- 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. assassinated 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)
- Aug 20 During the night 200,000 Warsaw Pact Soviet led 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.
- 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 14 1st broadcast of "60 Minutes" on CBS-TV
- Sep 26 "Oliver!" directed by Carol Reed and starring Mark Lester and Ron Moody premieres in London (Best Picture 1969)
- Oct 1 Cult zombie film "Night of the Living Dead" directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea premieres in Pittsburgh
- Dec 30 Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"
- 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 wifes fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
- Aug 26 "Hey Jude" single released by the Beatles (Billboard Song of the Year 1968, Billboard 10th biggest song of all time 2013)
- Aug 30 1st record under Apple label (Beatle's Hey Jude)
- Sep 28 Beatles' "Hey Jude" single goes #1 and stays #1 for 9 weeks
- Feb 23 Wilt Chamberlain becomes 1st NBAer to score 25,000 points
- Oct 12 19th 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
Houston Cougars defeat the UCLA Bruins 71-69 to win basketball's Game of the Century and end UCLA's 47 game winning streak
On January 20, 1968
Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
On December 10, 1968