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- January 11 to February 7 - The Communist Party of China hosts the Seven Thousand Cadres Conference in Beijing to discuss the consequences of the Great Leap Forward, which is declared over.
- March 2 - Ne Win seizes control of Burma in a successful military coup.
- March 19 - The Évian Accords are signed, ending the Algerian War of Independence.
- June 1 - Adolf Eichmann is hanged for crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust at Ayalon Prison in Ramla, Israel.
- July 1 - Rwanda declares independence from Belgium, marking the end of the Rwandan Revolution. Grégoire Kayibanda is named the first President of Rwanda, with his Parmehutu party becoming the country's ruling party. Kayibanda becomes the first person to promote Hutu Power.
- July 4 - The Burma Socialist Programme Party is established to serve as the governing political party of Burma.
- August 17 - Harry J. Anslinger steps down as Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
- September 26 - Beginning of the North Yemen Civil War.
- October 16 to 28 - The Cuban Missile Crisis: the United States and the Soviet Union have a 12-day standoff after it is revealed that the Soviet Union had constructed missile launch facilities in Cuba. After intense negotiations between President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union agrees to shut down their Cuban missile facilities, and in exchange, the United States agrees to remove their weapons from Turkey. The confrontation is often considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.
- January 3 - Guillermo Fariñas
- January 29 - Ismail Haniyeh
- February 15 - Milo Đukanović
- March 5 - Antonio Cárdenas Guillén
- March 17 - Cesar Sayoc
- March 23 - Bassel al-Assad
- April 3 - Brenda Spencer
- April 10 - Mariusz Trynkiewicz
- May 30 - Innocent Sagahutu
- June 6 - Terrence Brown
- June 24 - Gautam Adani
- June 25 - Anthony Allen Shore
- July 15 - Glen Edward Rogers
- July 18 - Abu Sabaya
- November 1 - Adolfo Constanzo
- November 4 - Jean-Pierre Bemba
- November 23 - Nicolás Maduro & Thomas J. Grasso
- December 9 - Felicity Huffman
- December 22 - Scott Erskine
- Unknown - Brian Robinson
- Unknown - David Wayne Hull
- April 5 - Lana Clarkson
- September 26 - James Closs
- October 3 - Mary Fisher
- April 4 - James Hanratty
- April 8 - Anthony Strollo (disappeared; presumed deceased)
- May 31 - Adolf Eichmann