Home Decades 1970s 1970



01 – In Australia, Bob Hawke becomes ACTU president.

01 – The age of majority in Britain is reduced from 21 to 18.

01Jimi Hendrix debuts the Band of Gypsys at Fillmore East. The show is recorded for release.

02 – The FA suspends Manchester United star George Best for a month for disreputable behaviour.

04 – The London to Sydney Air Race is won by two Britons, Captain William Bright and Captain Frank Buxton.

04 – Two Armed Forces broadcasters in Vietnam are told they are not free to tell the truth and are taken off the air.

04 – Neil Boland, chauffeur for The Who drummer Keith Moon, dies in a bizarre incident outside a disco in Hatfield, UK. Moon’s car is attacked by skinheads and Boland is run over when a panicked Moon (a non-driver) attempts to drive off.

07 – Max Yasgur, the farmer on whose property the Woodstock festival was held last year, is sued for $35,000 for damage to neighbouring property caused by festival-goers.

11 – Owerri, the provincial capital of Biafra, is captured by Nigerian forces.

11 – The Kansas City Chiefs rout the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV.

12 – Biafran leader General Ojukwu flees to the Ivory Coast and Biafra surrenders unconditionally to Nigeria, bringing to an end the civil war which began in May 1967.

12 – Anne Nightingale, BBC Radio One‘s first woman Disc Jockey, begins broadcasting.

12 – Beat poet and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti is arrested for selling Zap Comix in his San Francisco store.

13John Lennon and Yoko Ono cut off their long hair and donate their locks for an auction to support a London community centre.

14 – Diana Ross performs her last concert as a member of The Supremes.

15John Lennon‘s erotic lithographs appear in the London art gallery show ‘Bag One’. Various pieces of his artwork are confiscated the following day for alleged violation of obscenity laws.

16 – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi becomes Premier in Libya after a bloodless coup that brought an end to the monarchy under King Idris.

18 – In Highgate Cemetery, London, the grave of Karl Marx is daubed with swastikas and partially blown up.

21 – North Vietnam refuses to publish the names of captured American pilots, saying they are ‘criminals’ and not prisoners of war.

21 – Pan Am begins first Transatlantic “Jumbo Jet” service between New York and London as 330 passengers fly aboard a Pan Am Boeing 747-100.

24 – James Sheppard of Shep & The Limelights is murdered.

24 – Dr Robert Moog unveils a miniaturised synthesizer known as the Mini-Moog. It is available for $2,000.

26Mick Jagger is fined £200 for possession of cannabis. Marianne Faithfull is found not guilty.

28 – Arthur Ashe, the black tennis player ranked third in the US, is denied a visa to play in South Africa because of his views on apartheid.

28 – A 7 1/2 hour concert is held by the Vietnam Moratorium Committee in New York’s Madison Square Garden, featuring Jimi Hendrix; The Rascals; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Peter, Paul & Mary; Judy Collins; Harry Belafonte; Mother Earth and the cast of Hair.

29 – Actress Heather Graham (Austin Powers) is born.

31 – Slim Harpo, composer of such swamp blues classics as I’m A King Bee and I Got Love If You Want It, dies, aged 43.


02 – The first nerve transplant operation is performed, in Munich (Germany).

03 – Mathematician, philosopher and political activist Bertrand Russell dies at the age of 97. He was the founding president of the CND movement in the 1950s and spent a week in prison in 1961 – at the age of 88 – for his part in a sit-down protest.

06 – Connections between The BeatlesWhite Album and bloody graffiti scrawled by members of the Manson Family at the scene of the Sharon Tate and La Bianca murders are made public for the first time.

09 – The Vatican calls on Catholic priests to affirm their celibacy on a yearly basis.

10 – A huge avalanche in Val d’Isere, a ski resort in the French Alps, kills 39 people and injures 60.

11 – The US retaliates for the downing of an American helicopter with air strikes on Viet Cong positions in Cambodia. Protesters begin a 75-day anti-war fast in Washington DC.

11 – Japan launches an artificial satellite, Ohsumi, from Kagoshima Space Centre.

12 – Israeli air raid on Cairo kills 70 civilians.

