Learn more about 1966
1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar).
- January 1 - In a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa ousts President David Dacko and takes over the Central African Republic.
- January 2 - A strike of public transportation workers in New York City begins (it will end January 13).
- January 3 - The first Acid Test is conducted at the Fillmore, San Francisco.
- January 4 - A military coup occurs in Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso).
- January 4 - The prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet in Moscow.
- January 4 - A gas leak fire at the Feyzin oil refinery near Lyon, France kills 18 and injures 84.
- January 10 - Pakistani-Indian peace negotiations end successfully in Moscow.
- January 10 - The French paper L'Express publishes a story of Georges Figon, who took part in the kidnapping of Mehdi Ben Barka.
- January 11 - A conference on Rhodesia begins in Lagos, Nigeria.
- January 11 - Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri dies.
- January 11 - The first SR-71 Blackbird spy plane goes into service at Beale AFB.
- January 12 - Lyndon Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
- January 13 - Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member, by being appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- January 15 - A violent military coup is staged in Nigeria.
- January 17 - The Nigerian coup is overturned.
- January 17 - A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares, and 1 into the sea.
- January 17 - Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, is involved in an accident on a routine mission which amputates his leg.
- January 18 - French police announce that Georges Figon committed suicide, prior to his arrest in the kidnapping of Mehdi Ben Barka.
- January 18 - About 8,000 U.S. soldiers land in South Vietnam; U.S. troops now total 190,000.
- January 19 - Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India; she is sworn in January 24.
- January 19 - Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies resigns.
- January 20 - Demonstrations occur against high food prices in Hungary.
- January 21 - Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro resigns due to a power struggle in his party.
- January 22 - The military government of Nigeria announces that ex-prime minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was killed during the coup.
- January 22 - The Chadian Muslim insurgent group FROLINAT is founded in Sudan, starting the Chadian Civil War.
- January 26 - Harold Holt becomes Prime Minister of Australia when Robert Menzies retires.
- January 26 - Beaumont children disappearance: Three children disappear on their way to Glenelg Beach, South Australia, never to be seen again.
- January 27 - The British government promises the U.S. that British troops in Malaysia will stay until more peaceful conditions occur in the region.
- January 29 - The first of 608 performances of Sweet Charity opens at the Palace Theatre in New York City.
- January 31 - The United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.
- March 19 - The Texas Western Miners defeat the Kentucky Wildcats with 5 black starters, ushering in desegregation in athletic recruiting.
- March 22 - In Washington, DC, General Motors President James M. Roche appears before a Senate subcommittee, and apologizes to consumer advocate Ralph Nader for the company's intimidation and harassment campaign against him.
- March 23 - Pope Paul VI and Arthur Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome.
- March 26 - Demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.
- March 27 - In South Vietnam, 20,000 Buddhists march in demonstrations against the policies of the military government.
- March 28 - Indira Gandhi visits Washington, DC.
- March 29 - The 23rd Communist Party Conference is held in the Soviet Union; Leonid Brezhnev demands that U.S. troops leave Vietnam, and announces that Chinese-Soviet relations are not satisfying.
- March 31 The Labour Party under Harold Wilson wins the British General Election.
- March 31 - The Soviet Union launches Luna 10, which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.
- March 31 - Chatham High School is opened in Taree, New South Wales.
- May 1 - Floods occur on the Finnish coast.
- May 3 - Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM, with a combined potential 100,000 watts, from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.
- May 4 - Fiat signs a contract with the Soviet government to build a car factory in theSoviet Union.
- May 6 - The Moors Murderers trial at Chester Crown Court ends with Ian Brady being found guilty on all 3 counts of murder. He is sentenced to 3 concurrent terms of life imprisonment. Myra Hindley is convicted on 2 counts of murder and cleared on a third charge, but is guilty of being an accessory in the third murder committed by Brady. She receives 2 concurrent terms of life imprisonment for murder and a 7-year fixed term for being an accessory.
- May 12 - African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.
- May 12 - Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri opens.
- May 12 -Radio Peking claims that U.S. planes have shot down a Chinese plane over Yunnan (the U.S. denies the story the next day).
- May 14 - Turkey and Greece intend to start negotiations about the situation in Cyprus.
- May 15 - Indonesia asks Malaysia for peace negotiations.
- May 15 - The South Vietnamese army besieges Da Nang.
- May 15 - Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators again picket the White House, then rally at the Washington Monument.
