Gibson Les Paul Electric Guitar Detail Sunburst.
Gibson Brands, Inc. (formerly Gibson Guitar Corporation) is an American manufacturer of guitars, other musical instruments, and professional audio from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and now based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was formerly known as Gibson Guitar Corporation and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. on June 11, 2013.
Orville Gibson started making instruments in 1894 and founded the company in 1902 as the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI), which was acquired in 1969 by Panama-based conglomerate Ecuadorian Company Limited (ECL), that changed its name in the same year to Norlin Corporation. Gibson was owned by Norlin Corporation from 1969 to 1986. In 1986, the company was acquired by a group led by Henry Juszkiewicz and David H. Berryman. In November 2018, the company was acquired by a group of investors led by private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc. (formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and KKR & Co. L.P.).
Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world’s best-known guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul, which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by a team led by Ted McCarty.
In addition to guitars, Gibson offers consumer electronics through its subsidiaries KRK, Cerwin Vega, and Stanton, Gibson Pro Audio line.
On May 1, 2018, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and announced a restructuring plan to return to profitability by closing down unprofitable consumer electronics divisions such as Gibson Innovations.
Orville Gibson patented a single-piece mandolin design in 1898 that was more durable than other mandolins and could be manufactured in volume. Orville Gibson began to sell his instruments in 1894 out of a one-room workshop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. was incorporated to market the instruments. Initially, the company produced only Orville Gibson’s original designs. Orville died in 1918 of endocarditis (inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and valves).
The following year, the company hired designer Lloyd Loar to create newer instruments. Loar designed the flagship L-5 archtop guitar and the Gibson F-5 mandolin that was introduced in 1922, before leaving the company in 1924. In 1936, Gibson introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150, followed by other electric instruments like steel guitars, banjos and mandolins.
During World War II, instrument manufacturing at Gibson slowed due to shortages of wood and metal, and Gibson began manufacturing wood and metal parts for the military. Between 1942-1945, Gibson employed women to manufacture guitars. "Women produced nearly 25,000 guitars during World War II yet Gibson denied ever building instruments over this period," according to a 2013 history of the company. Gibson folklore has also claimed its guitars were made by "seasoned craftsmen" who were "too old for war.
1953 Les Paul Goldtop
Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Standard
Les Paul Junior
non-reverse (left) & reverse Firebird
In 1944 Gibson was purchased by Chicago Musical Instruments. The ES-175 was introduced in 1949. Gibson hired Ted McCarty in 1948, who became President in 1950. He led an expansion of the guitar line with new guitars such as the "Les Paul" guitar introduced in 1952, endorsed by Les Paul, a popular musician in the 1950s. The guitar was offered in Custom, Standard, Special, and Junior models.
In the mid-1950s, the Thinline series was produced, which included a line of thinner guitars like the Byrdland. The first Byrdlands were slim, custom built, L-5 models for guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland. Later, a shorter neck was added. Other models such as the ES-350T and the ES-225T were introduced as less costly alternatives. In 1958, Gibson introduced the ES-335T model. Similar in size to the hollow-body Thinlines, the ES-335 family had a solid center, giving the string tone a longer sustain.
In the 1950s, Gibson also produced the Tune-o-matic bridge system and its version of the humbucking pickup, the PAF ("Patent Applied For"), first released in 1957 and still sought after for its sound.
In 1958, Gibson produced two new designs: the eccentrically shaped Explorer and Flying V. These "modernistic" guitars did not sell initially. It was only in the late 1960s and early 70s when the two guitars were reintroduced to the market that they sold well. The Firebird, in the early 60s, was a reprise of the modernistic idea, though less extreme.
In the late 50s, McCarty knew that Gibson was seen as a traditional company and began an effort to create more modern guitars. In 1961 the body design of the Les Paul was changed due to the demand for a double-cutaway body design. The new body design then became known as the SG (for "solid guitar"), due to disapproval from Les Paul himself. The original Les Paul design returned to the Gibson catalog in 1968.
On December 22, 1969, Gibson parent company Chicago Musical Instruments was taken over by the South American brewing conglomerate ECL. Gibson remained under the control of CMI until 1974 when it became a subsidiary of Norlin Musical Instruments. Norlin Musical Instruments was a member of Norlin Industries which was named for ECL president Norton Stevens and CMI president Arnold Berlin. This began an era characterized by corporate mismanagement and decreasing product quality.
Gibson left Kalamazoo in 1984, their previous factory became Heritage Guitars
Gibson Showcase at Nashville
Gibson Factory at Memphis
Between 1974 and 1984, production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo to Nashville, Tennessee. The Kalamazoo plant kept going for a few years as a custom-instrument shop, but was closed in 1984; several Gibson employees led by plant manager Jim Duerloo established Heritage Guitars in the old factory, building versions of classic Gibson designs.
The company was within three months of going out of business before it was bought by Henry E. Juszkiewicz, David H. Berryman, and Gary A. Zebrowski in January 1986. Gibson’s wholesale shipments in 1993 were an estimated $70 million, up from $50 million in 1992. When Juszkiewicz and Berryman took over in 1986, sales were below $10 million. New production plants were opened in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as Bozeman, Montana. The Memphis facility is used for semi-hollow and custom shop instruments, while the Bozeman facility is dedicated to acoustic instruments.
Gibson purchased Garrison Guitars in 2007. In mid 2009 Gibson reduced its work force to adjust for a decline in guitar industry sales in the United States.
In 2011, Gibson acquired the Stanton Group, including Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton DJ. Gibson then formed a new division, Gibson Pro Audio, which will deliver professional grade audio items, including headphones, loudspeakers and DJ equipment.
Gibson announced a partnership with the Japanese-based Onkyo Corporation in 2012. Onkyo, known for audio equipment and home theater systems, became part of the Gibson Pro Audio division.
In 2013, Gibson acquired a majority stake in TEAC Corporation.
In 2014, Gibson acquired the Wook consumer electronics brand from Royal Philips.
In October 2017, Gibson announced plans to relocate its Memphis operations to a smaller location and plans to sell the Memphis property. Gibson opened its Memphis facility 18 years before, which occupies just a portion of a massive 127,620 square foot complex. According to the Memphis Daily News, Gibson plans to search for a new facility for its Memphis operations and will stay in the current spot for the next 18 to 24 months. The facility, which sits across from the FedExForum along South B.B. King Boulevard, is expected to list for $17 million.