16 – Boxer “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier becomes world heavyweight champion by defeating Jimmy Ellis. Frazier replaces Muhammad Ali, who has been dethroned following his conviction for refusing military induction.

17Frank Sinatra is forced to give evidence at a hearing of the State of New Jersey’s Commission of Inquiry into Organised Crime. Sinatra denies any contact with the Mafia and insists that a misunderstanding arose due to shares he once held in a Las Vegas casino. The singer is exonerated.

17 – In West Germany, “Anastasia” loses her 50-year fight to prove she is the daughter of Czar Nicholas II.

18 – ‘The Chicago Seven’ are acquitted of all conspiracy-to-incite-riot charges stemming from their protest activities at the 1968 Democratic National Convention – their Yippie party had put forward a pig for the presidential nomination.

20John Lennon releases his first solo single, Instant Karma! which was recorded and produced in one day with Phil Spector at the controls.

20 – First Lady Pat Nixon appears on the Today show, confessing to Barbara Walters; “I like light opera. My husband likes the classics, and my daughters – some of them even boogaloo . . . ”

23 – Guyana becomes a republic.

23 – In Australia, the Indian Pacific train begins its inaugural journey.

25 – Anti-war protesters attack and burn a branch of the Bank of America in Isla Vista near Santa Barbara, California.

25 – Russian-born abstract artist Mark Rothko commits suicide in his New York studio, aged 67.

27The Jefferson Airplane is charged and fined $1000 for verbal profanity in Oklahoma City.

28 – Avoiding a lawsuit by Eva von Zeppelin, a descendant of the airship designer Count Ferdinand, Led Zeppelin performs in Denmark under the pseudonym The Nobs.


02 – Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith, illegally declares the country a republic, dissolving ties with Britain.

04 – The French submarine Eurydice sinks after an explosion, with the loss of 57 lives.

06 – A series of homemade bombs accidentally explode destroying a New York City townhouse and killing three presumed Weathermen revolutionaries.

06 – British Government announces an indefinite ban on the importation of domestic pets following the death from rabies of a dog called Sessan in Newmarket a week ago. The animal had been imported from Pakistan and released from quarantine on November 30.

08 – Jack Brabham wins the first Grand Prix of the season, in Johannesburg.

11The Beatles release Let It Be, the first single from what will be their final studio album.

11Timothy Leary is sentenced to ten years in jail for possession of marijuana.

11 – Pablo Picasso donates more than 800 of his works to a museum in Barcelona – mostly his early, pre-Cubist paintings from his ‘blue’ and ‘rose’ periods.

11 – Iraq recognises Kurdish autonomy ending nine years of war.

15 – The exhibition Expo 70 opens at Osaka in Japan.

16Tammi Terrell, hit-making partner of Marvin Gaye, dies from a brain disorder first detected after she collapsed in Gaye’s arms onstage in 1967. She is 24-years-old.

16 – The complete New English Bible is published. The New Testament was published in 1961.

18 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk, head of state in Cambodia, is deposed by right-wing leaders.

19 – East and West German heads of government (Willi Stoph and Willy Brandt) meet for the first time in 20 years, at Erfurt, East Germany.

20David Bowie weds Mary Angela Barnett (‘Angie’) at Bromley Registry Office in South London. The wedding begins 90 minutes late because the two overslept.

21 – In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek is expelled from the Communist Party.

21Led Zeppelin kicks off a 26-date North American tour in Vancouver, Canada, with an unprecedented $650,000 tour guarantee.

22 – Cambodia appeals to Britain and the USSR to stop the invasion of its territory.

22 – A homemade pipe bomb rips through New York nightclub the Electric Circus, injuring 15. Robbery is believed to be the motive.

23 – 18 thalidomide children are awarded damages totalling £369,709.

24 – 16-year-old runaway Jennifer Thomas is severely beaten by Boston police for wearing an American flag she was given at the funeral of her father, a serviceman.

25 – British Concorde 002 makes its first supersonic flight, reaching a speed of 700 mph.

26 – Peter Yarrow (of musical trio Peter, Paul & Mary) pleads guilty to “taking immoral liberties” with a 14-year-old girl. Eleven years later he is issued with a pardon by President Carter.

27 – South Vietnamese ground forces (with US air support) invade Cambodia, attacking Communist forces there. The American military denies crossing the border.

