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January 5 – Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes Governor of Wyoming , the first female governor in the United States.
January 27 – February 1 – The 1925 serum run to Nome (the "Great Race of Mercy") relays diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled across the U.S. territory of Alaska , to combat an epidemic .
March 4 – Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to have his inauguration broadcast on radio .
March 15 – The Phi Lambda Chi fraternity (original name "The Aztecs") is founded on the campus of Arkansas State Teacher's College in Conway, Arkansas (now the University of Central Arkansas ).
March 18 – The Tri-State Tornado rampages through Missouri , Illinois , and Indiana , killing 695 people and injuring 2,027. It hits the towns of Murphysboro, Illinois ; Gorham, Illinois ; Ellington, Missouri ; and Griffin, Indiana .
March 21 – Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signs the Butler Act , prohibiting the teaching of evolution in the state's public schools.
March 31 – Radio station WOWO in Ft. Wayne, Indiana begins broadcasting.
April 1 – Frank Heath and his horse Gypsy Queen leave Washington, D.C. to begin a two-year journey to visit all 48 states.
April 10 – F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes The Great Gatsby .
May 5 – Scopes Trial : Dayton, Tennessee , biology teacher John Scopes is arrested for teaching Charles Darwin 's Theory of Evolution .
June 6 – The Chrysler Corporation is founded by Walter Percy Chrysler .
June 13 – Charles Francis Jenkins achieves the first synchronized transmission of pictures and sound, using 48 lines, and a mechanical system. A 10-minute film of a miniature windmill in motion is sent across 5 miles from Anacostia to Washington, DC . The images are viewed by representatives of the National Bureau of Standards , the U.S. Navy , the Commerce Department , and others. Jenkins calls this "the first public demonstration of radiovision".
June 29 – Santa Barbara Earthquake of 1925: A 6.3 earthquake destroys downtown Santa Barbara, California .
July 10 – Scopes Trial : In Dayton, Tennessee , the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes , a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.
July 21 – Scopes Trial : In Dayton, Texas , high school biology teacher John T. Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.
August 14 – The original Hetch Hetchy Moccasin Powerhouse is completed and goes on line.
September 3 – The U.S. dirigible Shenandoah breaks up en route to Scottfield, St. Louis ; 14 crewmen are killed.
December 16 – Alpha Phi Omega , a national service fraternity, is founded at Lafayette College .
February 1 – Land on Broadway and Wall Street in New York City is sold at a record $7 per sq inch.
March 16 – Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fuel rocket , at Auburn, Massachusetts .
April 12 – By a vote of 45–41, the United States Senate unseats Iowa Senator Smith W. Brookhart and seats Daniel F. Steck , after Brookhart had already served for over one year.
April 30 – African-American pilot Bessie Coleman is killed after falling 2,000 feet (610 m) from an airplane.
May 10 – Planes piloted by Major Harold Geiger and Horace Meek Hickam , students at the Air Corps Tactical School , collide in mid-air at Langley Field, Virginia. Hickam parachutes to safety.
May 18 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears while visiting a Venice, California beach.
May 20 – The United States Congress passes the Air Commerce Act , licensing pilots and planes.
June 19 – DeFord Bailey is the first African-American to perform on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry .
July 12 – A lightning strike destroys an ammunition depot in Dover, New Jersey .
July 26 – The National Bar Association incorporates in the United States.
August 6 – In New York , the Warner Brothers ' Vitaphone system premieres with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore .
August 18 – A weather map is televised for the first time, sent from NAA Arlington to the Weather Bureau Office in Washington, D.C.
September 11 – Aloha Tower is officially dedicated at Honolulu Harbor in the Territory of Hawai'i .
September 16 – Philip Dunning and George Abbott's play Broadway premieres in New York City .
September 18 – Great Miami Hurricane : A strong hurricane devastates Miami, Florida , leaving over 100 dead and causing several hundred million dollars in damage (equal to nearly $100 billion dollars today).
September 20 – Twelve cars full of gangsters open fire at the Hawthorne Inn, Al Capone 's Chicago headquarters. Only one of Capone's men is wounded.
November 10 – In San Francisco, California , a necrophiliac serial killer named Earle Nelson (dubbed "Gorilla Man") kills and then rapes his 9th victim, a boardinghouse landlady named Mrs. William Edmonds.
November 11 – U.S. Route 66 is established.
November 15 – The NBC radio network opens with 24 stations (formed by Westinghouse , General Electric and RCA ).
November 27 – In Williamsburg, Virginia , the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg begins.
January 7 – The first transatlantic telephone call is made from New York City to London .
February 23 – The U.S. Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission ) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.
March 11 – In New York City , the Roxy Theater is opened by Samuel Roxy Rothafel .
March 11 – The first armoured car robbery is committed by the Flatheads Gang near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania .
April 22 – May 5 – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 affects 700,000 people in the greatest national disaster in U.S. history at that time.
May 11 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , the "Academy" in " Academy Awards ," is founded.
May 14 – In the U.S., the University of Chicago 's local collegiate organization, Phi Sigma, becomes incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois as Eta Sigma Phi , the National Honorary Classical Fraternity.
May 17 – Army aviation pioneer Major Harold Geiger dies in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane, at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania.
May 18 – Bath School disaster : Bombings result in 45 deaths, mostly children, in Bath Township , Michigan .
May 20– 21 – Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight, from New York to Paris in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis .
May 23 – Nearly 600 members of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers view the first live demonstration of television at the Bell Telephone Building in New York.
June 13 – A ticker-tape parade is held for aviator Charles Lindbergh down 5th Avenue in New York City .
August 2 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge announces, "I do not choose to run for President in 1928."
August 7 – The Peace Bridge opens between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York .
August 26 – Paul R. Redfern leaves Brunswick, Georgia, flying his Stinson Detroiter "Port of Brunswick" to attempt a solo non-stop flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil . He later crashes in the Venezuela jungle (the crash site is never located).
September 18 – The Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System (later known as CBS ) is formed and goes on the air with 47 radio stations .
September 27 – 79 are killed and 550 are injured in the East St. Louis Tornado, the 2nd costliest and at least 24th deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
October 6 – The Jazz Singer movie opens in the United States and becomes a huge success, marking the end of the silent film era.
October 8 – Murderer's Row : The New York Yankees complete a 4-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.
October 28 – Pan American Airways ' first flight takes off from Key West , bound for Havana .
November 3– 4 – Floods devastating Vermont incur the "worst natural disaster in the state's history". 
November 4 – Frank Heath and his horse Gypsy Queen return to Washington, D.C. , having completed a 2-year journey of 11,356 miles to all 48 states.
November 10 – Unexplained explosions occur in Canton, Ohio .
November 12 – The Holland Tunnel opens to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicular tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City .
November 14 – The Pittsburgh Gasometer Explosion : Three Equitable Gas storage tanks in the North Side of Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania explode, killing 26 people and causing damage estimated between contemporary totals of $4 million and $5 million.
December 2 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile.
December 15 – Marion Parker , 12, is kidnapped in Los Angeles. Her dismembered body is found on December 19, prompting the largest manhunt to date on the West Coast for her killer, William Edward Hickman , who is arrested on December 22 in Oregon .
December 17 – The U.S. submarine S-4 is accidentally rammed and sunk by the United States Coast Guard destroyer John Paulding off Provincetown, Massachusetts , killing everyone aboard after several unsuccessful attempts to raise the sub.
December 27 – Kern and Hammerstein's musical play Show Boat , based on Edna Ferber 's novel, opens on Broadway and goes on to become the first great classic of the American musical theatre.
January 12 – U.S. murderer Ruth Snyder is executed at Ossining .
February 25 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission .
March 12 – In California , the St. Francis Dam north of Los Angeles fails, killing 400.
March 21 – Charles Lindbergh is presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans- Atlantic flight.
April 10 – " Pineapple Primary ": The U.S. Republican Party primary elections in Chicago are preceded by assassinations and bombings.
May 10 – The first regular schedule of television programming begins in Schenectady , New York by the General Electric 's television station W2XB (the station is popularly known as WGY Television, after its sister radio station WGY ).
May 15 – The animated short Plane Crazy is released by Disney Studios in Los Angeles , featuring the first appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse .
June 17 – Aviator Amelia Earhart starts her attempt to become the first woman to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean (she succeeds the next day). Wilmer Stultz was the pilot.
June 29 – New York Governor Alfred E. Smith becomes the first Catholic nominated by a major political party for U.S. President , at the Democratic National Convention in Houston, Texas .
July 6 – The world's largest hailstone falls in Potter, Nebraska .
July 12 – Mexican aviator Emilio Carranza dies in a solo plane crash in the New Jersey Pine Barrens , while returning from a goodwill flight to New York City .
July 25 – The United States recalls its troops from China .
August 16 – Murderer Carl Panzram is arrested in Washington, D.C. after killing about 20 people.
August 22 – Alfred E. Smith accepts the Democratic presidential nomination, with WGY/W2XB simulcasting the event on radio and television.
September 1 – Richard Byrd leaves New York for the Arctic.
September 11 – Kenmore 's WMAK station starts broadcasting in Buffalo, New York .
September 16 – The 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane kills at least 2,500 people in Florida .
October 12 – An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children's Hospital, Boston .
October 22 – The Phi Sigma Alpha Fraternity is founded at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus .
November 4 – At Park Central Hotel in Manhattan , Arnold Rothstein , New York City 's most notorious gambler, is shot to death over a poker game.
November 6 – U.S. presidential election, 1928 : Republican Herbert Hoover wins by a wide margin over Democrat Alfred E. Smith .
November 17 – The Boston Garden opens in Boston .
November 18 – Mickey Mouse appears in Steamboat Willie , the third Mickey Mouse cartoon released, but the first sound film .
December 5 – Police disperse a Sicilian gangs' meeting in Cleveland .
December 21 – The U.S. Congress approves the construction of Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam .
January 1 - California loses to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 15th Rose Bowl by a score of 8-7.
January 9 - The Seeing Eye is established with the mission to train dogs to assist the blind , in Nashville, Tennessee .
February 11 - Eugene O'Neill 's Dynamo premieres in New York .
February 14 - St. Valentine's Day Massacre : Seven gangsters , rivals of Al Capone , are murdered in Chicago .
February 26 - The Grand Teton National Park is established by Congress.
March 2 – The longest bridge in the world, the San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge , opens.
March 4 - Herbert Hoover is inaugurated as the 31st President of the United States , succeeding Calvin Coolidge .
March 16 - A part-talkie film version of Show Boat , based on Edna Ferber 's novel rather than the musical, premieres in Palm Beach (starring Laura La Plante and Joseph Schildkraut ). It is critically panned and not successful at the box office.
May - The Wickersham Commission begins its investigation of alcohol prohibition in the United States .
May 13 - The National Crime Syndicate is founded in Atlantic City .
May 16 – The 1st Academy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California , with Wings winning Best Picture .
May 17 - Al Capone and his bodyguard are arrested for concealing deadly weapons.
June 16 - Otto E. Funk , 62, ends his marathon walk ( New York City to San Francisco , 4,165 miles in 183 days).
June 21 – An agreement brokered by U.S. Ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow ends the Cristero War in Mexico .
June 27 – The first public demonstration of color TV is held, by H. E. Ives and his colleagues at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York. The first images are a bouquet of roses and an American flag . A mechanical system is used to transmit 50-line color television images between New York and Washington.
August 19 - The radio comedy show Amos and Andy makes its debut, starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll .
August 31 – The Young Plan , which set the total World War I reparations owed by Germany at US$ 26,350,000,000 to be paid over a period of 58½ years, is finalized.
September 3 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) peaks at 381.17, a height it would not reach again until November 1954.
October 11 - JC Penney opens Store #1252 in Milford, Delaware , making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 states.
October 24 - October 29 - Wall Street Crash of 1929 : Three multi-digit percentage drops wipe out more than $30 billion from the New York Stock Exchange (10 times greater than the annual budget of the federal government).
October 25 – Former U.S. Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall is convicted of bribery for his role in the Teapot Dome scandal , becoming the first Presidential cabinet member to go to prison for actions in office.
November 7 - In New York City, the Museum of Modern Art opens to the public.
November 15 - The Ambassador Bridge is opened to traffic.
November 29 – Floyd Bennett , U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd , Captain Ashley McKinley, and Harold June, become the first to fly over the South Pole .
December 3 - Great Depression : U.S. President Herbert Hoover announces to the U.S. Congress that the worst effects of the recent stock market crash are behind the nation, and that the American people have regained faith in the economy .
January 6 – The first diesel engine automobile trip is completed ( Indianapolis , Indiana, to New York City).
January 6 – The first literary character licensing agreement is signed by A. A. Milne , granting Stephen Slesinger U.S. and Canadian merchandising rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh works.
January 13 – The Mickey Mouse comic strip makes its first appearance.
February 18 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in an airplane , and also the first cow to be milked in an airplane.
February 18 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh confirms the existence of Pluto , a heavenly body considered a planet until 2006, when the term "planet" was officially defined. Pluto is now considered a Dwarf Planet .
March 3 – John Dillinger escapes prison using a wooden gun.
March 6 – The first frozen foods of Clarence Birdseye go on sale in Springfield, Massachusetts .
March 31 – The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in motion pictures for the next 40 years.
April 6 – Jimmy Dewar invents Hostess Twinkies . 
April 21 – A fire in the Ohio Penitentiary near Columbus kills 320 people.
April 22 – The United Kingdom , Japan and the United States sign the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting shipbuilding .
April 28 – The first night game in organized baseball history takes place in Independence, Kansas .
May 10 – The National Pan-Hellenic Council is founded in Washington, D.C. .
May 15 – Aboard a Boeing tri-motor, Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess (the flight was from Oakland, California to Chicago, Illinois ).
May 30 – Sergei Eisenstein arrives in Hollywood to work for Paramount Pictures ; they part ways by October.
June 9 – Chicago Tribune journalist Jake Lingle is shot in Chicago , Illinois . Newspapers promise $55,000 reward for information. Lingle is later found to have had contacts with organized crime .
June 14 – An act of Congress establishes the Federal Bureau of Narcotics as a replacement for the Narcotics Division of the Prohibition Unit.
June 17 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law.
July 7 – Building of the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam ) is started.
July 26 – Charles Creighton and James Hargis leave New York for Los Angeles on a roundtrip journey, driving 11,555 km using only a reverse gear; the trip lasts the next 42 days.
July 30 – New York station W2XBS is put in charge of NBC broadcast engineers .
July 31 – The radio drama The Shadow airs for the first time.
August 6 – Judge Joseph Force Crater steps into a taxi in New York and disappears.
August 9 – Betty Boop premiers in the animated film Dizzy Dishes .
September 8 – 3M introduces Scotch Tape .
December 2 – Great Depression : U.S. President Herbert Hoover goes before Congress and asks for a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy .
December 7 – W1XAV in Boston , Massachusetts broadcasts video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers . The broadcast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.
January 2 – South Dakota native Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron , used to accelerate particles to study nuclear physics .
January 6 – Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.
February 20 – California gets the go-ahead by the U.S. Congress to build the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge .
March 1 – The USS Arizona is placed back in full commission after a refit.
March 3 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States national anthem .
March 17 – Nevada legalizes gambling .
March 25 – The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape .
April 15 – The Castellemmarese War ends with the assassination of Joe "The Boss" Masseria , briefly leaving Salvatore Maranzano as capo di tutti i capi ("boss of all bosses") and undisputed ruler of the American Mafia . Maranzano is himself assassinated less than 6 months later, leading to the establishment of the Five Families .
April 18 – Cheverly, Maryland is incorporated.
April 22 – Austria , Britain , Denmark , Germany , Italy , Sweden and the USA recognize the Spanish Republic .
May 1 – Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City .
June 19 – In an attempt to stop the banking crisis in Central Europe from causing a worldwide financial meltdown, President Herbert Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium .
June 23 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to accomplish the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane. 
July – John Haven Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts perfects the Emerson iron lung just in time for the growing polio epidemic.
July 26 – The millennialist Bible Student movement adopts the name Jehovah's Witnesses at a meeting in Columbus, Ohio .
October – The Caltech Department of Physics Faculty and graduate students meet with Albert Einstein as a guest.
October 17 – American gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in Chicago, Illinois .
October 24 – The George Washington Bridge is dedicated; it opens to traffic the following day.
December 12 – The Eta Chapter of Kappa Delta Phi is founded at The University of Maine at Machias.
December 26 – Phi Iota Alpha , the oldest existing Latino fraternity , is founded.
January 1 – The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington 's birth.
January 12 – Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate .
February 2 – The Reconstruction Finance Corporation begins operations in Washington, D.C.
February 4 – The 1932 Winter Olympics open in Lake Placid, New York .
February 15 – Clara, Lu & Em , generally regarded as the first daytime network soap opera , debuts in its morning time slot over the Blue Network of NBC Radio, having originally been a late evening program.
March 1 – Charles Lindbergh, Jr. , the infant son of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles Lindbergh , is kidnapped from the family home near Hopewell, New Jersey .
March 7 – Four people are killed when police fire upon 3,000 unemployed autoworkers marching outside the Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan .
April 6 – U.S. president Herbert Hoover supports armament limitations.
May 12 – Ten weeks after his abduction, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh is found dead just a few miles from the Lindberghs' home.
May 20–21 – Amelia Earhart flies from the USA to Derry , Northern Ireland in 14 hours 54 minutes.
May 29 – The first of approximately 15,000 World War I veterans arrive in Washington, D.C. demanding the immediate payment of their military bonus, becoming known as the Bonus Army .
June 6 – The Revenue Act of 1932 is enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States at 1 cent per US gallon (0.26 ¢/L) sold.
June 29 – The comedy serial Vic and Sade debuts on NBC Radio.
July 8 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression , bottoming out at 41.22.
July 28 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the U.S. Army to forcibly evict the Bonus Army of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C. . Troops disperse the last of the Bonus Army the next day.
July 30 – The 1932 Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles .
July 30 – Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees , the first animated cartoon to be presented in full Technicolor , premieres in Los Angeles, California. It releases in theaters, along with Eugene O'Neill 's experimental play Strange Interlude (starring Norma Shearer and Clark Gable ), and will go on to win the first Academy Award for Best Animated Short.
August – A farmers' revolt begins in the Midwestern United States .
August 7 – Raymond Edward Welch becomes the first one legged man to scale the 6,288 feet (1,917 m) Mount Washington .
August 10 – A 5.1 kg chondrite -type meteorite breaks into at least 7 fragments and strikes earth near the town of Archie in Cass County, Missouri .
August 31 – A total solar eclipse is visible from northern Canada through northeastern Vermont, New Hampshire, southwestern Maine, and the Capes of Massachusetts.
October 15 – The Michigan Marching Band (then called the Varsity band) debuts Script Ohio at the Michigan versus Ohio State game in Columbus.
October 23 – Fred Allen 's radio comedy show debuts on CBS .
November 1 – The San Francisco Opera House opens.
November 7 – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century airs on American radio for the first time.
November 8 – U.S. presidential election, 1932 : Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican President Herbert Hoover in a landslide victory.
November 16 – New York City 's Palace Theatre fully converts to a cinema , which is considered the final death knell of vaudeville as a popular entertainment in the United States.
November 24 – In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.
December 27 – Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City.
1933 （ pg.1 ）
January 5 – Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins in San Francisco Bay .
January 17 – The U.S. Congress votes favorably for Philippines independence, against the view of President Herbert Hoover .
January 23 – The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, changing Inauguration Day from March 4 to January 20.
January 30 – The Lone Ranger debuts on American radio.
February 6 – The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution goes into effect.
February 6–February 7 – Officers on the USS Ramapo record a 34-meter high sea- wave in the Pacific Ocean.
February 10 – The New York City -based Postal Telegraph Company introduces the first singing telegram .
February 15 – In Miami, Florida , Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President -elect Franklin D. Roosevelt , but instead fatally wounds Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak .
February 17 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.
March 2 – The original film version of King Kong , starring Fay Wray , premieres at Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy Theatre in New York City .
March 3 – Mount Rushmore National Memorial is dedicated.
March 4 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover is succeeded by Franklin D. Roosevelt , who in reference to the Great Depression , proclaims "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" in his inauguration speech. FDR is sworn in by Chief Justice Charles . It is also the last time Inauguration Day in the United States occurs on March 4.
March 4 – Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor , and the first female member of the United States Cabinet .
March 5 – Great Depression : President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a "bank holiday", closing all United States banks and freezing all financial transactions (the 'holiday' ends on March 13).
March 6 – Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago dies of the wound he received on February 15.
March 9 – Great Depression: The U.S. Congress begins its first 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation.
March 10 – An earthquake in Long Beach, California kills 117 people.
March 12 – Great Depression : Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation for the first time as President of the United States , in the first of his " Fireside Chats ".
March 15 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rises from 53.84 to 62.10. The day's gain of 15.34%, achieved during the depths of the Great Depression, remains to date as the largest 1-day percentage gain for the index.
April 4 – The U.S. airship Akron crashes off the coast of New Jersey , leaving 73 dead.
April 5 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national emergency and issues Executive Order 6102 , making it illegal for U.S. citizens to own gold.
April 7 – Beer is legalized in the U.S., 8 months before the full repeal of Prohibition in December.
April 19 – The United States officially goes off the gold standard .
April 26 – Editors of the Harvard Lampoon steal the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts from the State House (it is returned two days later).
May 3 – Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to be named director of the United States Mint.
May 5 – The detection by Karl Jansky of radio waves from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is reported in the New York Times . The discovery leads to the birth of radio astronomy.
May 12 – Agricultural Adjustment Act is enacted in the USA.
May 18 – New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
May 27 – New Deal: The Federal Securities Act is signed into law, requiring the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.
May 27 – The Century of Progress World's Fair opens in Chicago.
May 27 – Walt Disney's classic Silly Symphony cartoon The Three Little Pigs is first released.
June 5 – The U.S. Congress abrogates the United States' use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.
June 6 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.
June 17 – Union Station Massacre: In Kansas City, Missouri, Pretty Boy Floyd kills four unarmed FBI agents and captures fugitive Frank Nash in a failed attempt to free him.
June 26 – The American Totalisator Company unveils its first electronic pari-mutuel betting machine at the Arlington Park Racetrack near Chicago.
July 6 – The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game is played at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
July 22 – "Machine-Gun" Kelly and Albert Bates kidnap Charles Urschel, an Oklahoma oilman, and demand $200,000 ransom.
July 24 – Several members of the Barrow Gang are injured or captured during a running battle with local police near Dexter, Iowa.
August 14 – Loggers cause a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon, later known as the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn. It is extinguished on September 5, after destroying 240,000 acres (971 km²).
October 10 – A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed near Chesterton, Indiana by a bomb. This is the first proven case of air sabotage in commercial airline history.
October 12 – The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz is acquired by the United States Department of Justice, which plans to incorporate the island into its Federal Bureau of Prisons as a federal penitentiary.
October 17 – Albert Einstein arrives in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
November 8 – New Deal: – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveils the Civil Works Administration, an organization designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.
November 11 – Dust Bowl: In South Dakota, a very strong dust storm strips topsoil from desiccated farmlands (one of a series of disastrous dust storms that year).
November 16 – The United States and the Soviet Union establish formal diplomatic relations.
December 5 – The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, repealing Prohibition, goes into effect.
January 24 – Albert Einstein visits the White House .
January 26 – The Apollo Theater opens in Harlem , New York City.
February 22 – Frank Capra 's It Happened One Night , starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert , is released. It becomes a smash hit and the first of Capra's great screen classics. It becomes the first film to win all 5 of the major Academy Awards – Best Actor , Best Actress , Best Screenplay, Best Director , and Best Picture . Gable and Colbert receive their only Oscars for this film.
March 3 – John Dillinger escapes from jail in Crown Point, Indiana , using a wooden pistol.
March 13 – John Dillinger , Baby Face Nelson and their gang rob the First National Bank in Mason City, Iowa .
March 24 – The Philippine Commonwealth becomes established allowing for more self-government from the United States.
April 1 – Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker kill 2 young highway patrolmen near Grapevine, Texas .
April 12 – U.S. publication of the novel Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
April 12 – The worlds largest ever recorded surface wind speed of 231 miles per hour (372 km/h) was recorded on the summit of Mount Washington (New Hampshire) .
April 14 – Black Sunday : Twenty of the worst dust storms within the Dust Bowl occur.
April 22 – John Dillinger and two others shoot their way out of an FBI ambush in northern Wisconsin .
May 11 – Dust Bowl : A strong 2-day dust storm removes massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst dust storms of the Dust Bowl.
May 15 – The United States Department of Justice offers a $25,000 reward for John Dillinger .
May 23 – A team of police officers, led by Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, ambush bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow near their hide-out in Black Lake, Louisiana , killing them both.
May 24 – The 5-day "Battle of Toledo" occurs during the Auto- Lite strike in Toledo, Ohio .
June 6 – New Deal : U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Securities Exchange Act into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission .
July 1 – The world famous Brookfield Zoo opens in Brookfield, Illinois .
July 1 – The Hays Office censorship code for motion pictures goes into full effect in the United States.
July 17 – The North Dakota Supreme Court declares Lieutenant Governor Ole H. Olson the legitimate governor and tells William Langer to resign. Langer proceeds to declare North Dakota independent. He revokes the declaration after the Supreme Court justices meet him.
July 22 – Outside Chicago 's Biograph Theatre, "Public Enemy No. 1" John Dillinger is mortally wounded by FBI agents.
August 19 – The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio .
August 25 – Anti-union vigilantes seize the town of McGuffey , Ohio , during the Hardin County onion pickers strike .
September 8 – Off the New Jersey coast, a fire aboard the passenger liner Morro Castle kills 134 people.
October 22 – "Pretty Boy" Floyd is shot and killed by FBI agents near East Liverpool, Ohio.
November 20– 21 – Business Plot : An alleged coup to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt is investigated by the McCormack-Dickstein Committee and is reported by the Philadelphia Record .
November 21 – Cole Porter 's musical Anything Goes , starring Ethel Merman , premieres in New York City .
November 26 – Universal Pictures releases the first film version of Fannie Hurst 's novel, Imitation of Life , starring Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers . It gives Beavers, usually featured in small roles as a maid, her best screen role, and features the largest supporting role played by a black person in a Hollywood film up till then. Its storyline is extremely daring for a 1934 film – part of it revolves around a young mulatto girl rejecting her mother and trying to "pass for white". It is the first Hollywood film to seriously deal with this subject. The 1936 film version of Show Boat , also from Universal, will deal with a similar storyline.
November 27 – A running gun battle between FBI agents and bank robber Baby Face Nelson results in the death of one FBI agent and the mortal wounding of special agent Samuel P. Cowley , who was still able to mortally wound Nelson.
December 26 – An American Airlines aircraft crashes in the Adirondack Mountains .
December 29 – Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
January 3 – The trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann , accused of the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. , begins in Flemington, New Jersey .
January 11 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California .
January 16 – The FBI kills the Barker Gang, including Ma Barker , in a shootout.
February 13 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann is convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
February 22 – Airplanes are banned from flying over the White House .
March 2 – Porky Pig makes his debut in Looney Tunes 's I Haven't Got a Hat .
April 14 – Dust Bowl : The great Black Sunday dust storm (made famous by Woody Guthrie in his "dust bowl ballads") hits hardest in eastern New Mexico and Colorado, and western Oklahoma.
April 16 – Fibber McGee and Molly debuts on NBC Radio.
May 6 – New Deal : Executive Order 7034 creates the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
May 24 – The first nighttime Major League Baseball game is played between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio .
May 27 – Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (aka the "Sick Chicken Case"): The U.S. Supreme Court declares the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional.
May 30 – Eventual Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth appears in his last career game, playing for the Boston Braves in Philadelphia against the Phillies .
June 10 – Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio by William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith .
June 12 – Senator Huey Long of Louisiana makes the longest speech on Senate record, taking 15½ hours and containing 150,000 words. 
June 13 – James J. Braddock defeats Max Baer at Madison Square Garden Bowl to win the heavyweight boxing championship of the world.
July 5 – The National Labor Relations Act becomes law in the United States.
July 16 – The world's first parking meters are installed in Oklahoma City .
July 16 – Deportivo Saprissa is founded by Roberto Fernández in his shoe store in El Barrio Los Angeles in San Jose, Costa Rica .
July 24 – The Dust Bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures in Chicago to a record-high 109 °F (43 °C)
July 27 – Federal Writers' Project is established in the United States.
August 5 – The Leo Burnett Advertising Agency opens in Chicago, Illinois.
August 14 – United States President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law.
August 15 – Humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post are killed when Post's plane crashes shortly after takeoff near Barrow, Alaska .
September 2 – Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 : The strongest hurricane ever to strike the United States makes landfall in the Upper Florida Keys killing 423. It is rated as a Category 5 storm with 185 mph winds.
September 8 – Carl Weiss kills Huey Long , U.S. Senator from Louisiana ("The Kingfish"), in the Louisiana Capitol Building in Baton Rouge .
September 24 – Earl Bascom and his brother Weldon Bascom produce the first night rodeo held outdoors under electric lights at Columbia, Mississippi .
September 30 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates Hoover Dam .
November 22 – The China Clipper takes off from Alameda, California in an attempt to deliver the first airmail cargo across the Pacific Ocean (the aircraft later reaches its destination, Manila , and delivers over 110,000 pieces of mail ).
November 30 – The 1935 British -made film Scrooge , the first all-talking film version of Charles Dickens classic, opens in the U.S. after its British release. Seymour Hicks plays Scrooge, a role he has played onstage hundreds of times. The film is criticized by some for not showing all of the ghosts physically, and quickly fades into obscurity. Widespread interest does not surface until the film is shown on television in the 1980s, in very shabby-looking prints. It is eventually restored on DVD .
December 9 – American newspaper editor Walter Liggett is killed in a gangland murder plot.
January 15 – The first American building to be completely covered in glass is completed in Toledo, Ohio , for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company .
February 17 The first superhero to wear a skin-tight costume and mask, The Phantom , makes his first appearance in U.S. newspapers.
March 1 – Construction of Hoover Dam is completed.
March 17– 18 – St. Patrick's Day Flood: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , suffers the worst flooding in its history.
March 26 – The longest game in the history of the National Hockey League is played. The Montreal Maroons and Detroit Red Wings were scoreless until 16 and a half minutes into the sixth overtime when Mud Bruneteau ends it at 2:25 am. It would hold the record as the longest game until May 4, 2000.
April 3 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann , convicted of kidnapping and killing Charles Lindbergh III , is executed in New Jersey .
April 5 – A tornado hits Tupelo, Mississippi , killing 216 and injuring over 700 (the 4th deadliest tornado in U.S. history).
April 6 – Two tornadoes strike Gainesville, Georgia . The smaller tornado hits north Gainsville, the stronger tornado the west side of town. 203 die and 1,600 are injured in the 5th deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
May 12 – The Santa Fe railroad in the United States inaugurates the all-Pullman Super Chief passenger train between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California .
June – A major heat wave strikes North America ; high temperature records are set and thousands die.
June – The first production model PCC trolley car, built by St. Louis Car Company, is placed in service by Pittsburgh Railways .
June 7 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee is founded in the United States.
June 19 – Max Schmeling knocks out Joe Louis in the 12th round of their heavyweight boxing match at Yankee Stadium in New York City .
July 11 – Triborough Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic.
July 13 – 14 – Peak of July 1936 heat wave: The U.S. states of Wisconsin , Michigan , and Indiana all set new state records for high temperature. At Mio in northern Michigan, it soars to 113 °F (45 °C).
August 3 – African-American athlete Jesse Owens wins the 100-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics .
August 14 – Rainey Bethea was hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky , in the last public execution in the United States
August 14 – 1936 Summer Olympics : The United States men's national basketball team wins its first ever Olympic basketball tournament in the final game over Canada, 19–8.
October 11 – Earl Bascom , rodeo cowboy and artist, designs and builds Mississippi 's first permanent rodeo arena at Columbia, Mississippi .
October 19 – H.R. Ekins, reporter for the New York World-Telegram , wins a race to travel around the world on commercial airline flights, beating out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of the New York Times . The flight takes 18 1/2 days.
October 29 – The historic Uptown Theater opens in Washington, D.C.
November 3 – U.S. presidential election, 1936 : Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected to a second term in a landslide victory over Alf Landon .
November 12 – In California , the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opens to traffic.
November 25 – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade sails from New York City on its way to the Spanish Civil War .
December 3 – Radio station WQXR is officially founded in New York City .
December 29 – The United Auto Workers begins the Flint Sit-Down Strike in Flint, Michigan .
January 11 – The first issue of LOOK Magazine goes on sale in the United States.
January 12 – Adventurer and filmmaker Martin Johnson, of Martin and Osa Johnson fame, is killed along with four others in the crash of Western Air Express Flight 7 in mountainous terrain near Saugus, California .
January 19 – Howard Hughes sets a new record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
January 20 – Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in Franklin D. Roosevelt for a second term. This is the first time Inauguration Day in the United States occurs on that date, in response to the ratification in 1933 of the 20th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Inauguration has occurred on January 20 ever since.
January 26 – Michigan celebrates its Centennial Anniversary of statehood.
January 31 – The Ohio River floods.
February 5 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States .
February 11 – A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Automobile Workers Union .
March 26 – William Henry Hastie becomes the first African-American appointed to a federal judgeship.
March – The first issue of the comic book Detective Comics is published in the United States. Twenty-seven issues later, Detective Comics introduces Batman . The comic goes on to become the longest continually published comic magazine in American history; it is still published as of 2009.
March 17 – The Atherton Report (private investigator Edwin Atherton 's report detailing vice and police corruption in San Francisco) is released.
March 18 – In the worst school disaster in American history in terms of lives lost, the New London School in New London, Texas suffers a catastrophic natural gas explosion, killing in excess of 295 students and teachers.
March 18 – Mother Frances Hospital opens in Tyler, Texas in response to the New London School explosion .
March 26 – In Crystal City, Texas , spinach growers erect a statue of the cartoon character Popeye .
April 12 – NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel : The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the National Labor Relations Act is constitutional.
April 17 – The animated short Porky's Duck Hunt , directed by Tex Avery for the Looney Tunes series, featuring the debut of Daffy Duck , is released.
May – 7 million unemployed in the USA.
May 6 – Hindenburg disaster : The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flame when mooring to a mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey .
May 27 – In California , the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County . The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushes a button in Washington, D.C. , signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge.
June 14 – Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday .
July 2 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear after taking off from New Guinea during Earhart's attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world.
July 2 – A guard first stands post at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, DC ; continuous guard has been maintained there ever since.
July 22 – New Deal : The United States Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt 's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court of the United States .
July 24 – Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called Scottsboro Boys .
September 7 – CBS broadcasts a two-and-a-half hour memorial concert nationwide on radio in memory of George Gershwin, live from the Hollywood Bowl . Many celebrities appear, including Oscar Levant , Fred Astaire , Otto Klemperer , Lily Pons , and members of the original cast of Porgy and Bess . The concert is recorded and released complete years later in what is excellent sound for its time, on CD . The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the featured orchestra.
September 26 – Street and Smith Publications launches a half-hour radio program, The Shadow , with Orson Welles in the title role.
October 1 – The Marijuana Tax Act becomes law in the United States.
October 1 – U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Hugo Black , in a nationwide radio broadcast, refutes allegations of past involvement in the Ku Klux Klan .
October 5 – Roosevelt gives his famous Quarantine Speech in Chicago .
October 15 – Ernest Hemingway 's novel To Have and Have Not is first published.
December 12 – Panay incident : Japanese bombers sink the American gunboat USS Panay .
December 12 – Mae West makes a risque guest appearance on the NBC Chase and Sanborn Hour that eventually results in her being banned from radio.
December 21 – Walt Disney 's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , the first feature-length animated cartoon with sound, opens and becomes a smash hit.
December 25 – At the age of 70, legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra on radio for the first time, beginning his successful 17-year tenure with that orchestra. This first concert consists of music by Vivaldi (at a time when he was still seldom played), Mozart , and Brahms . Millions tune in to listen, including U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt .
January 3 – The March of Dimes is established by Franklin D. Roosevelt .
January 16 – Two landmark live recordings are produced this day: the very first of Mahler's Ninth by the Vienna Philharmonic under Bruno Walter in the face of dire circumstance ; and Benny Goodman and his orchestra become the first jazz musicians to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City .
January 22 – Thornton Wilder 's play Our Town is performed for the first time anywhere in Princeton, New Jersey . It premieres in New York City on February 4.
January 27 – The Niagara Bridge at Niagara Falls, New York collapses due to an ice jam.
January 28 – The first ski tow in America begins operation in Vermont .
March 3 – The Santa Ana River in California spills over its banks during a rainy winter, killing 58 people in Orange County and causing trouble as far inland as Palm Springs . 
April 25 – Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins : The U.S. Supreme Court overturns a century of federal common law.
April 28 – The towns of Dana , Enfield , Greenwich , and Prescott in Massachusetts are disincorporated to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir .
May 17 – Information Please debuts on NBC Radio.
June 22 – Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocks out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium in New York City .
June 23 – The Civil Aeronautics Act is signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.
June 23 – Marineland opens near St. Augustine, Florida .
June 24 – A 450- metric-ton (496- short-ton ) meteorite explodes about 12 miles (19 km) above the earth near Chicora, Pennsylvania .
June 30 – Action Comics #1 is published, which is the first publication featuring the comic book character Superman .
July 3 – The last reunion of the Blue and Gray commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania .
July 5 – The Non-Intervention Committee reaches an agreement to withdraw all foreign volunteers from the Spanish Civil War . The agreement is respected by most Republican foreign volunteers, notably by those from England and the United States, but is ignored by the governments of Germany and Italy.
July 18 – Wrong Way Corrigan takes off from New York , ostensibly heading for California . He lands in Ireland instead.
August 6 – The Looney Tunes animated short Porky & Daffy is released.
August 18 – The Thousand Islands Bridge , connecting the United States with Canada , is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt .
August 31 – Winston Churchill , still believing France and Britain mean to honor their promises to defend Czechoslovakia against Nazi aggression, suggests in a personal note to Neville Chamberlain that His Majesty's Government may want to set up a broad international alliance including the United States (specifically mentioning U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as possibly receptive to the idea) and the Soviet Union .
September 4 – During the ceremony marking the unveiling of a plaque at Pointe de Grave, France celebrating Franco-American friendship, American Ambassador William Bullitt in a speech states, "France and the United States were united in war and peace", leading to much speculation in the press that if war did break out over Czechoslovakia, then the United States would join the war on the Allied side.
September 9 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt disallows the popular interpretation of Bullitt’s speech at a press conference at the White House. Roosevelt states it is “100% wrong” the U.S. would join a “stop-Hitler bloc” under any circumstances, and makes it quite clear that in the event of German aggression against Czechoslovakia, the U.S. would remain neutral.
September 12 – Hitler makes his much-anticipated closing address at Nuremberg, in which he vehemently attacks the Czech people and President Beneš. American news commentator Hans von Kaltenborn begins his famous marathon of broadcast bulletins over the CBS Radio Network with a summation of Hitler's address.
September 21 – The New England Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long Island and southern New England, killing over 300 along the Rhode Island shoreline and approximately 600 in total.
September 22 – Olsen and Johnson's musical comedy revue Hellzapoppin' begins its 3-year run on Broadway.
October 10 – The Blue Water Bridge opens, connecting Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
October 16 – Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the United States, condemns the Munich Agreement as a defeat and calls upon America and western Europe to prepare for armed resistance against Adolf Hitler.
October 24 – The minimum wage is established by law in the United States.
October 30 – Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast, causing panic in various parts of the United States.
October 31 – Great Depression: In an effort to try restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a 15-point program intended to upgrade protection for the investing public.
November 1 – Horse Racing: Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral by four lengths in their famous match race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
November 10 – On the eve of Armistice Day, Kate Smith sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" for the first time on her weekly radio show.
December – President Franklin Roosevelt agrees to lend $25 million to Chiang Kai-shek, cementing the Sino-American relationship and angering the Japanese government.
January 1 – The Hewlett-Packard Company is founded.
January 1 – Texas A&M University wins its only football national championship.
January 5 – Amelia Earhart is officially declared dead after her 1937 disappearance.
February 21 – The Golden Gate International Exposition opens in San Francisco, California .
February 27 – Sit-down strikes are outlawed by the Supreme Court of the United States .
March 3 – Students at Harvard University demonstrate the new tradition of swallowing goldfish to reporters.
March 28 – American adventurer Richard Halliburton delivers a last message from a Chinese junk, before he disappears on a voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
April 9 – African-American singer Marian Anderson performs before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. , after having been denied the use both of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution , and of a public high school by the federally controlled District of Columbia .
April 14 – John Steinbeck 's novel The Grapes of Wrath is first published.
April 30 – The 1939 New York World's Fair opens.
May 2 – Major League Baseball 's Lou Gehrig , the legendary Yankee first baseman known as "The Iron Horse", ends his 2,130 consecutive games played streak after contracting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . The record stands for 56 years before Cal Ripken , Jr. plays 2,131 consecutive games.
May 20 – Pan-American Airways begins trans-Atlantic mail service with the inaugural flight of its Yankee Clipper from Port Washington, New York .
June 4 – The St. Louis , a ship carrying a cargo of 907 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida after already having been turned away from Cuba . Forced to return to Europe , many of its passengers later die in Nazi death camps during the Holocaust .
June 12 – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is officially dedicated in Cooperstown, New York .
July 2 – The 1st World Science Fiction Convention opens in New York City.
August 2 – Albert Einstein writes to President Franklin Roosevelt about developing the atomic bomb using uranium . This leads to the creation of the Manhattan Project .
August 15 – MGM's classic musical film The Wizard of Oz , based on L. Frank Baum's famous novel , and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood .
September 5 – World War II : The United States declares its neutrality in the war.
September 21 – Radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C. records an entire broadcast day for preservation in the National Archives .
September 29 – Gerald J. Cox, speaking at an American Water Works Association meeting, becomes the first person to publicly propose the fluoridation of public water supplies in the United States.
October 11 – Manhattan Project : U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is presented a letter signed by Albert Einstein , urging the United States to rapidly develop the atomic bomb .
October 15 – The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport ) is dedicated.
October 24 – Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time anywhere in Wilmington, Delaware .
October 25 – The Time of Your Life , a drama by William Saroyan , debuts in New York City .
November 4 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939 , allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons to non-belligerent nations.
November 6 – Hedda Hopper's Hollywood debuts on radio with Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper as host (the show runs until 1951, making Hopper a powerful figure in the Hollywood elite).
November 15 – In Washington, D.C. , U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial .
December 2 – La Guardia Airport opens for business in New York City .
December 15 – The film Gone with the Wind , starring Vivien Leigh , Clark Gable , Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard , premieres at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia . It is based on Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel . It is the longest American film made up to that time (nearly four hours).
February 7 – RKO release Walt Disney 's second full-length animated film , Pinocchio .
February 20 – Tom and Jerry make their debut in Puss Gets the Boot .
February 27 – Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14 .
March – Truth or Consequences debuts on NBC Radio.
March 2 – Cartoon character Elmer Fudd makes his debut in the animated short Elmer's Candid Camera .
April 7 – Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp .
April 12 – Opening day at Jamaica Racetrack features the use of pari-mutuel betting equipment, a departure from bookmaking heretofore used exclusively throughout New York state. Other NY tracks follow suit later in 1940.
April 21 – Take It or Leave It makes it debut on CBS Radio , with Bob Hawk as host.
April 23 – A fire at the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Mississippi kills 198.
May 15 – The very first McDonald's restaurant opens in San Bernardino, California .
May 16 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt , addressing a joint session of Congress , asks for an extraordinary credit of approximately $900 million to finance construction of at least 50,000 airplanes per year.
May 29 – The Vought XF4U-1, prototype of the F4U Corsair U.S. fighter later used in WWII , makes its first flight.
June 10 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounces Italy's actions with his "Stab in the Back" speech during the graduation ceremonies of the University of Virginia .
June 14 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Naval Expansion Act into law, which aims to increase the United States Navy 's tonnage by 11%.
June 16 – The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held for the first time in Sturgis, South Dakota .
June 24 – U.S. politics: The Republican Party begins its national convention in Philadelphia and nominates Wendell Willkie as its candidate for president.
July 1 The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opens for business, built with an 8-foot girder and 190 feet above the water, as the third longest suspension bridge in the world.
July 15 – U.S. politics: The Democratic Party begins its national convention in Chicago , and nominates Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term as president.
July 27 – Bugs Bunny makes his debut in the Oscar -nominated cartoon short, A Wild Hare .
August 4 – Gen. John J. Pershing , in a nationwide radio broadcast, urges all-out aid to Britain in order to defend the Americas, while Charles Lindbergh speaks to an isolationist rally at Soldier Field in Chicago .
September – The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division (previously a National Guard Division in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma), is activated and ordered into federal service for 1 year, to engage in a training program in Ft. Sill and Louisiana, prior to serving in World War II.
September 2 – WWII: An agreement between America and Great Britain is announced to the effect that 50 U.S. destroyers needed for escort work will be transferred to Great Britain. In return, America gains 99-year leases on British bases in the North Atlantic, West Indies and Bermuda.
September 12 – The Hercules Munitions Plant in Succasunna-Kenvil, New Jersey explodes, killing 55 people.
September 16 – WWII: The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 is signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt, creating the first peacetime draft in U.S. history.
September 26 – WWII: The United States imposes a total embargo on all scrap metal shipments to Japan.
October 16 – The draft registration of approximately 16 million men begins in the United States.
October 29 – The Selective Service System lottery is held in Washington, D.C..
November 5 – U.S. presidential election, 1940: Democrat incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican challenger Wendell Willkie and becomes the United States' first and only third-term president.
November 7 – In Tacoma, Washington, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (known as Galloping Gertie) collapses in a 42-mile per hour wind storm, causing the center span of the bridge to sway. When it collapses, a 600 foot-long design of the center span falls 190 feet above the water, killing Tubby, a black male cocker spaniel dog.
November 11 – Armistice Day Blizzard: An unexpected blizzard kills 144 in U.S. Midwest.
November 13 – Walt Disney's Fantasia is released. It is the first box office failure for Disney, though it eventually recoups its cost years later, and becomes one of the most highly regarded of Disney's films.
November 16 – An unexploded pipe bomb is found in the Consolidated Edison office building (only years later is the culprit, George Metesky, apprehended).
December 8 – The Chicago Bears, in what will become the most one-sided victory in National Football League history, defeat the Washington Redskins 73–0 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.
December 17 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, first sets forth the outline of his plan to send aid to Great Britain that will become known as Lend-Lease.
December 29 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a fireside chat to the nation, declares that the United States must become "the great arsenal of democracy."
December 30 – California's first modern freeway, the future State Route 110, opens to traffic in Pasadena, California, as the Arroyo Seco Parkway (now the Pasadena Freeway).
January 4 – The short subject Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released, marking the second appearance of Bugs Bunny , and also the first to have his name on a title card.
January 6 – The keel of the USS Missouri (BB-63) is laid at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn .
January 10 – Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress .
January 13 – All persons born in Puerto Rico since this day are declared U.S. citizens by birth, through U.S. federal law 8 U.S.C. § 1402 .
January 20 – Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his third term.
January 23 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler .
January 27 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor : U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew passes on to Washington a rumor overheard at a diplomatic reception about a planned surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor, Hawaii .
February 4 – World War II: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
February 8 – World War II – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease Act (260–165).
February 9 – Winston Churchill , in a worldwide broadcast, asks the United States to show its support by sending arms to the British: "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job."
February 14 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura begins his duties as Japanese ambassador to the United States.
March – Captain America Comics #1 issues the first Captain America & Bucky comic.
March 1 – W47NV begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee , becoming the first FM radio station.
March 1 – Arthur L. Bristol becomes Rear Admiral for the U.S. Navy 's Support Force, Atlantic Fleet .
March 8 – World War II: The U.S. Senate passes the Lend-Lease Act (60–31).
March 11 – World War II: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
March 16 – A fleet of U.S. warships arrive in Auckland , New Zealand on a goodwill visit. On March 20, they visit Sydney , Australia .
March 17 – In Washington, D.C. , the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt .
March 22 – Washington 's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity .
March 27 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor .
March 30 – All German, Italian, and Danish ships anchored in United States waters are taken into "protective custody".
April 9 – The U.S. acquires full military defense rights in Greenland .
April 10 – World War II: The U.S. destroyer Niblack , while picking up survivors from a sunken Dutch freighter, drops depth charges on a German U-Boat (the first "shot in anger" fired by America against Germany).
April 15 – World War II: The U.S. begins shipping Lend-Lease aid to China . Axis forces reach Halfaya Pass on the Libyan-Egyptian frontier.
April 23 – The America First Committee holds its first mass rally in New York City , with Charles Lindbergh as keynote speaker.
April 25 – Franklin D. Roosevelt , at his regular press conference, criticizes Charles Lindbergh by comparing him to the Copperheads of the Civil War period. In response, Lindbergh resigns his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve on April 28.
May 1 – Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane premieres in New York City.
May 1 – The first Defense Bonds and Defense Savings Stamps go on sale in the United States, to help fund the greatly increased production of military equipment.
May 6 – At California's March Field, entertainer Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
May 15 – Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak begins as the New York Yankee center fielder goes one for 4 against Chicago White Sox Pitcher Eddie Smith.
May 21 – World War II: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
May 27 – World War II: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
June 14 – All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen.
June 16 – All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
June 20 – Walt Disney's live-action animated feature, The Reluctant Dragon , is released.
July 7 – World War II: American forces take over the defense of Iceland from the British.
July 26 – World War II: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
July 26 – World War II: General Douglas MacArthur is named commander of all U.S. forces in the Philippines; the Philippines Army is ordered nationalized by President Roosevelt.
July 30 – World War II: The U.S. gunboat Tutuila is attacked by Japanese aircraft while anchored in the Yangtze River at Chungking. Japan apologizes for the incident the following day.
August 6 – Six-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma. She dies in 1978, still in a coma.
August 9 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Atlantic Charter is created as a result.
August 12 – By one vote (203–202), the U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation extending the draft period for selectees and the National Guard from 1 year to 30 months.
August 31 – The Great Gildersleeve debuts on NBC Radio.
September 4 – World War II: The USS Greer becomes the first United States ship fired upon by a German submarine in the war, even though the United States is a neutral power. Tension heightens between the 2 nations as a result.
September 11 – World War II: Charles Lindbergh, at an America First Committee rally in Des Moines, Iowa, accuses "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration" of leading the United States toward war. Widespread condemnation of Lindbergh follows.
September 27 – The first Liberty Ship, the SS Patrick Henry , is launched at Baltimore, Maryland.
September 29 – World War II: The Moscow Conference begins; U.S. representative Averill Harriman and British representative Lord Beaverbrook meet with Soviet foreign minister Molotov to arrange urgent assistance for Russia.
September – First production P38E Lightning fighter produced by Lockheed.
October 17 – World War II: The destroyer USS Kearny is torpedoed and damaged near Iceland, killing 11 sailors (the first American military casualties of the war).
October 23 – Walt Disney's animated film Dumbo is released.
October 30 – World War II: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
October 31 – After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
October 31 – World War II: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors.
November 10 – In a speech at the Mansion House in London, Winston Churchill promises, "should the United States become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration will follow within the hour."
November 14 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Japanese diplomat Saburo Kurusu arrives in the United States to assist Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura in peace negotiations.
November 17 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables to Washington a warning that Japan may strike suddenly and unexpectedly at any time.
November 24 – World War II: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French.
November 26 – U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States (this partly reverses a 1939 action by Roosevelt that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November).
November 26 – The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States.
