1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1966th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 966th year of the 2nd millennium, the 66th year of the 20th century, and the 7th year of the 1960s decade.
|1966 by topic|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2719|
|Balinese saka calendar||1887–1888|
|British Regnal year||14 Eliz. 2 – 15 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||乙巳年 (Wood Snake)|
4662 or 4602
— to —
丙午年 (Fire Horse)
4663 or 4603
|- Vikram Samvat||2022–2023|
|- Shaka Samvat||1887–1888|
|- Kali Yuga||5066–5067|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 41|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 55|
|Thai solar calendar||2509|
2092 or 1711 or 939
— to —
2093 or 1712 or 940
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1966.|
- January 1 – In a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa takes over as military ruler of the Central African Republic, ousting President David Dacko.
- January 3 – 1966 Upper Voltan coup d'état: President Maurice Yaméogo is deposed by a military coup in the Republic of Upper Volta (modern-day Burkina Faso).
- January 4 - The prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet in Tashkent.
- January 10
- Pakistani–Indian peace negotiations end successfully with the signing of the Tashkent Declaration, a day before the sudden death of Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
- The House of Representatives of the US state of Georgia refuses to allow African-American representative Julian Bond to take his seat, because of his anti-war stance.
- A Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference convenes in Lagos, Nigeria, primarily to discuss Rhodesia.
- January 12 – United States President Lyndon Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
- January 15 – 1966 Nigerian coup d'état: A bloody military coup is staged in Nigeria, deposing the civilian government and resulting in the death of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
- January 17
- The Nigerian coup is overturned by another faction of the military, leaving a military government in power. This is the beginning of a long period of military rule.
- 1966 Palomares B-52 crash: A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares, and one into the sea. Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, is involved in an accident during the recovery of the latter which results in the amputation of his leg.
- January 19 – Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India; she is sworn in January 24.
- January 20
- 1966 Liberal Party of Australia leadership election: Harold Holt is elected leader of the Liberal Party of Australia unopposed when Sir Robert Menzies retires after an unprecedented 16 years in office; consequently Holt becomes Prime Minister of Australia six days later.
- Demonstrations occur against high food prices in Hungary.
- January 21 – Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro resigns due to a power struggle in his party.
- January 22
- January 24 – Air India Flight 101 crashes into Mont Blanc, killing all 117 people on board, including Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.
- January 26 – Beaumont children disappearance: Three children disappear on their way to Glenelg, South Australia, never to be seen again.
- January 27
- The British government promises the U.S. that British troops in Malaysia will stay until more peaceful conditions occur in the region.
- Britain's Labour Party unexpectedly retains the parliamentary seat of Hull North in a by-election, with a swing of 4.5% to their candidate from the opposition Conservatives, and a majority up from 1,181 at the 1964 General Election to 5,351.
- January 31 – The United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.
- February 1 – Around 2,600 political prisoners are released by East Germany, in return for "donations" worth approximately $10,000 a head from West Germany.
- February 3 – The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft makes the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.
- February 4 – All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay; 133 people are killed.
- February 7 – Lyndon Johnson of the United States and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ of South Vietnam convene with other officials in a summit in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss the course of the Vietnam War.
- February 10 – Soviet fiction writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky are sentenced to five and seven years, respectively, for "anti-Soviet" writings.
- February 14 – The Australian dollar is introduced at a rate of 2 dollars per pound, or 10 shillings per dollar.
- February 19 – The naval minister of the United Kingdom, Christopher Mayhew, resigns.
- February 20 – While Soviet author and translator Valery Tarsis is abroad, the Soviet Union negates his citizenship.
- February 23 – 1966 Syrian coup d'état: An intra-party military coup in Syria replaces the previous government of Amin al-Hafiz by one led by Salah Jadid.
- February 24 – A coup led by the police and military of Ghana raises the National Liberation Council to power while president Kwame Nkrumah is abroad.
- February 28 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson calls a General Election in the United Kingdom, to be held on March 31.
- March – The DKW automobile ceases production in Germany.
- March 1
- The British Government announces plans for the decimalisation of the pound sterling (hitherto denominated in 20 shillings and 240 pence to the £), to come into force on 15 February 1971 (Decimal Day).
- Soviet space probe Venera 3 crashes on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet's surface.
- The Ba'ath Party takes power in Syria.
- March 2 – Kwame Nkrumah arrives in Guinea and is granted asylum.
- March 4
- Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402 crashes during a night landing in poor visibility at Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing 64 of 72 people on board.
- In an interview with London Evening Standard reporter Maureen Cleave, John Lennon of The Beatles states "We're more popular than Jesus now".
- March 5
- BOAC Flight 911 crashes in severe clear-air turbulence over Mount Fuji soon after taking off from Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing all 124 people on board.
- A massive theft of nuclear materials is revealed in Brazil.
- "Merci, Chérie" by Udo Jürgens (music by Udo Jürgens, lyrics by Jürgens and Thomas Hörbiger) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 for Austria.