27 – Mariah Carey is born in New York City.


02 – Israeli and Syrian troops fight their worst battle since the six-day war.

03 – A Japanese Boeing 727 is hijacked in Korea by nine Japanese and flies to Pyongyang. 103 passengers are released after 78 hours.

04 – ‘Gay Trip’ wins British Grand National at Aintree.

05 – In Guatemala, the West German ambassador, Count Karl von Spreti, is found murdered after having been kidnapped by left-wing rebels five days earlier.

05 – US chess master Bobby Fischer is defeated by the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky for the world chess title.

08 – Israeli fighter-bombers attack an Egyptian village, killing 30 children and a teacher.

08 – A massive explosion, caused by a leaky gas pipe during the construction of the underground metro railway in Osaka, Japan, kills 98 people and injures 420 more.

09 – In a gale outside Genoa harbour, the British cargo ship London Valour sinks with the loss of 21 lives.

10 – After months of speculation and disputes, Paul McCartney announces his departure from The Beatles, marking the official end of the Fab Four.

11 – America’s third moon mission, Apollo 13, is launched (crew pictured below).


11 – Chelsea and Leeds United draw 2-2 in the FA Cup Final. This is the first cup final draw since 1912.

13Apollo 13 moon landing is aborted after a liquid oxygen tank explosion onboard. The astronauts must abandon ship and return to Earth in the lunar module, a job for which it was clearly not designed.

14 – Milwaukee Buck-Lew Alcindor (soon to adopt the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) is voted NBA Rookie of the Year.

15 – The New Zealand government announces the conversion to the metric system, to be completed by the end of 1976.

16 – An avalanche engulfs a sanatorium in the French Alps killing 72 people, most of them children.

16 – Protestant right-winger the Reverend Ian Paisley wins a seat in Northern Ireland’s parliament with a winning margin of more than 1,000 votes.

16 – Clifford Dupont becomes first president of the Republic of Rhodesia.

17 – Happy landing as crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft splashes down into the Pacific Ocean.

17Johnny Cash performs at the White House for President Nixon.

18 – British Leyland announces that the Morris Minor, Britain’s longest-running car, will cease production by 1971.

19 – Communist forces advance towards Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Cambodian premier Lon Nol appeals to the US for assistance.

20President Nixon announces that 150,000 more US troops will be withdrawn from Vietnam.

22 – Dr Eric Williams, prime minister of Trinidad, ask Britain to help to control Black Power rioters.

22 – Earth Day, a celebration of the Earth’s ecology, is observed for the first time across the USA, organised by John McConnell and senator Gaylord Nelson.

24 – China launches its first satellite.

24 – At the invitation of Tricia Nixon, Jefferson Airplane vocalist Grace Slick arrives at a White House tea party with her escort, Chicago Seven member Abbie Hoffman. He is turned away and both leave.

26 – Masters and Johnson publish Human Sexual Inadequacy, their follow-up to 1966’s best-selling Human Sexual Response. It doesn’t sell as well – presumably because people are less keen to ask for this book by name!

26 – The celebrated stripper and burlesque queen of the 1930s, Gypsy Rose Lee (born Rose Louise Hovick in 1914) dies.

27 – American actor Tony Curtis is fined £50 for possession of cannabis.

29 – The judge at the Chappaquiddick inquest says he doubts the truth of Senator Kennedy‘s testimony.

29 – Chelsea beats Leeds United 2-1 to win the replayed FA Cup Final.

29 – Actress Uma Thurman is born.

30 – US and Vietnamese troops attack communist areas in Cambodia, directly contradicting Nixon‘s repeated pledges to pull US forces out of Southeast Asia.


01Elton John‘s debut US album is released, featuring Top 10 hit Your Song.

02 – Mississippi educational television removes Sesame Street from its programming schedule because of the multiracial nature of the show.

03 – The Queen opens the international terminal at Sydney Airport, Australia.

04 – Four unarmed students are shot dead by National Guardsmen at Kent State University, Ohio, during a protest against the US invasion of Cambodia. 11 other students are injured when nervous Guardsmen open fire on demonstrators. Two students are also killed at Jackson State College in Mississippi on 15 May.

