January 1 - The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.
January 8 - President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty" in the United States.
January 9 - Martyrs' Day: Several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag on the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between U.S. military and Panamanian civilians.
January 11 - United States Surgeon General Dr. Luther Leonidas Terry, M.D., publishes a report saying that smoking may be hazardous to health. It is the first such statement ever made by the U.S. government.
January 12 - Rebels in Zanzibar begin a revolt known as the Zanzibar Revolution and proclaim a republic.
January 13 - Hindu-Muslim rioting breaks out in the Indian city of Calcutta
January 13 - Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, is appointed archbishop of Krakow, Poland.
January 23 - The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
January 30 - Ranger program: Ranger 6 is launched.
February 7 - The Beatles arrive at JFK International Airport to begin their first tour of the United States.
February 9 - The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a "record-busting" audience of 73 million viewers.
February 10 - Melbourne-Voyager collision: The aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collides with the destroyer HMAS Voyager off the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.
February 11 - Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.
February 11 - The Republic of China (Taiwan) breaks off diplomatic relations with France.
February 11 - The Beatles hold their first concert in the United States at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C.
February 17 - In Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
February 17 - Gabonese president Leon M'ba is toppled by a coup and his archrival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, is installed in his place.
February 27 - The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.
February 29 - In Sydney, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser sets a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition (58.9 seconds).
March 5 - Ceylon declares emergency crisis due to unrest.
March 6 - Nation of Islam's Elijah Muhammad officially gives boxing championCassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali meaning "Beloved of Allah".
March 14 - A jury in Dallas, Texas find Jack Ruby guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of John F. Kennedy.
March 20 - The precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) is established per an agreement signed on June 14, 1962.
March 21 - In Copenhagen, Denmark, Gigliola Cinquetti wins the ninth Eurovision Song Contest for Italy singing "Non ho l'età" ("I'm not old enough").
March 27 - The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.
March 31 - The Dictatorship in Brazil, under the aegis of general Castello Branco, begins.
April 4 - The Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
April 20 - BBC Two launches with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.
April 22 - The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair opens for its first season.
April 24 - Mexico becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
April 26 - Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
May 2 - Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the USS Card while docked at Saigon. Viet Cong forces are suspected of placing a bomb on the ship.
May 2 - First ascent of Shishapangma the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.
May 5 - May 5 is declared Europe Day on the 15th anniversary of the Council of Europe.
May 7 - Pacific Air Lines Flight 773, a Fairchild F-27 airliner, crashes near San Ramon, California, killing all 44 aboard; the FBI later reports that a cockpit recorder tape indicates that the pilot and co-pilot had been shot by a suicidal passenger.
May 22 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an "end to poverty and racial injustice" in America.
May 28 - The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.
May 29 - The Arab League meets in East Jerusalem to discuss the Palestinian situation in Israel, leading to the formation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
June 6 - Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany, are terminated, though they never resume.
June 11 - World War II veteran Walter Seifert runs amok in an elementary school in Cologne, Germany, killing at least eight children and two teachers and seriously injuring several more with a home-made flamethrower and a lance.
June 12 - Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.
June 21 - Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
June 28 - Malcom X forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
July 2 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
July 6 - Malawi declares its independence from the United Kingdom.
July 19 - Vietnam War: At a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Khanh calls for expanding the war into North Vietnam.
July 20 - Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children).
August 4 - American civil rights movement: civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.
August 4 - Vietnam War: United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. The destroyers open fire at what they believe were Vietnam People's Army torpedo boats, although subsequent research has raised doubts that the targets were real. This engagement has become known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
September 1 - Indian Oil Corporation formed after merging Indian Oil Refineries and Indian Oil Company.
September 4 - Scotland's Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh officially opens.
September 12 - Canyonlands National Park is designated as a National Park.
September 14 - The opening of the third period of the Second Vatican Council.
September 18 - Constantine II of Greece marries Danish princess Anne-Marie.
September 18 - North Vietnamese Army begins infiltration of South Vietnam.
September 21 - Malta becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
September 21 - The North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the world's first Mach 3 bomber, made its maiden flight from Palmdale, California.
September 27 - The Warren Commission releases its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
September 29 - The Argentine comic strip Mafalda is published for the first time.
October 1 - The Free Speech Movement is launched on the campus of University of California, Berkeley.
October 1 - Japanese Shinkansen ("bullet trains") begin high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.
October 3 - First Buffalo Wings are made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.
October 10 - The opening ceremony at The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, is broadcast live in the first Olympic telecast relayed by geostationary communication satellite.
October 12 - The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
October 14 - Leonid Brezhnev becomes general secretary of the CPSU and leader of the Soviet Union, ousting Nikita Khrushchev.
October 14 - American civil rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
October 16 - The People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon; Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin are inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively.
October 18 - The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair closes for its first season after a six-month run.
October 22 - Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor.
October 22 - Canada: A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada.
October 24 - Northern Rhodesia gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes the Republic of Zambia (Southern Rhodesia remained a colony)
October 26 - Eric Edgar Cooke becomes last person in Western Australia to be executed.
October 27 - Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as "A Time for Choosing".
October 28 - Vietnam War: U.S. officials deny any involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
October 29 - Tanganyika and Zanzibar unite to form the Republic of Tanzania.
October 29 - A collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, is stolen by a group of thieves (among them is "Murph the surf") from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
November 3 - Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.
November 21 - The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens to traffic (at the time it was the world's longest suspension bridge).
November 21 - Second Vatican Council: The third session of the Roman Catholic Church's ecumenical council closes.
November 27 - Cold War: Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appeals to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would "save humanity from the ultimate disaster".
November 28 - Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 4 probe toward Mars.
November 28 - Vietnam War: National Security Council members agree to recommend that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam.
December 1 - Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.
December 3 - Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on UC property.
December 5 - Vietnam War: For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the war.
December 11 - Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown terrorist fires a mortar shell at the building during the speech.
December 12 - Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
December 14 - American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States
December 22 - Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity.