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- January - The Muslim Brotherhood begins an insurgency against the Ba'athist government of Hafez al-Assad in Syria.
- March 1 - Bradford Bishop murders his wife, mother, and three sons, then goes on the run.
- March 29 - The National Reorganization Process takes power in Argentina following a successful coup. Their leader, Jorge Rafael Videla, declares himself president.
- April 2 - The Battle of the Hotels comes to an end.
- May 5 - The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran.
- June 12 - Juan María Bordaberry resigns as President of Uruguay.
- July - Siad Barre dissolves the Supreme Revolutionary Council junta and establishes in its place the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP), a one-party government based on scientific socialism and Islamic tenets.
- July 7 - Donald Neilson is found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of blackmail, and is sentenced to five concurrent life sentences.
- July 29 - David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, commits his first confirmed murder, killing 18-year old Donna Lauria by shooting her in the head in the Pelham Bay area of The Bronx. Her friend, 19-year old Jody Valenti, was also shot, but survived.
- September 21 - Orlando Letelier, a leading opponent of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, is assassinated in a car bombing in Washington D.C. by members of DINA.
- October 6 - The Thammasat University Massacre takes place in Bangkok, Thailand in response to the return of former dictator Thanom Kittikachorn. Official reports state that 46 were killed and 167 were wounded, while unofficial reports state that more than 100 demonstrators were killed.
- November 1 - Michel Micombero is overthrown as dictator of Burundi by Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, who declares himself president.
- December 2 - Cuba adopts a new constitution which establishes a Soviet-based government. Fidel Castro is subsequently named President of Cuba.
- December 4 - Jean-Bédel Bokassa declares the formation of the Central African Empire, crowning himself Emperor and taking the regnal name Bokassa I.
- January 13 - Arturo Guzmán Decena
- January 20 - Josh Powell & Hendrik Mobus
- February 11 - Toni Lawrence
- March 13 - Danny Masterson
- March 19 - Derek Chauvin
- March 29 - Jennifer Capriati
- April 14 - Santiago Abascal
- April 25 - Omar Thornton
- May 15 - David Copeland
- May 16 - Shinji Aoba
- June 9 - Hope Rippey
- June 18 - Candace Muzny
- June 28 - Satam al-Suqami
- August 5 - Napoleon Beazley
- August 9 - Nawaf al-Hazmi
- September 15 - Big Lurch
- October 5 - Ramzan Kadyrov
- December 7 - Duncan Hunter
- May 10 - Kristen French
- July 5 - Leslie Mahaffy
- October 28 - Sarah Harbison
- December 1 - Matthew Shepard
- Unknown - Suzanne Capper
- January 8 - Zhou Enlai
- May 9 - Otto Kerner Jr.
- September 9 - Mao Zedong
- September 19 - Choi Yong-kun
- October 10 - Otto Thorbeck
- November 19 - Stanislav Vaupshasov
- December 15 - Grégoire Kayibanda
- July 4 - Yonatan Netanyahu
- July 29 - Donna Lauria
- September 21 - Orlando Letelier