two years.
- June 29
- June 30
- Costas Simitis is elected President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Greece.
- Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić reliquishes power to his deputy, Biljana Plavšić.
- Germany defeats the Czech Republic 2-1 after extra time in the final of the European Championships.
- Iraq disarmament crisis: U.N. Inspector Scott Ritter attempts to conduct surprise inspections on the Republican Guard facility at the airport, but is blocked by Iraqi officials.
- The Prague Manifesto declares the principles of the Esperanto movement.
- Confrontations occur in Northern Ireland between police and Orange Order protestors at Drumcree Church (see Drumcree conflict).
- July 1 – The Northern Territory in Australia legalises voluntary euthanasia.
- July 2 – Lyle and Erik Menendez are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- July 3 – Boris Yeltsin is reelected as President of Russia after the second round of elections.
- July 5 – Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland.
- July 8 – Martina Hingis becomes the youngest person in history (age 15 years and 282 days) to win at Wimbledon in the Ladies' Doubles event.
- July 11 – Arrest warrants are issued for Bosnian Serb war criminals Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić by the Russell Tribunal in The Hague.
- July 12 – Hurricane Bertha: made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 storm, causing $270 million in damage to the United States and its possessions and many indirect deaths.
- July 13 – A Republican Sinn Féin bomb explodes outside of a hotel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, disrupting a wedding reception and injuring 17 people.
- July 16 – An outbreak of E. coli food poisoning in Japan reaches 6,000 fatalities, after a group of school children who have eaten contaminated lunches die.
- July 17
- Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa) constituted.
- Paris and Rome-bound TWA Flight 800 (Boeing 747) explodes off the coast of Long Island, New York, killing all 230 on board.
- Joe Klein admits that he is "Anonymous", the author of Primary Colors.
- July 18 – Howard Hughes is sentenced to life imprisonment at Chester Crown Court for the rape and murder of 7-year-old Sophie Hook at Llandudno 12 months previously. The trial judge recommends that Hughes, 31, should never be released.
- July 19
- An F3 tornado 5.5 miles (8.9 km) away from the Westminster, Maryland city centre injures 3 people and causes $5 million in damages.
- The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, begin.
- Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadžić resigns from public office in Republika Srpska after being indicted for war crimes.
- July 21 – The Saguenay Flood, one of Canada's most costly natural disasters, is caused by flooding on the Saguenay River in Quebec.
- July 24 – The Dehiwala train bombing kills 56 commuters outside Colombo.
- July 25 – The Tutsi-led Burundian army performs a coup and reinstalls previous president Pierre Buyoya, ousting current president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.
- July 27 – The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics kills 1 and injures 111.
- July 29 – The child protection portion of the Communications Decency Act (1996) is struck down as too broad by a U.S. federal court.
- August 1
- August 4 – The 1996 Summer Olympics conclude.
- August 6
- August 7 – Heavy rains kill more than 80 campers near Huesca, Spain.
- August 9 – Boris Yeltsin is sworn in at the Kremlin for a second term as President of Russia.
- August 11 – The British rock band Oasis plays the biggest free-standing concert in UK history at Knebworth, Hertfordshire.
- August 13 – Data sent back by the Galileo space probe indicates there may be water on one of Jupiter's moons.
- August 14 – A rocket ignited during a fireworks display in Arequipa, Peru knocks down a high-tension power cable into a dense crowd, electrocuting 35 people.
- August 15 – Bob Dole is nominated for President of the United States, and Jack Kemp for Vice President, at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, California.
- August 16 – Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois. After a three year old boy falls into the 20-foot (6.1 m) deep gorilla enclosure, Binti Jua, a female silverback gorilla sits with the injured boy until his rescue. Video of the ape's actions make her world famous.
- August 16 – After having spent 378 days in Taliban prison, the crew of Russian Il-76TD managed to overpower their guards, board their aircraft and fly to freedom (see: 1995 Airstan incident).
- August 18 The San Jose Mercury News publishes Gary Webb's three-part series on the Reagan CIA's role in crack cocaine importation to fund the Contras.
- August 20 – A thousands-large protest in Seoul, calling for reunification with North Korea, is broken up by riot police.