Since its opening, the Gibson Memphis shop has mostly focused on building hollow and semi-hollowbody guitars, such as the famed ES series. Presumably, this shuffling of assets is meant to address Gibson’s well-publicized financial troubles.
Gibson issued a press release about the move, with former CEO Henry Juszkiewicz stating:
We are extremely excited about this next phase of growth that we believe will benefit both our employees, and the Memphis community. I remember when our property had abandoned buildings, and Beale Street was in decline. It is with great pride that I can see the development of this area with a basketball arena, hotels, and a resurgent pride in the musical heritage of the great city of Memphis. We continue to love the Memphis community and hope to be a key contributor to its future when we move nearby to a more appropriate location for our manufacturing based business, allowing the world the benefit of our great American craftsmen."
On May 1, 2018, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of its debt restructuring, the company will close down and liquidate its unprofitable Gibson Innovations division, which sells audio equipment outside of the U.S. and has been the source of much of the company’s financial troubles. The restructuring will allow Gibson to focus on its most profitable ventures, such as musical instruments. No changes will be made to its guitar manufacturing business, and all Gibson and Epiphone branded guitars were expected to continue in production. Additionally, $135 million was provided by existing creditors to provide liquidity to maintain existing operations.
On September 6, 2018, the company announced that a global settlement has been reached with respect to the company’s reorganization plan upon emergence from Chapter 11. Under the plan, the company will be focused on its core musical instruments business with "essentially no debt." Juszkiewicz stepped down as CEO and assumed the role of consultant.
On October 23, 2018, the company announced the appointment of James “JC” Curleigh as the new President and CEO; Cesar Gueikian as Chief Merchant Officer; Kim Mattoon as Chief Financial Officer; and Christian Schmitz as Chief Production Officer. The appointments were effective November 1, 2018.
Origin of "lawsuit guitars"
In 1977, Gibson sued Hoshino Gakki/Elger Guitars for copying the ”archtop” headstock. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Ibanez replaced the headstock with a revised design.
In 2000, Gibson sued Fernandes Guitars in a Tokyo court for allegedly copying Gibson designs. Gibson did not prevail.
Gibson also sued PRS Guitars in 2005, to stop them from making their Singlecut model. The lawsuit against PRS was initially successful. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court decision and ordered the dismissal of Gibson’s suit against PRS.
FWS raids & Lacey Act violation
Gibson’s factories were raided in 2009 and 2011 by agents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In November 2009 authorities found illegally imported ebony wood from Madagascar. A second raid was conducted in August 2011, during which the FWS seized wood imports from India that had been mislabeled on the US Customs declaration. Gibson Guitar Corp. filed a motion in January 2011 to recover seized materials and overturn the charges, which was denied by the court.
The United States Department of Justice found emails from 2008 and 2009 in which Gibson employees discussed the "gray market" nature of the ebony wood available from a German wood dealer—who obtained it from a supplier in Madagascar—as well as plans to obtain the wood. It filed a civil proceeding in June 2011, the first such case under the amended Lacey Act, which requires importing companies to purchase legally harvested wood and follow the environmental laws of the producing countries regardless of corruption or lack of enforcement. Gibson argued in a statement the following day that authorities were "bullying Gibson without filing charges" and denied any wrongdoing. Arguing against the federal regulations and claiming that the move threatened jobs, Republicans and Tea Party members spoke out against the raids and supported Juszkiewicz.
The case was settled on August 6, 2012, with Gibson admitting to violating the Lacey Act and agreeing to pay a fine of $300,000 in addition to a $50,000 community payment. Gibson also forfeited the wood seized in the raids, which was valued at roughly the same amount as the settlement. However, in a subsequent statement Gibson maintained its innocence with Juszkiewicz claiming that "Gibson was inappropriately targeted" and that the government raids were "so outrageous and overreaching as to deserve further Congressional investigation." Juszkiewicz continued to state, "We felt compelled to settle as the costs of proving our case at trial would have cost millions of dollars and taken a very long time to resolve."
Gibson reclaimed some wood stock that was confiscated during the raids, and produced a new series of guitar marketed to draw attention to the raids and seizures.
In the midst of the controversy, conservative commentators alleged that the raid was a politically motivated act of retaliation by the Obama administration, as Juszkiewicz had frequently donated to Republican politicians. Chris Martin IV, the CEO of Gibson competitor C.F. Martin & Co., had donated over $35,000 to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic candidates in the same time period. Though Martin featured several guitars in its catalog made with the same Indian wood as Gibson, but with correct documentation filed, the company was not subjected to a raid.
Gibson filed a lawsuit November 18, 2010, in Federal court, the Central District of California, against WowWee USA and their Paper Jamz battery operated guitar toys charging trademark infringement. The lawsuit claimed the Paper Jamz toy guitars copied the looks of some of Gibson’s famous guitars, the Gibson Les Paul, the Gibson Flying V, the Gibson Explorer, and the Gibson SG. On December 21, 2010 Gibson was granted a request for an injunction against WowWee and retailers in the United States which were selling Paper Jamz guitars: Walmart, Amazon, Big Lots stores, Kmart Corporation, Target Corporation, Toys “R” Us, Walgreens, Brookstone, Best Buy, eBay, Toywiz.com, and Home Shopping Network (HSN) The case was dismissed with prejudice (dismissed permanently) January 11, 2011 by Federal Judge R. Gary Klausner.
Further information: Gibson Guitar Corporation product list
Gibson also owns and makes instruments under brands such as Epiphone, Kramer, Maestro, Steinberger, and Tobias, along with the ownership of historical brands such as Kalamazoo, Dobro, Slingerland, Valley Arts, and Baldwin (including Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer).
Gibson makes authorized copies of its most successful guitar designs. They are less expensive than those bearing the Gibson name.[clarification needed] A former competitor, Epiphone, was purchased by Gibson in 1957 and now makes competitively-priced Gibson models, such as the Les Paul and SG, sold under the Epiphone brand, while continuing to make Epiphone-specific models like the Sheraton, Sorrento, and Casino. In Japan, Orville by Gibson once made Gibson designs sold in that country. Gibson has sought legal action against those that make and sell guitars Gibson believes are too similar to their own.