05 – More than 200,000 demonstrators around Australia take to the streets to protest against Australia’s continuing involvement in the Vietnam War. Unlike other protests these demonstrators are not spirited university students but Australians of every age and background.

06 – Czechoslovakia signs a 20-year treaty of friendship with the USSR.

07 – Archaeologist Richard Leakey reports finding bones and tools from the earliest known humanoid to date.

08The Beatles release their final album, Let It Be.

09Anti-war protests erupt across the USA, including a 100,000 strong demonstration in Washington.

09 – Boxer Johnny Famechon retires after losing his world featherweight boxing title to Mexican Vincente Saldivar on points in Rome.

10 – 448 American colleges go on strike over Nixon‘s decision to invade Cambodia.

10 – A bomb is found on an airliner at Heathrow after blasts in three European airports.

12 – Six blacks die in racial violence in Georgia, USA.

13 – Israeli troops withdraw from Lebanon after a 32-hour raid in which 30 Arabs died.

15 – During an 11-day siege of national anti-war protests, violence erupts again at a college campus when two black youths are gunned down by police at Jackson State College in Mississippi.

15 – South Africa is officially banned from the 1972 Olympics by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) because of its apartheid policies.

15 – Ann Hays and Elizabeth Hoisington become the first women generals in the US Army.

22 – Responding to uncomplimentary media coverage, Vice President Spiro Agnew attacks the New York Times and a number of other publications, calling them left-wing, self-appointed guardians who would run the US themselves.

26 – England footballer Bobby Moore is held in Bogota, Colombia, for stealing a bracelet.

27 – Mrs Bandaranaike is re-elected as prime minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

31 – An earthquake in Peru claims an estimated 70,000 lives.


01 – Prime Minister Harold Wilson is hit in the face with an egg thrown by a Young Conservative demonstrator outside the Wealdstone Labour Hall in north-west London.

02 – New Zealand racing driver and designer Bruce McLaren (33) is killed at the Goodwood circuit in Sussex, England while testing a sports car he designed.

03President Nixon claims that the Cambodian incursions have been amongst the most successful of the Vietnam War and stresses that all American forces will with withdraw from Cambodia by 30 June.

04 – The islands of Tonga become independent of Britain.

07The Who perform their rock opera Tommy at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

08 – Argentinian President Juan Carlos Ongania is overthrown in an Army coup.

09 – King Hussein of Jordan survives an assassination attempt after gunmen open fire on his motorcade as it is driving near his summer palace.

13President Nixon appoints a Commission on Campus Unrest to determine causes of, and possible solutions to, campus violence in American colleges.

14 – West Germany beats England 3-2 in Mexico, knocking them out of the World Cup.

14 – Embarking on a tour of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, Blood, Sweat and Tears become the first US rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain.

15 – The US Supreme Court rules that “conscientious objector” status can also apply to those opposing the Vietnam War on moral grounds if their objection applies to all wars.

16 – Ten months after the Tate – La Bianca murders, jury selection for the Charles Manson trial finally begins in California.

16 – Chicago Bears star Brian Piccolo dies of cancer at the age of 26.

17 – The bodies of Susan Blatchford, aged 11, and Gary Hanlon, aged 12, are found in a shallow grave in a wood at Waltham Abbey in Essex. The children were last seen on 31 March playing together near their homes.

17 – Rover announces its new all-purpose four-wheel-drive ‘Range Rover’. It has a V8 engine and sells for £2,000.

18 – Surprise election victory in the UK for Edward Heath and the Conservative Party. The Tories win 330 seats against 287 seats for Labour and 6 seats for the Liberals.

19Soyuz 9 cosmonauts land safely in the USSR after a record 17 days in space.

21 – Brazil wins the World Cup at Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, beating Italy 4-1. Brazil are allowed to keep the trophy because they have now won it three times.

21Sir Alec Douglas-Home becomes British Foreign Secretary.

22President Nixon signs into law a measure to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18.

24 – The US Senate repeals the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution which allowed the president to treat the Vietnam conflict as a war.

24 – A memorial to John F Kennedy is unveiled close to the site of his assassination.

26 – Riots break out in Londonderry as Bernadette Devlin is arrested to serve six-months in jail for her part in the Bogside riots in 1969.

