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The 1970s' decade was an important period for America and the rest of the world. Technological innovations, starting from the introduction of floppy disks to the launch of Microsoft, Sony Walkman and VCR, first test-tube baby to the release of the sci-fi/fantasy movie Star Wars was witnessed. There was a lot more innovation in the field of science and technology, entertainment, sports, political news, and arts. However, the decade was also marred by the gruesome incident in Munich where Israeli athletes were brutally killed by terrorists.

Below are some of the events that took place in the 1970s.

1970

Top Stories
  • 04/24/1970 - China became the fifth nation to put a satellite into orbit.
  • 05/31/1970 - An earthquake in Peru killed 72,200 people.
  • 07/05/1970 - An Air Canada DC-8 aircraft crashed near Toronto, killing 109 on board.
  • 11/12/1970 - A 240 km/hr cyclone hit East Pakistan (Bangladesh), killing over 500,000 people.
  • 11/14/1970 - Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed into a hill, killing all 75 passengers including 37 football team players of the Marshall University near Huntington, West Virginia.
World News
  • Neil Armstrong was awarded the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy.
  • Apollo 13 mission failed due to a ruptured air tank. All three astronauts on board were safe.
  • American soldiers were blamed for murdering the entire town of Vietnamese civilians.
  • Five planes were hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. The Dawson's Field hijackings had 310 people as hostages in Jordan. The hostages were eventually released, but all the five planes were dynamited.
Science and Technology
  • Intel invented DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), a semiconducting memory chip.
  • The FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved Lithium to treat manic depression (bipolar disorder).
  • Eugene Houdry, a French mechanical engineer, discovered a method of making lead-free petrol.
  • Bar code technology was introduced.
Entertainment
  • The most famous and influential musical group "Beatles" split.
  • Dance forms like Disco, Hip Hop, Crip Walk and Punk dancing came into existence.
  • Academy award-winning movies: Patton, Airport, Five Easy Pieces, Love Story and M*A*S*H
  • Best-selling books: Love Story by Erich Segal, Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell, Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw, The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles and Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
Sports
  • Brazil won the 1970 Soccer world cup, by beating Italy 4-1.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 23-7.
  • Joe Frazier was honored as the world's heavyweight boxing champion.
  • NFL sportsman, George Blanda and Track sportswoman, Chi Cheng were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
[ Top ]
1971

Top Stories
  • 02/01/1971 - The US and South Vietnam invaded Laos.
  • 02/04/1971 - A new stock market index called the NASDAQ was introduced.
  • 08/14/1971 - Andrei Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • 10/01/1971 - Grand opening of Walt Disney World took place.
  • 11/14/1971 - The Soviet Union and NASA sent probes to Mars.
World News
  • Voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in the United States.
  • The country United Arab Emirates was created.
  • Bangladesh was created from East Pakistan.
  • China joined the United Nations.
Science and Technology
  • Floppy Disk Drives and Pocket Calculators were invented.
  • The microprocessor was introduced which was the foundation of all computers.
  • Arcade video games were set up, with the Galaxy Game being the first coin-operated video game.
  • Chat rooms on the Internet made its debut.
  • CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scanning -- which was the most important medical breakthrough since the X-ray -- was introduced.
  • Invention of cellular phone battery was witnessed.
Entertainment
  • All-time favorite TV series - All in the Family, Masterpiece Theater and The Electric Company were premiered on television.
  • Academy award-winning movies: The French Connection, A Clockwork Orange, Fiddler on the Roof, The Last Picture Show and Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Best-selling books: QB VII by Leon Uris, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, Wheels by Arthur Hailey and The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone
Sports
  • Baltimore Colts won the Super Bowl V over Dallas Cowboys with a score of 16-13.
  • Lee Trevino (for Golf) and Evonne Goolagong (for tennis) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship over Baltimore Bullets with a score of 4-0.
[ Top ]
1972