In 1977, Gibson introduced the serial numbering system in use until 2006. An eight-digit number on the back shows the date when the instrument was produced, where it was produced, and its order of production that day (e.g., first instrument stamped that day, second, etc.). An exception is the year 1994, Gibson’s centennial year; many 1994 serial numbers start with "94", followed by a six-digit production number. As of 2006, the company used seven (six since 1999) serial number systems,[clarification needed] making it difficult to identify guitars by their serial number alone. The Gibson website provides a book to help with serial number deciphering.
In 2006, Gibson introduced a nine-digit serial number system replacing the eight-digit system used since 1977, but the sixth digit now represents a batch number.[clarification needed]
In 2003, Gibson debuted its Ethernet-based audio protocol, MaGIC, which it developed in partnership with 3Com, Advanced Micro Devices, and Xilinx. Replacing traditional analog hook-ups with a digital connection to "satisfy the unique requirements of live audio performances". This system requires a special pickup, and cabling is provided by a standard Cat-5 Ethernet cable.
The Gibson "self-tuning guitar", also known as a "robot model", an option on some newer Les Paul, SG, Flying V and Explorer instruments, tunes itself in about two seconds using robotics technology developed by Tronical GmbH. Under the tradename Min-ETune, this device became standard on several models in 2014.
In 2013, Gibson introduced the Government Series of Les Paul, SG, Flying V, Explorer and ES-335 guitars which were constructed solely of tonewood the US government seized but later returned to Gibson after the resolution of the company’s Lacey Act violation in 2011. The guitars were finished in "government grey" and also featured decorations which intended to draw attention to the issue of government. A year later in 2014, Gibson released the Government Series II of guitars, which were essentially the same as the first series, only finished in a new color: "government tan".
Interior of Gibson, Inc. factory on Parsons Street. 1936
All Gibson-brand guitars are currently made at three facilities, depending on the type of guitar. Solid body electric guitars such as the Gibson Les Paul and the Gibson SG are made in Nashville, Tennessee at Gibson USA and the Gibson Custom Shop. Semi-acoustic guitars such as the Gibson ES Series are also made in Nashville, Tennessee at Gibson USA. Full acoustic guitars such as the Gibson J Series are made in Bozeman, Montana. The Nashville and Bozeman facilities are off-limits to visitors.
All Gibson instruments are made in USA. Below are some of the facilities used to produce Gibson instruments, along with years of their operation:
AddressYears of OperationNotes
114 So. Burdick, Kalamazoo, MI.1896–1897This was the "business location" of "O. H. Gibson, Manufacturer, Musical Instruments."
104 East Main, Kalamazoo, MI1899–1902This was Orville Gibson’s residence, and he built instruments on the 2nd floor of this location.
114 East Main, Kalamazoo, MI1902–1906The "Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co, Ltd." was established in 1902. This building, said to be infested with cockroaches, was probably the former Witmer Bakery.
114 East Exchange Place, Kalamazoo, MI1906–1911Located quite close to the previous location, in Kalamazoo’s business district.
521–523 East Harrison Court, Kalamazoo, MI1911–1917Located about .5 miles from previous location. The building was next to the Michigan Central Railroad, and stood for many decades, until it came down in the late 20th century.
225 Parsons St, Kalamazoo, MI, 490071917–1984Also located next to railroad tracks, this facility had major expansions in 1945, 1950, and 1960. Various brands were produced there, including Gibson, Epiphone, (1957–1970) and Kalamazoo. During the depression of the 1930s, children’s toys were produced there, and during WW2 it produced materials to support the war effort in addition to producing guitars. Between 1974 and 1984 Gibson moved its manufacturing out of this facility to Tennessee. Most of this move happened in 1974, leaving only acoustic and some semi-acoustic production for this plant. In 1985, Heritage Guitars began production, renting part of this facility.
641 Massman Drive, Nashville, TN, 372101984–presentThis is Gibson’s facility for production of their main solid body models, such as the Les Paul and the SG.
145 Lt. George W. Lee Av, Memphis, TN 381032000–2018This is Gibson’s facility for production of their semi-hollowbody electric guitars. This facility shares the same building as Gibson’s Retail Shop and Beale Street "Showcase" location.
1894 Orville Way, Bozeman, MT, 597151989– presentThis facility is dedicated to acoustic guitar production.
Take a look back at the year 1969
1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1969th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 969th year of the 2nd millennium, the 69th year of the 20th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1960s decade.
The year is associated with the first manned landing on the Moon (Apollo 11), the creation of the internet, and the commencement of the LGBT Rights Movement.
Main article: January 1969
January 1 – Ohio State defeats USC in the Rose Bowl to win the national college football championship for the 1968 season.
Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch purchases the largest-selling British Sunday newspaper, The News of the World.
People’s Democracy begins a march from Belfast to Derry City, Northern Ireland to gain publicity and to promote its cause.
January 4 – The Government of Spain hands over Ifni to Morocco.
Ariana Afghan Airlines Flight 701 crashes into a house on its approach to London’s Gatwick Airport, killing 50 of the 62 people on board and two of the home’s occupants.
The Soviet Union launches Venera 5 toward Venus.
January 6 – The final passenger train traverses the Waverley Line, which subsequently closes to passengers.
January 10 – The Soviet Union launches Venera 6 toward Venus.
Led Zeppelin, the first Led Zeppelin album, is released in the United States.
Martial law is declared in Madrid, as the University is closed and over 300 students are arrested.
American football: The New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, 16-7. Joe Namath is the MVP of the game.
An explosion aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise near Hawaii kills 27 and injures 314.
The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 4.
January 15 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5, which docks with Soyuz 4 for a transfer of crew.
January 16 –
Two cosmonauts transfer from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4 via a spacewalk while the two craft are docked together, the first time such a transfer takes place. The two spacecraft undock and return to Earth two days later.
Student Jan Palach sets himself on fire in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia; 3 days later he dies.
January 18 – In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution displays the art of Winslow Homer for 6 weeks.
January 20 – Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States.
January 22 – An assassination attempt is carried out on Leonid Brezhnev by deserter Viktor Ilyin. One person is killed, several are injured. Brezhnev escaped unharmed.
January 26 – Elvis Presley steps into American Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, recording "Long Black Limousine", thus beginning the recording of what becomes his landmark comeback sessions for the albums From Elvis in Memphis and Back in Memphis. The sessions yield the popular and critically acclaimed singles "Suspicious Minds", "In the Ghetto", and "Kentucky Rain".