- May 16 - A seamen's strike is called in Britain.
- May 16 - The legendary album Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys is released.
- May 16 - In New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War.
- May 24 - Ugandan army troops arrest Mutesa II of Buganda and occupy his palace.
- May 24 - The Nigerian government forbids all political activity in the country (until January 17, 1969).
- May 25 - Explorer program: Explorer 32 is launched.
- May 25 - In St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall dedicate the Gateway Arch, as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
- May 26 - Guyana achieves independence.
- May 28 - Fidel Castro delcares martial law in Cuba due to a possible U.S. attack.
- May 28 - The Indonesian and Malayan governments declare that the Indonesian Confrontation is over (a treaty is signed on August 11).
- May 31 - The Philippines reestablishes diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
- June 2 - Eamon de Valera is re-elected as Irish president.
- June 2 - Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first spacecraft to soft land on another world.
- June 2 - Four former cabinet ministers are executed in Zaire, for alleged involvement in a plot to kill Mobutu Sese Seko.
- June 3 - Joaquín Balaguer is elected president of the Dominican Republic.
- June 5 - Gemini 9: Gene Cernan completes the second U.S. spacewalk (2 hours, 7 minutes).
- June 6 - Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while trying to march across Mississippi.
- June 8 - An XB-70 Valkyrie prototype is destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and USAF test pilot Carl Cross are both killed.
- June 8 - Topeka, Kansas is devastated by a tornado that registers as an "F5" on the Fujita Scale: the first to exceed US $100 million in damages. Sixteen people are killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. 
- June 13 - Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
- June 14 - The Vatican abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of banned books).
- June 17 - An Air France personnel strike begins.
- June 18 - CIA chief William Raborn resigns - Richard Helms becomes his successor.
- June 20-July 1 - French President Charles De Gaulle visits the Soviet Union.
- June 21 - Opposition leader Arthur Calwell is shot after attending a political meeting in Mosman, Sydney, Australia.
- June 28 - In Argentina, a junta deposes president Arturo Umberto Illia in a coup, and appoints General Juan Carlos Ongania to lead.
- June 29 - A sailors' strike, organised by the National Union of Seamen, ends in the United Kingdom.
- June 29 - Vietnam War: U.S. planes begin bombing Hanoi and Haiphong.
- June 30 - France formally leaves NATO.
- June 30 - The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded in Washington, DC.
- July 1 - Joaquin Balaguer becomes president of the Dominican Republic.
- July 3 - Rene Barrientos is elected president of Bolivia.
- July 4 - North Vietnam declares general mobilization.
- July 4 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act, which goes into effect the following year.
- July 6 - Malawi becomes a republic.
- July 7 - A Warsaw Pact conference ends with a promise to support North Vietnam.
- July 11 - The 1966 FIFA World Cup begins in England.
- July 12 - Indira Gandhi visits Moscow.
- July 12 - Zambia threatens to leave the Commonwealth of Nations because of British peace overtures to Rhodesia.
- July 12 - U.S. Lieutenant Major W.H. Whalen is arrested for spying.
- July 14 - Israeli and Syrian jet fighters clash over the Jordan River.
- July 14 - Richard Speck murders 8 student nurses in their Chicago dormitory.
- July 14 - Gwynfor Evans becomes member of Parliament for Carmarthen, the first Plaid Cymru MP in the UK.
- July 16 - British Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations about the Vietnam War (the Soviet government refutes his ideas).
- July 17 - Richard Speck is arrested; he tries to commit suicide but fails.
- July 18 - Gemini 10 (John Young, Michael Collins) lifts off to set a world altitude record of 474 miles.
- July 18 - The Hough Riots break out in Cleveland, Ohio, the city's first race riot.
- July 19 - A Chinese delegate in the Netherlands, Liu en-Tsiu, is declared persona non grata because of the death of a Chinese engineer in unclear circumstances; there are claims that he was kidnapped and taken to the delegate's office.
- July 22 - The Chinese government declares Dutch delegate G. J. Jongejans persona non grata, but tells him not to leave the country before a group of Chinese engineers has left the Netherlands.
- July 23 - Katangese troops in Stanleyville, Congo, revolt for several weeks in support of the exiled minister Moise Tshombe.
- July 24 - U.N. Secretary General U Thant visits Moscow.
- July 26 - Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords, stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
- July 28 - The U.S. announces that a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance plane has disappeared over Cuba.