November 27 – A group of young men stop traffic on U.S. Highway 99 south of Yreka, California, handing out fliers proclaiming the establishment of the State of Jefferson.
November 27 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: All U.S. military forces in Asia and the Pacific are placed on war alert.
December 1 – World War II: Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signs Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol under the authority of the United States Army Air Force.
December 4 – The State of Jefferson is declared in Yreka, California, with judge John Childs as a governor.
December 6 – World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a personal peace appeal to Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
December 7, (December 8, Japan standard time) – The Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II. Tobruk's garrison is relieved.
December 8 – World War II: The United States officially declares war on Japan.
December 11 – World War II: American forces repel a Japanese landing attempt at Wake Island.
December 11 – World War II: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The U.S. responds in kind.
December 12 – World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States.
December 12 – World War II: The United States seizes the French ship SS Normandie .
December 23 – World War II: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after a full night and morning of fighting.
December 26 – World War II: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
January 1 – WWII : The United States and Philippines troops fight the Battle of Bataan .
January 10 – WWII : The last German air-raid on Liverpool destroys the home of William Patrick Hitler , Adolf Hitler 's nephew. After his house is destroyed, William Hitler goes to the USA and joins the navy to fight against his uncle.
January 16 – Actress Carole Lombard and her mother are among those killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas, Nevada , while returning from a tour to promote the sale of war bonds.
January 19 – WWII : Japanese forces invade Burma . Establishment of United States VIII Bomber Command , later to become the Eighth Air Force in Savannah, Georgia .
January 25 – WWII : Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom .
January 26 – WWII : The first American forces arrive in Europe , landing in Northern Ireland .
February 2 – WWII : President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs an executive order directing the internment of Japanese Americans and the seizure of their property.
February 8 – WWII : Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.
February 8 – Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States.
February 9 – The SS Normandie Ocean Liner catches fire while being converted into the troopship USS Lafayette for World War II .
February 10 – In the early hours of the morning the SS Normandie capsizes at pier 88 in New York City .
February 19 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.
February 20 – Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's first World War II flying ace .
February 22 – WWII : President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defense of the nation collapses.
February 23 – The Japanese submarine I-17 fires 17 high-explosive shells toward an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California , causing little damage.
February 24 – The Voice of America begins broadcasting.
February 25 – Battle of Los Angeles : Over 1,400 AA shells are fired at an unidentified, slow-moving object in the skies over Los Angeles . The appearance of the object triggers an immediate wartime blackout over most of Southern California , with thousands of air raid wardens being deployed throughout the city. In total there are 6 deaths. Despite the several hour barrage no planes are downed.
February 26 – The 14th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles ; How Green Was My Valley wins Best Picture .
March – Construction begins on the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (the largest in the United States during WWII ).
March 9 – WWII : Executive order 9082 (February 28, 1942) reorganizes the United States Army into three major commands: Army Ground Forces , Army Air Forces , and Services of Supply , later redesignated Army Service Forces .
April 3 – WWII : Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula .
May 6 – WWII : On Corregidor , the last American and Filipino forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese .
May 14 – Aaron Copland 's Lincoln Portrait is performed for the first time by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra .
May 15 – WWII : In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
May 20 – The first African-American seamen are taken into the United States Navy .
June 7 – WWII: Japanese forces invade the Aleutian Islands (the first invasion of American soil in 128 years).
June 13 – The United States opens its Office of War Information, a propaganda center.
June 21 – Fort Stevens, Oregon is fired upon by a Japanese submarine.
July 4 – WWII in the European Theater of Operations: US Eighth Air Force flies its first inauspicious mission in Europe using borrowed British planes — Six aircraft went out – only three came back..
July 19 – WWII – Battle of the Atlantic: German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions, in response to an effective American convoy system.
August 7 – WWII: Battle of Guadalcanal begins – USMC initiate the first American offensive of the war with a landing on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
August 8 – WWII: In Washington, DC, six Germans would-be saboteurs are executed (two others were cooperative and received life imprisonment instead).
August 15 – WWII: The American tanker SS Ohio reaches Malta as part of the convoy of Operation Pedestal .
August 16 – The U.S. Navy blimp L-8 (Flight 101) comes ashore near San Francisco, eventually coming down in Daly City (the crew is missing).
October 11 – WWII – Battle of Cape Esperance: On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
October 23 – Award-winning composer and Hollywood songwriter Ralph Rainger ( "Thanks for the Memory" ) is among 12 people killed in the mid-air collision between an American Airlines DC-3 airliner and a U.S. Army bomber near Palm Springs, California.
October 26 – WWII – Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: 2 Japanese aircraft carriers are heavily damaged and 1 U.S. carrier is sunk.
October 28 – The Alaska Highway is completed.
November 8 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa.
November 9 – WWII: U.S serviceman Edward Leonski is hanged at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison for the "Brown-Out" murders of 3 women in May.
November 12 – WWII – Battle of Guadalcanal: A naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American forces.
November 13 – Battle of Guadalcanal: Aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese battleship Hiei.
November 15 – The Battle of Guadalcanal ends: Although the United States Navy suffers heavy losses, it retains control of Guadalcanal.
November 21 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the "highway" is not usable by general vehicles until 1943).
November 26 – The movie Casablanca premières at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.
November 28 – In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club kills 491 people.
December 1 – Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.
December 2 – Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (a coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is then sent to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt).
December 22 – In Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, an avalanche kills 26, including Vulcan Crucible Steel Co heir-apparent Samuel A. Stafford Sr., when two 100 ton boulders fall on a bus filled with wartime steel workers on their way home.
January 4 – Culbert Olson , 29th Governor of California , is succeeded by Earl Warren .
January 11 – The United States and United Kingdom give up territorial rights in China .
January 14 – The Casablanca Conference , where Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to travel by airplane while in office ( Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill to discuss World War II ).
January 15 – The world's largest office building, The Pentagon , is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia .
January 23 – Duke Ellington plays at New York City 's Carnegie Hall for the first time.
January 23 – Critic and commentator Alexander Woollcott suffers an eventually fatal heart attack during a regular broadcast of the CBS Radio roundtable program "People's Platform".
February 3 – The legendary Four Chaplains of the U.S. Army are drowned, when their ship ( USAT Dorchester ) is struck by a German torpedo .
February 7 – WWII : In the United States, it is announced that shoe rationing will go into effect in 2 days.
February 8 – WWII – Battle of Guadalcanal : United States forces defeat Japanese troops.
February 11 – General Eisenhower is selected to command the Allied armies in Europe .
February 14 – Battle of the Kasserine Pass : German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps launch an offensive against Allied defenses in Tunisia ; it is the United States ' first major battle defeat of the war.
February 20 – American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
February 27 – The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek , Montana , United States explodes, killing 74 men.
March 2 – WWII : Battle of the Bismarck Sea – United States and Australian forces sink Japanese convoy ships.
March 4 – The 15th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles .
March 8 – WWII : American forces are attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville , in a battle that will last 5 days.
March 13 – WWII : On Bougainville , Japanese troops end their assault on American forces at Hill 700.
March 26 – WWII – Battle of the Komandorski Islands: In the Aleutian Islands , the battle begins when United States Navy forces intercept Japanese troops attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska .
March 31 – Rodgers and Hammerstein 's Oklahoma! opens on Broadway , heralds a new era in "integrated" stage musicals, becomes an instantaneous stage classic, and goes on to be Broadway's longest-running musical up to that time (1948).
April 27 – The U.S. Federal Writers' Project is shuttered.
May 11 – WWII : American troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands , in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
May 12 – The begins in Washington, D.C. , with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill taking part.
May 17 – The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania 's Moore School to develop the computer ENIAC .
May 17 – The Memphis Belle becomes the first airplane in the 8th Air Force to complete a 25-mission tour of duty.
May 19 – Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress .
May 31 – The Zoot Suit Riots erupt between military personnel and Mexican American youths in East Los Angeles.
June 22 – The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division lands in North Africa, prior to training at Arzew , French Morocco.
July 6 – WWII : Americans and Japanese fight the Battle of Kula Gulf off Kolombangara .
July 10 – WWII – Allied invasion of Sicily : The allied invasion of Axis -controlled Europe begins with landings on the island of Sicily off mainland Italy , by the U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division and a number of Allied paratroopers.
July 11 – United States Army forces assault the village of Piano Lupo, just outside of Gela, Sicily.
July 24 – WWII : Operation Gomorrah begins: British and Canadian aeroplanes bomb Hamburg by night, those of the Americans by day. By the end of the operation in
November, 9,000 tons of explosives will have killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings.
August 1 – Operation Tidal Wave: 177 B-24 Liberator bombers from the U.S. Army Air Force bomb oil refineries at Ploieşti, Romania.
August 3 – WWII: John F. Kennedy's PT-109 is rammed by a destroyer.
August 4 – WWII: The USS Intrepid is launched.
August 5 – WWII: John F. Kennedy and crew are found by Solomon Islanders coastwatchers Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana with their dugout canoe.
August 6 – WWII – Battle of Vella Gulf: Americans defeat a Japanese convoy off Kolombangara, as the U.S. Army drives the Japanese out of Munda airfield on New Georgia.
August 14 – The Quadrant Conference begins in Quebec City; Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King meets with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
August 17 – WWII: The US 7th Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Sicily, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
September 5 – WWII: The 503rd Parachute Regiment under American General Douglas MacArthur lands and occupies Nadzab, just east of the port city of Lae in northeastern Papua New Guinea.
September 7 – A fire at the Gulf Hotel in Houston, Texas, kills 55 people.
September 8 – United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies.
October 1 – WWII: American forces enter liberated Naples.
October 6 – WWII: Americans and Japanese fight the naval Battle of Vella Lavella.
October 28 – The alleged date of The Philadelphia Experiment, in which the U.S. destroyer escort USS Eldridge was to be rendered invisible to human observers for a brief period.
October 30 – The Merrie Melodies animated short Falling Hare , one of the only shorts with Bugs getting out-smarted, is released in the United States.
November 1 – WWII – Operation Goodtime: United States Marines land on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2 – WWII: In the early morning hours, American and Japanese ships fight the inconclusive Battle of Empress Augusta Bay off Bougainville.
November 14 – Leonard Bernstein, substituting at the last minute for ailing principal conductor Bruno Walter, directs the New York Philharmonic in its regular Sunday afternoon broadcast concert over CBS Radio. The event receives front page coverage in the New York Times the following day.
November 16 – WWII: After flying from Britain, 160 American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway.
November 16 – WWII: A Japanese submarine sinks the surfaced U.S. submarine USS Corvina near Truk.
November 20 – WWII: Battle of Tarawa: United States Marines land on Tawara and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands and take heavy fire from Japanese shore guns.
November 22 – WWII: War in the Pacific: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and ROC leader Chiang Kai-Shek meet in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss ways to defeat Japan.
November 25 – WWII: Americans and Japanese fight the naval Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland.
November 28 – WWII – Tehran Conference: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin meet in Tehran to discuss war strategy (on November 30 they establish an agreement concerning a planned June 1944 invasion of Europe codenamed Operation Overlord).
December 3 – Edward R. Murrow delivers his classic "Orchestrated Hell" broadcast over CBS Radio, describing a Royal Air Force nighttime bombing raid on Berlin.
December 4 – The Great Depression officially ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes the Works Progress Administration.
December 24 – WWII: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
January 20 – The U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division , in Italy, attempts to cross the Rapido River .
January 22 – WWII – Operation Shingle : The Allies begin the assault on Anzio , Italy . The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division stands their ground at Anzio against violent assaults for 4 months.
January 30 – WWII : United States troops invade Majuro, Marshall Islands .
January 31 – WWII : American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese -held Marshall Islands .
February 1 – WWII : United States troops land in the Marshall Islands .
February 3 – WWII : United States troops capture the Marshall Islands .
February 14 – SHAEF headquarters is established in Britain by General Dwight D. Eisenhower .
February 17 – WWII : The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins; it ends in an American victory on February 22.
February 20 – The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
22 February – United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe organized from the Eighth Air Force's strategic planning staff; subsuming strategic planning for all US Army Air Forces in Europe and Africa.
February 29 – WWII – Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer : The Admiralty Islands are invaded by U.S. forces.
March 1 – The USS Tarawa and USS Kearsarge are laid down.
March 2 – The 16th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
March 4 – In Ossining, New York , Louis Buchalter , the leader of 1930s crime syndicate Murder, Inc. , is executed at Sing Sing , along with Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, and Louis Capone .
April 25 – WWII : The United Negro College Fund is incorporated.
April 28 – WWII : 749 American troops are killed in Exercise Tiger at Start Bay , Devon , England .
June 4 – A hunter-killer group of the United States Navy captures the German submarine U-505 , marking the first time a U.S. Navy vessel has captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century .
June 5 – US and British paratrooper divisions jump over Normandy, in preparation for D-Day. All including 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions of the United States.
June 6 – WWII – Battle of Normandy : Operation Overlord , commonly known as D-Day , commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France . The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland, in the largest amphibious military operation in history. This operation helps liberate France from Germany , and also weakens the Nazi hold on Europe .
June 15 – Battle of Saipan : The United States invades Saipan .
June 15 – American forces push back the Germans in St. Lo , capturing the city.
June 26 – WWII : American troops enter Cherbourg .
July 1 – The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference begins at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire .
July 6 – Hartford Circus Fire : More than 100 children die in one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.
July 6 – WWII : At Camp Hood , Texas, future baseball star and 1st Lt. Jackie Robinson is arrested and later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated U.S. Army bus. He is eventually acquitted.
July 17 – The S.S. E.A. Bryan , loaded with ammunition, explodes at the Port Chicago naval base; 320 are killed.
July 21 – Battle of Guam : American troops land on Guam (the battle ends August 10).
August 7 – IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).
August 9 – The United States Forest Service and the release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
August 15 – WWII: Operation Dragoon lands Allies in southern France. The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division participates in its fourth assault landing at St. Maxime, spearheading the drive for the Belfort Gap.
August 20 – WWII: American forces successfully defeat Nazi forces at Chambois, closing the Falaise Gap.
August 22 – WWII: Tsushima Maru, a Japanese unmarked passenger/cargo ship, is sunk by torpedoes launched by the submarine USS Bowfin off Akuseki-jima, killing 1,484 civilians including 767 schoolchildren.
August 31 – The Mad Gasser of Mattoon resumes his mysterious attacks in Mattoon, Illinois.
September 24 – WWII: The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division takes the strongly defended city of Epinal before crossing the Moselle River and entering the western foothills of the Vosges.
October 8 – The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio show debuts in the United States.
October 20 – United States and Filipino troops with Filipino guerillas begin the Battle of Leyte.
October 20 – The combined American and Filipino soldiers was liberated in Tacloban, Leyte was fought the Japanese Imperial forces.
October 20 – American forces land on the beaches in Dulag, Leyte, the Philippines, accompanied by Filipino troops entering the town, and fiercely opposed by the Japanese occupation forces.
October 20 – American forces land in Red Beach in Palo, Leyte as General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines with Philippine Commonwealth president Sergio Osmeña, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Generals Basilio J. Valdes and Carlos P. Romulo.
October 20 – The LNG explosion destroys a square mile (2.6 km²) of Cleveland, Ohio.
October 21 – WWII: Aachen,the first German city to fall, is captured by American troops.
October 30 – Appalachian Spring , a ballet by Martha Graham with music by Aaron Copland, debuts at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., with Graham in the lead role.
November 7 – U.S. presidential election, 1944: Franklin D. Roosevelt wins reelection over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey, becoming the only U.S. president elected to a fourth term.
November 7 – A passenger train derails in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, due to excessive speed on a declining hill; 16 are killed, 50 injured.
December 10 – Legendary Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini leads a concert performance of the first half of Beethoven's Fidelio (minus its spoken dialogue) on NBC Radio, starring Rose Bampton. He chooses this opera for its political message – a statement against tyranny and dictatorship. Conducting it in German, Toscanini intends it as a tribute to the German people who are being oppressed by Hitler. The second half is broadcast a week later. The performance is later released on LP and CD, the first of 7 operas that Toscanini conducts on radio.
December 13 – Battle of Mindoro: United States, Australian and Philippine Commonwealth troops land in Mindoro Island, the Philippines.
December 16 – General George C. Marshall becomes the first Five-Star General.
December 22 – WWII: Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the U.S. forces defending Bastogne, refuses to accept demands for surrender by sending a one-word reply, "Nuts!", to the German command.
December 26 – WWII: American troops repulse German forces at Bastogne.
December 26 – The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams premieres.
December 30 – Edward Stettinius Jr. becomes the last United States Secretary of State of the Roosevelt administration, filling the seat left by Cordell Hull.
January – American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Belgium .
January 22 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to an unprecedented 4th term as President of the United States . No president before, or since, has ever reached a third term in office.
January 30 – Raid at Cabanatuan : 121 American soldiers and 800 Filipino guerrillas free 813 American POWs from the Japanese-held camp at Cabanatuan City , Philippines .
January 31 – Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad for desertion , the first American soldier since the American Civil War , and last to date to be executed for this offense.
February 2 – WW II : President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference .
February 3 – United States forces capture Manila , Philippines from the Japanese Imperial Army .
February 4 – WW II : President Franklin D. Roosevelt , Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin begin the Yalta Conference (ends February 11).
February 7 – WW II : General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila .
February 16 – Combined American and Filipino forces recapture the Bataan Peninsula.
February 16 – American and Filipino ground forces land on Corregidor Island in the Philippines .
February 19 – WW II – Battle of Iwo Jima : About 30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima .
February 23 – The American and Filipino troops enter Intramuros , Manila .
February 23 – The capital of the Philippines , Manila, is liberated by combined American and Filipino ground troops.
February 23 – Battle of Iwo Jima : A group of United States Marines reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag . The photo, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (taken by Joe Rosenthal ), later wins a Pulitzer Prize .
March 1 – Franklin D. Roosevelt gives what will be his last address to a joint session of Congress, reporting on the Yalta Conference .
March 2 – Former U.S. Vice-President Henry Agard Wallace starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce , serving under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt .
March 3 – The United States and Filipino troops take Manila , Philippines .
March 7 – WW II : American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen , Germany and begin to cross.
March 15 – The 17th Academy Awards ceremony is held, broadcast via radio for the first time. Best Picture goes to Going My Way .
March 19 – Off the coast of Japan , bombers hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin , killing about 800 of her crewmen and crippling the ship.
March 24 – Sylvester the cat , a cartoon character, debuts in Life with Feathers
March 29 – The "Clash of Titans": George Mikan and Bob Kurland duel at Madison Square Garden . OSU defeats DePaul 52–44.
March 30 – Alger Hiss congratulated in Moscow for his part in bringing about the Western betrayal at the Yalta Conference .
April 1 – WW II – Battle of Okinawa : United States troops land on Okinawa .
April 4 – WW II : American troops liberate their first Nazi concentration camp, Ohrdruf death camp in Germany .
April 7 – The only flight of the German ramming unit known as the Sonderkommando Elbe takes place, resulting in the loss of some 24 B-17s and B-24s of the United States Eighth Air Force .
April 12 – United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933–1945) dies suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia ; Vice President Harry S. Truman (1945–1953) becomes the 33rd President.
April 18 – the American war correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese machine gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off Okinawa .
April 19 – Rodgers and Hammerstein 's Carousel , a musical play based on Ferenc Molnar 's Liliom , opens on Broadway and becomes their second long-running stage classic.
April 25 – WW II – Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops link up at the Elbe River, cutting Germany in two.
April 25 – Founding negotiations for the United Nations begin in San Francisco.
April 27 – U.S. Ordinance troops find the coffins of Frederick Wilhelm I, Frederick the Great, Paul Von Hindenburg, and his wife.
May 3 – Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and 120 members of his team surrender to U.S. forces (later going on to help to start the U.S. space program).
May 5 – A Japanese balloon bomb kills five children and a grown woman, Elsie Mitchell, near Bly, Oregon, when it explodes as they drag it from the woods. They are the only people killed by an enemy attack on the American mainland during World War II.
May 5 – The US 11th Armored Division liberates the prisoners of Mauthausen concentration camp, including Simon Wiesenthal.
May 5 – Ezra Pound, the poet and author, is arrested by American soldiers in Italy for treason.
May 9 – Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army; Norway arrests the traitor Vidkun Quisling.
July 8 – WW II: Harry S. Truman is informed that Japan will talk peace if it can retain the reign of the Emperor.
July 16 – The first atomic bomb detonated.
July 21 – WW II: President Harry S. Truman approves the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan.
July 28 – An U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people, including all on board.
July 30 – WW II: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis is hit and sunk by torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58 in the Philippine Sea. Some 900 survivors jump into the sea and are adrift for up to four days. Nearly 600 die before help arrives. Captain Charles B. McVay III of the cruiser is later court-martialed and convicted.
August 6 – WW II: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima: The United States drops an atomic bomb (nicknamed "Little Boy") on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. (local time).
August 7 – President Harry Truman announces the successful bombing of Hiroshima with the atomic bomb, while returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
August 8 – The United Nations Charter is ratified by the United States Senate, and this nation becomes the third one to join the new international organization.
August 9 – The United States drops an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, at 11:02 a.m. (local time).
August 15 – Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender on the radio. The United States calls this day V-J Day (Victory in Japan). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupied Japan.
September 2 – World War II ends: The final official surrender of Japan is accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the United States, and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, and others from a Japanerse delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, on board the American battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay (but in Japan August 14 is recognized as the day the Pacific War ended).
September 2 – Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American forces at Kiangan, Ifugao.
September 5 – The Russian code clerk Igor Gouzenko comes forward with numerous documents implicating the Soviet Union in numerous spy rings in North America: both in the United States and in Canada.
September 5 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose," is arrested in Yokohama.
September 8 – American troops occupy southern Korea, while the Soviet Union occupies the north, with the dividing line being the 38th parallel of latitude. This arrangement proves to be the indirect beginning of a divided Korea.
September 9 – The first actual case of (a computer) bug being found, is a moth lodged in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia.
October 3–10 – The Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, who haven't made it to the World Series since.
October 5 – A strike by the Set Decorator's Union in Hollywood results in a riot.
October 23 – Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Montreal Royals.
October 29 – At Gimbel's Department Store in New York City, the first ballpoint pens go on sale at $12.50 each.
November 15 – Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Mackenzie King call for a U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
November 16 – Cold War: The United States controversially imports 88 German scientists to help in the production of rocket technology.
December 4 – By a vote of 65–7, the United States Senate approves the entry of the United States into the United Nations.
December 21 – General George S. Patton dies from injuries sustained in a car accident on December 9.
January 6 – A revised and streamlined revival of Kern and Hammerstein 's Show Boat opens on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre .
January 25 – The United Mine Workers rejoins the American Federation of Labor .
January 29 – The Central Intelligence Group is established (the CIA in 1947).
February 14 – ENIAC (for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer"), the first general-purpose electronic computer , is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania .
February 28 – In Philadelphia , General Electric strikers and police clash.
March 5 – In his speech at Westminster College , in Fulton, Missouri , Winston Churchill talks about the Iron Curtain .
March 6 – Vietnam War : Ho Chi Minh signs an agreement with France which recognizes Vietnam as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.
March 7 – The 18th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 1 – A 14-meter high tsunami strikes Hilo and Laupāhoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaii ; 173 are killed, thousands injured.
April 18 – The United States recognizes Josip Broz Tito 's government in Yugoslavia .
April 23 – The Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League (Which is now the CBA ) is founded.
June 6 – The Basketball Association of America is formed in New York City .
June 17 – A tornado on the Detroit River kills 17.
June 17 – Laurence Olivier 's Henry V opens in the United States nearly 2 years after its release in England. It is the first Shakespeare film in color, and critics hail it as the finest film of a Shakespeare play ever made.
July 7 – Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini becomes the first American saint to be canonized.
July 25 – Nuclear testing : In the first underwater test of the atomic bomb , the surplus USS Saratoga is sunk near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean , when the United States detonates the Baker device during Operation Crossroads .
July 25 – At Club 500 in Atlantic City , New Jersey , Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis stage their first show as a comedy team.
July 25 – In the last mass lynching in the United States, a mob of white men shoot and kill two African-American couples near Moore's Ford Bridge in Georgia .
October 16 – The United Nations ' first meeting in Long Island is held.
November 1 – The New York Knicks play against the Toronto Huskies at the Maple Leaf Gardens, in the first Basketball Association of America game. The Knicks win 68–66.
November 6 – Senate and House elections in the United States both give majorities to the Republicans .
November 12 – In Chicago , a branch of the Exchange National Bank (now part of the LaSalle Bank ) opens the first 10 drive-up teller windows .
November 27 – Cold War : Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appeals to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament , stating that such an action would "save humanity from the ultimate disaster."
December 2 The International Whaling Commission was signed in Washington to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry".
December 7 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta , United States kills 119.
December 20 – Frank Capra 's It's a Wonderful Life , featuring James Stewart , Donna Reed , Lionel Barrymore , Henry Travers , and Thomas Mitchell , is released in New York.
December 22 – The Havana Conference begins between U.S. organized crime bosses in Havana , Cuba .
December 26 – The Flamingo Hotel opens on the Las Vegas Strip .
January 3 – Proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time.
January 15 – Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress nicknamed the " Black Dahlia ", is found brutally murdered in a vacant lot in Los Angeles . The case remains unsolved to this day.
February 3 – Percival Prattis becomes the first African-American news correspondent allowed in the United States House of Representatives and Senate press galleries.
February 17 – Cold War : The Voice of America begins to transmit radio broadcasts into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union .
February 20 – An explosion at the O'Connor Electro-Plating Company in Los Angeles, California , leaves 17 dead, 100 buildings damaged, and a 22-foot deep crater in the ground .
February 21 – In New York City , Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", his Polaroid Land Camera , to a meeting of the Optical Society of America .
February 28 – The United States grants France a military base in Casablanca .
March 6 – The USS Newport News , the first completely air-conditioned warship, is launched in Newport News, Virginia .
March 19 – The 19th Academy Awards ceremony is held. The movie Best Years of Our Lives wins the Academy Award for Best Picture , along with several other Academy Awards.
March 25 – A coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois , kills 111 miners.
April 1 – Jackie Robinson , the first African American baseball professional, signs a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers .
April 9 – Multiple tornadoes strike Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas killing 181 people and injuring 970.
April 15 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first Negro to play Major League Baseball.
April 16 – Texas City Disaster : An Ammonium nitrate cargo of the SS Grandcamp explodes in Texas City, Texas , kiling 552, injuring 3,000, causing 200 lost, and destroying 20 city blocks.
May 22 – Cold War : In an effort to fight the spread of Communism , President Harry S. Truman signs an Act of Congress that implements the Truman Doctrine . This Act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece .
May 22 – David Lean 's film Great Expectations , based on the novel by Charles Dickens , opens in the United States. Critics call it the finest film ever made from a Charles Dickens novel.
June 5 – Secretary of State George Marshall outlines the Marshall Plan for American reconstruction and relief aid to Europe.
June 21 – Seaman Harold Dahl claims to have seen six UFOs near Maury Island in Puget Sound , Washington . On the next morning, Dahl reports the first modern so-called " Men in Black " encounter.
June 23 – The United States Senate follows the House of Representatives in overriding President Harry S. Truman 's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act .
June 24 – Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely-reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.
July 7 – A supposedly downed extraterrestrial spacecraft is reportely found in the Roswell UFO incident, near Roswell, New Mexico, which was written about by Stanton T. Friedman.
July 18 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act into law, which places the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate next in the line of succession after the United States Vice President.
July 26 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into law, creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
September 17–21 – The 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane in southeastern Florida, and also in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, causes widespread damage and kills 51 people.
September 18 – The United States Army Air Forces, along with some components of the United States Navy's air component, becomes the United States Air Force.
September 18 – The National Security Act creates the Central Intelligence Agency (the C.I.A.)
October 14 – The United States Air Force test pilot, Captain Chuck Yeager, flies a Bell X-1 rocket plane faster than the speed of sound, the first time that this has been accomplished in level flight, or climbing.
October 20 – A civil-war begins in Kashmir, along the border between India and Pakistan, leading to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 in the following year. Also, Pakistan established diplomatic relations with the United States of America.
November 2 – In California, the designer and airplane pilot Howard Hughes performs the maiden flight of the Spruce Goose , the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built. (The flight lasts only eight minutes, and the "Spruce Goose" is never flown again.)
November 6 – The program Meet the Press makes its television debut on the NBC-TV network in the United States.
November 24 – Red Scare: The U.S. House of Representatives votes 346–17 to approve citations of Contempt of Congress against the so-called Hollywood 10, after the ten men refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of communist influences in the movie business. (The ten men are blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios on the following day).
December 3 – The Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire opens in a Broadway theater.
December 6 – Arturo Toscanini conducts a concert performance of the first half of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello , which was based on William Shakespeare's playm Othello , for a broadcast on NBC Radio. The second half of the opera is broadcast a week later.
December 22 – The first practical electronic transistor is demonstrated by Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley of the United States.
January 1 – The latest New Jersey State Constitution goes into effect.
January 29 – Plane crash at Los Gatos Creek, California kills 4 US citizens and 28 deportees, commemorated in a song by Woody Guthrie .
February 1 – The Soviet Union begins to jam Voice of America broadcasts.
March 8 – McCollum v. Board of Education : The United States Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violates the U.S. Constitution .
March 17 – The Hells Angels motorcycle gang is founded in California .
March 20 – Renowned Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini makes his television debut, conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in an all- Wagner program.
April 3 – President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan , which authorizes $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
April 3 – Ludwig van Beethoven 's Ninth Symphony is played on television in its entirety for the first time, in a concert featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The chorus is conducted by Robert Shaw .
May 26 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 557 , which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the United States Air Force .
May 30 – A dike along the Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport , Oregon within minutes: 15 people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
June 3 – The Palomar Observatory telescope is finished in California .
June 11 – The first monkey astronaut, Albert I, is launched into space from White Sands, New Mexico.
June 17 – A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Air Lines Flight 624 crashes near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania , killing all 43 people on board.
June 20 – The U.S. Congress recesses for the remainder of 1948, after an overtime session closes at 7:00 a.m. D.C. time (to be shortly interrupted by Truman's recall from Congressional recess for July 20, 1948).
June 28 – David Lean 's Oliver Twist , based on Charles Dickens 's famous novel, premieres in the UK. It is banned for 3 years in the U.S. because of alleged anti-Semitism in depicting master criminal Fagin , played by Alec Guinness .
July 20 – Cold War : President Harry S. Truman issues the second peacetime military draft in the United States, amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union (the first peacetime draft occurred in 1940 under President Roosevelt).
July 26 – U.S. President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 , ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces .
July 31 – At Idlewild Field in New York , New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport ) is dedicated.
August 1 – The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations is founded.
August 25 – The House Un-American Activities Committee holds its first-ever televised congressional hearing, featuring "Confrontation Day" between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss .
September 29 – Laurence Olivier 's Hamlet opens in the United States.
October 11 – The Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Braves to win the World Series , 4 games to 2.
October 16 – The 57th Street Art Fair , the oldest juried art fair in the American Midwest, is founded.
October 26 – Killer smog settles into Donora, Pennsylvania .
November 2 – United States presidential election, 1948 : Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeats Republican Thomas E. Dewey and 'Dixiecrat' Strom Thurmond .
January 2 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico .
January 4 – RMS Caronia of the Cunard Line departs Southampton for New York on her maiden voyage.
January 4–February 22 – Series of winter storms in Nebraska , Wyoming , South Dakota , Utah , Colorado and Nevada – winds of up to 72 mph – tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perish.
January 5 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman unveils his Fair Deal program.
January 11 – Los Angeles, California receives its first recorded snowfall .
January 17 – The first Volkswagen Beetle to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, is brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. Unable to interest dealers or importers in the Volkswagen, Pon sells the sample car to pay his travel expenses. Only two 1949 models will be sold in America that year, convincing Volkswagen chairman Heinrich Nordhoff that the car has no future in the U.S. (The VW Beetle goes on to become the greatest automobile phenomenon in American history.)
January 19 – The Poe Toaster first appears at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe .
January 20 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman begins his full term.
January 25 – The first Emmy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
February 19 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University .
February 22 – Grady the Cow , a 1,200-pound cow, gets stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and garners national media attention.
March 2 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas , after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight (it was refueled in flight 4 times).
March 17 – The Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas , owned by oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy , has its grand opening.
March 20 – The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy , Denver & Rio Grande Western and Western Pacific railroads inaugurate the California Zephyr passenger train between Chicago and Oakland, California , as the first long distance train to feature Vista Dome cars as regular equipment.
March 26 – The first half of Giuseppe Verdi 's opera Aida , conducted by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini , and performed in concert (i.e. no scenery or costumes), is telecast by NBC , live from at Rockefeller Center . The second half is telecast a week later. This is the only complete opera that Toscanini ever conducts on television .
March 28 – United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal resigns suddenly.
March 29 – The 21st Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 4 – The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. , creating the NATO defense alliance.
April 7 – Rodgers and Hammerstein 's South Pacific , starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza , opens on Broadway and goes on to become R&H's second longest-running musical . It becomes an instant classic of the musical theatre . The score's biggest hit is the song Some Enchanted Evening .
June 8 – Red Scare : Such celebrities as Helen Keller , Dorothy Parker , Danny Kaye , Fredric March , John Garfield , Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson are named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.
June 19 – Glenn Dunnaway wins the inaugural NASCAR race at Charlotte Speedway , a 3/4 mile oval in Charlotte , North Carolina , but is disqualified due to illegal springs. Jim Roper is declared the official winner.
June 24 – The first television western , Hopalong Cassidy , airs on NBC .
June 29 – The last U.S. troops withdraw from South Korea .
August 28 – The last 6 surviving veterans of the American Civil War meet in Indianapolis .
September 5 – Howard Unruh , a World War II veteran, kills 13 neighbors in Camden, New Jersey with a souvenir Luger to become America's first single-episode mass murderer.
September 29 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino is found guilty of broadcasting for Japan as " Tokyo Rose " during World War II .
October 27 – An airliner flying from Paris to New York crashes in the Azores island of São Miguel . Among the victims are violinist Ginette Neveu and boxer Marcel Cerdan .
November 24 – The ski resort in Squaw Valley , California officially opens.
January 5 – U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver introduces a resolution calling for an investigation of organized crime in the U.S.
January 12 – Cold War : U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivers his 'Perimeter Speech', outlining the boundary of U.S. security guarantees.
January 17 – Great Brinks Robbery : 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car in Boston, Massachusetts .
January 21 – Accused communist spy Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury .
January 24 – Cold War : Klaus Fuchs , German émigré and physicist, walks into London 's War Office and confesses to being a Soviet spy: for 7 years, he passed top secret data on U.S. and British nuclear weapons research to the Soviet Union ;  formally charged February 2.
January 31 – President Harry S. Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb , in response to the detonation of the Soviet Union 's first atomic bomb in 1949. 
February 4 – Ingrid Bergman 's illegitimate child arouses ire in the U.S.
February 9 – Second Red Scare : In his speech to the Republican Women's Club at the McClure Hote in Wheeling, West Virginia , Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State of being filled with 205 Communists .
February 12 – Albert Einstein warns that nuclear war could lead to mutual destruction.
February 13 – The U.S. Army begins to deploy anti-aircraft cannons to protect nuclear stations and military targets.
February 13 – The U.S. Air Force loses a Convair B-36 bomber that carried an Mk-4 atomic bomb off the west coast of Canada, and produces the world's first Broken Arrow .
February 15 – Walt Disney releases his 12th animated film, Cinderella in Hollywood.
March 1 – Klaus Fuchs is convicted in London of spying against both Britain and the United States for the Soviet Union, by giving to the latter top secret atomic bomb data.
March 17 – University of California, Berkeley researchers announce the creation of element 98, which they have named " californium ".
March 23 – The 22nd Academy Awards ceremony is held.
May 9 – L. Ron Hubbard publishes Dianetics : The Modern Science of Mental Health .
May 11 – The Kefauver Committee hearings into U.S. organized crime begin.
May 14 – The Huntsville Times runs the headline, " Dr. von Braun Says Rocket Flights Possible to Moon".
May 25 – The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is formally opened to traffic.
June 1 – Mauna Loa in Hawaii starts erupting.
June 25 – Korean War : North Korean troops cross the 38th parallel into South Korea.
June 27 – Korean War : U.S. President Harry S. Truman orders American military forces to aid in the defense of South Korea .
June 28 – Korean War : North Korean forces capture Seoul .
June 29 – United States defeats England 1–0 in the 1950 FIFA World Cup .
August 5 – A bomb-laden B-29 Superfortress crashes into a residential area in California; 17 are killed, 68 injured.
August 8 – Winston Churchill supports idea of a pan-European army allied with Canada and the U.S.
August 23 – Legendary singer-actor Paul Robeson, whose passport has recently been revoked because of his alleged Communist affiliations, meets with U.S. officials in an effort to get it reinstated. He is unsuccessful, and it is not reinstated until 1958.
September 4 – The comic strip Beetle Bailey is created by Mort Walker.
September 4 – Darlington Raceway is the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.
September 7 – The game show Truth or Consequences debuts on television.
September 8 – The Defense Production Act is enacted into law in the U.S., shaping American military contracting for the next 60 years.
September 9 – The U.S. state of California celebrates its centennial anniversary.
September 15 – Korean War – Battle of Inchon: Allied troops commanded by Douglas MacArthur land in Inchon, occupied by North Korea, to begin a U.N. counteroffensive.
September 30 – NSC-68 is enacted by President Truman, setting U.S. foreign policy for the next 20 years.
October 2 – The comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is first published in 7 U.S. newspapers.
October 7 – The Agate Pass Bridge opens for traffic in Washington State.
October 11 – The Federal Communications Commission issues the first license to broadcast television in color, to CBS (RCA will successfully dispute and block the license from taking effect, however).
October 15 – The second Tacoma Narrows Bridge opens.
October 30 – The Jayuya Uprising is started by Puerto Rican Nationalists against the United States.
November 1 – Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who is staying at the Blair-Lee House in Washington, D.C. during White House repairs.
November 8 – Korean War: While in an F-80, United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown intercepts 2 North Korean MiG-15s near the Yalu River and shoots them down in the first jet-to-jet dogfight in history.
November 10 – A U.S. Air Force B-50 Superfortress bomber, experiencing an in-flight emergency, jettisons and detonates a Mark 4 nuclear bomb over Quebec, Canada (the device lacked its plutonium core).
November 11 – The Mattachine Society is founded in Los Angeles as the first gay-liberation organization.
November 22 – Shirley Temple announces her retirement from show business.
November 25 – A phenomenal winter storm ravages the northeastern United States, brings 30 to 50 inches of snow, temperatures below zero, and kills 323 people.
November 26 – Korean War: Troops from the People's Republic of China move into North Korea and launch a massive counterattack against South Korean and American forces at Chosin, dashing any hopes for a quick end to the conflict.
November 29 – Korean War: North Korean and Chinese troops force a retreat of United Nations forces from North Korea.
November 29 – The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA is founded.
November 30 – Douglas MacArthur threatens to use nuclear weapons in Korea.
December 12 – Paula Ackerman becomes the first woman in the United States to serve a congregation as a Rabbi.
December 16 – The Office of Defense Mobilization is established in the United States.
January 9 – The new United Nations headquarters officially opens in New York City .
January 17 – Korean War : Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul .
January 27 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with a 1- kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat , northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada .
February 4– 8 – Surgeons remove an ovarian cyst from Gertrude Levandowski in a 96-hour long operation in Chicago . She loses almost half of her weight and emerges weighing 140 kg.
February 6 – A Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derails near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey , killing 85 people and injuring over 500, in one of the worst rail disasters in American history.
February 27 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution , limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
March 7 – Korean War – Operation Ripper : In Korea , United Nations troops led by General Matthew Ridgeway begin an assault against the Chinese "volunteers".
March 12 – Hank Ketcham's best-selling comic strip Dennis the Menace , appeared in newspapers across the U.S. for the first time.
March 14 – Korean War : For the second time, United Nations troops recapture Seoul.
March 29 – Second Red Scare : Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage . On April 5 they are sentenced to receive the death penalty .
March 29 – Rodgers and Hammerstein 's The King and I opens on Broadway and runs for 3 years. It's the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical specifically written for an actress ( Gertrude Lawrence ). Lawrence is stricken with cancer during the run of the show and dies halfway through its run a year later. The show makes a star of Yul Brynner .
March 29 – The 23rd Academy Awards ceremony is held; All About Eve wins Best Picture and four others.
March 31 – Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau .
April 11 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of his Far Eastern commands.
May 3 – The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations begins its closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
May 9 – Operation Greenhouse : The first thermonuclear weapon is tested on Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands , by the United States.
May 21 – The Ninth Street Show , otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition , a gathering of a number of notable artists, marks the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde , collectively known as the New York School .
May 25 – The first atomic bomb "boosted" by the inclusion of thermonuclear materials, is tested in the " Item " test on Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands by the U.S.
June 14 – UNIVAC I is dedicated by the U.S. Census Bureau. 
June 15 – July 1- In New Mexico , Arizona , California , Oregon , Washington , and British Columbia , thousands of hectares of forests are destroyed in fires.
June 18 – Battle Ground, Washington is incorporated.
July 10 – Korean War: Armistice negotiations begin at Kaesong.
July 13 – The Great Flood of 1951 reaches its highest point in Northeast Kansas, culminating in the greatest flood damage to date in the Midwestern United States.
July 13 – MGM's Technicolor film version of Show Boat , starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The musical brings overnight fame to bass-baritone William Warfield (who sings Ol' Man River in the film).
July 14 – In Joplin, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument becomes the first United States National Monument to honor an African American.
July 17 – Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts is chartered.
July 26 – Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland , premieres in London, United Kingdom.
July 30 – David Lean's Oliver Twist is finally shown in the United States, after 10 minutes of supposedly anti-Semitic references and closeups of Alec Guinness as Fagin are cut. It will not be shown uncut in the U.S. until 1970.
September 1 – The United States, Australia and New Zealand all sign a mutual defense pact, called the ANZUS Treaty.
September 3 – The American soap opera Search for Tomorrow debuts on CBS. After over 30 years, the show switches to NBC on March 26, 1982. Search for Tomorrow airs its final episode on December 26, 1986.
September 8 – Treaty of San Francisco: In San Francisco, California, 48 nations sign a peace treaty with Japan to formally end the Pacific War.
September 8 – Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which allows United States Armed Forces being stationed in Japan after the occupation of Japan, is signed by Japan and the United States.
September 18 – Tennessee Williams's adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire premieres, becoming a critical and box-office smash.
September 20 – NATO accepts Greece and Turkey as members.
October 3 – "Shot Heard 'Round the World": One of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history occurs when the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th inning off of Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the National League pennant after being down 14 games.
October 4 – MGM's Technicolor musical film, An American in Paris , starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, premieres in New York. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli. It would go on to win 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
October 4 – Shoppers World (one the first shopping malls in the U.S.) opens in Framingham, Massachusetts.
October 15 – I Love Lucy made its television debut on CBS.
October 16 – Judy Garland begins her legendary concerts in New York's Palace Theatre.
October 17 – CBS' Eye logo premieres on TV.
October 20 – The Johnny Bright Incident occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
October 24 – U.S. President Harry Truman declares an official end to war with Germany.
November 1 – The first military exercises for nuclear war, with infantry troops included, are held in the Nevada desert.
November 10 – Direct dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
November 24 – The Broadway play Gigi opens, starring little known actress Audrey Hepburn as the lead character.
November 28 – Scrooge , starring Alastair Sim, premieres in the United States under the title of Charles Dickens's original novel, A Christmas Carol .
December 13 – A water storage tank collapses in Tucumcari, New Mexico, resulting in 4 deaths, and 200 buildings destroyed.
December 23 – John Huston's drama film, The African Queen , starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, premieres in Hollywood.
December 24 – Gian-Carlo Menotti's 45-minute opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors , premieres live on NBC, becoming the first opera written especially for television.
December 31 – The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $13.3 billion USD in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.
January 14 – The Today Show premieres on NBC , becoming one of the longest-running television series in America.
February 2 – A tropical storm forms just north of Cuba moving northeast. The storm makes landfall in southern Florida the next day. It is the earliest reported landfall from a tropical storm, and the earliest formation of a tropical storm on record in the Atlantic basin .
February 6 – In the United States, a mechanical heart is used for the first time in a human patient.
February 20 – Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in organized baseball , by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.
March 20 – The United States Senate ratifies a peace treaty with Japan .
March 21 – Tornadoes ravage the lower Mississippi River Valley , leaving 208 dead, through March 22.
March 22 – Wernher von Braun publishes the first in his series of articles entitled Man Will Conquer Space Soon! , including ideas for manned flights to Mars and the Moon.
March 29 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman announces that he will not seek reelection.
April 8 – Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer : The U.S. Supreme Court limits the power of the President to seize private business, after President Harry S. Truman nationalizes all steel mills in the United States, just before the 1952 steel strike begins.
April 15 – The United States B-52 Stratofortress flies for the first time.
April 23 – A nuclear test is held in the Nevada desert.
April 28 – The Treaty of San Francisco goes into effect, formally ending the occupation of Japan .
April 29 – Lever House officially opens in New York City , heralding a new age of commercial architecture in the United States.
May 3 – U.S. lieutenant colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict land a plane at the geographic North Pole .
June 5 – Remains of a Viking ship are found near Boston, Massachusetts .
June 14 – The keel is laid for the U.S. nuclear submarine USS Nautilus .
June 19 – The United States Army Special Forces is created
July 19– 26 – Washington D.C. is "buzzed" by several alleged UFOs tracked on multiple radars. Jets scramble on several occasions and the objects take evasive action, only to return after the jets leave the area. 
July 21 – A magnitude 7.5 earthquake ( Richter scale ) strikes Tehachapi, California , destroying unreinforced brick buildings.
July 25 – Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
August 29 – John Cage 's 4' 33" premieres in Woodstock, New York .
September 2 – Dr. C. Walton Lillehei and Dr. F. John Lewis perform the first open- heart surgery at the University of Minnesota .
October 12 – The Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority is founded in New York City at Panhellenic Tower .
October 14 – The United Nations begins work in the new United Nations building in New York City .
October 16 – Limelight opens in London ; writer/actor/director/producer Charlie Chaplin arrives by ocean liner; in transit his re-entry permit to the USA is revoked by J. Edgar Hoover .
November 1 – Nuclear testing : Operation Ivy : The United States successfully detonates the first hydrogen bomb , codenamed "Mike", at Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean , with a yield of 10.4 megatons .
November 4 – United States presidential election, 1952 : Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Democrat Adlai Stevenson (correctly predicted by the UNIVAC computer).
November 4 – The U.S. National Security Agency is founded.
November 20 – The first official passenger flight over the North Pole is made from Los Angeles to Copenhagen .
November 29 – Korean War : U.S. President -elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a political campaign promise, by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
December 1 – The New York Daily News carries a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen , a transsexual woman in Denmark , has become the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation.
December 14 – The first successful surgical separation of Siamese twins is conducted in Mount Sinai Hospital , Cleveland , Ohio .
December 20 – The crash of a U.S. Air Force C-124 Globemaster at Moses Lake, Washington kills 86 servicemen.
January 7 – President Harry S. Truman announces the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb .
January 14 – The CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel first meets to discuss the UFO phenomenon.
January 19 – 68% of all television sets in the United States are tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth.
January 20 – Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeds Harry S. Truman as President of the United States .
January 22 – The Crucible , a drama by Arthur Miller , opens on Broadway .
February 5 – Walt Disney's 14th animated film, Peter Pan , premieres at the Roxy Theatre, New York City .
February 11 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower refuses a clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg .
February 13 – Transsexual Christine Jorgenson returns to New York after successful sexual reassignment surgery in Denmark .
February 19 – Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
March 17 – The first nuclear test of Operation Upshot-Knothole is conducted in Nevada , with 1,620 spectators at 3.4 km (2.1 miles).
March 19 – The 25th Academy Awards ceremony is held (the first one broadcast on television).
March 31 – Due to increasingly lower ridership, Staten Island Rapid Transit closes 2 of its 3 passenger lines (South Beach & North Shore).
May 11 – The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak : A F5 tornado hits in the downtown section of Waco, Texas , killing 114.
May 25 – Nuclear testing : At the Nevada Test Site , the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test: Upshot-Knothole Grable .
June 8 – Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence : A tornado kills 115 in Flint, Michigan (the last to claim more than 100 lives).
June 9 – CIA Technical Services Staff head Sidney Gottlieb approves of the use of LSD in a MKULTRA subproject.
June 9 – Flint-Worcester Tornadoes : A tornado spawned from the same storm system as the Flint tornado hits in Worcester, Massachusetts , killing 94.
June 19 – The U.S. executes Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for spying for the USSR.
June 30 – The first Chevrolet Corvette is built at Flint, Michigan.
July 26 – The Short Creek Raid is carried out on a polygynous Mormon sect in Arizona .
July 27 – The Korean War ends: The United States, People's Republic of China , North Korea , and South Korea sign an armistice agreement.
August 5 – Operation Big Switch : Prisoners of war are repatriated after the Korean War .
August 17 – The first planning session of Narcotics Anonymous is held in Southern California (see October 5).
August 18 – The second Kinsey Report , Sexual Behavior in the Human Female , on American sexual habits is issued.
August 19 – Cold War : The CIA helps to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran , and retain Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne (see Operation Ajax ).
August 20 – The United States gives West Germany 382 ships it had captured during World War II .
October – The United States tests the hydrogen bomb .
October 5 – Earl Warren is appointed Chief Justice of the United States by U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower .
October 12 – The play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial opens at Plymouth Theatre , New York .
October 30 – Cold War : U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves the top secret document of the United States National Security Council NSC 162/2 , which states that the United States' arsenal of nuclear weapons must be maintained and expanded to counter the communist threat.
December 6 – With the NBC Symphony Orchestra , conductor Arturo Toscanini performs what he claims is his favorite Beethoven symphony, Eroica , for the last time. The live performance is broadcast nationwide on radio, and later released on records and CD.
December 8 – U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his Atoms for Peace address to the UN General Assembly in New York City .
December 25 – Amami Islands are returned to Japan after 8 years of United States Military occupation.
January 14 – Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio .
January 20 – The U.S.-based National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations .
January 20 – The coldest day ever recorded in the contiguous United States at −56.5 °C (−70 °F).
January 21 – The first nuclear-powered submarine , the USS Nautilus , is launched in Groton, Connecticut , by First Lady of the United States Mamie Eisenhower .
January 25 – The foreign ministers of the United States, Britain , France and the Soviet Union meet at the Berlin Conference .
February 10 – After authorizing $385 million over the $400 million already budgeted for military aid to Vietnam, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warns against United States intervention in Vietnam .
February 23 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States.
March 1 – U.S. officials announce that a hydrogen bomb test has been conducted on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean .
March 1 – U.S. Capitol shooting incident : Four Puerto Rican nationalists open fire in the United States House of Representatives chamber and wound 5; they are apprehended by security guards.
March 9 – American journalists Edward Murrow and Fred W. Friendly produce a 30-minute See It Now documentary, entitled A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy .
March 16 – The Army–McCarthy hearings are convened.
March 19 – Joey Giardello knocks out Willie Tory at Madison Square Garden , in the first televised boxing prize fight to be shown in color.
March 25 – The 26th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
March 28 – Puerto Rico's first television station, WKAQ-TV , goes on the air.
April 1 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado
April 7 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his " domino theory " speech during a news conference.
April 16 – Vice President Richard Nixon announces that the United States may be “putting our own boys in Indochina regardless of Allied support.”