- August 21 – Former president of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk, makes an official policy for crimes committed under Apartheid to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Cape Town.
- August 23 – Osama bin Laden writes "The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places," a call for the removal of American military forces from Saudi Arabia.
- August 26
- August 28 – Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales, are formally divorced at the High Court of Justice in London. Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales is restyled Diana, Princess of Wales.
- August 29
- U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are renominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
- A Russian Tupolev 154 jetliner crashes into a mountain as it approaches the airport at Spitsbergen, Norway, killing all 141 people on board.
- August 30 – Attempted raising of a 15-tonne section of the RMS Titanic failed as 1,700 spectators, including survivors of the wreck watched.
- August 31
- Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi forces launch an offensive into the northern No-Fly Zone and capture Arbil.
- The Big 12 Conference is inaugurated with a football game between Kansas State University and Texas Tech University in Manhattan, Kansas.
- September 2 – A permanent peace agreement is signed at the Malacañan Palace between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front.
- September 3 – The U.S. launches Operation Desert Strike against Iraq in reaction to the attack on Arbil.
- September 4 – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia attack a military base in Guaviare, Colombia, starting 3 weeks of guerrilla warfare that will claim the lives of at least 130 Colombians.
- September 10 – Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) signed (it will be ratified 180 days after ratification by 44 Annex 2 countries).
- September 13 – Alija Izetbegović is elected president of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the country's first election since the Bosnian War.
- September 16 – Beast Wars first airs and becomes a milestone in the Transformers franchise through the use of CGI.
- September 18 – A North Korean Sang-O class submarine runs aground in South Korea. The crew are described as spies by the South Korean government and killed by the South Korean military.
- September 19 – The scoreboard at Buffalo's $127.5 million dollar HSBC Arena falls to the ice just hours before a National Hockey League game; no one is injured.
- September 20 – Leader of Pakistani opposition party Pakistan Peoples Party Murtaza Bhutto is killed during a gun battle with police.
- September 22 – The Panhellenic Socialist Movement under the leadership of Costas Simitis succeeds in the 1996 Greek legislative election.
- September 24 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at the United Nations.
- September 25 – The last of the Magdalene Asylums is closed in Ireland.
- September 27 – In Afghanistan, the Taliban capture the capital city of Kabul, after driving out President Burhanuddin Rabbani and executing former leader Mohammad Najibullah.
- October 2
- The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- The former prime minister of Bulgaria, Andrei Lukanov, is assassinated.
- An Aeroperú Boeing 757 crashes into the Pacific Ocean when the instruments fail just after takeoff from Lima Airport, killing all 70 on board.
- October 6 – The government of New Zealand agrees to pay $130 million dollars worth of compensation for the loss of land suffered by the Māori population between the years of 1844 and 1864.
- October 15 – Several large strikes begin in various industries across Belgium in protest to the dismissal of the magistrate Jean-Marc Connerotte by the Supreme Court.
- October 22 – A fire at La Planta prison in southwest Caracas, Venezuela, kills 30 prisoners.
- October 23 – The O. J. Simpson civil trial begins in Santa Monica, California.
- October 24 – The Marcopper Mine Disaster occurs dumping toxic copper tailings into the Boac River.
- October 26 – The New York Yankees win the 1996 World Series, beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in game 6 for their first world championship in 18 years. The Yankees would go on to win 3 of the next 4 World Series.
- October 30 – Fighting erupts when Banyamulenga Tutsis of Laurent Kabila in Zaire seize Uvira and proceed to kill Hutu refugees.
- October 31 – A Brazilian TAM Fokker airliner crashes into a densely populated area of São Paulo, killing 103.
- November – Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM inspectors uncover buried prohibited missile parts. Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM teams to remove remnants of missile engines for analysis outside of the country.
- November 5 – Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto's government is dismissed by President Farooq Leghari after widespread allegations of corruption.
- November 7
- November 8 – All 141 people on board a Nigerian-owned Boeing 727 die when the aircraft crashes into the Atlantic Ocean while approaching Lagos airport.