- March 7 – Charles de Gaulle asks U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson for negotiations about the state of NATO equipment in France.
- March 8
- Anti-communist demonstrations occur at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
- Vietnam War: The U.S. announces it will substantially increase the number of its troops in Vietnam.
- Nelson's Pillar in O'Connell Street, Dublin, is clandestinely blown up by former Irish Republican Army volunteers marking this year's 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
- March 9 – Ronnie, one of the Kray twins, shoots George Cornell (an associate of rivals The Richardson Gang) at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, east London. Cornell dies later in hospital, and Kray is finally convicted in 1969.
- March 10
- Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands marries Claus von Amsberg. Some spectators demonstrate against the groom because he is German.
- The Frost Report, which launches the television careers of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett and other writers and performers, is first broadcast on BBC1 in the United Kingdom.
- March 11
- Transition to the New Order in Indonesia: President Sukarno gives all executive powers to General Suharto by signing the "Supersemar" order.
- French President Charles de Gaulle states that French troops will be taken out of NATO and that all French NATO bases and headquarters must be closed within a year.
- March 16
- March 17 – Palomares incident: Off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, the United States Navy submersible DSV Alvin finds a missing U.S. hydrogen bomb.
- March 19 – The Texas Western Miners defeat the Kentucky Wildcats with five African American starters, ushering in desegregation in athletic recruiting.
- March 20 – Football's FIFA World Cup Trophy is stolen while on exhibition in London; it is found seven days later by a mongrel dog named "Pickles" and his owner David Corbett, wrapped in newspaper in a south London garden.
- 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 24 – Pope Paul VI meets Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in Rome, and gives him an episcopal ring.
- March 26 – Demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.
- March 27 – In South Vietnam, 20,000 Buddhists march in demonstrations against the policies of the military government.
- March 28
- March 29 – The 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is held: Leonid Brezhnev demands that U.S. troops leave Vietnam, and announces that Chinese-Soviet relations are not satisfactory.
- March 31
- The British Labour Party led by Harold Wilson wins the 1966 United Kingdom general election, gaining a 96-seat majority (compared with a single seat majority when the election was called on February 28).
- The Soviet Union launches Luna 10, which becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.
- April 2 – The Indonesian army demands that the country rejoin the United Nations.
- April 3 – Luna 10 is the first manmade object to enter lunar orbit.
- April 5 – During the Buddhist Uprising, South Vietnamese military prime minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ personally attempts to lead the capture of the restive city of Đà Nẵng before backing down.
- April 7 – The United Kingdom asks the United Nations Security Council for authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the embargo against Rhodesia (authority is given April 10).
- April 8
- April 14
- April 15 – An anti-Nasser conspiracy is exposed in Egypt.
- April 18
- April 21
- An artificial heart is installed in the chest of Marcel DeRudder in a Houston, Texas, hospital.
- The opening of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is televised for the first time.
- Haile Selassie visits Jamaica for the first time, meeting with Rasta leaders.
- Moors murders: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court in north west England for the murders of 3 children who vanished between November 1963 and October 1965.
- April 24 – Uniform daylight saving time is first observed in most parts of North America.
- April 26
- April 27 – Pope Paul VI and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko meet in the Vatican (the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Soviet Union).
- April 28 – In Rhodesia, security forces kill seven ZANLA men in combat; Chimurenga, the ZANU rebellion, begins.
- April 30 – Regular hovercraft service begins over the English Channel (discontinued in 2000).
- May 4
- May 5 – The Montreal Canadiens defeat the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup in ice hockey.
- May 6 – Moors murders trial in England ends with Ian Brady being found guilty on all three counts of murder and sentenced to three concurrent terms of life imprisonment. Myra Hindley is convicted on two counts of murder and of being an accessory in the third murder committed by Brady, receiving two concurrent terms of life imprisonment and a seven-year fixed term for being an accessory.
- May 7 – Irish bank workers go on strike.
- May 12
- May 14 – Turkey and Greece intend to start negotiations about the situation in Cyprus.
- May 15
- May 16
- May 19 – Gertrude Baniszewski is found guilty of torturing and murdering 16-year-old Sylvia Likens at a court in Indianapolis, United States, and is sentenced to life in prison (she is released on parole in December 1985).
- May 24
- May 25
- May 26 – British Guiana achieves independence, becoming Guyana.
- May 28
- May 29 – Sports stadium Estadio Azteca officially opens in Mexico City in advance of the 1968 Summer Olympics.
- May 31 – The Philippines reestablishes diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
- June 2
- Éamon de Valera is re-elected as Irish president.
- Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on another world.
- Four former cabinet ministers including Évariste Kimba are executed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for alleged involvement in a plot to kill Mobutu Sese Seko.
- June 3 – Joaquín Balaguer is elected president of the Dominican Republic.