Fourteen men, 9 of them Jews, are executed in Baghdad for spying for Israel.
Reverend Ian Paisley, Northern Irish Unionist leader and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster is jailed for three months for illegal assembly.
The modern-day powerhouse of the Hetch Hetchy Project at Moccasin, California, rated at 100,000 kVA, is completed and placed in operation. On February 7, the original is removed from service.
January 28 – 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill: A blowout on Union Oil’s Platform A spills 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil into a channel and onto the beaches of Santa Barbara County in Southern California; on February 5 the oil spill closes Santa Barbara’s harbor. The incident inspires Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to organize the first Earth Day in 1970.
January 30 – The Beatles give their last public performance, of several tracks on the roof of Apple Records, London (featured in Let It Be (1970 film)).
Main article: February 1969
February 4 – In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is elected Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress.
February 5 – The controversial television show Turn-On premieres on the ABC network in the United States and is canceled after one episode following protests by viewers and ABC affiliate stations.
The Allende meteorite explodes over Mexico.
After 147 years, the last weekly issue of The Saturday Evening Post is published in the United States. (The magazine is later briefly resurrected as a monthly magazine.)
February 9 – The Boeing 747 "jumbo jet" is flown for the first time, taking off from the Boeing airfield at Everett, Washington.
February 13 – Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) terrorists bomb the Montreal Stock Exchange.
February 14 – Pope Paul VI issues Mysterii Paschalis, a motu proprio, deleting many names from the Roman calendar of saints (including Valentine, who was celebrated on this day).
February 17 – Aquanaut Berry L. Cannon dies of carbon dioxide poisoning while attempting to repair the SEALAB III habitat off San Clemente Island, California.
The Mariner 6 Mars probe is launched from the United States.
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to public schools.
Main article: March 1969
January 14: Explosion kills 27 on USS Enterprise
In Toulouse, France the first Concorde test flight is conducted.
Soviet and Chinese forces clash at a border outpost on the Ussuri River.
Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 (James McDivitt, Rusty Schweickart, David Scott) to test the lunar module.
In a Los Angeles court, Sirhan Sirhan admits that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
The United States Navy establishes the Navy Fighter Weapons School (also known as Top Gun) at Naval Air Station Miramar.
March 4 – Arrest warrants are issued by a Florida court for Jim Morrison on charges of indecent exposure during a Doors concert three days earlier.
In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (he later retracts his guilty plea).
The novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo is first distributed to booksellers by the publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
March 13 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
March 16 – Viasa Flight 742 crashes into a neighborhood in Maracaibo, Venezuela, shortly after taking off for Miami; all 84 people on board the DC-9 jet are killed along with 71 people on the ground.
Golda Meir becomes the first female prime minister of Israel.
The Longhope life-boat is lost after answering a mayday call during severe storms in the Pentland Firth between Orkney and the northern tip of Scotland; the entire crew of 8 die.
March 18 – Operation Breakfast, the covert bombing of Cambodia by U.S. planes, begins. An annular solar eclipse was visible in Indian and Pacific Oceans, and was the 49th solar eclipse of Solar Saros 129.
British paratroopers and Marines land on the island of Anguilla, ending its unrecognized independence.
A 385 metres (1,263 ft) tall TV mast at Emley Moor, England, collapses due to ice build-up.
One hundred of the 105 passengers and crew on a United Arab Airlines flight, most of them Muslim pilgrims returning to Aswan from Mecca, are killed when the Ilyushin-18 turboprop crashes during a sandstorm.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono are married at Gibraltar, and proceed to their honeymoon "Bed-In" for peace in Amsterdam.
UCLA wins its third consecutive NCAA basketball championship by defeating Purdue University, 92 to 72.
The landmark art exhibition When Attitudes become Form, curated by Harald Szeemann, opens at the Kunsthalle Bern in Bern, Switzerland.
March 28 – Pope Paul VI increases the number of Roman Catholic cardinals by one-third, from 101 to 134.
March 29 – The Eurovision Song Contest 1969 is held in Madrid, and results in four co-winners, with 18 votes each, from Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France.
March 30 – The body of former United States General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower is brought by caisson to the United States Capitol to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda; Eisenhower had died two days earlier, after a long illness, in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
March 31 – The Barroterán coal mine disaster kills 153 coal miners in Mexico.
Main article: April 1969
April 1 – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier enters service with the Royal Air Force.
April 4 – Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart.
April 8 – The Montreal Expos debut as Major League Baseball’s first team outside the United States.
The Harvard University Administration Building is seized by close to 300 students, mostly members of the Students for a Democratic Society. Before the takeover ends, 45 will be injured and 184 arrested.
Fermín Monasterio Pérez is murdered by the ETA in Biscay, Spain; the 4th victim in the name of Basque nationalism.
April 13 – Queensland: The Brisbane Tramways end service after 84 years of operation.
April 15 – The EC-121 shootdown incident: North Korea shoots down the aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board.
British troops arrive in Northern Ireland to reinforce the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
A grassroots movement of Berkeley community members seizes an empty lot owned by the University of California, to begin the formation of "People’s Park".
April 22 – Robin Knox-Johnston becomes the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping.
April 24 – Recently formed British Leyland launches their first new model, the Austin Maxi in Portugal.
April 28 – Charles de Gaulle steps down as president of France after suffering defeat in a referendum the day before.
Main article: May 1969
May 4 – In a repeat of the previous season’s hockey finals, the Montreal Canadiens defeat the St. Louis Blues four games to none to win the Stanley Cup.
Zip to Zap, a gathering of more than 2,000 people students and young adults at the remote town of Zap, North Dakota, ends with the dispersal and eviction of the revelers by the North Dakota National Guard.
The Battle of Dong Ap Bia, also known as Hamburger Hill, begins during the Vietnam War.
May 13 – May 13 Incident: Race riots occur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
May 14 – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi visits Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
May 15 – An American teenager known as ‘Robert R.’ dies in St. Louis, Missouri, of a baffling medical condition. In 1984 it will be identified as the earliest confirmed case of HIV/AIDS in North America.
May 16 – Venera program: Soviet space probe Venera 5 lands on Venus.
May 17 – Venera program: Soviet space probe Venera 6 begins to descend into Venus’s atmosphere, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
May 18 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 (Gene Cernan, Tom Stafford, John Young) is launched as a full rehearsal for the Moon landing, but stops 15 kilometers short of actually reaching the lunar surface.
