Home Decades 1970s 1974

1974

January

01Golda Meir wins Israeli election.

01 – 38 Italians die when an Italia Airlines Fokker Friendship crashes near Turin. There are four survivors.

02 – US legislation for a national speed limit of 55 mph is signed to save America 200,000 barrels of oil each day.

02 – 18 British museums begin charging admission.

06 – Football matches are played in the UK on Sunday for the first time due to the current power crisis and a ban on the use of floodlights.

07 – The Home Secretary, Robert Carr, announces that troops guarding Heathrow Airport have been given orders to shoot to kill if necessary.

09 – A three-day working week to save electricity and coal follows a go-slow by miners and rail workers in the UK. 885,000 people register for unemployment benefit as a result.

09 – Government troops in Cambodia launch an offensive against the Khmer Rouge.

09 – A Dutch Navy destroyer and a British freighter collide in fog in the Western Scheldt. A Dutch sailor is reported missing.

10 – A young Northern Ireland policeman who suffered brain damage after being shot in the head two years ago is awarded £60,000 in Belfast.

11 – Two civilian workers at Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry are killed when an IRA bomb explodes in the boot of their car.

13 – The Miami Dolphins win their second consecutive Super Bowl, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.

15 – Technicians determine that the 18-minute gap in Nixon‘s White House tapes, evidence in the Watergate investigation, is the result of several intentional erasures, not a single accidental re-recording as claimed.

15 – The first modern telephone-answering machine is made available to the American public by Dictaphone.

18Henry Kissinger negotiates a ceasefire between Israel and Egypt. The two countries agree to end their five-month conflict by separating their forces along the Suez Canal.

19 – France decides to float the Franc.

20 – A Gallup poll shows that 79% of American voters are in favour of impeaching President Nixon.

20 – A captain of the Ulster Defence Regiment, kidnapped from an Eire hotel on 19 January, is found dead in a field just across the Ulster border.

22 – Spain decides to float its currency.

24 – Prince Philip opens the 10th Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

24 – Ex-White House aide Egil Krogh Jr. receives a six-month sentence for his part in breaking into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in the Pentagon Papers case.

25 – Dr Christiaan Barnard performs the first heart transplant without removal of the existing organ.

25 – A major oil find in the North Sea is disclosed by BP.

26 – In Australia, Brisbane is cut off after torrential rains and a cyclone cause flooding. Five people die and 8,000 are left homeless.

28Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

30 – In his ‘State of The Union’ address Nixon urges America not to pursue the Watergate Affair.

31 – Two Catholic workers are killed in Belfast for refusing to kneel before hooded gunmen.

31 – Polish-born Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn (b. 1882) dies in the US.

31 – 93 people lose their lives when a Pan American Boeing 707 crashes when approaching Pago Pago airport in the South Pacific. There are eight survivors.

February

01Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs, who escaped from London’s Wandsworth prison in 1965, is arrested in Rio de Janeiro, but extradition is refused. Biggs was serving 30 years for his part in the Great Train Robbery.

01 – 220 people die in a fire which sweeps through a 22-storey office building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

02 – China launches a new Cultural Revolution against the teachings of Confucius and the policies of Lin Piao.

02 – Commonwealth Games close in Christchurch.

03 – Prisoners burn down Bathurst Gaol in Australia. Ten prisoners are injured and buildings worth about £4 million are destroyed.

04 – Heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and goes on to rob a bank with them on 15 April, declaring herself an urban guerrilla. Arrested in September 1975, her jail sentence is commuted by President Carter and she is later pardoned by President Clinton.

04 – An Army corporal, his wife, and their two children are among eleven people killed when an IRA bomb explodes in the boot of a coach carrying servicemen and their families from Manchester to Catterick (pictured below).

1974_m62coachbombing

05 – The Mariner 10 space probe sends back pictures of Venus from as close as 26,000 miles.

06 – A House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry against Nixon is approved by the House of Representatives.

07 – Grenada becomes independent.

08 – Skylab 3 astronauts splash down safely in the Pacific after their record stay of 85 days in orbit.