- November 12 – Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 collides in mid-air with Kazakhstan Airlines Il-76 in New Delhi, India, resulting in the loss of 349 lives.
- November 15 – State Street in Chicago is re-opened to pedestrian traffic.
- November 16 – Mother Teresa receives honorary U.S. citizenship.
- November 17
- A bomb explosion in Kaspiysk, Russia, kills 32 people.
- Emil Constantinescu is elected president of Romania.
- November 18
- November 19
- Martin Bryant is sentenced to 35 consecutive sentences of life imprisonment plus 1035 years without parole for murdering 35 people in a shooting spree in Tasmania earlier this year.
- Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Organization ( CTBTO) established.
- STS-80: Space Shuttle Columbia conducts the longest mission of the Space Shuttle program.
- November 21
- A propane explosion at the Humberto Vidal shoe store and office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 33.
- Demonstrators in Zagreb demand the survival of Radio 101.
- November 23
- November 25
- An ice storm strikes the U.S., killing 26 directly, hundreds more from accidents. A powerful windstorm blasts Florida; winds gust to 90 mph.
- The U.S. stock market, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gains at an incredibly fast pace following the 1996 Presidential election. It gains 10 days in a row during the month.
- The APEC Summit opens in the Philippines.
- November 26 – The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the Venetian Hotel.
- December 2
- December 5 – Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan gives a speech in which he suggests that " irrational exuberance" may have "unduly escalated asset values".
- December 9 – Jerry Rawlings is reelected president of Ghana.
- December 11 – Tung Chee Hwa is appointed to become the new leader of Hong Kong after it reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.
- December 12 – Uday Hussein is seriously injured in an assassination attempt.
- December 13 – Kofi Annan is elected by the United Nations Security Council the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- December 17 – The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement takes 72 hostages in the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru.
- December 18 – The loi Carrez, or Carrez law governing property transactions was enacted in France
- December 20 – Steve Jobs' company NeXT is bought by Apple Computer, the company co-founded by Jobs.
- December 26 – The largest strike in South Korean history begins.
- December 25 – JonBenét Ramsey, 6, is murdered in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado.
- December 27 – Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Air Base, which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul.
- December 29 – Guatemala and the leaders of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord that ends a 36-year civil war.
- December 30
- In the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train is bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26.
- Proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu spark protests from 250,000 workers, who shut down services across Israel.
- December 31
- The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway is merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the BNSF Railway, making it one of the largest railroad mergers in U.S. history.
- The Hacienda in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the Mandalay Bay.
- The General Motors EV1, the first production electric car of the modern era is launched and becomes available for lease.
- The invasive species Asian long-horned beetle is found in New York.
- January 1 – Arleigh Burke, U.S Navy Admiral and Chief of Naval Operations (b.1901)
- January 2 – Karl Targownik, Hungarian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor (b. 1915)
- January 5
- January 8 – François Mitterrand, President of France (b. 1916)
- January 9
- January 15
- January 17 – Barbara Jordan, American politician (b. 1936)
- January 18
- January 19 – Don Simpson, American film producer (b. 1943)
- January 20 – Gerry Mulligan, American musician (b. 1927)
- January 25 – Jonathan Larson, American composer and playwright (b. 1960)
- January 26 – Duke Georg Alexander of Mecklenburg, head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1921)
