Home Decades 1970s 1971



1971_ibroxpark02 – 66 Football fans are killed when a barrier collapses at Ibrox Park in Glasgow following a match between old firm rivals Celtic and Rangers. A few seconds before the end of the match, as fans were already leaving, an equalising goal was scored. The fans surged back into the ground crushing the 66 people to death.

02 – Archaeologists in Israel uncover the first extant proof of a crucifixion from Biblical times, and the next day unearth the cornerstone of the legendary Jewish temple razed by the Romans in 70 AD.

02 – Cigarette advertising is banned on US television.

03Open University begins broadcasting on the BBC.

04President Nixon warns the USSR to keep their submarines away from Cuba.

06 – Reports of ‘stoned’ American soldiers in Vietnam prompts General Creighton Abrams to order officers to conduct searches to weed out marijuana growers and smokers in South East Asia.

07 – Long hair for men is declared legal in the USSR.

07 – Famed sex research team William Masters and Virginia Johnson are married.

08 – The British ambassador in Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, is kidnapped by guerrillas.

10 – Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, the French fashion designer who gave her name to the Chanel No 5 perfume, dies at the age of 87 in her suite at the Paris Ritz.

11 – First divorce in UK on sole grounds of “Irretrievable Breakdown” granted.

12 – Two bombs explode at the Hertfordshire home of British Employment Secretary Robert Carr causing serious damage. An anonymous letter claiming responsibility is later sent to Fleet Street newspapers by an extremist anarchist group calling themselves “The Angry Brigade”.

12All In The Family premiers on television in the US.

15 – President Sadat of Egypt opens the Aswan High Dam which will keep the level of the River Nile constant throughout the year.

16 – The Swiss ambassador to Brazil is freed after 70 political prisoners are released.

17 – The Baltimore Colts defeat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 with a seconds-to-go field goal in Super Bowl V.

19 – The first all-out strike in the 300-year history of the British Post Office halts postal services in the UK.

21 – Emley Moor, Britain’s highest tower, begins operation broadcasting ITV television on UHF aerials.

25 – A bloodless military coup in Uganda deposes President Milton Obote while he is out of the country attending the Commonwealth conference in Singapore and puts Major General Idi Amin in power.

25 – A Los Angeles jury finds Charles Manson and his three co-defendants guilty of the murders of the pregnant actress, Sharon Tate and four others at her Beverly Hills home in August 1969. Manson is also found guilty of masterminding the murder of a Los Angeles couple, the LaBiancas. The prosecution is pressing for the death penalty.

31Apollo 14 mission is launched from Cape Kennedy.


02Major General Idi Amin pronounces that he is the absolute ruler of Uganda “forever and ever”. He later also declares himself ruler of Scotland and generously offers to marry Princess Anne to heal the rift between Uganda and Britain.

04 – Rolls-Royce declares itself bankrupt. The British government will buy back the company’s aero engine and aerospace activities in the national interest.

05Apollo 14 lands on the moon near the Fra Mauro crater. Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell become the 5th and 6th men to walk on the moon and, using a small handcart, make two moonwalks totalling 9 hours 33 minutes, collecting 100 lbs. of moon rock samples.

07 – Swiss women win the right to vote via a referendum.

09 – The Sylmar earthquake – measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale – kills 65 and causes $500 million in damage in the San Fernando Valley, Southern California.

13 – With US air support a South Vietnamese force of 5,000 invades Laos. The White House assures Congress that these actions will quicken the end of the war and the return of all US troops.

13 – US Vice-President Agnew hits three spectators with his first two shots at Bob Hope’s Desert Classic golf match. Disgusted, he jumps into a golf cart and leaves the course.

15Decimal currency is introduced in Britain. New bronze 2p, 1p and ½p coins are issued. The familiar pound (£), shilling (s) and pence (d) coins are to be phased out over the next 18 months.

17 – England regain the Ashes with a 62 run win in the seventh Test.

