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- January 17 - Martial law in the Philippines is lifted.
- January 20 - End of the Iran hostage crisis.
- March 21 - Michael Donald, a 19-year old African-American man, is kidnapped, beaten, and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan, in one of the last recorded lynchings in the United States.
- March 29 - Jorge Rafael Videla steps down as President of Argentina, handing power to General Roberto Viola.
- March 30 - John Hinckley, Jr. attempts to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
- April 27 - Operation Red Dog takes place.
- May 13 - Mehmet Ali Ağca, a member of the Grey Wolves, attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
- July 6 - The Cuban American National Foundation is founded.
- July 27 - Serial killer Ottis Toole abducts 6-year old Adam Walsh from the parking lot of the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, later raping him and decapitating him with a machete.
- October 6 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated in Cairo by Egyptian Islamic Jihad members Khalid Islambouli and Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj.
- October 14 - Hosni Mubarak is named President of Egypt.
- December 6 - The Communist Party of Kampuchea is dissolved.
- December 13 - Wojciech Jaruzelski, the head of state of Poland, declares martial law in Poland in response to protests by the Solidarity trade union. The Military Council of National Salvation is established to maintain order.
- December 22 - Roberto Viola is deposed as President of Argentina in a coup lead by Leopoldo Galtieri, who subsequently becomes president.
- Unknown - Beginning of the Contra insurgency in Nicaragua.
- February 2 - Salem al-Hazmi
- February 5 - Luke Woodham
- February 23 - Melissa Huckaby
- February 26 - Barry Loukaitis
- April 9 - Eric Harris
- July 9 - Kimveer Gill
- July 24 - Steven Anderson
- September 11 - Dylan Klebold
- September 19 - Ahmad Abousamra
- November 4 - Jho Low
- November 30 - War Machine
- January 3 - Polly Klaas
- January 11 - Toshiya Kuge
- January 17 - Lauren Dawn Townsend
- February 18 - Jasmine Fiore
- March 5 - Candace Lee Williams (9/11 Victim)
- April 8 - Deora Frances Bodley
- August 5 - Rachel Joy Scott
- November 6 - Cassie René Bernall
- December 23 - Eric Samadikan Hartono
- February 8 - John Duddy
- February 15 - Mecislovas Gedvilas
- September 1 - Albert Speer
- December 6 - Dr. Harry Harlow
- March 21 - Michael Donald
- June 11 - Renée Hartevelt
- July 27 - Adam Walsh
- October 6 - Anwar Sadat
- October 29 - Tina Harmon