- June 5 – Gemini 9A: Gene Cernan completes the second U.S. spacewalk (2 hours, 7 minutes).
- June 6 – Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot by a sniper while traversing Mississippi in the March Against Fear.
- June 8
- A North American XB-70 Valkyrie strategic bomber prototype is destroyed in a mid-air collision with an F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and USAF test pilot Carl Cross are both killed.
- 1966 Topeka tornado: 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, and the campus of Washburn University suffers catastrophic damage.
- June 12 – Chicago's Division Street riots begin in response to police shooting of a young Puerto Rican man.
- June 13 – Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
- June 14 – The Vatican abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
- June 17 – An Air France personnel strike begins.
- June 18 – CIA chief William Raborn resigns; Richard Helms becomes his successor.
- June 28 – Argentine Revolution: In Argentina, a military junta calling itself Revolución Argentina deposes president Arturo Umberto Illia in a coup and appoints General Juan Carlos Onganía to power.
- June 29
- June 30
- July 1 – Joaquín Balaguer becomes president of the Dominican Republic.
- July 3
- July 6 – Malawi becomes a republic.
- July 7 – A Warsaw Pact conference ends with a promise to support North Vietnam.
- July 8 – King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi is deposed by his son Ntare V, who is in turn deposed by prime minister Michel Micombero.
- July 11 – The 1966 FIFA World Cup begins in England.
- July 12
- July 13 – The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is founded in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
- July 14
- Israeli and Syrian jet fighters clash over the Jordan River.
- Richard Speck murders 8 student nurses in their Chicago dormitory. He is arrested on July 17.
- Gwynfor Evans, President of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, becomes Member of the United Kingdom Parliament for Carmarthen, taking the previously Labour-held Welsh seat at a by-election with a majority of 2,435 on an 18% swing and giving his party its first representation at Westminster in its forty-one year history.
- July 18
- Gemini 10 (John Young, Michael Collins) is launched from the United States. After docking with an Agena target vehicle, the astronauts set a world altitude record of 474 miles (763 km).
- The International Court of Justice rules in favour of South Africa in a case on the administration of South West Africa which has been brought before them by Ethiopia and Liberia.
- July 22 – Following the death of Hsu Tsu-tsai, an engineer, in The Hague, the Chinese government declares Dutch delegate G. J. Jongejans persona non grata, but tells him not to leave the country before other Chinese engineers have left the Netherlands.
- July 23 – Katangese troops in Stanleyville, Congo, revolt for several weeks in support of the exiled minister Moise Tshombe.
- July 24 – U.N. Secretary General U Thant visits Moscow.
- July 24 – A USAF F-4C Phantom #63-7599 is shot down by a North Vietnamese SAM-2 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Hanoi, the first loss of a U.S. aircraft to a Vietnamese surface-to-air missile in the Vietnam War.
- July 26 – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
- July 28 – The U.S. announces that a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance plane has disappeared over Cuba.
- July 29
- 1966 Nigerian counter-coup: Army officers from the north of Nigeria execute head of state General Aguiyi-Ironsi and install Yakubu Gowon.
- La Noche de los Bastones Largos: Junta takes over Argentine universities.
- 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.
- July 30 – England beats West Germany 4–2 to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at Wembley after extra time.
- August 1
- August 2 – The Spanish government forbids overflights by British military aircraft.
- August 5
- August 6
- August 10
- An East German court sentences Günter Laudahn to life imprisonment for spying for the United States.
- Lunar Orbiter 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the moon, is launched.
- August 11
- Indonesia and Malaysia issue a joint peace declaration, formally ending the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation which began in 1963.
- The Beatles hold a press conference in Chicago, during which John Lennon apologizes for his "more popular than Jesus" remark, saying, "I didn't mean it as a lousy anti-religious thing."
- August 12 – Massacre of Braybrook Street: Harry Roberts, John Duddy and Jack Witney shoot dead 3 plainclothes policemen in London; they are later sentenced to life imprisonment.
- August 15 – Syrian and Israeli troops clash over Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) for 3 hours.
- August 17 – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic begin negotiations in Kuwait to end the war in Yemen.
- August 18 – Vietnam War – Battle of Long Tan: D Company, 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, meets and defeats a Viet Cong force estimated to be four times larger, in Phuoc Tuy Province, Republic of Vietnam.
- August 19 – The 6.8 Mw Varto earthquake affects the town of Varto in eastern Turkey with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), killing at least 2,394–3,000 and injuring at least 1,420.
- August 21 – Seven men are sentenced to death in Egypt for anti-Nasser agitation.
- August 22
- August 26 – The first battle of the South African Air Force and the South African Police with PLAN, the armed wing of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), takes place at Ongulumbashe during Operation Blue Wildebeest, triggering the South African Border War which continues until 1989.
- August 29 – The Beatles end their U.S. tour with a concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It is their last performance as a live touring band.
- August 30 – France offers independence to French Somaliland (Djibouti from 1977).