17James Taylor makes his first major television appearance, singing Fire and Rain on The Johnny Cash Show.

18 – Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch takes control of London Weekend Television.

20 – Just one month after seizing power in Uganda, Major-General Idi Amin promotes himself to the rank of full General and appoints himself President.

21 – In Vienna, 21 countries sign an international agreement to end illegal sales of stimulants, tranquillizers and hallucinogens.

24 – The UK government passes legislation restricting the right of Commonwealth citizens to settle in the UK. The new Immigration Bill, due to come into operation on 1 January 1972, means Commonwealth immigrants will face the same restrictions as any other person applying to live and work in Britain.

26 – Two policemen are killed in Belfast by machine-gun fire.


01 – A bomb planted by a movement calling itself the Weather Underground damages the Senate wing of the Capitol building in Washington DC. No one is injured. The bomb is in protest of the recent invasion of Laos.

03 – Winnie Mandela (36), wife of Nelson Mandela, leader of the banned African National Congress, is sent to jail for a year by a Johannesburg court. She was found guilty of receiving visitors at home. A government ban forbids her to see anyone at home except a doctor and her two children.

04 – Canadian PM Trudeau secretly marries 22-year-old Margaret Sinclair.

05 – In America, the FCC announces it will pursue punitive action against FM radio stations who broadcast songs portraying drug use in a positive light.

08 – In his first professional defeat, Muhammad Ali loses a 15-round decision against heavyweight contender Joe Frazier in New York City.

08 – Silent movie comedian Harold Lloyd dies at the age of 77.

09 – London Weekend Television appoints a new Chief Executive after the Independent Broadcasting Authority tells Rupert Murdoch he cannot run both LWT and a national newspaper.

10 – Three young Scottish soldiers are murdered in a lane near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

10 – Australian PM John Gorton votes himself out (after a vote of confidence motion ties at 33-33). Former Treasurer William McMahon is the new Prime Minister.

12 – A bloodless military coup in Turkey leads to the resignation of premier Suleyman Demirel.

16 – Henry Cooper retires after losing his British, European and Commonwealth titles to Joe Bugner.

16 – At the Grammy Awards, Simon and Garfunkel collect six awards for Bridge Over Troubled Water.

16 – Australian rock & roll singer Johnny O’Keefe is fined for possession of Indian hemp.

21 – The second annual Earth Day is observed.

23 – Brian Faulkner replaces Major James Chichester-Clark as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

23 – In Buenos Aires, the Army topples President Roberto Levingston.

25 – Fighting breaks out between Pakistan and East Pakistan following the collapse of talks on self-rule. The independence movement is crushed after 10,000 die in two days.

29 – The jury in the trial of Charles Manson votes to send him and his three women accomplices – Leslie van Houten, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel – to the gas chamber.

31 – Lt William Calley is found guilty of the massacre of 22 South Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in 1968, and receives a life sentence. His superiors are all acquitted leading many to speculate that Calley is being used as a scapegoat.


01President Nixon orders Lieutenant Calley’s release while the conviction for the My Lai Massacre is reviewed.

03 – ‘Specify’ wins the Grand National.

05 – A violent volcanic eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily threatens villages and destroys an observatory.

06 – Russian musical maestro Igor Stravinsky dies in New York.

06Cat Stevens opens at The Troubadour in Los Angeles for six nights. His support act is a young Carly Simon.

07President Nixon announces the withdrawal of 100,000 troops from Vietnam by December.

11 – 10 British soldiers are hurt in riots in Londonderry.

14 – A BOAC Jumbo Jet makes its first flight between London and New York.

19 – Soviets launch the space station Salyut I.

19 – Sierra Leone becomes a republic.

20 – US Supreme Court rules unanimously that bussing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.

21 – Haitian dictator François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier –  who declared himself “president for life” in 1964 – dies aged 64. He is succeeded by his son Jean-Claude ‘Baby-Doc’, aged 19, who is ‘sworn in for life’.