Top Stories
  • 07/21/1972 - Two passenger trains collided head-on, killing 76 people in Spain.
  • 09/05/1972 - Terrorist attack by a Palestinian group known as 'Black September', killed 9 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games.
  • 10/28/1972 - The Airbus A300 established by the U.K., French, German and Spanish companies took its maiden flight.
World News
  • Eugene Cernan became the eleventh person and the last man to walk on the moon.
  • E-mail was invented by a US computer engineer, Ray Tomlinson.
  • Cameron A140 was the first hot air balloon flight over Alps piloted by Donald A. Cameron.
  • United States President Nixon went to China on a landmark visit.
  • Nike running shoes made its entry in the market.
Science and Technology
  • John Schrieffer, John Bardeen and Leon Neil Cooper won the Nobel prize for their contributions in the field of Physics.
  • NASA space orbiter, 'Mariner 9' sent 7329 images from Mars.
  • The United States launched 'Landsat 1', a meteorological satellite, to collect information on earth's agriculture, forest, minerals and water resources.
Entertainment
  • Best-selling books: I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas A. Harris, August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, The Winds of War by Herman Wouk and The Word by Irving Wallace
  • Academy award-winning movies: The Godfather, Cabaret, Deliverance, The Emigrants and Sounder
  • HBO (Home Box Office), the subscription cable TV channel, was launched.
Sports
  • Marks Spitz (U.S.A.) won 7 gold medals at the Munich Olympic Games.
  • USSR won the highest number of gold medals in both Summer and Winter Olympics held in Germany and Japan, respectively.
  • Gymnast Olga Korbut (Soviet Union) and swimmer Mark Spitz (U.S.A.) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
[ Top ]
1973

Top Stories
  • 01/22/1973 - Abortion was legalized in the United States.
  • 07/11/1973 - A Brazilian aircraft, Boeing 707 crashed near France, killing 123 passengers on board.
  • 11/17/1973 - The Greek regime attacked Polytechnic students with tanks, killing 34 students and injuring around hundreds of them.
World News
  • OPEC doubled the price of oil which led to the gas crisis of the 1970s.
  • Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.
  • The Vietnam war ended.
  • J. Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the 70s, was kidnapped.
  • The Bahamas became independent.
  • The world's largest building -- the Sears Tower -- in Chicago was completed.
Science and Technology
  • The first portable cell phone call was made in New York City, United States.
  • The first picture of Comet Kohoutek was taken from the space.
  • Geoffrey Wilkinson and Ernst Fischer won the Nobel prize for their contributions in the field of Chemistry.
Entertainment
  • Australia's art complex, Sydney Opera House was opened and completed in the year 1973.
  • Academy award-winning movies: The Sting, American Graffiti, Cries and Whispers, The Exorcist and A Touch of Class
  • Best-selling books: I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven, Centennial by James A. Michener, Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Burr by Gore Vidal, Evening in Byzantium by Irwin Shaw, Once Is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann and The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
Sports
  • National Football League Champion, O. J. Simpson and tennis champion, Billie Jean King were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • In basketball, the New York Knicks won over the Los Angeles Lakers with a score of 4-1.
  • George Foreman won the World's Heavyweight Championship.
[ Top ]
1974

Top Stories
  • 01/02/1974 - Worst fire in Argentine history broke out which destroyed 1.2 million acres.
  • 03/03/1974 - Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crashed in Paris, killing 346, making it the worst disaster in the aviation history, involving a single aircraft.
  • 04/03/1974 - This day was recorded as one of the largest tornado outbreaks in the world history, when 148 tornadoes devastated 13 U.S. states, killing 330 people and injuring over 5,000.
World News
  • Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was dethroned after a famine, which killed over 200,000 people, had seen no help from the government.
  • US president Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal.
  • New US president Gerald Ford pardoned ex-president Nixon.
  • The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) kidnapped Patty Hearst (granddaughter of newspaper legend William R. Hearst).
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian ballet dancer, defected from the Soviet Union to Canada for opportunities in Western dancing.
Science and Technology
  • Magic Cube, also known as Rubik's Cube, was invented.
  • Stephen Hawking proposed a new Black Hole theory which ran counter to Einstein's theory.
  • India conducted its first nuclear test.
  • First extraterrestrial message was sent from Earth into space.
Entertainment
  • Best-selling books: Watership Down by Richard Adams, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre, and The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins
  • Academy award-winning movies: The Godfather Part II, Chinatown, The Conversation, Lenny and The Towering Inferno
  • Beverly Johnson became the first black model to appear on the cover page of a major fashion magazine, Vogue.
Sports
  • Muhammad Ali (U.S.A.) (for boxing) and Chris Evert (U.S.A.) (for tennis) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • In basketball, the Boston Celtics won over the Milwaukee Bucks with a score of 4-3.
  • The Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl VIII over the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 24-7.
[ Top ]
1975