- July 29 - The Nigerian army rebels and executes head of state General Aguiyi-Ironsi.
- July 30 - England beats West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at Wembley after extra time.
- August 1 - Sniper Charles Whitman kills 13 from the University of Texas at Austin Main Building.
- August 1 - A military coup occurs in Nigeria; General Yakubu Gowon takes over.
- August 2 - The Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.
- August 5 - Martin Luther King Jr. leads a civil rights march in Chicago, during which he is struck by a rock thrown from an angry white mob.
- August 5 - The Beatles release Revolver (album) in the United Kingdom.
- August 6 - Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashes in Falls City, Nebraska, killing all 42 on board.
- August 6 - Rene Barrientos takes office as the president of Bolivia.
- August 6 - The Tagus River Bridge opens in Lisbon, Portugal.
- August 7 - Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.
- August 8 - The Beatles release Revolver (album) in the United States.
- August 10 - An East German court sentences Günter Laudahn to life imprisonment for spying for the United States.
- August 10 - Lunar Orbiter 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit another world, is launched.
- August 11 - The Beatles hold a press conference in Chicago, during which John Lennon apologizes for his "more popular than Jesus" remark, saying, "I didn't mean it as a lousy anti-religious thing."
- August 12 - Massacre of Braybrook Street: Harry Roberts, John Duddy and Jack Witney shoot dead 3 plain clothes policemen in London; they are later sentenced to life imprisonment.
- August 13 - China begins the Cultural Revolution.
- August 13 An earthquake in Turkey kills 2,394 and injures 10,000.
- August 15 - Syrian and Israeli troops clash over Lake Genesaret for 3 hours.
- August 15 - The New York Herald Tribune stops publication.
- August 16 - Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee starts investigating Americans who have aided the Viet Cong, with the intent to make these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 are arrested.
- August 17 - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic begin negotiations in Kuwait to end the war in Yemen.
- August 18 - Vietnam War: D Company, 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, meets and defeats a Viet Cong force estimated to be 4 times larger, at the Battle of Long Tan in Phuoc Tuy Province, Republic of Vietnam.
- August 19 - An earthquake in eastern Turkey destroys whole cities.
- August 21 - Seven men are sentenced to death in Egypt, for anti-Nasser agitation.
- August 22 - The United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC), predecessor of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), is formed.
- August 26 - Riots occur in French Somaliland.
- August 29 - The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
- August 30 - France offers independence to French Somaliland.
with its first episode, "The Man Trap".
- November 2 - The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.
- November 4 - The Arno river floods Florence, damaging many art treasures.
- November 5 - Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against the Rhodesian government.
- November 6 - Lunar Orbiter 2 is launched.
- November 8 - Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke becomes the first African American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.
- November 8 - Actor Ronald Reagan, a Republican, is elected Governor of California.
- November 11 - A mine kills 3 Israeli paratroopers on the West Bank border.
- November 11 - Spain declares general amnesty for crimes committed during the Spanish Civil War (effective only for the Falangists' side).
- November 15 - Gemini 12 (James A. Lovell, Buzz Aldrin), splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 km east of the Bahamas.
- November 15 - Harry Maurice Roberts, who killed 3 policemen in August, is caught near London.
- November 16 - U.S. doctor Sam Sheppard is acquitted in his second trial for the murder of his pregnant wife in 1954.
- November 17 - The U.N. General Assembly decides to found the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
- November 17 - A spectacular Leonid meteor shower passes over Arizona, at the rate of 2,300 a minute for 20 minutes.
- November 19 - Kathryn Shantz, early formalist painter, is born in New Jersey.
- November 21 - The army crushes an attempted coup in Togo.
- November 28 - Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ('The Party of the Century') is held in New York City.
- November 30 - Barbados achieves independence.