23 – Numerous Vietnam veterans return their medals and decorations as part of the anti-war protest in Washington DC.

23 – Three Soviet cosmonauts are launched into orbit onboard Soyuz 10.

24 – Russian spacecraft Soyuz 10 successfully docks with the space station Salyut I.

24 – Over 200,000 anti-war protesters march through Washington DC (and other cities) to rally support for ending the US military presence in Southeast Asia.

27 – Australia signs a five-nation defence pact with Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and New Zealand.

30 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the Milwaukee Bucks in their domination over the Baltimore Bullets to capture the NBA championship.


01 – The Daily Mail appears for the last time as a broadsheet newspaper.

02 – Police expel 30,000 anti-war protesters from the banks of the River Potomac in Washington.

03 – Thousands of anti-war demonstrators attempt to stop US government activities by blocking traffic into Washington DC during the morning rush hour.

06 – British singer Dickie Valentine dies in a car crash.

07 – Rival American basketball leagues the ABA and the NBA seek congressional approval to merge. They will finally join forces in 1976.

11 – The British newspaper Daily Sketch appears for the last time after 62 years and is merged with the Daily Mail which has changed from broadsheet to tabloid format.

12Mick Jagger, living in tax exile in southern France, marries Bianca Perez Moreno De Macias in the Town Hall at St Tropez. Keith Richard celebrates by chucking an ashtray through a plate-glass window.

13 – The long-deadlocked Paris Peace Talks on the Vietnam conflict enter their fourth year.

13Jefferson Airplane vocalist Grace Slick is badly injured in a car accident.

15 – The creator of the yo-yo and the parking meter, Donald Duncan, dies.

15 – After Pink Floyd perform at the Crystal Palace Bowl Garden Party in south London, it emerges that many of the fish in the lake at the front of the stage have died – presumably from exposure to high noise levels.

19 – The USSR launches Mars 2 on a mission to Mars.

20 – Peter Cetera, bass player and singer for Chicago, undergoes emergency surgery after being beaten and losing four teeth while attending a baseball game between the LA Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. He was attacked by a gang who objected to the length of his hair.

21 – EEC agrees terms for British entry.

23Jackie Stewart wins Monaco Grand Prix.

23 – An earthquake in Turkey results in the death of nearly 1000 people.

24 – Neville Bonner becomes the first Aboriginal senator in Australian government.

25 – Murder charges against Black Panthers Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins are dropped in Connecticut due to the trial being prejudiced by undue publicity.

26 – Qantas pay $500,000 to bomber/extortionist. The bomber had told police an explosive device on a Hong Kong-bound Qantas 707 was controlled by an altitude mechanism that would explode at 20,000 feet. The General Manager of Qantas, Captain R J Ritchie, hands the ransom in two suitcases outside Qantas House in the heart of Sydney to a man in a hired van who pulled up in the street and gave a prearranged signal. Sydney men Peter Macari (36) and James Poynting (28) are arrested within 10 weeks.

27 – Egypt and the USSR sign a 15-year treaty of friendship.

28 – The USSR launches Mars 3 spacecraft.

30 – The spacecraft Mariner 9 achieves a successful orbit of Mars.

31 – Thirty-one fans require treatment after their drinks are spiked with LSD at a Grateful Dead gig in Winterland, San Francisco.


01 – The two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, where Elvis Presley was born is opened to the public.

02 – Farm labour contractor Juan Corona is charged with murder in the US after the bodies of 24 migrant workers are found buried in California.

06 – The Ed Sullivan Show airs for the final time, featuring Gladys Knight and The Pips.

06 – Soviets G T Dobrovolsky, V N Volkov and V I Patsayev become first cosmonauts to man an orbital space station. They spend 22 days onboard Salyut 1 conducting trials and experiments.

06John Lennon performs onstage for the first time since 1969, joining Yoko Ono and Frank Zappa in a Fillmore East jam session.