10 – British coal miners begin a national strike for a large pay increase.

10 – The Soviet Mars 4 spacecraft passes Mars at a distance of 1,367 miles, but it fails to go into orbit.

10 – Legendary music producer Phil Spector suffers multiple injuries in a mysterious car accident between Los Angeles and Phoenix and begins an extended period of seclusion.

11 – Top grade petrol rises to 50p a gallon, the fourth rise in a year.

12 – The Soviet Mars 5 spacecraft goes into orbit around Mars.

13 – Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn is stripped of his citizenship and sent into exile from the USSR following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. It is the first forced expulsion since 1929 when Stalin exiled Leon Trotsky.

17 – A stolen US Army helicopter crash lands on the White House lawn in Washington DC when guards open fire with shotguns after it is chased by two police helicopters. The pilot, a 20-year-old Army mechanic, is overpowered and treated in hospital before being charged with unlawful entry into the White House grounds.

22 – The Hearst family begins a $2,000,000 food giveaway in compliance with the ransom demands of their daughter’s kidnappers, the Symbionese Liberation Army.

22 – The IRA plant nine incendiary bombs in a Woolworth’s store near the centre of Belfast. Five of them explode after a warning.

22 – Pakistan recognises the independence of Bangladesh.

23 – Saturday mail deliveries end in Australia.

23 – George Best is freed on £6,000 bail after being arrested and charged with breaking and entering. He spent 13½ hours being questioned about alleged offences committed against the reigning Miss World, 19-year-old Marjorie Wallace.

24 – Ivor Bell, leader of the Provisional IRA in Belfast, is captured by the Army in a house in Andersontown.

24 – A Vermeer painting worth £1 million is stolen from the Kenwood House gallery in London.

28 – The Labour Party win the British General Election, but the results mean there is no overall majority for any party. The seats are divided Labour 301, Tories 296, Liberals 12 and Others, 9.

March

01 – Seven of Nixon‘s former advisors are indicted on charges of conspiracy to obstruct investigations into the Watergate scandal.

01 – London singer Janie Jones, 36, is found guilty on seven charges of controlling prostitutes and three of attempting to pervert the course of justice by interfering with witnesses, and sentenced to seven years in prison. She is later immortalised in song on the debut album by punk group The Clash.

02 – Military rule in Burma ends as General Ne Win becomes president.

03 – In the world’s worst air disaster to date, a Turkish DC-10 crashes after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris, with the loss of 346 lives.

03 – A British Airways VC10 en route from Bombay to London is hijacked by Arab terrorists after leaving Beirut. At Amsterdam, all passengers and crew are saved and the terrorists are arrested after setting fire to the plane.

04 – Edward Heath resigns as British Prime Minister and Labour party leader Harold Wilson forms a new government.

08 – With the Labour Party back in power and the miners accepting a 30% wage increase, the three-day week is cancelled and Britain returns to a full working week.

09 – The Soviet Mars 7 spacecraft reaches Mars and ejects a capsule, but misses the planet by 808 miles.

10 – Japanese Imperial Army Lieutenant Hiro Onoda surrenders on Lubang Island in the Philippines after maintaining military vigil in the jungle for 29 years, unaware of the Japanese surrender in August 1945.

10 – The Hearst family receives a tape from abducted Patty urging them to do more to free her.

11 – British miners return to work after their national strike ends.

12 – The Soviet Mars 6 spacecraft reaches Mars and ejects a capsule which parachutes to the surface. Unfortunately, it stops transmitting just before it lands.

13 – Inauguration of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

18 – Arabs lift oil embargo against US following Henry Kissinger‘s diplomatic missions to Egypt and Israel.

20 – An armed attempt is made to kidnap Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips as they drive down the Mall near Buckingham Palace. The gunman, 26-year-old Ian Ball – a man with a history of mental illness – forces the royal limousine to stop and then pours volleys of shots from a pistol through the rear side windows. Princess Anne and Captain Phillips are both unharmed but four other people are shot and wounded – the Princess’s bodyguard, Inspector James Beaton, her limousine driver, a police officer, Constable Hills, and a passing journalist, Mr McConnell, who intervenes. Two other passing civilians – Mr Glenmore Martin and Mr Ronald Russell – confront the gunman.