Top Stories
  • 04/13/1975 - Lebanese civil war began which was sparked by Christians who killed a busload of Palestinians and other Muslims.
  • 10/12/1975 - Catalytic converters were introduced in cars.
  • 12/28/1975 - An earthquake in Pakistan resulted in the death of 4,000 people.
World News
  • An attempt was made to assassinate US president Gerald Ford.
  • Pol Pot became the dictator of Cambodia.
  • Lyme disease was first discovered.
Science and Technology
  • The first joint US-USSR space mission was proposed.
  • India launched its first satellite, with the help of USSR.
  • Microsoft was founded.
  • The first home computer -- the Altair -- was launched.
  • Disposable razors were introduced in the market.
Entertainment
  • I Can Help (Billy Swan) and I'm Not In Love (10cc) were the songs that achieved the biggest hit singles.
  • Academy award-winning movies: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws and Nashville
  • Best-selling books: Curtain by Agatha Christie, Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton and The Moneychangers by Arthur Hailey
Sports
  • Arthur Ashe of the United States of America became the first black man to win Wimbledon.
  • Baseball champion Fred Lynn and tennis champion, Chris Evert were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl IX over the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 16-6.
[ Top ]
1976

Top Stories
  • 07/04/1976 - The United States of America celebrated its 200th birthday.
  • 07/28/1976 - An 8.2 Richter scale earthquake in Tangshan killed over 240,000 people in China.
  • 09/01/1976 - The first outbreak of Ebola epidemic occurred, which even today plagues the African nations.
World News
  • Israeli commandos hijacked Air France plane in Uganda's Entebbe Airport and released 103 hostages held by a pro-Palestinian terrorist group.
  • Mao Tse-tung, the communist leader of China, died after over 25 years of rule.
  • The first commercial flight of the Concorde Supersonic Airliner took off from London's Heathrow Airport on January 21, 1976.
Science and Technology
  • Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak founded Apple Computers.
  • The Viking Probe landed on Mars and sent back pictures of the rocky terrain.
  • The world's largest telescope of 600 cm began its operation in USSR.
  • The first artificial gene was created in a test tube.
  • The first Cray Supercomputer was launched.
Entertainment
  • ABBA's - Dancing Queen, Fernando and Elton John's - Don't Go Breaking My Heart were the songs that achieved the biggest hit singles.
  • Academy award-winning movies: Rocky, All the President's Men, Bound for Glory, Network and Taxi Driver
  • Best-selling books: A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon, Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and Dolores by Jacqueline Susann
Sports
  • Nadia Comaneci (Romania) became the first female gymnast to secure seven perfect scores of 10 at the Olympics.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys with a score of 21-17.
  • Gymnast, Nadia Comaneci and track star, Bruce Jenner were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
[ Top ]
1977

Top Stories
  • 03/04/1977 - An earthquake in Romania killed 1,541 people.
  • 03/27/1977 - In the worst air disaster in history, two 747's collided at an airport in Tenerife, Canary Islands killing nearly 600 people.
  • 07/16/1977 - Janelle Commissiong of Trinidad & Tobago became the first black woman in history to win the Miss Universe crown.
World News
  • The King of Rock and Roll -- Elvis Presley -- died due to an overdose of prescription drugs, that led to a massive heart attack on August 16,1977.
  • The Nuclear-Proliferation Pact was signed by 15 countries, including the United States and the USSR, which was to "curb" the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
  • The Alaskan pipeline was completed.
  • World's largest crowd of 12.7 million gathered for an Indian religious festival.
  • Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat was the first Arab leader to visit Israel and acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
  • Italy legalized abortion.
Science and Technology
  • Apple introduced 8-bit home computers designed by Steve Wozniak.
  • Apple II, the first personal computer, went on sale.
  • Rosalyn Yalow, Andrew V. Schally and Roger Guillemin won the Nobel prize for their contributions in the field of medicine.
Entertainment
  • Eagles - Hotel California, New Kid in Town and Boney M's - Ma Baker were the songs that achieved the biggest hit singles.
  • Academy award-winning movies: Annie Hall, The Goodbye Girl, Julia, Star Wars and The Turning Point
  • Best-selling books: Beggarman, Thief by Irwin Shaw, Daniel Martin by John Fowles, Delta of Venus by Anais Nin and How to Save Your Own Life by Erica Jong
Sports
  • The Brazilian soccer great Pele retired with 1,281 goals in 1,363 games.
  • The Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 32-14.
  • Steve Cauthen (for horse racing) and Chris Evert (for tennis) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
[ Top ]
1978