April 22 – Senator Joseph McCarthy begins hearings investigating the United States Army for being "soft" on Communism .
May 14 – The Boeing 707 is released after about two years of development.
May 17 – Brown v. Board of Education (347 US 483 1954): The United States Supreme Court rules that segregated schools are unconstitutional.
June 9 – McCarthyism : Joseph Welch , special counsel for the United States Army , lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy , during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army, saying, 'Have you, at long last, no decency?'.
June 14 – The words "under God" are added to the United States Pledge of Allegiance .
June 17 – A CIA-engineered military coup occurs in Guatemala .
June 27 – Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán steps down in a CIA -sponsored military coup , triggering a bloody civil war that continues for more than 35 years.
July 1 – The United States officially begins using the international unit of the nautical mile, equal to 6,076.11549 ft. or 1,852 meters.
July 15 – The maiden flight of the Boeing 367-80 (or Dash 80), a prototype of the Boeing 707 series.
August 16 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated magazine is published in the United States.
September 3 – The last new episode of The Lone Ranger is aired on radio, after 2,956 episodes over a period of 21 years.
September 11 – The Miss America Pageant is broadcast on television for the first time.
September 30 – The USS Nautilus , the first nuclear-powered submarine, is commissioned by the US Navy.
October 15 – Hurricane Hazel makes U.S. landfall; it is the only recorded Category 4 hurricane to strike as far north as North Carolina.
October 18 – Texas Instruments announces the development of the first transistor radio.
November 10 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.
November 12 – The main immigration port-of-entry in New York Harbor at Ellis Island closes.
November 23 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 3.27 points, or 0.86%, closing at an all-time high of 382.74. More significantly, this is the first time the Dow has surpassed its peak level reached just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
November 30 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, a 4 kg piece of the Hodges Meteorite crashes through the roof of a house and badly bruises a napping woman, in the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person.
December 1 – The first Hyatt Hotel, The Hyatt House Los Angeles, opens. It is the first hotel in the world built outside of an airport.
December 2 – Red Scare: The United States Senate votes 67–22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
December 2 – The Taiwan-United States Mutual Defense Treaty is signed.
December 4 – The first Burger King opens in Miami, Florida, USA.
December 23 – The first successful kidney transplant is performed by Joseph E. Murray, MD in Boston from one identical twin to his brother. Murray would later share the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his "[discovery] concerning organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease".
January 7 – Marian Anderson is the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City .
January 22 – The Pentagon announces a plan to develop ICBMs ( intercontinental ballistic missiles ) armed with nuclear weapons .
January 28 – The United States Congress authorizes President Dwight D. Eisenhower to use force to protect Formosa from the People's Republic of China .
February 1 – Ray Kroc opens a McDonald's fast food restaurant (the company's 9th since it was founded in 1940), but Kroc later takes over the company and oversees its worldwide expansion.
February 10 – The Seventh Fleet of the United States Navy helps the Republic of China evacuate Chinese Nationalist army and residents from the Tachen Islands to Taiwan .
February 12 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to South Vietnam .
February 22 – In Chicago's Democratic primary, Mayor Martin H. Kennelly loses to the head of the Cook County Democratic Party, Richard J. Daley , 364,839 to 264,77.
March 5 – WBBJ signs on the air in the Jackson, Tennessee as WDXI, to expanded U.S. commercial television in rural areas.
March 7 – The 1954 Broadway musical version of Peter Pan , starring Mary Martin , is presented on television for the first time by NBC (also the first time that a stage musical is presented in its entirety on TV exactly as performed on stage). The program gains the largest viewership of a TV special up to that time, and becomes one of the first great television classics.
March 12 – Charlie Parker dies in New York at age 34.
March 19 – KXTV of Stockton, California signs on the air in the United States, being the 100th commercial television station in the country.
March 20 – Evan Hunter's adaptation of Blackboard Jungle premieres in the U.S., featuring the famous single, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets. Teenagers jump from their seats to dance to the song.
March 28 – Glenshaw Glass Decided 348 U.S. 426 (1955).
April 5 – Richard J. Daley defeats Robert Merrian to become mayor of Chicago by a vote of 708,222 to 581,555.
June 7 – The $64,000 Question premieres on CBS television, with Hal March as the host.
June 16 – Lady and the Tramp , Walt Disney 's 15th animated film, premieres in Chicago, Illinois .
July 17 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California .
July 18 – The first atomic-generated electrical power is sold commercially, powering Arco, Idaho .
July 18 – Illinois's Governor William Stratton signs the Loyalty Oath Act, that mandates all public employees take a loyalty oath or lose their jobs.
July 18 – The Geneva Summit between the US, USSR, UK, and France begins.
July 23 – The Geneva Summit between the US, USSR, UK, and France ends.
August 19 – Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage.
August 22 – Eleven schoolchildren are killed when their school bus is hit by a freight train in Spring City, Tennessee.
August 28 – Emmett Till is killed in Money, Mississippi.
September 10 – Gunsmoke debuts on the CBS television network.
September 24 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers a coronary thrombosis while on vacation in Denver.
September 30 – Actor James Dean is killed when his Porsche 550 Spyder collides with another automobile at a highway junction near Cholame, California. He's 24 years old.
October 3 – The Mickey Mouse Club airs on the ABC television network.
October 4 – The Brooklyn Dodgers finally win the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 2–0 in Game 7 of the 1955 Fall Classic.
October 11 – 70-mm film is introduced with the theatrical release of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece, Oklahoma!
October 20 – The first footage of Elvis Presley is filmed as part of a film short about Cleveland disc jockey Bill Randle.
November 1 – A time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying above Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and 5 crew members on board.
November 5 – Racial segregation is forbidden on trains and buses in U.S. interstate commerce.
November 8 – Industrialist Malcolm Forbes won re-election to the New Jersey Senate, narrowly defeating fellow industrialist Charles W. Engelhard, Jr..
November 12 – The Bugs Bunny cartoon Roman-Legion Hare debuts in the U.S.A.
November 20 – Bo Diddley makes his television debut on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town show for the CBS network.
November 27 – Fred Phelps establishes the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
December 1 – Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, and the national civil rights movement begins.
December 5 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to become the AFL-CIO.
December 5 – The Montgomery Improvement Association is formed in Montgomery, Alabama by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Black ministers to coordinate a Black boycott of city buses.
December 14 – Tappan Zee Bridge in New York opens to traffic.
December 22 – American cytogeneticist Joe Hin Tjio discovers the correct number of human chromosomes.
December 31 – General Motors becomes the first American corporation to make over USD $1 billion in a year.
December 31 – Michigan J. Frog, a Warner Bros. cartoon character, made its debut in One Froggy Evening .
January 8 – Operation Auca : Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.
February 22 – Elvis Presley enters the United States music charts for the first time, with Heartbreak Hotel .
February 23 – Norma Jean Mortenson legally changes her name to Marilyn Monroe .
March 11 – Laurence Olivier 's film, Richard III , adapted from Shakespeare 's play, premieres in the U.S. in theatres and on NBC Television, on the same day as an afternoon matinée . It is one of the first such experiments of its kind. Olivier is later nominated for an Oscar for his performance.
March 12 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 500 for the first time rising 2.40 points, or 0.48%, to 500.24.
March 12 – 96 U.S. Congressmen sign the Southern Manifesto , a protest against the 1954 Supreme Court ruling ( Brown v. Board of Education ) desegregating public education.
March 13 – Elvis Presley releases his first Gold Album titled Elvis Presley .
March 15 – The Broadway musical My Fair Lady opens in New York City .
March 21 – The 28th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 2 – The first episode of As the World Turns is broadcast on the CBS television network
April 14 – Videotape is first demonstrated at the 1956 NARTB (now NAB ) convention in Chicago by Ampex . It is the demonstration of the first practical and commercially successful videotape format known as 2" Quadruplex .
April 21 – Former U.S. First Daughter Margaret Truman marries Clifton Daniel .
June 8 – General Electric / Telechron introduces model 7H241 "The Snooz Alarm", first snooze alarm clock ever. Confirmation needed
June 14 – President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the phrase "under God" to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance .
June 14 – The Flag of the United States Army is formally dedicated. 
June 29 – Actress Marilyn Monroe marries playwright Arthur Miller .
June 29 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act , creating the Interstate Highway System
June 30 – A TWA Lockheed Constellation and United Airlines Douglas DC-7 collide in mid-air over the Grand Canyon in Arizona , killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft in the deadliest civil aviation disaster to date; the accident leads to sweeping changes in the regulation of cross-country flight and air traffic control over the United States.
July 24 – At New York City 's Copacabana Club, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis perform their last comedy show together (their act started on July 25, 1946).
July 25 – 72 kilometers (45 miles) south of Nantucket Island , the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria sinks after colliding with the Swedish ship SS Stockholm in heavy fog , killing 51.
July 30 – A Joint Resolution of Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower , authorizing " In God We Trust " as the U.S. national motto .
August 6 – After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network has its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena.
September 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
October 8 – Baseball pitcher Don Larsen of the New York Yankees throws the only perfect game in World Series history in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers . Yogi Berra caught the game. Dale Mitchell was the final out. The New York Yankees won the series. Larsen was named series MVP.
October 17 – The Game of the Century: 13-year-old Bobby Fischer beats GM Donald Byrne in the NY Rosenwald chess tournament.
October 29 – The Huntley-Brinkley Report debuts on NBC -TV.
November 3 – MGM 's screen classic, The Wizard of Oz , is shown on television for the first time by CBS , as the final installment of their Ford Star Jubilee .
November 6 – United States presidential election, 1956 : Republican incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Democrat challenger Adlai E. Stevenson in a rematch of their contest 4 years earlier.
November 13 – The United States Supreme Court declares Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott .
December 2 – A pipe bomb planted by George Metesky explodes at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn , injuring 6 people.
December 18 – To Tell the Truth debuts on CBS -TV.
December 31 – Bob Barker makes his TV debut as host of the game show Truth or Consequences .
January 2 – The San Francisco and Los Angeles stock exchanges merge to form the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange .
January 6 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the 3rd and final time. He is only shown from the waist up, even during the gospel segment, singing "Peace In The Valley". Ed Sullivan describes Elvis thus: "This is a real decent, fine boy. We've never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we've had with you. You're thoroughly all right."
January 20 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States .
January 22 – The New York City " Mad Bomber ," George P. Metesky , is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut and is charged with planting more than 30 bombs.
January 23 – Ku Klux Klan members force truck driver Willie Edwards to jump off a bridge into the Alabama River ; he drowns as a result.
January 31 – Three students on a junior high school playground in Pacoima, California are among the 8 persons killed following a mid-air collision between a Douglas DC-7 airliner and a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter jet, in the skies above the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles .
February 4 – The first nuclear-powered submarine , the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) , logs its 60,000th nautical mile , matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne 's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea .
February 17 – A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri kills 72 people.
March 7 – The United States Congress approves the Eisenhower Doctrine .
March 10 – Floodgates of The Dalles Dam are closed, inundating Celilo Falls and ancient Indian fisheries along the Columbia River in Oregon .
March 13 – The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests Jimmy Hoffa and charges him with bribery .
March 26 – 22-year-old Elvis Presley buys Graceland on 3734 Bellevue Boulevard ( Highway 51 South) for $100,000. He and his family move from the house on 1034 Audubon Drive.
March 27 – The 29th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
March 31 – Rodgers and Hammerstein 's Cinderella , the team's only musical written especially for television, is telecast live and in color by CBS, starring Julie Andrews in the title role. The production is seen by millions, but this 1957 version is not be telecast again for more than 40 years, when a kinescope of it is shown.
April 12 – Allen Ginsberg 's poem Howl , printed in England, is seized by U.S. customs officials on the grounds of obscenity .
May 2 – Vincent Gigante fails to assassinate mafioso Frank Costello in Manhattan .
May 3 – Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York , to Los Angeles, California .
June 15 – Oklahoma celebrates its semi-centennial statehood. A brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere is buried in a time capsule (to be opened 50 years later on June 15, 2007).
June 25 – The United Church of Christ is formed in Cleveland, Ohio by the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
July 9 – Elvis Presley's Loving You opens in theaters.
July 16 – United States Marine Major John Glenn flies an F8U supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record.
August 5 – American Bandstand , a local dance show produced by WFIL-TV in Philadelphia, joins the ABC Television Network.
August 21 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces a 2-year suspension of nuclear testing.
August 28 – United States Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC) sets the record for the longest filibuster with his 24-hour, 18-minute speech railing against a civil rights bill.
September 4 – American Civil Rights Movement – Little Rock Crisis: Governor Orville Faubus of Arkansas calls out the US National Guard, to prevent African-American students from enrolling in Central High School in Little Rock.
September 4 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel on what the company proclaims as "E Day".
September 9 – Catholic Memorial High School opens its doors for the first time in Boston, Massachusetts.
September 24 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends federal troops to Arkansas to provide safe passage into Central High School for the Little Rock Nine.
October 9 – Neil H. McElroy is sworn in as United States Secretary of Defense.
October 10 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologizes to the finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, after he is refused service in a Dover, Delaware restaurant.
October 11 – The orbit of the last stage of the R-7 Semyorka rocket (carrying Sputnik I) is first successfully calculated on an IBM 704 computer by teams at The M.I.T. Computation Center and Operation Moonwatch, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
October 21 – The U.S. military sustains its first combat fatality in Vietnam, Army Capt. Hank Cramer of the 1st Special Forces Group.
October 25 – Mafia boss Albert Anastasia is assassinated in a barber shop, at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City.
October 31 – Toyota begins exporting vehicles to the U.S., beginning with the Toyota Crown and the Toyota Land Cruiser
November 1 – The Mackinac Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages at the time, opens to traffic connecting Michigan's two peninsulas.
November 6 – Jailhouse Rock opens nationally and Elvis Presley continues to gain more notoriety.
November 7 – Cold War: In the United States, the Gaither Report calls for more American missiles and fallout shelters.
November 14 – Apalachin Meeting: American Mafia leaders meet in Apalachin, New York at the house of Joseph Barbara; the meeting is broken up by a curious patrolman.
November 16 – Serial killer Edward Gein murders his last victim, Bernice Worden of Plainfield, Wisconsin.
November 16 – Oklahoma celebrates its 50th anniversary of statehood. Notre Dame beats the Oklahoma Sooners 7–0 to end the Sooners record 47 straight college football winning streak.
November 25 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower has a stroke.
December 6 – Vanguard TV3, the first U.S. attempt to launch a satellite, fails with the rocket blowing up on the launch pad.
December 18 – The Bridge on the River Kwai is released in the U.S. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Additional Oscars go to Alec Guinness (Best Actor) and David Lean (Best Director), among others. This is Lean's first Oscar for directing.
December 19 – Meredith Willson's classic musical The Music Man , starring Robert Preston, debuts on Broadway.
December 20 – The Boeing 707 airliner flies for the first time.
December 22 – The CBS afternoon anthology series Seven Lively Arts presents Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker on U.S. television for the first time.
January 8 – 14-year-old Bobby Fischer wins the United States Chess Championship .
January 18 – Armed Lumbee Indians confront a handful of Klansmen in Maxton, North Carolina .
January 28 – Hall of Fame baseball player Roy Campanella is involved in an automobile accident that ends his career and leaves him paralyzed.
January 31 – The first successful American satellite , Explorer 1 , is launched into orbit.
February 5 – The Tybee Bomb , a 7,600 pound (3,500 kg) Mark 15 hydrogen bomb, is lost in the waters off Savannah, Georgia.
February 11 – Ruth Carol Taylor is the first African American woman hired as a flight attendant . Hired by Mohawk Airlines , her career lasts only six months, due to another discriminatory barrier—the airline's ban on married flight attendants.
February 20 – A test rocket explodes at Cape Canaveral .
February 28 – One of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history occurs at Prestonsburg, Kentucky; 27 are killed.
March 8 – The USS Wisconsin is decommissioned, leaving the United States Navy without an active battleship for the first time since 1896 (it is recommissioned October 22, 1988).
March 11 – A U.S. B-47 bomber accidentally drops an atom bomb on Mars Bluff , South Carolina . Its conventional explosives destroy a house and injure several people, but no nuclear fission occurs.
March 17 – The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite .
March 19 – Monarch Underwear Company fire in New York.
March 24 – The U.S. Army inducts Elvis Presley , transforming The King Of Rock & Roll into U.S. private #53310761.
March 26 – The United States Army launches Explorer 3 .
March 26 – The 30th Academy Awards ceremony took place; The Bridge on the River Kwai wins 7 Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Picture .
April – Unemployment in Detroit reaches 20%, marking the height of the Recession of 1958 in the United States.
April 15 – The San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8–0 at San Francisco 's Seals Stadium , in the first Major League Baseball regular season game ever played in California .
April 21 – A United Airlines DC-7 and U.S. Air Force F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet collide near Las Vegas, Nevada , killing all 49 aboard the two aircraft.
May 9 – Actor-singer Paul Robeson , whose passport has been reinstated, sings in a sold-out one-man recital at Carnegie Hall . The recital is such a success that Robeson gives another one at Carnegie Hall a few days later. But after these two concerts, Robeson is seldom seen in public in the United States again. His Carnegie Hall concerts are later released on records and on CD .
May 12 – A formal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement is signed between the United States and Canada .
May 13 – During a visit to Caracas , Venezuela , Vice President Richard M. Nixon 's car is attacked by anti-American demonstrators.
May 20 – A Capital Airlines airliner and Air National Guard jet collide near Brunswick, Maryland , killing 12. 
May 23 – Explorer 1 ceases transmission.
May 30 – The bodies of unidentified soldiers killed in action during World War II and the Korean War are buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery .
June 2 – In San Simeon, California, Hearst Castle opens to the public for guided tours.
July 7 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law.
July 9 – A 7.5 Richter scale earthquake in Lituya Bay, Alaska, causes a landslide that produces a huge 520-meter high wave.
July 15 – In Lebanon, 5,000 United States Marines land in the capital Beirut in order to protect the pro-Western government there.
July 29 – The U.S. Congress formally creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
August 3 – The nuclear powered submarine USS Nautilus becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole under water.
August 17 – The first Thor-Able rocket is launched, carrying Pioneer 0, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 17. The launch fails due to a first stage malfunction.
August 18 – Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.
August 23 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower of the USA signs the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, transferring all authority over aviation in the USA to the newly created Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed Federal Aviation Administration).
August 27 – Operation Argus: The United States begins nuclear tests over the South Atlantic.
October 1 – NASA starts operations and replaces the NACA.
October 11 – Pioneer 1, the second and most successful of the 3 project Able space probes, becomes the first spacecraft launched by the newly formed NASA.
November 23 – Have Gun, Will Travel debuts on American radio.
December 1 – At least 90 students and 3 nuns are killed in a fire at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago.
December 6 – The 3rd launch of a Thor-Able rocket, carrying Pioneer 2, is unsuccessful due to a 3rd stage ignition failure.
December 9 – The right-wing John Birch Society is founded in the USA by Robert Welch, a retired candy manufacturer.
December 19 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower broadcasts a message from a Project SCORE satellite.
December 25 – Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker (the George Balanchine version) is shown on prime-time television in color for the first time, as an episode of the CBS anthology series Playhouse 90 .
December 28 – The Baltimore Colts beat The New York Giants 23–17 in overtime to win The NFL Championship.
January 2 – CBS Radio cuts four soap operas: Backstage Wife , Our Gal Sunday , The Road of Life , and This is Nora Drake .
January 3 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state .
January 7 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro .
January 22 – Knox Mine Disaster : Water breaches the River Slope Mine near Pittston City , Pennsylvania in Port Griffith ; 12 miners are killed.
January 29 – Walt Disney releases his 16th animated film, Sleeping Beauty in Beverly Hills .
February 3 – A chartered plane transporting musicians Buddy Holly , Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper goes down in foggy conditions near Clear Lake, Iowa , killing all 4 occupants on board, including pilot Roger Peterson. The tragedy is later termed " The Day the Music Died ", popularized in Don McLean 's 1972 song " American Pie ".
February 6 – At Cape Canaveral , Florida , the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished.
February 17 – The United States launches the Vanguard II weather satellite .
February 22 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500 .
March 1 – The USS Tuscaloosa , USS New Orleans , USS Tennessee and USS West Virginia are struck from the Naval Vessel Register .
March 11 – A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry opens on Broadway in New York .
March 18 – American President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill allowing for Hawaiian statehood.
March 31 – Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida is dedicated and opens its gates.
April 6 – The 31st Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 9 – NASA announces its selection of the " Mercury Seven ", seven military pilots to become the first U.S. astronauts.
April 25 – The St. Lawrence Seaway linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean officially opens to shipping .
June 8 – The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempt the delivery of mail via Missile Mail .
June 9 – The USS George Washington is launched as the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles .
June 23 – Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs is released after only 9 years in a British prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden , East Germany (where he resumes a scientific career).
June 26 – Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower open the Saint Lawrence Seaway .
June 26 – Darby O'Gill and the Little People , a film based on H.T. Kavanagh's short stories, is released in the U.S. by Walt Disney , after world premiering in Ireland .
July 4 – With the admission of Alaska as the 49th U.S. state earlier in the year, the 49-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .
July 8 – Charles Ovnand and Dale R. Buis become the first Americans killed in action in Vietnam .
July 15 – A strike occurs against the U.S. steel industry.
July 24 – At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow , U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev have a " kitchen debate ."
August 7 – Explorer program : The United States launches Explorer 6 from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral , Florida .
August 7 – The Roseburg Oregon Blast kills 14 and causes $12 million worth of damage.
August 17 – The Hebgen Lake Earthquake in southwest Montana kills 28.
August 21 – Hawaii is admitted as the 50th U.S. state .
October 2 – Rod Serling 's classic anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS .
October 13 – The United States launches Explorer 7 .
October 21 – In New York City , the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright ) opens to the public.
November 15 – The Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas is brutally murdered.
November 18 – MGM 's widescreen, multimillion dollar, Technicolor version of Ben- Hur , starring Charlton Heston , is released and becomes the studio's greatest hit up to that time. It is critically acclaimed and eventually wins 11 Academy Awards – a record held until 1998, when 1997's Titanic becomes the first film to equal the record.
December 1 – Cold War – Antarctic Treaty : 12 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union , sign a landmark treaty , which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on that continent (the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War).
December 13 – Three years after its first telecast, MGM 's The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for only the second time, but it gains an even larger viewing audience than its first television outing, spurring CBS to make it an annual tradition.
January 2 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
January 19 – The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan is signed in Washington, DC .
January 23 – Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descend into the Marianas Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste , reaching the depth of 10,916 meters.
January 25 – In Washington, DC , the National Association of Broadcasters reacts to the payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records.
February 1 – In Greensboro, North Carolina , four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter . Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the Southern United States , and 6 months later the original 4 protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
February 9 – Adolph Coors III , chairman of the board of the Coors Brewing Company , is kidnapped and captors demand $500,000. Coors is later found dead and Joseph Corbett, Jr. is indicted.
February 9 – Joanne Woodward receives the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .
February 11 – The airship ZPG-3W is destroyed in a storm in Massachusetts .
February 18 – The 1960 Winter Olympics open in Squaw Valley , California .
March 3 – Elvis Presley returns home from Germany , after being away on duty for 2 years.
March 6 – Vietnam War: The United States announces that 3,500 American soldiers will be sent to Vietnam.
March 17 – Northwest Airlines Flight 710 crashes near Tell City, Indiana, killing all 63 on board.
March 22 – Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser .
April 1 – The United States launches the first weather satellite , TIROS-1 .
April 4 – The 32nd Academy Awards ceremony is held, Ben Hur wins Best Picture .
April 13 – The United States launches navigation satellite Transit I-b.
April 17 – Russwood Park , a baseball stadium in Memphis, Tennessee , burns to the ground from a fire shortly after a Chicago White Sox versus Cleveland Indians game.
May 1 – A Soviet missile shoots down an American Lockheed U2 spy plane; the pilot Francis Gary Powers is captured.
May 6 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
May 9 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle 's Enovid, making it the world's first approved oral contraceptive pill .
May 10 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton , under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. , completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth .
May 16 – Theodore Maiman operates the first laser .
May 16 – Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union , thus ending the 1960 Paris summit.
May 20 – In Japan , police carry away Socialist members of the Diet who are protesting the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan ; the Japanese House of Representatives then approves the treaty.
June 7 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy wins the California Democratic primary.
July 1 – A Soviet MiG fighter north of Murmansk in the Barents Sea shoots down a 6-man RB-47 . Two United States Air Force officers survive and are imprisoned in Moscow 's dreaded Lubyanka prison .
July 4 – Following the admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state the previous year, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .
July 11 – Harper Lee releases her critically acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird .
July 13 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy is nominated for President at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
July 21 – Francis Chichester, English navigator and yachtsman, arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II , having made a record solo Atlantic crossing in 40 days.
July 25 – The Woolworth's counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, the subject of a sit-in which sparked sit-ins and pickets across the southern United States in February 1960, serves its first black customer.
July 25–28 – In Chicago, the Republican National Convention nominates U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon for President and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for Vice President.
August 6 – Cuban Revolution: In response to a United States embargo against Cuba, Fidel Castro nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation.
August 16 – Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,333 m). He sets unbeaten (as of 2005) world records for: high-altitude jump; free-fall by falling 16 miles (25.7 km) before opening his parachute; and fastest speed by a human without motorized assistance, 982 km/h (614 mi/h).
August 17 – The trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers begins in Moscow.
August 19 – Cold War: In Moscow, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.
August 25 – The USS Seadragon surfaces at the North Pole, where the crew plays softball.
August 29 – Hurricane Donna kills 50 in Florida and New England.
September 1 – Disgruntled railroad workers effectively halt operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, marking the first shutdown in the company's history (the event lasts two days).
September 5 – 1960 Summer Olympics: Cassius Clay wins the gold medal in boxing.
September 8 – In Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (activated by NASA on July 1).
September 26 – The two leading U.S. presidential candidates, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, participate in the first televised presidential election debate.
October 14 – U.S. presidential candidate John F. Kennedy first suggests the idea for the Peace Corps.
October 26 – Robert F. Kennedy calls Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., and secures his release from jail on a traffic violation in Atlanta, Georgia.
October 29 – In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight.
November 8 – United States presidential election, 1960: In a close race, John F. Kennedy is elected over Richard M. Nixon, becoming (at 43) the youngest man elected President.
November 13 – Sammy Davis, Jr. marries Swedish actress May Britt.
November 15 – The Polaris missile is test-launched.
November 24 – Basketball player Wilt Chamberlain grabs 55 rebounds in a single game, the all-time record in the NBA.
December 2 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the use of $1 million for the relief and resettlement of Cuban refugees, who have been arriving in Florida at the rate of 1,000 a week.
December 5 – Boynton v. Virginia : The U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public transit to be illegal.
December 12 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana's segregation laws are unconstitutional.
December 13 – Navy Commander Leroy Heath (Pilot) and Lieutenant Larry Monroe (Bombardier/Navigator) establish a world altitude record of 91,450.8 feet (27,874.2 metres) in an A3J Vigilante carrying a 1,000 kilogram payload, besting the previous record by over 4 miles.
December 16 – U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announces that the United States will commit 5 atomic submarines and 80 Polaris missiles to NATO by the end of 1963.
December 16 – 1960 New York air disaster: United Airlines DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Constellation over Staten Island, New York City. All 128 passengers and crew on both planes are killed, as are 6 persons on the ground.
December 19 – Fire sweeps through the USS Constellation , the largest U.S. aircraft carrier, while it is under construction at a Brooklyn Navy Yard pier, killing 50 and injuring 150.
December 20 – Discoverer 19 is launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to measure radiation.
January 3 – President Dwight Eisenhower announces that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba .
January 3 – At the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho , atomic reactor SL-1 explodes, killing 3 military technicians.
January 5 – Italian sculptor Alfredo Fioravanti marches into the U.S. Consulate in Rome , and confesses that he was part of the team that forged the Etruscan terracotta warriors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art .
January 17 – President Dwight Eisenhower gives his final State of the Union Address to Congress. In a Farewell Address the same day, he warns of the increasing power of a " military-industrial complex ".
January 20 – John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States .
January 24 – A U.S. B-52 Stratofortress , with two nuclear bombs , crashes near Goldsboro, North Carolina .
January 24 – Musician Bob Dylan reportedly makes his way to New York City after bumming a ride in Madison, Wisconsin . Dylan is likely on his way to visit his idol Woody Guthrie . He later finds fame in the Greenwich Village protest folk music scene.
January 25 – In Washington, DC John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential news conference . In it, he announces that the Soviet Union has freed the 2 surviving crewmen of a USAF RB-47 reconnaissance plane shot down by Soviet flyers over the Barents Sea July 1, 1960 (see RB-47H shot down).
January 26 – John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician, the first woman to hold this appointment.
January 30 – President John F. Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union Address .
January 31 – Ham the Chimp , a 37-pound (17-kg) male, is rocketed into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2 , in a test of the Project Mercury capsule, designed to carry United States astronauts into space.
February 1 – The United States launches its first test of the Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile. 
February 14 – Discovery of the chemical elements : Element 103, Lawrencium , is first synthesized in Berkeley, California .
February 15 – President Kennedy warns the Soviet Union to avoid interfering with the United Nations pacification of the Congo . 
February 15 – A Sabena Boeing 707 crashes near Brussels , Belgium , killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team and several coaches.
March 1 – President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
March 8 – The first U.S. Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch.
March 13 – United States delegate to the United Nations Security Council Adlai Stevenson votes against Portuguese policies in Africa.
March 13 – President of the United States John F. Kennedy proposes a long-term "Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America.
March 29 – The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
March 30 – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.
April 17 – The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba begins; it fails by April 19.
April 17 – The 33rd Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 23 – Judy Garland performs in a legendary comeback concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
April 27 – President Kennedy a delivers revealing speech: The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association .
May 4 – U.S. Freedom Riders begin interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
May 5 – Mercury program: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3.
May 14 – American civil rights movement: A Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob.
May 21 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
May 24 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
May 25 – Apollo program: President Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
May 31 – President John F. Kennedy and Charles De Gaulle meet in Paris.
June 4 – Vienna summit: John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet during 2 days in Vienna. They discuss nuclear tests, disarmament and Germany.
July 21 – Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7 , becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).
July 31 – At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs, when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain (the only tie until 2002 in MLB All-Star Game history).
August – USA founds Alliance for Progress.
August 5 – The Six Flags over Texas theme park officially opens to the public.
October 1 – Baseball player Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run in the last game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox, beating the 34-year-old record held by Babe Ruth.
October 27 – A standoff between Soviet and American tanks in Berlin, Germany heightens Cold War tensions.
November – The Fantastic Four #1 comic debuts, launching the Marvel Universe and revolutionizing the American comic book industry.
November 2 – Kean opens at Broadway Theater in New York City for 92 performances.
November 6 – The U.S. government issues a stamp honoring the 100th birthday of James Naismith.
November 9 – Neil Armstrong records a world record speed in a rocket plane of 6,587 km/h flying a X-15.
November 17 – Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor, and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, disappears in the jungles of New Guinea.
November 18 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
November 20 – The funeral of longtime House Speaker Sam Rayburn is held in Washington, DC. Two former Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower) and one future one (Lyndon B. Johnson) join President Kennedy in paying their respects.
December 5 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives support to the Volta Dam project in Ghana.
December 11 – The Vietnam War officially begins, as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon along with 400 U.S. personnel.
January 1 – The United States Navy SEALs are activated. SEAL Team One is commissioned in the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two in the Atlantic Fleet.
January 2 – NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins praises U.S. President John F. Kennedy's "personal role" in advancing civil rights.
January 4 – New York City introduces a subway train that operates without a crew on board.
January 8 – Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..
January 30 – Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" are killed, when their famous 7-person pyramid collapses during a performance in Detroit, Michigan.
February 3 – The United States embargo against Cuba is announced.
February 6 – Negotiations between U.S. Steel and the United States Department of Commerce begin.
February 7 – The United States Government bans all U.S.-related Cuban imports and exports.
February 10 – Captured American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Berlin.
February 14 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.
February 20 – Project Mercury: While aboard Friendship 7 , John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes.
March 1 – An American Airlines Boeing 707 crashes on takeoff at New York International Airport, after its rudder separates from the tail, with the loss of all life on board.
March 2 – Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA basketball game.
March 7 – Ash Wednesday Storm: A snow storm batters the Mid-Atlantic.
March 26 – Baker v. Carr : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that federal courts can order state legislatures to reapportion seats.
April 6 – Leonard Bernstein causes controversy with his remarks before a concert featuring Glenn Gould with the New York Philharmonic.
April 9 – The 34th Academy Awards ceremony is held; West Side Story wins Best Picture.
April 10 – In Los Angeles, California, the first MLB game is played at Dodger Stadium.
April 14 – A Cuban military tribunal convicts 1,179 Bay of Pigs attackers.
April 21 – The Century 21 Exposition World's Fair opens in Seattle, Washington.
May 1 – Dayton Hudson Corporation opens the first of its Target discount stores in Roseville, Minnesota.
May 24 – Project Mercury: Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth 3 times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
June 3 – Air France charter flight Chateau de Sully , a Boeing 707, over-runs the runway at Orly Airport in Paris; 130 of 132 passengers are killed, 2 flight attendants survive. Most victims are cultural and civic leaders of Atlanta, Georgia.
June 6 – President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
June 11 – President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at Yale University.
June 25 – Engel v. Vitale : The United States Supreme Court rules that mandatory prayers in public schools are unconstitutional.
June 25 – MANual Enterprises v. Day : The United States Supreme Court rules that photographs of nude men are not obscene, decriminalizing nude male pornographic magazines.
June 28 – The United Lutheran Church in America, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, American Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church merge to form the Lutheran Church in America.
July 2 – The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
July 10 – AT&T's Telstar, the world's first commercial communications satellite, is launched into orbit, and activated the next day.
July 17 – Nuclear testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
July 22 – Mariner program: The Mariner 1 spacecraft flies erratically several minutes after launch and has to be destroyed.
August 5 – Marilyn Monroe is found dead at age 36 from "acute barbiturate poisoning".
August 15 – The New York Agreement is signed trading the West New Guinea colony to Indonesia.
August 27 – NASA launches the Mariner 2 space probe.
September 12 – President John F. Kennedy, at a speech at Rice University, reaffirms that the U.S. will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
September 29 – The Canadian Alouette 1, the first satellite built outside the United States and the Soviet Union, is launched from Vandenberg AFB in California.
September 30 – CBS broadcasts the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar , marking the end of the Golden Age of Radio.
October 1 – The first black student, James Meredith, registers at the University of Mississippi, escorted by Federal Marshals.
October 1 – Johnny Carson takes over as permanent host of NBC's Tonight Show , a post he would hold for 30 years.
October 12 – The infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with wind gusts up to 170 mph (270 km/h); 46 are killed, 11 billion board feet (26 million m³) of timber is blown down, with $230 million U.S. in damages.
October 12 – Jazz bassist/composer Charles Mingus presents a disastrous concert at Town Hall in New York City. It will gain a reputation as the worst moment of his career.
October 13 – Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opens on Broadway.
October 14 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.
October 22 – In a televised address, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
October 28 – Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba. In a secret deal between Kennedy and Khrushchev Kennedy agrees to the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey. The fact that this deal is not made public makes it look like the Soviets have backed down.
November 7 – Richard M. Nixon loses the California governor's race. In his concession speech, he states that this is his "last press conference" and that "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more".
November 17 – In Washington, D.C., U.S. President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport.
November 20 – The Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
December 2 – Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to make a non-optimistic public comment on the war's progress.
December 8 – The 1962 New York City newspaper strike begins, affecting all of the city's major newspapers; It would last for 114 days.
December 14 – U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 flies by Venus, becoming the first probe to successfully transmit data from another planet.
December 24 – Cuba releases the last 1,113 participants in the Bay of Pigs Invasion to the U.S., in exchange for food worth $53 million.
December 30 – An unexpected storm buries Maine under five feet of snow, forcing the Bangor Daily News to miss a publication date for the first and only time in history.
January 14 – George C. Wallace becomes governor of Alabama. In his inaugural speech, he defiantly proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!"
January 28 – African American student Harvey Gantt enters Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration.
February 8 – Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.
February 12 – Northwest Airlines flight 705 crashes in the Florida Everglades killing everyone aboard.
February 11 – The CIA's Domestic Operations Division is created.
February 19 – The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique launches the reawakening of the Women's Movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness-raising groups spread.
February 28 – Dorothy Schiff resigns from the New York Newspaper Publisher's Association, feeling that the city needs at least one paper. Her paper, the New York Post, resumes publication on March 4.
March 5 – In Camden, Tennessee, country music superstar Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley) is killed in a plane crash along with fellow performers Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Cline's manager and pilot Randy Hughes, while returning from a benefit performance in Kansas City, Kansas for country radio disc jockey "Cactus" Jack Call.
March 18 – Gideon v. Wainwright : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the poor must have lawyers.
March 21 – The Alcatraz Island federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay closes; the last 27 prisoners are transferred elsewhere at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
March 31 – The 1962 New York City newspaper strike ends after 114 days.
April 3 – SCLC volunteers kick off the Birmingham campaign against segregation with a sit-in.
April 8 – The 35th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 10 – The U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher sinks 220 miles east of Cape Cod; all 129 crewmen die.
April 12 – Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others are arrested in a Birmingham protest for "parading without a permit".
April 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. issues his Letter from Birmingham Jail .
May 1 – The Coca-Cola Company debuts its first diet drink, TaB cola.
May 2 – Thousands of African Americans, many of them children, are arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor later unleashes fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.
May 8 – Dr. No , the first James Bond film, is shown in U.S. theaters.
May 15 – Mercury program: NASA launches Gordon Cooper on Mercury 9 , the last mission (on June 12 NASA Administrator James E. Webb tells Congress the program is complete).
May 27 – The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's second studio album, and most influential, released by Columbia Records.
June 3 – Hue chemical attacks: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam pours chemicals on the heads of Buddhist protestors. The United States threatens to cut off aid to Ngo Dinh Diem's regime
June 4 – President John F. Kennedy signs Executive Order 11110.
June 10 – The University of Central Florida is established by the Florida legislature.
June 11 – Alabama Governor George C. Wallace stands in the door of the University of Alabama to protest against integration, before stepping aside and allowing African Americans James Hood and Vivian Malone to enroll.
June 11 – President John F. Kennedy delivered a historic Civil Rights Address, in which he promises a Civil Rights Bill, and asks for "the kind of equality of treatment that we would want for ourselves."
June 12 – Medgar Evers is murdered in Jackson, Mississippi (his killer is convicted in 1994).
June 13 – The cancellation of Mercury 10 effectively ends the Mercury program of United States manned spaceflight.
June 17 – Abington School District v. Schempp : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that state-mandated Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
July 1 – ZIP Codes are introduced in the U.S.
July 7 – Double Seven Day scuffle: Secret police loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, attack American journalists including Peter Arnett and David Halberstam at a demonstration during the Buddhist crisis.
July 26 – NASA launches Syncom, the world's first geostationary (synchronous) satellite.
August 5 – The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union sign a nuclear test ban treaty.
August 18 – American civil rights movement: James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
August 21 – Cable 243: In the wake of the Xa Loi Pagoda raids, the Kennedy administration orders the US embassy in Saigon to explore alternative leadership in South Vietnam, opening the way towards a coup against Diem.
August 28 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have A Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of at least 250,000, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
September 7 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio with 17 charter members.
September 15 – American civil rights movement: The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, in Birmingham, Alabama, kills 4 and injures 22.
September 24 – The U.S. Senate ratifies the nuclear test ban treaty.
October 1 – In the U.S., the President's Commission on the Status of Women issues its final reports to President Kennedy.
October 8 – Sam Cooke and his band were arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Louisiana. In the months following, he records "A Change Is Gonna Come".
October 31 – 74 die in a gas explosion during a Holiday on Ice show at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum in Indianapolis.
November 6 – Laura Welch (later Bush) causes a car accident that results in the death of Michael Dutton Douglas in her hometown of Midland, Texas.
November 10 – Malcolm X makes a historic speech in Detroit, Michigan: Message to the Grass Roots
November 16 – A newspaper strike begins in Toledo, Ohio.
November 22 – John F. Kennedy assassination: In Dallas, Texas, United States President John F. Kennedy is shot to death, Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded, and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the 36th President. All television coverage for the next three days is devoted to the assassination, its aftermath, the procession of the horsedrawn casket to the Capitol Rotunda, and the funeral of President Kennedy. Stores and businesses shut down for the entire weekend and Monday, in tribute.
November 23 – The Golden Age Nursing Home Fire kills 63 elderly people near Fitchville, Ohio.
November 24 – Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy, is shot dead by Jack Ruby in Dallas, Texas on live national television. Later that night, a hastily arranged program, A Tribute to John F. Kennedy from the Arts , featuring actors, opera singers, and noted writers, all performing dramatic readings and/or music, is telecast on ABC-TV.
November 24 – Vietnam War: New U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam militarily and economically.
November 25 – U.S. President Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Schools around the nation do not have class on that day, millions watch the funeral on live international television.
November 29 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
December 8 – Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.
December 8 – A lightning strike causes the crashing of Pan Am Flight 214 near Elkton, Maryland, killing 81 people.
December 10 – In the United States, the X-20 Dyna-Soar spaceplane program is cancelled. Also on this date: Chuck Yeager "while testing an NF-104A rocket-augmented aerospace trainer, he narrowly escaped death when his aircraft went out of control at 108,700 feet (nearly 21 miles up) and crashed. He parachuted to safety at 8,500 feet after vainly battling to gain control of the powerless, rapidly falling craft. In this incident he became the first pilot to make an emergency ejection in the full pressure suit needed for high altitude flights.”
December 25 – Walt Disney releases his 18th feature-length animated motion picture The Sword in the Stone , about the boyhood of King Arthur. It is the penultimate animated film personally supervised by Disney, but it has not become one of his greatest hits.
December 26 – I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There are released in the U.S., marking the beginning of full-scale Beatlemania.
January 3 – U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater announces that he will seek the Republican nomination for President.
January 7 – A British firm, the Leyland Motor Corp., announces the sale of 450 buses to the Cuban government, challenging the United States blockade of Cuba.
January 8 – In his first State of the Union Address, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declares a "War on Poverty".
January 9 – Martyr's Day : Armed clashes between United States troops and Panamanian civilians in the Panama Canal Zone precipitate a major international crisis, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and 4 U.S. soldiers.
January 10 – Introducing...the Beatles is released by Chicago's Vee-Jay Records to get the jump on Capitol Records' release of Meet the Beatles! , scheduled for January 20. The 2 record companies fight over Vee-Jay's release of this album in court.
January 11 – United States Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry reports that smoking may be hazardous to one's health (the first such statement from the U.S. government).
January 12 – The predominantly Arab government of Zanzibar is overthrown by African nationalist rebels; a U.S. destroyer evacuates 61 U.S. citizens.
January 12 – Routine U.S. naval patrols of the South China Sea begin.
January 13 – In Manchester, New Hampsire 14-year-old Pamela Mason is murdered. Edward Coolidge is tried and convicted of the crime, but the conviction is set aside by the landmark Fourth Amendment case Coolidge v. New Hampshire (1971).
January 16 – John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, resigns from the space program.
January 16 – Hello, Dolly! opens in New York City's St. James Theatre.
January 17 – John Glenn announces that he will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from Ohio.
January 18 – Plans to build the New York World Trade Center are announced.
January 20 – Meet the Beatles! , the first Beatles album in the United States, is released.
January 23 – Arthur Miller's After the Fall opens on Broadway. A semi-autobiographical work, it arouses controversy over his portrayal of late ex-wife Marilyn Monroe.
January 23 – Thirteen years after its proposal and nearly 2 years after its passage by the United States Senate, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
January 27 – U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith, 66, announces her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
January 28 – A U.S. Air Force jet training plane that strays into East Germany is shot down by Soviet fighters near Erfurt; all 3 crew men are killed.
January 29 – Ranger 6 is launched by NASA, on a mission to carry television cameras and crash-land on the Moon.
February 1 – The Beatles vault to the #1 spot on the U.S. singles charts for the first time, with "I Want to Hold Your Hand," forever changing the way popular music sounds to Americans, also starting the British Invasion in America.
February 3 – Protesting against alleged de-facto school racial segregation, Black and Puerto Rican groups in New York City boycott public schools.
February 4 – The Government of the United States authorizes the Twenty-fourth Amendment, outlawing the poll tax.
February 4 – General Motors introduces the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and the Buick Sport Wagon.
February 6 – Cuba cuts off the normal water supply to the United States Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in reprisal for the U.S. seizure 4 days earlier of 4 Cuban fishing boats off the coast of Florida.
February 7 – A Jackson, Mississippi jury, trying Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers in June 1963, reports that it can not reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial.
February 7 – The Beatles arrive from England at New York City's JFK International Airport, receiving a tumultuous reception from a throng of screaming fans, marking the first occurrence of "Beatlemania" in the United States.
February 9 – The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show , marking their first live performance on American television. Seen by an estimated 73 million viewers, the appearance becomes the catalyst for the mid-1960s "British Invasion" of American popular music.
February 17 – Wesberry v. Sanders (376 US 1 1964): The Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
February 25 – Muhammad Ali beats Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Florida, and is crowned the heavyweight champion of the world.
February 26 – U.S. politician John Glenn slips on a bathroom rug in his Columbus, Ohio apartment and hits his head on the bathtub, injuring his left inner ear, and prompting him (later that week) to withdraw from the race for the Democratic Party Senate nomination.
February 29 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that the United States has developed a jet airplane (the A-11), capable of sustained flight at more than 2,000 miles per hour (3,200 km/h) and of altitudes of more than 70,000 feet (21,000 m).
March 4 – Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa is convicted by a federal jury of tampering with a federal jury in 1962.
March 8 – Malcolm X, suspended from the Nation of Islam, says in New York City that he is forming a black nationalist party.
March 9 – New York Times Co. v Sullivan (376 US 254 1964): The United States Supreme Court rules that under the First Amendment, speech criticizing political figures cannot be censored.
March 9 – The first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line at Ford Motor Company.
March 10 – Soviet military forces shoot down an unarmed reconnaissance bomber that had strayed into East Germany; the 3 U.S. flyers parachute to safety.
March 10 – Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Ambassador to South Vietnam, wins the New Hampshire Republican primary.
March 12 – Malcolm X leaves the Nation of Islam.
March 13 – In a notorious incident, 38 of her neighbors in Queens, New York City fail to respond to the cries of Kitty Genovese, 28, as she is being stabbed to death.
March 14 – A Dallas, Texas jury finds Jack Ruby guilty of killing John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
March 26 – Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. at news conference. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara delivers an address that reiterates American determination to give South Vietnam increased military and economic aid, in its war against the Communist insurgency.
March 27 – The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
March 30 – Merv Griffin's game show Jeopardy! debuts on NBC; Art Fleming is its first host.
March 31 – The military, backed by the USA, overthrows Brazilian President João Goulart in a coup, starting 21 years of dictatorship in Brazil.
April 2 – Mrs. Malcolm Peabody, 72, mother of Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody, is released on $450 bond after spending 2 days in a St. Augustine, Florida jail, for participating in an anti-segregation demonstration there.
April 4 – Three high school friends in Hoboken, N.J., open the first BLIMPIE on Washington Street.
April 8 – Four of 5 railroad operating unions strike against the Illinois Central Railroad without warning, bringing to a head a 5-year dispute over railroad work rules.
April 12 – In Detroit, Michigan, Malcolm X delivers a speech entitled "The Ballot or the Bullet."
April 13 – The 36th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 14 – A Delta rocket's third stage motor ignites prematurely in an assembly room at Cape Canaveral, killing 3.
April 17 – In the United States, the Ford Mustang is officially unveiled to the public.
April 17 – Shea Stadium opens in Flushing, New York.
April 20 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in New York, and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow, simultaneously announce plans to cut back production of materials for making nuclear weapons.
April 22 – The 1964 New York World's Fair opens to celebrate the 300th anniversary of New Amsterdam being taken over by British forces under the Duke of York (later King James II) and being renamed New York in 1664. The fair runs until Oct. 18, 1964 and reopens April 21, 1965, finally closing October 17, 1965. (Not sanctioned, due to being within 10 years of the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, some countries decline, but many countries have pavilions with exotic crafts, art & food.)
May 2 – Senator Barry Goldwater receives more than 75% of the votes in the Texas Republican Presidential primary.
May 2 – Some 400–1,000 students march through Times Square, New York and another 700 in San Francisco, in the first major student demonstration against the Vietnam War. Smaller marches also occur in Boston, Seattle, and Madison, Wisconsin.
May 2 – Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, hitchhiking in Meadville, Mississippi, are kidnapped and beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their badly decomposed bodies are found by chance 2 months later in July, during the search for 3 civil rights workers – Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.
May 7 – Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashes near San Ramon, California, killing all 44 aboard; the FBI later reports that a cockpit recorder tape indicates that the pilot and co-pilot had been shot by a suicidal passenger.
May 19 – The United States State Department says that more than 40 hidden microphones have been found embedded in the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
May 26 – Nelson Rockefeller defeats Barry Goldwater in the Oregon Republican primary, slowing but not stalling Goldwater's drive toward the nomination.
June 2 – Senator Barry Goldwater wins the California Republican Presidential primary, making him the overwhelming favorite for the nomination.
June 9 – In Federal Court in Kansas City, Kansas, army deserter George John Gessner, 28, is convicted of passing United States secrets to the Soviet Union.
June 10 – The U.S. Senate votes cloture of the Civil Rights Bill after a 75-day filibuster.
June 12 – Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton announces his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, as part of a 'stop-Goldwater' movement.
June 19 – U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, 32, is seriously injured in a private plane crash at Southampton, Massachusetts; the pilot is killed.
June 21 – Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, by local segregationist law enforcement officials.
June 21 – Jim Bunning pitches a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies.
July 2 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, abolishing racial segregation in the United States.
July 8 – U.S. military personnel announce that U.S. casualties in Vietnam have risen to 1,387, including 399 dead and 17 MIA.
July 16 – At the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, U.S. presidential nominee Barry Goldwater declares that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice", and "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue".
July 27 – Vietnam War: The U.S. sends 5,000 more military advisers to South Vietnam, bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
August 1 – The Final Looney Tune, "Señorella and the Glass Huarache", is released before the Warner Bros. Cartoon Division is shut down by Jack Warner.
August 4 – American civil rights movement: The bodies of murdered civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found.
August 4 – Vietnam War: United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy are attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga sinks 1 gunboat, while the other 2 leave the battle.
August 5 – Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – Aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bomb North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes against U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.
August 7 – Vietnam War: The United States Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.
August 16 – Vietnam War: In a coup, General Nguyen Khanh replaces Duong Van Minh as South Vietnam's chief of state and establishes a new constitution, drafted partly by the U.S. Embassy.
August 17 – Margaret Harshaw, Metropolitan Opera Soprano, sings the role of Turandot in Puccini's opera Turandot at the New York World's Fair.
August 22 – Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist and Vice Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, addresses the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention, challenging the all-white Mississippi delegation.
August 24–27 – The Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City nominates incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson for a full term, and U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota as his running mate.
August 27 – Walt Disney's Mary Poppins has its world premiere in Los Angeles. It will go on to become Disney's biggest moneymaker, and winner of 5 Academy Awards, including a Best Actress award for Julie Andrews, who accepted the part after she was passed over by Jack L. Warner for the leading role of Eliza Dolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady . Mary Poppins is the first Disney film to be nominated for Best Picture.
August 28 – Bob Dylan turns The Beatles on to cannabis for the first time.
