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- January 1 - Golden Dawn is founded.
- January 13 - Saparmurat Niyazov is named Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Turkmen SSR.
- January 14 - Hun Sen is elected Prime Minister of Cambodia.
- February 28 - The Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry in Northern Ireland. With nine officers dead, it is the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
- April 19 - The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord is dissolved.
- April 22 - The Trial of the Juntas convenes to prosecute surviving members of the National Reorganization Process in Argentina.
- May 19 - Hezbollah is founded.
- July 27 - Milton Obote is overthrown as President of Uganda.
- July 28 - Alan García is elected President of Peru.
- August 20 - The Iran-Contra affair begins when Oliver North of the National Security Council proposes the sale of weapons to Iran as a means of funding the Nicaraguan Contras.
- August 31 - Richard Ramirez is apprehended in Los Angeles.
- September - Pol Pot steps down as leader of the Khmer Rouge, ceding power to Khieu Samphan.
- October 1 - Israel attacks the Palestine Liberation Organization's headquarters in Hammam Chot, Tunisia in an attempt to assassinate Yasser Arafat. Arafat survives but between 47 and 71 others are killed.
- December 4 - Gertrude Baniszewski is released from prison on parole.
- December 16 - Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino crime family, is assassinated in the parking lot of Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan on the orders of John Gotti, who takes over as the new Gambino boss.
- December 25 to 30 - The Agacher Strip War is fought.
- February 18 - Lee Boyd Malvo
- May 16 - Christopher Watts
- August 31 - Mohammed bin Salman
- September 1 - Andrew Auernheimer
- September 23 - Germaine Lindsay
- October 9 - Earl Kimrey
- May 29 - Heather Heyer
- August 15 - Nipsey Hussle
- September 26 - Jimmy Ryce
- October 3 - Tim McLean
- February 21 - Van Roosevelt Solomon
- March 10 - Konstantin Chernenko
- April 11 - Enver Hoxha
- June 6 - Leonard Lake
- October 9 - Emílio Garrastazu Médici
- October 21 - Dan White
- October 28 - Joachim Knychała
- October 29 - Robert Edward Chambliss
- November 17 - Lon Nol
- December 6 - Carroll Cole
- December 16 - Paul Castellano
- February 9 - Enrique "Kiki" Camarena
- September 13 - Hugo Spadafora