May 20 – United States National Guard helicopters spray skin-stinging powder on anti-war protesters in California.
May 21 – Rosariazo: Civil unrest breaks out in Rosario, Argentina, following the death of a 15-year-old student.
May 22 – Apollo program: Apollo 10’s lunar module flies to within 15,400 m of the Moon’s surface.
May 25 – Midnight Cowboy, an X-rated, Oscar-winning John Schlesinger film, is released.
The Andean Pact (Andean Group) is established.
Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth, after a successful 8-day test of all the components needed for the upcoming first manned Moon landing.
May 26–June 2 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono conduct their second Bed-In. The follow-up to the Amsterdam event is held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Lennon composes and records the song Give Peace a Chance during the event.
May 29 – Cordobazo: A general strike and civil unrest break out in Córdoba, Argentina.
May 30 – Riots in Curaçao mark the start of an Afro-Caribbean civil rights movement on the island.
Main article: June 1969
The Stonewall Inn, an LGBT nightclub (pictured here in 1969), was the place where the Stonewall riots occurred, a situation in where members of the LGBTQ community rioted against police who had raided the nightclub. The riots are commonly stated as the main event that would start the LGBT rights movement
June 3 – While operating at sea on SEATO maneuvers, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne accidentally rams and slices into the American destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in the South China Sea, killing 74 American seamen.
June 5 – An international communist conference begins in Moscow.
June 7 – The rock group Blind Faith plays its first gig in front of 100,000 people in London’s Hyde Park.
June 8 – Francisco Franco orders the closing of the Gibraltar–Spain border and communications between Gibraltar and Spain in response to the 1967 Gibraltar sovereignty referendum. The border remains closed until a partial reopening on December 15, 1982.
June 8 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu meet at Midway Island. Nixon announces that 25,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn by September.
June 15 – Georges Pompidou is elected President of France.
June 17 – After a 23-game match, Boris Spassky defeats Tigran Petrosian to become the World Chess Champion in Moscow.
June 18–22 – The National Convention of the Students for a Democratic Society, held in Chicago, collapses and the Weatherman faction seizes control of the SDS National Office. Thereafter, any activity run from the National Office or bearing the name of SDS is Weatherman-controlled.
The Cuyahoga River fire helps spur an avalanche of water pollution control activities resulting in the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Judy Garland dies of a drug overdose in her London home.
June 23 – Warren E. Burger is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States by retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren.
June 24 – The United Kingdom and Rhodesia sever diplomatic relations, after Rhodesian constitutional referendum.
June 28 – The Stonewall riots in New York City mark the start of the modern gay rights movement in the U.S.
Main article: July 1969
July 20: Neil Armstrong descends a ladder to become the first human to step onto the surface of the Moon during Apollo 11
July 1 – Charles, Prince of Wales, is invested with his title at Caernarfon.
July 3 – Brian Jones, musician and founder of The Rolling Stones, drowns in his swimming pool at his home in Sussex, England.
July 4 – Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin are shot at Blue Rock Springs in California. They are the second (known) victims of the Zodiac Killer. Mageau survives the attack while Ferrin is pronounced dead-on-arrival at Richmond Medical Center.
July 5 – Tom Mboya, Kenyan Minister of Development, is assassinated.
July 7 – French is made equal to English throughout the Canadian national government.
July 8 – Vietnam War: The very first U.S. troop withdrawals are made.
July 10 – Donald Crowhurst’s sailing trimaran Teignmouth Electron is found drifting and unoccupied in mid-Atlantic; it is presumed that Crowhurst committed suicide (or fell overboard) at sea earlier in the month having falsified his progress in the solo Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.
Football War: After Honduras loses an association football match against El Salvador, rioting breaks out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers. Of the 300,000 Salvadoran workers in Honduras, tens of thousands are expelled, prompting a brief Salvadoran invasion of Honduras. The OAS works out a cease-fire on July 18, which takes effect on July 20.
The Act of Free Choice commences in Merauke, West Irian.
The United States’ $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills are officially withdrawn from circulation.
July 16 – Apollo program: Apollo 11 (Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins) lifts off from Cape Kennedy in Florida towards the first manned landing on the Moon.
Chappaquiddick incident: US Senator Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge into a tidal pond after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, killing Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy does not report the accident for nine or ten hours.
John Fairfax lands in Hollywood Beach, Florida near Miami and becomes the first person to row across an ocean solo, after 180 days spent at sea on board 25′ ocean rowboat ‘Britannia’ (left Gran Canaria on January 20, 1969).
July 20 – Apollo program Moon landing: At 10:56 pm ET (02:56 UTC July 21) Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle lands on the Moon’s surface. An estimated 500 million people worldwide, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at this time, watch in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his first historic steps on the surface.
July 20 – 1969 Tour de France: Eddy Merckx wins the Tour de France for the first time.
July 22 – Spanish dictator and head of state Francisco Franco appoints Prince Juan Carlos his successor.
The Apollo 11 returns from the first successful Moon landing and the astronauts are placed in biological isolation for several days in case they may have brought back lunar germs. The airless lunar environment is later determined to rule out microscopic life.
The Soviet Union returns British lecturer Gerald Brooke to the United Kingdom freed from a Soviet prison in exchange for their spies Peter and Helen Kroger (Morris and Lona Cohen).
July 25 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This starts the "Vietnamization" of the war.
July 26 – The New York Chapter of the Young Lords is founded to fight for empowerment of Puerto Ricans.
July 30 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam, meeting with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.
The old halfpenny ceases to be legal tender in the UK.
Pope Paul VI arrives in Entebbe, Uganda for the first visit by a reigning Pope to Africa.
Main article: August 1969
August 15–18: Woodstock
August 4 – Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, U.S. representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. They eventually fail since both sides cannot agree to any terms.
August 5 – Mariner program: Mariner 7 makes its closest fly-by of Mars (3,524 kilometers).
The Beatles at 11:30 have photographer Iain Macmillan take their photo on a zebra crossing on Abbey Road.
A fire breaks out in Bannerman’s Castle in the Hudson River; most of the roof collapses and crashes down to the lower levels.