August 28–30 – Philadelphia 1964 race riot: Tensions between African American residents and police lead to 341 injuries and 774 arrests.
September 16 – Shindig! premieres on the ABC , featuring the top musical acts of the Sixties.
September 17 – Bewitched , starring Elizabeth Montgomery, premieres on ABC.
September 24 – The Warren Commission Report, the first official investigation of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, is published.
October 1 – Three thousand student activists at University of California, Berkeley surround and block a police car from taking a CORE volunteer arrested for not showing his ID, when he violated a ban on outdoor activist card tables. This protest eventually explodes into the Berkeley Free Speech Movement.
October 14 – American civil rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to end racial prejudice in the United States.
October 15 – Craig Breedlove's jet-powered car Spirit of America goes out of control in Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and makes skid marks 9.6 km long.
October 15 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the visiting New York Yankees, 7–5 to win the World Series in 7 games (4–3), ending a long run of 29 World Series appearances in 44 seasons for the Bronx Bombers (also known as the Yankee Dynasty ).
October 18 – The New York World's Fair closes for the year (it reopens April 21, 1965).
October 21 – The film version of the hit Broadway stage musical My Fair Lady premieres in New York City. The movie stars Audrey Hepburn in the role of Eliza Dolittle and Rex Harrison repeating his stage performance as Professor Henry Higgins, and which will win him his only Academy Award for Best Actor. The film will win seven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but Audrey Hepburn will not be nominated. Critics interpret this as a rebuke to Jack L. Warner for choosing Ms Hepburn over Julie Andrews.
October 22 – A 5.3 Kiloton nuclear device is detonated at the Tatum Salt Dome, 21 miles (34 km) from Hattiesburg, Mississippi as part of the Vela Uniform program. This test is the Salmon phase of the Atomic Energy Commission's Project Dribble.
October 27 – In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rebel leader Christopher Gbenye takes 60 Americans and 800 Belgians hostage.
October 29 – A collection of irreplaceable gemstones, including the 565 carats (113 g) Star of India, is stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
October 31 – Campaigning at Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledges the creation of the Great Society.
November 1 – Mortar fire from North Vietnamese forces rains on the USAF base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, killing 4 U.S. servicemen, wounding 72, and destroying 5 B-57 jet bombers and other planes.
November 3 – U.S. presidential election, 1964: Incumbent U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Republican challenger Barry Goldwater with over 60 percent of the popular vote.
November 5 – Mariner program: Mariner 3, a U.S. space probe intended for Mars, is launched from Cape Kennedy but fails.
November 13 – Bob Pettit (St. Louis Hawks) becomes the first NBA player to score 20,000 points.
November 19 – The United States Department of Defense announces the closing of 95 military bases and facilities, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Fort Jay, New York.
November 28 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 4 space probe from Cape Kennedy toward Mars to take television pictures of that planet in July 1965.
November 28 – Vietnam War: United States National Security Council members, including Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, and Maxwell Taylor, agree to recommend a plan for a 2-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam, to President Lyndon B. Johnson.
December 1 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam (after some debate, they agree on a 2-phase bombing plan).
December 3 – Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrest about 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover of and massive sit-in at the Sproul Hall administration building. The sit-in most directly protested the U.C. Regents' decision to punish student activists for what many thought had been justified civil disobedience earlier in the conflict.
December 6 – The 1-hour stop-motion animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer , based on the popular Christmas song, premieres on NBC. It becomes a beloved Christmas tradition, still being shown on television more than 40 years later.
December 10 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
December 14 – Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (379 US 241 1964): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that, in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, establishments providing public accommodations must refrain from racial discrimination.
December 15 – The Washington Post publishes an article about James Hampton, who had built a glittering religious throne out of recycled materials.
December 18 – In the wake of deadly riots in January over control of the Panama Canal, the U.S. offers to negotiate a new canal treaty.
December 27 – The Cleveland Browns defeat the Baltimore Colts in the NFL Championship Game.
January 1 – The ship S.S. Catala is driven onto the beach in Ocean Shores, Washington, stranding her.
January 4 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union Address.
January 19 – The unmanned Gemini 2 is launched on a suborbital test of various spacecraft systems.
January 20 – Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in for his own full term as U.S. President.
February 20 – Ranger 8 crashes into the Moon, after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.
February 21 – Malcolm X is assassinated in Manhattan.
February 22 – A new, revised, color production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella airs on CBS. Lesley Ann Warren makes her TV debut in the title role. The show becomes an annual tradition.
March 2 – The Sound of Music premieres at the Rivoli Theater in New York City.
March 7 – Bloody Sunday: Some 200 Alabama State Troopers clash with 525 civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama.
March 8 – Vietnam War: Some 3,500 United States Marines arrive in South Vietnam, becoming the first American combat troops in Vietnam.
March 9 – The second attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., stops at the bridge that was the site of Bloody Sunday, to hold a prayer service and return to Selma, in obedience to a court restraining order. White supremacists beat up white Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb later that day in Selma.
March 11 – White Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb, beaten by White supremacists in Selma, Alabama on March 9 following the second march from Selma, dies in a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.
March 16 – Police clash with 600 SNCC marchers in Montgomery, Alabama.
March 17 – In Montgomery, Alabama, 1,600 civil rights marchers demonstrate at the Courthouse.
March 17 – In response to the events of March 7 and 9 in Selma, Alabama, President Johnson sends a bill to Congress that forms the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is passed by the Senate May 26, the House July 10, and signed into law by President Johnson Aug. 6.
March 18 – A United States federal judge rules that SCLC has the lawful right to march to Montgomery, Alabama to petition for 'redress of grievances'.
March 19 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana , reputed to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser ever built and owned by the real Rhett Butler, is discovered off the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, by teenage diver E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after she was sunk with a million dollar cargo while attempting to run past the Union blockade into Charleston.
March 21 – Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9 , which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.
March 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. leads 3,200 Civil rights activists in the third march from Selma, Alabama to the capitol in Montgomery.
March 23 – Gemini 3 : NASA launches the United States' first 2-person crew (Gus Grissom, John Young) into Earth orbit.
March 25 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and 25,000 civil rights activists successfully end the 4-day march from Selma, Alabama, to the capitol in Montgomery.
March 30 – Funeral services are held for Detroit homemaker Viola Liuzzo, who was shot dead by 4 Klansmen as she drove marchers back to Selma at night after the civil rights march.
April 3 – The world's first space nuclear power reactor, SNAP-10A , is launched by the United States from Vandenberg AFB, California. The reactor operates for 43 days and remains in high earth orbit.
April 5 – At the 37th Academy Awards, My Fair Lady wins 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Rex Harrison wins an Oscar for Best Actor. Mary Poppins takes home 5 Oscars. Julie Andrews wins an Academy Award for Best Actress, for her portrayal in the role. Sherman Brothers receives 2 Oscars including Best Song, "Chim Chim Cher-ee".
April 9 – In Houston, Texas, the Harris County Domed Stadium (more commonly known as the Astrodome) opens.
April 9 – The 100th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War is observed.
April 11 – The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: An estimated 51 tornadoes (47 confirmed) hit in 6 Midwestern states, killing between 256 to 271 people and injuring some 1,500 more.
April 14 – In Cold Blood killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, convicted of murdering 4 members of the Herbert Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, are executed by hanging at the Kansas State Penitentiary for Men in Lansing, Kansas.
April 17 – The first SDS march against the Vietnam War draws 25,000 protestors to Washington, DC.
April 21 – The New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows reopens.
April 28 – U.S. troops are sent to the Dominican Republic by President Lyndon B. Johnson, "for the stated purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and preventing an alleged Communist takeover of the country", thus thwarting the possibility of "another Cuba".
May 5 – The first draft card burnings take place at the University of California, Berkeley, and a coffin is marched to the Berkeley Draft Board.
May 21 – The largest teach-in to date begins at Berkeley, California, attended by 30,000.
May 22 – The first skateboard championship is held. In addition, several hundred Vietnam War protestors in Berkeley, California, march to the Draft Board again to burn more cards as well as Lyndon Johnson in effigy.
May 31 – Racing driver Jim Clark wins the Indianapolis 500, and later wins the Formula One world driving championship in the same year.
June 1 – Florida International University is founded in Miami, Florida.
June 3 – Gemini 4 : Astronaut Edward Higgins White makes the first U.S. space walk.
June 16 – A planned anti-war protest at The Pentagon becomes a teach-in, with demonstrators distributing 50,000 leaflets in and around the building.
June 25 – A U.S. Air Force Boeing C135-A bound for Okinawa crashes just after takeoff at MCAS El Toro in Orange County, California, killing all 85 on board.
July 14 – U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 flies by Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to return images from the Red Planet.
July 25 – Bob Dylan elicits controversy among folk purists by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival.
July 28 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000, and to double the number of men drafted per month from 17,000 to 35,000.
July 30 – War on Poverty: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
August 6 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.
August 9 – An explosion at an Arkansas missile plant kills 53.
August 11 – The Watts Riots begin in Los Angeles, California.
August 13 – The rock group Jefferson Airplane debuts at the Matrix in San Francisco, California and begins to appear there regularly.
August 15 – The Beatles perform the first stadium concert in the history of rock, playing at Shea Stadium in New York.
August 18 – Vietnam War – Operation Starlite: 5,500 United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in Quang Ngai Province, in the first major American ground battle of the war. The Marines were tipped-off by a Viet Cong deserter who said that there was an attack planned against the U.S. base at Chu Lai.
August 20 – Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian from Keene, New Hampshire, is murdered in Hayneville, Alabama while working in the American civil rights movement.
August 21 – Gemini 5 (Gordon Cooper, Pete Conrad) is launched on the first 1-week flight, as well as the first test of fuel cells for electrical power.
August 30 – Rock musician Bob Dylan releases his influential album Highway 61 Revisited , featuring the song "Like a Rolling Stone."
August 30 – Casey Stengel announces his retirement after 55 years in baseball.
September 7 – Vietnam War: In a follow-up to August's Operation Starlite, United States Marines and South Vietnamese forces initiate Operation Piranha on the Batangan Peninsula, 23 miles south of the Chu Lai Marine base.
September 9 – Sandy Koufax pitches a perfect game in a baseball match against the Chicago Cubs. The opposing pitcher, Bob Hendley, allows only 1 run, which is unearned.
September 9 – Hurricane Betsy roars ashore near New Orleans, Louisiana with winds of 145 MPH, causing 76 deaths and $1.42 billion in damage. The storm is the first hurricane to cause $1 billion in unadjusted damages, giving it the nickname "Billion Dollar Betsy". It is the last major hurricane to strike New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina 40 years later.
September 25 – The Tom & Jerry cartoon series makes its world broadcast premiere on CBS.
September 28 – Fidel Castro announces that anyone who wants to can emigrate to the United States.
October 3 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an immigration bill which abolishes quotas based on national origin.
October 4 – Pope Paul VI visits the United States. He appears for a Mass in Yankee Stadium and makes a speech at the United Nations.
October 4 – The University of California, Irvine opens its doors.
October 7 – Seven Japanese fishing boats are sunk off Guam by super typhoon Carmen; 209 are killed.
October 9 – Yale University presents the Vinland map .
October 10 – The first group of Cuban refugees travels to the U.S.
October 15 – Vietnam War: The student-run National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam stages the first public burning of a draft card in the United States to result in arrest under the new law.
October 16 – Anti-war protests draw 100,000 in 80 U.S. cities and around the world.
October 17 – The New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadows, New York, closes. Due to financial losses, some of the projected site park improvements fail to materialize.
October 26 – Police discover the body of Sylvia Likens in Indianapolis, Indiana.
October 28 – In St. Louis, Missouri, the 630-foot-tall parabolic steel Gateway Arch is completed.
October 29 – An 80-kiloton nuclear device is detonated at Amchitka Island, Alaska as part of the Vela Uniform program, code-named Project Long Shot.
October 30 – Vietnam War: Near Da Nang, United States Marines repel an intense attack by Viet Cong forces, killing 56 guerrillas. Among the dead, a sketch of Marine positions is found on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who sold drinks to the Marines the day before.
October 30 – In Washington, DC, a pro-Vietnam War march draws 25,000.
November 2 – Quaker Norman Morrison sets himself on outside The Pentagon to protest United States involvement in the Vietnam War.
November 2 – Republican John Lindsay is elected mayor of New York City.
November 6 – Freedom Flights begin: Cuba and the United States formally agree to start an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States (by 1971 250,000 Cubans take advantage of this program).
November 8 – The soap opera Days of our Lives debuts on NBC.
November 9 – Northeast Blackout of 1965: Several U.S. states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and portions of New Jersey) and parts of Canada are hit by a series of blackouts lasting up to 13½ hours.
November 9 – Vietnam War: In New York City, 22-year-old Catholic Worker Movement member Roger Allen LaPorte sets himself on fire in front of the United Nations building in protest of the war.
November 14 – Vietnam War – Battle of the Ia Drang: In the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands in Vietnam, the first major engagement of the war between regular United States and North Vietnamese forces begins.
November 15 – U.S. racer Craig Breedlove sets a new land speed record of 600.601 mph.
November 22 – Man of La Mancha opens in a Greenwich Village theatre in New York and eventually becomes one of the greatest musical hits of all time, winning a Tony Award for its star, Richard Kiley.
November 27 – Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters picket the White House, then march on the Washington Monument.
November 27 – Vietnam War: The Pentagon tells U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned major sweep operations to neutralize Viet Cong forces during the next year are to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam will have to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.
November 28 – Vietnam War: In response to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's call for "more flags" in Vietnam, Philippines President-elect Ferdinand Marcos announces he will send troops to help fight in South Vietnam.
December 9 – A Charlie Brown Christmas , the first Peanuts television special, debuts on CBS, quickly becoming an annual tradition.
December 15 – Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 perform the first controlled rendezvous in Earth orbit.
December 17 – The British government begins an oil embargo against Rhodesia; the United States joins the effort.
December 21 – A new, 1-hour German-American production of The Nutcracker , with an international cast that includes Edward Villella in the title role, makes its U.S. TV debut. It is repeated annually by CBS over the next 3 years, but after that, it is virtually forgotten.
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 11 – The first SR-71 Blackbird spy plane goes into service at Beale AFB.
January 12 – United States President 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 17 – Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, is involved in an accident during the recovery of a lost H-bomb which results in the amputation of his leg.
January 18 – About 8,000 U.S. soldiers land in South Vietnam; U.S. troops now total 190,000.
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.
February 8 – The National Hockey League awarded Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a second NHL franchise, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
February 28 – U.S. astronauts Charles Bassett and Elliott See are killed in an aircraft accident in St. Louis, Missouri.
March 4 – The Beatles: In an interview published in The London Evening Standard , John Lennon comments, "We're more popular than Jesus now," eventually sparking a controversy in the United States.
March 7 – Charles De Gaulle asks U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson for negotiations about the state of NATO equipment in France.
March 8 – Vietnam War: U.S. announces it will substantially increase its number of troops in Vietnam.
March 12 – Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks sets the NHL single season scoring record against the New York Rangers, with his 51st goal.
March 16 – Gemini 8 (David Scott, Neil Armstrong) docks with an Agena target vehicle.
March 16 – The last Studebaker production facility is closed.
March 19 – The Texas Western Miners defeat the Kentucky Wildcats with 5 African-American starters, ushering in desegregation in athletic recruiting.
March 22 – In Washington, D.C., 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 26 – Demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.
March 28 – Indira Gandhi visits Washington, D.C.
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.
April 13 – United States president Lyndon Johnson signs the 1966 Uniform Time Act, dealing with daylight saving time.
April 18 – The 38th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
April 19 – Bobbi Gibb becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
April 21 – An artificial heart is installed in the chest of Marcel DeRudder in a Houston, Texas hospital.
April 29 – U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000.
April 30 – The Church of Satan is formed by Anton Szandor LaVey in San Francisco
May 5 – The Montreal Canadiens defeat the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.
May 12 – The Busch Memorial Stadium opens in St Louis, Missouri.
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 15 – Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators again picket the White House, then rally at the Washington Monument.
May 16 – Bob Dylan's seminal album, Blonde on Blonde is released in the U.S.
May 16 – In New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War.
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 28 – Fidel Castro declares martial law in Cuba because of a possible U.S. attack.
June 2 – Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on another world.
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 18 – CIA chief William Raborn resigns; Richard Helms becomes his successor.
June 29 – Vietnam War: U.S. planes begin bombing Hanoi and Haiphong.
June 30 – The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded in Washington, DC.
July 4 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act, which goes into effect the following year.
July 14 – Richard Speck murders 8 student nurses in their Chicago dormitory. He is arrested on July 17.
July 18 – Gemini 10 (John Young, Michael Collins) is launched. After docking with an Agena target vehicle, the astronauts then set a world altitude record of 474 miles (763 km).
July 18 – The Hough Riots break out in Cleveland, Ohio, the city's first race riot.
July 28 – The U.S. announces that a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance plane has disappeared over Cuba.
July 29 – Bob Dylan is injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York. He is not seen in public for over a year.
August 1 – Sniper Charles Whitman kills 13 people and wounds 31 from atop the University of Texas at Austin Main Building tower, after earlier killing his wife and mother.
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 – Caesars Palace hotel and casino opens in Las Vegas.
August 6 – Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashes in Falls City, Nebraska, killing all 42 on board.
August 7 – Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.
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 15 – It is announced that the New York Herald Tribune will not resume 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 24 – The Doors recorded self-titled debut LP.
August 29 – The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
September 16 – The Metropolitan Opera House opens at Lincoln Center in New York City to the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera, Antony and Cleopatra .
September 18 – Valerie Percy, the 21-year-old daughter of Senator Charles H. Percy, is stabbed and bludgeoned to death in the family mansion on Chicago's North Shore.
October 1 – West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashes with 18 fatal injuries and no survivors 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Wemme, Oregon. This accident marks the first loss of a DC-9.
October 9 – The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series, 1–0, to sweep the series for their 1st World Championship.
October 15 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill creating the United States Department of Transportation.
October 15 – The U.S. Congress passes a bill for the creation of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
October 15 – ABC-TV telecasts a highly acclaimed 90-minute television adaptation of the musical Brigadoon , starring Robert Goulet, Peter Falk, and Sally Ann Howes. It wins many Emmy Awards and inaugurates a short-lived series of special television adaptations of famous Broadway musicals on ABC. Goulet stars in all but one of these specials.
October 21 – The AFL-NFL merger is approved by the U.S. Congress.
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 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 16 – U.S. doctor Sam Sheppard is acquitted in his second trial for the murder of his pregnant wife in 1954.
November 17 – A spectacular Leonid meteor shower passes over Arizona, at the rate of 2,300 a minute for 20 minutes.
November 27 – The Washington Redskins defeat the New York Giants 72–41 in the highest scoring game in NFL history.
November 28 – Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ('The Party of the Century') is held in New York City.
December 15 – Walt Disney dies while producing The Jungle Book , the last animated feature under his personal supervision.
December 18 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas , narrated by Boris Karloff, is shown for the first time on CBS, becoming an annual Christmas tradition.
December 26 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, founder of Organization US (a black nationalist group) and later chair of Black Studies, at California State University, Long Beach from 1989 to 2002.
January 4 – The Doors' self-titled debut album is released.
January 6 – Vietnam War: USMC and ARVN troops launch Operation Deckhouse Five in the Mekong River Delta.
January 8 – Vietnam War: Operation Cedar Falls starts.
January 10 – Segregationist Lester Maddox is sworn in as Governor of Georgia.
January 12 – Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with the intent of future resuscitation.
January 14 – The New York Times reports that the U.S. Army is conducting secret germ warfare experiments.
January 14 – The Human Be-In takes place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; the event sets the stage for the Summer of Love.
January 15 – Super Bowl I: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
January 18 – Albert DeSalvo ( The Boston Strangler ) is convicted of numerous crimes and sentenced to life in prison.
January 27 – Apollo 1 : U.S. astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White, and Roger Chaffee are killed when fire breaks out in their Apollo spacecraft during a launch pad test.
January 27 – The United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom sign the Outer Space Treaty.
February 2 – The American Basketball Association is formed.
February 5 – NASA launches Lunar Orbiter 3 .
February 10 – The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution (presidential succession and disability) is ratified.
February 13 – American researchers discover the Madrid Codices by Leonardo da Vinci in the National Library of Spain.
February 14 – Respect is recorded by Aretha Franklin (to be released in April).
February 18 – New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison claims he will solve the John F. Kennedy assassination, and that a conspiracy was planned in New Orleans.
February 23 – The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution is enacted.
March 7 – Jimmy Hoffa begins his 8-year sentence for attempting to bribe a jury.
March 9 – Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defects to the USA via the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.
March 14 – The body of U.S. President John F. Kennedy is moved to a permanent burial place at Arlington National Cemetery.
March 26 – 10,000 gather for the Central Park Be-In.
March 29 – A 13-day TV strike begins in the U.S.
March 31 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signs the Consular Treaty.
April 4 – Martin Luther King, Jr. denounces the Vietnam War during a religious service in New York City.
April 9 – The first Boeing 737 (a 100 series) takes its maiden flight.
April 10 – The AFTRA strike is settled just in time for the 39th Academy Awards ceremony to be held, hosted by Bob Hope. Best Picture goes to A Man for All Seasons.
April 12 – The Ahmanson Theatre opens in Los Angeles.
April 14 – In San Francisco, 10,000 march against the Vietnam War.
April 15 – Large demonstrations are held against the Vietnam War in New York City and San Francisco.
April 20 – The Surveyor 3 probe lands on the Moon.
April 21 – An outbreak of tornadoes strikes the upper Midwest section of the United States (in particular the Chicago area, including the suburbs of Belvidere and Oak Lawn, Illinois, where 33 people are killed and 500 injured).
April 28 – In Houston, Texas, boxer Muhammad Ali refuses military service.
April 28 – Expo 67 opens to the public, with over 310,000 people attending. Al Carter from Chicago is the first visitor as noted by Expo officials.
May 1 – Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.
May 4 – Lunar Orbiter 4 is launched by the United States.
May 6 – Four hundred students seize the administration building at Cheney State College, now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the oldest institute for higher education for African Americans.
May 18 – Tennessee Governor Ellington repeals the "Monkey Law" (officially the Butler Act; see the Scopes Trial).
May 18 – NASA announces the crew for the Apollo 7 space mission (first manned Apollo flight): Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham.
May 19 – The Soviet Union ratifies a treaty with the United States and the United Kingdom, banning nuclear weapons from outer space.
May 25 – The 25th Amendment is added to the Constitution.
June 2 – Luis Monge is executed in Colorado's gas chamber, in the last pre- Furman execution in the United States.
June 5 – Murderer Richard Speck is sentenced to death in the electric chair for killing eight student nurses in Chicago.
June 7 – Two Moby Grape members are arrested for contributing to the delinquency of minors.
June 8 – Six-Day War – USS Liberty incident: Israeli fighter jets and Israeli warships fire at the USS Liberty off Gaza, killing 34 and wounding 171.
June 11 – A race riot occurs in Tampa, Florida after the shooting death of Martin Chambers by police while allegedly robbing a camera store. The unrest lasts several days.
June 12 – Loving v. Virginia : The United States Supreme Court declares all U.S. state laws prohibiting interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.
June 13 – Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall is nominated as the first African American justice of the United States Supreme Court. 
June 14 – Mariner program: Mariner 5 is launched toward Venus.
June 14–June 15 – Glenn Gould records Prokofiev's Seventh Piano Sonata, Op. 83, in New York City (his only recording of a Prokofiev composition).
June 16 – The Monterey Pop Festival begins and is held for 3 days.
June 23 – Cold War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for the 3-day Glassboro Summit Conference. Johnson travels to Los Angeles for a dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel where earlier in the day thousands of war protesters clashed with L.A. police. 
June 26 – The Buffalo Race Riot begins, lasting until July 1; leads to 200 arrests.
July 1 – American Samoa's first constitution becomes effective.
July 12 – After the arrest of an African-American cab driver for allegedly illegally driving around a police car and gunning it down the road, race riots break out in Newark, New Jersey, and these riots last for six days.
July 14 – Near Newark, New Jersey, the Plainfield riots also occur.
July 16 – A prison riot in Jay, Florida leaves 37 dead.
July 18 – The United Kingdom announces the closing of its military bases in Malaysia and Singapore. Australia and the U.S. disapprove.
July 19 – A race riot breaks out in the North Side of Minneapolis on Plymouth Street during the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade and business are vandalized and fires break out in the area, although the disturbance is quelled within hours. However, the next day a shooting sets off another incident in the same area that leads to 18 fires, 36 arrests, 3 shootings, 2 dozen people injured, and damages totaling 4.2 million. There will be two more such incidents in the following two weeks.
July 21 – The town of Winneconne, Wisconsin, announces secession from the United States because it is not included in the official maps and declares war. Secession is repealed the next day.
July 23 – 12th Street Riot/Detroit Race Riots: In Detroit, Michigan, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city: 43 are killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.
July 29 – An explosion and fire aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin leaves 134 dead.
July 30 – breaks her neck in a diving accident, becoming a quadriplegic. This leads to her starting 'Joni and Friends', a ministry for disabled people.
July 30 – The 1967 Milwaukee race riots begin, lasting through August 2 and leading to a ten-day shutdown of the city from August 1.
August 1 – Race riots in the United States spread to Washington, D.C..
August 9 – Vietnam War – Operation Cochise: United States Marines begin a new operation in the Que Son Valley.
August 21 – The People's Republic of China announces that it has shot down United States planes violating its airspace.
August 23 – Jimi Hendrix's debut album Are You Experienced? is released in the United States.
August 25 – American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell is assassinated in Arlington, Virginia.
August 30 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
September 4 – Vietnam War – Operation Swift: The United States Marines launch a search and destroy mission in Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces. The ensuing 4-day battle in Que Son Valley kills 114 Americans and 376 North Vietnamese.
September 9 – Fashion Island, one of California's first outdoor shopping malls, opens in Newport Beach.
September 17 – Jim Morrison and The Doors defy CBS censors on The Ed Sullivan Show , when Morrison sings the word "higher" from their #1 hit Light My Fire , despite having been asked not to.
September 18 – Love Is a Many Splendored Thing debuts on U.S. daytime television and is the first soap opera to deal with an interracial relationship. CBS censors find it too controversial and ask for it to be stopped, causing show creator Irna Phillips to quit.
October 2 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
October 3 – An X-15 research aircraft with test pilot William J. Knight establishes an unofficial world fixed-wing speed record of Mach 6.7.
October 12 – Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile, because of North Vietnam's opposition.
October 16 – Thirty-nine people, including singer-activist Joan Baez, are arrested in Oakland, California, for blocking the entrance of that city's military induction center.
October 17 – The musical Hair opens off-Broadway. It moves to Broadway the following April.
October 18 – Walt Disney's 19th full-length animated feature The Jungle Book , the last animated film personally supervised by Disney, is released and becomes an enormous box-office and critical success. On a double bill with the film is the (now) much less well-known true-life adventure, Charlie the Lonesome Cougar .
October 19 – The Mariner 5 probe flies by Venus.
October 21 – Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters march in Washington, D.C.. Allen Ginsberg symbolically chants to 'levitate' The Pentagon.
October 26 – U.S. Navy pilot John McCain is shot down over North Vietnam and made a POW. His capture will be announced in the NY Times and Washington Post two days later.
November 2 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson holds a secret meeting with a group of the nation's most prestigious leaders ("the Wise Men") and asks them to suggest ways to unite the American people behind the war effort. They conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.
November 3 – Vietnam War – Battle of Dak To: Around Dak To (located about 280 miles north of Saigon near the Cambodian border), heavy casualties are suffered on both sides (the Americans narrowly win the battle on November 22).
November 7 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
November 7 – Carl B. Stokes is elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the first African American mayor of a major United States city.
November 9 – Apollo program: NASA launches a Saturn V rocket carrying the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft from Cape Kennedy.
November 11 – Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 3 United States prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to "New Left" antiwar activist Tom Hayden.
November 17 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, "We are inflicting greater losses than we're taking...We are making progress."
November 21 – Vietnam War: United States General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."
November 29 – Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation to become president of the World Bank. This action is due to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's outright rejection of McNamara's early November recommendations to freeze troop levels, stop bombing North Vietnam and hand over ground fighting to South Vietnam.
November 30 – U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy announces his candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson over the Vietnam War.
December 4 – Vietnam War: U.S. and South Vietnamese forces engage Viet Cong troops in the Mekong Delta (235 of the 300-strong Viet Cong battalion are killed).
December 5 – In New York City, Benjamin Spock and Allen Ginsberg are arrested for protesting against the Vietnam War.
December 8 – Magical Mystery Tour is released by the Beatles as an eleven-song album in the U.S. The songs added to the original six songs on the double EP include All You Need Is Love, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby, You're a Rich Man and Hello, Goodbye.
December 15 – The Silver Bridge over the Ohio River in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, collapses, killing 46. It has been linked to the so-called Mothman mystery.
December 19 – Professor John Archibald Wheeler uses the term Black Hole for the first time.
January 14 – The Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl II .
January 17 – Lyndon B. Johnson calls for the non-conversion of the U.S. dollar.
January 19 – At a White House conference on crime, singer and actress Eartha Kitt denounces the Vietnam War to Lady Bird Johnson while attending a "ladies' lunch".
January 21 – A U.S. B-52 Stratofortress crashes in Greenland, discharging 4 nuclear bombs.
January 22 – Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In debuts on NBC.
January 23 – North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo , claiming the ship violated its territorial waters while spying.
January 31 – Viet Cong soldiers attack the United States Embassy in Saigon.
February 1 – Vietnam War: A Viet Cong officer named Nguyễn Văn Lém is executed by Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, a South Vietnamese National Police Chief. The event is photographed by Eddie Adams. The photo makes headlines around the world, eventually winning the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, and sways U.S. public opinion against the war.
February 8 – American civil rights movement: A civil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken up by highway patrolmen; 3 college students are killed.
February 13 – Civil rights disturbances occur at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
February 19 – The Florida Education Association (FEA) initiates a mass resignation of teachers to protest state funding of education. This is, in effect, the first statewide teachers' strike in the United States.
March 11 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson mandates that all computers purchased by the federal government support the ASCII character encoding.
March 12 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson edges out antiwar candidate Eugene J. McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, a vote which highlights the deep divisions in the country, as well as the party, over Vietnam.
March 13 – The first Rotaract club is chartered in North Charlotte, North Carolina.
March 14 – Nerve gas leaks from the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground near Skull Valley, Utah.
March 16 – Vietnam War – My Lai massacre: American troops kill scores of civilians. The story will first become public in November 1969 and will help undermine public support for the U.S. efforts in Vietnam.
March 16 – U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy enters the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
March 17 – A demonstration in London's Grosvenor Square against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War leads to violence; 91 people are injured, 200 demonstrators arrested.
March 18 – Gold standard: The Congress of the United States repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back U.S. currency.
March 19–23 – Afrocentrism, Black power, Vietnam War: Students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., signal a new era of militant student activism on college campuses in the U.S. Students stage rallies, protests and a 5-day sit-in, laying siege to the administration building, shutting down the university in protest over its ROTC program and the Vietnam War, and demanding a more Afrocentric curriculum.
March 21 – Vietnam War: In ongoing campus unrest, Howard University students protesting the Vietnam War, the ROTC program on campus and the draft, confront Gen. Lewis Hershey, then head of the U.S. Selective Service System, and as he attempts to deliver an address, shout him down with cries of "America is the Black man's battleground!"
March 26 – Joan Baez marries activist David Harris in New York.
March 31 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not seek re-election.
April 2 – The film version of 2001: A Space Odyssey premieres in Washington, D.C.
April 4 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot dead at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots erupt in major American cities for several days afterward.
April 6 – A shootout between Black Panthers and Oakland police results in several arrests and deaths, including 16-year-old Panther Bobby Hutton.
April 6 – A double explosion in downtown Richmond, Indiana kills 41 and injures 150.
April 11 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
April 23–30 – Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university (see main article Columbia University protests of 1968).
April 29 – The musical Hair officially opens on Broadway.
May 14 – The Beatles announce the creation of Apple Records in a New York press conference.
May 15 – An outbreak of severe thunderstorms produces tornadoes causing massive damage and heavy casualties in Charles City, Iowa, Oelwein, Iowa, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.
May 17 – The Catonsville Nine enter the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, take dozens of selective service draft records, and burn them with napalm as a protest against the Vietnam War.
May 22 – The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
June 5 – U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy dies from his injuries the next day.
June 26 – Bonin Islands are returned to Japan after 23 years of occupation by the United States Navy.
July 1 – The Central Intelligence Agency's Phoenix Program is officially established.
July 15 – The soap opera One Life to Live premieres on ABC.
July 18 – The semiconductor company Intel gets founded.
July 23–28 – Black militants led by Fred (Ahmed) Evans engage in a fierce gunfight with police in the Glenville Shootout of Cleveland, Ohio.
August 5–8 – The Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida nominates Richard Nixon for U.S. President and Spiro Agnew for Vice President.
August 21 – The Medal of Honor is posthumously awarded to James Anderson, Jr. — he is the first black U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
August 22–30 – Police clash with anti-war protesters in Chicago, Illinois, outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which nominates Hubert Humphrey for U.S. President, and Edmund Muskie for Vice President.
September 7 – 150 women (members of New York Radical Women) arrive in Atlantic City, New Jersey to protest against the Miss America Pageant, as exploitative of women. Led by activist and author Robin Morgan, it is one of the first large demonstrations of Second Wave Feminism as Women's Liberation begins to gather much media attention.
September 13 – Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, is killed when his helicopter is shot down in Vietnam. He is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
September 24 – 60 Minutes debuts on CBS
October 8 – Vietnam War – Operation Sealords: United States and South Vietnamese forces launch a new operation in the Mekong Delta.
October 10 – the Detroit Tigers win the 1968 World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3.
October 11 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 7 , the first manned Apollo mission (Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham). Mission goals include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver.
October 14 – Vietnam War: The United States Department of Defense announces that the United States Army and United States Marines will send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours.
October 16 – In Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 2 black Americans competing in the Olympic 200-meter run, raise their arms in a black power salute after winning, respectively, the gold and bronze medals for 1st and 3rd place.
October 20 – Former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis on the Greek island of Skorpios.
October 31 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.
November 5 – U.S. presidential election, 1968: Republican challenger Richard M. Nixon defeats the Democratic candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace.
November 5 – Luis A. Ferre is elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
November 11 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt is initiated to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. By the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs are dropped on Laos, slowing but not seriously disrupting trail operations.
November 14 – Yale University announces it is going to admit women.
November 17 – The Heidi game: NBC cuts off the final 1:05 of an Oakland Raiders–New York Jets football game to broadcast the pre-scheduled Heidi . Fans are unable to see Oakland (which had been trailing 32–29) score 2 late touchdowns to win 43–32; as a result, thousands of outraged football fans flood the NBC switchboards to protest.
November 20 – The Farmington Mine Disaster in Farmington, West Virginia, kills seventy-eight men.
November 24 – 4 men hijack Pan Am Flight 281 from JFK International Airport, New York to Havana, Cuba.
November 26 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force First Lieutenant and Bell UH-1F helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire, earning a Medal of Honor for his bravery.
December 3 – The '68 Comeback Special marks the concert return of Elvis Presley.
December 9 – Douglas Engelbart publicly demonstrates his pioneering hypertext system, NLS, in San Francisco.
December 11 – The film Oliver! , based on the hit London and Broadway musical, opens in the U.S. after being released first in England. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is also filmed on this date, but not released until 1996.
December 20 – The Zodiac Killer is believed to have shot Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road, Benicia, San Francisco Bay, California.
December 22 – David Eisenhower marries Julie Nixon, the daughter of U.S. President-elect Richard Nixon.
December 24 – Apollo Program: U.S. spacecraft Apollo 8 enters orbit around the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole. The crew also reads from Genesis.
January 1 – Ohio State defeats USC in the Rose Bowl to win the national title for the 1968 season.
January 9 – In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian displays the art of Winslow Homer for 6 weeks.
January 12 – Super Bowl III: The New York Jets of the American Football League defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts of the National Football League 16–7.
January 13 – Elvis Presley steps into American Studios in Memphis,Tennessee, recording "Long Black Limousine" thus beginning the recording of what becomes his landmark comeback sessions for the albums "From Elvis In Memphis" and "Back in Memphis." The sessions yield the popular and critically acclaimed singles "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain."
January 14 – An explosion aboard the USS Enterprise near Hawaii kills 27 and injures 314.
January 16 – Ten paintings are defaced in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
January 20 – Richard Milhous Nixon succeeds Lyndon Baines Johnson as the 37th President of the United States of America.
January 27 – The present-day Hetch Hetchy Moccasin Powerhouse, rated at 100,000 KVA, is completed and placed in operation.
February 5 – A huge oil slick off the coast of Santa Barbara, California closes the city's harbor.
February 7 – The original Hetch Hetchy Moccasin Powerhouse is removed from service.
February 9 – The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.
February 24 – The Mariner 6 Mars probe is launched.
February 24 – Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the First Amendment applies to public schools.
March 3 – In a Los Angeles, California court, Sirhan Sirhan admits that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
March 3 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 (James McDivitt, David Scott, Rusty Schweickart) to test the lunar module.
March 10 – In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (he later retracts his guilty plea).
March 13 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
March 28 – Former United States General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower dies after a long illness in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C..
April 9 – The Harvard University Administration Building is seized by close to 300 students, mostly members of the Students for a Democratic Society. Before the takeover ends, 45 will be injured and 184 arrested.
April – A grassroots movement of Berkeley community members seizes an empty lot owned by the University of California to begin the formation of "People's Park."
May 10 – Zip to Zap, a harbinger of the Woodstock Concert, ends with the dispersal and eviction of youth and young adults at Zap, North Dakota by the National Guard.
May 18 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 (Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan, John Young) is launched, on the full dress-rehearsal for the Moon landing.
May 20 – United States National Guard helicopters spray skin-stinging powder on anti-war protesters in California.
May 22 – Apollo program: Apollo 10' s lunar module flies to within 15,400 m of the Moon's surface.
May 26 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth, after a successful 8-day test of all the components needed for the upcoming first manned Moon landing.
June 3 – Melbourne-Evans collision: The Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne collides with the U.S. destroyer Frank E. Evans in the South China Sea; 74 U.S. sailors are killed.
June 8 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu meet at Midway Island. Nixon announces that 25,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn by September.
June 18–22 – The National Convention of the Students for a Democratic Society, held in Chicago, collapses, and the Weatherman faction seizes control of the SDS National Office. Thereafter, any activity run from the National Office or bearing the name of SDS is Weatherman-controlled.
June 23 – Warren E. Burger is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States by retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren.
June 28 – The Stonewall riots in New York City mark the start of the modern gay rights movement in the U.S.
July 8 – Vietnam War: The very first U.S. troop withdrawals are made.
July 16 – Apollo program: Apollo 11 (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins) lifts off toward the first landing on the Moon.
July 17 – The New York Times publicly takes back the ridicule of the rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard published in 13 Jan 1920 that spaceflight is impossible.
July 18 – Chappaquiddick incident – Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign aide to his brother, dies in the early morning hours of July 19 in the submerged car.
July 20 – Apollo program: The lunar module Eagle lands on the lunar surface. The world watches in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his historic first steps on the Moon.
July 25 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This starts the "Vietnamization" of the war.
July 30 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam, meeting with President Nguyen Van Thieu and U.S. military commanders.
August 4 – Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, U.S. representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. They eventually fail since both sides cannot agree to any terms.
August 5 – Mariner program: Mariner 7 makes its closest fly-by of Mars (3,524 kilometers).
August 9 – Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder Sharon Tate, (who was 8 months pregnant), and her friends: Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring at Roman Polanski's home in Los Angeles, California. Also killed was Steven Parent, leaving from a visit to the Polanskis' caretaker. More than 100 stab wounds are found on the victims, except for Parent, who had been shot almost as soon as the Manson Family entered the property.
August 10 – The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businesspeople.
August 15–18 – The Woodstock Festival is held in upstate New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.
August 17 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille, the most powerful tropical cyclonic system at landfall in history, hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).
August 20 – Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is established in Florissant, Colorado, USA
September 2 – The first automatic teller machine in the United States is installed in Rockville Centre, New York.
September 5 – My Lai Massacre: Lieutenant William Calley is charged with 6 counts of premeditated murder, for the deaths of 109 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai.
September 9 – Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 DC-9 collides in flight with a Piper PA-28, and crashes near Fairland, Indiana USA.
September 20 – The very last Warner Bros. cartoon of the original theatrical Looney Tunes series is released: Injun Trouble .
September 23 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford opens to limited release in the U.S.
September 24 – The Chicago Eight trial begins in Chicago, Illinois.
September 26 – The Brady Bunch premieres on ABC.
October 2 – A 1.2 megaton thermonuclear device is tested at Amchitka Island, Alaska. This test is code-named Project Milrow, the 11th test of the Operation Mandrel 1969–1970 underground nuclear test series. This test is known as a "calibration shot" to test if the island is fit for larger underground nuclear detonations.
October 9–12 – Days of Rage: In Chicago, the United States National Guard is called in to control demonstrations involving the radical Weathermen, in connection with the "Chicago Eight" Trial.
October 15 – Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in antiwar demonstrations across the United States.
October 16 – The "miracle" New York Mets win the World Series, beating the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1.
October 17– Fourteen black athletes are kicked off the University of Wyoming football team for wearing black armbands into their coach's office.
October 31 – Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
November 3 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity with the Vietnam War effort, and to support his policies. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew denounces the President's critics as 'an effete corps of impudent snobs' and 'nattering nabobs of negativism'.
November 12 – Vietnam War – My Lai Massacre: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.
November 14 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12 (Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean), the second manned mission to the Moon.
November 15 – Cold War: The Soviet submarine K-19 collides with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.
November 15 – Vietnam War: In Washington, DC, 250,000–500,000 protesters stage a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
November 15 – Dave Thomas opens his first restaurant in a former steakhouse on a cold, snowy Saturday in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He names the chain Wendy's after his 8-year-old daughter Melinda Lou (nicknamed Wendy by her siblings).
November 17 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki, to begin the SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.
November 19 – Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms"), becoming the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.
November 20 – Vietnam War: The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
November 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agree in Washington, D.C. to the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. retains rights to military bases on the island, but they must be nuclear-free.
November 21 – The United States Senate votes down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930.
November 24 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 spacecraft splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.
November 25 – John Lennon returns his MBE medal to protest the British government's support of the U.S. war in Vietnam.
December 1 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II (on January 4, 1970, the New York Times will run a long article, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random").
December 2 – The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut. It carries 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle, Washington to New York City.
December 4 – Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are shot dead in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers.
December 6 – The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a "Woodstock West" and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the "end of the sixties."
December 12 – The Piazza Fontana bombing in Italy (Strage di Piazza Fontana) takes place. A U.S. Navy officer and C.I.A. agent called David Carrett is later investigated for possible involvement.
January 5 – The first episode of All My Children is broadcast on the ABC television network.
January 11 – Super Bowl IV: The Kansas City Chiefs beat the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23–7.
January 14 – Diana Ross & The Supremes perform their farewell live concert together at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, and Ross's replacement, Jean Terrell, is introduced onstage at the end of the last show.
February 17 – MacDonald family massacre: Jeffrey R. MacDonald kills his wife and children at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, claiming that drugged-out "hippies" did it.
February 18 – A jury finds the Chicago Seven defendants not guilty of conspiring to incite a riot, in charges stemming from the violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Five of the defendants are found guilty on the lesser charge of crossing state lines to incite a riot.
March 6 – A bomb being constructed by members of the Weathermen and meant to be planted at a military dance in New Jersey, explodes, killing 3 members of the organization.
March 17 – My Lai massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
March 18 – United States Postal Service workers in New York City go on strike; the strike spreads to the state of California and the cities of Akron, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Boston, and Denver, Colorado; 210,000 out of 750,000 U.S. postal employees walk out. President Nixon assigns military units to New York City post offices. The strike lasts 2 weeks.
March 21 – The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.
March 31 – NASA's Explorer 1 , the first American satellite and Explorer program spacecraft, reenters Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.
April 1 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.
April 1 – American Motors Corporation introduces the Gremlin.
April 11 – Apollo program: Apollo 13 (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert) is launched toward the Moon.
April 13 – An oxygen tank in the Apollo 13 spacecraft explodes, forcing the crew to abort the mission and return in 4 days.
April 17 – Apollo program: Apollo 13 splashes down safely in the Pacific.
April 22 – The first Earth Day is celebrated in the U.S.
April 29 – The U.S. invades Cambodia to hunt out the Viet Cong; widespread, large antiwar protests occur in the U.S.
May 1 – Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000. President Richard Nixon orders U.S. forces to cross into neutral Cambodia, threatening to widen the Vietnam War, sparking nationwide riots and leading to the Kent State Shootings.
May 4 – Kent State shootings: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by Ohio State National Guardsmen, at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia.
May 8 – Hard Hat riot: Unionized construction workers attack about 1,000 students and others protesting the Kent State shootings near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street and at New York City Hall.
May 9 – In Washington, D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.
May 11 – Henry Marrow is murdered in a violent hate crime in Oxford, North Carolina.
May 11 – Lubbock Tornado: An F5 tornado hits downtown Lubbock, Texas, the first to hit a downtown district of a major city since Topeka, Kansas in 1966; 28 are killed.
May 14 – In the second day of violent demonstrations at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, state law enforcement officers fire into the demonstrators, killing 2 and injuring 12.
June 6 – A D-Day celebration is held in Washington, D.C..
June 10 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signs a measure lowering the voting age to 18.
June 11 – The United States gets its first female generals: Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington.
June 24 – The United States Senate repeals the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
June 28 – U.S. ground troops withdraw from Cambodia.
July 1 – Colorado State College changes its name to University of Northern Colorado.
July 4 – Bob Hope and other entertainers gather in Washington, D.C. for Honor America Day , a nonpartisan holiday event.
July 16 – Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh opens.
July 31 – NBC anchor Chet Huntley retires from full-time broadcasting.
August 7 – Harold Haley, Marin County Superior Court Judge, is taken hostage and murdered, in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.
August 17 – August 18 – The U.S. sinks 418 containers of nerve gas into the Gulf Stream near the Bahamas.
August 26 – The Women's Strike For Equality takes place down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
August 26–30 – The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 takes place on East Afton Farm off the coast of England. Some 600,000 people attend the largest rock festival of all time. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.
August 29 – Rubén Salazar is shot and killed during a rally in East Los Angeles.
September 5 – Vietnam War – Operation Jefferson Glenn: The United States 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thua Thien Province (the operation ends in October 1971).
September 6 – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacks 4 passenger aircraft from Pan Am, TWA and Swissair on flights to New York from Brussels, Frankfurt and Zürich.
September 7 – An anti-war rally is held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, attended by John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
September 9 – Elvis Presley begins his first concert tour since 1958 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
September 10 – The Chevrolet Vega is introduced.
September 11 – The Ford Pinto is introduced.
September 13 – The first New York City Marathon begins.
September 18 – Jimi Hendrix dies of alcohol related complications.
September 26 – The Laguna Fire starts in San Diego County, burning 175,425 acres (710 km²).
September 27 – Richard Nixon begins a tour of Europe, visiting Italy, Yugoslavia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
September 29 – The U.S. Congress gives President Richard Nixon authority to sell arms to Israel.
October 2 – The Wichita State University football team's "Gold" plane crashes in Colorado, killing most of the players. They were on their way (along with administrators and fans) to a game with Utah State University.
October 4 – National Educational Television ends operations, being succeeded by PBS.
October 4 – In Los Angeles, Rock and blues singer Janis Joplin dies in her hotel room, from an overdose of heroin.
October 5 – The Public Broadcasting Service begins broadcasting.
October 5 – U.S. President Richard Nixon's European tour ends.
October 8 – The U.S. Foreign Office announces that renewal of arms sales to Pakistan.
October 8 – Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects U.S. President Richard Nixon's October 7 peace proposal as "a maneuver to deceive world opinion."
October 12 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas.
October 15 – The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Cincinnati Reds in Game 5 of the World Series, 9–3, to win the series 4 games to 1 for their 2nd World Championship.
October 21 – A U.S. Air Force plane makes an emergency landing near Leninakan, Soviet Union. The Soviets release the American officers, including 2 generals, November 10.
October 25 – The wreck of the Confederate submarine Hunley is found off Charleston, South Carolina, by pioneer underwater archaeologist, Dr. E. Lee Spence, then just 22 years old. Hunley was the first submarine in history to sink a ship in warfare.
October 26 – Garry Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury debuts in approximately two dozen newspapers in the United States.
October 28 – Gary Gabelich drives the rocket-powered Blue Flame to an official world land speed record of 622.287 mph (1 001.452 863 km/h) on the dry lake bed of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The record, the first above 1 000 km/h, stands for nearly 13 years.
November 3 – Democrats sweep the U.S. Congressional midterm elections; Ronald Reagan is reelected governor of California; Jimmy Carter is elected governor of Georgia.
November 4 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: The United States turns control of the air base in the Mekong Delta to South Vietnam.
November 4 – Social workers in Los Angeles, California take custody of Genie, a girl who had been kept in solitary confinement since her birth.
November 5 – Vietnam War: The United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam reports the lowest weekly American soldier death toll in 5 years (24 soldiers die that week, which is the fifth consecutive week the death toll is below 50; 431 are reported wounded that week, however).
November 9 – Vietnam War: The Supreme Court of the United States votes 6–3 not to hear a case by the state of Massachusetts, about the constitutionality of a state law granting Massachusetts residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war.
November 10 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: For the first time in 5 years, an entire week ends with no reports of United States combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.
November 14 – Southern Airlines Flight 932 crashes in Wayne County, West Virginia; all 75 on board, including 37 players and 5 coaches from the Marshall University football team, are killed.
November 17 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre.
November 18 – U.S. President Richard Nixon asks the U.S. Congress for US$155 million in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government (US$85 million is for military assistance to prevent the overthrow of the government of Premier Lon Nol by the Khmer Rouge and North Vietnam).
November 21 – Vietnam War – Operation Ivory Coast: A joint Air Force and Army team raids the Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American POWs thought to be held there (no Americans are killed, but the prisoners have already moved to another camp; all U.S. POWs are moved to a handful of central prison complexes as a result of this raid).
November 23 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! makes its network TV debut, when CBS telecasts the 1955 film version as a 3-hour Thanksgiving special.
December 2 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations.
December 23 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.
December 29 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signs into law the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
January 2 – A ban on radio and television cigarette advertisements goes into effect in the United States.
January 12 – The landmark television sitcom All In The Family , starring Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, debuts on CBS.
January 17 – Super Bowl V: The Baltimore Colts defeat the Dallas Cowboys 16–13 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
January 25 – In Los Angeles, Charles Manson and three female "Family" members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
January 31 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 (carrying astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell) lifts off on the third successful lunar landing mission.
February 9 – Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to become voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
February 9 – The Sylmar earthquake (6.4 on the Richter Scale) hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.
February 9 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.
February 11 – The US, UK, USSR and others sign the Seabed Treaty, outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor.
February 20 – Fifty tornadoes rage in Mississippi, killing 74.
February 20 – The U.S. Emergency Broadcast System sends an erroneous warning; many radio stations just ignore it.
March 1 – A bomb explodes in the men's room at the United States Capitol; the Weather Underground Organization claims responsibility.
March 8 – Boxer Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden.
March 29 – U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is found guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre and sentenced to life in prison (later pardoned).
March 29 – A Los Angeles, California jury recommends the death penalty for Charles Manson and 3 female followers.
April 9 – Charles Manson is sentenced to death; in 1972, the sentence for all California Death Row inmates is commuted to life imprisonment.
