- Jan 21 The Battle of Khe Sanh - one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War - begins at the Khe Sanh Air Base
- Feb 1 Saigon police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém with a pistol shot to head. The execution is captured by photographer Eddie Adams and becomes an anti-war icon.
- Apr 4 US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
- Apr 11 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs 1968 Civil Rights Act
- Apr 20 British politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial "Rivers of Blood" speech
- Apr 23 1st decimal coins issued in Britain (5 & 10 new pence, replacing shilling and two-shilling pieces)
- Jun 5 Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan shoots Robert F. Kennedy three times, who dies the next day. and wounds 5 others at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California
- Aug 20 During the night 250,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring
- Aug 24 France becomes the world's fifth thermonuclear power with a detonation on Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific
- Nov 12 US Supreme Court: Epperson v. Arkansas, court declares unconstitutional Arkansas law banning teaching evolution in public schools
- Dec 9 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.
More Historical Events
- Feb 27 CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite delivers a scathing editorial on America's chances of winning the Vietnam War
- Mar 17 Bee Gees make their US TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words"
- Apr 2 "2001 A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.
- Sep 26 "Oliver!" directed by Carol Reed and starring Mark Lester and Ron Moody premieres in London (Best Picture 1969)
- Jan 22 "Lady Soul" 14th studio album by Aretha Franklin is released (Billboard Album of the Year, 1968)
- Feb 16 Beatles George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
- Feb 29 Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock LP to do so
- Jun 1 Simon & Garfunkel's single "Mrs Robinson" from "The Graduate" hits #1 (first rock song to win Grammy for Record of the Year)
- Feb 23 Wilt Chamberlain becomes 1st NBAer to score 25,000 points
- Mar 4 Italian boxer Nino Benvenuti regains world middleweight title with a 15-round points decision over American champion Emile Griffith at Madison Square Garden, NY; last of famous trilogy of fights
- Oct 12 IXX Summer Olympic Games open at Mexico City, Mexico; first Olympics in Latin America
- Oct 16 Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power Salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans
Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
On December 10, 1968