- January 28
- January 31 – Gustave Solomon, American mathematician and engineer (b. 1930)
- February 2 – Gene Kelly, American actor and dancer (b. 1912)
- February 3 – Audrey Meadows, American actress (b. 1926)
- February 6 – Guy Madison, American actor (b. 1922)
- February 7 – Boris Alexandrovich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer (b. 1925)
- February 9 – Adolf Galland, German general and World War II fighter ace (b. 1912)
- February 11
- February 12 – Bob Shaw, Irish science fiction writer (b. 1931)
- February 13 – Martin Balsam, American actor (b. 1919)
- February 14
- February 15
- February 16
- February 17 – Evelyn Laye, British actress (b. 1900)
- February 20 – Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (b. 1930)
- February 21 – Morton Gould, American musician and composer (b. 1913)
- February 23 – Helmut Schon, German football player and manager (b. 1915)
- February 25 – Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian actor (b. 1940)
- February 26 – Mieczysław Weinberg, Polish composer (b. 1919)
- February 27
- March 2 – Lyle Talbot, American actor (b. 1902)
- March 3 – Marguerite Duras, French author and director (b. 1914)
- March 4 – Minnie Pearl, American comedian (b. 1912)
- March 9 – George Burns, American actor and singer (b. 1896)
- March 10 – Ross Hunter, American film producer (b. 1920)
- March 11 – Vince Edwards, American actor (b. 1928)
- March 13 – Krzysztof Kieślowski, Polish film director (b. 1941)
- March 15 – Olga Rudge, American violinist (b. 1895)
- March 17 – René Clément, French film director (b. 1913)
- March 18 – Odysseas Elytis, Greek writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
- March 19 – Chen Jingrun, Chinese mathematician (b. 1933)
- March 25 – John Snagge, British radio personality (b. 1904)
- March 26
- March 29 – Frank Daniel, Czech-born writer, director, producer, teacher (b. 1926)
- March 31 – Jeffrey Lee Pierce, American musician (b. 1958)
- April 3
- April 4 – Barney Ewell, American athlete (b. 1918)
- April 6
- April 8 – George W. Jenkins, American businessman (b. 1907)
- April 16 – Lucille Bremer, American actress (b. 1917)
- April 18 – Ronald Davies, American jurist (b. 1904).
- April 20 – Christopher Robin Milne, English author and bookseller (b. 1920)
- April 21 – Dzhokhar Dudayev, Chechen President (b. 1944)
- April 22 – Erma Bombeck, American humorist and writer (b. 1927)
- April 23 – P. L. Travers, Australian writer (b. 1899)
- April 25 – Saul Bass, American graphic designer (b. 1920)
- April 26 – Stirling Silliphant, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1918)
- May 11
- May 15 – Charles B. Fulton, American judge (b. 1910)
- May 17 – Scott Brayton, American race car driver (b. 1959)
- May 20 – Jon Pertwee, British actor (b. 1919)
- May 21
- May 22 – Seymour H. Knox III, hockey team owner (b. 1926)
- May 24
- May 25 – Brad Nowell, American musician (b. 1968)
- May 29 – Tamara Toumanova, Russian dancer and actress (b. 1919)
- May 31 – Timothy Leary, American writer, psychologist, and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use (b. 1920)
- June 1 – Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Indian statesman, former president (b. 1913)
- June 2
- June 3 – Peter Glenville, English film director (b. 1913)
- June 5 – Vito Scotti, American character actor (b. 1918)
- June 6
- June 10
- June 11 – Brigitte Helm, German actress (b. 1908)
- June 15 – Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (b. 1917)
- June 16 – Mel Allen, American sportscaster (b. 1913)
- June 19
- June 23 – Andreas Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1919)
- June 26 – Veronica Guerin, Irish journalist (b. 1958)
- June 27 – Albert R. Broccoli, American film producer (b. 1909)
- July 1
- July 3 – Raaj Kumar, Indian film actor (b. 1926)
- July 5 – Erik Wickberg, Salvation Army general (b. 1904)
- July 9 – Eno Raud, Estonian children's writer (b. 1928)
- July 12
- July 13 – Pandro S. Berman, American film producer (b. 1905)
- July 14 – Jeff Krosnoff, American race car driver (b. 1964)
- July 15 – Dana Hill, American actress (b. 1964)
- July 16 – John Panozzo, American drummer (b. 1948)
- July 20 – František Plánička, Czech footballer (b. 1904)
- July 21 – Herb Edelman, American actor (b. 1933)
- July 22 – Jessica Mitford, Anglo-American author, journalist and political campaigner (b. 1917)