06Mrs Gandhi seals the Indian border with Bangladesh to keep out the refugees.

11 – A group of American Indians end their 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. The fifteen protesters had claimed the island under a provision in a treaty between the government and the Indian nations which gave American Indians free run of unused federal land. They are forcibly removed by US Marshals.

12 – Tricia Nixon marries Edward Finch Cox in the White House Rose Garden.

13 – The first instalment of ‘The Pentagon Papers’ – excerpts from the Pentagon’s classified study History of the US Decision-Making Process on Vietnam Policy – is published in the New York Times. Former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg admits to leaking the material and is indicted for theft and possession of secret documents.

15 – Local authorities in Britain protest at Education Secretary Mrs Thatcher‘s plan to end free school milk for children over the age of seven.

20 – Britain grants asylum to space expert Anatol Fedoseyev, one of the most important defectors since 1945.

22 – The first Glastonbury Festival, held at Worthy Farm in south-west England, is attended by only 1,500 people. Organised by Michael Eavis, the first event was not a business success although the headline act was T. Rex.

24 – The Mersey Tunnel is opened in Liverpool, England.

27 – 5,000 march in a gay rights rally in Central Park, New York.

27 – Bill Graham closes the three-year-old Fillmore East in all-star music fashion, with a New Orleans-style funeral and performances by the Allman Brothers, Mountain, the Beach Boys and newcomers the J Geils Band.

28 – The US Supreme Court clears Muhammad Ali of draft dodging.

30 – The three Soviet cosmonauts returning from their stay on Salyut 1 are mysteriously found dead in their seats aboard the Soyuz 11 spaceship after re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The three – Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov and Georgi Dobrovolsky – went into space on 6 June and had established a space endurance record. An inquiry concludes that a ventilation valve had failed at the start of their descent, 168 kilometres above the Earth, rapidly depressurising the capsule, leaving the three in an air vacuum.

30 – San Francisco police close the doors of the famed Fillmore West after three dozen concert-goers are slipped LSD-laced drinks in one of Graham’s other San Francisco venues.


02 – A 19-year-old part-Aboriginal girl named Evonne Goolagong wins Wimbledon after beating Billie Jean King in the semi-final and Margaret Court in the final, both in straight sets.


02 – The Erskine Bridge is opened over the River Clyde in Scotland.

03 – Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, dies in Paris of a heart attack while in the bath. He is 27. Four days later he is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. His death is made public on 9 July.

03 – Anti-apartheid riots erupt on the Springboks rugby tour of Australia.

05 – An Italian government-sponsored day-long festival, which includes an assortment of Italian acts with Led Zeppelin headlining, brings 15,000 fans to the outdoor Vigorelli Velodromo stadium. But the day ends in violence – with clashes first occurring outside the stadium between ticketless fans and police, and small fires erupting in the audience during Led Zep’s set. Stones are thrown, police fire tear gas and the band finally quit the stage as baton-wielding police charge rioters.

06 – Jazz legend Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (b. 1900) dies at the age of 70.

07 – Swedish pop stars Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog (later of ABBA) are married near Skane in Sweden.

09 – Two civilians are shot dead by British troops in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The British government refuses to hold an inquiry.

11 – About 250 rebels – mainly from the Ahermoumou cadet training school – storm the royal palace at Sikharat in Morocco where King Hassan II is hosting a reception for his 42nd birthday. The coup ends quickly when royalist troops take over the palace in combat against the rebels.

11 – French tourists Monique Liebert, 22, her sister Claudine Liebert, 20, and Claudine’s fiance Daniel Berland, 20, are murdered in the Delamere Forest, Staffordshire, England, while on a camping trip.

13 – Ten army officers involved in the aborted coup in Morocco are executed. Four generals, five colonels and one major face the firing squad without trial or court-martial.

13 – Michael Bassett, 24, takes his own life in his car in Stone, Staffordshire. Police discover a gun and a confession note alongside the body, in which Bassett admitted shooting the three French tourists two days ago.