- September 1
- September 6 – South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd is stabbed to death in Parliament by Dimitri Tsafendas.
- September 8 – The classic science fiction series Star Trek premieres on NBC in the United States with its first episode, titled "The Man Trap" (actually seen first on September 6 on CTV in Canada).
- September 9 – NATO decides to move Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe to Belgium.
- September 12
- September 13 – Cultural Revolution in China: Clashes between the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Guards are reported by TASS in the Soviet Union.
- September 16
- September 19 – Indonesian military commander (later President) Suharto announces the resumption of Indonesian participation in the United Nations.
- September 29 – Hurricane Inez strikes Hispaniola, leaving thousands dead and tens of thousands homeless in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
- September 30
- October – Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton found the Black Panther Party in the United States.
- 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, the first loss of a DC-9.
- October 3 – Tunisia severs diplomatic relations with the United Arab Republic.
- October 4
- October 5
- UNESCO signs the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers. This event is to be celebrated as World Teachers' Day.
- Spain closes its Gibraltar border to vehicular traffic.
- An experimental breeder reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station in Michigan suffers a partial meltdown when its cooling system fails.
- October 6
- LSD is made illegal in the United States and controlled so strictly that not only are possession and recreational use criminalized, but all legal scientific research programs on the drug in the country are shut down as well.
- The Love Pageant Rally takes place in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park (a narrow section that projects into San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district).
- October 7 – The Soviet Union declares that all Chinese students must leave the country before the end of October.
- October 9 – Vietnam War: Binh Tai Massacre.
- October 11 – France and the Soviet Union sign a treaty for cooperation in nuclear research.
- October 14
- October 17 – Lesotho and Botswana are admitted to the United Nations.
- October 21
- October 22 – Spain demands that the United Kingdom stop military flights to Gibraltar; Britain refuses the next day.
- October 26
- October 27
- The United Nations terminates the mandate given by the League of Nations and proclaims that South West Africa will be administrated by the United Nations. This is rejected by South Africa.
- Walt Disney records his final filmed appearance prior to his death, detailing his plans for EPCOT, a utopian planned city to be built in Florida.
- November 1 – The National Football League in the United States awards its sixteenth franchise to the city of New Orleans. The team will be named the New Orleans Saints.
- November 2 – The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in the United States.
- November 4 – 1966 flood of the Arno river in Italy hits Florence, flooding it to a maximum depth of 6.7 m (22 ft), leaving thousands homeless and destroying millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. In addition, a severe tidal flood hits Venice.
- November 5 – Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against the Rhodesian government.
- November 6 – Lunar Orbiter 2 is launched.
- November 8 – Screen actor Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California.
- November 10 – Seán Lemass retires as Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland to be replaced in the role by fellow Fianna Fáil member Jack Lynch.
- November 11
- November 12 – Total solar eclipse occurs, the 20th solar eclipse of Solar Saros 142.
- November 14 – Jack L. Warner sells Warner Bros. to Seven Arts Productions, which eventually becomes Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.
- November 15
- Gemini 12 (James A. Lovell, Buzz Aldrin) splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 km (370 mi) east of the Bahamas.
- A Boeing 727 freighter on Pan Am Flight 708 crashes near Berlin, Germany, killing all three crew on board.
- Two young couples in Point Pleasant, West Virginia reportedly see a strange moth-like creature, which would become known as the Mothman.
- November 17
- The U.N. General Assembly decides to found the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
- A spectacular Leonid meteor shower passes over Arizona, at the rate of 2,300 a minute for 20 minutes.
- November 21 – In Togo, the army crushes an attempted coup.
- November 24
- November 26
- 1966 Australian federal election: Harold Holt's Liberal/Country Coalition Government is re-elected with a significantly increased majority, defeating the Labor Party led by Arthur Calwell. Calwell resigns as Labor leader shortly after; he will be replaced by his deputy and future Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
- In the Canadian Football League, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Ottawa Rough Riders to win the 54th Grey Cup at Vancouver's Empire Stadium 29–14. Saskatchewan were led by quarterback Ron Lancaster.
- November 27 – The Washington Redskins defeat the New York Giants 72–41 in the highest scoring game in National Football League history.
- November 28 – Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ('The Party of the Century') is held in New York City.
- November 29 – The SS Daniel J. Morrell sinks in a storm on Lake Huron, killing 28 of 29 crewmen.
- November 30 – Barbados achieves independence from the United Kingdom.
- December 1
- December 2 – U Thant agrees to serve a second term as United Nations Secretary General.
- December 3 – Anti-Portuguese demonstrations occur in Macau; a curfew is declared the next day.
- December 5 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bond v. Floyd that the Georgia House of Representatives must seat Julian Bond, having violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
- December 6 – Vietnam War: Bình Hòa massacre.
- December 7
- December 8 – The Typaldos Line's ferry SS Heraklion sinks in rough seas in the Aegean Sea near Crete, leaving 217 dead.