Members of the Manson Family invade the home of actress Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski in Los Angeles. The followers killed Tate (who was 8.5 months pregnant), and her friends: Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring. Also killed is Steven Parent, leaving from a visit to the Polanskis’ caretaker. More than 100 stab wounds are found on the victims, except for Parent, who had been shot almost as soon as the Manson Family entered the property.
The Haunted Mansion attraction opens at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Later versions open in Florida, Tokyo and Paris.
August 10 – The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businessman and his wife.
August 12 – The Troubles: Violence erupts after the Apprentice Boys of Derry march in Derry, Northern Ireland, resulting in a three-day communal riot known as the Battle of the Bogside, and violence elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
August 13 – Serious border clashes occur between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
August 14 – The Troubles: British troops are deployed in Northern Ireland to restore order following three days of political and sectarian violence, marking the beginning of the 37-year Operation Banner.
August 15 – Captain D’s is founded as "Mr. D’s Seafood and Hamburgers" by Ray Danner with its first location opening in Donelson, Tennessee.
August 15–18 – The Woodstock Festival is held near White Lake, New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.
August 17 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille, the most powerful tropical cyclonic system at landfall in history, hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).
August 18 – Long John Silver’s restaurant chain opens its first store in Lexington, Kentucky.
August 20 – Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is established in Florissant, Colorado, U.S.
Donald and Doris Fisher open the first Gap store on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco.
Australian Denis Michael Rohan sets the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.
Strong violence on demonstration in Prague and Brno, Czechoslovakia. Military force contra citizens. Prague spring finally beaten.
August 24 – V. V. Giri elected President of India
August 29 – A Trans World Airlines flight from Rome to Tel Aviv is hijacked and diverted to Syria.
Main article: September 1969
September 1 – 1969 Libyan coup d’état: A bloodless coup in Libya ousts King Idris and brings Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to power.
The first automatic teller machine in the United States is installed in Rockville Centre, New York.
Ho Chi Minh, the president of North Vietnam, dies at the age of 79.
September 5 – Lieutenant William Calley is charged with six counts of premeditated murder for the 1968 My Lai Massacre deaths of 109 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai, Vietnam.
September 9 – Allegheny Airlines Flight 853, a DC-9 airliner, collides in flight with a small Piper PA-28 airplane, and crashes near Fairland, Indiana, killing all 83 persons in both aircraft.
September 11 – An annular solar eclipse was visible in Pacific Ocean and South America, and was the 41st solar eclipse of Solar Saros 134.
September 13 – Scooby-Doo airs its first episode on the CBS network in the United States.
September 14 – Persons who were born during the years from 1944 to 1951, and who celebrate their birthdays on this day, mark the occasion without being aware that September 14 will be the first date selected in the new U.S. draft lottery on December 1.
At a meeting between The Beatles (minus George Harrison) and business manager Allen Klein, John Lennon announces his intention to quit the group.
The very last theatrical Warner Bros. cartoon is released: the Merrie Melodies short Injun Trouble.
September 22 – San Francisco Giant Willie Mays becomes the first major league baseball player since Babe Ruth to hit 600 career home runs.
September 22–25 – An Islamic conference in Rabat, Morocco, following the al-Aqsa Mosque fire (August 21), condemns the Israeli claim of ownership of Jerusalem.
China carries out an underground nuclear bomb test.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford) opens to limited release in the United States.
September 24 – The Chicago Eight trial begins in Chicago, Illinois.
September 25 – The Organisation of the Islamic Conference is founded.
The Beatles release their Abbey Road album which is an enormous commercial success and, although receiving mixed reviews at this time, comes to be viewed by many as the group’s best.
The Brady Bunch is broadcast for the first time on ABC.
September 28 – 1969 West German federal election: The Social Democrats, led by Vice Chancellor Willy Brandt, and the Free Democrats led by Walter Scheel, formed a coalition government with Brandt as Chancellor, after the Social Democrats severed their relationship with Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic Union.
September 29 – 1969 Tulbagh earthquake in South Africa, the most destructive earthquake in South African history.
Main article: October 1969
In Sweden, Olof Palme is elected Leader of the Social Democratic Worker’s Party, replacing Tage Erlander as Prime Minister on October 14.
The Beijing Subway begins operation.
October 2 – A 1.2 megaton thermonuclear device is tested at Amchitka Island, Alaska. This test is code-named Project Milrow, the 11th test of the Operation Mandrel 1969–1970 underground nuclear test series. This test is known as a "calibration shot" to test if the island is fit for larger underground nuclear detonations.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus first airs on BBC One.
Sazae-san first airs on Fuji Television.
October 9–12 – Days of Rage: In Chicago, the Illinois National Guard is called in to control demonstrations involving the radical Weathermen, in connection with the "Chicago Eight" Trial.
October 11–16 – The New York Mets defeat the Baltimore Orioles four games to one in one of the greatest World Series upsets in baseball history.
An unofficial strike amongst British mineworkers begins over the working hours of surface workers.
DZKB-TV Channel 9, the Philippines TV station, owner by Roberto S. Benedicto, is launched.
Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam demonstrations across the United States.
Willard S. Boyle and George Smith invent the CCD at Bell Laboratories (30 years later, this technology is widely used in digital cameras).
Fourteen black athletes are kicked off the University of Wyoming football team for wearing black armbands into their coach’s office.
The western end of the Eyre Highway in Western Australia is completed after nine years of construction.
Willy Brandt becomes Chancellor of West Germany.
General Siad Barre comes to power in Somalia in a coup, 6 days after the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke.
October 22 – Led Zeppelin release Led Zeppelin II to critical acclaim and commercial success.
October 25 – 1969 Australian federal election: John Gorton’s Liberal/Country Coalition Government is narrowly re-elected with a sharply reduced majority, defeating a resurgent Labor Party led by Gough Whitlam. Prime Minister Gorton survived a leadership challenge by his deputy William McMahon as well as David Fairbairn in the immediate aftermath of the election.
October 29 – The first message is sent over ARPANET, the forerunner of the internet.
Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The disappearance of Patricia Spencer and Pamela Hobley occurs.
Main article: November 1969
Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity with the Vietnam War effort, and to support his policies.
Süleyman Demirel of AP forms the new government of Turkey (31st government).
November 7 – Pink Floyd release their Ummagumma album.
November 9 – A group of American Indians, led by Richard Oakes, seizes Alcatraz Island as a symbolic gesture, offering to buy the property for $24 from the U.S. government. A longer occupation begins 11 days later. The act inspires a wave of renewed Indian pride and government reform.