13 – The Jordanian army begins a campaign to remove Palestinian guerrillas from bases in North Jordan. Iraq and Syria close borders with Jordan in protest.

25 – A combined heart and lung transplant is performed in South Africa by Christiaan Barnard, the surgeon who carried out the world’s first heart transplant in December 1967.

26 – NASA launches Apollo 15 on a mission to the moon.

26 – Riot police on the Riviera order hundreds of topless women to put their bikini tops back on.

29Tito is re-elected President in Yugoslavia for another 5-year term.

apollo15_3930 – A Japanese Boeing 727 collides in mid-air with a jet fighter killing 162 people.

31 – Two Apollo 15 astronauts, Colonel David Scott and Lieutenant-Colonel James Irwin, go for a drive on the moon, picking their way between boulders and craters and covering several miles in their moon “rover” with its communications aerial like an inside-out parasol (pictured at right).


01 – Led by George Harrison, some of rock music’s finest perform at two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, New York, to raise money for UNICEF to help refugees from war-torn Bangladesh.

02 – The Pakistani Army kills 95 Indian soldiers in a border clash.

03 – Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney unveils his new group, which includes his wife, Linda, and former Moody Blue Denny Laine. The band will not choose the name Wings until September, and for a while, ‘Turpentine’ is seriously considered.

05 – The three editors of Oz magazine are jailed for between nine and 15 months at the end of their trial on obscenity charges at London’s Old Bailey. The sentences of Richard Neville, James Anderson, and Felix Dennis spark outrage (pictured).


06 – Former paratrooper Chay Blyth, 31, completes his 30,000-mile voyage sailing around the world non-stop in the “wrong” direction – east to west – against the prevailing winds and currents. The welcoming party of 6,000 people at Hamble in Hampshire includes the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne and Prime Minister Edward Heath.

07Apollo 15 splashes down safely.

09 – The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Brian Faulkner, introduces an internment law giving the authorities the power to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial. Police immediately begin arresting more than 300 suspected IRA members in dawn raids.

09 – India and the USSR sign a 20-year defence pact.

11 – Belfast is torn by rioting after the introduction of internment without trial. The IRA responds savagely and violently – killing 12 and injuring a large number within a few hours.

12 – Syria breaks off relations with Jordan.

12 – 5,000 Catholics and 2,000 Protestants have their homes burnt to the ground in Belfast.

13 – R&B saxophonist King Curtis (best known for his work with The Coasters) is stabbed to death during an argument on the stoop outside his New York City apartment.

14 – Bahrain becomes independent and signs a friendship treaty with Britain.

15 – Controversial Yorkshire horse rider Harvey Smith is stripped of his £2,000 winnings and a major show jumping title for allegedly making a rude gesture. Mr Smith was seen to make a two-fingered ‘V-sign’ in the direction of the judges after winning the British Show Jumping Derby.

15President Nixon suddenly imposes a 90-day wage, rent and price freeze. He also ends the convertibility of dollars into gold.

18 – A deaf-mute is shot dead in Northern Ireland because he “ignored” an order to stop.

18 – Australia and New Zealand announce the withdrawal of their combat troops from Vietnam.

20 – Prince Charles receives his RAF wings at Cranwell in the UK.

21P J Proby finds the audience at the Piper (a club in Preston, Lancashire) confused by his loss of weight and new beard. Some even have their doubts about the performer’s true identity. The police are called to check Proby’s signature, and in the end, the show only goes ahead when the club owners offer £1,000 to anyone who can prove that the main act isn’t him.

22 – Campbell’s recalls cans of chicken soup in Texas after finding deadly botulism in some of them.

28 – 25 die and 1150 are rescued when fire breaks out on the Greek liner Haleanna.

28/29 – Hells Angels rampage at The Weeley Festival in Clacton, UK. The gang are routed by festival-goers who mount a counter-attack and destroy most of the Angels’ prized hand-built choppers.

