1976 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar).
1973 1974 1975 – 1976 – 1977 1978 1979
| Decades: |
1940s 1950s 1960s – 1970s – 1980s 1990s 2000s
| Centuries: |
19th century – 20th century – 21st century
Lists of leaders:
Table of contents
- January 12 – UN Security Council votes 11–1 to admit the Palestinian Liberation Organization
- January 15 – Would-be Gerald Ford presidential assassin Sara Jane Moore is sentenced to life in prison
- January 16 – Trial against jailed members of the Red Army Faction begins in Stuttgart, West Germany
- January 18 – The Scottish Labour Party is formed
- January 21 – The first commercial Concorde flight took off.
- January 27 – The trial of SLA member Patty Hearst begins. She is found guilty of robbery on March 20
- February 4 – In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
- February 4 – 1976 Winter Olympics open in Innsbruck, Austria
- February 11 – Clifford Alexander Jr is confirmed as 1st African-American Secretary of US Army.
- February 20 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands
- February 24 – Cuba's current constitution enacted.
- February 27 – Western Sahara declares independence
- March 1 – Merlyn Rees ends Special Category Status for those sentenced for crimes relating to the civil violence in Northern Island
- March 3 – Fleetwood Mac records Rumours, which will be a blockbuster album in 1977
- March 9-11 – Two coal mine explosions claim 26 lives at the Blue Diamond Coal Co. Scotia Mine, Letcher County, Ky
- March 17 – Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is retried
- March 20 – Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery of a San Francisco bank
- March 24 – Argentina military forces depose president Isabel Peron
- March 27 – The first 4.6 miles of the Washington, DC subway system opens
- March 31 – New Jersey Supreme Court rules that coma patient Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from her respirator. She remains comatose and dies in 1985
- April 1 – Apple Computer Company is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
- April 4 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk resigns as leader of Cambodia and is placed under house arrest
- April 5 – British prime minister Harold Wilson resigns and is replaced by Jim Callaghan
- April 5 – Large crowds lay wreaths at Beijing's Monument of the Martyrs in commemoration of the death of Premier Zhou Enlai. Poems against the Gang of Four are also displayed. This was followed by a police crackdown and became known as the Tiananmen Incident.
- April 13 – An explosion in an ammunition factory in Lapua, Finland kills 40
- April 16 – In India the minimum age for marriage is raised to 21 years for men and 18 years for women; it is to curb population growth
- April 23 – Powerful punk rock group The Ramones release their first album which starts a new form of music
- April 25 – Portugal's new constitution enacted
- May 9 – Ulrike Meinhof of RAF is found hanging in an apparent suicide in her cell in Stuttgart-Stannheim prison
- May 11 – President Gerald Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act
- May 24 – Washington, DC Concorde service begins
- June 1 – UK and Iceland end the Cod War
- June 5 – Teton Dam collapses in southeast Idaho in the U.S., killing 11 people.
- June 14 – the trial begins at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.
- June 16 – Soweto riots in South Africa mark the beginning of the end of apartheid
- June 27 – Palestinian extremists hijack an Air France plane in Greece with 246 passengers and 12 crew. They take it to Entebbe, Uganda, where Israeli commandos storms it on July 4
- July 2 – North Vietnam and South Vietnam united to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – a Communist country
- July 3 – Supreme Court of the United States rules on Gregg v. Georgia and decides that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment
- July 4 – United States Bicentennial
- July 4 – Israeli airborne commandos free 103 hostages being held by Palestinian hijackers of an Air France plane at Uganda's Entebbe Airport; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers are killed in raid.
- July 7 – German left-wing terrorists Monika Berberich, Gabriella Rollnick, Juliane Plambeck and Inge Viett escape from Lehrterstrasse maximum security prison in West Berlin
- July 10 – Explosion in Seveso, Italy, kills a large number of people
- July 16-20 – Albert Spaggiari and his gang break into the vault of the Societe Generale Bank in Nice, France
- July 17 – The 1976 Summer Olympics begin in Montreal, Canada.
