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- January 1 - Marien Ngouabi is named President of the People's Republic of the Congo.
- January 20 - Richard Nixon begins his first term as President of the United States.
- February 3 - Benjamin Paddock is placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List.
- February 4 - Yasser Arafat is elected leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
- February 9 - The Nationalist Movement Party is founded by Colonel Alparslan Türkeş.
- March 2 - A series of border clashes erupt between China and the Soviet Union.
- March 10 - James Earl Ray is found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is sentenced to 99 years to life in prison.
- March 23 - The New People's Army is founded to serve as the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
- March 25 - Ayub Khan resigns as President of Pakistan.
- June 18 - Weather Underground is founded.
- July 4 - The second murder attributed to the Zodiac Killer takes place in the parking lot of Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, California when 22-year old Elizabeth Ferrin is killed. 19-year old Michael Renault Mageau is also attacked, but survives.
- August 9 to 10 - The Tate-LaBianca murders are perpetrated by the Manson Family cult. Under direction from their leader Charles Manson, the cult members invade the rented home of actress Sharon Tate and movie director Roman Polanski at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. They murder Tate, who was 8½ months pregnant, along with three friends and an 18-year-old visitor. The following day, the cult invaded the home of of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary, killing them as well.
- September 1 - King Idris of Libya is overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi and his Free Officers Movement, who reorganize Libya into the Libyan Arab Republic.
- September 11 - The Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China reach a ceasefire agreement. End of the Sino-Soviet border dispute.
- October 21 - Siad Barre takes control of Somalia in a bloodless coup. He installs the Supreme Revolutionary Council military junta to rule the country, with himself as president.
- December 3 - End of the Korean DMZ Conflict.
- Unknown - Shining Path is founded by Abimael Guzmán.
- January 6 - Vincent Johnson
- January 12 - Valerie McDaniel
- February 13 - Mike Rice
- May 9 - Paul Nehlen
- May 13 - Angelica Vazquez
- June 24 - Diarmuid O'Neill
- July 6 - Christopher Scarver
- August 31 - Andrew Cunanan
- September 18 - Brett Peter Cowan
- October 9 - Troy Davis
- December 13 - Rob Darken/Rob Fudali
- December 24 - Stephen Griffiths
- Unknown - Richard Durn
- Unknown - Gabriel Wortman
- June 9 - Tina Harmon
- February 14 - Vito Genovese
- September 2 - Hồ Chí Minh
- November 23 - Spade Cooley
- December 2 - Kliment Voroshilov
- December 8 - Karl Fiehler
- July 4 - Elizabeth Ferrin
- July 27 - Gary Hinman
- August 9 - Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Parent, and Jay Sebring
- August 10 - Leno & Rosemary LaBianca
- August 26 - Donald Shea
- Unknown - Reyna Marroquín