31The Rolling Stones begin a $29 million legal suit against former manager Allen Klein, claiming that he has failed to represent the band’s interests properly.


011d and 3d coins cease to be legal tender in Britain.

02 – Six bomb blasts in Belfast injure 39 people and wreck the Unionist Party headquarters.

03 – An IRA sniper’s bullet kills an 18-month-old girl in Belfast.

03John Lennon and Yoko Ono leave London for New York. John will never return to the UK.

03 – The body of Eva Perón is returned to her widower, former Argentine president, Juan Perón, by the Argentine government to curry political favour.

05 – The Silver Star Express, the first all-sleeper train in New Zealand, begins a service between Auckland and Wellington.

06 – 14-year-old Annette McGavigan is caught in a gun battle between troops and snipers in Northern Ireland and becomes the 100th person to die since the “troubles” began in 1969.

09 – The British ambassador in Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, is released by extreme left-wing guerrillas. Mr Jackson was kidnapped in broad daylight as he drove to work on 8 January, eight months and one day ago.

09/13 – 43 people die – including 39 inmates – in riots at Attica State Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. More than 1,000 prisoners take guards hostage, smash windows and set fire to the building before troops storm in.

11 – Soviet statesman Nikita Khrushchev dies.

12 – Thieves tunnel into a branch of Lloyd’s Bank in Britain and steal £500,000.

13Mao‘s heir, Lin Piao, dies in a plane crash while fleeing to the USSR.

18 – South Sydney defeat St George 16-10 in the Australian Rugby League Grand Final.

19 – The US Army stops using the words “Kill! Kill!” during bayonet drill. Instead, recruits are told to shout the less specific “Yah! Yah!”.

21 – The US reveals the existence of eight unanswered letters from Ho Chi Minh seeking aid against French colonial rule in Vietnam in 1945.

22 – Captain Ernest Medina is cleared of all My Lai Massacre charges in the US.

24 – Britain expels 90 Russian diplomats for alleged spying.

29 – A bomb explodes in a Belfast public house killing two people.

30 – US Coast Guards prevent members of a new Canadian environmental pressure group from reaching the island of Amchitka off the coast of Alaska (the site of an imminent US nuclear test). The campaigners are onboard a fishing boat which they have called Greenpeace.


01 – A soldier is shot dead in Belfast, making a total of 23 soldiers killed this year in Northern Ireland.

01 – Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida on a 27,500-acre site. It was built at a cost of at least half a billion dollars.

02 – The first nationally syndicated episode of Soul Train airs, featuring performances by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Honey Cone and Eddie Kendricks.

02 – A new snowmobile speed record is set in Utah, USA, at 140.6 mph.

08 – The USSR expels four diplomats and a businessman, and bans a further 13 from entering the Soviet Union in response to Britain’s expulsion of Russians.

10 – The rebuilt London Bridge is opened at Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Built in 1824 across the River Thames in London, the bridge has been dismantled and shipped brick-by-brick from England to its new home in the desert.

12 – Rock & Roll pioneer Gene Vincent dies of a ruptured stomach ulcer (aged 36) in Newhall, California.

13 – British Army engineers begin systematically blowing up several minor roads crossing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland. The destruction of the roads forms part of new security measures announced in Stormont yesterday by Ulster Prime Minister Brian Faulkner.

17 – In the US, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, to clinch the World Series title.

21 – Jade Jagger is born to Mick and Bianca Jagger at Belvedere Nursing Home in Paris, France.

21 – Chilean poet Pablo Neruda receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

23 – The Indian government is offering each man $13 and a sari for his wife if he is willing to have a vasectomy. India faces a population of one billion by the year 2000.

23 – Five people, including two sisters – who are known members of the Woman’s Action Committee (who are involved in the practice of warning people of the arrival of British troops) – are shot dead by British soldiers when a car fails to stop at a checkpoint in the Catholic Falls area of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

25 – 26th Amendment to US Constitution lowers the voting age to 18.