November 10 – Sesame Street airs its first episode on the NET network.
November 12 – Vietnam War – My Lai Massacre: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.
Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12 (Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean), the second manned mission to the Moon.
The SS United States, the last active United States Lines passenger ship, is withdrawn from service.
Cold War: The Soviet submarine K-19 collides with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.
Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000–500,000 protesters stage a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
Regular colour television broadcasts begin on BBC1 and ITV in the United Kingdom.
Dave Thomas opens his first restaurant in a former steakhouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He names the chain Wendy’s after his 8-year-old daughter, Melinda Lou (nicknamed "Wendy" by her siblings).
November 17 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki, to begin the SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.
Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms"), becoming the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.
Professional footballer Pelé scores his 1,000th goal.
Vietnam War: A Cleveland, Ohio newspaper, The Plain Dealer, publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
Richard Oakes returns with 90 followers to Alcatraz Island and begins a 19 month long occupation, lasting until June 1971.
U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Satō agree in Washington, D.C. to the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. retains rights to military bases on the island, but they must be nuclear-free.
The first ARPANET link is established (the progenitor of the global Internet).
The United States Senate votes down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930.
November 22 – College Football: Michigan ends Ohio State’s 22-game winning streak with a 24-12 upset at Ann Arbor, denying the Buckeyes their second consecutive national championship.
November 24 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 spacecraft splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.
November 25 – John Lennon returns his MBE medal to protest the British government’s involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.
November 29 – In basketball, South Korea defeats the Philippines 95 to 86 to win the 1969 ABC Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.
Main article: December 1969
December 1 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States since World War II is held. September 14 is the first of the 366 days of the year selected, meaning that those persons who were born on September 14 in the years from 1944 to 1951 would be the first to be summoned. On January 4, 1970, The New York Times will run a long article, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random".
December 2 – The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its first passenger flight. It carries 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle to New York City.
December 4 – Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are shot dead in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers.
December 5 – The Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed is released.
College football: #1 ranked Texas rallies from 14-0 deficit with two fourth quarter touchdowns to edge #2 Arkansas 15-14 at Fayetteville in a game attended by President of the United States Richard Nixon and several high-ranking government dignitaries, including future President George H.W. Bush. The victory clinches the national championship of the coaches poll for the Longhorns; they would win the Associated Press national championship by defeating Notre Dame 21-17 in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by The Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a "Woodstock West" and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the "end of the sixties."
December 7 – The animated Rankin Bass Christmas special Frosty the Snowman premiers on CBS.
December 12 – The Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan, Italy kills 17 people and injures 88.
December 14 – The murder of Diane Maxwell takes place. The 25-year-old phone operator is found sexually assaulted and killed (the case remains unsolved until 2003).
Charles Manson is allowed to defend himself at the Tate-LaBianca murder trial.
The oil company Phillips Petroleum made the first oil discovery in the Norwegian sector of North Sea.
Nigerian troops capture Umuahia. The last Biafran capital before its dissolution becomes Owerri.
December 27 – The Liberal Democratic Party wins 47.6% of the votes in the 1969 Japanese general election. Future prime ministers Yoshirō Mori and Tsutomu Hata and future kingmaker Ichirō Ozawa are elected for the first time.
December 28 – The Young Lords take over the First Spanish Methodist Church in East Harlem.
December 30 – The Linwood bank robbery leaves two police officers dead.
Summer – Invention of Unix under the potential name "Unics" (after Multics).
Fall – Second-generation Dodge Challenger automobile introduced in the United States.
Common African, Malagasy and Mauritian Organization (OCAMM) (Organisation Commune Africaine Malgache et Mauricienne) is established.
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, a maritime treaty, is adopted.
The first strain of the AIDS virus (HIV) migrates to the United States via Haiti.
Women are allowed membership in the Future Farmers of America (the later National FFA Organization).
Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips is founded by S. Robert Davis and Dave Thomas and its first location in Columbus, Ohio opens for business.
January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December
Morris Chestnut, African-American actor
Verne Troyer, American actor (d. 2018)
Robby Gordon, American race car driver
Tommy Morrison, American boxer (d. 2013)
Christy Turlington, American fashion model
January 3 – Michael Schumacher, German seven-time Formula 1 world champion
Mai Charoenpura, Thai singer and actress
Marilyn Manson, American rock musician
Shea Whigham, American actor
Aron Eisenberg, American actor and filmmaker (d. 2019)
Norman Reedus, American actor
January 11 – Kyōko Hikami, Japanese voice actress
Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, Mexican writer, wife of Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Stephen Hendry, British snooker player
Jason Bateman, American actor, director and producer
Dave Grohl, American rock drummer and composer
January 15 – Meret Becker, German actress and musician
Dead, Norwegian vocalist (d. 1991)
Roy Jones Jr., African-American professional boxer, commentator, trainer, rapper, and actor
Lukas Moodysson, Swedish film director
Naveen Andrews, British-American actor
Dave Bautista, American actor, professional mixed martial artist and professional wrestler
Jesse L. Martin, American actor and singer
January 19 – Junior Seau, American NFL player (d. 2012)
January 20 – Patrick K. Kroupa, American writer, hacker
