Home Decades 1970s 1975

1975

January

01 – The Watergate criminal trial ends. Aides of former President Nixon (John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, Robert Mardian and John D. Ehrlichman) are found guilty of trying to cover up.

01 – The University of Wollongong (in Australia) is established.

02 – An American federal judge rules that John Lennon‘s lawyers may have access to Immigration Department files concerning his case to determine the real reasons for the government’s actions against him.

04 – Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, besiege Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.

05 – A ship brings down part of the mile-long Tasman Bridge in Hobart, Australia. 13 people are killed.

10 – Two workers at the Windscale nuclear reactor have died this week, apparently of leukaemia.

12 – The Pittsburgh Steelers rise to American football prominence as they defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX, 16-6.

14 – 17-year-old heiress Lesley Whittle – who has been bequeathed £82,000 in her father’s will – is snatched from the family home in Highley, Shropshire. The family – who run one of the biggest private coach companies in the country – receive a ransom demand for £50,000. Lesley’s brother Ronald follows the kidnapper’s instructions to take the money to a telephone box and await further instructions there, but he is late making the rendezvous and no one is there to meet him.

20 – The Channel Tunnel between England and France is abandoned.

24 – Larry Fine, one of The Three Stooges, dies.

27 – Five IRA bombs go off in London. 19 people are also hurt in a blast in Manchester.

29 – Actress Sara Gilbert (Darlene from Roseanne) is born.

29 – UK colour TV licence goes up £6 to £18.


February

04Edward Heath resigns as Tory party leader.

04 – Louis Jordan, performer of jive classics Five Guys Named Moe and Let The Good Times Roll, dies.

11 – Margaret Hilda Thatcher, wife of a wealthy businessman and mother of twins, becomes the first woman leader of a British Political party at 49. Her victory over four male rivals to succeed Edward Heath in the Conservative leadership is overwhelming.

13 – Turkish Cypriots declare the northern part of the island independent.

14 – PG (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse, author and creator of Jeeves and Wooster, dies.

20 – New £10 notes are issued in Britain. One side shows Florence Nightingale carrying a lamp while she tends wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.

20Cher files for divorce from her husband of ten years, Sonny Bono. The divorce is finalised on 26 June, and she marries Gregg Allman four days later.

21 – Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mardian, and Mitchell are sentenced to prison terms of lengths ranging from ten months to eight years by Judge Sirica for their part in the Watergate break-ins.

26 – PC Stephen Tibble, aged 22, is shot dead in Baron’s Court, West London while trying to apprehend Liam Quinn, a member of the Provisional IRA. While searching the basement flat which Quinn was seen leaving, police discover enough bomb-making equipment to make half a dozen high explosive bombs, a box of ammunition and an automatic pistol.

28 – In West Germany, Opposition Leader Peter Lorenz is kidnapped by anarchists, who demand the release of five other anarchists in prison.

28 – A tube train rams into the end of a dead-end tunnel at Moorgate on the London Underground, killing the driver, Leslie Newson, 55, and 42 passengers. The cause of the crash remains a mystery.


March

01 – Colour TV transmission begins in Australia.

01 – The 22-month US Bicentennial celebration officially begins amid controversy over commercialism, ethnic involvement, and the government’s role.

04 – Queen Elizabeth II knights Charlie Chaplin.

05 – Palestinian guerrillas raid a hotel in Tel Aviv, taking 30 hostages. Israeli troops storm the hotel killing seven of eight terrorists, with the loss of 11 other lives.

07 – The body of 17-year-old kidnapped heiress Lesley Whittle is found hanging from a wire at the bottom of a drain shaft in Bathpool Park, Staffordshire. Donald Neilson – also known as the Black Panther – is eventually convicted of her murder in July 1976.

14 – Actress Susan Hayward dies.

15 – Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis dies.

15 – Troops move into Glasgow (Scotland) to clear 70,000 tons of refuse that piled up during a nine-week dustmen’s strike.