26 – Dubcek is expelled from the Communist Party in Prague.

27 – Thousands of young gay men and women march from New York’s Greenwich Village to Central Park in what one organiser calls “a new militancy among homosexuals”.

29 – US troops complete their withdrawal from Cambodia with 337 dead and 1,524 wounded after having killed an alleged 11,349 enemy troops.

29 – Caroline Thorpe, wife of the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, dies in a car crash.


01 – Australian prime minister Gorton opens Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.

02 – Police seize a large cache of arms and ammunition from two addresses in Rainville Road, Fulham and one flat above shops a mile away in Hammersmith Grove, London.

03 – A fierce gun battle between 1,500 British troops and IRA snipers continues in Belfast after a night of violence in which three civilians – one of them a sniper – were killed and ten soldiers wounded. Bombs have also been exploding throughout the city.

03 – Three day Atlanta International Pop Festival in Gainsville, Georgia, features Jimi Hendrix, BB King, the Allman Brothers and others. 200,000 people attend, and Georgia Governor Lester Maddox vows to outlaw all future events.

03 – A British Comet airliner carrying passengers on a Clarkson tour crashes into the Montseny mountains in Northern Spain killing all 112 on board.

04 – “Honor America Day” observed in Washington DC by thousands of people marching in support of the Nixon administration’s war policies.

04 – Great Britain regains the rugby league Ashes with a 21-17 win over Australia in the third and deciding test in Sydney.

04 – Margaret Court beats Billie Jean King to win the Wimbledon Ladies Singles title.

08 – Beck Hanson is born in Los Angeles. He will find fame as innovative 90s slacker-rock icon Beck.

09 – The Bank of England issues £20 banknotes. Previous £20 banknotes were withdrawn in 1945.

12 – Thor Heyerdahl and a crew of seven cross the Atlantic Ocean in the papyrus craft Ra-2 in 57 days, reaching Bridgetown, Barbados from Morocco.

16 – A state of emergency is declared in Australia as Dockers call a national strike over their wages.

16 – IX Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland. The games are opened by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

17 – Love Valley Rock Festival in North Carolina gains the support of the local mayor, and the next day the Allman Brothers and others perform. One youth is shot and injured by the police and another dies of heatstroke.

17 – The uninhibited sex revue Oh! Calcutta! opens in London at the Round House. Two dances are performed totally naked by a man and a woman.

18 – An estimated 30,000 people crash the gates of the New York Pop Festival at Randall’s Island to catch performances by Grand Funk Railroad, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Elephant’s Memory and others. Many artists refuse to play until paid and the show is a financial disaster.

19 – Brunel’s iron ship SS Great Britain is brought back to England from the Falkland Islands.

20 – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Iain Macleod, dies of a heart attack at his official residence, No. 11 Downing Street. Two weeks earlier he had undergone an emergency operation for appendicitis.

21 – The new Aswan ‘High’ dam is finished across the Nile in southern Egypt, creating the huge Lake Nasser and allowing wide-scale crop irrigation. Thanks to an international campaign, the temple of Abu Simbel and four huge statues of Ramses have been raised 200 feet so they won’t be submerged.

23 – The Northern Ireland government bans street parades after further killings.

23 – A published US Justice Department memorandum reveals that the National Guard had no cause to fire at Kent State.

23 – The Presidential Commission on Campus Unrest finds that the Nixon administration lacks understanding of the current wave of student dissent.

27 – Portuguese ruler Antonio d’Oliveira Salazar dies at the age of 81.

29 – Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, which examines the rapid rate of technological advances and its effect on society in the latter part of the 20th Century, is published.

30 – 28 British children damaged in the womb by the drug Thalidomide – prescribed for their mothers’ morning sickness – are awarded damages totalling £485,000.


02 – British troops in Belfast use rubber bullets for the first time.

02 – The first Boeing 747 to be hijacked is met by Fidel Castro in Havana.

02 – The first known interracial wedding in Mississippi’s history is conducted.

03 – A four-day strike by American NFL players requesting improved pension payments and other benefits from team owners ends as players’ demands are met.

04 – Israel refuses to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.

06 – A peace festival is held at Shea Stadium on the 25th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. Janis Joplin, Paul Simon and Steppenwolf perform.