April 20 – Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education : The Supreme Court of the United States rules unanimously that busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.
April 24 – Five hundred thousand people in Washington, DC and 125,000 in San Francisco march in protest against the Vietnam War.
May 1 – Amtrak begins inter-city rail passenger service in the United States.
May 3 – The Harris Poll claims that 60% of Americans are against the Vietnam War.
May 3 – Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington, D.C.; police and military units arrest as many as 12,000, most of whom are later released.
May 5 – The US dollar floods the European currency markets and threatens especially the Deutsche Mark; the central banks of Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland stop the currency trading.
May 9 – Mariner 8 fails to launch.
May 30 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched toward Mars.
June – Massachusetts passes its Chapter 766 laws enacting Special Education.
June 1 – Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, claiming to represent the majority of U.S. veterans who served in Southeast Asia, speak against war protests.
June 6 – A midair collision between Hughes Airwest Flight 706 Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a U.S. Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom jet fighter near Duarte, California, claims 50 lives.
June 10 – The U.S. ends its trade embargo of China.
June 13 – Vietnam War: The New York Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers.
June 17 – Representatives of Japan and the United States sign the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, whereby the U.S. will return control of Okinawa.
June 18 – Southwest Airlines, the most successful low cost carrier in history, begins its first flights between Dallas, Houston, And San Antonio.
June 25 – Madagascar accuses the U.S. of being connected to the plot to oust the current government; the U.S. recalls its ambassador.
June 27 – Concert promoter Bill Graham closes the legendary Fillmore East, which first opened on 2nd Avenue (between 5th and 6th Streets) in New York City on March 8, 1968.
June 28 – Assassin Jerome A. Johnson shoots Joe Colombo in the head in a middle of an Italian-American rally, putting him in a coma.
June 30 – New York Times Co. v. United States : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Pentagon Papers may be published, rejecting government injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraint.
July 3 – Jim Morrison, leader of The Doors is found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France.
July 5 – Right to vote: The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, formally certified by President Richard Nixon, lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
July 19 – The South Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,362 feet, making it the second tallest building in the world.
July 26 – Apollo 15 (carrying astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden, and James Irwin) is launched.
July 31 – Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin become the first to ride in a lunar rover, a day after landing on the Moon.
August 1 – In New York City, 40,000 attend the Concert for Bangladesh.
August 7 – Apollo 15 returns to Earth.
August 11 – Construction begins on the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
August 15 – President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
August 20 – The USS Manatee (AO-58) spills 1000 gallons of fuel oil on President Nixon's Western White House beach in San Clemente, California.
September 4 – A Boeing 727 (Alaska Airlines Flight 1866) crashes into the side of a mountain near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.
September 8 – In Washington, DC, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass .
September 9 – September 13 – Attica Prison riots: – A revolt breaks out at the maximum-security prison in Attica, New York. In the end, state police and the United States National Guard storm the facility; 42 are killed, 10 of them hostages.
September 28 – József Cardinal Mindszenty, who has taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest since 1956, is allowed to leave Hungary.
October 1 – Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida
October 18 – In New York City, the Knapp Commission begins public hearings on police corruption.
October 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon nominates Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.
October 29 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: The total number of American troops still in Vietnam drops to a record low of 196,700 (the lowest since January 1966).
November 6 – Operation Grommet: The U.S. tests a thermonuclear warhead at Amchitka Island in Alaska, code-named Project Cannikin. At around 5 megatons, it is the largest ever U.S. underground detonation.
November 12 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1, 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam.
November 13 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to enter Mars orbit successfully.
November 15 – Intel releases the world's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
November 24 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington, a man calling himself D. B. Cooper parachutes from the Northwest Orient Airlines plane he hijacked, with US$200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again (as of March 2008, this case remains the only unsolved skyjacking in history).
December 8 – U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the 7th Fleet to move towards the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.
December 11 – The Libertarian Party (United States) is established.
December 18 – The U.S. dollar is devalued for the second time in history.
December 25 – In the longest game in NFL history, the Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
January 2 – Pierre Hotel Robbery: Six men rob the safety deposit boxes of The Pierre Hotel in New York City of at least $4 million.
January 5 – U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the development of a space shuttle program.
January 16 – Super Bowl VI: The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Miami Dolphins 24–3.
January 24 – Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi is discovered in Guam; he had spent 28 years in the jungle and becomes the third-to-last Japanese soldier to surrender after World War II.
January 25 – Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Congresswoman, announces her candidacy for President.
February 4 – Mariner 9 sends pictures from Mars.
February 5 – Bob Douglas becomes the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
February 5 – U.S. airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers and baggage.
February 15 – Phonorecords are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.
February 18 – The California Supreme Court voids the state's death penalty, commuting all death sentences to life in prison.
February 21–28 – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon makes an unprecedented 8-day visit to the People's Republic of China and meets with Mao Zedong.
February 23 – Angela Davis is released from jail. A Caruthers, California farmer, Rodger McAfee, helps her make bail.
February 24 – North Vietnamese negotiators walk out of the Paris Peace Talks to protest U.S. air raids.
February 26 – A coal sludge spill kills 125 people in Buffalo Creek, West Virginia.
March 2 – The Pioneer 10 spacecraft is launched from Cape Kennedy, to be the first man-made satellite to leave the solar system.
March 3 – Sculpted figures of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson are completed at Stone Mountain, Georgia.
March 13 – Clifford Irving admits to a New York court that he had fabricated Howard Hughes' "autobiography".
March 22 – The 92nd U.S. Congress votes to send the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification.
March 24 – The Godfather is released in cinemas in the United States.
April 10 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union join some 70 nations in signing the Biological Weapons Convention, an agreement to ban biological warfare.
April 10 – The 44th Annual Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
April 16 – Vietnam War – Nguyen Hue Offensive: Prompted by the North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.
April 29 – The fourth anniversary of the Broadway musical Hair is celebrated with a free concert at a Central Park bandshell, followed by dinner at the Four Seasons. There, 13 Black Panther protesters and the show's co-author, Jim Rado, are arrested for disturbing the peace and for using marijuana.
May 2 – Fire in a silver mine in Idaho kills 91.
May 8 – U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the mining of Haiphong Harbor in Vietnam.
May 15 – Okinawa is returned to Japan after 27 years of United States Military occupation.
May 15 – Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur Herman Bremer at a Laurel, Maryland political rally.
May 16 – The first financial derivatives exchange, the International Monetary Market (IMM), opens on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
May 24 – A Red Army Faction bomb explodes in the Campbell Barracks of the U.S. Army Supreme European Command in Heidelberg, West Germany; 3 U.S. soldiers (Clyde Bonner, Ronald Woodard and Charles Peck) are killed.
May 26 – Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT I treaty in Moscow, as well as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and other agreements.
May 26 – The Watergate first break-in, the "Ameritas dinner", fails.
May 26 – Wernher von Braun retires from NASA, frustrated by the agency's unwillingness to pursue a manned trans-orbital space program.
May 27 – A second Watergate break-in attempt fails.
June 3 – Sally Priesand becomes the first female U.S. rabbi.
June 9 – The Black Hills flood kills 238 in South Dakota.
June 14–23 – Hurricane Agnes kills 117 on the U.S. East Coast.
June 15–18 – The first U.S. Libertarian Party National Convention is held in Denver, Colorado.
June 17 – Watergate scandal: Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee.
June 17 – The United States returns Okinawa, occupied and governed since the WW-II Battle of Okinawa, back to Japan.
June 23 – Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the C.I.A. to obstruct the F.B.I.'s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
June 28 – U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that no new draftees will be sent to Vietnam.
June 29 – Furman v. Georgia : The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
July – U.S. actress Jane Fonda tours North Vietnam, during which she is photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.
July 1 – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms becomes independent from the IRS.
July 4 – The first Rainbow Gathering is held in Colorado.
July 8 – The U.S. sells grain to the Soviet Union for $750 million.
July 10–14 – The Democratic National Convention meets in Miami Beach. Senator George McGovern, who backs the immediate and complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Vietnam, is nominated for President. He names fellow Senator Thomas Eagleton as his running mate.
July 15 – The Pruitt-Igoe housing development is demolished in Saint Louis, Missouri.
July 21 – Comedian George Carlin is arrested by Milwaukee, Wisconsin police for public obscenity, for reciting his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" at Summerfest.
July 23 – The United States launches Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.
July 25 – U.S. health officials admit that African-Americans were used as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.
August 1 – U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, withdraws from the race after revealing he was once treated for mental illness.
August 4 – A huge solar flare (one of the largest ever recorded) knocks out cable lines in U.S. It begins with the appearance of sunspots on August 2; an August 4 flare kicks off high levels of activity until August 10.
August 10 – A brilliant, daytime meteor skips off the Earth's atmosphere due to an Apollo asteroid streaking over the western US into Canada.
August 12 – The last U.S. ground troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.
August 21 – The Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida renominates U.S. President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew for a second term.
August 22 – John Wojtowicz, 27, and Sal Naturile, 18, hold several Chase Manhattan Bank employees hostage for 17 hours in Gravesend, Brooklyn, N.Y, an event later dramatized in the film Dog Day Afternoon .
September 1 – Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky in a chess match at Reykjavík, Iceland, becoming the first American chess champion (see Match of the Century).
September 4 – The first episode of The Price Is Right is hosted on CBS by Bob Barker. Gambit and The Joker's Wild also premiere.
September 24 – An F-86 fighter aircraft leaving an air show at Sacramento Executive Airport fails to become airborne and crashes into a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, killing 12 children and 11 adults.
October 8 – R. Sargent Shriver is chosen to replace Thomas Eagleton as the U.S. vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
October 12 – En route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk ; nearly 50 sailors are injured.
October 16 – A plane carrying U.S. Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana and 3 other men vanishes in Alaska. The wreckage has never been found, despite a massive search at the time.
October 25 – The first female FBI agents are hired.
October 26 – Following a visit to South Vietnam, U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger suggests that "peace is at hand."
October 30 – U.S. President Richard Nixon approves legislation to increase Social Security spending by US$5.3 billion.
October 30 – A commuter train collision in Chicago kills 45, injures hundreds.
November – At a scientific meeting in Honolulu, Herbert Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen conceive the concept of recombinant DNA. They publish their results in November 1973 in PNAS. Separately in 1972, Paul Berg also recombines DNA in a test tube. Recombinant DNA technology has dramatically changed the field of biological sciences, especially biotechnology, and opened the door to genetically modified organisms.
November 7 – U.S. presidential election, 1972: Republican incumbent Richard Nixon defeats Democratic Senator George McGovern in a landslide (the election had the lowest voter turnout since 1948, with only 55 percent of the electorate voting).
November 11 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: The United States Army turns over the massive Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.
November 14 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1,000 (1,003.16) for the first time.
November 22 – Vietnam War: The United States loses its first B-52 Stratofortress of the war.
November 30 – Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning United States troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to the fact that troop levels are now down to 27,000.
December 8 – United Airlines Boeing 737 from Washington National to Chicago Midway crashes short of the runway, killing 43 of 61 onboard and 2 on the ground.
December 8 – Over $10,000 cash is found in the purse of Watergate conspirator Howard Hunt's wife.
December 14 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of Apollo 17. This is the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th Century.
December 19 – Apollo program: Apollo 17 returns to Earth, concluding the program of lunar exploration.
December 22 – A peace delegation that includes singer-activist Joan Baez and human rights attorney Telford Taylor visit Hanoi to deliver Christmas mail to American prisoners of war (they will be caught in the Christmas bombing of North Vietnam).
December 23 – The Pittsburgh Steelers win their first ever post-season NFL game, defeating the Oakland Raiders 13–7, on a last second play that becomes known as The Immaculate Reception.
December 24 – Swedish Prime minister Olof Palme compares the American bombings of North Vietnam to Nazi massacres. The U.S. breaks diplomatic contact with Sweden.
December 25 – The Christmas bombing of North Vietnam causes widespread criticism of the U.S. and President Richard Nixon.
December 26 – Former United States President Harry S. Truman dies in Kansas City, Missouri.
December 29 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashes into the Everglades in Florida, killing 101 of 176 onboard.
December 31 – Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash off the coast of Puerto Rico while en route to deliver aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims.
January 1 – CBS sells the New York Yankees for $10 million to a 12-person syndicate led by George Steinbrenner (3.2 million dollars more than CBS bought the Yankees for).
January 14 – Elvis Presley's concert in Hawaii. The first worldwide telecast by an entertainer watched by more people than watched the Apollo moon landings.
January 14 – Super Bowl VII: The Miami Dolphins defeat the Washington Redskins 14–7 to complete the NFL's first Perfect Season.
January 15 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, U.S. President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
January 20 – U.S. President Richard Nixon is inaugurated for his second term.
January 22 – Roe v. Wade : The U.S. Supreme Court overturns state bans on abortion.
January 22 – Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson dies at his Stonewall, Texas ranch, leaving no former U.S. President living until the resignation of Richard M. Nixon in 1974.
January 23 – U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
January 27 – U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ends with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.
February 11 – Vietnam War: The first American prisoners of war are released from Vietnam.
February 12 – Ohio becomes the first U.S. state to post distance in metric on signs (see Metric system in the United States).
February 13 – The United States Dollar is devalued by 10%.
February 22 – Sino-American relations: Following President Richard Nixon's visit to mainland China, the United States and the People's Republic of China agree to establish liaison offices.
February 27 – The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
March 17 – Many of the few remaining United States soldiers begin to leave Vietnam. One reunion of a former POW with his family is immortalized in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy .
March 23 – Watergate scandal (United States): In a letter to Judge John Sirica, Watergate burglar James W. McCord Jr. admits that he and other defendants have been pressured to remain silent about the case. He names former Attorney General John Mitchell as 'overall boss' of the operation.
March 29 – The last United States soldier leaves Vietnam.
April 3 – The first handheld cellular phone call is made by Martin Cooper in New York City.
April 4 – The World Trade Center officially opens in New York City with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
April 6 – Pioneer 11 is launched on a mission to study the solar system.
April 6 – Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball.
April 17 – Federal Express officially begins operations, with the launch of 14 small aircraft from Memphis International Airport. On that night, Federal Express delivers 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities from Rochester, New York, to Miami, Florida.
April 30 – Watergate Scandal: President Richard Nixon announces that top White House aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and others have resigned.
May 3 – The Sears Tower in Chicago is finished, becoming the world's tallest building.
May 5 – Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby.
May 8 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and American Indian Movement activists who were occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants.
May 10 – The New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 102–93 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA title.
May 14 – Skylab , the United States' first space station, is launched.
May 17 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
May 25 – Skylab 2 (Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz, Joseph Kerwin) is launched on a mission to repair damage to the recently launched Skylab space station.
June 16 – U.S. President Richard Nixon begins several talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
June 22 – W. Mark Felt ("Deep Throat") retires from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
June 25 – Watergate scandal: Former White House counsel John Dean begins his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee.
July 1 – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is founded.
July 2 – The United States Congress passes the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) mandating Special Education federally.
July 5 – The catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, kills 11 firefighters. This explosion has become a classic incident, studied in fire department training programs worldwide.
July 12 – 1973 National Archives Fire: A major fire destroys the entire 6th floor of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
July 16 – Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield informs the United States Senate Watergate Committee that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.
July 28 – Skylab 3 (Owen Garriott, Jack Lousma, Alan Bean) is launched, to conduct various medical and scientific experiments aboard Skylab .
July 31 – A Delta Air Lines Flight 173 DC9-31 aircraft lands short of Boston's Logan Airport runway in poor visibility, striking a sea wall about 165 feet (50 m) to the right of the runway centerline and about 3,000 feet (914 m) short. All 6 crew members and 83 passengers are killed, 1 of the passengers dying several months after the accident.
August 1 – The film American Graffiti is released.
August 8 – The death of Dean Corll leads to the discovery of the Houston Mass Murders: 27 boys were killed by 3 men.
August 15 – The U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, officially halting 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia.
September 11 – Chile's democratically elected government is overthrown in a military coup after serious instability. President Salvador Allende commits suicide during the coup in the presidential palace, and General Augusto Pinochet heads a U.S.-backed military junta that governs Chile for the next 16 years.
September 20 – The Battle of the Sexes : Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match, 6–4, 6–4, 6–3, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.
September 22 – Henry Kissinger, United States National Security Advisor, starts his term as United States Secretary of State.
September 28 – ITT is bombed in New York City by leftist terrorists protesting the restoration of the Chilean Constitution ordered by the Chilean judicial and legislative branches against the Allende administration.
October 10 – Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States and then, in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion on $29,500 he received in 1967, while he was governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on 3 years' probation.
October 20 – The Saturday Night Massacre: U.S. President Richard Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns, along with Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the Department of Justice, then fires Cox. The event raises calls for Nixon's impeachment.
October 27 – The Canon City meteorite, a 1.4 kilogram chondrite type meteorite, strikes Earth in Fremont County, Colorado.
November 1 – Watergate scandal: Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor. Confirmation needed
November 3 – Pan Am cargo flight 160, a Boeing 707-321C, crashes at Logan International Airport, Boston, killing 3.
November 3 – Mariner program: NASA launches Mariner 10 toward Mercury (on March 29, 1974 it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet).
November 7 – The Congress of the United States overrides President Richard M. Nixon's veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.
November 11 – Egypt and Israel sign a United States-sponsored cease-fire accord.
November 16 – Skylab program: NASA launches Skylab 4 (Gerald Carr, William Pogue, Edward Gibson) from Cape Canaveral, Florida on an 84-day mission.
November 16 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline.
November 17 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors "I am not a crook."
November 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, reveals the existence of an 18½-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.
November 27 – The United States Senate votes 92–3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.
December 3 – Pioneer program: Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
December 6 – The United States House of Representatives votes 387–35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States; he is sworn in the same day.
December 15 – Gay rights: The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its DSM-II.
December 16 – O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills became the first running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a pro football season.
December 28 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
January 4 – Citing executive privilege, U.S. President Richard Nixon refuses to surrender 500 tapes and documents which have been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
January 4 – Joni Lenz is attacked in her bedroom by serial killer Ted Bundy in Washington.
January 6 – In response to the energy crisis, Daylight Saving Time commences nearly 4 months early in the United States.
January 19 – In college (men's) basketball, Notre Dame defeats UCLA 71–70, ending the Bruins' record 88-game winning streak.
January 30 – G. Gordon Liddy is found guilty of Watergate charges.
January 30 – In his State of the Union Address, U.S. President Richard Nixon declares, "One year of Watergate is enough."
February 8 – After a record 84 days in orbit, the crew of Skylab 4 returns to Earth.
February 12 – U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt rules that Native American tribes in Washington State are entitled to half of the legal salmon and steelhead catches, based on treaties signed by the tribes and the U.S. government.
March 1 – Watergate scandal: Seven former White House officials are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.
March 18 – Oil embargo crisis: Most OPEC nations end a 5-month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.
March 29 – Mariner 10 approaches Mercury.
April 3 – The Super Outbreak, the largest series of tornadoes in history, hits 13 U.S. states and one Canadian province. By the time the last of 149 tornadoes hit early the following morning, 315 die and over 5,000 are injured.
April 8 – Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves breaks Babe Ruth's home run record, by hitting his 715th career home run off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
April 15 – In San Francisco, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army rob a branch of the Hibernia National Bank, joined by Patricia Hearst, their erstwhile captive.
May 4 – The Expo '74 World's Fair opens in Spokane, Washington.
May 9 – The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard M. Nixon.
May 17 – Los Angeles, California police raid Symbionese Liberation Army headquarters, killing 6 members, including Camilla Hall.
May 19 – The Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Boston Bruins, thereby becoming the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup.
May 30 – NASA's ATS-6 satellite is launched.
June 4 – The Cleveland Indians stage an ill-advised Ten Cent Beer Night for a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Cleveland forfeits after alcohol-fueled mayhem and violence spreads from the stands onto the field.
June 26 – The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time, to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
June 30 – Alberta Williams King, mother of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., is killed during a church service in Atlanta, Georgia.
July 14 – In Issaquah, Washington, serial killer Ted Bundy abducts Janice Ott and Denise Naslund in broad daylight at Lake Sammamish State Park.
July 15 – Christine Chubbuck, U.S. television presenter for WXLT-TV, draws a revolver and shoots herself in the head during a live broadcast. She dies in a hospital 14 hours later.
July 24 – Watergate scandal – United States v. Nixon : The United States Supreme Court unanimously rules that President Richard Nixon can not withhold subpoenaed White House tapes, and orders him to surrender them to the Watergate special prosecutor.
July 27–30 – Watergate Scandal: The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee adopts 3 articles of impeachment, charging President Richard M. Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee.
August 5 – Watergate scandal: The "smoking gun" tape of June 23, 1972, is revealed, in which U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman discuss using the Central Intelligence Agency to block a Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Watergate. Nixon's support in Congress collapses.
August 7 – Three Republican congressional leaders (Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott and John Rhodes) visit President Richard Nixon in the White House. They inform him that he lacks the votes to escape impeachment in the United States House of Representatives and conviction in the Senate.
August 7 – French acrobat Philippe Petit walks across a high wire slung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
August 8 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces his resignation (effective August 9).
August 9 – Richard M. Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office, an action taken to avoid being removed by impeachment in response to his role in the Watergate scandal. Vice President Gerald R. Ford becomes the 38th President, taking the oath of office in the East Room of the White House.
September 1 – Daredevil Bob Gill fails a world-record attempt to jump Appalachia Lake in West Virginia.
September 8 – Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.
September 8 – Stuntman Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to rocket across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
September 16 – In Newport, Rhode Island, America's Cup defender "Courageous", skippered by Ted Hood, wins over Australian challenger "Southern Cross" .
October 8 – Franklin National Bank collapses due to fraud and mismanagement (the largest bank failure at that time in the history of the United States).
October 15 – U.S. President Gerald Ford signs a federal campaign reform bill, which sets new regulations in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
October 30 – The Rumble in the Jungle takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire, where Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman in 8 rounds to regain the Heavyweight title, which had been stripped from him 7 years earlier.
November 5 – Democrats make significant gains in the U.S. Congressional midterm elections, as the Republican Party suffers losses over the Watergate scandal.
November 8 – In Salt Lake City, Utah, Carol DaRonch narrowly escapes abduction by serial killer Ted Bundy.
November 20 – The United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T. This suit later leads to the break up of AT&T and the Bell System.
December 4 – The Pioneer 11 probe passes Jupiter and captures famous images of the Great Red Spot.
December 19 – Former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States.
December 23 – Former British minister John Stonehouse, who faked his drowning in Florida, is arrested in Melbourne, Australia.
December 31 – Restrictions on holding private gold within the United States, implemented by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, are removed.
January – Volkswagen introduces the Golf, its new front-wheel-drive economy car, in the United States and Canada as the Volkswagen Rabbit.
January 1 – Watergate scandal: John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.
January 2 – The Federal Rules of Evidence are approved by the United States Congress.
January 6 – AM America makes its television debut on ABC.
January 6 – Wheel of Fortune premieres on NBC.
January 8 – Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first woman U.S. governor who did not succeed her husband.
January 8 – U.S. President Gerald Ford appoints Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to head a special commission looking into alleged domestic abuses by the CIA.
January 12 – Super Bowl IX: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Minnesota Vikings 16–6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.
January 29 – The Weather Underground bombs the U.S. State Department main office in Washington, D.C..
February 13 – Fire breaks out in the World Trade Center.
February 21 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, are sentenced to between 30 months and 8 years in prison.
February 23 – In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly 2 months early in the United States.
March 9 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.
March 10 – The Rocky Horror Show opens on Broadway in New York City with 4 performances.
April 3 – Bobby Fischer refuses to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title.
April 4 – Vietnam War: The first military Operation Babylift flight, C5A 80218, crashes 27 minutes after takeoff, killing 138 on board; 176 survive the crash.
April 4 – Bill Gates founds Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
April 30 – Vietnam War: The Fall of Saigon: The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces take Saigon, resulting in mass evacuations of Americans and South Vietnamese. As the capital is taken, South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally.
May 5 – The Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, originally known as Busch Gardens: The Old Country, opens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
May 12 – Mayaguez incident: Khmer Rouge forces in Cambodia seize the United States merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.
May 15 – Mayaguez incident: The American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued by the U.S. Navy and Marines; 38 Americans are killed.
May 25 – Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser wins for a second time in a rain-shorted 174 lap, 435 mile (696 km) race.
June 10 – In Washington, DC, the Rockefeller Commission issues its report on CIA abuses, recommending a joint congressional oversight committee on intelligence.
June 26 – Two FBI agents and 1 AIM member die in a shootout, at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
July 17 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock in orbit, marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the 2 nations.
July 31 – In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
August 5 – U.S. President Ford posthumously pardons Robert E. Lee, restoring full rights of citizenship.
August 8 – Samuel Bronfman, son of the president of Seagram's, is kidnapped in Purchase, New York.
August 20 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
September 5 – In Sacramento, California, Lynette Fromme, a follower of jailed cult leader Charles Manson, attempts to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is thwarted by a Secret Service agent.
September 14 – Elizabeth Seton is canonized, becoming the first American Roman Catholic saint.
September 18 – Fugitive Patricia Hearst is captured in San Francisco.
September 22 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt, this time by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco.
October 1 – Thrilla in Manila : Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila, Philippines.
October 11 – NBC airs the first episode of Saturday Night Live (George Carlin is the first host; Billy Preston and Janis Ian the first musical guests).
October 21 – 1975 World Series: The Boston Red Sox defeat the Cincinnati Reds in Game Six off Carlton Fisk's twelfth inning home run to cap off what many consider to be the best World Series game ever played.
October 22 The Reds defeat the Red Sox four games to three in a broadcast that breaks records for a televised sporting event.
November 3 – An independent audit of Mattel, one of the United States' largest toy manufacturers, reveals that company officials fabricated press releases and financial information to "maintain the appearance of continued corporate growth."
November 20 – Former California Governor Ronald Reagan enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford.
November 29 – The name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) is used by Bill Gates in a letter to Paul Allen for the first time (Microsoft becomes a registered trademark on November 26, 1976).
November 29 – While disabled, the submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) discharges radioactive coolant water into Apra Harbor, Guam. A Geiger counter at 2 of the harbor's public beaches shows 100 millirems/hour, 50 times the allowable dose.
December 8 – New York City is approved for bailout of 2.3 billion each year through to 1978 – 6.9 billion total.
December 29 – A bomb explosion at LaGuardia Airport kills 11.
January 11 – The Philadelphia Flyers play the Soviet Red Army team, the Red Army left the ice for a portion of the game and the Flyers won 4–1
January 15 – Would-be Gerald Ford presidential assassin Sara Jane Moore is sentenced to life in prison.
January 18 – Super Bowl X: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Dallas Cowboys 21–17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
January 19 – Jimmy Carter wins the Iowa Democratic Caucus.
January 27 – The United States vetoes a United Nations resolution that calls for an independent Palestinian state.
January 30 – Live from Lincoln Center debuts on PBS.
February 5 – Nearly 2,000 students become involved in a racially charged riot at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida; 30 students are injured in the 4-hour fray.
February 11 – Clifford Alexander Jr. is confirmed as the first African-American Secretary of the United States Army.
March 9–11 – Two coal mine explosions claim 26 lives at the Blue Diamond Coal Co. Scotia Mine in Letcher County, Kentucky.
March 17 – Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is retried in New Jersey.
March 20 – Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery of a San Francisco bank.
March 27 – The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opens.
March 31 – The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that coma patient Karen Ann Quinlan can be disconnected from her ventilator. She remains comatose and dies in 1985.
April 1 – Conrail (Consolidated Rails Corporation) is formed by the U.S. government, to take control of 13 major Northeast Class-1 railroads that had filed for bankruptcy protection. Conrail takes control at midnight, as a government-owned and operated railroad until 1986, when it is sold to the public.
April 1 – Apple Computer Company is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
May 11 – U.S. President Gerald Ford signs the Federal Election Campaign Act.
May 24 – Washington, D.C. Concorde service begins.
May 25 – U.S. President Gerald Ford defeats challenger Ronald Reagan in 3 Republican presidential primaries: Kentucky, Tennessee and Oregon.
May 30 – Indianapolis 500-Mile Race: Johnny Rutherford wins the (rain-shortened) shortest race in event history to date, at 102 laps or 255 miles (408 km).
June 2 – A car bomb fatally injures Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.
June 5 – The Teton Dam collapses in southeast Idaho in the U.S., killing 11 people.
June 13 – Savage thunderstorms roll through the state of Iowa spawning several tornadoes, including an F-5 tornado that destroys the town of Jordan, Iowa.
June 17 – The National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association agree on the ABA-NBA merger.
June 20 – Hundreds of Western tourists are moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the U.S. military, following the murder of the U.S. ambassador.
July 3 – Gregg v. Georgia : The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment.
July 4 – United States Bicentennial : From coast to coast, the United States celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
July 4 – The Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP) leads 50,000 marchers in Philadelphia to demand a "Bicentennial Without Colonies" and independence for Puerto Rico.
July 6 – The first class of women is inducted at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
July 15 – Jimmy Carter is nominated for U.S. President at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.
July 20 – Viking program: The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.
July 26 – In Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan announces his choice of liberal U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker as his vice presidential running mate, in an effort to woo moderate Republican delegates away from President Gerald Ford.
July 29 – In New York City, the "Son of Sam" pulls a gun from a paper bag, killing 1 and seriously wounding another, in the first of a series of attacks that terrorize the city for the next year.
July 31 – NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo, taken by Viking 1.
July 31 – The Big Thompson River in northern Colorado floods, destroying more than 400 cars and houses.
August 1 – The Seattle Seahawks play their first football game.
August 2 – A gunman murders Andrea Wilborn and Stan Farr and injures Priscilla Davis and Gus Gavrel, in an incident at Priscilla's mansion in Fort Worth, Texas. T. Cullen Davis, Priscilla's husband and one of the richest men in Texas, is tried and found innocent for Andrea's murder, involvement in a plot to kill several people (including Priscilla and a judge), and a wrongful death lawsuit. Cullen goes broke afterwards.
August 4 – The first recognized outbreak of Legionnaires' disease kills 29 at the American Legion convention in Philadelphia.
August 7 – Viking program: Viking 2 enters into orbit around Mars.
August 18 – At Panmunjom, North Korea, 2 United States soldiers are killed while trying to chop down part of a tree in the Korean Demilitarized Zone which had obscured their view.
August 19 – U.S. President Gerald Ford edges out challenger Ronald Reagan to win the Republican Party presidential nomination in Kansas City.
September 3 – Viking program: The Viking 2 spacecraft lands at Utopia Planitia on Mars, taking the first close-up color photos of the planet's surface.
September 6 – Cold War: Soviet Air Force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko lands a MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate, on the island of Hokkaidō in Japan, and requests political asylum from the United States.
September 6 – Frank Sinatra brings Jerry Lewis's former partner Dean Martin onstage, unannounced, at the 1976 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in Las Vegas, Nevada, reuniting the comedy team for the first (and only) time in over 20 years.
September 17 – The space shuttle Enterprise is rolled out of a Palmdale, California hangar.
September 21 – Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C. by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
September 24 – Patricia Hearst is sentenced to 7 years in prison for her role in a 1974 bank robbery (an executive clemency order from U.S. President Jimmy Carter will set her free after only 22 months).
October 6 – In San Francisco, during his second televised debate with Jimmy Carter, U.S. President Gerald Ford stumbles when he declares that "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe" (there is at the time).
October 13 – The United States Commission on Civil Rights releases the report, Puerto Ricans in the Continental United States: An Uncertain Future, that documents that Puerto Ricans in the United States have a poverty rate of 33 percent in 1974 (up from 29 percent in 1970), the highest of all major racial-ethnic groups in the country (not including Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory).
October 19 – The Copyright Act of 1976 extends copyright duration for an additional 20 years in the United States.
October 20 – The Mississippi River ferry MV George Prince is struck by a ship while crossing from Destrehan, Louisiana to Luling, Louisiana, killing 78 passengers and crew.
October 21 – The Cincinnati Reds sweep the New York Yankees in four games to win the 1976 World Series.
November 2 – U.S. presidential election, 1976: Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Gerald Ford, becoming the first candidate from the Deep South to win since the Civil War.
November 15 – The first megamouth shark is discovered off Oahu in Hawaii.
November 25 – In San Francisco, The Band holds its farewell concert, The Last Waltz .
November 26 – Microsoft is officially registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.
December 8 – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is established by the 5 Latinos in the United States Congress: Herman Badillo of the Bronx, E. de la Garza and Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas, Edward R. Roybal of California, and the nonvoting Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, Baltasar Corrada del Rio.
December 8 – Hotel California by The Eagles is released.
December 20 – Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago for 21 years, dies.
January 9 – Super Bowl XI: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Minnesota Vikings 32–14 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
January 17 – In the first execution after the reintroduction of the death penalty in the U.S., Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.
January 19 – Snow falls in Miami, Florida (despite its ordinarily tropical climate) for the only time in its history. Snowfall has occurred farther south in the United States only on the high mountains of the state of Hawaii.
January 19 – U.S. President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino (aka "Tokyo Rose").
January 20 – Jimmy Carter succeeds Gerald Ford as the 39th President of the United States.
January 21 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders.
January 23 – Roots begins its phenomenally successful run on ABC.
January 28 – The Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 hits Buffalo, New York.
February 4 – Fleetwood Mac's Grammy-winning album Rumours is released.
February 18 – The space shuttle Enterprise test vehicle goes on its maiden "flight" while sitting on top of a Boeing 747, at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
March 9 – Approximately a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims take over 3 buildings in Washington, D.C., killing 1 person and taking more than 130 hostages. The hostage situation ends 2 days later.
March 15 – Tenor Luciano Pavarotti and the PBS opera series Live from the Met both make their American television debuts. Pavarotti stars in a complete production of Puccini's La Boheme .
April 4 – Grundy, Virginia experienced a major flood that made around $15 million in damages to 228 residential and commercial structures.
April 21 – Residents of Dover, Massachusetts report sightings of the so-called "Dover Demon".
May 25 – Star Wars opens in cinemas and subsequently becomes the then-highest grossing film of all time.
May 26 – George Willig climbs the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
May 28 – The Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky is engulfed in fire, killing 165 inside.
May 29 – Indianapolis 500: A.J. Foyt becomes the first driver (to date) to win a record four times.
June 5 – The Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 109–107 to win the NBA finals 4–2. Bill Walton is named series MVP.
June 7 – After campaigning by Anita Bryant and her anti-gay "Save Our Children" crusade, Miami-Dade County, Florida voters overwhelmingly vote to repeal the county's gay rights ordinance.
June 10 – James Earl Ray escapes from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Petros, Tennessee (he is recaptured on June 13).
June 16 – Oracle Corporation is incorporated in Redwood Shores, California as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.
June 20 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions.
June 25 – American Roy Sullivan is struck by lightning for the 7th time.
June 26 – Some 200,000 protesters march through the streets of San Francisco, protesting Anita Bryant's anti-gay remarks and the murder of Robert Hillsborough.
June 26 – Elvis Presley performs his last-ever concert, in Indianapolis, Indiana's Market Square Arena.
July 13 – The New York City blackout of 1977 lasts for 25 hours, resulting in looting and other disorder.
July 19 to July 20 – Flooding in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, caused by massive rainfall, kills over 75 people and causes billions in damage.
July 24 – Led Zeppelin plays their last U.S. concert in Oakland, California at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. A brawl erupts between Led Zeppelin's crew and promoter Bill Graham's staff, resulting in criminal assault charges for several of Led Zeppelin's entourage including drummer John Bonham.
July 28 – The first oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System reaches Valdez, Alaska.
August 3 – United States Senate hearings on MKULTRA are held.
August 4 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
August 10 – David Berkowitz is captured in Yonkers, New York, after over a year of murders in New York City as the Son of Sam.
August 12 – The NASA Space Shuttle, named Enterprise , makes its first test free-flight from the back of a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA).
August 15 – The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the "WOW!" signal for a notation made by a volunteer on the project.
August 16 – Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll dies in his home in Graceland at age 42. 75,000 fans lined the streets of Memphis for this funeral.
September 5 – Voyager program: Voyager 1 is launched after a brief delay.
September 7 – Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal are signed. The U.S. agrees to transfer control of the canal to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
September 18 – Courageous , skippered by Ted Turner, sweeps Australia in the 24th America's Cup.
September 19 – Under pressure from the Carter Administration, President Anastasio Somoza Debayle lifts the state of siege in Nicaragua.
September 21 – A nuclear non-proliferation pact is signed by 15 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union.
October 1 – Pelé plays his final professional football game as a member of the New York Cosmos.
October 14 – Anita Bryant is famously pied by four gay rights activists during a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa. This event resulted in her political fallout from anti-gay activism.
October 18 – Reggie Jackson hits three home runs to lead the New York Yankees to World Series victory.
October 20 – Three members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a charter plane crash outside Gillsburg, Mississippi, 3 days after the release of their fifth studio album Street Survivors .
November 6 – The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls Bible College near Toccoa, Georgia fails, killing 39.
November 8 – San Francisco elects City Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official of any large city in the U.S.
November 22 – British Airways inaugurates regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.
November 27 – The Rankin/Bass animated film The Hobbit premiers on NBC in the United States
December 1 – The Lockheed's top-secret stealth aircraft project, designated Have Blue, precursor to the U.S. F-117A Nighthawk, makes its first flight.
December 13 – A DC-3 charter plane carrying the University of Evansville basketball team to Nashville, Tenn., crashes in rain and dense fog about 90 seconds after takeoff from Evansville Dress Regional Airport. Twenty-nine people die in the crash, including 14 members of the team and head coach Bob Watson.
January 1 – The Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
January 6 – The Holy Crown of Hungary (also known as Stephen of Hungary Crown) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held since World War II.
January 14–15 – The body of former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, following his death from cancer.
January 19 – Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster is appointed FBI Director.
January 25–27 – The Great Blizzard of 1978 strikes the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes, causing 51 deaths in Ohio.
January 28 – Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento", is arrested.
February 1 – Hollywood film director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France, after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.
February 5–7 – The Northeastern United States blizzard of 1978 hits the New England region and the New York metropolitan area, killing about 100 and causing over US$520 million in damage.
February 8 – United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time.
February 11 – Sixteen Unification Church couples wed in New York, New York.
February 15 – Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Pensacola, Florida.
February 16 – The Hillside Strangler, a serial killer prowling Los Angeles, claims a 10th and final victim.
February 16 – The first computer bulletin board system ( CBBS ) is created in Chicago.
March 3 – The New York Post publishes an article about David Rorvik's book The Cloning of Man , about a supposed cloning of a human being.
March 6 – American porn publisher Larry Flynt is shot and paralyzed in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
March 22 – Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
March 28 – Stump v. Sparkman (435 U.S. 349): The Supreme Court of the United States hands down a 5–3 decision in a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.
April 3 – The 50th Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Annie Hall winning Best Picture.
April 7 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter decides to postpone production of the neutron bomb – a weapon which kills people with radiation but leaves buildings relatively intact.
April 10 – Volkswagen becomes the second (after Rolls-Royce) non-American automobile manufacturer to open a plant in the United States, commencing production of the Rabbit, the North American version of the Volkswagen Golf, in New Stanton, Pennsylvania with a unionized (UAW) workforce (the plant closes in 1992.)
April 18 – The U.S. Senate votes 68–32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
April 25 – St. Paul, Minnesota becomes the 2nd U.S. city to repeal its gay rights ordinance after Anita Bryant's successful 1977 anti-gay campaign in Dade County, Florida.
May 5 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th major league hit.
May 20 – Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becomes the first woman to run across the U.S.; her trek took 69 days.
May 25 – A bomb explodes in the security section of Northwestern University, wounding a security guard (the first Unabomber attack).
May 26 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
May 28 – Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins his third race, and the first for car owner Jim Hall.
June 6 – California voters approve Proposition 13, which slashes property taxes nearly 60%.
June 8 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extends the priesthood and temple blessings to 'all worthy males', ending a general policy of excluding 'Canaanites' from Priesthood ordination and temple ordinances ( see Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ).
June 28 – The U.S. scientific satellite Seasat is launched.
June 28 – University of California Regents v. Bakke : The Supreme Court of the United States bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of programs which give advantages to minorities.
August 17 – Double Eagle II becomes the first balloon to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France.
September 5 – Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
September 25 – PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California; 144 are killed.
September 25 – Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello makes its first appearance on Live from the Met, in a complete production of the opera starring Jon Vickers. This is the first complete television broadcast of the opera in the U.S. since the historic 1948 one.
October 2 – The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 5–4 at Fenway Park to clinch the AL East after being 14 games out of first place only two months earlier. The Yankees would eventually go on to defeat the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series.
October 10 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
October 14 – United States President Jimmy Carter signs a bill into law which allows homebrewing of beer in the United States.
October 17 – The New York Yankees clinch their 22nd World Series championship, defeating the Dodgers 7–2 in Los Angeles and winning the Series 4 games to 2.
November 7 – California voters defeat the Briggs Initiative that would have prohibited gay school teachers.
November 19 – The first U.S. Take Back the Night march occurs in San Francisco.
November 27 – In San Francisco, California, Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
December 3 – The Southern Crescent passenger train derails at Shipman, Virginia, killing 6, injuring 60.
December 4 – Dianne Feinstein succeeds the murdered George Moscone as San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she serves until January 8, 1988).
December 11 – Lufthansa heist: Six men rob a Lufthansa cargo facility in New York City's Kennedy airport.
December 13 – The first Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation.
December 15 – Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first major American city to go into default since the Great Depression, under Mayor Dennis Kucinich.
December 22 – Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of 33 young men, is arrested.
January 1 – The United States and the People's Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations.
January 4 – The State of Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of the dead and injured in the Kent State shootings.
January 9 – The Music for UNICEF Concert is held at the United Nations General Assembly to raise money for UNICEF and promote the Year of the Child. It is broadcast the following day in the United States and around the world. Hosted by The Bee Gees, other performers include Donna Summer, ABBA, Rod Stewart and Earth, Wind & Fire. A soundtrack album is later released.
January 19 – Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell is released on parole after 19 months at a federal prison in Alabama.
January 21 – Super Bowl XIII: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Dallas Cowboys 35–31 at the Miami Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
January 29 – Brenda Ann Spencer opens fire at a school in San Diego, California, killing 2 faculty members and wounding 8 students. Her response to the action, "I don't like Mondays," inspired the Boomtown Rats to make a song of the same name.
February 1 – Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence is commuted by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
February 13 – The intense February 13, 1979 Windstorm strikes western Washington and sinks a 1/2-mile-long section of the Hood Canal Bridge.
February 14 – In Kabul, Muslim extremists kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
February 27 – The annual Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana is canceled due to a strike called by the New Orleans Police Department.
March 4 – The U.S. Voyager I spaceprobe photos reveal Jupiter's rings.
March 25 – The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia , is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center, to be prepared for its first launch.
March 26 – In a ceremony at the White House, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel sign the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty.
March 29 – America's most serious nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania.
April 10 – A tornado hits Wichita Falls, Texas, killing 42 people (the most notable of 26 that day).
April 20 – President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a swamp rabbit while fishing in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.
April 22 – The Albert Einstein Memorial is unveiled at The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.
May 9 – A Unabomber bomb injures Northwestern University graduate student John Harris.
May 21 – San Francisco gays riot after hearing the verdict for Dan White, assassin of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
May 21 – The Montréal Canadiens defeat the New York Rangers 4 games to 1 in the best-of-seven series, winning the Stanley Cup.
May 25 – American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, a DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport, killing 271 on board and 2 people on the ground.
May 25 – John Spenkelink is executed in Florida, in the first use of the electric chair in America after the reintroduction of death penalty in 1976.
May 27 – Indianapolis 500: Rick Mears wins the race for the first time, and car owner Roger Penske for the second time.
June – McDonald's introduces the Happy Meal.
June 1 – The Seattle SuperSonics win the NBA Championship against the Washington Bullets.
June 18 – Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna.
June 20 – A Nicaraguan National Guard soldier kills ABC TV news correspondent Bill Stewart and his interpreter Juan Espinosa. Other members of the news crew capture the killing on tape.
July 2 – The Susan B. Anthony dollar is introduced in the U.S.
July 3 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
July 8 – Los Angeles passes its bill.
July 11 – NASA's first orbiting space station Skylab begins its return to Earth, after being in orbit for 6 years and 2 months.
July 12 – A Disco Demolition Night publicity stunt goes awry at Comiskey Park, forcing the Chicago White Sox to forfeit their game against the Detroit Tigers.
July 17 – Nicaraguan dictator General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami, Florida.
July 19 – The Sandinista National Liberation Front concludes a successful revolutionary campaign against the U.S. backed Somoza dictatorship and assumes power in Nicaragua.
August 9 – Raymond Washington, co-founder of the Crips, today one of the largest, most notorious gangs in the United States, is shot and killed 5 months after his arrest for quadruple murder (his killers have not yet been identified).
August 10 – Michael Jackson releases his first breakthrough album Off the Wall . It sells 7 million copies in the United States alone, making it a 7x platinum album.
August 29 – A national referendum is held in which Somali voters approve a new liberal constitution, promulgated by President Siad Barre to placate the United States.
September 1 – The U.S. Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn, when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 km.
September 12 – Hurricane Frederic makes landfall at 10:00 p.m. on Alabama's Gulf Coast.
September 23 – The largest anti-nuclear demonstration to date was held in New York City, when almost 200,000 people attended.
October 1–6 – Pope John Paul II visits the United States.
October 14 – A major gay rights march in the United States takes place in Washington, D.C., involving many tens of thousands of people.
October 17 – 1979 World Series: The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles.
November 1 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urges his people to demonstrate on November 4 and to expand attacks on United States and Israeli interests.
November 2 – Assata Shakur (ne' Joanne Chesimard), a former member of Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, is liberated from a New York prison and soon shuttled off to Cuba where she remains under political asylum.
November 3 – In Greensboro, North Carolina, 5 members of the Communist Workers Party are shot to death and 7 are wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis, during a "Death to the Klan" rally.
November 4 – Iran hostage crisis begins: 3,000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages (53 of whom are American). They demand that the United States send the former Shah of Iran back to stand trial.
November 7 – U.S. Senator Edward Moore Kennedy announces that he will challenge President Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination.
November 9 – Nuclear false alarm: the NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early warning radars, the alert was cancelled.
November 12 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, U.S. President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all oil imports into the United States from Iran.
November 14 – Iran hostage crisis: U.S. President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States and U.S. banks in response to the hostage crisis.
November 17 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini orders the release of 13 female and African American hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
November 21 – After false radio reports from the Ayatollah Khomeini that the Americans had occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan is attacked by a mob and set afire, killing 4 (see Foreign relations of Pakistan).
December 3 – Eleven fans are killed during a stampede for seats before The Who concert at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio.
December 3 – The United States dollar exchange rate with the Deutsche Mark falls to 1.7079 DM, the all-time low so far; this record is not broken until November 5, 1987.
December 6 – The world premiere for Star Trek: The Motion Picture is held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
January 4 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter proclaims a grain embargo against the USSR with the support of the European Commission.
January 6 – Global Positioning System time epoch begins at 00:00 UTC.
January 7 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation approving $1.5 billion in loan guarantees to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.
January 20 – Super Bowl XIV: The Pittsburgh Steelers become the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
January 24 – The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad is ordered liquidated due to bankruptcy, and debt owed to creditors.
January 27 – Canadian caper: Six United States diplomats, posing as Canadians, manage to escape from Tehran, Iran as they board a flight to Zürich, Switzerland.
February 2–3 – The New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot takes place; 33 inmates are killed and more than 100 inmates injured.
February 2 – Abscam: FBI personnel target members of the Congress of the United States in a sting operation.[ citation needed ]
February 13 – The XIII Winter Olympics open in Lake Placid, New York.
February 22 – The United States Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics, in the Miracle on Ice .
March 1 – The Voyager 1 probe confirms the existence of Janus, a moon of Saturn.
March 21 – Mafioso Angelo Bruno is assassinated in Philadelphia.
March 21 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
March 22 – The Georgia Guidestones are erected in Elbert County, Georgia.
March 27 – The Silver Thursday market crash occurs.
March 31 – Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad operates its final train.
April 1 – New York City's Transport Works Union Local 100 goes on strike, which continues for 11 days.
April 7 – The United States severs diplomatic relations with Iran and imposes economic sanctions, following the taking of American hostages on November 4, 1979.
April 15 – A mass exodus of Cubans to the United States known as the Mariel boatlift begins. It ends on October 31 by agreement between the two countries.
April 21 – Rosie Ruiz wins the Boston Marathon, but is later exposed as a fraud and stripped of her award.
April 24–25 – Operation Eagle Claw, a commando mission in Iran to rescue American embassy hostages, is aborted after mechanical problems ground the rescue helicopters. Eight United States troops are killed in a mid-air collision during the failed operation.
April 24 – Pennsylvania Lottery Scandal: the Pennsylvania Lottery is rigged by six men including the host of the live TV drawing, Nick Perry.
May 7 – Paul Geidel, convicted of second-degree murder in 1911, is released from prison in Beacon, New York, after 68 years and 245 days (the longest-ever time served by an inmate).
May 9 – James Alexander George Smith "Jags" McCartney the Turks and Caicos Islands’ first Chief Minister, was killed in a plane crash over New Jersey.
May 9 – In Florida, the Liberian freighter Summit Venture hits the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, sending 35 people (most of whom were in a bus) to a watery death as a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapses.
May 11 – Mobster Henry Hill is arrested for drug possession.
May 17 – A Miami, Florida court acquits four white police officers of killing Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, provoking three days of race riots.
May 18 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 and causing US$3 billion in damage.
May 21 – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is released.
May 22 – Pac-Man , the best-selling arcade game of all time, is released.
May 24 – The New York Islanders win their first Stanley Cup, from a goal by Bobby Nystrom in overtime of game six of the Stanley Cup playoffs's final round.
May 24 – The International Court of Justice calls for the release of U.S. Embassy hostages in Tehran.
May 25 – Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins for a third time in car owner Jim Hall's revolutionary ground effect Chaparral car; the victory is Hall's second as an owner.
May 29 – Vernon Jordan is shot and critically injured in an assassination attempt in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Joseph Paul Franklin (the first major news story for CNN).
June 1 – The Cable News Network (CNN) is officially launched.
June 3 – U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy wins several primaries, including California, on 'Super Tuesday', but not enough to overtake President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic Party nomination.
June 3 – A series of deadly tornadoes strikes Grand Island, Nebraska, causing over US$300 million in damage, killing five people and injuring over 250.
June 9 – In Los Angeles, comedian Richard Pryor is badly burned trying to freebase cocaine.
June 10 – A Unabomber bomb injures United Airlines president Percy Wood in Lake Forest, Illinois.
June 20 – Augusta AVA becomes the first federally recognized American Viticultural Area.
June 23 – September 6 – The 1980 United States heat wave claims 1,700 lives.
June 27 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs Proclamation 4771, requiring 19- and 20-year-old males to register for a peacetime military draft, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
July 15 – A severe and destructive thunderstorm strikes four counties in western Wisconsin, including the city of Eau Claire. It causes over US$250 million in damage, and one person is killed.
July 16 – Former California Governor and actor Ronald Reagan is nominated for U.S. President, at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan. Influenced by the Religious Right, the convention also drops its long standing support for the Equal Rights Amendment, dismaying moderate Republicans.
August 10 – Hurricane Allen, after becoming a Category 5 storm and the strongest hurricane of the season, hits southeastern Texas as a Category 3.
August 14 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter defeats Senator Edward Kennedy to win renomination, at the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
September 19 – The Robert Redford-directed film Ordinary People , based on the novel by Judith Guest, premieres. Redford's directorial debut later wins him his first Oscar, and wins three other Academy Awards, and five Golden Globe awards.