25 – UN General Assembly votes to admit Communist China to the UN and expel Taiwan.

27 – Republic of Congo changes its name to Zaire.

28 – British MPs approve the Cabinet’s decision in principle to join the Common Market by a 356 to 244 vote. Most Tories vote for joining, most Labour against. But 69 Labour pro-Marketeers support Mr Heath‘s Government while 39 Tories vote against.

28 – At Woomera, Australia, Britain launches the Prospero technology satellite into orbit. It weighs 145 lb.

postofficetowerbomb29 – Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies following a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, aged 24.

31 – An IRA bomb on the 31st floor of the Post Office Tower in London blasts a large hole in its side (pictured at right). Three floors are damaged, leading to the landmark building being closed to the public on a more or less permanent basis.

31 – 17 Royal Navy warships leave Singapore, ending Britain’s naval Far East Command.


01 – Over 5,000 people are reported killed when a cyclone hits the State of Orissa in India.

03 – After 219 IRA suspects have been detained, the Royal Ulster Constabulary announces that automatic weapons will be carried on patrol.

05 – The three editors of Oz magazine, sentenced to imprisonment for offences under the Obscene Publications Act, have their convictions and sentences quashed by the Appeals Court, who find that the judge misdirected the jury.

05 – Princess Anne named Sportswoman of the Year.

09 – The BBC is inundated with complaints after a boy swears on the radio programme, Woman’s Hour.

10 – Two Belfast women are tarred and feathered for dating British soldiers.

12Nixon proclaims the end of the US offensive in Vietnam and announces the withdrawal of 45,000 troops by February 1972.

13 – American space probe, Mariner 9, begins its orbit of Mars – the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.

15 – China takes seat at UN for the first time. Representative Chiao Kuan-Hua promptly rebukes its members for allowing the superpowers “to manipulate and monopolise” them.

15 – The 4004, the world’s first single-chip microprocessor, is released by Intel. This breakthrough allows the future embedding of intelligence in inanimate objects, and eventually the personal computer.

16 – Roger De Louette, a former French intelligence agent, pleads guilty to charges of smuggling $12 million worth of heroin into the United States.

18 – Memphis blues harmonica great Herman “Little Junior” Parker, whose Mystery Train Elvis Presley popularised in 1953, dies during eye surgery. He is 44.

21 – 90 Indian troops die in border clashes with Pakistanis.

22 – Five teenagers and their female instructor die on the 4,084 ft (1,245 m) high Cairngorm in Scotland, which the party had left to climb three days ago. Two survivors – party leader Catherine Davidson, 21, and Raymond Leslie, 15 – are in an Inverness hospital recovering from severe exposure and frostbite.

24 – Britain and Rhodesia agree greater political rights for black Rhodesians, which could lead eventually to a black government.

24 – Somewhere between Seattle, Washington and Reno, Nevada, hijacker DB Cooper parachutes from a Northwest Orient jet in a severe thunderstorm with $200,000 in ransom money. Cooper – who is never apprehended – becomes an instant folk hero.

25 – Half of Carnaby Street in London is sold for $8.5 million.

26 – Caning of students as punishment in schools is outlawed in the UK.

27 – The Soviet spacecraft Mars 2 reaches Mars, ejecting a capsule which crash-lands on the planet. Mars 2 goes into orbit and sends back TV pictures and other information.

28 – Palestinian guerrillas assassinate the Jordanian Prime Minister. King Hussein rules out further talks.

28 – Cambridgeshire farmer Ray Convine rams a light plane that has landed at a disused airfield on his farm, foiling a major illegal immigrant smuggling operation

29 – Seven people die in Britain in the worst M1 motorway crash to date.

30 – Australian combat role in Vietnam ends.