07 – A 90-day truce begins between Israel, Egypt and Jordan. The truce is renewed on 5 Nov for a further 90 days.

07 – The USSR signs a non-aggression treaty with West Germany.

07 – The Soviet Union launches Venus probe Venera 7 which lands four months later, becoming the first man-made object to transmit data from the surface of another planet.

07 – Syd Buller – one of the world’s leading cricket umpires – collapses and dies during break in play at Edgbaston, UK.

09 – 99 people die in a plane crash in Peru.

09 – Police and blacks clash in Notting Hill, London.

11 – The Reverend Daniel Berrigan is arrested at Block Island, Rhode Island. The 49-year-old Jesuit priest was convicted in 1968 of destroying draft records to protest against the Vietnam War. He is the first priest to appear on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

13 – The magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Queen merge.

14 – The Community Relations Commission accuses Britain’s beat policemen of being racially prejudiced.

15 – A US Marine is jailed for five years in South Vietnam for murdering 15 Vietnamese.

19Coronation Street is 1,000 episodes old tonight.

20 – Three judges in Colombia clear England captain Bobby Moore on charges of stealing an emerald bracelet from a hotel shop in the capital Bogota.

23Lou Reed plays his last gig with The Velvet Underground, at Max’s Kansas City.

24 – Part of the Windscale nuclear power station is sealed off because of a radiation leak.

25 – Middle East peace talks open in New York.

26 – Marking the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage, an America-wide women’s strike brings thousands of marchers to the streets of New York and other cities. In Washington DC, where government workers are not permitted to strike, women march in their lunch hour.

26 – About 600,000 people enjoy the largest ever rock festival on the Isle of Wight, featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.


01 – The world’s first computer chess tournament opens in New York.

02 – The Indian parliament abolishes the privileges of 279 Maharajahs.

03Canned Heat singer and guitarist Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson (27) is found dead of an overdose of barbiturates at the home of band mate Bob Hite in Topanga, California.

04 – Socialist Salvador Allende Gossens becomes president of Chile and the world’s first elected Marxist leader.

04 – As Nixon submits to pressure, US troop withdrawals leave fewer than 400,000 in Vietnam.

04 – In the Pennsylvania and New Jersey countryside, members of Vietnam Veterans Against The War stage a reenactment of a brutal search-and-destroy mission as an anti-war protest.

05 – Austrian racing driver Jochen Rindt dies in a crash in a qualifying race before the Italian Grand Prix.

06 – Guerillas from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijack four New York-bound passenger jets in Western Europe in the first major act of Middle Eastern terrorism. A Swissair DC-8 and a TWA 707 are forced to fly to Jordan, a Pan Am Jumbo is blown up in Cairo and an El Al 707 hijacking fails after a terrorist is shot dead.

08 – Legislation is introduced to carry Federal armed guards on overseas flights by US airlines.

09Elvis Presley returns to the road for the first time since 1957, kicking off a six-date tour in Phoenix.

09 – A BOAC VC-10 aircraft en-route from Bombay to London is hijacked over the Persian Gulf, forced to land and refuel at Beirut, and then sent to Jordan to join the other two planes already held hostage there.

10 – A team of geologists introduces the ‘continental drift’ theory, hypothesising the existence, 225 million years ago, of a single continent comprising all the earth’s current continents.

12 – Palestinian militants blow up the hijacked TWA and Swissair jets at Dawson’s Field in the Jordanian desert.

12 – Complaints about noise greet Concorde‘s first landing at Heathrow Airport in London.

13Timothy Leary escapes from a minimum-security prison near San Luis Obispo, California. Leary flees to Algiers, where he joins exiled Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver.

14 – The publisher of the fashion trade paper Women’s Wear Daily pushes the new look of the Midi skirt, but women refuse to buy into it.

15 – The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games to win the 67th World Series.

16 – King Hussein of Jordan proclaims martial law. Fighting between the army and the PLO erupts into civil war.

18 – US rock musician Jimi Hendrix (27) dies in a flat in Notting Hill, London, after inhaling his own vomit while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Nearly two weeks later he is buried in his hometown of Seattle, with attending mourners including Miles Davis, Johnny Winter and John Hammond Jr.

