1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday.
- April - Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, becomes the first amputee certified to make diving missions, after a long battle which started with the accident which amputated his leg in 1966.
- April 2 - Bombs placed by Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin explode at midnight in 2 department stores in Frankfurt-am-Main; they are later arrested and sentenced for arson.
- April 4 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots erupt in major American cities for several days afterward.
- April 4 - Apollo Program: Apollo-Saturn mission 502 (Apollo 6) is launched, as the second and last unmanned test-flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
- April 4 - La, la, la by Massiel (music and text by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 for Spain.
- April 6 - Double explosion rocks Richmond, Indiana in downtown area. The explosion killed 41 people and injured more than 150.
- April 6 - A shootout between Black Panthers and Oakland police results in several arrests and deaths, including 17-year-old Panther Bobby Hutton.
- April 7 - Racing driver Jim Clark is killed in a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim.
- April 11 - Joseph Bachmann tries to assassinate Rudi Dutschke, leader of a left-wing movement (APO) in Germany, and tries to commit suicide afterwards, failing in both, although Dutschke dies of his brain injuries eleven years later.
- April 11 - German left-wing students blockade the Springer Press HQ in Berlin and many are arrested (one of them is Ulrike Meinhof).
- April 11 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
- April 20 - Pierre Elliott Trudeau becomes Canada's 15th Prime Minister.
- April 20 - English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood Speech.
- April 23 - President Mobutu releases captured mercenaries in Congo.
- April 23 - Surgeons at the Hopital de la Pitie, Paris, perform Europe's first heart transplant on Clovis Roblain.
- April 23-April 30 - Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university. See main article Columbia University protests of 1968
- April 29 - The musical Hair officially opens on Broadway.
- May - "May of 68" is a symbol of the resistance of that generation. Agitations and strikes in Paris lead many youth to believe that a revolution is starting. Student and worker strikes, sometimes referred to as the French May, nearly bring down the French government.
- May 2 - The Israel Broadcasting Authority commences television broadcasts.
- May 15 - An outbreak of severe thunderstorms produces tornadoes causing massive damage and heavy casualties in Charles City, Iowa, Oelwein, Iowa, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.
- May 17 - The Catonsville Nine entered the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, took dozens of selective service draft records, and burned them with napalm as a protest against the Vietnam War.
- May 19 - General elections are held in Italy.
- May 22 - The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
- October 2 - Tlatelolco massacre: A student demonstration ends in a bloodbath at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico, 10 days before the inauguration of the 1968 Summer Olympics.
- October 5 - An illegal civil rights march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which included several Stormont and British MPs, is batoned off the streets by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
- October 8 - Vietnam War: Operation Sealords - United States and South Vietnamese forces launch a new operation in the Mekong Delta.
- October 11 - Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission (Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham). Mission goals include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver.
- October 11 - In Panama, a military coup d'etat, led by Col. Boris Martinez and Col. Omar Torrijos, overthrows the democratically-elected (but highly controversial) government of President Arnulfo Arias. Within a year, Torrijos will have ousted Martinez and taken charge as de facto Head of Government in Panama.
- October 12-October 27 - The Games of the XIX Olympiad are held in Mexico City, Mexico.
- October 12 - Equatorial Guinea receives its independence from Spain.
- October 14 - Vietnam War: The United States Department of Defense announces that the United States Army and United States Marines will send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours.
- October 16 - In Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 2 African-Americans competing in the Olympic 200-meter run, raise their arms in a black power salute after winning the gold and bronze medals for 1st and 3rd place.
- October 16 - Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the Rodney Riots, provoked by the banning of Walter Rodney from the country.
- October 20 - Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry on the Greek island of Skorpios.
- October 31 - Vietnam War: Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.