September 29 – The Washington Post publishes Janet Cooke's story of Jimmy, an 8-year-old heroin addict (later proven to be fabricated).
September 30 – Digital Equipment Corporation, Intel and Xerox introduce the DIX standard for Ethernet, which is the first implementation outside of Xerox, and the first to support 10 Mbit/s speeds.
October 14 – The Staggers Rail Act is enacted, deregulating American railroads.
October 15 – James Hoskins forces his way into WCPO's television studio in Cincinnati, holding nine employees hostage for several hours before releasing them and taking his own life.
October 21 – World Series: The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals 4–2 in game 6.
October 28 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan debate in Cleveland, Ohio. Reagan's genial, witty performance causes him to overtake Carter in the polls.
November 4 – United States presidential election, 1980: Republican challenger and former Governor Ronald Reagan of California defeats incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter, exactly one year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis.
November 10 – November 12 – Voyager program: The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn, when it flies within 77,000 miles of the planet's cloud-tops and sends the first high resolution images of the world back to scientists on Earth.
November 20 – A Texaco oil rig breaks through to a mine under Lake Peigneur.
November 21 – Millions of viewers tune into the U.S. TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing. The "Who shot J.R.?" event is a national obsession.
November 21 – A fire at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip kills 85 people.
December 8 – John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City.
December 11 – CERCLA is enacted by the U.S. Congress.
December 26 – Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento," kills himself by overdose on San Quentin prison death row.
January 19 – United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.
January 20 – Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter, as the 40th President of the United States. Minutes later, Iran releases the 52 Americans held for 444 days, ending the Iran hostage crisis.
January 25 – Super Bowl XV: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27–10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
February 10 – A fire at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino kills 8 and injures 198.
March 6 – After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News , Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.
March 19 – Three workers are killed and 5 injured during a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia .
March 21 – Michael Donald lynched.
March 30 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady are also wounded.
March 31 – The 53rd Academy Awards, hosted by Johnny Carson, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Robert Redford's directorial debut in Ordinary People wins Best Picture and Best Director.
April 12 – The Space Shuttle program: Space Shuttle Columbia (John Young, Robert Crippen) launches on the STS-1 mission, returning to Earth on April 14.
April 18 – A Minor League Baseball game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, becomes the longest professional baseball game in history: 8 hours and 25 minutes/33 innings (the 33rd inning is not played until June 23).
May 15 – Donna Payant is murdered by serial killer Lemuel Smith, the first time a female prison officer has been killed on-duty in the United States.
June 5 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five homosexual men in Los Angeles, California have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems (the first recognized cases of AIDS).
June 12 – Major League Baseball goes on strike, forcing the cancellation of 38 percent of the schedule.
June 21 – Wayne Williams, a 23-year-old African American, is arrested and charged with the murders of two other African Americans. He is later accused of 28 others, in the Atlanta child murders.
June 29 – Morris Edwin Robert, armed with a machine gun, holds hostages in the FBI section at the Atlanta, Georgia Federal Building. After three hours the hostages are rescued and Robert is killed in a shootout with Federal Agents.
July 7 – President Ronald Reagan nominates the first woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, to the Supreme Court of the United States.
July 8 – California Governor Jerry Brown, faced with a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation, chooses to delay the aerial spraying of malathion, in favor of continuing ground-based eradication efforts.
July 17 – Hyatt Regency walkway collapse: Two skywalks filled with people at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri collapse into a crowded atrium lobby, killing 114.
July 17 – Israeli aircraft bomb Beirut, destroying multi-story apartment blocks containing the offices of PLO associated groups, killing approximately 300 civilians and resulting in worldwide condemnation and a U.S. embargo on the export of aircraft to Israel.
July 27 – Adam Walsh, 6, is kidnapped from a Sears store in Hollywood, Florida.
August 1 – MTV (Music Television) is launched on cable television in the United States.
August 5 – Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
August 7 – The Washington Star ceases publication after 128 years.
August 9 – Major League Baseball resumes from the strike with the All-Star Game in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.
August 10 – Exactly two weeks after his disappearance, the severed head of 6-year-old Hollywood, Florida native Adam Walsh is found in a canal in Vero Beach, Florida; to this day the rest of the boy's body has never been recovered.
August 12 – The original Model 5150 IBM PC (with a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor) is released in the United States at a base price of $1,565.
August 19 – Gulf of Sidra incident (1981): Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi sends 2 Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets to intercept 2 U.S. fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. The American jets destroy the Libyan fighters.
August 19 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan appoints the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.
August 24 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, after being convicted of murdering John Lennon in Manhattan 8 months earlier.
August 31 – A bomb explodes at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, West Germany, injuring 20 people.
September 10 – Picasso's painting "Guernica" is moved from New York to Madrid.
September 11 – A small plane crashes into the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California, damaging the venue beyond repair.
September 15 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, at 150 years old, when it operates under its own power outside Washington, DC.
September 17 – Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win his first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in Kansas City.
September 19 – Simon & Garfunkel perform The Concert in Central Park, a free concert in New York in front of approximately half a million people.
September 25 – Sandra Day O'Connor takes her seat as the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
September 25 – The Rolling Stones begin their Tattoo You tour at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
October 28 – The thrash metal band Metallica forms in Los Angeles.
November 12 – STS-2 : Space Shuttle Columbia (Joe Engle, Richard Truly) lifts off for its second mission.
November 16 – Luke and Laura marry on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital ; it is the highest-rated hour in daytime television history.
November 23 – Iran-Contra scandal: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
November 30 – Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin negotiating intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings end inconclusively on Thursday, December 17).
December 5 – American general James L. Dozier is kidnapped in Verona by the Italian Red Brigades.
December 8 – The No. 21 Mine explosion in Whitwell, Tennessee kills 13.
December 11 – Boxing: Muhammad Ali loses to Trevor Berbick; this proved to be Ali's last-ever fight.
December 28 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
January 8 – AT&T agrees to divest itself into 22 subdivisions.
January 11–17 – A brutal cold snap sends temperatures to all-time record lows in dozens of cities throughout the Midwestern United States.
January 13 – Shortly after takeoff, Air Florida Flight 90 crashes into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78. On the same day, a Washington Metro train derails to the north, killing 3 (the system's first fatal accident).
January 17 – Cold Sunday sweeps over the northern United States.
January 28 – United States Army Brigadier General James L. Dozier is rescued by the Italian anti-terrorism Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza (NOCS) force after being held captive for 42 days by the Red Brigades.
February 27 – Atlanta murders of 1979-1981: Wayne Williams is convicted of the murdering two children and is sentences to two consecutive life terms.
March 10 – The United States places an embargo on Libyan oil imports, alleging Libyan support for terrorist groups.
March 16 – In Newport, Rhode Island, Claus von Bülow is found guilty of the attempted murder of his wife.
March 26 – A ground-breaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, DC.
March 29 – The 54th Academy Awards, hosted by Johnny Carson, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Chariots of Fire wins Best Picture and three other Academy Awards.
April 6 – A blizzard unprecedented in size for April dumps 1–2 feet of snow on the northeastern United States, closing schools and businesses, snarling traffic, and canceling several major league baseball games.
April 23 – Dennis Wardlow, mayor of Key West, Florida, declares the independent "Conch Republic" for a day.
May 1 – A crowd of over 100,000 attends the first day of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. The fair is kicked off with an address by President Ronald Reagan. Over 11 million people attend the fair during its 6-month run.
May 30 – Indianapolis 500: In what Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson and Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie later call the greatest moment in the track's history, 1973 winner Gordon Johncock wins his second race over 1979 winner Rick Mears by 0.16 seconds, the closest finish to that date, after Mears draws alongside Johncock with a lap remaining, after erasing a seemingly insurmountable advantage of more than 11 seconds in the final 10 laps.
June 8 – President Ronald Reagan becomes the first American chief executive to address a joint session of the British Parliament.
June 12 – A rally against nuclear weapons draws 750,000 to New York City's Central Park. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and Linda Ronstadt attend. An international convocation at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine features prominent peace activists from around the world and afterward participants march on Fifth Avenue to Central Park for the rally.
June 25 – The Institute for Puerto Rican Policy is founded in New York City to research and advocate for Puerto Rican and Latino community issues. In 2006, it changes it name to the National Institute for Latino Policy.
July 2 – Larry Walters, a.k.a. Lawn Chair Larry, flies 16,000 feet above Long Beach, California in a lawn chair with weather balloons attached.
July 9 – Pan Am Flight 759 (Boeing 727) crashes in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 146 on board and 8 on the ground.
July 16 – In New York City, The Reverend Sun Myung Moon is sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $25,000 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
August 20 – Lebanese Civil War: A multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon. French troops arrive August 21, U.S. Marines August 25.
September 5 – Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch is kidnapped.
September 29 – October 1 – The 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders occur when 7 people in the Chicago area die after ingesting capsules laced with potassium cyanide.
October 1 – In Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World opens the second largest theme park, EPCOT Center, to the public for the first time.
October 15 – The Garn – St Germain Depository Institutions Act deregulates the U.S. savings and loan industry.
October 19 – John DeLorean is arrested for selling cocaine to undercover FBI agents (he is later found not guilty due to entrapment).
October 20 – World Series: The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 in game 7.
November 2 – United States general elections, 1982.
November 3 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average surges 43.41 points, or 4.25%, to close at 1,065.49, its first all-time high in more than 9 years. It last hit a record on January 11, 1973 when the average closed at 1,051.70. The points gain is the biggest ever up to this point.
November 13 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.
November 20 – University of California, Berkeley executes "The Play" in a college football game against Stanford. Completing a wacky 57-yard kickoff return that includes 5 laterals, Kevin Moen runs through Stanford band members who had prematurely come onto the field. His touchdown stands and California wins 25–20.
November 30 – Michael Jackson releases Thriller , the biggest selling album of all time.
December 2 – At the University of Utah, 61-year-old retired dentist Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart (he lives for 112 days with the device).
December 3 – A final soil sample is taken from the site of Times Beach, Missouri. It is found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.
December 7 – The first U.S. execution by lethal injection is carried out in Texas.
December 23 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends the evacuation of Times Beach, Missouri due to dangerous levels of dioxin contamination.
January 1 – The New Jersey Transit Police Department is created in the state of New Jersey.
January 2 – The musical Annie is performed for the last time after 2,377 shows at the Alvin Theatre on Broadway, New York City.
January 3 – Kilauea begins slowly erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii and is still flowing as of 2009.
January 19 – Apple Inc. releases the Apple Lisa personal computer.
January 26 – Lotus 1-2-3 is released for IBM-PC compatible computers.
February 18 – Wah Mee massacre: 13 people are killed in an attempted robbery in Seattle, Washington.
February 23 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intention to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.
February 23 – Failure of automatic shut-down at Salem Nuclear Power Plant, New Jersey, USA.
February 24 – A special commission of the Congress of the United States releases a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
February 28 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, setting a new record for most-watched television broadcast in American history.
March 8 – IBM releases the IBM PC XT.
March 9 – Anne Burford resigns as head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency amid scandal.
March 23 – Strategic Defense Initiative: U.S. President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles. The media dub this plan "Star Wars".
March 23 – Michael Jackson performs the dance move that will forever be known as the "moonwalk" at Motown 25.
April 18 – The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut kills 63 people.
April 25 – Manchester, Maine schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov, after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.
May 17 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
May 28 – The 9th G7 summit begins at Williamsburg, Virginia.
June 13 – Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the solar system.
June 18 – STS-7 : Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space, on the Space Shuttle Challenger .
July 7 – Samantha Smith flies to the Soviet Union (see April 25).
August 1 – America West Airlines begins operations out of Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.
August 18 – Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast, killing 22 and causing over US$3.8 billion (2005 dollars) in damage.
August 24 – The Old Philadelphia Arena is destroyed by arson.
August 30 – STS-8 : Space Shuttle Challenger carries Guion S. Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, into space.
September 1 – Cold War: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a Soviet Union jet fighter when the commercial aircraft enters Soviet airspace. All 269 on board are killed including U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald.
September 5 – Tom Brokaw becomes lead anchor for NBC Nightly News .
September 17 – Vanessa Lynn Williams becomes the first African-American to be crowned Miss America, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
September 24 – The Red Hot Chili Peppers launch their first, self-titled album The Red Hot Chili Peppers (album).
October 4 – Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 mph, driving Thrust 2 at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
October 16 – World Series: The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5–0 in Game 5, to win the series 4 games to 1 for their 3rd World Championship.
October 23 – Simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroy both the French and the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians.
October 25 – United States troops invade Grenada at the behest of Eugenia Charles of Dominica, a member of the Organization of American States.
October 25 – Microsoft Word is first released.
November 2 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: At the White House Rose Garden, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating a federal holiday on the third Monday of every January to honor American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
November 3 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson announces his candidacy for the 1984 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
November 10 – The anticancer drug etoposide is approved by the FDA, leading to a curative treatment regime in the field of combination chemotherapy of testicular carcinoma.
November 11 – Ronald Reagan becomes the first U.S. President to address the Diet, Japan's national legislature.
November 13 – The first United States cruise missiles arrive at Greenham Common Airbase in England amid protests from peace campaigners.
November 14 – The immunosuppressant cyclosporine is approved by the FDA, leading to a revolution in the field of transplantation.
November 16 – A jury in Gretna, Louisiana acquits Ginny Foat of the murder of Argentine businessman Moses Chaiyo.
December 2 – Michael Jackson's world famous music video for "Thriller" is broadcast for the first time. It becomes the most often repeated and famous music video of all time, increasing his own popularity and record sales of the album "Thriller".
December 4 – Lt. Bobby Goodman of the United States Navy is shot down over Lebanon and captured by the Syrians.
December 13 – The Denver Nuggets and the visiting Detroit Pistons combine for an NBA record 370 points, with Detroit winning in triple overtime, 186–184.
December 27 – A propane explosion in Buffalo, New York kills 5 firefighters and 2 civilians.
December 29 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson travels to Syria to secure the release of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman, who has been in Syrian captivity since being shot down over the country during a reconnaissance mission.
December 31 – The famous Apple Macintosh advertisement is released.
January 1 – US Bell System is broken up.
January 3 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan meets with Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman and the Reverend Jesse Jackson at the White House, following Lieutenant Goodman's release from Syrian captivity.
January 10 – The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
January 27 – Michael Jackson's hair catches on fire during a Pepsi commercial.
February 3 – Dr. John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history's first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth.
February 3 – STS-41-B : Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on the 10th space shuttle mission.
February 11 – STS-41-B : Space Shuttle Challenger makes the first shuttle landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
February 16 – Bill Johnson becomes first American male to win an Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing.
February 26 – United States Marines pull out of Beirut, Lebanon.
February 28 – Michael Jackson wins a record eight Grammy Awards.
March 16 – The CIA station chief in Beirut, William Francis Buckley, is kidnapped by Islamic Jihad and later dies in captivity.
March 22 – Teachers at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California are charged with Satanic ritual abuse of the schoolchildren (the charges are later dropped as completely unfounded).
April 4 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls for an international ban on chemical weapons.
April 6 – The 56th Academy Awards, hosted by Jack Lemmon, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with Terms of Endearment winning Best Picture.
May 8 – The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
May 8 – The longest game in Major League Baseball history begins at 7:30 PM between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox. The game is played over the course of 2 days, lasting 25 innings, with a total time of 8 hours and 6 minutes.
May 12 – The Louisiana World's Fair opens.
May 19 – The Edmonton Oilers defeat the New York Islanders to win their 1st Stanley Cup.
May 27 – An overnight flash flood rages through neighborhoods in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nearly 15 inches of rain falls in some areas over a four-hour period. 14 persons are killed.
May 31 – Mecklenburg Correctional Center - 6 inmates - including James and Linwood Briley escape from a death row facility, the first and only occasion this has ever happened in the US.
June 1 – William M. Gibbons is released as receiver and trustee of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad, after all of its debts and creditors are paid off by order of a federal bankruptcy court.
June 8 – A deadly F5 tornado nearly destroys the town of Barneveld, Wisconsin, killing 9 people, injuring nearly 200, and causing over $25,000,000 in damage.
June 16 – Ricky Kasso murders Gary Lauwers in .
July 18 – In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Oliver Huberty sprays a McDonald's restaurant with gunfire, killing 21 people before being shot and killed.
July 23 – Vanessa Lynn Williams becomes the first Miss America to resign when she surrenders her crown, after nude photos of her appear in Penthouse magazine.
July 28 – August 12 – The 1984 Summer Olympics are held in Los Angeles, California.
August 11 – United States President Ronald Reagan, during a voice check for a radio broadcast remarks, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
August 30 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.
September 5 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery lands after its maiden voyage.
September 20 – Hezbollah car-bombs the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 22 people.
October 5 – STS-41-G : Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger .
October 11 – Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger , astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.
October 14 – World Series: The Detroit Tigers defeat the San Diego Padres to win in 5 games.
November 2 – Capital punishment: Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
November 6 – United States presidential election, 1984: Ronald Reagan defeats Walter F. Mondale with 59% of the popular vote, the highest since Richard Nixon's 61% victory in 1972. Reagan carries 49 states in the electoral college; Mondale wins only his home state of Minnesota by a mere 3,761 vote margin and the District of Columbia.
November 9 – Cesar Chavez delivers his speech, "What The Future Holds For Farm Workers And Hispanics", at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
November 28 – Over 250 years after their deaths, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn are made Honorary Citizens of the United States.
December 1 – Controlled Impact Demonstration: NASA crashes a remote controlled Boeing 720.
December 22 – Four African-American youths (Barry Allen, Troy Canty, James Ramseur, and Darrell Cabey) board an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City. They attempt to rob Bernhard Goetz, who shoots them. The event starts a national debate about urban crime, which is a plague in 1980s America.
January 20 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is privately sworn in for a second term in office (publicly sworn in, January 21).
January 20 – Super Bowl XIX: The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Miami Dolphins 38–16 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.
January 28 – In Hollywood, California, the charity single "We Are the World" is recorded by USA for Africa. Like the enormously successful Do They Know It's Christmas? that was recorded by Band Aid in Britain two months ago, the single raises money to combat the ongoing famine in Ethiopia. The American act consists of high profile performers including Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Diana Ross.
February 5 – Australia cancels its involvement in U.S.-led MX missile tests.
February 9 – U.S. drug agent Enrique Camarena is kidnapped and murdered in Mexico (his body is discovered March 5).
February 14 – CNN reporter Jeremy Levin is freed from captivity in Lebanon.
March 4 – The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then to screen all blood donations in the United States.
March 6 – Mike Tyson makes his professional debut in Albany, New York, a match which he wins by a first round knockout.
March 8 – A car bomb planted in Beirut by CIA mercenaries attempts to kill Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah and kills more than 80 people, injuring 200.
March 16 – Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut (he is eventually released on December 4, 1991).
March 25 – The 57th Academy Awards are held at in Los Angeles, California with Amadeus winning Best Picture.
March 31 – WrestleMania debuts at Madison Square Garden.
April 1 – Eighth seeded Villanova defeats national powerhouse Georgetown 66–64 to win the first 64 team field NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky.
April 11 – The USS Coral Sea collides with the Ecuadorian tanker ship Napo off the coast of Cuba.
April 12: 1985 El Descanso bombing: A terrorist bombing attributed to the Islamic Jihad Organization in the El Descanso restaurant near Madrid, Spain, mostly attended by U.S. personnel of the Torrejon Air Force Base, causes 18 dead (all Spaniards) and 82 injured.
April 23 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. (The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than three months.)
May 5 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan joins German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for a controversial funeral service at a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, which includes the graves of 59 elite S.S. troops from World War II.
May 11 – The FBI brings charges against the suspected heads of the 5 Mafia families in New York City.
May 13 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mayor Wilson Goode orders police to storm the radical group MOVE's headquarters to end a stand-off. The police drop an explosive device into the headquarters, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 61 city residents in the resulting fire.
May 15 – An explosive device sent by the Unabomber injures John Hauser at UC Berkeley.
May 19 – John Anthony WalkerJr., is arrested by the FBI for passing classified Naval communications on to the Soviets.
May 31 – Forty-one tornadoes hit in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, killing 76.
June 13 – In Auburn, Washington, police defuse a Unabomber bomb sent to Boeing.
June 14 – TWA Flight 847, carrying 153 passengers from Athens to Rome, is hijacked by a Hezbollah fringe group. One passenger, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Robert Stethem, is killed.
June 17 – John Hendricks launches the Discovery Channel in the United States.
June 24 – STS-51-G: Space Shuttle Discovery completes its mission, best remembered for having Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist.
June 26 – The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail Gold catches fire on the EPCOT beam around 9:00 p.m., due to friction from a flat tire.
June 27 – U.S. Route 66 is officially decommissioned.
July 3 – Back to the Future opens in American theatres and ends up being the highest grossing film of 1985 in the United States and the first film in the successful franchise.
July 13 – Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and London raise over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
July 13 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush serves as Acting President for 8 hours, while President Ronald W. Reagan undergoes colon cancer surgery.
July 19 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush announces that New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe will become the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger .
July 20 – The main ship wreck site of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha (which sank in 1622) is found 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida by treasure hunters who begin to excavate $400 million in coins and silver.
July 24 – Commodore launches the Amiga personal computer at the Lincoln Center in New York.
August 2 – Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashes near Dallas, Texas, killing 137 people.
August 4 – Major League Baseball player Rod Carew of the Anaheim Angels becomes the 16th player to achieve 3,000 hits in a career.
August 25 – Samantha Smith, "Goodwill Ambassador" between the Soviet Union and the United States for writing a letter to Yuri Andropov about nuclear war, and eventually visiting the Soviet Union at Andropov's request, dies in the Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 plane crash. She was 13.
August 31 – Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the Night Stalker, is captured in Los Angeles.
September 6 – Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9, crashes just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.
October 4 – The Free Software Foundation is founded in Massachusetts, USA.
October 7 – The cruise ship Achille Lauro is hijacked in the Mediterranean Sea by four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists. One passenger, American Leon Klinghoffer, is killed.
October 18 – The Nintendo Entertainment System is released in U.S. stores.
November 15 – In separate events, mail bombs kill 2 people in Salt Lake City, Utah; a third bomb explodes the next day, injuring career counterfeiter Mark Hofmann. The ensuing police investigation leads to the arrest of Hofmann for the 2 murders.
November 18 – The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 newspapers.
November 19 – Cold War: In Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
November 20 – Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.
November 26 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan sells the rights to his autobiography to Random House for a record US$3 million.
December 1 – The Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are released for sale to the public.
December 12 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, a Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing 256, 248 of whom were U.S. servicemen returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky from overseeing a peacekeeping force in Sinai.
December 16 – In New York City, Mafia bosses Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead in front of Spark's Steak House, making hit organizer John Gotti the leader of the powerful Gambino organized crime family.
December 24 – Right wing extremist David Lewis Rice murders civil rights attorney Charles Goldmark as well as Goldmark's wife and 2 children in Seattle. Rice suspected the family of being Jewish and Communist and claimed his dedication to the Christian Identity movement drove him to the crime.
December 27 – American naturalist Dian Fossey is found murdered in Rwanda.
December 31 – The last issue of The Columbus Citizen-Journal is circulated.
January 12— STS-61-C : Space Shuttle Columbia is launched with the first Hispanic-American astronaut, Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz.
January 20—The first federal Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., is observed.
January 24—The Voyager 2 space probe makes its first encounter with Uranus.
January 26—Super Bowl XX: The Chicago Bears defeat the New England Patriots 46–10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
January 28— STS-51-L : Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launch, killing the crew of 7 astronauts, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe (see Space Shuttle Challenger disaster).
February 19—After waiting 37 years, the United States Senate approves a treaty outlawing genocide.
February 25—People Power Revolution: President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines goes into exile in Hawaii after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the first Filipino woman president, first as an interim president. Salvador Laurel becomes her Vice President.
February 27—The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis.
March 9—United States Navy divers find the largely intact but heavily damaged crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger ; the bodies of all seven astronauts are still inside.
March 25—The 58th Academy Awards are held in Los Angeles, California, with Out of Africa winning Best Picture.
March 26—An article in the New York Times charges that Kurt Waldheim, former United Nations Secretary General and candidate for president of Austria, may have been involved in Nazi war crimes during World War II.
April 4—Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. is founded at University of Iowa.
April 5—1986 Berlin discotheque bombing: The West Berlin discothèque, a known hangout for United States soldiers, is bombed, killing 3 and injuring 230; Libya is held responsible.
April 15—Operation El Dorado Canyon: At least 15 people die after United States planes bomb targets in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the Benghazi region
April 17—British journalist John McCarthy is kidnapped in Beirut (released in August 1991) – 3 others are found dead; Revolutionary Cells (RZ) claims responsibility in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Libya.
April 29—Roger Clemens sets the record for the most strikeouts in a 9-inning MLB game, striking out 20 batters.
May 25—Hands Across America: At least 5,000,000 people form a human chain from New York City to Long Beach, California, to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.
June 4—Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.
June 8—The Boston Celtics defeat the Houston Rockets in 6 games to win the NBA Championship.
June 9—The Rogers Commission releases its report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
June 19—American college basketball player Len Bias suffers a fatal cardiac arrhythmia from a cocaine overdose less than 48 hours after being selected 2nd overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft.
July 5—The Statue of Liberty is reopened to the public after an extensive refurbishing.
August 6—In Louisville, Kentucky, William J. Schroeder, the second artificial heart recipient, dies after 620 days.
August 20—In Edmond, Oklahoma, United States Postal Service employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers before committing suicide.
August 31—Aeroméxico Flight 498, a Douglas DC-9, collides with a Piper PA-28 over Cerritos, California, killing 67 on both aircraft and 15 on the ground.
August 31—The cargo ship Khian Sea departs from the docks of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, carrying 14,000 tons of toxic waste. It wanders the seas for the next 16 months trying to find a place to dump its cargo.
October 1—U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Goldwater-Nichols Act into law, making official the largest reorganization of the United States Department of Defense since the Air Force was made a separate branch of service in 1947.
October 9—United States District Court Judge Harry E. Claiborne becomes the fifth federal official to be removed from office through impeachment.
October 11—Cold War: Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavík, Iceland, to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe (the talks break down in failure).
October 22—In New York City WNBC Radio's traffic helicopter crashes into the Hudson River, killing traffic reporter Jane Dornacker. The last words heard on-the-air were Dornacker's screams of terror, "Hit the water! Hit the water! Hit the water!"
October 27—World Series: The New York Mets defeat the Boston Red Sox in 7 games. This is the second world series title in the Mets franchise. It is also remembered for Game 6, when Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson roll through his legs, letting the Mets win and pull even with the Red Sox in the series.
October 28—The centennial of the Statue of Liberty's dedication is celebrated in New York Harbor.
November 3—Iran–Contra affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been selling weapons to Iran in secret, in order to secure the release of 7 American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.
November 4—Democrats regain control of the United States Senate for the first time in 6 years. In California, Chief Justice Rose Bird and two colleagues are removed by voters from the Supreme Court of California for opposing capital punishment.
November 21—Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, start shredding documents implicating them in selling weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
November 22—Mike Tyson wins his first world boxing title by defeating Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.
November 25—Iran-Contra Affair: U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
November 26—Iran-Contra Affair: U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces that as of December 1 former Senator John Tower, former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft will serve as members of the Special Review Board looking into the scandal (they became known as the Tower Commission). Reagan denies involvement in the scandal.
December 20—Three African Americans are assaulted by a group of white teens in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, New York. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, is run over and killed by a motorist while attempting to flee the attackers.
December 26—After 35 years on the airwaves and holding the title of longest-running non-news program on network television, NBC airs the final episode of daytime drama Search for Tomorrow .
December 31—A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, kills 97 and injures 140.
January 3 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
January 4 – 1987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts collides with Conrail engines at Chase, Maryland, killing 16.
January 5 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery, causing speculation about his physical fitness to continue in office.
January 8 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 2,000 for the first time, gaining 8.30 to close at 2,002.25.
January 13 – New York mafiosi Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and Carmine Peruccia are sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering.
January 22 – Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself with a revolver during a televised press conference after being found guilty on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering.
January 25 – Super Bowl XXI: The New York Giants defeat the Denver Broncos 39-20
January 29 – William J. Casey ends his term as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
January 31 – The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.
February 9 – Brownsville, Texas is deluged with 7 inches (178 mm) of rain in just two hours, and flooding in some parts of the city is worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
February 11 – The United States military detonates an atomic weapon at the Nevada Test Site.
February 26 – Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.
March 2 – American Motors Corporation is acquired by the Chrysler Corporation
March 4 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses the American people on the Iran-Contra Affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had 'deteriorated' into an arms-for-hostages deal.
March 18 – Woodstock of physics: The marathon session of the American Physical Society’s meeting features 51 presentations concerning the science of high-temperature superconductors.
March 19 – In Charlotte, North Carolina, televangelist Jim Bakker, head of PTL Ministries, resigns after admitting an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn.
April 7 – Harold Washington is re-elected Mayor of Chicago.
April 27 – The United States Department of Justice declares incumbent Austrian president Kurt Waldheim an "undesirable alien".
April 30 – NASCAR driver Bill Elliott sets all time fastest lap at Talladega Superspeedway. 212.8 miles per hour (342.5 km/h)
May 8 – U.S. Senator Gary Hart drops out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, amid allegations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice.
May 17 – U.S.S. Stark was hit by two Iraqi owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 37 sailors.
May 21 – Andrew Wyeth, with his "Helga Pictures," became the first living American painter to have a one-man show of his work in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
June 12 – During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
June 19 – Teddy Seymour is officially designated the first black man to sail around the world, when he completes his solo sailing circumnavigation in Frederiksted, St. Croix, of the United States Virgin Islands.
June 19 – Edwards v. Aguillard: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution is taught is unconstitutional.
June 28 – An accidental explosion at Hohenfels Training Area in West Germany kills 3 U.S. troopers.
July 1 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominates former Solicitor General Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The nomination is later rejected by the Senate, the first and only nominee rejection to date.
July 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
August 16 – Northwest Airlines Flight 255 (a McDonnell Douglas MD-82) crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan just West of Detroit killing all but 1 (4-year old Cecelia Cichan) of the 156 people on-board (among them Nick Vanos, a center for the Phoenix Suns).
August 19 – ABC News' chief Middle East correspondent Charles Glass escapes his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after 62 days in captivity.
August 31 – Michael Jackson releases his third solo album Bad.
September 17 – At a small rally in Harlem, televangelist Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
October 10 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson launches his second campaign for U.S. President.
October 11 – The first National Coming Out Day is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
October 14–16 – The United States is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure, falls down a well in Midland, Texas, and is later rescued.
October 19 – Black Monday: Stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world.
October 19 – U.S. warships destroy two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf
October 23 – On a vote of 58–42, the United States Senate rejects President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
October 25 – 1987 World Series: The Minnesota Twins win despite having the worst regular season win–loss ratio for a winner, a record they hold until 2006.
October 26 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average goes down 156.83 points; at the time it is the second largest decrease ever (trailing Black Monday).
November 17 – The Gulf of Alaska Tsunami hits.
November 18 – Iran-Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
December 1 – NASA announces the names of four companies who were awarded contracts to help build Space Station Freedom: Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas, and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell.
December 2 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
December 7 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
December 8 – The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
December 9 – Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
December 29 – Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
January 1 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is established, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
January 25 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush and CBS News anchor Dan Rather clash over Bush's role in the Iran-Contra scandal, during a contentious television interview.
January 29 – The Midwest Classic Conference, a U.S. college athletic conference, is formed.
February 3 – The Democratic-controlled United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan's request for $36.25 million to support the Nicaraguan Contras.
February 12 – Anthony M. Kennedy is appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
February 17 – U.S. Lieutenant Colonel William R. Higgins, serving with a United Nations group monitoring a truce in southern Lebanon, is kidnapped (he is later killed by his captors).
February 24 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell : The Supreme Court of the United States sides with Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.
March 8 – Two U.S. Army helicopters collide in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killing 17 servicemen.
March 8 – U.S. presidential candidate George Herbert Walker Bush defeats Robert Dole in numerous Republican primaries and caucuses on "Super Tuesday". The bipartisan primary/caucus calendar, designed by Democrats to help solidify their own nominee early, backfires when none of the 6 competing candidates are able to break out of the pack in the day's Democratic contests. Jesse Jackson, however, wins several Southern state primaries.
March 13 – Following the Deaf President Now protests, Gallaudet University selects I. King Jordan as the first Deaf president in its history.
March 16 – First RepublicBank of Texas fails and enters FDIC receivership, the second largest FDIC assisted bank failure up to that point.
March 16 – Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
March 26 – U.S. presidential candidate Jesse Jackson defeats Michael Dukakis in the Michigan Democratic caucuses, becoming the temporary front-runner for the party's nomination. Richard Gephardt withdraws his candidacy after his campaign speeches against imported automobiles fail to earn him much support in Detroit.
April 4 – Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office.
April 5 – Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis wins the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary.
April 11 – The Last Emperor (directed by Bernardo Bertolucci) wins nine Oscars.
April 12 – Former pop singer Sonny Bono is elected mayor of Palm Springs, California.
April 18 – The United States Navy retaliates for the Roberts mining with Operation Praying Mantis, in a day of strikes against Iranian oil platforms and naval vessels.
May 4 – PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada: A major explosion at an industrial solid-fuel rocket plant causes damage extending up to 10 miles away, including Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport.
May 14 – Bus collision near Carrollton, Kentucky: A drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 71, hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group from Radcliff, Kentucky. The resulting fire kills 27, making it tied for 1st in the U.S. for most fatalities involving 2 vehicles to the present day. Coincidentally, the other 2-vehicle accident involving a bus that also killed 27 occurred in Prestonsburg, Kentucky 30 years prior.
May 16 – A report by U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
May 16 – California v. Greenwood : The U.S. Supreme Court rules that police officers do not need a search warrant to search through discarded garbage.
May 27 – Microsoft releases Windows 2.1
May 31 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses 600 Moscow State University students, during his visit to the Soviet Union.
June 28 – Four workers are asphyxiated at a metal-plating plant in Auburn, Indiana, in the worst confined-space industrial accident in U.S. history (a fifth victim dies 2 days later).
June 29 – Morrison v. Olson : The United States Supreme Court upholds the law allowing special prosecutors to investigate suspected crimes by executive branch officials.
July 3 – Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by a missile launched from the USS Vincennes .
July 6 – The first reported medical waste on beaches in the Greater New York area (including hypodermic needles and syringes possibly infected with the AIDS virus) washes ashore on Long Island. Subsequent medical waste discoveries on beaches in Coney Island and in Monmouth County, New Jersey force the closure of numerous New York–area beaches in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record in the American Northeast.
July 14 – Volkswagen closes its Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania plant after 10 years of operation (the first factory built by a non-American automaker in the U.S.).
July 20 – The Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia nominates Michael Dukakis for U.S. President and Lloyd Bentsen for Vice President.
August 6–7 – Tompkins Square Park Police Riot in New York City: A riot erupts in Tompkins Square Park when police attempt to enforce a newly passed curfew for the park. Bystanders, artists, residents, homeless people and political activists are caught up in the police action which takes place during the night of August 6 and into the early morning of August 7.
August 9 – Wrigley Field has its first night game of baseball, ending long opposition to lights at the field.
August 17 – Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, are killed in a plane crash near Bhawalpur.
August 18 – The Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana nominates George H.W. Bush for President and Dan Quayle for Vice President of the United States of America.
September 5 – With US$2 billion in federal aid, the Robert M. Bass Group agrees to buy the United States's largest thrift, American Savings and Loan Association.
September 29 – STS-26 : NASA resumes space shuttle flights, grounded after the Challenger disaster, with Space Shuttle Discovery .
October 5 – In Omaha, Nebraska, in the only vice presidential debate of the 1988 U.S. presidential election, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana, insists he has as much experience in government as John F. Kennedy did when he sought the presidency in 1960. His Democratic opponent, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, replies, "Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy. I served with Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." The audience response to Sen. Bentsen's remark is overwhelmingly positive.
October 13 – In the second U.S. presidential debate, held by U.C.L.A., the Democratic party nominee, Michael Dukakis, is asked by journalist Bernard Shaw of CNN if he would support the death penalty if his wife, "Kitty", were to be raped and murdered. Gov. Dukakis' reply, voicing his opposition to capital punishment in any and all circumstances, is later said to have been a major reason for the eventual failure of his campaign for the White House.
October 15 – Kirk Gibson hits a dramatic home run to win Game 1 of the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, over the Oakland Athletics, by a score of 5–4.
October 27 – Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.
October 30 – Philip Morris buys Kraft Foods for US$13.1 billion.
November 8 – United States presidential election, 1988: George H. W. Bush is elected over Michael Dukakis.
November 11 – In Sacramento, California, police find a body buried in the lawn of 60-year-old boardinghouse landlady Dorothea Puente (7 bodies are eventually found and Puente is convicted of 3 murders and sentenced to life in prison).
November 13 – Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon is beaten to death by members of the Neo-Nazi group East Side White Pride.
November 18 – War on Drugs: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill providing the death penalty for murderous drug traffickers.
November 21 – Ted Turner officially buys Jim Crockett Promotions, known as NWA Crockett, and turns it into World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
November 22 – In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed.
November 30 – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. buys RJR Nabisco for US$25.07 billion in the biggest leveraged buyout deal of all time.
December 9 – The last Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant roll off the assembly line in a Chrysler factory.
December 16 – Perennial U.S. presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche is convicted of mail fraud.
January 4 – Second Gulf of Sidra incident: Two Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are engaged and shot down by 2 US Navy F-14 Tomcats.
January 17 – Stockton massacre: Patrick Edward Purdy kills 5 children, wounds 30 and then shoots himself in Stockton, California.
January 20 – George H. W. Bush succeeds Ronald Reagan as the 41st President of the United States of America.
January 24 – Serial killer Theodore Bundy is executed in Florida's electric chair.
February 7 – The Los Angeles, California City Council bans the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons.
February 10 – Ron Brown is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to lead a major United States political party.
February 11 – Barbara Clementine Harris is consecrated as the first female bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
February 14 – The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
February 23 – After protracted testimony, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejects, 11–9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.
March 1 – The Berne Convention, an international treaty on copyrights, is ratified by the United States.
March 1 – Louis Wade Sullivan starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
March 1 – James D. Watkins starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Energy.
March 4 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans for a merger, forming Time Warner.
March 13 – A geomagnetic storm causes the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid. Six million people are left without power for 9 hours. Some areas in the northeastern U.S. and in Sweden also lose power, and aurorae are seen as far as Texas.
March 14 – Gun control: U.S. President George H. W. Bush bans the importation of certain guns deemed assault weapons into the United States.
March 22 – Clint Malarchuk of the NHL Buffalo Sabres suffers an almost fatal injury when another player accidentally slits his throat.
March 23 – Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce that they have achieved cold fusion at the University of Utah.
March 24 – Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Alaska's Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons) of oil after running aground.
March 29 – The 61st Academy Awards are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Rain Man winning Best Picture.
April 14 The U.S. government seizes the Irving, California Lincoln Savings and Loan Association; Charles Keating (for whom the Keating Five were named – John McCain among them) eventually goes to jail, as part of the massive 1980s Savings and Loan Crisis which costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $200 billion in bailouts, and many people their life savings.
April 19 – Trisha Meili is attacked while jogging in New York City's Central Park; as her identity remains secret for years, she becomes known as the "Central Park Jogger."
April 19 – A gun turret explodes on the U.S. battleship Iowa , killing 47 crew members.
April 20 – NATO debates modernising short range missiles; although the U.S. and UK are in favour, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl obtains a concession deferring a decision.
May 1 – Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World opens to the public for the first time.
May 12 – A Southern Pacific Railroad freight train crashes on Duffy Street in San Bernardino, California.
May 25 – Thirteen days after a Southern Pacific train derails, a Calnev pipeline explodes at the same section of Duffy Street in San Bernardino, California.
June 12 – The Corcoran Gallery of Art removes Robert Mapplethorpe's gay photography exhibition.
July 9–12 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush travels to Poland and Hungary, pushing for U.S. economic aid and investment.
July 18 – Actress Rebecca Schaeffer is murdered by an obsessed fan, leading to stricter stalking laws in California.
July 19 – United Airlines Flight 232 (Douglas DC-10) crashes in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 112; 184 on board survive.
July 26 – A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. for releasing a computer virus, making him the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
August 7 – U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.
August 7 – Federal Express purchases Flying Tiger Line for approximately 800 million U.S. dollars.
August 8 – STS-28 : Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret 5-day military mission.
August 16–17 – Woodstock '89 festival.
August 20 – In Beverly Hills, California, Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in the family's den.
August 23 – Yusef Hawkins is shot in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York, sparking racial tensions between African Americans and Italian Americans.
August 24 – Record-setting baseball player Pete Rose agrees to a lifetime ban from the sport following allegations of illegal gambling, thereby preventing his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
September 5 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush holds up a bag of cocaine purchased across the street at Lafayette Park, in his first televised speech to the nation.
September 21 – Hurricane Hugo makes landfall in South Carolina, causing $7 billion in damage.
October 5 – U.S. televangelist John Nunes is found guilty of embezzling $158 million.
October 13 – Friday the 13th mini-crash: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent, to close at 2,569.26, most likely after the junk bond market collapses.
October 17 – The Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes the San Francisco–Oakland region of Northern California, killing 67 people and delaying the 1989 World Series for ten days
October 19 – The Wonders of Life pavilion opens at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida.
October 23 – The Phillips Disaster in Pasadena, Texas kills 23 and injures 314 others.
November 2 – North Dakota and South Dakota celebrate their 100th Birthdays.
November 7 – Douglas Wilder wins the Virginia governor's race, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States.
November 7 – David Dinkins becomes the first African American mayor of New York City.
November 16 – Six Jesuit priests—among them Ignacio Ellacuría, Segundo Montes, and Ignacio Martín-Baró—their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter, are murdered by U.S. trained Salvadoran soldiers.
November 21 – North Carolina celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
December 3 – Cold War: In a meeting off the coast of Malta, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the Cold War between their nations may be coming to an end.
December 20 – Operation Just Cause is launched in an attempt to overthrow Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
January 10 – Time Warner is formed from the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc.
January 13 – Douglas Wilder becomes the first elected African American governor as he takes office in Richmond, Virginia.
January 18 – In Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
January 22 – Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the Morris worm.
January 25 – Avianca Flight 52 crashes into Cove Neck, Long Island, after a miscommunication between the flight crew and JFK Airport officials.
January 29 – The trial of Joseph Hazelwood, former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, begins in Anchorage, Alaska. He is accused of negligence that resulted in America's worst oil spill to date.
January 31 – Cold War: The first McDonald's in Moscow, Russia opens.
February 11 – James "Buster" Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson to win the World Heavyweight Boxing crown.
February 13 – Drexel Burnham Lambert files for bankruptcy protection, Chapter 11.
February 14 – The Pale Blue Dot picture was sent back from the Voyager 1 probe after completing its primary mission, it was about 6 billion km (3.7 billion miles) from Earth.
February 27 – Exxon Valdez oil spill: Exxon and its shipping company are indicted on five criminal counts.
March 1 – Steve Jackson Games is raided by the U.S. Secret Service, prompting the later formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
March 6 – An SR-71 sets a U.S. transcontinental speed record of 1 hour 8 minutes 17 seconds, on what is publicized as its last official flight.
March 9 – Antonia Novello is sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.
March 18 – Twelve paintings, collectively worth from $100 to $300 million, are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts by 2 thieves posing as police officers. This is the largest art theft in US history, and the paintings (as of 2007) have not been recovered.
March 25 – In New York City, a fire due to arson at an illegal social club called "Happy Land" kills 87.
March 26 – The 62nd Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, with Driving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture.
March 27 – The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba.
March 28 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.
April 6 – Robert Mapplethorpe's "The Perfect Moment" show of nude and homosexual photographs opens at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, in spite of accusations of indecency by Citizens for Community Values.
April 7 – Iran Contra Affair: John Poindexter is found guilty of 5 charges for his part in the scandal; the convictions are later reversed on appeal.
April 9 – Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. was established.
April 20 – STS-31 : The Hubble Space Telescope is launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery .
April 24 – The Space Shuttle Discovery places the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.
May 22 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.0.
May 24 – The Edmonton Oilers defeat the Boston Bruins in the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals for their fifth Stanley Cup.
June 1 – Cold War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty to end chemical weapon production and begin destroying their respective stocks.
June 2 – The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawns 88 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12; 37 tornadoes occur in Indiana, eclipsing the previous record of 21 during the Super Outbreak of April 1974.
June 7 – Universal Studios Florida opens to the public.
June 14 – 1990 NBA Finals: The Detroit Pistons defeat the Portland Trail Blazers.
June 26 – U.S. President Bush breaks his 1988 'no new taxes' campaign pledge, accepting tax revenue increases as a necessity to reduce the budget deficit. This will greatly decrease his popularity in subsequent years.
July 26 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to protect disabled Americans from discrimination.
August 2 – Gulf War: Iraq invades Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War.
August 6 – Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council orders a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to its invasion of Kuwait.
August 19 – Leonard Bernstein conducts his final concert, ending with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
August 28 – The Plainfield Tornado (F5 on the Fujita scale) striles the towns of Plainfield, Crest Hill, and Joliet, Illinois, killing 29 people (the strongest tornado to date to strike the Chicago Metropolitan Area).
September 11 – Gulf War: President George H. W. Bush delivers a nationally televised speech in which he threatens the use of force to remove Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait.
September 12 – Cold War: The two German states and the Four Powers sign the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German reunification.
September 18 – The International Olympic Committee awards the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta, Georgia.
September 29 – Washington, D.C.'s National Cathedral is finished.
October 9 – Leonard Bernstein announces his retirement from conducting; unbeknownst to anyone other than himself and his doctors, he is terminally ill.
October 14 – Leonard Bernstein dies of a heart attack at his home in New York City. He is 72 years old.
October 25 – Evander Holyfield defeats James 'Buster' Douglas for the Heavyweight Boxing crown.
November 5 – Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, is shot dead after a speech at a New York City hotel.
November 15 – STS-38 : Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched on a classified military mission.
November 29 – Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council passes UN Security Council Resolution 678, authorizing military intervention in Iraq if that nation does not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by Tuesday, January 15, 1991.
December 3 – At Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-9) collides with Northwest Airlines Flight 299 (a Boeing 727) on the runway, killing 8 passengers and 4 crewmembers on Flight 1482.
December 11 – American mob boss John Gotti is arrested.
January 12 – Gulf War: The Congress of the United States passes a resolution authorizing the use of military force to liberate Kuwait.
January 16 – U.S. serial killer Aileen Wuornos confesses to the murders of six men.
January 16 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins with air strikes against Iraq.
January 27 – Super Bowl XXV: The New York Giants defeat the Buffalo Bills 20–19 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
February 1 – A USAir Boeing 737-300, Flight 1493 collides with a SkyWest Airlines Fairchild Metroliner, Flight 5569 at Los Angeles International Airport, killing 34.
February 5 – A Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.
February 7 – The One Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania kills 3 firefighters and destroys 8 floors of the building.
February 7 – Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Kuwait, thus starting the ground phase of the war.
February 13 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided "smart bombs" destroy an underground bunker in Baghdad, killing hundreds of Iraqis. United States military intelligence claims it was a military facility but Iraqi officials identify it as a bomb shelter.
February 22 – Gulf War: Iraq accepts a Russian-proposed cease fire agreement. The U.S. rejects the agreement, but says that retreating Iraqi forces will not be attacked if they leave Kuwait within 24 hours.
February 25 – Gulf War: Part of an Iraqi Scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 29 and injuring 99 U.S. soldiers. It is the single, most devastating attack on U.S. forces during that war.
February 26 – Gulf War: On Baghdad radio, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they retreat.
March 1 – The ballistic missile submarine USS-ex-Sam Houston SSBN-609 is deactivated.
March 1 – Clayton Keith Yeutter finishes as the United States Secretary of Agriculture.
March 3 – An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles, California police officers.
March 3 – United Airlines Flight 585 crashes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing all 25 people on board.
March 10 – Gulf War – Operation Phase Echo: 540,000 American troops begin to leave the Persian Gulf.
March 13 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
March 15 – Four Los Angeles, California police officers are indicted for the videotaped March 3 beating of motorist Rodney King during an arrest.
March 15 – Germany formally regains complete independence after the 4 post-World War II occupying powers (France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) relinquish all remaining rights.
March 30 – Northern Michigan University wins the NCAA Division I title in hockey, 8–7 in the third overtime against Boston University.
April 4 – Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and 6 others are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over Merion, Pennsylvania.
April 4 – William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, is identified as a suspect in an alleged Palm Beach, Florida sexual assault.
April 5 – Former Senator John Tower and 22 others are killed in an airplane crash in Brunswick, Georgia, United States.
April 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 3,000 for the first time ever, at 3,004.46.
April 26 – 70 tornadoes break out in the central United States, killing 17. The most notable tornado of the day strikes Andover, Kansas.
May 16 – Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the United States Congress.
May 25 – The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Minnesota North Stars 8–0 in Game 6 to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
June 5 – STS 40 : Space Shuttle Columbia carries the Spacelab into orbit.
June 12 – The Chicago Bulls win their 1st NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the best-of-7 series 4 games to 1.
June 13 – A spectator is killed by lightning at the U.S. Open.
June 17 – U.S. President Zachary Taylor is exhumed to discover whether or not his death was caused by arsenic poisoning, instead of acute gastrointestinal illness; no trace of arsenic is found.
July 11 – A solar Eclipse of record totality occurs, seen first in Hawaii then enters Mexico with the path directly crosses Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City seen by 20 million inhabitants, and finally ends in Colombia in South America.
July 22 – Boxer Mike Tyson is arrested and charged with raping Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington 3 days earlier, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
July 22 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin apartment. Police soon find out that he is involved in 6 more murders.
August 13 – The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or "Super Nintendo") is released in the United States.
September 2 – The United States recognizes the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
September 3 – In Hamlet, North Carolina, a grease fire breaks out at the Imperial Foods chicken processing plant, killing 25 people.
September 5–7 – At the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas, 83 women and seven men are assaulted.
September 20–21 – In Sandy, Utah, several patients are held hostage and a nurse is killed in the Alta View Hospital hostage incident.
September 24 The Seattle grunge band Nirvana released their hit album Nevermind.
October 2 – Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton announces he will seek the 1992 Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
October 11–13 – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interviews both Supreme Court candidate Clarence Thomas and former aide Anita Hill, who alleges that Thomas sexually harassed her while she worked for him.
October 15 – United States Senate votes 52–48 to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States.
October 16 – George Hennard guns down 24 people in Killeen, Texas before killing himself.
October 20 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments.
October 27 – The Minnesota Twins win the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
October 29 – The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.
November 5 – David Duke, a white separatist running as a Republican, loses the Louisiana Governor's race to Democratic candidate Edwin Edwards, by an overwhelming margin despite winning the majority of the white vote.
November 7 – Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson announces that he has HIV, effectively ending his NBA career.
December 4 – Journalist Terry A. Anderson is released after 7 years' captivity as a hostage in Beirut (the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon).
December 20 – A Missouri court passes the death sentence on Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria, for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
January 1 – George H. W. Bush becomes the first U.S. President to address the Australian Parliament.
January 8 – George H. W. Bush is televised falling violently ill at a state dinner in Japan, vomiting into the lap of Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and fainting.
January 26 – Boris Yeltsin announces that Russia will stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.
January 26 - Super Bowl XXVI: The Washington Redskins defeat the Buffalo Bills 37-24 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
February 10 – Tom Harkin wins the Iowa Democratic Caucus.