- December 12 – Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of 30 years) for the Shepherd's Bush murders of three London policemen on August 12. Roberts, arrested on November 15 north of London, will eventually spend nearly 48 years in prison.
- December 16
- The United Nations Security Council approves an oil embargo against Rhodesia.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are adopted by the General Assembly, as Resolution 2200 A (XXI).
- December 17 – South Africa does not join the trade embargo against Rhodesia.
- December 19 – The Asian Development Bank begins operations.
- December 20 – U.K. Prime Minister Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to the Rhodesian government and announces that he will agree to independence for the country only after the establishment of a Black majority government there.
- December 22 – Prime Minister Ian Smith declares that Rhodesia is already a republic.
- December 24 – New York television station WPIX broadcasts The Yule Log for the first time; it becomes a Christmas tradition.
- December 25 – Marionette sci-fi series Thunderbirds airs its final episode on ITV in the United Kingdom with a Christmas special.
- December 26 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, founder of Organization US (a black nationalist group) and chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, from 1989 to 2002.
- December 31
- Konstantin Chernenko, later leader of the Soviet Union, becomes a candidate member of the Central Committee.
- Paramount Pictures Corporation becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf+Western Industries, Inc.
- Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn are awarded the Fermi Prize.
- The Congress of the United States creates the National Council for Marine Resources and Engineering Development.
- Martin Richards designs the programming language BCPL.
- The World Buddhist Sangha Council is convened by Theravadins in Sri Lanka, with the hope of bridging differences and working together.
- The Jerusalem Bible, a Roman Catholic translation, is published in English.
- Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann publish The Social Construction of Reality.
- Long-term potentiation (LTP), the putative cellular mechanism of learning and memory, is first observed by Terje Lømo in Oslo, Norway.
- In or about this year, one person returning to Haiti from the Congo is thought to have first brought HIV to the Americas.
|January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
- January 1 – Ivica Dačić, Serbian politician, Prime Minister of Serbia 2012–2014
- January 4 – Christian Kern, Austrian politician, 24th Chancellor of Austria
- January 6 – Sharon Cuneta, Filipino actress, host and singer
- January 7 – Corrie Sanders, South African boxer (d. 2012)
- January 8
- January 13 – Patrick Dempsey, American actor and race car driver
- January 14
- January 17
- January 19
- January 20 – Rainn Wilson, American actor, writer and producer
- January 22 – Jegath Gaspar Raj, Tamil Maiyam founder
- January 28 – Andrea Berg, German singer
- January 29 – Romário, Brazilian footballer and politician
- February 1 – Michelle Akers, American footballer
- February 3 – Jimmy Thunder, Samoan boxer
- February 5 – José María Olazábal, Spanish golfer
- February 6 – Rick Astley, British pop musician
- February 7 – Kristin Otto, German swimmer
- February 8 – Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgarian footballer
- February 9 – Ellen van Langen, Dutch athlete
- February 11 – Cristina Elena Grigoraș, Romanian artistic gymnast
- February 13 – Neal McDonough, American actor
- February 17 – Quorthon, Swedish singer, songwriter, musician and record producer (d. 2004)
- February 20 – Cindy Crawford, American model and actress
- February 22 – Rachel Dratch, American actress and comedian
- February 23
- February 24 – Billy Zane, American actor
- February 25
- February 26
- February 27 – Alison Gertz, American AIDS activist (d. 1992)
- February 28
- March 1 – Zack Snyder, American actor, film director, screenwriter and producer
- March 2 – Sheren Tang, Hong Kong actress
- March 3
- March 4
- March 9 – Tony Lockett, Australian rules footballer
- March 10 – Edie Brickell, American singer
- March 13 – Chico Science, Brazilian musician (d. 1997)
- March 17 – Espen Hammer, Norwegian philosopher
- March 18 – Jerry Cantrell, American guitarist and singer
- March 22 – Antonio Pinto, Portuguese long-distance runner
- March 25
- March 26 – Michael Imperioli, American actor
- March 29 – Krasimir Balakov, Bulgarian footballer
- April 2 – Teddy Sheringham, British footballer
- April 8
- April 11 – Lisa Stansfield, British soul singer
- April 13 – Ali Boumnijel, Tunisian footballer
- April 15 – Samantha Fox, British model and singer
- April 17 – Vikram, Indian actor
- April 18 – Trine Hattestad, Norwegian athlete