 Unknown dates
- January 1
- January 3 - Martin Galway, Northern Irish composer
- January 7 - Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, American actress and model, wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr. (died 1999)
- January 12 - Rob Zombie, American musician, artist, and writer
- January 13 - Patrick Dempsey, American actor
- January 14 - Marco Hietala, Bassist in the Finnish Metal Band Nightwish
- January 17 - Shabba Ranks, Jamaican singer
- January 19 - Stefan Edberg, Swedish tennis player
- January 19 - Floris Jan Bovelander, Dutch field hockey player
- January 20 - Tracii Guns, American guitarist
- January 24 - Jimeoin, Northern Irish-Australian comedian and actor
- January 29 - Romário, Brazilian footballer
- January 30 - Hans Tutschku, German composer
- February 1 - Michelle Akers, American soccer player
- February 4 - Kyoko Koizumi, Japanese actress and singer
- February 6 - Rick Astley, British singer
- February 9 - Ellen van Langen, Dutch athlete
- February 11 - Stephen Gregory, American actor
- February 11 - Anthony Parker, American football player
- February 20 - Cindy Crawford, American model
- February 22 - Brian Greig, Australian statesman
- February 24 - Billy Zane, American actor
- February 25 - Samson Kitur, Kenyan athlete
- March 3 - Tone-Loc, American musician
- March 4 - Kevin Johnson, American basketball player
- March 4 - Grand Puba (Brand Nubian), American rapper
- March 4 - Dav Pilkey, American author and illustrator
- March 4 - Patrick Hannan, English pop drummer (The Sundays)
- March 6 - Yahya Ayyash, Palestinian terrorist (died 1996)
- March 10 - Edie Brickell, American singer
- March 10 - Mike Timlin, baseball player
- March 25 - Tom Glavine, baseball player
- March 25 - Tatjana Patitz, model
- March 25 - Anton Rogan, Northern Irish footballer
- March 31 - Roger Black, British athlete
- April 1 - Chris Evans, British radio disc-jockey
- April 2 - Teddy Sheringham, British footballer
- April 3 - Miina Tominaga, Japanese seiyu (voice actress)
- April 4 - Riduan Isamuddin, Bali bombing suspects
- April 8 - Robin Wright Penn, American actress
- April 8 - Bobby Ologun, Nigerian television personality and martial artist
- April 11 - Lisa Stansfield, British soul singer
- April 14 - Greg Maddux, American baseball player
- April 15 - Samantha Fox, British model and singer
- April 18 - Trine Hattestad, Norwegian athlete
- April 21 - Bubba the Love Sponge, American radio personality
- April 28 - John Daly, American golfer
- April 29 - Phil Tufnell, British cricketer
- May 8 - Kamil Kašťák, Czechoslovakian ice hockey player
- May 8 - Cláudio Taffarel, Brazilian goalkeeper
- May 8 - Marta Sánchez, Spanish female vocalist, entertainer
- May 10 - Jonathan Edwards, British athlete
- May 11 - Christoph Schneider, German musician (Rammstein)
- May 12 - Stephen Baldwin, American actor
- May 13 - Darius Rucker, American singer (Hootie & the Blowfish)
- May 16 - Janet Jackson, American singer
- May 16 - Thurman Thomas, American football player
- May 24 - Éric Cantona, French footballer
- May 26 - Helena Bonham Carter, English actress
- May 26 - Zola Budd, South African athlete
- May 30 - Stephen Malkmus, American singer (Pavement),(Stephen Malkmus)
- June 4 - Cecilia Bartoli, Italian mezzo-soprano
- June 4 - Tiffany Million, American actress
- June 6 - Murdoc Niccals, Member of Gorillaz, Damien Thorn The Awnser to Armegeddon
- June 8 - Julianna Margulies, American actress
- June 8 - Jens Kidman, Swedish Musician
- June 18 - Kurt Browning, Canadian figure skater
- June 21 - Rudi Bakhtiar, American journalist
- June 22 - Michael Park, British rally co-driver (died 2005)
- June 25 - Dikembe Mutombo, Congolese basketball player
- October 1 - George Weah, Liberian politician and football player
- October 2 - Rodney Anoai, WWF Champion, Yokozuna (died 2000)
- October 3 - Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, Israeli settler leader (died 2000)
- October 8 - Aaron Callaghan, Irish football club executive
- October 8 - Teddy Riley, American R&B and hip-hop singer
- October 9 - David Cameron, British politician
- October 10 - Tony Adams, English footballer
- October 11 - Stephen Williams, British politician
- October 12 - Brian Kennedy, Irish musician and author
- October 24 - Roman Abramovich, Russian oil magnate
- October 26 - Steve Valentine, British actor
- October 26 - Jeanne Zelasko, FOX baseball host
- October 27 - Matt Drudge, American Internet journalist
- October 28 - Steve Atwater, American football player
- November 6 - Peter DeLuise, American actor
- November 7 - Lin Xiaochieh, Burmese leader
- November 12 - David Schwimmer, American actor
- November 14 - Curt Schilling, baseball player
- November 16 - Christian Lorenz, German musician (Rammstein)
- November 17 - Jeff Buckley, American singer (died 1997)
- November 17 - Sophie Marceau, French actress
- November 20 - Kevin Gilbert, American singer, composer, and instrumentalist
- November 21 - Troy Aikman, American football player
- November 30 - Wil Mara, American author
- December 1 - Larry Walker, Canadian Major League Baseball player
- December 7 - C. Thomas Howell, American actor
- December 7 - Linn Ullmann, Norwegian journalist and author
- December 8 - Sinéad O'Connor, Irish pop singer.