22 – American racing driver Peter Revson is killed in Johannesburg during practice for the South African Grand Prix.

24 – Mariner 10 photographs Mercury.

25 – 50 army officers are killed in a purge following a failed coup attempt in Uganda against Idi Amin.

26 – Heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman defeats Ken Norton in Caracas, Venezuela.

28 – Nicolae Ceausescu is elected president of Romania.

28 – Bluesman Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup dies of a heart attack in Virginia.

30 – In England, ‘Red Rum’ wins the Grand National for the second time.

31 – The airline British European Airways (BEA), founded in 1946, merges with the airline British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), founded in 1939, to create British Airways (BA).

April

01 – Boundary changes are made in England and Wales which affect nearly all counties. Rutland disappears, but four new counties are created: Avon, Cleveland, Humberside and Cumbria.

01 – Patricia Cairns, a prison officer at Holloway pleads guilty of conspiring to effect the escape of Myra Hindley and is imprisoned for six years.

02 – French President, Georges Pompidou, dies of mysterious illness aged 62.

03 – Patricia Hearst announces that she has changed her name to Tania and is joining the Symbionese Liberation Army of her own free will.

04 – Tornadoes sweep across the USA resulting in more than 330 deaths.

06 – In Brighton, ABBA win the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo.

06 – The ‘California Jam’ held at LA’s Ontario Speedway causes traffic chaos as police are forced to tow away over 700 cars. Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Eagles and many other major groups perform on a stage built atop four railway box cars.

08 – Nixon signs a bill to raise the minimum US wage to $2.30 an hour.

08 – At the Oscars ceremony Aretha Franklin performs Wherever Love Takes Me, then teams with Frankie Laine and Jack Jones for two more nominated songs

10 – Israeli premier Golda Meir resigns in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war.

10 – Mick Ronson appears live at the Preston Guildhall.

11 – 18 die in Arab guerrilla raid on the village of Qiryat Shemona in Israel.

12 – Suzi Quatro kicks off her first US tour with a hometown gig at Detroit’s Michigan Palace.

14 – At London’s Roundhouse, Pete Townshend plays his first solo gig.

15 – A bank camera takes a picture of a heavily-armed Patricia Hearst committing a bank robbery.

16 – A blaze on Torquay Pier leaves some 50 people stranded for nearly two hours.

17 – Guitarist Vinnie Taylor, of US 50s revival rockers Sha Na Na, is found dead in a Holiday Inn in Charlottesville, VA.

19 – Gong and Hatfield & The North commence a tour at Reading University. The entrance fee for all gigs on the tour will be just 44p.

20 – A Catholic man is shot dead in Belfast, becoming the 1,000th victim of unrest in Northern Ireland.

22 – All 107 passengers in a Pan American Boeing 707 are killed when the plane crashes in the north of Bali Island, Indonesia, on a flight from Hong Kong.

24 – Pamela Morrison, the Lizard King‘s widow, succumbs to a heroin overdose in her Hollywood apartment.

24 – David Bowie‘s Diamond Dogs is released. The cover painting depicts Bowie as a genitally correct dog. RCA stickers out the offending parts.

25 – General Spinola assumes power in an almost bloodless coup in Portugal which overthrows Dr Caetano. The coup is known as the “carnation revolution”.

26 – An armed gang steals paintings worth £8 million from a country house in Ireland.

27 – 100 people die in a Soviet airliner crash near Leningrad.

28 – The Bee Gees appear at the Batley Variety Club.

30 – In a televised speech, President Nixon surrenders 1,200 edited transcripts of White House tapes demanded by the Watergate Committee and by court order. The next day the Committee restates its desire for the tapes themselves, warning that further lack of cooperation may lead to impeachment.

May

01 – Sir Alf Ramsey, England football team manager for 11 years, is dismissed by the FA. Joe Mercer, general manager of Coventry City, is appointed as caretaker manager.