- July 17 – East Timor is declared the 27th province of Indonesia
- July 19 – Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal is created.
- July 20 – Viking program: The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars
- July 21 – A bomb kills Christopher Ewart, British ambassador to the Irish Republic
- July 27 – United Kingdom breaks diplomatic relations with Uganda
- July 28 – Earthquake flattens Tangshan, China, killing 242,769 people, and 164,851 people are heavily injured
- July 29 – In New York City, the "Son of Sam" pulls a gun from a paper bag killing one and seriously wounding another in the first of a series of attacks that terrorized the city for the next year.
- July 31 – NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo, taken by Viking 1
- August 1 – the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago becomes a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth II with an elected president as their Head of State.
- August 2 – A gunman murders Andrea Wilborn and Stan Farr, and injures Priscilla Davis and Gus Gavrel in an incident at Priscilla's Mansion at Mockingbird Lane in Fort Worth, Texas. T. Cullen Davis, Priscilla's husband and one of the richest men in Texas, was tried and found innocent for Andrea's murder. He was later found innocent of a plot to kill several people, including Priscilla and a judge, and a wrongful death lawsuit. Cullen went broke afterwards
- August 4 – First outbreak of Legionnaire's disease kills 29 at the American Legion convention in Philadelphia
- August 5 – Racing Champion Niki Lauda suffers serious burns in the German Grand prix
- August 6 – Former UK Postmaster General John Stonehouse is sentenced for seven years for fraud
- August 7 – Viking program: Viking 2 enters into orbit around Mars
- August 14 – 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women demonstrate for peace in Northern Ireland
- August 18 – In North Korea at Panmunjom, two US soldiers are killed while trying to chop down part of a tree in the DMZ which had obscured their view
- September 3 – Viking program: The Viking 2 spacecraft lands at Utopia Planitia on Mars takes the first close-up, color photos of the planet's surface
- September 6 – Cold War: Soviet air force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko lands a MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido in Japan and requests political asylum from the United States
- Military Junta in power in Argentina.
- September 17 – Space Shuttle Enterprise rolled out.
- September 21 – Seychelles joins the United Nations.
- September 21 – Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C. by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
- October 12 – The People's Republic of China announces that Hua Guofeng is the successor to the late Mao Tse-tung as chairman of Communist Party of China
- The Damned release New Rose in October 1976-First ever single released / marketed as "punk rock".
- October 19 – Copyright Act of 1976 extends copyright duration for an additional 20 years in the United States
- October 22 – Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, fifth President of Ireland, resigns following accusations by the Minister for Defence.
- October 25 – Full pardon given to Clarence Norris, last known survivor of the Scottsboro Boys.
- November 2 – U.S. presidential election, 1976: Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Gerald Rudolph Ford to become first candidate from deep south to win since the Civil War.
- November 15 – First Megamouth Shark is discovered off Oahu in Hawaii
- November 26 – Little known company Microsoft is officially registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.
- December 1 – Angola joins the United Nations
- December 3 – Patrick Hillery is elected unopposed as the sixth President of Ireland.
- December 15 – Samoa joins the United Nations
- First laser printer introduced by IBM – the IBM 3800
- Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, invented by Seymour Cray
- California's sodomy law repealed.
- The term memetics first proposed by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene.
- Toronto Blue Jays created
- CN Tower built in Toronto – The tallest free standing land structure.
- Diffie-Hellman cryptography proposed
- Plans to move the Nigerian capital from Lagos to Abuja are approved.
- Ebola is first discovered in Zaire
- Cuban airliner blown up in flight, killing 73.