Template:Year in other calendars
- January 2 - Cuba Gooding Jr., American actor
- January 5 - Andrzej Gołota, Polish boxer
- January 6 - John Singleton, American film director and writer
- January 9 - Joey Lauren Adams, American actress
- January 9 - Al Schnier, American rock guitarist
- January 13 - Pat Onstad, Canadian footballer
- January 14 - LL Cool J, American rapper and actor
- January 15 - Chad Lowe, American actor
- January 24 - Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast
- January 27 - Mike Patton, American singer
- January 28 - Sarah McLachlan, Canadian singer
- January 29 - Edward Burns, American actor
- January 29 - Sora Jung, Korean actress
- February 1 - Lisa Marie Presley, American singer
- February 5 - Roberto Alomar, baseball player
- February 8 - Gary Coleman, American actor
- February 10 - Atika Suri, Indonesian television newscaster
- February 10 - Laurie Foell, New Zealand/Australian actress
- February 13 - Kelly Hu, American actress and fromer fashion model
- February 14 - Jules Asner, American model and television personality
- February 14 - Nelson "Viscera" Frazier, American professional wrestler
- February 18 - Tommy Scott, British musician and frontman of 1990s' Britpop group Space
- February 22 - Brad Nowell, American musician (d. 1996)
- February 22 - Jeri Ryan, American actress
- February 25 - Sandrine Kiberlain, French actress
- February 27 - Matt Stairs, baseball player
- March 1 - Kunjarani Devi, Indian weightlifter
- March 2 - Daniel Craig, British actor
- March 4 - Patsy Kensit, British actress
- March 4 - Giovanni Carrara, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player
- March 6 - Moira Kelly, American actress
- March 11 - Lisa Loeb, American singer
- March 15 - Kahimi Karie, Japanese singer
- March 15 - Mark McGrath, American musician (Sugar Ray)
- March 18 - Shinichiro Miki, Japanese seiyu (voice actor)
- March 22 - Øystein Aarseth, Norwegian musician
- March 23 - Mike Atherton, English cricketer
- March 23 - Damon Albarn, English musician (Blur and Gorillaz)
- March 23 - Mitch Cullin, American novelist
- March 26 - Kenny Chesney, American musician
- March 26 - James Iha, American musician (The Smashing Pumpkins)
- March 28 - Iris Chang, American author (d. 2004)
- March 28 - Nasser Hussain, English cricketer
- March 29 - Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress and singer
- March 30 - Céline Dion, Canadian singer
- June 1- Jason Donovan, Australian actor and singer
- June 2 - Beetlejuice, member of the Wack Pack from radio's The Howard Stern Show
- June 2 - John Culshaw, English comedian and impressionist
- June 4 - Rachel Griffiths, Australian actress
- June 10 - The D.O.C., rapper
- June 13 - Denise Pearson, British singer Five Star
- June 20 - Peter Paige, American actor
- June 25 - Oleg Taktarov, Russian mixed martial artist
- June 26 - Iwan Roberts, Welsh footballer
- June 26 - Shannon Sharpe, American football player and commentator
- June 28 - Adam Woodyatt, British actor
- June 29 - Theoren Fleury, Canadian hockey player
- June 30 - Philip Anselmo, American musician
- July 5 - Ken Akamatsu, Japanese mangaka
- July 7 - Jorja Fox, American actress
- July 7 - Jeff VanderMeer, American writer
- July 8 - Akio Suyama, Japanese seiyu (voice actor)
- July 8 - Michael Weatherly, American actor
- July 10 - Hassiba Boulmerka, Algerian athlete
- July 15 - Stan Kirsch, American actor
- July 16 - Dhanraj Pillay, Indian field hockey player
- July 16 - Barry Sanders, American football player
- July 19 - Jim Norton, American comedian and radio personality (The Opie and Anthony Show)
- July 22 - Rhys Ifans, Welsh actor
- July 24 - Kristin Chenoweth, American soprano and actress.
- July 27 - Julian McMahon, Australian actor
- July 30 - Robert Korzeniowski, Polish racewalker
- August 1 - Dan Donegan, American Musician (Disturbed)
- August 9 - Gillian Anderson, American actress
- August 9 - Eric Bana, Australian actor
- August 10 - Greg Hawgood, Canadian ice hockey player
- August 11 - Charlie Sexton, American guitarist, singer and songwriter
- August 12 - Andras Jones, American actor
- August 14- Darren Clarke, Northern Irish professional golfer
- August 15- Debra Messing, American actress
- August 17 - Ed McCaffrey, American football player
- August 17 - Bruno van Pottelsberghe, Belgian economist
- August 25 - Rachael Ray, American television chef and host
- September 1 - Mohamed Atta al Sayed, Egyptian terrorist
- September 4 - Phill Lewis, American actor
- September 4 - Mike Piazza, baseball player
- September 7 - Marcel Desailly, French footballer
- September 11 - Kay Hanley, American musician
- September 11 - Tetsuo Kurata, Japanese actor
- September 12 - John Stutz, American photographer
- September 18 - Toni Kukoč, Croatian basketball player
- September 20 - Darrell Russell, race car driver (d. 2004)
- September 20 - Phillipa Forrester, British TV presenter
- September 23 - Yvette Fielding, English television presenter
- September 25 - Will Smith, American rapper and actor
- September 26 - James Caviezel, American actor
- September 28 - Naomi Watts, English-born actress
- September 29 - Patrick Burns, American paranormal investigator and television personality.