16 – Legendary blues guitarist Aaron “T-Bone” Walker dies.

18 – Australian television personality Graham Kennedy is banned indefinitely from live radio and TV for making a crow call, similar to a four-letter word, on his TV show.

19 – Thousands of refugees flee from the northern provinces of South Vietnam as North Vietnamese troops advance.

21 – The monarchy is abolished in Addis Ababa.

25 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is killed by his crazed nephew, Prince Faisal Ibu Musaed. The prince is found guilty of regicide and beheaded in the public square in Riyadh.

30 – North Vietnamese troops take Da Nang as South Vietnamese resistance collapses.


April

03 – Russia’s Anatoly Karpov is named world chess champion when Bobby Fischer forfeits after failing to meet the entry deadline for a match in Manila.

04 – A US aircraft carrying Vietnamese orphans to America crashes after take-off from Saigon with the loss of 206 lives.

04 – Bill Gates founds Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

05 – Chinese statesman Chiang Kai-shek dies.

07Heavy metal pioneer Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple and forms his own group, Rainbow. Guitarist Tommy Bolin replaces him.

08 – Radio-operated bleepers to tell people on the move when they are wanted are to be made generally available. Doctors, salespeople, and service engineers are expected to be major users. A call to a special number activates the bleep. A radio signal then triggers the device, which is about the size of a cigarette packet, alerting the user to call his office.

16 – Ex-KGB chief Alexander Shelepin is expelled from the Politburo in Moscow.

17 – War in Cambodia ends as the government surrenders to the Communists and the Khmer Rouge takes Phnom Penh.

21 – The city of Xuân Loc falls to the North Vietnamese. It is the last city protecting the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon. As Xuân Loc falls, the South Vietnamese President Nguyên Vãn Thiêu flees the capital, eventually settling in Great Britain. By 27 April, the North Vietnamese have surrounded Saigon.

23 – Pete Ham of UK band Badfinger takes his own life by hanging himself in his garage.

23President Ford announces that the war in Vietnam is over “as far as America is concerned”. Four days later, Saigon is surrounded, and the South Vietnamese government begins to crumble.

24 – Three people die in Stockholm as five Baader-Meinhof terrorists seize the West German embassy and blow it up. The guerillas give up after the explosion and four are immediately deported back to West Germany. The fifth is too badly injured to be moved and later dies in hospital.

25 – Portugal holds its first free elections for 50 years, and the three main non-Communist parties win a large majority.

26 – After a one-day Labour Party conference to debate Britain’s membership of Europe, the party votes by almost 2-1 to leave the European Economic Community (EEC).

29 – Last US helicopter leaves Saigon during ‘Operation Frequent Wind’ – the military air evacuation of all remaining US personnel and civilians in South Vietnam.

30 – Saigon surrenders almost without a struggle as North Vietnamese tanks roll into the city and knock down the gates of the Presidential Palace. The war in Vietnam is over.


May

02 -Nine IRA members are jailed for 10 to 15 years for running a year-long bombing campaign in Birmingham.

03 – Moe Howard, the last remaining living member of The Three Stooges, dies.

04 – 4,000 South Vietnamese refugees arrive in Hong Kong after being rescued from a sinking ship.

05 – After four years of resisting TV broadcasts, the South African government gives up, and the country’s first TV programme airs.

12 – Khmer Rouge naval vessels seize the US merchant ship Mayaguez 60 miles off the Cambodian coast. In a rescue attempt that will embarrass and damage President Ford politically, 38 US troops are killed (23 in a helicopter crash en route to the rescue), 50 are wounded, and three are MIA.

12 – Fans at a free Jefferson Airplane concert cause $14,000 worth of damage to Central Park in New York. The band and sponsor WNEW pick up the tab for the damages.

14Frank Sinatra wins substantial libel action after being linked to the Mafia by the BBC.

14 – The crew of the American merchant ship Mayaguez, which Cambodian forces had seized, is rescued in an operation by US Navy and Marines, 15 of whom are killed in the rescue with another 50 wounded.

