- Jan 3 1st clamshell flip mobile phone, the Motorola StarTAC, goes on sale. Eventually 60 million are sold.
- Feb 10 IBM computer Deep Blue becomes the first computer to win a game of chess against a reigning (human) chess champion, Gary Kasparov
- Jul 3 British House of Commons annouces Stone of Scone, used in the coronation of Scottish and British monarchs, will be returned to Scotland after 600 years
- Aug 6 NASA announces that life may have existed on Mars after examining meteorite ALH84001, thought to be from Mars
- Aug 23 Osama bin Laden issues message entitled "A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places"
- Aug 26 US President Bill Clinton signs welfare reform into law, representing major shift in welfare policy
Four women ordained priests in Jamaica, 1st in 330-year Anglican history
On December 23, 1996