19 – South Sydney defeats Manly 23-9 in the Australian Rugby League Grand Final. John Sattler of Souths plays most of the grand final with a broken jaw.

20 – Russian space probe Luna 16 lands on the Moon and collects samples from its surface. It is the first time an unmanned probe has been used to bring objects back to Earth from space.

20 – In Miami, Florida, Jim Morrison of The Doors is acquitted of charges of “lewd and lascivious behaviour” but found guilty of indecent exposure and profanity.

26 – Carlton defeats Collingwood in the Australian VFL Grand Final before a record crowd of 121,696 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

27 – King Hussein of Jordan and leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Yassir Arafat sign a ceasefire after 10 days of bitter civil war in Jordan.

28 – Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser dies of a heart attack, aged 52. He is succeeded by Anwar Sadat.

28 – Students burn draft cards in a memorial at Kent State University, Ohio.

30 – All the hostages taken in the recent mass hijacks by Palestinian terrorists have been released in return for the release by British authorities of terrorist Leila Khaled, captured in her attempt to seize an El Al plane over the Thames Estuary, and six terrorists held by Swiss and German authorities. While the safe return of all hostages is welcomed, there is much unease about the capitulation of the Western governments to the terrorists’ demands.


01 – 48 people are crushed or trampled to death as thousands of mourners mob Egyptian President Nasser’s funeral cortege in Cairo.

02 – In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency – proposed by President Nixon to oversee most Federal pollution-control activity – is established with congressional approval.

03 – The European Priests Assembly votes to end celibacy after a week-long conference in Amsterdam.

04 – Singer Janis Joplin dies in a room at Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel, aged 27, of a heroin overdose. The ashes of the Texas-born singer are scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

05 – In Canada, British diplomat James Cross is abducted at gunpoint by members of the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ). He is held for 1 month and 28 days, finally being released on 3 December.

07President Nixon presents five-point peace plan to North Vietnamese, who reject it.

08 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Peace Prize for literature.

09 – Cambodia declares itself to be the Khmer Republic.

10 – Canadian Minister of Labor and Deputy Premier of the province of Quebec Pierre Laporte is kidnapped by the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ).

10 – Fiji becomes independent.

15 – In Australia, Melbourne’s half-built West Gate Bridge collapses into the Yarra River and kills 35 construction workers. The tragedy is a result of poor design and shoddy work practices.

15 – After four years’ work by more than 10,000 construction workers, the first tenants move into the lower floors of the World Trade Center (Number One, the north tower) in Manhattan, New York. It will take two more years for the upper floors to be ready in the 110-storey, 415-metre high edifice, and for the second tower to open.

17Anwar Sadat becomes the third president of the United Arab Republic (Egypt).

17 – The dead body of kidnapped Canadian Minister of Labor and Deputy Premier of the province of Quebec Pierre Laporte is found in the trunk of a car at Montreal Airport. He has been executed by the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ). His kidnappers are subsequently captured and sentenced for his murder.

18 – In a report bordering on paranoia, which even the White House calls “overly pessimistic”, the CIA contends that 30,000 Communists have infiltrated the South Vietnamese government.

19 – Oil company BP announces it has struck oil in the North Sea. This discovery follows other finds in the last five years of natural gas as well as oil and suggests the North Sea could become one of the world’s major sources of crude oil.

21 – A typhoon in the Philippines kills almost 800 people.

21Bernadette Devlin is released from her six months sentence for “incitement to riot”.

21 – Caledonian Airways takes over British United Airways.

26 – In his first professional bout in almost four years, Muhammad Ali returns to the ring and knocks out Jerry Quarry in three rounds.

27 – Composers Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber unveil the soundtrack album to their musical Jesus Christ Superstar in a multimedia presentation at St Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City.


01 – 142 killed in a fire at a nightclub in St Laurent du Pont, near Grenoble (France).

03 – In a televised speech addressing America’s growing anti-war sentiment, President Nixon coins the term “silent majority”, referring to what he asserts is a larger, less vocal portion of the American public that approves of the Vietnam policy.

08 – Egypt, Libya and Sudan agree to federate, joined by Syria on 27 November.

08 – New Orleans Saints place-kicker Tom Dempsey kicks a record 63-yard field goal against the Detroit Lions, an NFL record.