19 – A Washington probe into CIA activities learns there is documentary proof of a plot to kill Castro.

21 – The trial of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang opens in Stuttgart.

23 – In the middle of his aptly-titled ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ tour, Alice Cooper falls off the stage in Vancouver, Canada, and breaks six ribs.

24 – Two Soviet cosmonauts are launched towards the Salyut 4 space station.

26Evel Knievel suffers spinal injuries when his car fails in an attempt to jump 13 buses.

27 – A coach outing ends in tragedy at Hebden in the Yorkshire Dales when the coach plunges through a bridge parapet. 31 women and the driver are killed.

27 – The Alaskan Supreme Court rules that marijuana usage within your own home is permissible.


June

01 – Police shoot 13 Africans dead when a crowd of 2,000 riots in Salisbury, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

03 – Ozzie Nelson, star of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and father of pop star Ricky Nelson, dies aged 68.

03 – Brazilian footballer Pélé becomes the sport’s highest-paid star when he accepts a $7 million three-year contract from the New York Cosmos.

05 – The Suez Canal re-opens (to all but Israeli shipping) for the first time since hostilities led to its closure in 1967.

05 – In a referendum, over 67% of British voters elect to stay in the EEC, or Common Market.

07 – Greek parliament adopts a new constitution.

09 – In London, the House of Commons is broadcast live on the radio for the first time. Commentary is provided by BBC political editor David Holmes and Edmund Boyle, from Independent Radio News, who share a cramped, sound-proofed box inside the chamber.

11 – The first North Sea oil is pumped from the seabed into a tanker.

11 – A Ugandan tribunal finds British author and lecturer Denis Hills guilty of “treason” for criticising Idi Amin.

12 – Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi is found guilty of corrupt electoral practices, but she refuses to resign.

12 – Declaring himself too old for his band’s teenybopper audience, Bay City Rollers co-founder and bassist Alan Longmuir hangs up his tartan trousers for more mature pursuits.

14 – Ex-minister John Profumo is made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

16 – Junko Tabei of Japan becomes the first woman to conquer Mount Everest.

18 – Prince Faisal is publicly beheaded for the assassination of his uncle, King Faisal. 10,000 people attend.

18 – Britain’s first North Sea oil flows ashore from a Liberian tanker to BP’s Isle of Grain refinery. The oil comes from the Argyll field in the North Sea, 200 miles east of Edinburgh.

19John Lennon files suit against specific Nixon administration officials, contending that he is the victim of selective persecution based on his political beliefs.

19 – A London jury names Lord Lucan as the killer of his children’s nanny, and the missing Earl faces a murder trial at the Old Bailey if he returns to Britain. “Lucky” Lucan disappeared in November after the battered body of Sandra Rivett was found at his home.

19 – Aussie Tennis star Yvonne Goolagong marries London broker Roger Cawley.

20 – Unknown gunmen kill Chicago crime family head Sam Giancana, who had been linked to a CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro.

20 – The film Jaws is released, starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss.

21 – West Indies wins cricket’s first World Cup after an invaluable innings of 102 by their captain, Clive Lloyd, and some spectacular out fielding by the whole team. They beat Australia by 17 runs at Lord’s.

24 – 109 die in New York plane crash at JFK airport.

25 – Mozambique gains its independence from Portugal.

26 – The Indian government declares a state of emergency. Opposition leaders are imprisoned, and press censorship is imposed.

27 – Two SLA members receive life sentences for murdering an Oakland school superintendent.

29 – US musician Tim Buckley dies in California after taking a fatal overdose of heroin and morphine, believing it to be cocaine.

29 – 40 die in Beirut as new street battles erupt.

30Cher and Gregg Allman marry, just four days after her divorce from Sonny Bono is finalised.


July

01Idi Amin reprieves Denis Hills from the firing squad.

01Ringo Starr and his wife, Maureen, divorce.

01 – Medibank health scheme introduced in Australia.