- July 23 – Aliki Vougiouklaki, Greek actress (b. 1933)
- July 28 – Roger Tory Peterson, American naturalist and artist (b. 1908)
- July 30 – Claudette Colbert, American actress (b. 1903)
- August 1 – Tadeus Reichstein, Polish-born chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1897)
- August 2 – Obdulio Varela, Uruguayan footballer (b. 1917)
- August 8 – Nevill Francis Mott, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
- August 11
- August 12 – Viktor Hambardzumyan, Soviet Armenian scientist (b. 1908)
- August 13 – David Tudor, American pianist and composer (b. 1926)
- August 14 – Camilla Horn, German actress (b. 1903)
- August 20 – Rio Reiser, German rock musician and singer (b. 1950)
- September 1 – Vagn Holmboe, Danish composer (b. 1909)
- September 7 – Bibi Besch, Austrian-American actress (b. 1940)
- September 9 – Bill Monroe, American "father of bluegrass" music (b. 1911)
- September 10
- September 13 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper and actor also known as "2Pac" (b. 1971)
- September 14 – Juliet Prowse, American dancer and actress (b. 1936)
- September 16 – Gene Nelson, American dance and actor (b. 1920)
- September 17 – Spiro Agnew, American politician, 39th Vice President of the United States (b. 1918)
- September 18 – Annabella, French actress (b. 1907)
- September 20
- September 21
- September 22 – Dorothy Lamour, American actress (b. 1914)
- September 23 – Fujiko F. Fujio, Japanese cartoonist (b. 1933)
- September 26 – Nicu Ceauşescu, son of Romanian leader Nicolae Ceauşescu (b. 1951)
- September 28 – Mohammad Najibullah, former President of Afghanistan (b. 1947)
- September 29 – Leslie Crowther, British TV comedian and game show host (b. 1933)
- October 1 – Pat McGeown, Provisional Irish Republican Army member (b. 1956)
- October 4 – Silvio Piola, Italian footballer (b. 1913)
- October 12 – René Lacoste, French tennis champion (b. 1904)
- October 13 – Beryl Reid, British actress (b. 1919)
- October 24
- October 27 – Morey Amsterdam, American actor and comedian (b. 1908)
- October 31 – Marcel Carné, French film director (b. 1909)
- November 1 – Junius Richard Jayewardene, former President of Sri Lanka (b. 1906)
- November 2 – Eva Cassidy, American vocalist (b. 1963)
- November 3
- November 5 – Eddie Harris, American Jazz musician (b. 1934)
- November 10
- November 15 – Alger Hiss, American State Department official (b. 1904)
- November 18 – Zinovi Gerdt, Russian actor (b. 1916)
- November 21 – Abdus Salam, Pakistani physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1926)
- November 22 – María Casares, French-Spanish actress (b. 1922)
- November 26 – Paul Rand, American graphic designer (b. 1914)
- November 28 – Don McNeill, American tennis champion (b. 1918)
- November 30 – Tiny Tim, American musician (b. 1932)
- December 3 – Babrak Karmal, President of Afghanistan (b. 1929)
- December 6 – Pete Rozelle, American commissioner of the National Football League (b. 1926)
- December 8 – Howard Rollins, American actor (b. 1950)
- December 9
- December 10 – Faron Young, American singer (b. 1932)
- December 11 – Willie Rushton, English comedian, actor, and cartoonist (b. 1937)
- December 13 – Clarence Wijewardena, Sri Lankan musician (b. 1943)
- December 13 – Edward Blishen, English author (b. 1920)
- December 16 – Quentin Bell, English biographer and art historian (b. 1910)
- December 17 – Stanko Todorov, Bulgarian communist politician (b. 1920)
- December 18 – Irving Caesar, American lyricist (b. 1895)
- December 19 – Marcello Mastroianni, Italian actor (b. 1924)
- December 20 – Carl Sagan, American astronomer (b. 1934)
- December 21 – Margret Rey, American children's author and illustrator (b. 1906)
- December 29 – Mireille Hartuch, French singer (b. 1906)
- December 30 – Lew Ayres, American actor (b. 1908)
- Physics – David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, Robert C. Richardson
- Chemistry – Robert Curl, Sir Harold Kroto, Richard Smalley
- Medicine – Peter C. Doherty, Rolf M. Zinkernagel
- Literature – Wisława Szymborska
- Peace – Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta
- Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – James Mirrlees, William Vickrey
Right Livelihood Award
- Herman Daly, The Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia, Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad and George Vithoulkas