09 – Former French President General Charles De Gaulle dies at his home of a heart attack, aged 79.

10 – The USSR launches Luna 17 on a mission to the moon. Aboard is the first remote-controlled moon vehicle, Lunokhod 1. It lands at the Sea of Rains and the vehicle is steered on the surface, sending back many pictures.

11Bob Dylan‘s first novel, the surreal Tarantula, is published.

12 – Australian PM John Gorton announces the withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam.

12 – Scientists in the US report the first artificial synthesis of a living cell.

12 – US Army lieutenant William Calley’s court martial for his involvement in the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968 opens.

12 – Jim Morrison performs his final concert with The Doors (in New Orleans). Bandmate John Densmore later recalls watching the 27-year-old “lose all his energy” as the concert dragged to an end.

13 – The Syrian President and Premier are arrested as Defence Minister General Hafez al-Assad seizes power.

18 – Poland signs a treaty of reconciliation with West Germany.

20 – A tidal wave kills over 200,000 people in East Pakistan. The 30-foot high wall of water destroys entire villages and comes in the wake of a typhoon with 125 mph winds.

23 – Pope Paul VI bars Cardinals over the age of 80 from voting in papal elections.

27 – Pope Paul VI arrives at Manila airport for a three-day visit. An attempt is made on his life by an assailant with a knife but the Pope is unharmed.

27 – The UK Gay Liberation Front holds its first public demonstration.

27 – Velasquez’s portrait of Juan de Pareja is sold at Sotheby’s, London, for a record £2,310,000 ($3,000,000).

30 – Pope Paul VI is the first Pope to visit Australia.


01 – Divorce becomes legal in Italy.

01 – 200,000 people celebrate Mass with Pope Paul VI at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia.

02 – The US Senate votes to give 48,000 acres of New Mexico back to Taos Native Americans.

07 – The Swiss ambassador to Brazil is kidnapped by terrorists who demand the release of 70 prisoners.

08 – The first free elections since 1948 are held in Pakistan.

10 – Myra Lewis files for divorce from her husband Jerry Lee on grounds of physical abuse and mental cruelty.

12 – An Italian crew launch the satellite Explorer 42 from the coast of Kenya.

14 – Field Marshal Viscount Slim dies, aged 79.

15 – The Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 reaches Venus and makes the first landing on the planet after a parachute descent.

15 – The US Food & Drug Administration orders the recall of more than one million cans of tuna because of a risk of mercury contamination.

16 – Six die in Gdansk as Poland is rocked by riots.

18 – An atomic leak forces hundreds to flee a nuclear test site in the Nevada desert, USA.

18Thalidomide victims in West Germany are awarded over £11 million in compensation.

18The Beatles‘ last fan club-only Christmas record is released.

20 – Poland’s Communist Party boss, Wladyslaw Gomulka, resigns in favour of ex-miner Edward Gierek. The resignation comes in the wake of weeks of anti-government unrest.

20 – In Poland, unconfirmed reports are that 300 people have been killed during clashes between police and demonstrators in Gdansk.

21President Richard Nixon meets Elvis Presley at the White House to discuss the singer’s offer to act as a “federal agent at large” in the fight against drug use.

26 – British runner and Olympic medallist Lillian Board MBE dies in a Bavarian clinic where she was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer, at the age of 22.

30 – Vietnam peace talks held in Paris end their second full year with both sides agreeing there had been no progress.

30 – Under pressure in Europe, Spain’s General Franco cancels the death sentences of six Basques.

31Paul McCartney goes to court to dissolve The Beatles. He has issued a writ in the High Court calling for the dissolution of “the business carried on . . . as The Beatles and Co.”

Also this year . . .

  • Discrimination on grounds of gender becomes illegal in the USA and UK
  • US troop deaths in Vietnam rise to 44,000
  • Floppy Disk invented in USA by IBM
  • On page 3 of The Sun, Stephanie Rahn becomes the first topless newspaper pin-up
  • ‘Baghdad Note’ wins Melbourne Cup
  • Eddy Merckx of Belgium wins the Tour de France cycle race for the second year in a row
  • Double-deck, air-conditioned electric trains come into service on the Gosford and Blue Mountains lines into Sydney, Australia