02 – Jim Cairns sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in Australia.

04 – Thirteen Israeli’s die, and 72 are wounded in a Palestinian attack in Jerusalem. A full Israeli military assault on refugee camps in Southern Lebanon follows.

04 – Sydney newspaper publisher Juanita Nielsen disappears and is never seen again.

05 – Billie Jean King beats Evonne Cawley for her sixth women’s singles title at Wimbledon.

05 – Arthur Ashe defeats Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon to become the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles’ championship.

09 – Former president Nixon claims he could have prevented the fall of South Vietnam if he had still been in office.

11 – English police admit alleged Birmingham IRA bombers were bashed in custody.

11 – Chinese archaeologists uncover a “terracotta army” of 6,000 life-sized and lifelike warriors, with their chariots, spears and horses drawn up in battle formation near the ancient Chinese capital of Xian. The figures guard the tomb of the first Ch’in emperor, who died in 206BC.

17 –  The USA and USSR meet in space as American Apollo and Russian Soyuz spacecraft dock 140 miles above the Atlantic Ocean. The commanders, Tom Stafford and Alexei Leonov shake hands through the hatches of their spacecraft and exchange greetings in each other’s languages.

18 – Graham Hill announces his retirement from motor racing.

19 – The symbolic Russian-US joint space flight ends when the American Apollo and the Russian Soyuz undock and go into separate orbits. The Russians will land tomorrow, the Americans remaining in space for five more days.

19 – British politician John Stonehouse is arrested in Melbourne, Australia, for extradition back to England to face charges alleging theft, forgery and deception. His secretary, Sheila Buckley – who had travelled with him – is also sent home to the UK.

24 – Three Apollo astronauts splash down to end manned US space flight for the rest of the decade. The money is considered better spent in other areas.

26 – China launches China 3 military satellite into orbit.

29 – A military coup in Nigeria deposes General Gowon.

30 – In the USA, former Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa disappears after making a phone call from the Manchus Red Fox Restaurant in suburban Detroit. He is presumed murdered by underworld figures, but his fate has never been officially determined.

31 – Three members of Dublin pop group The Miami Showband are killed in a terrorist ambush near Newry, Northern Ireland. The band are flagged down after a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, but what appears to be a regular security checkpoint is actually manned by a disguised paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force. While the band are detained, an attempt is made to plant a bomb in their van, which goes off prematurely. In the chaos afterwards, three of the musicians are shot at point-blank range.


August

01 – Human Rights Pacts signed in Helsinki. The agreement officially recognises Europe’s national borders and respect for human rights.

04Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant and his wife are seriously injured in a car crash in Rhodes, Greece. Plant has to be flown back to England in plaster to recuperate.

05Stevie Wonder re-signs with Motown for $13 million – the largest sum in recording history to date.

07 – London records the hottest day for 35 years as the temperature reaches 32° C.

08 – Jazz saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley dies.

09 – Soviet composer Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich dies.

10 – In Belfast, four-year-old Siobhan McCabe becomes the 1,271st person to die in six years of violence.

15 – A North Carolina judge finds black convict Joanne Little not guilty of the slaying of her white jailer, who she claims forced her into a sexual act. Her case draws both support and derision, split along racial lines.

16 – Vocalist Peter Gabriel officially parts company with art-rockers Genesis. The band hand the microphone to their drummer, Phil Collins.

19 – Campaigners calling for the release of robber George Davis from prison vandalise the pitch at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds. They dig holes in the pitch and pour oil over one end of the wicket, also daubing walls surrounding the ground with slogans demanding the release of Davis, the east London minicab driver jailed for his part in an armed robbery.

20 – NASA launches Viking 1 on a mission to reach Mars.

24 – Death sentence on former Greek Premier Papadopoulos is commuted to life imprisonment.

27 – Former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie – a messianic figure to Rastafarians – dies after surgery.

29 – Spain sentences two alleged Basque terrorists to death by garrotting.


