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- January 1 - Jean-Bédel Bokassa stages a successful coup d'état of the Central African Republic and declares himself president.
- January 10 - The Ku Klux Klan attack the home of Civil Rights Movement leader Vernon Dahmer, burning down his home and killing him.
- March 12 - The Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66 come to an end.
- March 13 - UNITA is founded by Jonas Savimbi.
- March 18 - The Grey Wolves are founded.
- April 4 - The National Renewal Alliance is founded.
- May 6 - Both Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the Moors murders.
- May 16 - Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China initiate the Cultural Revolution.
- May 25 - Gertrude Baniszewski and her daughter Paula are both found guilty of the murder of Sylvia Likens and are sentenced to life in prison.
- June 19 - FROLINAT is founded.
- July 6 - Malawi declares independence from the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Hastings Banda is named president.
- July 28 - Yakubu Gowon is installed as the head of state of Nigeria following a military coup.
- August 1 - The University of Texas tower shooting: Charles Whitman perpetrates a mass shooting from atop the Main Building tower at the University of Texas at Austin, killing 14 people and injuring 31 others.
- August 24 - Bruce Greatbatch gives the order for the Chagossians to be forcibly removed from the island of Diego Garcia.
- August 26 - Beginning of the South African Border War.
- September 6 - South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd is assassinated in Cape Town by Dimitri Tsafendas.
- September 29 - The Nigerian military government under Yakubu Gowon launches a pogrom against the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria, leaving about 30,000 dead.
- October 5 - Beginning of the Korean DMZ Conflict.
- November 28 - Michel Micombero successfully abolishes the Burundian monarchy and declares himself the first President of Burundi.
- February 12 - Leszek Pękalski
- April 2 - Bill Romanowski
- April 12 - Giuseppe Coluccio
- May 17 - Qusay Hussein
- July 22 - Georgi Iliev
- August 22 - Harrison Norris
- August 25 - Michael Cohen
- September 19 - Eric Rudolph
- October 30 - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
- August 20 - Dimebag Darrell
- February 6 - Vilis Lācis
- April 21 - Josef Dietrich
- June 28 - D. C. Stephenson
- August 1 - Charles Whitman
- September 2 - Yasuji Okamura
- September 6 - Hendrik Verwoerd
- September 6 - Margaret Sanger
- September 14 - Hiram Wesley Evans
- November 5 - Dietrich von Choltitz
- January 10 - Vernon Dahmer
- August 1 - Kathy & Margaret Whitman