- Elmer Gantry is released.
- China's population is 662.07 million.
- Michele Sindona buys the Banca Privata Italiana.
- Friedrich Adler dies.
- Pierre Monatte dies.
- January: The Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) was renamed the Students for a Democratic Society or SDS.
- January 1: Rai sensation Cheb Khaled is born in Sidi-El-Houri, Algeria.
- January 1: Cameroon becomes independent of France.
- January 2: John F. Kennedy announces his candidacy for president of the United States.
- January 14: U.S. Army promotes Elvis Presley to Sergeant.
- February 1: Students stage nation-wide strike of Woolworths for its racist policies.
- February 12: Darwin Day
- February 13: Charles De Gaulle shouts Vive le France over French radio after France conducts its first nuclear weapons test. Of course the bombinete is detonated not in France itself but in the Sahara. Later France would conduct its nuclear tests in its colonial possessions in the South Pacific.
- February 21: First Pershing missile (XM14) is test launched
- March 4: French ship La Coubre blows up in Havana. Over 100 killed and an entire shipment of arms destroyed.
- March 5: Elvis Presley ends 2-year duty in U.S. Army.
- March 17: President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders CIA to organize an anti-Castro-exile army.
- March 21: Sharpevile Massacre. South African police murder 69 demonstrators. Police massacre protestors in Sharpeville, South Africa, killing 72. The ANC was outlawed.
- April 1: Not fool'in. France tests 2 atom bombs in the Sahara.
- April 15-17: Multi-racial Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized at Shaw University to conduct community organizing, voter registration and nonviolent direct action.
- April 19: First shipment of Soviet oil arrives in Cuba.
- April 27: Togo becomes independent.
- May 1: Soviet shoot down U.S. U-2 with an anti-aircraft missile near Sverdlovsk. Captured pilot Francis Gary Power held in the Soviet Union for 21 months until the emb arrassing climb-down by the Eisenhower administraton.
- May 6: Mexico frees Jacques Mornard (Ram¢n Mercader), Trotsky's assassin.
- May 10: JFK wins Democratic Primary in West Virginia, proving that a Roman Catholic can win in a predominantly Protestant state.
- May 26: 150,000 protesters surround the Japanese National Diet in a rally organized by the National Council for the Revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
- May 30: Boris Pasternak dies at age 70.
- June: Senegal, Mali and Madagascar become independent of France.
- June 4: General strike against the Kishi government in Japan is supported by 5.6 million workers.
- June 4: PRC artillery bombards ROC on Taiwan's Quemoy island.
- June 15: Massive rally of 5.8 million workers and students surrounds the Japanese National Diet. One student, Michiko Kamba, is killed in a clash between Zengakuren and riot police.
- June 16: The 23rd Amendment is passed by Congress.
- June 27: Jim Nussle is born in Des Moines.
- June 30: Congo wins formal independence from Belgium.
- July 11: Katanga rebellion in Congo.
- July 13: John F. Kennedy win Democratic nomination for president.
- July 14: Abbie Hoffman marries Sheila Karklin at Temple Beth in Warwick, RI.
- August: Cote d'Ivoire, Dahomey, Upper Volta, Niger, CAR, Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon become independent of France.
- August 8: "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" hits #1 in the charts.
- August 17: Sean Penn is born.
- August 19: Moscow tribunal convicts U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage.
A August 27: Racist mob attacks demonstrators in Monroe, North Carolina.
- August 30: DDR imposes partial blockade on West Berlin.
- September 5: Léopold Sédar Senghor becomes the first president of Senegal.
- October 19: U.S. imposes embargo on exports to Cuba, except for medical supplies.
- October 22: Ernesto Che Guevara arrives in Moscow as the 2nd stop in a two month world wide journey.
- November 8: John F. Kennedy is elected U.S. President.
- November 25: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. is born at Georgetown University Hospital.
- December: Military coup attempt in Ethiopia by Imperial Bodyguard against Emperor Haile Selassie whil he in Brazil fails because U.S. Ambassador Arthur Richards helps to organize counter-coup that restores him to the throne. The aging monarch becomes increasingly dictatorial, corrupt and eventually senile. When a sucessful miltiary coup occurs in 1974 it degenerates into a brutal Stalinist dictatorship.
- December: U.S. Special National Intelligence Estimate forsees no development, "likely to bring about a critical shift of popular opinion away from Castro."
- December 1: Abbie Hoffman & Sheila Karklin are proud parents of Andrew Hoffman.
- December 8: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower reviews the first plane for the Bay of Pigs invasion.
- December 4: Soviet Union vetoes Mauritanian application for UN membership.
- December 20: National Liberation Front (NLF) established by the Lao Dong (Worker's Party) in Vietnam.