Year in topic
- 1976 in film
- March 22 – Filming begins on George Lucas' Star Wars science fiction film. In one of the best business decisions in film history, Lucas cuts his directing fee by $500,000 to gain ownership of merchandising and sequel rights
- November 21 – Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone
- All the President's Men
- Taxi Driver
- The Omen
- Don's Party
- Oz: A Rock 'n' Roll Road Movie
- The Devil's Playground
- Eliza Fraser
- 1976 in literature
- 1976 in music
- December 8 – The Eagles releases one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, Hotel California
- Björk's musical career begins
- The Clash form
- The Damned form & release New Rose in October 1976-First ever single released / marketed as "punk rock".
- Graffiti artist Lee Quinones begins painting large, intricate murals in New York City; along with Quinones, hip hop artists (rappers, DJs and breakdancers) begin to expand the boundaries of the art form
- Beginning of Punk rock movement
- 1976 in rail transport
- 1976 in sports
- 1976 in television
- January 17 – The Blues Brothers make their debut on NBC's Saturday Night Live
- April 24 – Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels makes on on-air offer to pay the Beatles $3000 to reunite on the show. Lennon and McCartney were apparently watching the show together in New York and considered walking down to the studio to accept the check.
- May 22 – Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels raises his previous offer to The Beatles from $3000 to $3,200.
- December 1 – Infamous Bill Grundy incident, wherein UK punk group the Sex Pistols cause a storm of controversy and outrage by swearing on television
- The Olympics, broadcast from Montreal, draw an estimated 1 billion viewers worldwide.
- The Sonny and Cher Show premieres
- January 1 – Rosa Mustafa Abdulkhaleq, first Yemeni female airline pilot
- January 2 – Paz Vega, Spanish actress
- January 3 – Jason Marsden, actor
- January 6 – Danny Pintauro, actor
- January 7
- January 21 – Emma Bunton, musician (Spice Girls)
- January 28 – Mark Madsen, basketball player
- January 31 – Buddy Rice, race car driver
- February 9 – Vladimir Guerrero, Dominican Major League Baseball player
- February 10 – Lance Berkman, Major League Baseball player
- February 11 – Brice Beckham, actor
- February 15 – Brandon Boyd, musician (Incubus)
- February 28 – Ja Rule, rapper
- March 5 – Sarunas Jasikevicius, Lithuanian basketball player
- March 8 – Freddie Prinze Jr., actor
- March 12 – Sylvia Saint, porn star
- March 20 – Chester Bennington, musician (Linkin Park)
- March 21
- March 22 – Reese Witherspoon, actress
- March 23 – Keri Russell, actress
- March 24 – Peyton Manning, American football player
- March 25 – Juvenile, singer
- March 31 – Josh Saviano, actor
- April 6 – Candace Cameron, actress
- April 13 – Jonathan Brandis, actor
- April 25 – Tim Duncan, basketball player
- April 25 – Rainer Schuettler, German tennis player
- May 3 – Beto, footballer
- May 19 – Kevin Garnett, basketball player
- May 20 – Ramón Hernández, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player
- May 25 – Miguel Tejada, Dominican Major League Baseball player
- May 31 – Colin Farrell, actor
- June 10 – Freddy Garcia, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player
- June 23 – Brandon Stokley, American football player
- July 1 – Patrick Kluivert, Dutch footballer
- July 1 – Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dutch footballer
- July 3 – Andrea Barber, actress
- July 4 – Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer
- July 6 – 50 Cent, rapper
- July 9 – Fred Savage, actor
- July 9 – Shelton Benjamin, professional wrestler
- July 11 – Lil' Kim, rapper
- July 11 – Eduardo Najera, Mexican basketball player
- July 23 – Judit Polgar, chess player
- July 24 – Laura Fraser, Scottish actress
- August 6 – Soleil Moon Frye, actress and director
- August 6 – Melissa George, actress
- August 9 – Jessica Capshaw, actress