February 10 – In Indianapolis, Indiana, boxer Mike Tyson is convicted of raping Desiree Washington.
February 17 – A court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sentences serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison.
February 18 - In New Hampshire, U.S. President George H. W. Bush defeats Pat Buchanan in the Republican primary; Paul Tsongas leads the Democratic candidates.
March 10 - On 'Super Tuesday', U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton win most of the primaries held.
March 18 - On CNN's Larry King Live , Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot announces that he will run for U.S. President as an independent, if volunteers put him on the ballot in all 50 states.
March 30 – The 64th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, with The Silence of the Lambs winning Best Picture.
April 2 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of the murder of mob boss Paul Castellano and of racketeering, and is later sentenced to life in prison.
April 6 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.1
April 9 – A Miami, Florida jury convicts former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega of assisting Colombia's cocaine cartel.
April 13 – The Great Chicago Flood occurs.
April 29 – In Simi Valley, California, a jury acquits four LAPD police officers accused of excessive force in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King, causing the 1992 Los Angeles riots and leading to 53 deaths and $1 billion in damage.
May 1 – Eric Houston of Yuba County kills 4, injures 9, and holds many others hostage at Lindhurst High School, Olivehurst, California.
May 5 – Alabama ratifies a 202-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment law. This amendment bars the U.S. Congress from giving itself a midterm or retroactive pay raise.
May 16 – STS-49 : Space Shuttle Endeavour lands safely after a successful maiden voyage.
May 19 – In San Francisco, U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle gives his famous Murphy Brown speech.
May 19 – In Massapequa, New York, Amy Fisher shoots Mary Jo Buttafuoco.
May 22 – After 30 years, Johnny Carson retires as host of NBC's Tonight Show .
May 25 – Jay Leno becomes the new host of NBC's Tonight Show , following the retirement of Johnny Carson.
June 1 – Kentucky celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
June 15 – During a spelling bee at a Trenton, New Jersey elementary school, U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle erroneously corrects a student's spelling of the word potato , indicating it should have an e at the end.
June 17 – A 'Joint Understanding' agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this is later codified in START II).
June 23 – Mafia boss John Gotti is sentenced to life in prison, after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering on April 2.
June 28 – A magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes Landers, California, followed by a magnitude 6.4 aftershock 8 km south-east of Big Bear Lake, California.
July 10 – In Miami, Florida, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.
July 16 - Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton is nominated for U.S. President and Tennessee Senator Al Gore for Vice President, at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.
August 11 – The largest shopping mall in the US, Minnesota's Mall of America is constructed on 78 acres (316,000 m²).
August 20 – The Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas renominates U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle. Pat Buchanan, one of Bush's opponents in the primaries, delivers a controversial convention speech, in which he refers to a "religious war" in the country.
August 21–22 – Events at Ruby Ridge, Idaho are sparked by a Federal Marshal surveillance team, resulting in the death of a Marshal, Sam Weaver and his dog and the next day the wounding of Randy Weaver, the death of his wife Vicki and the wounding of Kevin Harris.
August 24–28 – Hurricane Andrew hits south Florida and dissipates over the Tennessee valley, killing 65 and causing US$26.5 billion in damage.
September 11 – Hurricane Iniki hits the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai and Oahu.
September 12 – STS-47 : Dr. Mae Jemison becomes the first African American woman to travel into space, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour .
September 24 – The Kentucky Supreme Court, in Kentucky v. Wasson , holds that laws criminalizing same-sex sodomy are unconstitutional, and accurately predicts that other states and the nation will eventually rule the same way.
October 1 – Pittsburgh International Airport's new facility opens in Findlay Township, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The new terminal is built as an expansion for USAir and an upgrade from the older Pittsburgh International Airport facility.
October 3 – After performing a song protesting alleged child abuse by the Catholic Church, Sinéad O'Connor rips up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live , causing huge controversy, leading the switchboards at NBC to ring off the hook.
October 9 – The Chief of Naval Operations adopts the US Navy's core values: Honor, Courage and Commitment.
October 9 – A 13-kilogram (29-pound) meteorite lands in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, New York, destroying the family's Chevrolet Malibu. It becomes known as the Peekskill Meteorite.
October 17 – Yoshihiro Hattori, a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student, mistakes the address of a party and is shot dead after knocking on the wrong door in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The shooter, Rodney Peairs, is later acquitted, sparking outrage in Japan.
October 29 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Depo-Provera for use as a contraceptive in the United States.
October 1 – Pittsburgh International Airport's new facility opens in Findlay Township, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The new terminal is built as an expansion for USAir and an upgrade from the older Pittsburgh International Airport facility.
October 3 – After performing a song protesting alleged child abuse by the Catholic Church, Sinéad O'Connor rips up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live , causing huge controversy, leading the switchboards at NBC to ring off the hook.
October 9 – The Chief of Naval Operations adopts the US Navy's core values: Honor, Courage and Commitment.
October 9 – A 13-kilogram (29-pound) meteorite lands in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, New York, destroying the family's Chevrolet Malibu. It becomes known as the Peekskill Meteorite.
October 17 – Yoshihiro Hattori, a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student, mistakes the address of a party and is shot dead after knocking on the wrong door in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The shooter, Rodney Peairs, is later acquitted, sparking outrage in Japan.
October 29 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Depo-Provera for use as a contraceptive in the United States.
December 3 – UN Security Council Resolution 794 is unanimously passed, approving a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States to form UNITAF, tasked with ensuring humanitarian aid gets distributed and establishing peace in Somalia.
December 4 – U.S. military forces land in Somalia.
December 5 – Kent Conrad of North Dakota resigns his seat in the United States Senate and is sworn into the other seat from North Dakota, becoming the only U.S. Senator ever to have held two seats on the same day.
December 15 – Hip hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre releases his solo debut studio album The Chronic , which sparked the beginning of the mainstream popularity and success of Gangsta Rap, G-Funk, and West Coast Hip-Hop in the United States (a run that lasted from the early to mid-1990s).
January 3 – In Moscow, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
January 5 – The state of Washington executes Westley Allan Dodd by hanging (the first legal hanging in America since 1965).
January 5 – $7.4 million USD is stolen from Brinks Armored Car Depot in Rochester, New York in the 5th largest robbery in U.S. history. Four men, Samuel Millar, Father Patrick Moloney, former Rochester Police officer Thomas O'Connor, and Charles McCormick, all of whom have ties to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, are accused.
January 19 – IBM announces a $4.97 billion loss for 1992, the largest single-year corporate loss in United States history to date.
January 19 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM inspectors to use its own aircraft to fly into Iraq, and begins military operations in the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait, and the northern Iraqi no-fly zones. U.S. forces fire approximately 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Baghdad factories linked to Iraq's illegal nuclear weapons program. Iraq then informs UNSCOM that it will be able to resume its flights.
January 20 – Bill Clinton succeeds George H.W. Bush as the 42nd President of the United States.
January 25 – Mir Aimal Kasi fires a rifle and kills 2 employees outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
January 31 – Super Bowl XXVII: The Buffalo Bills become the first team to lose 3 consecutive Super Bowls as they are defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 52–17.
February 8 – General Motors Corporation sues NBC, after Dateline NBC allegedly rigged 2 crashes showing that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the following day.
February 11 – Janet Reno is selected by President Clinton as Attorney General of the United States.
February 26 – World Trade Center bombing: In New York City, a van bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over 1,000.
February 28 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, with a warrant to arrest leader David Koresh on federal firearms violations. Four agents and 5 Davidians die in the raid and a 51-day standoff begins.
March 4 – Authorities announce the capture of suspected World Trade Center bombing conspirator Mohammad Salameh.
March 9 – Rodney King testifies at the federal trial of 4 Los Angeles, California police officers accused of violating his civil rights when they beat him during an arrest.
March 11 – Janet Reno is confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.
March 13–14 – The Great Blizzard of 1993 strikes the eastern U.S., bringing record snowfall and other severe weather all the way from Cuba to Québec; it reportedly kills 184.
March 22 – The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips.
March 29 – The 65th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, with Unforgiven winning Best Picture.
April – The Kuwaiti government claims to uncover an Iraqi assassination plot against former U.S. President George H. W. Bush shortly after his visit to Kuwait. Two Iraqi nationals confess to driving a car-bomb into Kuwait on behalf of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
April 9 – The rock band Nirvana plays a benefit concert for the Bosnian rape victims at San Francisco's Cow Palace
April 19 – A 51-day stand-off at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ends with a fire that kills 76 people, including David Koresh.
April 22 – In Washington, DC, the Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated.
April 28 – An executive order requires the United States Air Force to allow women to fly war planes.
June 5 – Minnesota v. Dickerson : The United States Supreme Court rules that the seizure of evidence during a pat-down search is unconstitutional.
June 9 – The Montreal Canadiens win their 24th Stanley Cup, defeating the Los Angeles Kings in the Finals.
June 20 – John Paxson's 3-point shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals helps the Chicago Bulls secure a 99–98 win over the Phoenix Suns, and their third consecutive championship.
June 23 – In Manassas, Virginia, Lorena Bobbitt cuts off the penis of her husband John Wayne Bobbitt.
June 24 – A Unabomber bomb injures computer scientist David Gelernter at Yale University.
June 27 – U.S. President Bill Clinton orders a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in the Al-Mansur District of Baghdad, in response to the attempted assassination of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush during his visit to Kuwait in mid-April.
July 19 – U.S. President Bill Clinton announces his 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy regarding gays in the American military.
July 20 – White House deputy counsel Vince Foster commits suicide in Virginia.
July 27 – Windows NT 3.1, the first version of Microsoft's line of Windows NT operating systems, is released to manufacturing.
September 6 – Canadian software specialist Peter de Jager publishes in Computerworld U.S. weekly magazine an article Doomsday 2000 , which is the first known reference to Y2K – the 2000 Year problem.
September 13 – PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin shake hands in Washington D.C., after signing a peace accord.
October 3 – A large scale battle erupts between U.S. forces and local militia in Mogadishu, Somalia; 18 Americans and over 1,000 Somalis are killed.
October 8 – David Miscavige announces the IRS has granted full tax exemption to the Church of Scientology International and affiliated churches and organizations, ending the Church's 40-year battle with the IRS and resulting in religious recognition in the United States.
November 11 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.11 for Workgroups to manufacturing.
November 18 – In a status referendum, Puerto Rico residents vote with a slim margin to maintain Commonwealth status.
November 17–22 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) passes the legislative houses in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
November 18 – The first meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation opens in Seattle.
November 20 – Savings and loan crisis: The United States Senate Ethics Committee issues a stern censure of California senator Alan Cranston for his dealings with savings-and-loan executive Charles Keating.
December 2 – STS-61 : NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair an optical flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope.
December 7 – Colin Ferguson opens fire with his Ruger 9 mm pistol on a Long Island Rail Road train, killing 16 and injuring 29.
December 11 – A variety of Soviet space program paraphernalia are put to auction in Sotheby's New York, and sell for a total of US$6.8M. One of the items is Lunokhod 1 and its spacecraft Luna 17; they sell for $68,500.
January 6 – In Detroit, Michigan, Nancy Kerrigan is clubbed on the right leg by an assailant, under orders from figure skating rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband.
January 11 – The Superhighway Summit is held at UCLA's Royce Hall. It is the first conference to discuss the growing information superhighway and is presided over by U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
January 14 – U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the Kremlin Accords, which stop the preprogrammed aiming of nuclear missiles toward each country's targets, and also provide for the dismantling of the nuclear arsenal in Ukraine.
January 17 – The 1994 Northridge earthquake, magnitude 6.7, hits the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles at 4:31 a.m., killing 72 and leaving 26,029 homeless.
January 19 – Record cold temperatures hit the eastern United States. The coldest temperature ever measured in Indiana state history, −36°F (−38°C), is recorded in New Whiteland, Indiana.
January 20 – In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet to attend The Citadel, but soon drops out.
January 25 – U.S. President Bill Clinton delivers his first State of the Union address, calling for health care reform, a ban on assault weapons, and welfare reform.
January 30 – Super Bowl XXVIII: The Dallas Cowboys hand the Buffalo Bills their fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss, 30–13.
February 1 – In Portland, Oregon, Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly pleads guilty for his role in attacking figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. He accepts a plea bargain, admitting to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony against Harding.
February 3 – William J. Perry is sworn in as the United States Secretary of Defense.
February 22 – Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged with spying for the Soviet Union by the United States Department of Justice. Ames is later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment; his wife receives 5 years in prison.
February 28 – United States F-16 pilots shoot down 4 Serbian fighter aircraft over Bosnia and Herzegovina for violation of the Operation Deny Flight and its no-fly zone.
March 1 – A lone terrorist kills Ari Halberstam during an attack on 14 Jewish students on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 
March 1 – Mary Ellen Withrow begins her term of office as Treasurer of the United States, serving under President Bill Clinton.
March 7 – Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. : The Supreme Court of the United States rules that parodies of an original work are generally covered by the doctrine of fair use.
March 15 – U.S. troops are withdrawn from Somalia.
April 5 – Kurt Cobain, of the band Nirvana, died in his home in Seattle, the victim of what is officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.
April 8 – Kurt Cobain, songwriter and frontman for the band Nirvana, is found dead at his Lake Washington home.
April 25 – The largest high school arson ever in the United States is started at Burnsville High School, in Burnsville, Minnesota, resulting in over 15 million dollars in damages. The same arsonist also goes on to set arsons at Edina High School and Minnetonka High School. 
May 10 – Illinois executes serial killer John Wayne Gacy by lethal injection for the murder of 33 young men and boys.
June 12 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are murdered outside the Simpson home in Los Angeles, California. O.J. Simpson is later acquitted of the killings, but is held liable in a civil suit.
June 14 – The New York Rangers defeat the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden, New York in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, winning their first Stanley Cup Championship in 54 years and ending the Curse of 1940.
June 17 – NFL star O.J. Simpson and his friend Al Cowlings flee from police in his white Ford Bronco. The low-speed chase ends at Simpson's Brentwood, Los Angeles, California mansion, where he surrenders.
June 17 – The 1994 FIFA World Cup begins in the United States.
June 22 – The Houston Rockets defeat the New York Knicks at The Summit in Texas in Game 7 of the 1993–94 NBA season, to win their first NBA Championship.
June 24 – U.S. Air Force pilot Bud Holland crashes a B-52 in Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington as a result of pilot error.
July 6 – Fourteen firefighters die in the South Canyon wildfire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. The event inspires the 1999 book Fire on the Mountain .
July 19 – Four 26-pound ceiling tiles fall from the roof of the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington, just hours before a scheduled Seattle Mariners game.
August 12 – Woodstock '94 begins in Saugerties, New York. It is the 25-year anniversary of Woodstock in 1969.
August 20 – In Honolulu, Hawaii, during a circus international performance, an elephant named Tyke crushes her trainer Allen Campbell to death before hundreds of horrified spectators, at the Neal Blaisdell Arena.
August 23 – Eugene Bullard is posthumously commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, 33 years after his death, and 77 years to the day after his rejection for U.S. military service in 1917.
September 8 – USAir Flight 427, a Boeing 737 with 132 people on board, crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport; there are no survivors.
September 13 – President Bill Clinton signs the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the manufacture of new weapons with certain features for a period of 10 years.
September–October – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq threatens to stop cooperating with UNSCOM inspectors and begins to once again deploy troops near its border with Kuwait. In response, the U.S. begins to deploy troops to Kuwait.
September 17 – Heather Whitestone becomes the first hearing impaired contestant to win the Miss America entitlement. Whitestone becomes Miss America 1995.
September 19 – American troops stage a bloodless invasion of Haiti in order to restore the legitimate elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power.
October 12 – NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere either October 13 or October 14).
October 15 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Following threats by the U.N. Security Council and the U.S., Iraq withdraws troops from its border with Kuwait.
October 15 – After 3 years of U.S. exile, Haiti's president Aristide returns to his country.
October 29 – Francisco Martin Duran fires over 2 dozen shots at the White House; he is later convicted of trying to kill President Bill Clinton.
October 31 – An American Eagle ATR 72 crashes in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 64 passengers.
November 4 – San Francisco: The first conference devoted entirely to the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web opens. Featured speakers include Marc Andreessen of Netscape, Mark Graham of Pandora Systems, and Ken McCarthy of E-Media.
November 5 – A letter by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, announcing that he has Alzheimer's disease, is released.
November 7 – WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides the world's first internet radio broadcast.
November 8 – Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich leads the United States Republican Party in taking control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections, the first time in 40 years the Republicans secure control of both houses of Congress. George W. Bush is elected Governor of Texas.
November 16 – A Federal judge issues a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the State of California from implementing Proposition 187, that would have denied most public services to illegal aliens.
November 30 – The National Football League announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars would become the league's the 30th franchise.
December 14 – A Learjet piloted by Richard Anderson and Brad Sexton misses an elementary school and crashes into an apartment complex in Fresno, California, killing both pilots and injuring several apartment residents.
December 14 – A runaway Santa Fe freight train rear ends a Union Pacific train at the bottom of Cajon Pass, California.
December 19 – A planned exchange rate correction of the Mexican Peso to the US Dollar, becomes a massive financial meltdown in Mexico, unleashing the 'Tequila Effect' on global financial markets. This prompts a US$ 50 billion 'bailout' by the Clinton Administration.
December 19 – The Whitewater scandal investigation begins in Washington, DC.
December 21 – A homemade bomb explodes on the # 4 train on Fulton Street in New York City.
January 2 – The Most distant Galaxy yet discovered found by scientists using the Keck telescope in Hawaii (est. 15 billion light years away).
January 4 – The 104th United States Congress, the first controlled by Republicans in both houses since 1953 to 1955, convenes.
January 29 – Super Bowl XXIX: The San Francisco 49ers become the first National Football League franchise to win 5 Super Bowls, as they defeat the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.
January 31 – U.S. President Bill Clinton invokes emergency powers, to extend a $20 billion loan to help Mexico avert financial collapse.
February 9 – STS-63 : Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Michael Foale become the first African American and Briton, respectively, to walk in space.
February 15 – Hacker Kevin Mitnick is arrested by the FBI and charged with breaking into some of the United States' most "secure" computer systems.
February 17 – Colin Ferguson is convicted of 6 counts of murder for the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and later receives a 200+ year sentence.
February 23 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 30.28 to close at 4,003.33 – the Dow's first ever close above 4,000.
February 27 – In Denver, Colorado, Stapleton Airport closes and is replaced by the new Denver International Airport, the largest in the United States.
February 28 – Members of the group Patriot's Council are convicted in Minnesota of manufacturing ricin.
March 1 – Yahoo! is founded in Santa Clara, California.
March 13 – David Daliberti and William Barloon, two Americans working for a military contractor in Kuwait, are arrested after straying into Iraq.
March 14 – Astronaut Norman Thagard becomes the first American to ride into space aboard a Russian launch vehicle (the Soyuz TM-21 ), lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
March 16 – Mississippi ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The amendment was nationally ratified in 1865.
March 27 – The 67th Academy Awards, hosted by David Letterman, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Forrest Gump winning Best Picture.
April 5 – The U.S. House of Representatives votes 246–188 to cut taxes for individuals and corporations.
April 7 – House Republicans celebrate passage of most of the Contract with America.
April 19 – Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people, including 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children, are killed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh and one of his accomplices, Terry Nichols, set off the bomb.
April 24 – A Unabomber bomb kills lobbyist Gilbert Murray in Sacramento, California.
May 14 – Team New Zealand wins the America's Cup in San Diego, beating Stars and Stripes 5–0.
May 17 – Shawn Nelson, 35, goes on a tank rampage in San Diego.
May 20 – U.S. President Bill Clinton indefinitely closes part of the street in front of the White House, Pennsylvania Avenue, to vehicular traffic in response to the Oklahoma City bombing.
May 23 – Oklahoma City bombing: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building are imploded.
May 27 – In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition.
June 2 – Mrkonjić Grad incident: A United States Air Force F-16 piloted by Captain Scott O'Grady is shot down over Bosnia and Herzegovina while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone. O'Grady is rescued by U.S. Marines six days later.
June 6 – U.S. astronaut Norman Thagard breaks NASA's space endurance record of 14 days, 1 hour and 16 minutes, aboard the Russian space station Mir.
June 15 – During his murder trial, O. J. Simpson puts on a pair of gloves that were presumably worn by the person who murdered his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman. Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran quips, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." The gloves appear too tight on Simpson's hands.
June 24 – The New Jersey Devils sweep the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings to win their first Stanley Cup in the lock-out shortened season.
June 29 – STS-71: Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Mir space station for the first time.
July – Midwestern United States heat wave: An unprecedented heat wave strikes the Midwestern United States for most of the month. Temperatures peak at 106 °F (41 °C), and remain above 94 °F (34 °C) in the afternoon for 5 straight days. At least 739 people die in Chicago alone.
July 5 – The U.S. Congress passes the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act, requiring that producers of pornography keep records of all models who are filmed or photographed, and that all models be at least 18 years of age.
July 13 – Dozens of cities, most notably Chicago and Milwaukee, set all-time record high temperatures. Hundreds in these and other cities die as the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 reaches its peak.
July 23 – David Daliberti and William Barloon, 2 Americans held as spies by Iraq, are released by Saddam Hussein after negotiations with U.S. Congressman Bill Richardson.
July 27 – In Washington, DC, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated.
August 6 – Hundreds in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo mark the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb.
August 24 – Microsoft releases Windows 95.
September 6 – Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles breaks the all time consecutive games played record in MLB.
September 19 – The Washington Post and The New York Times publish the Unabomber's manifesto.
September 22 – American millionaire Steve Forbes announces his candidacy for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination.
September 23 – Argentine national Guillermo "Bill" Gaede is arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on charges of industrial espionage. His sales to Cuba, China, North Korea and Iran are believed to have involved Intel and AMD trade secrets worth USD$10–20 million.
October 1 – Ten people are convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.
October 3 – O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of double murder for the deaths of former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
October 4 – Hurricane Opal makes landfall at Pensacola Beach, Florida as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds.
October 9 – 1995 Palo Verde derailment: An Amtrak Sunset Limited train is derailed by saboteurs near Palo Verde, Arizona.
October 15 – The Carolina Panthers win their first-ever regular season game by defeating the New York Jets at Clemson Memorial Stadium in South Carolina.
October 16 – The Million Man March is held in Washington, D.C.. The event was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
October 23 – In Houston, Texas, Yolanda Saldivar is convicted of first degree murder in the shooting death of Selena Quintanilla Perez and 3 days later is sentenced to life in prison.
October 25 – A Metra commuter train slams into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing 7 students.
November 1 – NASA loses contact with the Pioneer 11 probe.
November 1 – Participants in the Yugoslav War begin negotiations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
November 1 – The U.S. House of Representatives votes to ban partial birth abortions by a vote of 288–139.
November 3 – At Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. President Bill Clinton dedicates a memorial to the victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.
November 14 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the Congress of the United States, forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums, and run most government offices with skeleton staff.
November 21 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 40.46 to close at 5,023.55, its first close above 5,000. This makes 1995 the first year where the Dow surpasses 2 millennium marks in a single year.
November 21 – The Dayton Agreement to end the Bosnian War is reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio (signed December 14).
November 22 – Six-year-old Elisa Izquierdo's child abuse-related death at the hands of her mother makes headlines, and instigates major reform in New York City's child welfare system.
November 22 – The first ever full length computer animated feature film Toy Story was released by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures.
November 28 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the National Highway Designation Act, which ends the federal 55 mph speed limit.
December 7 – NASA's Galileo probe reenters over Jupiter.
December 15 – Because of the "quadruple-witching" option expiration, volume on the New York Stock Exchange hits 638 million shares, the highest single-day volume since October 20, 1987, when the Dow staged a stunning recovery a day after Black Monday.
December 31 – The final original Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is published.
January 7 – One of the worst blizzards in American history hits the eastern states, killing more than 150 people. Philadelphia receives a record 30.7 inches of snowfall, New York City's public schools close for the first time in 18 years and the federal government in Washington, D.C. is closed for days.
January 19 – The North Cape Oil Spill occurs as an engine fire forces the tugboat Scandia ashore on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. The North Cape Barge is pulled along with it and leaks 820,000 gallons of home heating oil.
January 26 – Whitewater scandal: U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies before a grand jury.
January 28 – Super Bowl XXX: The Dallas Cowboys become the first NFL franchise to win 3 Super Bowls in a span of 4 seasons, as they defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–17 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. It is the Cowboys' 5th Super Bowl championship.
February 15 – The U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece comes under mortar fire.
February 17 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Garry Kasparov beats "Deep Blue" in a second chess match.
February 24 – Cuban fighter jets shoot down 2 American aircraft belonging to the Cuban exile group, Brothers to the Rescue. Cuban officials assert that they invaded Cuban airspace.
February 29 – In Lumberton, North Carolina, Daniel Green is convicted of the murder of James Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan.
March 8 – The People's Republic of China begins surface-to-surface missile testing and military exercises off Taiwanese coastal areas. The United States government condemns the act as provocation, and the Taiwanese government warns of retaliation.
March 19 – In Los Angeles, California, Lyle and Erik Menendez are found guilty of first-degree murder for the shotgun killing of their parents.
March 25 – An 81-day long standoff begins between antigovernment Freemen and federal officers in Jordan, Montana.
March 25 – The 68th Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Braveheart winning Best Picture.
April 3 – A Boeing 737 military jet crashes into a mountain north of Dubrovnik, Croatia. All 35 people on board die, including United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown (see 1996 Croatia USAF CT-43 crash).
April 3 – Suspected "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski is arrested at his Montana cabin.
April 9 – President Bill Clinton signs the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, granting the U.S. president line-item veto power. The Supreme Court of the United States later finds this law unconstitutional.
April 11 – Jessica Dubroff, 7, is killed in a crash near Cheyenne, Wyoming while attempting to set a record as the youngest person to pilot an airplane across the United States.
April 16 – The NBA's 1995–1996 Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan's lead, go on to set a new NBA record for the most wins in a season, achieving their 70th win.
May 8 – The Keck II telescope is dedicated in Hawaii.
May 11 – After takeoff from Miami, Florida, a fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592, causes the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 on board.
May 20 – Gay rights – Romer v. Evans : The Supreme Court of the United States rules against a law that prevents any city, town or county in the state of Colorado from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to protect the rights of homosexuals.
May 30 – The Hoover Institution releases an optimistic report that global warming will probably reduce mortality in the United States and provide Americans with valuable benefits.
June – Iraq disarmament crisis: As Iraq continues to refuse inspectors access to a number of sites, the U.S. fails in its attempt to build support for military action against Iraq in the UN Security Council.
June 10 – The Colorado Avalanche wins their first Stanley Cup in their first season based out of Denver, Colorado, defeating the Florida Panthers 4 games to none. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
June 12 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a panel of federal judges blocks a law against indecency on the internet. The panel says that the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe upon the free speech rights of adults.
June 13 – An 81-day standoff between the Montana Freemen and FBI agents ends with their surrender in Montana.
June 16 – The Chicago Bulls win their fourth NBA Championship by defeating the Seattle SuperSonics in the best-of-7 series 4 games to 2.
June 25 – The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia kills 19 U.S. servicemen.
July 12 – Hurricane Bertha makes landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 storm, causing $270 million in damage to the United States and its possessions and many indirect deaths.
July 17 – Paris and Rome-bound TWA Flight 800 (Boeing 747) explodes off the coast of Long Island, New York, killing all 230 on board.
July 19 – An F3 tornado 5.5 miles away from the Westminster, Maryland city center injures 3 people and causes $5 million in damages.
July 19 – The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, begin.
July 27 – The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics kills 1 and injures 111.
July 29 – The child protection portion of the Communications Decency Act (1996) is struck down as too broad by a U.S. federal court.
August 1 – Michael Johnson wins the 200m finals of 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta in a world-record time of 19.32 seconds.
August 6 – NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.
August 15 – Bob Dole is nominated for President of the United States, and Jack Kemp for Vice President, at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, California.
August 16 – Binti Jua, a gorilla, saves a three year old boy who fell into the 20 foot (6.1 m) deep gorilla enclosure at Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois.
August 23 – Osama bin Laden writes "The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places," a call for the removal of American military forces from Saudi Arabia.
August 26 – Bill Clinton signs welfare reform into law.
August 29 – U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are renominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
August 31 – The Big 12 Conference is inaugurated with a football game between Kansas State University and Texas Tech University in Manhattan, Kansas.
September 3 – The U.S. launches Operation Desert Strike against Iraq in reaction to the attack on Arbil.
September 13 – Tupac Shakur (2Pac) dies after being shot on September 7 after attending the Mike Tyson – Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
September 24 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at the United Nations.
October 2 – The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
October 14 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 40.62 to close at 6,010.00, the Dow's first close above 6,000.
October 23 – The O. J. Simpson civil trial begins in Santa Monica, California.
November 5 – U.S. presidential election, 1996: Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton defeats Republican challenger Bob Dole to win his second term.
November 7 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.
November 15 – State Street in Chicago is re-opened to pedestrian traffic.
November 16 – Mother Teresa receives honorary U.S. citizenship.
November 19 – STS-80 : Space Shuttle Columbia conducts the longest mission of the Space Shuttle program.
November 21 – A propane explosion at the Humberto Vidal shoe store and office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 33.
November 25 – An ice storm strikes the U.S., killing 26 directly, hundreds more from accidents. A powerful windstorm blasts Florida; winds gust to 90 mph.
November 25 – The U.S. stock market, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gains at an incredibly fast pace following the 1996 Presidential election. It gains 10 days in a row during the month.
November 26 – The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the Venetian Hotel.
December 2 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments.
December 20 – Steve Jobs' company NeXT is bought by Apple Computer, the company co-founded by Jobs.
December 26 – JonBenét Ramsey, 6, is murdered in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado.
December 31 – The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway is merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, making it one of the largest railroad mergers in U.S. history.
December 31 – The Hacienda in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the Mandalay Bay.
January 17 – A Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload explodes, shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
January 20 – U.S. President Bill Clinton is inaugurated for his second term.
January 22 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State, after confirmation by the United States Senate.
January 23 – Mir Aimal Kasi is sentenced to death for a 1993 assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters that killed 2 and wounded 3.
January 26 – Super Bowl XXXI: The Green Bay Packers win the NFL Championship for the first time since 1967, defeating the New England Patriots 35–21 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
February 10 – The United States Army suspends Gene C. McKinney, Sergeant Major of the Army, its top-ranking enlisted soldier, after hearing allegations of sexual misconduct.
February 13 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, gaining 60.81 to 7,022.44.
February 13 – STS-82 : Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from Space Shuttle Discovery .
February 28 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place between 2 heavily armed bank robbers and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
March 4 – U.S. President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning.
March 13 – The Phoenix Lights are seen over Phoenix, Arizona.
March 24 – The 69th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with The English Patient winning Best Picture.
March 26 – In San Diego, California, 39 Heaven's Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound.
April 16 – Houston, Texas socialite Doris Angleton is murdered in her River Oaks home. Roger Angleton later admits to the crime in his suicide note. Despite being found innocent of the crime by a Texas jury, he is later arrested by the United States Department of Justice on similar charges.
April 18 – The Red River of the North breaks through dikes and floods Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, causing US$ 2 billion in damage.
May 15 – The United States government acknowledges existence of the "Secret War" in Laos, and dedicates the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other "Secret War" veterans.
May 16 – U.S. President Bill Clinton issues a formal apology to the surviving victims of the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male and their families.
May 22 – Kelly Flinn, the U.S. Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
May 25 – Strom Thurmond becomes the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Senate (41 years and 10 months).
May 27 – The second-deadliest tornado of the 1990s hits in Jarrell, Texas, killing 27 people.
June 2 – In Denver, Colorado, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
June 6 – In Lacey Township, New Jersey, high school senior Melissa Drexler kills her newborn baby in a toilet.
June 7 – A computer user known as "_eci" publishes his Microsoft C source code on a Windows 95 and Windows NT exploit, which later becomes WinNuke. The source code gets wide distribution across the internet, and Microsoft is forced to release a security patch.
June 7 – The Detroit Red Wings win their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 0. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
June 8 – A United States Coast Guard helicopter crashes near Humboldt Bay, California; all 4 crewmembers perish.
June 12 – The United States Department of the Treasury unveils a new $50 bill, meant to be more difficult to counterfeit.
June 13 – A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
June 19 – The fast food chain McDonald's wins a partial victory in its libel trial, known as the McLibel case, against 2 environmental campaigners. The judge decides it was true that McDonald's targeted its advertising at children, who pestered their parents into visiting the company's restaurants.
July 4 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
July 15 – Spree killer Andrew Cunanan shoots fashion designer Gianni Versace to death outside Versace's Miami, Florida residence.
July 16 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 63.17 to close at 8,038.88. It is the Dow's first close above 8,000. The Dow has doubled its value in 30 months.
July 21 – The fully restored USS Constitution (aka "Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
July 23 – Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.
August 1 – Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computer, Inc at Macworld in Boston.
August 6 – Microsoft buys a $150 million share of financially troubled Apple Computer.
September 4 – In Lorain, Ohio, the last Ford Thunderbird for 3 years rolls off the assembly line.
October 1 – Luke Woodham walks into Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi and opens fire, killing 2 girls, after killing his mother earlier that morning.
October 4 – One million men gather for Promise Keepers' "Stand in the Gap" event in Washington, DC.
October 4 – Loomis Fargo Bank Robbery: The second largest cash robbery in U.S. history ($17.3 million, mostly in small bills) occurs at the Charlotte, North Carolina office of Wells Fargo. An FBI investigation eventually results in 24 convictions and the recovery of approximately 95% of the stolen cash.
October 15 – Andy Green sets the first supersonic land speed record for the ThrustSSC team, led by Richard Noble of the UK. ThrustSSC goes through the flying mile course at Black Rock Desert, Nevada at an average speed of 1,227.985 km/h (763.035 mph).
October 15 – NASA launches the Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn.
October 16 – The first color photograph appears on the front page of the New York Times.
October 26 – 1997 World Series: The Florida Marlins defeat the Cleveland Indians.
October 27 – Stock markets around the world crash because of a global economic crisis scare. The Dow Jones Industrial Average follows suit and plummets 554.26, or 7.18%, to 7,161.15. The points loss exceeds the loss from Black Monday. Officials at the New York Stock Exchange for the first time invoke the "circuit breaker" rule to stop trading.
October 28 – In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average gains a record 337.17 points, closing at 7,498.32. One billion shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time ever.
October 30 – In Newton, Massachusetts, British au pair Louise Woodward is found guilty of the baby-shaking death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.
November 10 – Telecom companies WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a US$37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom (the largest merger in U.S. history).
November 10 – A Fairfax, Virginia jury finds Mir Aimal Kasi guilty of murdering 2 CIA employees in 1993.
November 12 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the World Trade Center 1993 bombings.
November 19 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all 7 babies are born alive, and the first in which all survive infancy.
November 27 – NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission is launched, the start of the satellite component of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System.
December 3 – In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries sign a treaty prohibiting the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel land mines. However, the United States, the People's Republic of China, and Russia do not sign the treaty.
December 19 – James Cameron's Titanic , the highest-grossing film of all time, premiers in the US.
January 1 – Smoking is banned in all California bars and restaurants.
January 4 – January 10 – A massive winter storm, partly caused by El Niño, strikes New England, southern Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, resulting in widespread power failures, severe damage to forests, and numerous deaths.
January 8 – Ramzi Yousef is sentenced to life in prison for planning the first World Trade Center bombing.
January 14 – Researchers in Dallas, Texas present findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).
January 16 – NASA announces that John Glenn will return to space when the Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off in October.
January 17 – Paula Jones accuses U.S. President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
January 25 – Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos become the first AFC team in 14 years to win the Super Bowl, as they defeat the Green Bay Packers, 31–24.
January 26 – Lewinsky scandal: On American television, President Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
January 26 – Compaq buys Digital Equipment Corporation.
January 27 – U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on The Today Show , calling the attacks against her husband part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
January 28 – Ford Motor Company announces the buyout of Volvo Cars for $6.45 billion.
January 29 – In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic, killing 1 and severely wounding another. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph is the prime suspect.
February – Iraq disarmament crisis: The United States Senate passes Resolution 71, urging U.S. President Bill Clinton to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
February 3 – Cavalese cable-car disaster: a United States Military pilot causes the deaths of 20 people near Trento, Italy, when his low-flying plane severs the cable of a cable-car.
February 3 – Karla Faye Tucker is executed in Texas, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1984 and the first to be executed in Texas since the American Civil War.
February 6 – Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
February 7 – Roger Nicholas Angleton commits suicide in a prison cell in Houston, Texas by cutting himself with razor blades. He admits to murdering socialite Doris Angleton in her River Oaks home in his suicide note.
February 10 – Voters in Maine repeal a gay rights law passed in 1997, becoming the first U.S. state to abandon such a law.
February 12 – The presidential line-item veto is declared unconstitutional by a United States federal judge.
February 14 – United States authorities announce that Eric Rudolph is a suspect in an Alabama abortion clinic bombing.
February 15 – Dale Earnhardt wins the Daytona 500 on his 20th attempt.
February 18 – Two white separatists are arrested in Nevada, accused of plotting biological warfare on New York City subways.
February 19 – Larry Wayne Harris of the Aryan Nations and William Leavitt are arrested in Henderson, New York, for possession of military grade anthrax.
February 20 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein negotiates a deal with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, allowing weapons inspectors to return to Baghdad, preventing military action by the United States and Britain.
February 23 – Florida El Niño Outbreak: Tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
March 4 – Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services : The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.
March 5 – NASA announces that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon has found enough water in polar craters to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.
March 5 – NASA announces the choice of United States Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins as commander of a future Space Shuttle Columbia mission to launch an X-ray telescope, making Collins the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.
March 7 – The Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is fined for burning a cross in his garden and infringing air regulations in California.
March 10 – United States troops stationed in the Persian Gulf begin to receive the first anthrax vaccine.
March 23 – The 70th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California with the film Titanic winning a record 11 Oscars.
March 27 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.
March 29 – A series of 3 tornadoes in southern Minnesota kills 3 people.
April 7 – Citicorp and Travelers Group announce plans to merge, creating the largest financial-services conglomerate in the world, Citigroup.
April 8 – April 1998 Birmingham tornado: An F5 tornado strikes the western portion of the Birmingham, Alabama area, killing 32 people.
April 16 – An F3 tornado passes through downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the first significant tornado in 11 years to directly hit a major city. An F5 tornado travels through rural portions south of Nashville (see 1998 Nashville tornado outbreak).
April 22 – The Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World opens to the public for the first time.
April 27 – The Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the brand new Aladdin Hotel & Casino
May 13 – India carries out 2 more nuclear tests at Pokhran. The United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India.
May 18 – United States v. Microsoft : The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
May 21 – At Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Kipland Kinkel (who was suspended for bringing a gun to school) shoots a semi-automatic rifle into a room filled with students, killing 2 and wounding 25 others, after killing his parents at home.
May 21 – In Miami, Florida, 5 abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.
May 22 – Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal.
May 27 – Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier is sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
May 28 – Nuclear testing: In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes 5 nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions.
June 2 – California voters approve Proposition 227, abolishing the state's bilingual education program.
June 4 – Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
June 5 – A strike begins at the General Motors Corporation parts factory in Flint, Michigan, quickly spreading to 5 other assembly plants and lasting 7 weeks.
June 7 – Three white supremacists murder James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas.
June 12 – A jury in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, convicts 17-year-old Luke Woodham of killing 2 students and wounding 7 others at Pearl High School.
June 12 – Christina Marie Williams, 13, is kidnapped in Seaside, California while walking her dog.
June 14 – The Chicago Bulls win their 6th NBA title in 8 years when they beat the Utah Jazz, 87–86 in Game 6. This is also Michael Jordan's last game as a Bull, clinching the game in the final seconds on a fadeaway jumper.
June 16 – The Detroit Red Wings sweep the Washington Capitals in 4 games in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals.
June 25 – Clinton v. City of New York : The United States Supreme Court rules that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 is unconstitutional.
June 25 – Microsoft releases Windows 98 (First Edition).
July 5 – Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.
July 10 – The DNA-identified remains of United States Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie arrive home to his family in St. Louis, Missouri, after being in the Tomb of the Unknowns since 1984.
July 10 – Catholic priests' sex abuse scandal: The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to 9 former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.
July 24 – Russell Eugene Weston Jr. bursts into the United States Capitol and opens fire, killing 2 police officers. He is later ruled incompetent to stand trial.
July 25 – The United States Navy commissions the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and puts her into service.
July 28 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: Ex-White House intern Monica Lewinsky receives transactional immunity, in exchange for her grand jury testimony concerning her relationship with U.S. President Bill Clinton.
August 7 – 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kill 224 people and injure over 4,500; they are linked to terrorist Osama Bin Laden, an exile of Saudi Arabia.
August 14 – Gary C. Evans, infamous in New York's Capital Region for killing 5 people, escapes police custody and kills himself by jumping off a bridge.
August 19 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: On the day of his 52nd birthday, U.S. President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He also admits before the nation that night in a nationally televised address that he "misled people" about his sexual affair with Lewinsky.
August 20 – 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.
August 26 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Scott Ritter resigns from UNSCOM, sharply criticizing the Clinton administration and the U.N. Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed. Ritter tells reporters that "Iraq is not disarming," "Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike."
September 2 – A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 airliner (Swissair Flight 111) crashes near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, after taking off from New York City en-route to Geneva; all 229 people on board are killed.
September 4 – Google, Inc. is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Stanford University Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
September 8 – St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire breaks baseball's single-season home run record, formerly held by Roger Maris. McGwire hits #62 at Busch Stadium in the 4th inning off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel.
September 25–28 – Major creditors of Long-Term Capital Management, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge fund, after days of tough bargaining and some informal mediation by Federal Reserve officials, agree on terms of a re-capitalization.
September 29 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.S. Congress passes the "Iraq Liberation Act", which states that the United States wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace the government with a democratic institution.
October 4 – Leafie Mason is murdered in her Hughes Springs, Texas house by Angel Maturino Resendiz. She is his second victim in his second incident.
October 6 – College student Matthew Shepard is found tied to a fence near Laramie, Wyoming. He dies October 12, becoming a symbol of gay-bashing victims and sparking public reflection on homophobia in the U.S.
October 7 – The United States Congress passes the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which gives copyright holders 20 more years of copyright privilege on work they control. This effectively freezes the public domain to works created before 1923 in the United States.
October 12 – The Congress of the United States passes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
October 14 – Eric Robert Rudolph is charged with 6 bombings (including the 1996 Olympic bombing) in Atlanta, Georgia.
October 15 – American Airlines becomes the first airline to offer electronic ticketing in all 44 countries it serves.
October 15 – The Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas opens on the former grounds of the Dunes Hotel
October 17–18 – severe flooding takes place in south Central Texas.
October 21 – The New York Yankees defeat the San Diego Padres to sweep them in the World Series. The Yankees finish with 114 regular-season wins and 11 postseason victories (125 total – the most by any team in 123 years of Major League baseball).
October 29 – STS-95 : The Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the 2nd oldest person to go into space. (He became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962).
October 29 – In Freehold Borough, New Jersey, Melissa Drexler pleads guilty to aggravated manslaughter for killing her baby moments after delivering him in the bathroom at her senior prom, and is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
November 3 – Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler, is elected Governor of Minnesota.
November 5 – Lewinsky scandal: As part of the impeachment inquiry, House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde sends a list of 81 questions to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
November 5 – The journal Nature publishes a genetic study showing compelling evidence that Thomas Jefferson fathered his slave Sally Hemings' son Eston Hemings Jefferson.
November 7 – John Glenn returns to Earth aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery .
November 9 – In the largest civil settlement in United States history, a federal judge approves a US$1.03 billion settlement requiring dozens of brokerage houses (including Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Smith Barney) to pay investors who claim they were cheated in a widespread price-fixing scheme on the NASDAQ.
November 12 – Daimler-Benz completes a merger with Chrysler Corporation to form Daimler-Chrysler.
November 13–14 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders airstrikes on Iraq, then calls them off at the last minute when Iraq promises once again to "unconditionally" cooperate with UNSCOM.
November 19 – Lewinsky scandal: The United State House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.
November 20 – A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
November 24 – America Online announces it will acquire Netscape Communications in a stock-for-stock transaction worth US$4.2 billion.
November 30 – Deutsche Bank announces a US$10 billion deal to buy Bankers Trust, thus creating the largest financial institution in the world.
December – Grade school children in Aurora, Colorado, collect $35,000 to purchase and free slave children in Sudan.
December 1 – Exxon announces a US$73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the second-largest company on the planet by revenue.
December 5 – D.C. United defeats Vasco da Gama 2–1 on aggregate to win the Interamerican Cup (one of the greatest triumphs in the history of U.S. club soccer).
December 16–19 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders American and British airstrikes on Iraq. UNSCOM withdraws all weapons inspectors from Iraq.
December 17 – Claudia Benton, of West University Place, Texas, is murdered in her house by Angel Maturino Resendiz (his third victim in his third incident).
December 19 – Lewinsky scandal: President Bill Clinton is impeached by the United States House of Representatives. (He was later acquitted of any wrongdoing.)
December 21 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council members France, Germany and Russia call for sanctions to end against Iraq. The 3 Security Council members also call for UNSCOM to either be disbanded or for its role to be recast. The U.S. says it will veto any such proposal.
December 26 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern "no-fly zones".
January 2 – A snowstorm leaves 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and 21 inches (533.4 mm) in Chicago, Illinois, killing 68.
January 6 – Dennis Hastert becomes Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
January 21 – In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 9,500 pounds (4.3 tons) of cocaine aboard, headed for Houston, Texas.
February 23 – White supremacist John William King is found guilty of kidnapping and killing African American James Byrd Jr. by dragging him behind a truck for 2 miles (3 km).
February 24 – LaGrand Case: The State of Arizona executes Karl LaGrand, a German national involved in an armed robbery that led to a death. Karl's brother Walter is executed a week later, in spite of Germany's legal action in the International Court of Justice to attempt to save him.
March 2 – The brand new Mandalay Bay hotel and casino opens in Las Vegas.
March 3 – Walter LaGrand is executed in the gas chamber in Arizona.
March 4 – In a military court, United States Marine Corps Captain Richard J. Ashby is acquitted of the charge of reckless flying which resulted in the deaths of 20 skiers in the Italian Alps, when his low-flying jet hit a gondola cable.
March 17 – The Roth IRA is introduced by U.S. Senator William V. Roth, Jr.
March 21 – The 71st Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Shakespeare in Love winning Best Picture.
March 25 – Enron energy traders allegedly route 2,900 megawatts of electricity destined for California to the town of Silver Peak, Nevada, population 200.
March 26 – A Michigan jury finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man.
March 27 – Kosovo War: A U.S. F-117 Nighthawk is shot down by Serbian forces.
March 29 – For the first time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10,000 mark, at 10,006.78.
April 5 – In Laramie, Wyoming, Russell Henderson pleads guilty to kidnapping and felony murder, in order to avoid a possible death penalty conviction for the apparent hate crime killing of Matthew Shepard.
April 8 – Bill Gates personal fortune exceeds US$100 billion dollars, due to the increased value of Microsoft stock.
April 20 – Columbine High School massacre: Two Littleton, Colorado teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, open fire on their teachers and classmates, killing 12 students and 1 teacher, and then themselves.
May 2 – Norman J. Sirnic and Karen Sirnic are murdered by serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz in Weimar, Texas.
May 3 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time, at 11,014.70.
May 3 – 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado slams into Moore, Oklahoma, killing 38 people (the strongest tornado ever recorded in world history).
May 5 – Microsoft releases Windows 98 (Second Edition) (from 1998).
May 8 – Nancy Mace becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Military College of South Carolina.
May 19 – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is released in theaters. It becomes the highest grossing Star Wars film.
May 31 – Sean Elliott of the San Antonio Spurs hits the Memorial Day Miracle against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1999 NBA Playoffs.
June 1 – American Airlines Flight 1420 overruns the runway in Little Rock, Arkansas killing 11 people.
June 8 – The government of Colombia announces it will include the estimated value of the country's illegal drug crops, exceeding half a billion US dollars, in its gross national product.
June 12 – Texas Governor George W. Bush announces he will seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.
June 19 – Horror author Stephen King is hit in a car accident on Route 5 in North Lovell, Maine by Bryan Smith.
June 23 – The Phillips explosion of 1999 kills 2 and injures 3 in Pasadena, Texas.
July 2 – Benjamin Nathaniel Smith begins a 3-day killing spree targeting racial and ethnic minorities in Illinois and Indiana.
July 5 – U.S. Army Pfc. Barry Winchell is bludgeoned in his sleep at Fort Campbell, Kentucky by fellow soldiers; he dies the next day from his injuries.
July 8 – A major flash flood in Las Vegas swamps hundreds of cars, smashes mobile homes and kills 2 people.
July 10 – USA soccer player Brandi Chastain scores the game winning penalty kick against China in the FIFA Women's World Cup.
July 16 – Off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, a plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. crashes, killing him and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister Lauren Bessette.
July 20 – Mercury program: Liberty Bell 7 is raised from the Atlantic Ocean.
July 22 – The first version of MSN Messenger is released by Microsoft.
July 23–25 – The Woodstock 99 festival is held in New York.
July 25 – Lance Armstrong wins his first Tour de France.
July 26 – The last Checker taxi cab is retired in New York City and auctioned off for approximately $135,000.
July 31 – Mark O. Barton kills 9 in Atlanta, Georgia.
July 31 – NASA intentionally crashes the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the lunar surface.
August 10 – Buford O. Furrow, Jr. wounds 5 and kills 1 during the August 1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting.
September 7 – Viacom and CBS merge.
October – NASA loses one of its probes, the Mars Climate Orbiter.
October 13 – The United States Senate rejects ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
October 31 – EgyptAir Flight 990, travelling from New York City to Cairo, crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on board. The NTSB later reports that the co-pilot, Gameel Al-Batouti, deliberately crashed the plane, however Egyptian authorities dispute this claim.
November 18 – The Aggie Bonfire collapses in College Station, Texas, killing 12.
December 3 – NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander, moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.
December 18 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform, carrying 5 Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
December 31 – The U.S. turns over complete administration of the Panama Canal to the Panamanian Government, as stipulated in the Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977.
January 4 – Alan Greenspan is nominated for a fourth term as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman.
January 5–8 – The 2000 al-Qaeda Summit of several high-level al-Qaeda members (including two 9/11 American Airlines hijackers) is held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
January 10 – America Online announces an agreement to purchase Time Warner for $162 billion (the largest-ever corporate merger).
January 12 – Elián González affair: Attorney General Janet Reno rules that a child rescued by Coastguards must be returned to his father in Cuba.
January 14 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 11,722.98 (at the peak of the Dot-com bubble).
January 16 – In Sacramento, California, a commercial truck carrying evaporated milk is driven into the State Capitol building, killing the driver.
January 26 – The rap-metal band Rage Against the Machine plays in front of Wall Street, prompting an early closing of trading due to the crowds.
January 30 – Super Bowl XXXIV: The St. Louis Rams win the NFL Championship for the first time since 1951, defeating the Tennessee Titans 23–16.
January 31 – Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes in the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people on board.
February 11 – A blast from an improvised explosive device in front of a Barclay's Bank, across from the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, wounds dozens but kills none.
February 13 – The final original Peanuts comic strip is published, following the death of its creator, Charles Schulz.
February 17 – Microsoft releases Windows 2000.
March 7 – George W. Bush and Al Gore emerge victorious in the Republican and Democratic caucuses and primaries of the United States presidential election.
