- February 11 - Shannon Long Gladstone, Australian, Playboy magazine's playmate for October 1988.
- February 11 - Bryan Eversgerd US baseball player.
- February 11 - Jennifer Aniston, American actress.
- January 10 - Richard Nixon inaugurated President of the United States
- January 12 - The New York Jets upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III by a score of 16-7, after quarterback Joe Namath "guaranteed" a victory. It was the first Super Bowl victory by an American Football League team.
- February 11 - Diana Crump becomes 1st US woman jockey to ride against men.
- July 20: The human race, represented by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed on the Moon. Apollo 11 lifted off for the moon on July 16 and returned safely on July 24.
- September 8 -- The Chicago Cubs slumped down the stretch, and the New York Mets and Cardinals passed them by. A black cat was released by Mets fans at Shea stadium, which promptly walked in front of the visiting Cubs' dugout. A day later the Cubs fell out of first place for good. On August 14, they led St. Louis by 8 1/2 games and the Mets by 9 1/2. Something happened along the way to a division title. By August 27, their lead was only 2 games. September was a worse nightmare. The Mets posted a 23-7 record, while the Cubbies struggled to a record of 8-17. The Mets went on to win the World Series and the 1969 Cubs will forever be known as "The Chokers".
- October - In Sweden, Olof Palme is elected prime minister.
- October 21 -- the Israeli destroyer "Eilat" is targeted by an Egyptian surface-to-surface missile. Forty-seven Israeli sailors were killed. Israel retaliated by shelling Egyptian refineries along the Suez Canal. Thus began the "War of Attrition," which lasted until August 1970. This war was characterized by escalating artillery duels, air raids and commando missions. Over 500 Israelis were killed. The war only came to end after there had been a direct confrontation between Israeli and Soviet forces, in which Israel downed six Soviet aircraft. Terms of the agreement called for the Egyptians not to install any new surface-to-air missiles close to the Canal. Within weeks of the cease-fire, the Egyptians violated this agreement.
- In November, Japanese Premier Sato visits the United States. During the visit, an agreement is reached for the return of Okinawa to Japanese control, to be carried out in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the US is to retain its rights to bases on the island, but these are to be nuclear-free.
- November 19: Apollo 12 lands on the Moon.
- Richard Nixon succeeds Lyndon Johnson as President of the United States of America
- The #1 Song in 1969 was Aquarius (Let the Sunshine In)
- August 15 - August 17: The Woodstock Music and Art Festival was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, near Woodstock. Although 10,000 or 20,000 people were expected, over 400,000 attended. Among the many artists who performed were Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Grateful Dead. The weekend was rainy, the facilities were overcrowded, and attendees shared food, alcohol, and drugs, although no violence was reported. The Woodstock Festival represented the culmination of the counterculture of the 1960s and the high point of the "hippie era."
- Edward M. Kennedy, drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Massachusetts' Chappaquiddick Island. Mary Jo Kopechne, an aide who was in the car with him, dies in the incident.
- After Honduras lost a soccer game against El Salvador, rioting broke out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers. Of the 300,000 Salvadoran workers in Honduras, tens of thousands were expelled, prompting the Salvadoran army to invade Honduras. The OAS eventually worked out a cease-fire.
- Physics - Murray Gell-Mann
- Chemistry - Derek H R Barton, Odd Hassel
- Medicine - Max Delbrück, Alfred D Hershey, Salvador E Luria
- Literature - Samuel Beckett
- Peace - International Labour Organization
- Economics - Ragnar Frisch, Jan Tinbergen