02 – 16 American school pupils are suspended from classes indefinitely for ‘insulting’ Education Minister Mrs Margaret Thatcher. All 16 ‘rebels’ attend the new £2,700,000 American school in St Johns Wood, London NW8 – a luxurious and lavishly equipped showpiece of education. As Mrs Thatcher dedicates their school the 16 try to interrupt her address by reading out a statement objecting to her presence as the ceremony while British children “still had to go to slum schools”.

03 – India and Pakistan go to war over Bangladesh (East Pakistan). Mrs Gandhi declares a state of emergency.

03 – The Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, burns to the ground during a performance by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The event is later immortalised in Deep Purple‘s 1973 hit Smoke On The Water.

04 – A bomb explodes in the crowded Tramore Bar (more commonly known as McGurk’s) in a Catholic area of Belfast, killing 15 people, including two children. It is one of the first of the major atrocities that launched the era often referred to as “The Troubles“. It is later revealed that the bomb was planted by the Ulster Volunteer Force – a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.

06 – India recognises the independence of Bangladesh.

09 – 300 children die when Indian planes bomb an orphanage in Dacca.

11John and Yoko perform a benefit concert for Jon Sinclair, former manager of political rockers The MC5, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison for possessing marijuana.

11 – Comedian Benny Hill tops the UK charts with Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West).

12 – In Northern Ireland, Stormont Senator Jack Barnhill is shot dead by the IRA.

13 – Veteran British rocker Billy Fury is admitted to hospital to undergo an operation for the replacement of two heart valves.

14 – Detective Frank Serpico has his day in court, telling the Knapp Commission how he tried to inform high-ranking New York City officials of police corruption – who then failed to act on the allegations.

16 – The UN General Assembly approves a treaty banning the use of biological weapons.

17 – Pakistan surrenders after a two-week war with India.

17 – The Race Relations Act, prohibiting discrimination by race or colour, is passed in New Zealand.

19 – Based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, Stanley Kubrick’s influential and controversial film A Clockwork Orange is released. Kubrick withdraws the film from UK cinemas in 1973.

20 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto becomes president of Pakistan in place of Yahya Khan, who resigned yesterday.

20 – Gloria Steinem’s feminist magazine Ms premiers in preview form, featuring such articles as “Why Women Fear Success” and “I Want A Wife” which satirically explains why women need a wife as much as men do.

24 – Giovanni Leone becomes President of Italy.

25 – A hotel fire kills 156 people in Seoul, South Korea. 38 of the victims die jumping from the upper floors of the 22-storey Taeyunyak Hotel, which was not fitted with an outside fire escape.

26 – The heaviest US bombing of North Vietnam since November 1968 commences.

26 – In a dramatic anti-war protest, 16 Vietnam veterans lock themselves inside the Statue of Liberty. Two days later they are ordered to leave and do so.

31 – Dr Kurt Waldheim of Austria becomes UN Secretary-General.

31 – The Iraqi government expels some 60,000 Iranians as a result of the Iranian seizure of Iraq’s Gulf Islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb in the Persian Gulf.

Also this year . . .

  • Several million Bengali refugees flee into India to escape the war in Pakistan
  • Crash helmets become compulsory for motorcyclists in the UK
  • Clackers, or Klick-Klacks, the craze of the summer, are gradually banned from school playgrounds
  • Texas Instruments introduces the first pocket calculator
  • First commercial VCR’s become available
  • UK population: 55,346,551
  • Hot Pants replace the Miniskirt
  • Thursday evening ‘late-night shopping’ introduced in Australia
  • ‘Silver Knight’ wins Melbourne Cup

1971 Cost of living (USA)

New house $25,200
Average income $10,622 per year
New car $3,560
Average rent $150 per month
Tuition to Harvard University $2,600 per year
Movie ticket $1.50
Gasoline 40c per gallon
US postage stamp 8c
Granulated sugar 62c for 5lbs
Vitamin D milk $1.17 per gallon
Ground coffee 98c per lb
Bacon 80c per lb
Eggs 45c per dozen
Fresh ground hamburger 62c per lb
Fresh baked bread 25c per loaf