- September 29 - Samir Soni, Indian film and TV actor
- October 2 - Victoria Derbyshire, British radio presenter
- October 3 - Paul Crichton, English footballer
- October 7 - Thom Yorke, British singer/songwriter
- October 8 - CL Smooth, American rapper
- October 10 - Bart Brentjens, Dutch mountainbiker
- October 11 - Jane Krakowski, American actress
- October 12 - Hugh Jackman, Australian actor
- October 14 - Matthew Le Tissier, English footballer
- October 15 - Didier Deschamps, French footballer
- October 18 - Basil White, American comedian
- October 17 - Ziggy Marley, Jamaican musician and oldest son of Bob Marley
- October 22 - Shaggy, Jamaican singer
- October 23 - Josh Warner, American artist
- October 24 - Sal the Stockbroker, American comedian and radio writer for The Howard Stern Show
- October 29 - Tsunku, Japanese singer, music producer, and song composer
- October 31 - Vanilla Ice, American rapper
- November 3 - Debbie Rochon, Canadian actress
- November 4 - Lee Germon, New Zealand cricketer
- November 8 - Zara Whites, Dutch actress
- November 9 - Nazzareno Carusi, Italian pianist
- November 10 - Steve Brookstein, British singer
- November 10 - Petra Liebetanz, German-American photographer
- November 11 - David L Cook, Christian music singer and comedian
- November 12 - Sammy Sosa, Dominican Major League Baseball player
- November 13 - Pat Hentgen, baseball player
- November 15 - Jennifer Charles, American singer
- November 15 - Ol' Dirty Bastard, American rapper (d. 2004)
- November 18 - Barry Hunter, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
- November 18 - Owen Wilson, American actor
- November 22 - Rasmus Lerdorf, Creator of PHP
- November 23 - Hamid Hassani, Iranian scholar
- November 25 - Jill Hennessy, Canadian actress
- November 25 - Jacqueline Hennessy, Canadian actress and talk show host
- November 27 - Michael Vartan, French actor
- January 19 - Ray Harroun, American race car driver (b. 1879)
- January 21 - Will Lang Jr., American journalist (b. 1914)
- January 22 - Duke Kahanamoku, American swimmer (b. 1890)
- January 26 - Merrill C. Meigs, American newspaper publisher and aviation promoter (b. 1883)
- January 30 - Robert Wood Johnson, American business leader and philanthropist (b. 1893)
- February 4 - Neal Cassady, American writer (b. 1926)
- February 11 - Howard Lindsay, American playwright (b. 1888)
- February 20 - Anthony Asquith, British director and writer (b. 1902)
- February 21 - Howard Walter Florey, Australian-born pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (b. 1898)
- February 22 - Peter Arno, American cartoonist (b. 1904)
- February 28 - Frankie Lymon, American singer (b. 1942)
- February 29 - Tore Ørjasæter, Norwegian poet (b. 1886)
- March 16 - Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Italian composer (b. 1895)
- March 20 - Charles Chaplin Jr., American actor (b. 1925)
- March 23 - Edwin O'Connor, American novelist and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner (b. 1918)
- March 27 - Yuri Gagarin, cosmonaut (b. 1934)
- April 1 - Lev Davidovich Landau, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1908)
- April 4 - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (assassinated) (b. 1929)
- April 7 - Jimmy Clark, Scottish race car driver (b. 1936)
- April 10 - Gustavs Celmins, Latvian politician (b. 1899)
- April 14 - Al Benton, baseball player (b. 1911)
- April 22 - Stephen H. Sholes, American record executive (b. 1911)
- April 25 - John Tewksbury, American athlete (b. 1876)
- May 7 - Mike Spence British race car driver (b. 1936)
- May 9 - Mercedes de Acosta, American poet, playwright, costume designer, and socialite (b. 1893)
- May 9 - Marion Lorne, American actress (b. 1883)
- May 14 - Husband E. Kimmel, American admiral (b. 1882)
- June 1 - Helen Keller, American spokeswoman for deaf and blind (b. 1880)
- June 6 - Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General (assassinated) (b. 1925)
- June 14 - Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)
- June 15 - Sam Crawford, baseball player (b. 1880)
- June 24 - Tony Hancock, British comedian (b. 1924)
- July 18 - Corneille Heymans, Belgian physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
- July 23 - Henry Hallett Dale, English scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1875)
- July 28 - Otto Hahn, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1879)
- July 31 - Jack Pizzey, incumbent Premier of Queensland, Australia (b. 1911)
- August 19 - George Gamow, Ukrainian-born physicist (b. 1904)
- August 27 - Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (b. 1906)
- August 29 - Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier and planner (b. 1881)
- September 8 - Luther Perkins, American guitarist (b. 1928)
- September 12 - Tommy Armour, Scottish golfer (b. 1894)
- October 2 - Marcel Duchamp, French artist (b. 1887)
- October 9 - Pierre Mulele, Congolese revolutionary
- October 13 - Bea Benaderet, American actress (b. 1906)
- October 30 - Rose Wilder Lane, American author and reporter (b. 1886)
- October 30 - Ramón Novarro, Mexican actor (b. 1899)
- November 4 - Michel Kikoine, Belarusian painter (b. 1892)
- November 6 - Charles Munch, French conductor and violinist (b. 1891)
- November 25 - Upton Sinclair, American writer (b. 1878)
- November 26 - Arnold Zweig, German writer (b. 1887)
- December 2 - Adamson-Eric, Estonian artist (b. 1902)
- December 10 - Karl Barth, German Protestant theologian (b. 1888)
- December 10 - Thomas Merton, American author (b. 1915)
- December 12 - Tallulah Bankhead, American actress (b. 1902)
- December 19 - Norman Thomas, American politician (b. 1884)
- December 20 - John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
- December 30 - Trygve Lie, first United Nations Secretary General (b. 1896)
- December 30 - Vladimir Peter Tytla, American animator (b. 1904)
- December 31 - George Lewis, American musician (b. 1900)
- Mark Kurlansky (2004), 1968: the year that rocked the world, Jonathan Cape
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