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- January 1 - End of the Battle of Santa Clara. Fulgencio Batista is overthrown as dictator of Cuba by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement, who assume control of the country.
- January 3 - Robert Byrd is elected to the United States Senate.
- March - The American Nazi Party is founded by George Lincoln Rockwell.
- April 17 - Vito Genovese, boss of the Genovese crime family, is convicted of drug trafficking and is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
- May 17 - Che Guevara launches the first Cuban land reform campaign.
- May 23 - Beginning of the Laotian Civil War.
- June 5 - Lee Kuan Yew is named the first Prime Minister of Singapore.
- June 19 - The National Party passes the Bantu Self-Governence Act, which orders all Colored people to be removed from South Africa proper and relocated to designed homelands (Bantustans) within the country's borders.
- July 25 - At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, United States Vice President Richard Nixon and USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev engage in the "Kitchen Debate".
- July 31 - ETA is founded.
- August - Beginning of the Great Chinese Famine.
- August 5 - Maurice Yaméogo is named the first President of Upper Volta.
- November 2 - Beginning of the Rwandan Revolution.
- November 15 - The Clutter family murders take place in Holcomb, Kansas when all four members of the Clutter family are killed by Perry Edward Smith and Richard Hickock.
- Unknown - Fatah is founded by Yasser Arafat.
- January 20 - Joel Rifkin
- January 26 - Roy Whiting
- February 3 - Jeff Doucet
- March 1 - Nick Griffin
- July 25 - Anatoly Onoprienko
- July 26 - Michael Bruce Ross
- August 1 - Ángel Maturino Reséndiz
- August 17 - David Koresh
- August 19 - Anthony Sowell
- August 21 - Shawn Nelson
- October 25 - Kieran Fleming
- October 29 - John Magufuli
- November 22 - Pamela Ann Fahy
- December 1 - Emmanuel Rukundo
- Unknown - Pascal Simbikangwa
- May 19 - Nicole Brown Simpson
- Unknown - Winfield Mowder
- February 7 - Daniel François Malan
- June 22 - Karl Jäger
- June 23 - Fritz Kraemer
- June 25 - Charles Starkweather
- July 27 - Aleksandar Tsankov
- September 18 - Harvey Glatman
- October 9 - Shirō Ishii
- October 14 - Günther Tamaschke
- October 15 - Stepan Bandera
- December 28 - Ante Pavelić
- November 15 - Herbert, Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon Clutter