02 – Five people are killed and many injured when a bomb explodes in a Belfast public house without any warning being given.

04 – In England, Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-0 in the FA Cup Final.

06 – Chancellor Brandt resigns in German spy row.

06 – Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs is freed from jail in Brazil.

08 – British R&B pioneer Graham Bond dies when he falls in front of a train at London’s Finsbury Park Station.

09 – In the US, the House Judiciary Committee begins active hearings on impeachment proceedings. White House press secretary Ron Ziegler reaffirms that President Nixon has no intention of resigning.

11 – Chinese earthquake kills 20,000.

14 – Dr Donald Coggan is named as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

16 – Helmut Schmidt is the new Chancellor of West Germany.

17 – Police open fire on Symbionese Liberation Army headquarters in LA leaving six of eight known members dead. Patty Hearst is not in the building at the time.

17 – 23 people are killed and 80 hospitalised when three car bombs explode in the centre of Dublin during the rush hour.

18 – In Australia, Gough Whitlam has a narrow win in the election.

18 – India explodes her first nuclear bomb.

19 – A 100lb car bomb explodes in the car park at Heathrow Airport’s No. 1 terminal, causing heavy damage and injuring three people.

21 – Women’s libbers win a major battle in their ‘Call me Ms’ campaign. The Passport Office becomes the first British government department to give in to their demands. Now all women who object to having their marital status identified have the option of having Ms (pronounced ‘Miz’) written in their passports.

24 – Jazz musician Duke Ellington dies of cancer and pneumonia, aged 75.

26 – The teenage audience at a David Cassidy concert in London runs out of control. Six girls are taken to hospital and a 14-year-old girl dies four days later from injuries sustained in the crush.

27 – Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is sworn in as president of France.

31 – Israel and Syria agree to disengage their territorial dispute in the Golan Heights.

June

01 – An explosion at the Nypro chemical plant at Flixborough, Lincolnshire (pictured below), kills 29 people, injures nearly a hundred others and wrecks the village. Others living in nearby communities are evacuated as fumes from the fire spread across the district.

1974_flixborough

01 – The Jam play at the Ripley British Legion Club

03 – Yitzhak Rabin becomes new Israeli Prime Minister.

04 – Idi Amin is accused of “a reign of terror” by the International Commission of Jurists. It has been revealed that 250,000 have been killed in Uganda since he took power.

08 – Dolly Parton tops the US country charts with her self-penned I Will Always Love You.

08 – The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, The New Riders Of The Purple Sage and Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen play Bill Graham’s ‘A Day On The Green’ gig at Oakland’s Coliseum Stadium

08 – Rick Wakeman announces he will quit Yes and start a solo career. He blames the split on Yes’s Tales Of Topographic Oceans album

10 – Duke of Gloucester (the last of The Queen’s uncles) dies aged 74.

10 – The Who play the first of four dates at Madison Square Garden in New York. Their previous gig in the city, three years before, saw the fatal stabbing of a guard at Forest Hills Stadium.

11 – 35 Army bandsmen escape unhurt in three bomb explosions at Strensall Training Camp near York.

13 – Prince Charles makes his maiden House of Lords speech in London.

17 – An IRA bomb explodes in the Houses of Parliament in London at 8.28 AM and damages Westminster Hall. 11 people are injured. The blast fractures a gas main and starts a number of fires (pictured below).

1974_parliament_irabomb

22 – Procol Harum appear at Sheffield University

26 – The universal product code (now called a barcode) is first scanned on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio, USA.

27 – Nixon arrives in Moscow for a meeting with Brezhnev.

28 – Bill Wyman appears on stage with Muddy Waters at the Montreux Jazz Festival. He also jams with Buddy Guy and the Junior Wells Allstars.

29 – Britain has an unlikely #1 single in Charles Aznavour’s She. The song was penned for a London Weekend TV series, The Seven Ages Of Woman. In 1999 Elvis Costello will sing it on the opening credits of the film Notting Hill.