- December 14 - Bill Ranford, Canadian hockey player
- December 20 - Ed de Goeij, Dutch footballer
- December 20 - Chris Robinson, American singer (Black Crowes)
- December 21 - Kiefer Sutherland, Canadian actor
- December 22 - Dmitry Bilozerchev, Soviet gymnast
- December 27 - Wendy Coakley-Thompson author
- December 27 - Bill Goldberg, American professional wrestler
- December 27 - John Harrington photographer and author
- January 1 - Vincent Auriol, President of France (born 1884)
- January 11 - Alberto Giacometti, Swiss sculptor (born 1901)
- January 11 - Hannes Kolehmainen, Finnish runner (born 1889)
- January 14 - Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (born 1888)
- January 14 - Bill Carr, American athlete (born 1909)
- January 15 - Sergei Korolev, Russian space scientist (born 1906)
- January 18 - Kathleen Norris, American writer (born 1880)
- February 1 - Buster Keaton, American actor and film director (born 1895)
- February 1 - Hedda Hopper, American gossip columnist (born 1885)
- February 10 - Billy Rose, American composer and band leader (born 1899)
- February 10 - Lal Bahadur Shastri, Prime Minister of India (born 1904)
- February 15 - Gerard Ciołek, Polish architect and historian of gardens (born 1909)
- February 20 - Chester Nimitz, American admiral (born 1885)
- March 1 - Fritz Houtermans, German physicist (born 1903)
- March 3 - Maxfield Parrish, American artist (born 1870)
- March 3 - Alice Pearce, American actress (born 1917)
- March 3 - William Frawley, American actor (born 1887)
- March 5 - Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet (born 1889)
- March 8 - William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor, British politican (born 1907)
- March 10 - Frits Zernike, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1888)
- April 1 - Flann O'Brien, Irish humorist (born 1911)
- April 2 - C.S. Forester, English author (born 1899)
- April 3 - Battista Pininfarina, Italian car designer (born 1893)
- April 10 - Evelyn Waugh, English author (born 1903)
- April 11 - Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, military dictator of El Salvador (assassinated) (born 1882)
- April 13 - Georges Duhamel, French author (born 1884)
- April 13 - Abdul Salam Arif, President of Iraq (born 1921)
- April 23 - Georges Ohsawa, Japanese diet founder (born 1893)
- May 22 - Tom Goddard, English cricketer (born 1900)
- May 23 - Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (born 1902)
- June 1 - Papa Jack Laine, American jazz musician (born 1873)
- June 7 - Jean Arp, Alsatian sculptor, painter, and poet (born 1887)
- June 8 - Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (born 1890)
- June 11 - Delmore Schwartz, American poet (born 1913)
- June 12 - Hermann Scherchen, Austrian conductor (born 1891)
- June 19 - Ed Wynn, American actor (born 1886)
- June 30 - Giuseppe Farina, Italian race car driver (born 1906)
- July 2 - Jan Brzechwa, Polish poet (born 1900)
- July 5 - George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1885)
- July 6 - Sad Sam Jones, baseball player (born 1892)
- July 24 - Montgomery Clift, American actor (born 1920)
- August 3 - Lenny Bruce, American comedian (born 1925)
- August 6 - Cordwainer Smith, American author (born 1913)
- September 5 - Dezső Lauber, Hungarian sportsman and architect (born 1879)
- September 6 - Margaret Sanger, American birth control advocate (born 1879)
- September 6 - Hendrik Verwoerd, Dutch-born Prime Minister of South Africa (born 1901)
- September 11 - C. E. Woolman, American Airlines founder (born 1889)
- September 14 - Gertrude Berg, American Actress (b. 1899)
- September 17 - Fritz Wunderlich, German tenor (born 1930)
- September 28 - Andre Breton, French writer (born 1896)
- September Hiram Wesley Evans, American leader of the Ku Klux Klan (born 1881)
 Nobel prizes