Top Stories
  • 01/23/1978 - Sweden became the first nation in the world to ban aerosol sprays, as it was believed to be damaging the earth's ozone layer.
  • 07/11/1978 - In Spain, approximately 160 people were killed when an automobile carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded.
  • 11/18/1978 - In the Jonestown massacre, 909 people committed suicide by drinking cyanide in fruit-flavored drink, and on hearing this, their leader shot himself.
World News
  • John Paul II became the Pope.
  • The Camp David Accords were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat.
  • First test tube baby was born using in vitro fertilization.
  • A Korean Airliner Boeing 707, was fired on by the Soviets, that crashed in Russia.
Science and Technology
  • First dedicated oceanographic satellite, SEASAT 1, was launched.
  • Pluto's satellite, Charon was discovered.
  • Ultrasound was used for the first time.
Entertainment
  • Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive, Night Fever and Boney M's - Rivers of Babylon were the biggest hit singles.
  • Academy award-winning movies: The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Heaven Can Wait, Midnight Express and An Unmarried Woman
  • Best-selling books: Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon, Chesapeake by James A. Michener, Evergreen by Belva Plain, Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett and Fools Die by Mario Puzo
Sports
  • Argentina defeated Holland 3-1 to win the 1978 Soccer World Cup at Buenos Aires.
  • Baseball champion Ron Guidry (U.S.A.) and golfer, Nancy Lopez (U.S.A.) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl XII defeating the Denver Broncos with a score of 27-10.
[ Top ]
1979

Top Stories
  • 08/08/1979 - Iraqi president Saddam Hussein executed 22 political opponents.
  • 08/17/1979 - Two Russian passenger planes collided above Ukraine, killing 173.
  • 12/24/1979 -The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
World News
  • Iranian students stormed the US embassy and held 52 of the 66 people in the embassy hostage for 444 days.
  • The first extraterrestrial volcano was discovered on Jupiter's satellite, Io.
  • There was a near meltdown of the nuclear reactor at Three Mile island in the US.
  • International Year of the Child began.
  • Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to become a British prime minister.
  • Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel peace prize.
  • In Iran, the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) was deposed and Ayatollah Khomeini became the leader.
Science and Technology
  • Sony began selling the Walkman in Japan.
  • Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to encounter Saturn and second to pass through Jupiter.
  • Steven Weinberg, Sheldon Lee Glashow and Abdus Salam won the Nobel prize for their contributions in the field of Physics.
Entertainment
  • ESPN (Entertainment & Sports Programming Network) began broadcasting.
  • Academy award-winning movies: Kramer vs. Kramer, All That Jazz, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away and Norma Rae
  • Best-selling books: Triple by Ken Follett, The Dead Zone by Stephen King, Good as Gold by Joseph Heller and Overload by Arthur Hailey
Sports
  • West Indies won the Cricket World Cup defeating England by 92 runs.
  • Baseball champion, Willie Stargell (U.S.A.) and tennis champ, Tracy Austin (U.S.A.) were awarded the Athlete of the year by the Associated Press.
  • Many professional athletes started appearing in television and print advertisements, endorsing various products.
This decade was famously termed as Me Decade, by the novelist Tom Wolfe, in a New York magazine. This was a result of the self-absorbed and passive nature that the Americans adopted in this period. By 1970, women were given the right to vote, they were seen entering and excelling in all the areas -- be it sport, fashion, entertainment, politics, medicine or business. There was a 60% increase in the number of women enrolling in schools and colleges. They were cheerful and bold and mostly seen wearing short mini skirts, hot pants, flared jeans, full-length maxi dresses and jumpsuits. Life was moving faster than ever, and both men and women of the 70s were portraying a general carefree persona.