30 – Mrs Martin Luther King, mother of the assassinated civil rights leader, is shot dead by a black gunman while playing organ at a church service in Atlanta, Georgia.

July

01 – Argentinean President General Juan Perón dies, aged 78. He is succeeded by his wife, Maria Eva Perón. She is the first non-royal female head of state in the western hemisphere.

03 – A two-man Soviet spacecraft launches into orbit.

04 – Leeds United manager Don Revie is confirmed as new England soccer manager in succession to Sir Alf Ramsey.

09 – The US House Judiciary Committee releases transcripts of White House tapes that differ substantially from those Nixon supplied.

11 – Sir John Kerr is new Governor-General of Australia.

14 – IRA bombs explode in the centres of Birmingham and Manchester although nobody is injured.

15 – President Makarios of Cyprus is overthrown in a Greek-engineered coup. Nicos Sampson is installed as president.

17 – An IRA bomb explodes in the Mortar Room in the White Tower at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41.

17 – The Moody Blues open the world’s first quadraphonic recording studio.

18 – The US Justice Department orders John Lennon out of America by September.

20 – Turkey invades Cyprus, declaring that the minority Turks on the island needed their protection. Turkey also claims that the constitution of Cyprus as a republic is under threat. The Turkish military operation is in response to a Greek military-backed coup in Cyprus that deposed the Cypriot President Makarios with the apparent intention of annexing the island to Greece.

22 – Greece and Turkey agree to a ceasefire.

23 – Greek military junta resigns and Constantin Karamanlis returns from exile.

23 – Nicos Sampson is replaced as president of Cyprus by Glafkos Clerides. 2,000 British and foreign nationals and tourists are evacuated by Royal Navy ships and helicopters.

24 – The US Supreme Court orders the White House to honour Leon Jaworski’s subpoena of tapes and documents, ruling that executive privilege does not apply to Watergate evidence.

26 – The US House Judiciary Committee recommends that the House of Representatives impeach Nixon.

29 – Mama Cass Elliot (from The Mamas & The Papas) dies in Harry Nilsson‘s London flat from a heart attack induced by choking on a ham sandwich, after which she inhaled her own vomit.

30 – The US House Judiciary Committee passes three articles of impeachment, including obstruction of justice and abuse of power, against President Nixon.

30 – A ceasefire is agreed in Cyprus.

30 – French becomes the official language of Quebec, Canada.

31 – IRA bombs are discovered in five Birmingham cinemas, four in the city centre. Three explosions in Oxford also cause slight damage.

August

04 – A bomb explodes on a Rome-Munich express train, killing 12 people and injuring 40.

05 – President Nixon releases tapes and transcripts which reveal his approval of the Watergate cover-up.

06 – A bomb explodes in a bank of luggage lockers at Los Angeles airport, killing four people and injuring 29 others.

08 – President Nixon is the first US president to resign. Watched by 100,000,000 people on television, he admits he made some wrong decisions but insists that the real reason he is leaving is that Congress no longer supports him.

09 – Vice President Gerald Ford is sworn in as 38th US President. He is the first man not to have been elected by ballot to either the vice presidency or the presidency.

11 – Monsoon floods in Bangladesh result in the deaths of over 2,000 people. Ten million are made homeless.

14 – Gaddafi arrests 500 Egyptian troops after Cairo refuses to return 40 planes.

14 – Now a private citizen, Richard Nixon is served papers to appear at John Ehrlichman’s Watergate trial.

15 – The wife of South Korean President Pak Chun-hee is shot by an assassin.

16 – The Ramones play their CBGB debut. The club will soon become New York’s punk rock mecca.

19 – The US Ambassador to Cyprus, Rodger Paul Davies, is shot dead by Greek-Cypriot demonstrators.

23 – US Marshals attack spectators at trial of Indians for Wounded Knee occupation.

24 – An 18-year-old youth is fatally stabbed during the Division 2 match between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers at Blackpool. A 14-year-old schoolboy from Bolton is arrested and charged with murder.

31 – New Zealand prime minister Norman Kirk dies, aged 51.