- April 20 – David Chalmers, Australian philosopher
- April 22 – Jeffrey Dean Morgan, American actor
- April 25 – Man Arenas, Spanish comic creator
- April 26 – Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet
- April 27
- April 28 – Ali-Reza Pahlavi, titular prince of Iran (d. 2011)
- May 3 – Firdous Bamji, Indian-American actor
- May 5 – Lyubov Yegorova, Russian cross-country skier
- May 6
- May 7
- May 8
- May 10
- May 12
- May 13
- May 16
- May 17
- May 19 – Polly Walker, English actress
- May 21
- May 22 – Siri Eftedal, Norwegian team handball player and Olympic medalist
- May 23
- May 24
- May 25 – Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh, Iranian goalkeeper
- May 26
- May 27
- May 30 – Thomas Häßler, German football player
- June 3 – Wasim Akram, Pakistani cricketer
- June 4 – Cecilia Bartoli, Italian mezzo-soprano
- June 6 – Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo
- June 7 – Tom McCarthy, American film director and actor
- June 8
- June 13 – Grigori Perelman, Russian mathematician
- June 14 – Eduardo Waghorn, Chilean musician
- June 15 – Roberto Carnevale, Italian musician
- June 16 – Jan Železný, Czech javelin thrower
- June 18 – Kurt Browning, Canadian figure skater
- June 19 – Samuel West, British actor
- June 22
- June 23 – Richie Jen, Taiwanese musician
- June 24 – Adrienne Shelly, American actress, film director and screenwriter (d. 2006)
- June 25 – Dikembe Mutombo, Congolese basketball player
- June 26 – Dany Boon, French comedian and filmmaker
- June 27 – J. J. Abrams, American television writer and producer
- June 28
- June 29 – Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Indonesian politician, governor of Jakarta
- June 30
- July 1
- July 3 – František Štorm, Czech musician (Master's Hammer) and typographer
- July 5 – Gianfranco Zola, Italian footballer
- July 8 – Shadlog Bernicke, Nauruan politician
- July 9 – Pamela Adlon, American actress, voice actress, screenwriter, producer and director
- July 10 – Gina Bellman, New Zealand-British actress
- July 11 – Kentaro Miura, Japanese author and illustrator
- July 14 – Matthew Fox, American actor
- July 15
- July 16
- July 18
- July 20 – Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico (2012-2018), Governor of the State of Mexico (2005–2011)
- July 21 – Sarah Waters, British novelist
- July 26 – Angelo Di Livio, Italian footballer
- July 28 – Miguel Ángel Nadal, Spanish footballer
- July 29 – Richard Steven Horvitz, American actor and voice actor
- July 30
- July 31 – Dean Cain, American actor
- August 5 – James Gunn, American filmmaker 
- August 7
- August 10
- August 11 – Juan María Solare, Argentine composer
- August 12 – Les Ferdinand, English footballer
- August 14
- August 17 – Rodney Mullen, American skateboarder
- August 19 – Lee Ann Womack, American musician
- August 20
- August 23 – Rik Smits, Dutch basketball player
- August 26 – Jacques Brinkman, Dutch field hockey player
- August 27
- August 28 – Priya Dutt, Indian social worker and politician
- September 1 – Tim Hardaway, American basketball player
- September 2 – Salma Hayek, Mexican-American actress
- September 4 – Yanka Dyagileva, Russian singer (d. 1991)
- September 6
- September 7
- September 8 – Carola Häggkvist, Swedish pop singer, Eurovision Song Contest 1991 winner
- September 9
- September 12
- September 20 – Nuno Bettencourt, Portuguese-American guitarist and singer-songwriter
- September 21 – Nechirvan Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan
- September 22
- September 25 – Jason Flemyng, English actor
- September 28 – Maria Canals-Barrera, American actress
- September 29 – Bujar Nishani, President of Albania (d. 2022)
- October 1 – George Weah, Liberian politician and football player
- October 2 – Rodney Anoa'i, Samoan-American professional wrestler (d. 2000)
- October 3 – Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, Israeli settler leader (d. 2000)
- October 5 – Inessa Kravets, Ukrainian athlete
- October 6 – Niall Quinn, Irish footballer
- October 7 – Sherman Alexie, Native American author
- October 8 – Aaron Callaghan, Irish football club executive
- October 9 – David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- October 10
- October 11 – Luke Perry, American actor (d. 2019)
- October 15
- October 18 – Angela Visser, Dutch winner of Miss Universe 1989
- October 19 – Jon Favreau, American actor and director
- October 20 – Stefan Raab, German entertainer, television host, comedian and musician
- October 22 – Valeria Golino, Italian-Greek film and television actress
- October 24 – Roman Abramovich, UK-based Russian billionaire businessman
- October 25 – Wendel Clark, Canadian hockey player
- October 28 – Andy Richter, American actor, writer, comedian and late night talk show announcer
- October 30 – Zoran Milanović, Croatian politician, President of Croatia
- October 31
- November 1 – Ashab Uddin, Indian politician