March 9 – The FBI arrests art forgery suspect Ely Sakhai in New York City.
March 10 – The NASDAQ Composite Index reaches an all-time high of 5,048.
March 20 – Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), a former Black Panther, is captured after a gun battle in Atlanta, Georgia that leaves a sheriff's deputy dead.
March 21 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Bill Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative.
March 27 – The Phillips explosion of 2000 kills one and injured 71 in Pasadena, Texas.
April 3 – United States v. Microsoft : Microsoft is ruled to have violated United States antitrust laws by keeping "an oppressive thumb" on its competitors.
April 22 – In a predawn raid, federal agents seize 6-year old Elián González from his relatives' home in Miami, Florida and fly him to his Cuban father in Washington, DC, ending one of the most publicized custody battles in U.S. history.
April 25 – The State of Vermont passes HB847, legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples.
April 28 – Richard Baumhammers begins a two-hour racially motivated shooting spree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leaving five dead and one paralyzed.
May 3 – In San Antonio, Texas, computer pioneer Datapoint files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
June 5 – 405 The Movie , the first short film widely distributed on the Internet, is released.
June 7 – United States Microsoft antitrust case: A Court orders the break up of the Microsoft corporation because of its monopoly in the computer software market.
June 28 – Elián González affair: Elián González seized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and returned to Cuba.
July 31–August 3 – The Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nominates George W. Bush for U.S. President and Dick Cheney for Vice President.
August 8 – The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor.
August 14–17 – The Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles nominates U.S. Vice President Al Gore for President and Senator Joe Lieberman for Vice President.
September 6 – In Paragould, Arkansas, Breanna Lynn Bartlett-Stewart is stillborn to Scott Stewart and Lisa Bartlett. Breanna Lynn's stillbirth is notable for being the first stillbirth to be resolved by means of the Kleihauer-Betke test.
October 11 – 250 million gallons of coal sludge spill in Martin County, Kentucky (considered a greater environmental disaster than the Exxon Valdez oil spill).
October 12 – In Aden, Yemen, the USS Cole is badly damaged by two Al-Qaeda suicide bombers, who place a small boat laden with explosives alongside the United States Navy destroyer, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.
October 23 – Madeleine Albright holds talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.
October 26 – The New York Yankees defeat the New York Mets in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series, 4–1, to win their 26th World Series title. This is the first Subway Series matchup between the two crosstown rivals. It is their 4th World Series win in the last five years under Manager Joe Torre.
November 7 – United States presidential election, 2000: Republican candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush defeats Democratic Vice President Al Gore in the closest election in history, but the final outcome is not known for over a month because of disputed votes in Florida.
November 7 – Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first First Lady of the United States to win public office.
November 16 – Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit Vietnam.
December 13 – The Texas 7 escape from their prison unit in Kenedy, Texas, and start a crime spree.
December 24 – The Texas 7 rob a sports store in Irving, Texas; police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot dead.
December 28 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
December 13 – Bush v. Gore : The U.S. Supreme Court stops the Florida presidential recount, effectively giving the state, and the Presidency, to George W. Bush.
December 31 – President Clinton signs the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
January 1 – A black monolith measuring approximately 9 feet tall appears in Seattle, Washington's Magnuson Park, placed by an anonymous artist in reference to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey .
January 2 – Sila Calderón becomes the first female governor of US territory Puerto Rico.
January 11 – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approves the merger of America Online and Time Warner to form AOL Time Warner.
January 16 – US President Bill Clinton awards former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service during the Spanish-American War; 11 of Roosevelt's descendants accept on his behalf.
January 16 – A man drives a semi-trailer truck into the side of the California State Capitol building, killing the driver and damaging the building's interior.
January 20 - George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States.
January 22 – Four of the "Texas 7" are caught at a convenience store in Woodland Park, Colorado, and a fifth kills himself inside a motor home. Confirmation needed
January 24 – The last two of the "Texas 7" are taken into custody in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Confirmation needed
January 28 – Super Bowl XXXV: The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants 34–7, winning their first Super Bowl title.
February 9 – The submarine USS Greeneville accidentally strikes and sinks the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime-Maru near Hawaii.
February 16 – US and UK war planes bomb a Baghdad suburb, killing three.
February 16 – Iraq disarmament crisis: British and U.S. forces carry out bombing raids, attempting to disable Iraq's air defense network.
February 18 – NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt died in a last lap crash in the 43rd annual Daytona 500.
February 18 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested and charged with spying for Russia for 15 years.
February 19 – An Oklahoma City bombing museum is dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
February 23 – Isla Vista massacre: In Isla Vista, California, David Attias drives a car into five pedestrians, killing four and critically injuring one. He is later convicted of murder and declared legally insane.
February 28 – The Nisqually Earthquake strikes Seattle, Washington.
March 25 – The 73rd Academy Awards, hosted by Steve Martin, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Gladiator winning Best Picture.
March 28 - The Bush administration withdraws U.S. support for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gases.
April 1 - A Chinese fighter jet collides with a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for 10 days and the F-8 Chinese pilot goes missing and is presumed dead.
April 7 – Timothy Thomas, a 19-year-old African-American, is shot by a police officer in Cincinnati, sparking riots in downtown Cincinnati from April 10 to April 12.
April 21 – The small Kansas town of Hoisington is hit by a F-4 tornado destroying one-third of the city and killing one.
April 28 – Soyuz TM-32 lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the first space tourist, American Dennis Tito.
May 6 – Space tourist Dennis Tito returns to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-31 . ( Soyuz TM-32 is left docked at the International Space Station as a new lifeboat.)
June 5 – U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican party, an act which changes control of the United States Senate from the Republican party to the Democratic party.
June 5–9 – Tropical Storm Allison produces 36 inches (900 mm) of rain in Houston, Texas, killing 22, damaging the Texas Medical Center, and causing more than US$5 billion of damage.
June 7 – The Bush tax cuts are signed into law by U.S. president George W. Bush.
June 9 – The Colorado Avalanche wins their second Stanley Cup, and Ray Bourque wins his first Cup after a lengthy career.
June 11 – In Terre Haute, Indiana, Timothy McVeigh is executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.
June 19 – A missile hits a soccer field in Tal Afar, Iraq, killing 23 and wounding 11. The Iraqi government claims it was an American-British airstrike; U.S. officials say it was actually an Iraqi missile that malfunctioned.
July 10 - Thirtymile fire ignites in Okanogan County, Washington. It becomes the second-deadliest fire in the state's history.
July 16 – The FBI arrests Dmitry Sklyarov at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for violating a provision of the DMCA.
July 18 – In Baltimore, Maryland, a 60-car train derailment occurs in a tunnel, sparking a fire that lasts days and virtually shuts down downtown Baltimore.
August 1 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has a 2½ ton monument of the Ten Commandments installed in the Rotunda of the Judiciary Building. He is later sued to have it removed, and eventually removed from office.
August 2 - The House of Representatives approves oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
August 9 – U.S. President George W. Bush announces his limited support for federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells.
September 1 – The libertarian Free State Project is founded at Yale University.
September 6 – United States v. Microsoft : The United States Justice Department announces that it no longer seeks to break up software maker Microsoft, and will instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.
September 11 - Almost 3,000 people are killed in suicide attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
September 15 – The Queen Isabella Causeway in Texas collapses after being hit by a tugboat, killing eight.
September 18 - A series of anthrax attacks commence as anthrax letters are mailed from Princeton, New Jersey to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post , and the National Enquirer .
October 5 – Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks the single season home run record, with his 71st and 72nd home runs of the year.
October 7 - The United States invades Afghanistan, accompanied by other nations participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
October 9 – The 2001 anthrax attacks continue as contaminated letters are mailed from Princeton, New Jersey, to U.S. Senators Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
October 15 – NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io.
October 26 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs the USA PATRIOT Act into law.
November 12 – In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, headed to the Dominican Republic, crashes in Queens minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board.
November 13 – In the first such act since World War II, U.S. President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts against the United States.
December 2 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection five days after Dynegy cancels a US$8.4 billion buyout bid. Enron's bankruptcy becomes the largest in U.S. history.
December 3 – Officials announce that one of the Taliban prisoners captured after the prison uprising at Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan is John Walker Lindh, an American citizen.
December 11 – The United States government indicts Zacarias Moussaoui for involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
December 13 – U.S. President George W. Bush announces the United States' withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
December 22 – A Paris–Miami, Florida flight is diverted to Boston, Massachusetts after passenger Richard Reid attempts to set his shoe, filled with explosives, on fire.
December 27 – The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade status with the United States.
January 5 – Charles Bishop, a 15-year-old student pilot, crashes a light aircraft into a Tampa, Florida building, evoking fear of a copycat 9/11 terrorist attack.
January 8 – The No Child Left Behind Act is signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush.
January 9 – The United States Department of Justice announces it will pursue a criminal investigation of Enron.
January 14 – The asylum case of Adelaide Abankwah is heard in New York.
January 16 – A student shoots six at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, killing 3.
January 18 – A Canadian Pacific Railway train carrying anhydrous ammonia derails outside of Minot, North Dakota, killing one.
January 23 – Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Pakistan, accused of being a CIA agent by his captors.
January 29 - In his State of the Union Address, President Bush describes North Korea, Iran and Iraq as an "Axis of evil".
January 31 - US special forces deployed in the Philippines in Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines, part of the War on Terrorism.
February 1 – Kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.
February 3 – Super Bowl XXXVI: The New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams 20–17 in New Orleans.
February 8–February 24 - The Winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The United States win 10 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze medals.
February 12 – The U.S. Secretary of Energy makes the decision that Yucca Mountain is suitable to be the United States' nuclear repository.
February 13 – Queen Elizabeth gives former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani an honorary knighthood.
February 19 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
March 1 – STS-109 : Space Shuttle Columbia flies the Hubble Space Telescope service mission, its last before STS-107 .
March 1 – U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: In eastern Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda begins.
March 12 – In Houston, Texas, Andrea Yates is found guilty of drowning her five children on June 20, 2001. She is later sentenced to life in prison.
March 14 – 125 vehicles are involved in a massive pile up on Interstate 75 in Ringgold, Georgia.
March 19 – US war in Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 1) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, with 11 allied troop fatalities.
March 21 – In Pakistan, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three others are charged with the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
March 24 – The 74th Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California with the film A Beautiful Mind winning Best Picture.
April 1 – Maryland defeats Indiana 64–52 to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
April 17 – Four Canadian infantrymen are killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire from two US F-16s.
April 19 - The Senate defeats President Bush's plan to authorize oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
April 27 – The Laughlin, Nevada River Run Riot kills three.
May 10 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for selling American secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.
May 12 – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first U.S. President, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.
May 21 – The US State Department releases a report naming seven state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
May 22 – 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls.
May 26 – A barge collides with the Interstate 40 bridge across the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma, killing 14.
June 11 – Antonio Meucci is recognized as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.
June 14 – In Karachi, Pakistan, a car bomb in front of the U.S. Consulate kills 12 Pakistanis and injures 50.
July 13 – A lightning strike sets off the Sour Biscuit Fire in Oregon and northern California, which burns 499,570 acres (2,022 km²).
July 15 – In Washington, D.C., "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to aiding the enemy and possession of explosives during the commission of a felony; Lindh agrees to serve 10 years in prison for each charge.
July 21 – Telecommunications giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the largest such filing in United States history.
August 12 – In Arlington, Virginia, US Airways declares bankruptcy.
September 5 – The Sour Biscuit Fire in Oregon and northern California, which burned 499,570 acres (2,022 km²), is contained.
September 12 - Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush addresses the U.N., and challenges its members to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq, or stand aside as the United States and likeminded nations act.
October 2 – The Beltway sniper attacks begin with five shootings in Montgomery County, Maryland.
October 2 – The Congress of the United States passes a joint resolution, which authorizes the President to use the United States Armed Forces as he deems necessary and appropriate, against Iraq.
October 9 – The Dot-com bubble bear market reaches bottom, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average slips below 7,200.
October 9–October 10 – Congress passes the Iraq Resolution authorizing the Iraq War.
October 16 – Iraq War Resolution is authorized by a majority of the U.S. Congress.
October 24 – The Beltway sniper attacks, having killed 10 and wounded 3 others, end with the arrest of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.
October 25 – U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, his family, and his staff are killed in a plane accident at Eveleth, Minnesota.
October 27 – The Anaheim Angels defeat the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series to win the title.
November 2 – The Godless Americans March on Washington brings together 2,000 atheists, freethinkers, and humanists in a mile-long parade down the National Mall.
November 5 – Republicans gain a majority in the Senate and a larger majority in the House of Representatives following congressional elections.
November 6 – The U.S. Federal Reserve System drops its primary discount rate by 50 basis points to 0.75%, putting the real interest rate solidly below the inflation rate.
November 7 – Iran bans the advertising of United States products.
November 8 – The United Nations passes Resolution 1441 giving Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a final opportunity to cooperate with international weapons inspectors.
November 16 – A Campaign against Climate Change march takes place in London from Lincoln's Inn Fields, past Esso offices to the United States Embassy.
November 25 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Security Act into law, establishing the Department of Homeland Security, in the largest U.S. government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.
January - Sky marshals introduced on US airlines in an attempt to prevent hijackings.
January 3 – The 108th United States Congress is sworn in, including incoming freshmen Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Sununu (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Norm Coleman (R-MN), and Mark Pryor (D-AR).
January 3 – The Ohio State University defeats the University of Miami in double-overtime in the Fiesta Bowl, 31–24, for the national Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title.
January 8 – US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashes at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people aboard.
January 15 – Eldred v. Ashcroft : The Supreme Court of the United States allows the extension of copyright terms in the U.S.
January 16 – STS-107 : Space Shuttle Columbia is launched on what turns out to be its last flight.
January 23 – The last signal is received from NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, some 7.5 billion miles from Earth.
January 24 – The new United States Department of Homeland Security begins operation.
January 25 – An international group of volunteers leaves London for Baghdad to act as voluntary human shields, hoping to avert a U.S. invasion.
January 26 – Super Bowl XXXVII: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Oakland Raiders 48–21.
January 30 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The leaders of the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain release a statement ( The Letter of the Eight ) demonstrating support for the United States' plans to invade Iraq.
February 1 – STS-107 : Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas upon re-entry, killing all 7 astronauts onboard.
February 5 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the UN Security Council on Iraq.
February 7 – An unsuccessful attempt is made to contact Pioneer 10.
February 20 – The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island claims the lives of 100 people.
March 1 – The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
March 1 – The Turkish parliament vetoes U.S. troop access to airbases in Turkey in order to attack Iraq from the north. The Bush administration starts working on Plan B, namely attacking Iraq from the south, through the Persian Gulf.
March 5 – Lockyer v. Andrade , Ewing v. California : In two separate opinions, the Supreme Court of the United States, by 5–4 margins, upholds California's "three strikes and you're out" law.
March 11 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi fighters threaten two U.S. U-2 surveillance planes, on missions for U.N. weapons inspectors, forcing them to abort their mission and return to base.
March 16 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The leaders of the United States, Britain, Portugal, and Spain meet at a summit in the Azores Islands. U.S. President Bush calls March 17 the "moment of truth", meaning that the "coalition of the willing" will make its final effort to extract a resolution from the U.N. Security Council, giving Iraq an ultimatum to disarm immediately or be disarmed by force.
March 17 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush gives an ultimatum: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his sons must either leave Iraq, or face military action at a time of the U.S.'s choosing.
March 18 – FBI agents raid the corporate headquarters of HealthSouth Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, on suspicion of massive corporate fraud led by the company's top executives.
March 18 – About $1 billion is taken from Iraq's Central Bank by Saddam Hussein and his family, just hours before the United States begins bombing Iraq.
March 19 – The first American bombs drop on Baghdad after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons do not comply with U.S. President George W. Bush's 48-hour mandate demanding their exit from Iraq.
March 20 - The US-led Iraq War begins.
March 22 – The United States and the United Kingdom begin their shock and awe campaign, with a massive air strike on military targets in Baghdad.
March 23 – Hasan Akbar, a Muslim soldier with the 101st Airborne, kills two fellow soldiers in a grenade attack at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait.
March 23 – The 75th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Steve Martin, is held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Chicago wins Best Picture.
March 30 – Meigs Field Airport in Chicago, Illinois, is demolished overnight.
April 3 – U.S. forces seize control of Saddam International Airport, changing the airport's name to Baghdad International Airport.
April 3–April 12 - Iraq War: US forces defeat the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Republican Guard in the Battle of Baghdad.
April 9 – U.S. forces seize control of Baghdad, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein.
April 13 – Iraq War: Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit falls to US forces.
April 13 – President George W. Bush accuses Syria of possessing chemical weapons.
April 21 – Retired U.S. Army General Jay Garner becomes Interim Civil Administrator of Iraq.
April 29 - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld confirms that US troops will be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia where they have been stationed since the 1991 Gulf War.
May 1 – U. S. president George W. Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln , where he gives a speech announcing the end of major combat in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A banner behind him declares "Mission Accomplished."
May 3 – The Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation in New Hampshire, crumbles after heavy rain.
May 4 – Top Thrill Dragster opens in Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio as the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster.
May 4–10 – A major severe weather outbreak spawns more tornadoes than any week in U.S. history; 393 tornadoes are reported in 19 states.
May 23 – Dewey, the first deer cloned by scientists at Texas A&M University, is born.
May 25 – After docking in Miami at 05:00, the SS Norway (old SS France ) is severely damaged by a boiler explosion at 06:30, that kills seven, and injures 17 crew members. A few weeks later it is announced by Norwegian Cruise Line that she will never sail again as a commercial ocean liner.
May 28 - President Bush authorizes $350 billion worth of tax cuts over 10 years.
May 31 – Eric Rudolph, suspected in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, is captured in Murphy, North Carolina.
June 4 – Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal investigation. Stewart also resigns as chairperson and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living .
June 22 – The largest hailstone ever recorded falls in Aurora, Nebraska.
June 23 – Grutter v. Bollinger : The Supreme Court of the United States upholds affirmative action in university admissions.
June 26 - A senior Department of State chemical and biological weapons expert testifies to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee that he was pressured to modify intelligence reports about Iraq.
June 26 – Lawrence v. Texas : The U.S. Supreme Court declares sodomy laws unconstitutional.
June 29 – A balcony collapse in Chicago kills 13.
June 30 – In Irvine, California, Joseph Hunter Parker kills two Albertsons employees with a sword, before being shot to death by the police.
July 14 – CIA leak scandal: Washington Post columnist Robert Novak publishes the name of Valerie Plame, blowing her cover as a CIA operative.
July 22 – Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam Hussein, are killed by the U.S. military in Iraq, after being tipped off by an informant.
July 26 – The electorate of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma approves a new constitution redesignating the tribe "Cherokee Nation" without "of Oklahoma" and specifically disenfranchising the Cherokee Freedmen.
August 14 – A widespread power outage affects the northeastern United States and South-Central Canada.
August 25 – The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, during Delta II.
September 7 - President Bush announces a request for $87 billion from Congress for military operations in Afganistan and Iraq.
September 17 - President Bush concedes there is no evidence linking Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
September 18 – Hurricane Isabel makes landfall as a Category 2 Hurricane on North Carolina's Outer Banks. It directly kills 16 people in the Mid–Atlantic area.
October 7 – 2003 California recall: Voters recall Governor Gray Davis from office and elect actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to succeed him.
October 10 – Facing an investigation surrounding allegations of illegal drug use, American right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh publicly admits that he is addicted to prescription pain killers, and will seek treatment.
October 15 – The 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash kills 11 after one of its ferries slams into a pier.
October 25 – The Florida Marlins defeat the New York Yankees to win their second World Series title.
October 25 – The Cedar Fire begins in San Diego County, burning 280,000 acres (1,100 km²), 2,232 homes and killing 14.
November 18 – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, rules anti-same-sex marriage laws unconstitutional in Massachusetts.
November 18 – U.S. President George W. Bush makes a state visit to London in the midst of massive protests.
November 20 – Iraq War: End of Operation Iron Hammer, an attempt to end the Iraq insurgency.
December 1 – Boeing chairman and CEO Phil Condit resigns unexpectedly. He is replaced by Lewis Platt as non-executive chairman and Harry Stonecipher as president and CEO.
December 13 – Iraq War: End of Operation Red Dawn resulting in the capture of Saddam Hussein in Tikrit.
December 22 – An earthquake in California kills two.[ clarification needed ]
December 24 – At the request of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the French Government orders Air France to cancel several flights between France and the U.S. in response to terrorist concerns.
December 24 – A BSE (mad cow disease) outbreak in Washington State is announced. Several countries including Brazil, Australia and Taiwan ban the import of beef from the United States.
January 4 – NASA's MER-A ( Spirit ) lands on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
January 19 – U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) wins the Iowa Democratic caucus. Vermont Governor Howard Dean's concession speech ends with a lively but controversial scream.
January 24 – NASA's MER-B ( Opportunity ) lands on Mars at 05:05 UTC.
January 28 - At a hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, it is revealed that the September 11, 2001, terrorists used Mace (a brand of tear gas) or pepper spray in overpowering the flight crew of American Airlines Flight 11.
February 1 – The New England Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVIII.
February 3 – The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
February 12 – Same sex marriage in the United States: The City and County of San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as an act of civil disobedience.
February 26 – The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
February 29 – The 76th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King directed by Peter Jackson, winning a record-tying 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
March 2 – NASA announces that the Mars rover MER-B ( Opportunity ) has confirmed that its landing area was once drenched in water.
March 2 - John Kerry effectively clinches the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination by winning nine out of 10 "Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses.
March 31 – Four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA are killed, and their bodies mutilated, after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq.
April 28 – Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is revealed on the television show 60 Minutes II .
April 29 – The last Oldsmobile rolls off of the assembly line.
May 4 – A WNBC helicopter crashes in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. This event is covered by rival station WABC-TV.
May 6 – The final episode of Friends airs on NBC, drawing an estimated 52 million viewers in North America. Advertisers pay $2 million for 30 second ads.
May 8 – Would-be "Saudi Princess" "Antoinette Millard" surfaces in New York City, claiming that muggers had stolen jewels worth of $262,000 from her (she later proves to be an impostor).
May 12 – An American civilian contractor in Iraq, Nick Berg, is shown being decapitated by a group allegedly linked to al-Qaeda on an Internet-distributed video. They state it is retaliation for the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.
May 17 – Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage in compliance with a ruling from the state's Supreme Court ruling in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health .
May 26 – Terry Nichols is convicted by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
May 29 – Dedication of the National World War II Memorial takes place in Washington, DC.
June 1 - The 2004 Atlantic hurricane season begins.
June 3 – Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet tenders his resignation, citing "personal reasons". John E. McLaughlin, CIA Deputy Director, becomes the acting Director until a permanent Director is chosen and confirmed by Congress.
June 4 – Marvin Heemeyer destroys many local buildings with a home-made tank in Granby, Colorado.
June 5 – Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, dies at his home in Bel-Air, California at the age of 93. A six-day state funeral follows after his death.
June 8 – The G8 Summit takes place over the next 2 days on Sea Island, in Georgia, United States.
June 11 – The national funeral service for former U.S. president Ronald Reagan is held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
June 11 – Terry Nichols is spared the death penalty by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, exactly three years after his co-defendant, Timothy McVeigh, was executed for his role in the bombing.
June 16 - The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (or "9/11 Commission") issues an initial report of its findings.
June 21 – In Mojave, California, SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
June 28 - The U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq transfers sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government.
June 28 – Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains collide in a rural area outside of San Antonio, Texas; 40 cars are derailed, including one chlorine car. Three people die, another 50 people are hospitalized because of exposure to the gas.
July 4 – Groundbreaking of Freedom Tower in New York City.
July 25 – Lance Armstrong wins an unprecedented 6th consecutive Tour de France cycling title.
July 26–29 – The Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts nominates John Kerry for U.S. President and John Edwards for Vice President. Future President Barack Obama delivers the keynote address.
July 31 – "The Last Dispatch" concert is played as a reunion concert with the band Dispatch on the Hatch Shell in Boston; 110,000 people attend, making it the single largest gathering in independent music industry history.
August 3 – The Statue of Liberty reopens after security improvements.
August 3 – NASA's MESSENGER is launched (it will be captured into Mercury's orbit on March 18, 2011).
August 12 – New Jersey Governor James McGreevey announces that he is "a gay American" and will resign effective November 15, 2004.
August 13 – Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida, after killing four in Cuba and one in Jamaica. Charley makes landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. Charley is the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
August 13–August 29 – The United States compete at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and win 36 gold, 39 silver and 27 bronze medals.
August 29 – Around 200,000 protesters demonstrate in New York City against President George W. Bush and his government, ahead of the Republican National Convention.
August 30 – September 2 – U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are renominated at the Republican National Convention in New York City.
September 3 – Hurricane Frances makes landfall in Florida. After killing two people in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances killed ten people in Florida, two in Georgia and one in South Carolina.
September 8 – In the "Rathergate" affair, the first Internet posts appear, pointing out that documents claimed by CBS News to be typewritten memos from the early 1970s appear instead to have been produced using modern word processing systems.
September 13 – The U.S. Assault Weapons Ban expires.
September 16 – Hurricane Ivan strikes Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 3 storm, killing 25 in Alabama and Florida, becoming the third-costliest hurricane in American history at the time.
September 23 – Tropical Storm Ivan, having come around and reformed in the Gulf of Mexico, makes its final landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, to little effect. In total, the storm kills 92 people.
September 23 – Mount St. Helens became active again.
September 24 – Major League Baseball announces that the Montreal Expos will move to Washington D.C. in 2005.
September 25 – Hurricane Jeanne makes landfall near Port Saint Lucie, Florida, near the location Hurricane Frances hit two weeks earlier. Jeanne kills over 3,030, mostly in Haiti.
September 29 – In Mojave, California, the first Ansari X-Prize flight takes place of SpaceShipOne, which is competing with a number of spacecraft (including Canada's Da Vinci Project, claimed to be its closest rival) and goes on to win the prize on October 4.
September 30 - First debate of the U.S. presidential election, 2004.
October 5 - Vice Presidential debate of the U.S. presidential election, 2004 between the candidates, Dick Cheney and John Edwards.
October 8 - Second debate of the U.S. presidential election, 2004.
October 13 - Third debate of the U.S. presidential election, 2004.
October 16 – The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 19–8 in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series. The game, which pushes the Yankees to a 3–0 series lead, sets a record for longest nine-inning baseball game.
October 20 - Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashes in Missouri, killing 13 people, and injuring two.
October 25 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
October 27 – The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918, breaking the Curse of the Bambino.
October 29 - A videotape of Osama Bin Laden speaking airs on Arabic TV, in which he threatens terrorist attacks on the USA, and taunts the President, George W. Bush, over the September 11 Terrorist attacks.
November 2 – The United States re-elects George W. Bush of the Republican Party to a second term as President of the United States, defeating John Kerry.
November 2 – Eleven American states ban gay marriage.
November 7 – U.S. Forces launch a major assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah, in an effort to rid the area of insurgents before the Iraqi elections in January.
November 13 – After six days of intense battles, Iraqi town of Fallujah fully occupied by U.S. forces.
November 14 – United States Secretary of State Colin Powell submits his resignation. He is replaced by Condoleezza Rice after her confirmation by the United States Congress.
November 16 – NASA's hypersonic Scramjet breaks a record by reaching a velocity of about 7,000 mph in an unmanned experimental flight. It obtains a speed of Mach 9.6, almost 10 times the speed of sound.
November 19 – The NBA's Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons engage in a brawl that involves fans and players. The incident gets (then) Pacer Ron Artest suspended for the remainder of the season.
December 3 – The Colombian government extradites Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, one of the most powerful drug dealers in the world, arrested in 1995 and 2003, to the United States.
December 6 – Terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing several people.
December 8 – The biggest Chinese PC producer Lenovo announces its plan to purchase IBM's global PC business, making it the third largest world PC maker after Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
December 21 – Iraqi insurgents attack a U.S. military base in the city of Mosul, killing 22 people.
December 31 – Simón Trinidad, high-profile FARC leader, is extradited to the United States, following the second extradition of a high drug dealer in a month and in 2004.
January 6 – The Graniteville train disaster kills 9 and injures 250 in Graniteville, South Carolina.
January 12 – Deep Impact is launched from Cape Canaveral by a Delta 2 rocket.
January 20 – George W. Bush is sworn in for his second term as president.
January 26 – Glendale train crash: Two trains derail, killing 11 and injuring 200, in Glendale, California.
February 6 – Super Bowl XXXIX: The New England Patriots win their second consecutive Super Bowl title, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21.
February 10 – North Korea announces that it possesses nuclear weapons as a protection against the hostility it feels from the United States.
February 15 – The Internet site YouTube goes online.
February 16 – The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect, without the support of the United States and Australia.
Based on estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2005 is the warmest year since reliable widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 1800s, beating the previous record set in 1998 by a few hundredths of a degree Celsius. It will be replaced by 2007 as the warmest year.[ citation needed ]
February 24 – David Hernandez Arroyo goes on a shooting rampage at the Smith County Courthouse in Tyler, Texas. He kills two, including his ex-wife, and injures four people, before being killed in a police chase.
February 25 – Wichita, Kansas police apprehend the BTK serial killer Dennis Rader, 31 years after his first murder.
February 27 – The 77th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, with Million Dollar Baby winning Best Picture.
March 1 – Roper v. Simmons : The Supreme Court of the United States rules the death penalty unconstitutional for juveniles who committed their crimes before age 18.
March 4 – The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena is fired on by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, causing the death of one passenger and injuring two more.
March 11 – Three people, including a judge, are murdered in the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia; the main suspect, Brian Nichols, surrenders to police the next day.
March 21 – Ten are killed in the Red Lake High School massacre in Minnesota, the worst school shooting since the Columbine High School massacre.M
March 23 – The United States' 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses 2–1 to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.
April 9 – Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, march through Baghdad denouncing the U.S. occupation of Iraq, two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and rally in the square where his statue was toppled in 2003.
May 10 – A hand grenade ostensibly thrown by Vladimir Arutinian lands about 100 feet (30 m) from United States President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but malfunctions and does not detonate.
May 13 – The United States Department of Defense issues a list of bases to be closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC 2005).
May 13 – Serial killer Michael Bruce Ross becomes the first person executed in New England in 45 years.
May 16 – George Galloway appears before a United States Senate committee, to answer allegations of making money from the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme.
May 31 - W. Mark Felt reveals himself to be the Watergate scandal whistleblower called "Deep Throat."
June 2 – The construction of Northrop Grumman X-47B, the world's first unmanned surveillance attack aircraft that can operate from both land bases and aircraft carriers, begins.
June 17 – Because of "quadruple-witching" options and futures expiration, the New York Stock Exchange sees the heaviest first-hour trading on record. 704 million shares are traded between 9:30–10:30 a.m. (1.92 billion shares for the day).
June 17 – A 6.7 aftershock, which followed a 5.3 earthquake the previous day, hits California, making it the fourth earthquake since June 12 in California.
June 21 – A Volna booster rocket carrying the first light sail spacecraft (a joint Russian-United States project) fails 83 seconds after its launch, destroying the spacecraft.
June 30 – The Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is passed by the United States.
July 4 – The Italy-USA Foundation is established in Rome, Italy.
July 4 – NASA's "Copper bullet" from the Deep Impact spacecraft hits Comet Tempel 1, creating a crater for scientific studies.
July 10 – Hurricane Dennis strikes near Navarre Beach, Florida as a Category 3 storm, killing 10 after having killed over 50 in the Caribbean.
July 19 - President Bush nominated John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill a vacancy that would be left by the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
July 24 – Lance Armstrong wins a record 7th straight Tour de France before his scheduled retirement.
July 26 - STS-114 launches as the first "Return to Flight" Space Shuttle mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.
August 2 – The Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is signed into law in the United States.
August 9 – Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Edwards Air Force Base at 0814 EDT, completing STS-114 , "Return to Flight".
August 12 – The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is launched.
August 23 – Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas.
August 29 – At least 1,836 are killed, and severe damage is caused along the U.S. Gulf Coast, as Hurricane Katrina strikes coastal areas from Louisiana to Alabama, and travels up the entire state of Mississippi (flooding coast 31 feet (9.4 m)), affecting most of eastern North America.
August 30 – Hurricane Katrina dissipates leaving thousands dead, and many without any homes.
September - The largest evacuation in Houston takes place as millions evacuate from Hurricane Rita.
September 1 – Oil prices rise sharply following the economic effects of Hurricane Katrina.
September 5 – John G. Roberts is nominated by President George W. Bush for Chief Justice of the United States, replacing William Rehnquist, who had died two days previously.
September 14–16 – The largest UN World Summit in history is held in New York City.
September 20 – The NFL sees the groundbreaking ceremony for two new stadiums, the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys' temporarily named Cowboys Stadium
September 23 – Convicted bank thief and Boricua Popular Army leader, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, is killed in his home in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico when members of the FBI attempt to serve an arrest warrant.
September 24 – Worldwide protests occur against the Iraq War, with over 150,000 protestors in Washington DC (see Opposition to the Iraq War).
September 24 – Hurricane Rita hits the U.S. Gulf Coast, devastating areas near Beaumont, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Ninth Ward of New Orleans re-floods since Katrina, and Mississippi and Alabama are also affected.
September 26 – U.S. Army Reservist Lynndie England is convicted by a military jury on six of seven counts, in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.
September 28 – American politician Tom DeLay is indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy by a Texas grand jury.
September 29 – John G. Roberts, Jr. is confirmed and sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
October 1 – An Australian photojournalist in Afghanistan, Stephen Dupont, films U.S. soldiers burning two dead Taliban militias' bodies.
October 2 – The first regular-season NFL game played outside of the USA pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Arizona Cardinals at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. The Cardinals win 31–14.
October 2 – A shipwreck on Lake George kills 20 people.
October 3 – U.S. President George W. Bush nominates Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court of the United States.
October 3 – St. Tammany Parish Schools reopen in Louisiana, just over a month after Hurricane Katrina closed them.
October 15 – A riot occurs in Toledo, Ohio during a Neo-Nazi rally on racial issues; 114 are arrested.
October 16 – U.S. helicopters and warplanes bomb two villages near Ramadi in western Iraq, killing about 70 people.
October 19 – The Houston Astros win their first National League Championship, advancing to their first World Series in franchise history.
October 24 – Hurricane Wilma makes landfall in southwestern Florida as a category 3 hurricane.
October 26 – The Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros in four games to win their first World Series since 1917.
October 26 – The U.S. death toll in Iraq reaches 2,000.
October 27 – Harriet Miers withdraws her name from consideration for the Supreme Court of the United States.
October 28 – Vice presidential adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby resigns after being charged with obstruction of justice, perjury and making a false statement in the CIA leak investigation.
October 31 – U.S. President George W. Bush nominates Federal Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
November 1 – United States Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats force a closed session of the Senate over the Lewis Libby indictment.
November 1 – Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive in the United States for a state visit, their first overseas tour since their marriage.
November 4 – The U.S. and Uruguay governments sign a Bilateral Investment Treaty.
November 6 – Evansville Tornado of November 2005: A tornado hits western Kentucky and southwestern Indiana, killing at least 22.
November 20 – The Washington Post rebukes journalist Bob Woodward over his conduct in the CIA leak probe.
December 7 – A U.S. Federal Air Marshal fatally shoots Rigoberto Alpizar on a jetway at Miami International Airport in Florida.
December 8 – Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 overshoots the runway at Chicago Midway Airport, killing a 6-year-old boy and injuring 11 other people.
December 16 – The 43rd Mersenne prime is found, 230,402,457 − 1. It was discovered with the GIMPS project by Dr. Curtis Cooper and Dr. Steven Boone, professors at Central Missouri State University.
December 20 – 2005 New York City transit strike: New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike for three days, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services.
December 23 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces the first in an expected series of troop drawdowns following the Iraqi elections.
January 1 - 35 grass fires break out in Oklahoma City which normally averaged 2–3 grass fires a day till 2005. Record number of grass fires break out in Texas and New Mexico as well.
January 2 - The annual Rose Parade in California is drenched in heavy rain for the first time in 51 years.
January 2 - Pepsico announces its purchase of for an undisclosed price saying that the purchase would strengthen its place as Poland's no. 1 seller of potato chips.
January 3 - Twelve dead coal miners and one survivor are discovered in the Sago Mine Disaster near Buckhannon, West Virginia.
January 5 - The Bush administration proposes spending $114 million on educational programs to expand the teaching of Arabic, Chinese, Persian and other languages typically not taught in public schools.
January 5 - IBM says that it would freeze pension benefits for its American employees starting in 2008 and offer them only a 401k retirement plan in future.
January 6 - AOL agrees to pay customers as much as $25 million to settle claims that it wrongly billed them for some online services and products.
January 6 - NYSE says that it has picked as the firm that will handle trading of its shares when it goes public.
January 7 – Embroiled in multiple scandals, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay announces he will not seek to reassume his former post.
January 9 - Vice President Dick Cheney complains of shortness of breath and visits a hospital for the same. The White House says the trip was necessary because of fluid retention as a side effect of a drug Mr. Cheney had taken to treat chronic foot ailments.
January 9 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 (11,011.90) for the first time since June 7, 2001.
January 10 - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes a $125.6 billion budget increasing spending without raising taxes.
January 11 - The Augustine Volcano in Alaska erupts twice, marking its first major eruption since 1986.
January 13 - The US Government reports that in 2005 increased by highest amount since 1990.
January 13 - Rick Wagoner, CEO of the loss-making General Motors says that results will improve in 2006 and 2007.
January 15 – NASA's Stardust mission successfully ends, the first to return dust from a comet.
January 17 - California executes Clarence Ray Allen (death by lethal injection) sentenced to death in 1982 for arranging the murders of three people.
January 18 - American International Group, the world's largest insurer, says that its chief operating officer has resigned and stepped down from the board "for personal reasons".
January 19 - NASA launches the a 9-year, 3 billion mile space mission, the first to Pluto.
January 20 - A Maryland judge strikes down a state law banning same-sex marriage saying the measure violated a state constitutional amendment prohibiting sex discrimination.
January 26 - General Motors reports an $8.6 billion loss for 2005, its biggest loss since 1992.
January 27 - An inhaled form of insulin wins federal approval offering an alternative to injections for millions of people with diabetes.
January 30 - The White House announces that President Bush has chosen Professor Edward Lazear, a Stanford University business professor to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisors who will succeed Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
January 31 – Samuel Alito is sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
January 31 - Two federal appeals courts uphold rulings that the Partial Birth Abortion Act passed by the United States Congress in 2003 is unconstitutional because it does not include an exception when the health of a pregnant woman is at risk.
February 1 - UAL Corporation, United Airlines' parent company, emerges from bankruptcy after being in that position since December 9, 2002, the longest such filing in history.
February 2 - After over 30 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art says it would relinquish ownership of a 2,500-year-old Greek vase to Italy.
February 3 - "Suspicious" fires destroy three small churches and damage two others in Bibb County, Alabama .
February 5 - Super Bowl XL: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10
February 9 - AIG apologizes for deceptive business practices and reaches a $1.64 billion settlement with federal and state securities and insurance regulators.
February 10–26 - The United States compete at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and win 9 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze medals.
February 11 – Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shoots and wounds a lawyer while quail hunting in southern Texas.
February 14 - The Coca Cola Company says that Warren Buffett, the soft drink maker's largest shareholder would leave the board in April after 19 years in order to spend more time managing Berkshire Hathaway.
February 15 - A group of institutional investors already involved in a lawsuit with the company sue Tyco International to stop its proposed breakup plan.
February 16 - The state of Minnesota sues AIG for underreporting premiums to reduce its tax bill refusing a settlement of 1.2 million US dollars.
February 16 - The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke testifies to the US Senate that Chinese ownership of US assets is not large enough to put the country at risk economically.
February 16 - The Department of Commerce reports that housing starts jumped 14.5% to a 33-year high in January.
March 4 – The final contact attempt with Pioneer 10 receives no response.
March 6–20 - The first World Baseball Classic is held in San Diego, California, U.S.A..
March 9 – NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft discovers geysers of a liquid substance shooting from Saturn's moon Enceladus, signaling a possible presence of water.
March 10 – NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Mars orbit.
March 16 – The Blu-ray Disc format is released in the United States
March 17 - The United States strikes its 2 remaining Iowa -class battleships from the Naval Vessel Register, ending the age of the battleship.
March 22 - The Federal Reserve stops the publishing of M3 money supply data.
March 25 - Seven die in the Capitol Hill Massacre in Seattle, Washington.
April 29 – Massive anti-war demonstrations and a march down Broadway in New York City mark the third year of war in Iraq.[ citation needed ]
May 1 - The Great American Boycott takes place across the United States as marchers protest for immigration rights.
May 5 – Fiat chairman Sergio Marchionne announces that the Alfa Romeo automobile brand will return to the United States in 2008, after a 13-year hiatus.
June 7 – Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and seven of his aides are killed in a U.S. air raid just north of the town of Baqouba, Iraq.
June 23 - In Miami, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests 7 men, accusing them of planning to bomb the Sears Tower and other attacks in Miami.
June 25 - Warren Buffett donates over US$30 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
July 4 – STS-121 : Space Shuttle Discovery is launched to the International Space Station. It returns safely on July 17. It is the second return to flight mission after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
July 5 – North Korea test fires missiles, timed with the liftoff of Discovery, preceding the fireworks celebrations that night in America. The long range Taepodong-2 reportedly fails shortly after takeoff.
August 10 – London Metropolitan Police make 21 arrests in connection to an apparent terrorist plot that involved aircraft traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States. Liquids and gels are banned from checked and carry-on baggage.
August 27 – Comair Flight 5191, carrying 50 people, crashes shortly after take off from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky.
August 28 - A Greyhound Lines bus from New York City to Montreal, carrying 52 people, crashes at mile 115 on Interstate 87 near Elizabethtown, killing 5 people (including the driver) and seriously injuring others.
September 15 - Spinach contaminated with E. coli kills 2 and poisons over 100 others in 20 states of the United States.
October 2 - Charles Carl Roberts IV, a 32-yr-old milk-truck driver, kills 5 girls at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania before shooting himself.
October 6 - A hazardous waste plant near Apex, North Carolina explodes, releasing chlorine gas, and resulting in the evacuation of thousands and the hospitalization of over 100 residents.
October 10 - Google buys YouTube for USD $1.65 billion.
October 12 – A freak snowstorm blows into Buffalo, New York leaving over 400,000 without power and killing 13.
October 16 – The last American MASH is decommissioned.
October 24 – NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of Venus (it will be captured into Mercury's orbit on March 18, 2011).
November 6 - General elections
December 7 – Smoking is banned in all Ohio bars, restaurants, workplaces, and other public places.
December 10 - Space Shuttle Mission STS-116 : Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center on the first night launch since the 2003 loss of Columbia .
December 13 - U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffers a stroke during a radio interview.
December 14 – U.S. Spy Satellite USA 193, also known as NRO Launch 21 (NROL-21 or simply L-21), is launched and malfunctions soon after.
December 15 – Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter successfully flies for the first time.
December 22 – The Space Shuttle Discovery lands at the Kennedy Space Center, concluding a 2-week mission to the International Space Station.
January 4 – Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
January 9 – War in Somalia: U.S. planes conduct air strikes in Somalia against suspected terrorists.
January 10 - President Bush announces a plan to station 21,500 additional troops in Iraq.
January 12 – The U.S. Embassy in Athens is attacked with a rocket propelled grenade, which causes minimal damage and no injuries.
January 28 – A battle between insurgents and U.S.-backed Iraqi troops kills 300 suspected resistance members in Najaf, Iraq.
January 30 - Microsoft releases Windows Vista and Office 2007
January 31 - Delta Air Lines creditors officially reject US Airways' hostile takeover bid.
January 31 - The Mooninite scare occurs in Boston when devices used in a guerrilla marketing campaign for the animated television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force are mistaken for improvised explosive devices.
February 2 - An unseasonal tornado in central Florida kills at least 20 people.
February 12 – An armed gunman shoots and kills five people at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, before being killed by the police, bringing the evening's rampage death toll to six.
February 25 – The 79th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, is held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Departed wins Best Picture.
February 27 – 2007 Bagram Air Base bombing: A Taliban suicide attack at Bagram Air Base while Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney is visiting kills 23, but he is not injured.
February 28 - The New Horizons space probe makes a gravitational slingshot against Jupiter which changes its trajectory towards Pluto.
March 6 - Mega Millions sets a new world record for the highest lottery jackpot of US$370 million.
March 16 - For the first time in the 23-year history of the modern version of the popular gameshow, Jeopardy! , a three-way tie occurred.
April 1 - World Wrestling Entertainment put on WrestleMania 23 in Detroit, Michigan.
April 16 - 32 people are killed in the Virginia Tech massacre on the premises of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
April 17 - The Pound Sterling hits a 15-year high against the US dollar, breaking through the US$2 level for the first time since 1992.
April 19 - US and allied air forces conduct massive exercises over South Korea with over 500 planes.
April 25 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 135.95 points to close at 13089.89; its first close above 13000 in its history.
April 25 - The Burj Dubai reaches the height of the Sears Tower on its way to becoming the tallest building in the world.
April 25 - A U.S. Congressman introduces articles to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.
May 3 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Matthew Shepard Act. It is the first time that the House brings a gay rights bill to the floor for a vote.
May 4 - Tornado strikes Greensburg, Kansas, killing at least twelve and destroying about 90% of the town.
May 4 - Executive Directive 51, which specifies the procedures for continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency" signed by President George W. Bush
May 9 – Subtropical Storm Andrea forms off the coast of Florida, the earliest since Subtropical Storm Ana in 2003.
May 31 - A calendar blue moon occurred in the Western Hemisphere and parts of the Eastern Hemisphere.
June 1 – U.S. warships bombard a Somali village where Islamic militants had set up a base.
June 2 - Four people are charged with a terror plot to blow up JFK International Airport in New York. Coincidentally, Kelsey Smith was killed on the same day.
June 3 - The Valley of Geysers in Russia was destroyed by a mudflow.
June 4 - Ten people, including a Californian National Guard officer and former Hmong general, are charged over plans to overthrow the Laotian Government.
June 5 - NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft made its second fly-by of Venus en route to Mercury.
June 8 - The Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully launched on mission STS-117.
June 14 - The San Antonio Spurs sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the 2007 NBA Finals.
June 15 - Bob Barker airs his last episode of The Price is Right
June 18 – Nine Charleston, South Carolina firefighters are killed by a roof collapse while battling the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire.
June 24 - South Lake Tahoe - A wildfire starts eventually destroying 254 homes in the area.
June 25 - WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy Benoit, and son Daniel, are found dead as the result of a murder-suicide that took place over the previous weekend.
June 25 - Groundbreaking of the Chicago Spire.
June 30 - The Hawaii Superferry arrives in Honolulu after a 7,600 mile journey from Mobile, Alabama
July 7 - Venus Williams wins the Women's Singles, at Wimbledon for a fourth time.
July 7 - Live Earth Concerts are held throughout 9 major cities around the world.
July 8 - Boeing launches the new Boeing 787.
July 10 - A Cessna 310R twin-engine airplane crashes into two homes in Sanford, Florida, killing three adults and two children.
July 15 - In Tacoma, Washington, the second span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge opens to traffic, making it the longest twin suspension bridge in the world.
July 18 - At the height of rush hour in New York City a major steam pipe bursts, releasing millions of gallons of boiling water and super heated steam. Only one fatality occurred; a pedestrian who went into cardiac arrest.
July 19 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 14,000 for the first time in history.
July 21 - Vice President Dick Cheney serves as Acting President for two and a half hours, while President George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy procedure.
August 1 - The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge on I-35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota between University Avenue and Washington Avenue collapses at 6:05 pm CST during the later part of rush hour, killing 13 people.
August 1 - Scouting celebrates its 100th birthday with worldwide celebrations.
August 4 - The Phoenix spacecraft launches toward the Martian north pole.
August 6 - The Crandall Canyon Mine in Emery County, Utah collapses, trapping six miners.
August 7 - Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's home run record by hitting his 756th home run.
August 8 - The Space Shuttle Endeavour is successfully launched on mission STS-118.
August 9 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average loses 387.18 points, its largest single-day drop since February 27.
August 12 - Tiger Woods wins PGA Championship, his 13th career major.
August 15 - NBA referee Tim Donaghy surrenders to police and pleads guilty to charges brought up by the FBI investigation that he placed bets on games that he refereed.
August 16 – The Crandall Canyon Mine in Emery County, Utah, collapses a second time, killing three rescue workers and injuring 6 more.
August 18 – The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin re-strengthen into a tropical storm over Oklahoma, causing widespread flooding and wind damage.
August 21 - STS-118 lands at the Kennedy Space Center, completing Space Shuttle Endeavour's 19th flight.
August 22 - The Texas Rangers score thirty runs in one game, setting the modern (post-1900) MLB record for most runs by one team in a single game, in a 30-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
August 27 - United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation, to be effective September 17.
August 30 - 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident in which a B-52 flew from Minot AFB, North Dakota to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana carrying 6 nuclear warheads.
September 15 – Over 3,000 Taiwanese Americans and their supporters rally in front of the UN in New York City to demand that the UN accept Taiwan. At the same time, over 300,000 Taiwanese people rally in Taiwan to make the same plea.
September 25 - Halo 3 is released, breaking all previous records in entertainment history by generating $170 million in the first 24 hours of release.
October 10 - The SuccessTech Academy school shooting occurs in Cleveland, Ohio.
October 15 - Drew Carey debuts as host of The Price is Right replacing the retired Bob Barker.
October 18 – In New York City, one of the worlds leading art galleries, the Salander/O'Reilly Galleries, is forced into closure amidst scandal and lawsuits.
October 20 - Georgia's governor Sonny Perdue declares state of emergency due to drought conditions
October 20–November 9 - Wildfires in Southern California result in the evacuation of more than 1,000,000 people and destroying over 1,600 homes and businesses.
October 26 - Apple Inc. launch the sixth major release of their Mac OS X operating system entitled, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
October 28 - The Boston Red Sox win the 2007 World Series in a four-game sweep against the Colorado Rockies.
October 31 - World Economic Forum releases The Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008, at 11.00 CET.
November 3 - DARPA Grand Challenge, a prized competition for driverless cars to navigate safely in traffic is scheduled.
November 4 - Daylight saving time in the United States and most of Canada will end, one week later than the previous schedule, in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
November 5 - The Writers Guild of America goes on strike.
November 6 - Legislative elections are held in the U.S. states of Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia; Kentucky and Mississippi also hold gubernatorial elections.
November 8 - The 8th annual Latin Grammy Awards were held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, U.S.
November 27 - The Annapolis Conference, a peace conference trying to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, is held in Annapolis, Maryland.
November 30 - The 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ended.
December – The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) controversially expresses "high confidence" that Iran's nuclear weapons program has not operated since 2003.
December 3 – Winter Storms bring record amounts of rain fall in the Pacific Northwest, causing flooding and closing a 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages occur in Washington.
December 4 - The United States Senate approves the Peru Free Trade Agreement.
December 5 – Robert A. Hawkins shoots 8 people dead and injures 5 at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, then commits suicide.
December 13 – Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell publicly releases a report, accusing 89 retired and active Major League Baseball players of anabolic steroid use.
December 19 – An explosion and fire at the T2 Laboratories facility in Jacksonville, Florida kills four and injures 14.
December 20 - In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Tom Tancredo withdraws and endorses Mitt Romney.
December 20 – A group of activist Lakota people send a letter to the United States State Department, declaring their secession from the Union as the Republic of Lakotah.
December 25 - An escaped tiger kills one person and injures two others at the San Francisco Zoo.
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