31 – An express train is derailed at Zagreb, Yugoslavia, with the loss of more than 120 lives.

September

01 – General Somoza is appointed President of Nicaragua.

01 – Radio and television licenses are abolished in Australia.

02 – A mass grave of 60 bodies of Turks is uncovered in Cyprus.

03 – Two crew members of Morning Cloud, the yacht owned by Edward Heath, are lost at sea when the yacht is hit by huge freak waves during a gale off the Sussex coast.

08 – President Ford grants “full, free, and absolute pardon” to ex-president Nixon for all federal crimes he may have committed, although he is yet to be charged with any.

08 – 88 die in crash of US Boeing 707 in Greece. Palestinian guerrillas claim responsibility.

08 – Daredevil Evel Knievel fails to complete his much-publicised 1600-foot jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho when the parachute on his “Skycycle” opens prematurely.

10 – Chou En-lai resigns as Prime Minister of China.

12 – Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed in a left-wing military coup after ruling since 1930. His son, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen, is given the throne until resigning in 1975.

12 – Violence erupts in the US as white students and families opposed to integrated bussing boycott classes in South Boston. Schools call in police protection but fighting continues for weeks, peaking on 15 October.

12 – Six British Territorial Army soldiers from 15 Parachute Regiment are drowned when they parachute by night into the Kiel Canal during a NATO exercise. Eight other soldiers are saved by crews of German rescue boats.

14 – Giant pandas Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching arrive at London Zoo.

15 – Soviet authorities use bulldozers and anti-riot gear to crush an open-air “unofficial art” show in Moscow.

16 – IRA shoot dead a judge and a magistrate in Belfast.

16 – President Ford offers a limited amnesty to Vietnam War draft resisters and deserters, on the condition that they swear allegiance to the US and perform up to two years of public service.

16 – Strongly criticising the prosecutor of the case, a US federal judge dismisses all charges relating to the Wounded Knee occupation leaders Russell Means and Dennis Banks.

18 – A sell-out crowd of followers of Korean preacher Rev. Sun Myung Moon flocks to New York’s Madison Square Garden. Approximately half of the ‘Moonies’ depart before the end of the speech.

21 – Floods in Honduras, caused by Cyclone Fifi, result in the deaths of more than 8,000 people.

23 – Robbie McIntyre of the Average White Band dies of a heroin overdose in his hotel room.

23 – CEEFAX, the BBC’s teletext service begins transmission. ITV’s answer, ORACLE, begins in July 1975.

October

01 – The first McDonald’s opens in London.

01 – Bankcard is introduced – The first plastic money in Australia.

05 – Five die and 65 are injured by IRA bombs in two Guildford pubs.

05 – John Lennon releases Walls and Bridges.

10 – At the second British general election of the year, Labour wins with a narrow majority of three.

11 – London rocked by series of IRA blasts as bombs go off in Pall Mall and Marble Arch.

12 – Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski resigns.

13 – TV’s legendary variety show host Ed Sullivan dies.

14 – The UN recognises the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) as the voice of the Palestinian people.

17 – The Oakland A’s defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games and win their third consecutive World Series.

21 – 48 are killed in racial violence in Mozambique.

22 – IRA bomb explodes close to Edward Heath in Central London.

23 – Moscow is chosen as the site for the 1980 Olympics.

25 – Soul singer Al Green suffers severe burns when his girlfriend Mary Woodson (who is suffering from depression) throws a pot of boiling grits on him. She then shoots herself in Green’s Memphis home.

28 – An IRA bomb explodes under the car of Sports Minister Denis Howell.

29 – Muhammad Ali regains his world heavyweight title in Kinshasa, Zaire, defeating George Foreman in eight rounds.

29 – Following surgery for phlebitis, former President Nixon suffers postoperative shock and falls into critical condition in California. Judge Sirica will excuse him from two ongoing Watergate trials until February 1975. He will not testify at either.

November

08 – Eight former Ohio National Guardsmen are acquitted of all charges for their roles in the Kent State demonstrations in 1970.