- August 9 – Rhona Mitra, actress
- August 12 – Antoine Walker, basketball player
- August 14 – Alex Albrecht, television host
- August 27 – Carlos Moyà, Spanish tennis player
- August 27 – Mark Webber, Australian race car driver
- September 7 – Stevie Case (Killcreek), video game celebrity
- September 7 – Shannon Elizabeth, actress
- September 10 – Gustavo Kuerten, Brazilian tennis player
- September 11 – Ludacris, rapper
- September 14 – Chauncey Billups, basketball player
- September 16 – Tina Barrett, singer (S Club 7)
- September 22 – Ronaldo, Brazilian footballer
- September 25 – Chauncey Billups, basketball player
- September 26 – Michael Ballack, German footballer
- September 29 – Andriy Shevchenko, Ukrainian footballer
- October 1 – Blu Cantrell, rapper
- October 4 – Alicia Silverstone, actress
- October 10 – Bob Burnquist, Brazilian skateboarder
- October 18 – Azlea Antistia, actress
- October 19 – Michael Young, baseball player
- November 6 – Pat Tillman, American football player (d. 2004)
- November 7 – Mark Philippoussis, Australian tennis player
- November 11 – Alexander Calder, American artist (b. 1898)
- November 12 – Tevin Campbell
- November 19 – Jun Shibata, Japanese singer and songwriter
- November 22 – Ken Mondschein, writer
- November 24 – Chen Lu, figure skater
- December 13 – Tom Delonge, musician (Blink-182)
- December 15 – Baichung Bhutia, football player
- December 17 – Takeo Spikes, American football player
- December 26 – Lea De Mae, Czech actress (d. 2004)
- January 8 – Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People's Republic of China
- January 10 – Howlin' Wolf, musician
- January 12 – Agatha Christie, English mystery writer
- January 23 – Paul Robeson, American actor, singer, writer and political and civil rights activist
- January 30 – Mance Lipscomb, popular singer
- February 1 – Werner Heisenberg, physicist
- February 2 – Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Bulgarian painter (b. 1903)
- February 6 – Vince Guaraldi, musician
- February 9 – Percy Faith, musician and composer
- February 11 – Alice Allen, actress
- February 11 – Lee J Cobb, actor
- February 11 – Alexander Lippisch, German aerodynamicist
- February 11 – Charlie Naughton, actor
- February 12 – Sal Mineo, actor
- February 13 – Lily Pons, American soprano
- February 22 – Florence Ballard, singer (The Supremes)
- March 6 – Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, boxer and actor
- March 7 – Wright Patman, American politician (b. 1893)
- March 14 – Busby Berkeley, choreographer and director (b. 1895)
- March 17 – Luchino Visconti, Italian theatre and film director
- March 24 – Bernard Montgomery, British field marshal
- April 1 – Max Ernst, German artist (b. 1891)
- April 5 – Howard Hughes, American aviation pioneer, film director, and eccentric
- April 26 – Sid James, actor
- May 9 – Jens Bjørneboe, Norwegian author
- May 9 – Ulrike Meinhof, German terrorist
- May 11 – Alvar Aalto, architect
- May 14 – Keith Relf, British musician, vocals/harmonica with The Yardbirds (b. 1943)
- May 26 – Martin Heidegger, German philosopher
- May 27 – Hilde Hildebrand, German actress, (b. 1897)
- June 10 – Adolph Zukor, producer
- June 15 – Jimmy Dykes, Major League Baseball player and manager (b. 1896)
- June 25 – Johnny Mercer, American songwriter
- July 4 – Antoni Słonimski, Polish poet and writer (b. 1895)
- July 13 – Joachim Peiper, German military leader (b. 1915)
- August 6 – Gregor Piatigorsky, Russian cellist (b. 1903)
- August 26 – Lotte Lehmann, German soprano (b. 1888)
- August 27 – Mukesh, Indian singer (b. 1923)
- September 2 – Stanisław Grochowiak, Polish writer (b. 1934)
- September 9 – Mao Zedong, Chinese leader
- October 11 – Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author
- November 12 – Walter Piston, American composer
- December 2 – Danny Murtaugh, Major League Baseball player and manager (b. 1917)
- December 4 – Benjamin Britten, English composer (b. 1913)
- December 6 – João Goulart, President of Brazil