1966 1967 1968 - 1969 - 1970 1971 1972
1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s
Events of 1969
- January 1 - Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch purchases the largest selling British Sunday newspaper The News of the World.
- January 5
- January 10
- January 14 - An explosion aboard the USS Enterprise near Hawaii kills 27 and injures 314.
- January 15 - The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
- January 20 - Lyndon Baines Johnson leaves office as Richard Milhous Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States of America.
- January 24 - Martial law is declared in Madrid, the University is closed and over 300 students are arrested.
- January 27
- February 4 - In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress, and takes command the next day.
- February 5 - A huge oil slick off the coast of Santa Barbara, California closes the city's harbor.
- February 9 - The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.
- February 13 - FLQ terrorists bomb the Stock Exchange in Montreal, Quebec.
- February 24 - The Mariner 6 Mars probe is launched.
- March 2
- March 3
- 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 17 - Golda Meir becomes the first female prime minister of Israel.
- March 18 - Operation Breakfast, the secret bombing of Cambodia, begins.
- 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 1 - The Hawker Siddeley Harrier enters service with the Royal Air Force.
- April 4
- 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 9 - Fermín Monasterio Pérez was killed by ETA in Vizcaya, Spain being the 4th victim in the name of the basque nationalism.
- April 13 - Queensland: The Brisbane Tramways end service after 84 years of operation.
- April 14 - The EC-121 shootdown incident: North Korea shoots down the aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board.
- April 20
- April 22 - Robin Knox-Johnston becomes the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping.
- April 28 - Charles de Gaulle steps down as president of France after suffering defeat in a referendum the day before.
- May 10 - The Battle of Dong Ap Bia, also known as Hamburger Hill, begins during the Vietnam War.
- May 13 - May 13 Incident: Race riots occur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- May 14 - Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi visits Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
- May 16 - Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet spaceprobe, lands on Venus.
- May 17 - Venera program: Soviet probe Venera 6 begins to descend into Venus' atmosphere, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
- May 18 - Apollo program: Apollo 10 (Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan, John Young) is launched, on the first full dress-rehearsal for the Moon landing.
- May 19-May 20 - French Foreign Legion paratroopers land onto Kolwezi, Zaire, to rescue Europeans in the middle of a civil war.
- 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.
- May 29 - Guided tours begin at the Kremlin and other government sites in Moscow.
- May 30 - Riots in Curaçao mark the start of an Afro-Caribbean civil rights movement on the island.
- June 2 - In Ottawa, Canada, the National Arts Centre opens its doors to the public for the first time.
- 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 5 - International communist conference begins in Moscow.
- 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-June 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 20 - Georges Pompidou is elected President of France.
- June 21 - Soviet musicologist Pavel Apostolov dies during the general rehearsal of Shostakovich's Fourteenth Symphony.
- June 23 - Warren E. Burger is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States by retiring chief Earl Warren.
- June 24 - The United Kingdom and Rhodesia sever diplomatic ties.
- July 1 - Charles, Prince of Wales, is invested with his title at Caernarfon.
- July 3 - Brian Jones, former member of The Rolling Stones, drowns in his swimming pool.
- July 5 - Tom Mboya, Kenyan Minister of Development, is assassinated.
- July 7 - French is made equal to English throughout the Canadian national government.
- July 8 - Vietnam War: The very first U.S. troop withdrawals are made.
- July 14 - Football War: After Honduras loses a soccer game against El Salvador, rioting breaks out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers. Of the 300,000 Salvadorean workers in Honduras, tens of thousands are expelled, prompting a brief Salvadoran invasion of Honduras. The OAS works out a cease-fire on July 18, which takes effect on July 20.
- July 16 - Apollo program: Apollo 11 (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins) lifts off toward the first landing on the Moon.
- July 18 - 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 who was in the car with him, dies in the incident.
- July 19 - Gloria Diaz wins the Miss Universe pageant, with the Philippines receiving its first title.
- July 20 - Project Apollo: The Eagle lands on the lunar surface. The world watches in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his historic first steps on the Moon.
- July 24 - The Apollo 11 astronauts return from the first successful Moon landing, and are placed in biological isolation for several days, on the chance they may have brought back lunar germs. The airless lunar environment is later determined to preclude microscopic life.
- 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.
- July 31 - The halfpenny ceases to be legal tender in the UK.
- 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 8 - A fire breaks out in the Bannerman's Castle in the Hudson River; most of the roof collapses and crashes down to the lower levels.
- 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 Tate and husband Roman Polanski's home in Los Angeles, California. Steven Parent, leaving from a visit to the Polanskis' caretaker, is also killed. 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 12 - Jack Lynch, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, makes a speech to the United Nations, in which he asks them to deploy a peace-keeping mission in Northern Ireland.
- August 13 - Serious border clashes occur between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.
- August 14 - British troops are deployed in Northern Ireland.
- August 15-August 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 hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).
- August 21 - An Australian, Michael Dennis Rohan, set the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.
- September 1 - A coup in Libya ousts King Idris, and brings Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi to power.
- 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 22 - September 25 An Islamic conference in Rabat, Morocco, following the al-Aqsa Mosque fire (August 21), condemns the Israeli ownership of Jerusalem.
- September 24 - The "Chicago Eight" trial begins in Chicago, Illinois.
- September 28 - The Social Democrats and the Free Democrats receive a majority of votes in the German parliamentary elections, and decide to form a common government.
- October 1
- October 9-October 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 National Moratorium 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 - Willard S. Boyle and George Smith invent the CCD at Bell Laboratories. Thirty years later, this technology is widely used in digital cameras.
- October 21
- October 29 - The first message was sent over ARPANET, the forerunner of the internet.
- 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 9 - A group of Amerindians, led by Richard Oakes, seizes Alcatraz Island for 19 months, inspiring a wave of renewed Indian pride and government reform.
- 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.
- Vietnam War: In Washington, DC, 250,000-500,000 protesters stage a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
- Regular colour television broadcasts begin on BBC1 and ITV in UK.
- 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
- November 20
- 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.
- The first ARPANET link is established (the progenitor of the global Internet).
- 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.
- March 25 - Max Eastman - former radical socialist editor (b. 1883)
- May 2 - Franz von Papen, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1879)
- August 30 - Allen Zoll, founder of American Patriots and the Christian Front (b. 1895)
- September 2 - Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnamese communist leader (b. 1890)
- November 6 - Robert E. Wood, American businessman and nationalist (b. 1879)