12 – English police want missing aristocrat Lord Lucan for the murder of his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett.

13 – Kerr-McGee Corporation lab technician Karen Silkwood, a vocal critic of safety procedures at her company’s nuclear power plant, dies in a mysterious car accident en route to a meeting with union officials and a New York Times reporter.

13 – Ronald DeFeo Jr murders his parents and his four younger siblings in Amityville, Long Island (pictured below). The case is the inspiration for the book and film entitled The Amityville Horror (1979).

amityvillemurders

17 – Erskine Childers, president of Ireland, dies aged 68.

17 – At the first democratic elections in Greece for 10 years, the new Democracy party of Karamanlis wins decisively.

21 – Twenty-one people die and 187 are injured in IRA bomb blasts in two crowded pubs in Birmingham. The worst mainland attacks by the IRA to date. As a result, the British government brings in the Prevention of Terrorism Act that allows for terrorist suspects to be held for extended periods before trial.

21 – Wilson Pickett is arrested in Andes, New York, for possession of a dangerous weapon.

21 – John Stonehouse, the Labour MP for Walsall North and former government minister, vanishes after apparently going for a swim off Miami Beach in Florida. His clothes are found in a changing room at the beach, and when they are not claimed it is assumed he has drowned. Australian police detain him on Christmas Eve in Melbourne but he is eventually released as he has not broken any laws in Australia.

22 – A British Airways VC10 is hijacked at Dubai and forced by four terrorists to fly to Tunis. The crew is released after seven Palestinians are freed from jails in Cairo and The Hague.

24 – A skeleton of the hominid Australopithecus afarensis that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago is discovered in Ethiopia. It is named ‘Lucy’.

25 – Eccentric British folk singer Nick Drake overdoses on antidepressants. His death is later ruled a suicide.

26 – Miss World, Helen Morgan, resigns, saying that she fears she will be named in a divorce case.

26 – Japanese prime minister Tanaka resigns following a corruption scandal.

29 – The House of Commons approves legislation outlawing the IRA.

29 – Terrorist leader Ulrike Meinhof is jailed in West Germany for eight years.

29 – The Prevention of Terrorism Act becomes law in the UK.

30 – Paul McCartney & Wings release the album Band On The Run.

December

08 – Civilians oust the Colonels in Greece.

15 – Fire at an old people’s home near Nottingham, England, results in the loss of 18 lives.

18 – £42,000 compensation is paid to victims of ‘Bloody Sunday‘ in Northern Ireland.

19 – Nelson A Rockefeller, former Governor of New York, is sworn in as American Vice-President.

21 – Top London store Harrods is bombed by the IRA. There are no fatalities.

21 – The New York Times reports that the CIA had maintained files on 10,000 US citizens during the Nixon administration, as well as engaging in illegal domestic operations against opponents of the Vietnam War.

21 – Comedian Jack Benny dies.

24 – British Labour MP John Stonehouse is arrested in Melbourne, Australia after ‘disappearing’ in Miami.

25 – The excitement of Christmas is turned into stark horror in Darwin, Australia, as the killer wind of Cyclone Tracy strikes in the night and rips the city apart. An army report describes the city as “looking as though it has been hit by an atom bomb”. The death toll is 66 and more than a thousand have been injured. Up to 25,000 of the population of 48,000 are reported to be homeless there.

27 – 42 miners die after an explosion at a coal mine in Lieven, France.

28 – An earthquake in Pakistan kills more than 4,000 people.

Also This Year . . .

  • The 1,815 ft tall CN Tower opens in Toronto, Canada
  • 10th Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • British police begin using computers
  • 50-1 outsider ‘Snow Knight’ wins the Derby
  • Liverpool beat Newcastle United 3-0 to win the FA Cup Final
  • ‘Think Big’ wins Melbourne Cup
  • Eastern Suburbs defeat Canterbury Bankstown 19-4 in the Australian Rugby League Grand Final
  • Average 3 bedroom house in Australia costs $31,000 AUD

Quote Of The Year

“Who loves ya, baby?”
Telly Savalas in the TV series Kojak

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