- November 2
- David Schwimmer, American actor
- November 3 – Joe Hachem, Lebanese-born Australian poker player
- November 8 – Gordon Ramsay, Scottish-born chef, restaurateur and television personality
- November 11
- November 13 – Susanna Haapoja, Finnish politician (d. 2009)
- November 15 – Rachel True, American actress
- November 17
- November 19
- November 22
- November 23
- November 24 – Juan Pablo Gamboa, Colombian actor
- November 25 – Billy Burke, American actor
- November 26 – Garcelle Beauvais, Haitian-American actress, singer and fashion model
- November 28 – Narumi Yasuda, Japanese actress
- November 29 – John Bradshaw Layfield, American professional wrestler
- December 3 – Adam Berry, American composer
- December 4
- December 5 – Patricia Kaas, French singer and actress
- December 7
- December 8
- December 9
- December 10
- Montserrat Gil Torné, Andorran politician
- Kirsten Gillibrand, American politician; United States Senator (D-NY)
- Julio Rodas, Guatemalan soccer player
- Mateo Romero, Native American painter
- Gideon Sa'ar, Israeli politician
- Kadyrbek Sarbayev, foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan
- Natee Thongsookkaew, Thailand footballer
- December 12
- December 14
- December 15 – Katja von Garnier, German film director
- December 17 – Miloš Tichý, Czech astronomer
- December 19
- December 20 – Ed de Goeij, Dutch footballer
- December 21 – Kiefer Sutherland, Canadian actor and film director
- December 22
- December 23 – Cláudia Raia, Brazilian actress, dancer and singer
- December 24 – Diedrich Bader, American actor and voice artist
- December 27 – Bill Goldberg, American professional wrestler
- December 28 – Kaliopi, Macedonian singer-songwriter
- December 31 – Maddie Taylor, American actress and comedian
- Guli Francis-Dehqani, Iranian-born Anglican diocesan bishop
- Julian Hooper, New Zealand artist
- Charbel Iskandar, Lebanese actor
- Kivi Larmola, Finnish artist
|January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
- January 1 – Vincent Auriol, French politician, President of France (b. 1884)
- January 3
- January 4 – Georges Theunis, 24th Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1873)
- January 10 – Ignacy Oziewicz, Polish general (b. 1887)
- January 11
- January 14
- January 15
- January 16 – Courtney Hodges, American army general (b. 1887)
- January 17 – Vincent J. Donehue, American stage director (b. 1917)
- January 18 – Kathleen Norris, American writer (b. 1880)
- January 22 – Herbert Marshall, English actor (b. 1890)
- January 25 – Saul Adler, Russian-born British-Israeli expert on parasitology (b. 1895)
- January 31
- February 1
- February 3 – June Walker, American actress (b. 1900)
- February 5 – Louisa Martindale, British physician, writer, magistrate and prison commissioner (b. 1872)
- February 6 – Narcisa de Leon, Filipino film producer (b. 1877)
- February 9 – Sophie Tucker, American singer (b. 1886)
- February 10
- February 12 – Wilhelm Röpke, German economist (b. 1899)
- February 15
- February 17
- February 18 – Robert Rossen, American film director (b. 1908)
- February 20 – Chester W. Nimitz, American Navy admiral (b. 1885)
- February 25 – Victor Kravchenko, Soviet writer (b. 1905)
- February 26 – Gino Severini, Italian painter (b. 1883)
- February 28
- March 1
- March 3
- March 5 – Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet (b. 1889)
- March 7 – Donald B. Beary, American admiral (b. 1888)
- March 8
- March 10
- March 12 – Néstor Guillén, Bolivian politician, 40th President of Bolivia (b. 1890)
- March 20
- March 27 – Helen Menken, American actress (b. 1901)
- March 29 – Stylianos Gonatas, Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1876)
- March 30 – Erwin Piscator, German theater director (b. 1893)
- April 1 – Brian O'Nolan, Irish humorist (b. 1911)
- April 2 – C. S. Forester, English author (b. 1899)
- April 3 – Battista Farina, Italian car designer (b. 1893)
- April 6 – Julia Faye, American actress (b. 1893)
- April 10 – Evelyn Waugh, English author (b. 1903)
- April 11 - William H. Pitsenbarger, United States Air Force Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1944)
- April 13
- April 17 – Mario Serandrei, Italian editor and screenwriter (b. 1907)
- April 19 – Javier Solís, Mexican singer and actor (b. 1931)
- April 20 – Prince Frederick of Prussia (b. 1911)
- April 21 – Sepp Dietrich, Nazi German military leader and SS commander (b. 1892)
- April 23 – George Ohsawa, Japanese dietist, founder of Macrobiotics (b. 1893)
- April 24 – Tino Pattiera, Yugoslav-born Italian tenor (b. 1890)
- April 29 – Eugene O'Brien, American actor (b. 1880)
- May 4 – Amédée Ozenfant, French painter (b. 1886)
- May 8 – Erich Pommer, German film producer (b. 1889)
- May 11 – Alfred Wintle, British army officer and eccentric (b. 1897)
- May 14 – Ludwig Meidner, German painter (b. 1884)
- May 15
- May 20 – Carlos Arruza, Mexican bullfighter (b. 1920)