Cornelius, Japanese rock musician, singer and producer
Patton Oswalt, American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and voice artist
Kathryn Morris, American actress
Mo Rocca, American humorist, journalist and actor
January 29 – Hyde, Japanese rock musician, singer and guitarist
Gabriel Batistuta, Argentine footballer
Andrew Breitbart, American writer and publisher (d. 2012)
February 2 – Dambisa Moyo, Zambian-born economist
Beau Biden, 44th Attorney General of Delaware (d. 2015)
Retief Goosen, South African golfer
Bobby Brown, African-American singer
Michael Sheen, Welsh actor
February 6 – David Hayter, Canadian-American voice actor
February 7 – Andrew Micallef, Maltese painter and musician
Ian Eagle, American sports announcer
Tom Scharpling, American comedian, television writer and producer
Jennifer Aniston, American actress, director, producer and businesswoman
Lee Tockar, Canadian voice actor
Bill Warner, American motorcycle racer (d. 2013)
Darren Aronofsky, American film director
Meja, Swedish singer-songwriter
Hong Myung-bo, South Korean footballer
Brad Werenka, Canadian ice-hockey player
Ahlam, Arabic singer
JB Blanc, French voice actor
Roberto Balado, Cuban boxer (d. 1994)
Birdman, American rapper, entertainer, and record producer
February 19 – Burton C. Bell, American rock vocalist/lyricist
Keiji Takayama, Japanese professional wrestler
Siniša Mihajlović, Croatian football manager
James Dean Bradfield, Welsh singer-songwriter
Bosson, Swedish singer-songwriter
Petra Kronberger, Austrian alpine skier
February 22 – Thomas Jane, American actor, producer and writer
Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer
Marc Wauters, Belgian cyclist
February 24 – Christine Ng, Hong Kong actress
Robert Sean Leonard, American actor
Patrick Monahan, American musician and singer
Benjamin Yeaten, Liberian militant, military commander, and mercenary
Javier Bardem, Spanish actor
Dafydd Ieuan, Welsh rock drummer
Litefoot, Native American actor
Chaz Bono, American child actor and LGBT rights activist
Annie Shizuka Inoh, Taiwanese actress
Patrick Roach, Canadian actor
Adrian Wojnarowski, American sports columnist and reporter
March 7 – Todd Williams, American long-distance runner
March 10 – Paget Brewster, American actress
Terrence Howard, American actor and singer
Soraya, Colombian singer and multi-instrumentalist (d. 2006)
Graham Coxon, English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and painter
Akemi Okamura, Japanese voice actress
Jake Tapper, American journalist
March 13 – Susanna Mälkki, Finnish conductor
Timo Kotipelto, Finnish musician
Yutaka Take, Japanese jockey
March 16 – Markus Lanz, German-Italian television presenter
March 17 – Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer (d. 2010)
Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukrainian chess grandmaster
Jimmy Morales, Guatemalan politician, 37th President of Guatemala
Patrick Tam, Hong Kong actor
Connor Trinneer, American actor
March 21 – Ali Daei, Iranian football player
March 24 – Stephan Eberharter, Austrian alpine skier
Cathy Dennis, British musician
Jeffrey Walker, British musician
Mariah Carey, American pop singer
Kevin Corrigan, American actor
Pauley Perrette, American actress
Rodney Atkins, America country music singer-songwriter
Laurie Brett, Scottish actress
Jeff Blackshear, American football player (d. 2019)
Chiaki Ishikawa, Japanese singer (See-Saw)
Ted Lieu, American politician and U.S. Representative
Fadl Shaker, Lebanese singer
Andrew Vlahov, Australian basketball player
April 2 – Ajay Devgan, Indian actor, director and producer
Ben Mendelsohn, Australian actor
Lance Storm, Canadian professional wrestler
Bret Boone, American baseball player
Paul Rudd, American actor, comedian, writer and producer
Barnaby Kay, English actor
Debbie Schlussel, political commentator and film critic
April 10 – Billy Jayne, American actor
Cerys Matthews, Welsh singer
Caren Miosga, German journalist and television presenter
Chisato Moritaka, Japanese singer
April 12 – Michael Jackson, former NFL wide receiver (d. 2017)
April 13 – Ha Wen, Chinese director
Shannon Lee, Chinese-American actress
Susan Polgár, Hungarian chess player
April 20 – Marietta Slomka, German journalist
Nezam Hafiz, Guyanese-American cricketer (d. 2001)
Toby Stephens, English actor
Traci Paige Johnson, American animator, television producer, and voice actress
April 22 – Dion Dublin, English footballer
April 23 – Yelena Shushunova, Soviet gymnast (d. 2018)
Vanessa Beecroft, Italian artist
Gina Torres, American actress
Renée Zellweger, American Academy Award-winning actress and producer
April 27 – Cory Booker, American politician and U.S. Senator (New Jersey)
Jack Mackenroth, American swimmer, model and fashion designer
May 1 – Wes Anderson, American filmmaker
Brian Lara, West Indian cricketer
Corinna Schumacher, German animal rights activist and accomplished horse rider
May 3 – Daryl F. Mallett, American author and actor
Christina Billotte, American musician
Rabindra Prasad Adhikari, Nepalese politician (d. 2019)
May 5 – Hideki Irabu, Japanese baseball player (d. 2011)
May 6 – Jim Magilton, Northern Irish footballer
Anies Baswedan, Indonesian academic, activist, politician and current Governor of Jakarta
Eagle-Eye Cherry, Swedish-born musician
May 8 – Michael E. Rodgers, Scottish actor
Amber, German musician
Benjamín Rivera, Mexican voice actor
May 10 – Dennis Bergkamp, Dutch footballer
May 11 – Annie Pootoogook, Canadian artist
May 12 – Kim Fields, American actress
Nikos Aliagas, French-born television host
Brian Carroll (a.k.a. Buckethead), American guitarist
Cate Blanchett, Australian actress
Danny Wood, American singer
May 15 – Emmitt Smith, American football player
David Boreanaz, American actor
Tucker Carlson, American political commentator
Steve Lewis, American athlete
May 18 – Martika, American singer
May 21 – Georgiy Gongadze, Ukrainian journalist (d. 2000)
Anne Heche, American actress
Stacy London, American fashion consultant and media personality
May 26 – Siri Lindley, American triathlete
May 28 – Rob Ford, Canadian politician (d. 2016)
J. P. Manoux
June 2 – Jamie Thraves, English film writer, director and music video director
June 3 – Takako Minekawa, Japanese musician, composer and writer
June 4 – Rob Huebel, American comedian
Alina Astafei, Romanian-German high jumper
Prince Joachim of Denmark
Kim Rhodes, American actress
June 8 – J. P. Manoux, American actor
June 10 – Kasim Reed, American lawyer and politician
Peter Dinklage, American actor
Steven Drozd, American rock drummer
Zsolt Daczi, Hungarian rock guitarist (d. 2007)
Heinz-Christian Strache, Austrian politician
June 13 – Søren Rasted, Danish musician
Brooks Ashmanskas, American stage actor
Eugene Chung, Korean-American football player
Steffi Graf, German tennis player
Kyle Hebert, American voice actor
Ice Cube, African-American rapper and actor
Oliver Kahn, German football goalkeeper
Jansher Khan, Pakistani squash player
Maurice Odumbe, Kenyan cricketer
Sam Register, American television producer and businessman
MC Ren, American rapper
Amy Keating Rogers, American television producer a
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