- May 21 – Lady Dorothy Macmillan, spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1900)
- May 22 – Tom Goddard, English cricketer (b. 1900)
- May 23 – Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (b. 1902)
- May 24 – Jim Barnes, English golf champion (b. 1886)
- May 25 – Vernon Sturdee, Australian general (b. 1890)
- May 29 – James Woolf, British film producer (b. 1919)
- June 1 – Papa Jack Laine, American jazz musician (b. 1873)
- June 3 – Nicholas Straussler, Hungarian engineer (b. 1891)
- June 6 – Ethel Clayton, American actress (b. 1882)
- June 7 – Jean Arp, Alsatian sculptor, painter and poet (b. 1886)
- June 8 – Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (b. 1890)
- June 11 – Wallace Ford, English-born American actor (b. 1898)
- June 12
- June 19 – Ed Wynn, American actor and comedian (b. 1886)
- June 20 – Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest and astrophysicist (b. 1894)
- June 30
- July 2
- July 3 – Deems Taylor, American composer (b. 1885)
- July 5 – George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
- July 7 – Carmelita Geraghty, American actress (b. 1901)
- July 9 – Venerable Marija Petković, Yugoslav Roman Catholic foundress and Servant of God (b. 1892)
- July 11 – Delmore Schwartz, American poet (b. 1913)
- July 12 – D. T. Suzuki, Japanese scholar and essayist (b. 1870)
- July 14 – Julie Manet, French painter (b. 1878)
- July 18 – Bobby Fuller, American rock and roll musician (b. 1942)
- July 21
- July 23
- July 25 – Frank O'Hara, American poet (b. 1926)
- July 29 – Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Nigerian military officer and head of state (assassinated) (b. 1924)
- July 31
- August 1 – Charles Whitman, American mass murderer (b. 1941)
- August 3 – Lenny Bruce, American comedian (b. 1925)
- August 6 – Cordwainer Smith, American author (b. 1913)
- August 12 – Artur Alliksaar, Estonian poet (b. 1923)
- August 15
- August 17 – Ken Miles, British sports car racing engineer and driver (b. 1918)
- August 19 – Fritz Bleyl, German painter (b. 1880)
- August 23 – Francis X. Bushman, American actor (b. 1883)
- August 24
- August 26 – Art Baker, American actor (b. 1898)
- September 3 – Fu Lei, Chinese translator (b. 1908)
- September 6
- September 14
- September 17 – Fritz Wunderlich, German tenor (b. 1930)
- September 19 – Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov, Soviet scientist and general (b. 1874)
- September 21 – Paul Reynaud, French lawyer and politician, 77th Prime Minister of France (b. 1878)
- September 26
- September 28
- October 10
- October 13 – Clifton Webb, American actor, dancer and singer (b. 1889)
- October 16 – George O'Hara, American actor (b. 1899)
- October 17 – Cléo de Mérode, French dancer (b. 1875)
- October 18 – Elizabeth Arden, Canadian-born American beautician and cosmetics entrepreneur (b. 1878)
- October 23 – Claire McDowell, American silent screen actress (b. 1877)
- October 24 – Hans Dreier, German art director (b. 1885)
- October 26 – Alma Cogan, English singer (b. 1932)
- October 28 – Robert Charpentier, French Olympic cyclist (b. 1916)
- November 2
- November 4 – Dietrich von Choltitz, Nazi German military governor of Paris in World War II (b. 1894)
- November 8 – Bernhard Zondek German-born Israeli gynecologist, developer of first reliable pregnancy test (b. 1891)
- November 9 – Jisaburō Ozawa, Japanese admiral (b. 1886)
- November 10 – Evelyn Sears, American tennis player (b. 1875)
- November 13 – Esna Boyd, Australian tennis player (b. 1899)
- November 14 – Steingrímur Steinþórsson, 11th Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1893)
- November 21 – Władysław Bortnowski, Polish historian and military commander (b. 1891)
- November 23 – Seán T. O'Kelly, 2nd President of Ireland (b. 1882)
- November 26 – Siegfried Kracauer, German writer, sociologist and critic (b. 1889)
- November 28 – Boris Podolsky, Russian-American physicist (b. 1896)
- December 2 – L.E.J. Brouwer, Dutch mathematician and philosopher (b. 1881)
- December 6 – Juan Natalicio González, Paraguayan poet, 37th President of Paraguay (b. 1897)
- December 14
- December 15 – Walt Disney, American animated film producer and founder of The Walt Disney Company and Disneyland Resort (b. 1901)
- December 19 – Betty Kuuskemaa, Estonian actress (b. 1879)
- December 22
- December 26 – Herbert Gille, SS German general (b. 1897)
- December 27 – Guillermo Stábile, Argentine football player and manager (b. 1905)
- December 30 – Christian Herter, United States Secretary of State (b. 1895)
- Physics – Alfred Kastler
- Chemistry – Robert S. Mulliken
- Physiology or Medicine – Peyton Rous and Charles Brenton Huggins
- Literature – Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Nelly Sachs
- Peace – not awarded
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1966.|
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