September

04 – Egypt and Israel sign a military disengagement treaty, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger, concerning the Sinai peninsula.

05President Ford escapes an assassination attempt in Sacramento, California. The would-be assassin is Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson.

05 – Two people are killed and 63 injured when an IRA bomb explodes in the lobby of the Hilton hotel in Park Lane, London.

06 – A massive earthquake in Turkey results in nearly 3,000 deaths.

06 – Czech tennis player Martina Navratilova seeks political asylum in the US.

08 – The busing of Boston school children begins again in the US amid protests and demonstrations.

09 – Young Czech tennis champion Martina Navratilova requests political asylum in the United States. The 18-year-old left-hander, who last week reached the semi-finals of the US Open at Forest Hills, is granted a temporary stay in America while her case is examined.

09 – NASA launches Viking 2 on a mission to reach Mars.

16 – Civil war breaks out in Lebanon.

16 – Papua New Guinea becomes independent of Australia.

17 – Hurricane Eloise causes widespread devastation in the West Indies.

18 – Patty Hearst, the newspaper tycoon’s daughter who turned from kidnap hostage to ‘urban guerilla’ after being snatched by the Symbionese Liberation Army 19 months ago, is refused bail by a San Francisco court, following bank robbery charges.

22President Ford escapes assassination for the second time in 17 days when a woman fires a gun at him as he leaves a hotel in San Francisco. His assailant is Sarah Jane Moore.

22 – The IRA detonate 17 bombs across Northern Ireland including two attacks on Great Victoria Street in central Belfast and the blowing up of a hijacked train, which injures 12 people, two seriously. Two attacks target the security forces – one on a police post in Dungannon, which seriously injures two RUC officers, and another on an army border post near Newry.

24 – Britons Dougal Haston and Doug Scott are the first to climb Everest by the previously unclimbed south-west face.

28 – Three armed men take seven people hostage in a basement storeroom of the Knightsbridge Spaghetti House in London. The siege lasts for six days until the demoralised robbers and their captives emerge unharmed. The robbers – Franklin Davies, Wesley Dick and Anthony Gordon Munroe – subsequently receive long jail sentences.

29 – Soul singer Jackie Wilson suffers a stroke onstage in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and falls into a coma from which he will never recover. Wilson dies in January 1984 after nine years in the coma.


October

01Muhammad Ali defeats challenger and former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at the “Thrilla in Manila” in the Phillippines to retain his world heavyweight title.

01 – Al Jackson, 39, drummer with Stax legends Booker T & The MGs, is shot and killed when he confronts an intruder in his Memphis home.

03 – In Belfast, Ulster Secretary Merlyn Rees bans the Ulster Volunteer Force.

03 – Dr Tiede Herrema, chief executive of the Dutch-owned Ferenka factory in Ballyvarra, County Limerick, is abducted by the IRA on his way to work. His kidnappers demand the release of three Republican prisoners – Rose Dugdale, Kevin Mallon and Jim Hyland – in return for Dr Herrema’s safety.

07John Lennon wins his court battle to stay in the USA.

09 – One person (Graham Ronald Tuck, a homeless man aged 23) dies, and another 20 are hurt when an IRA bomb goes off at a bus stop outside Green Park tube station in London.

09 – Sean Ono Lennon is born to John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

10 – Richard Burton re-marries Elizabeth Taylor in a remote village in Botswana. Their divorce was made final in June 1974.

11Bruce Springsteen hits the Top 40 with Born To Run.

15 – “Cod War” breaks out between Britain and Iceland.

15 – Australian Opposition leader Malcolm Fraser blocks Supply in Federal parliament.

20John Stonehouse addresses the House of Commons in London for the first time since his disappearance.

21 – Armed police surround a house 40 miles from Dublin where kidnapped businessman Tiede Herrema is being held. Irish Special Branch officers make an attempt to enter the house in Monasterevin but are forced to retreat when shots are fired and the kidnappers barricade themselves in an upstairs bedroom.

22 – The Cincinnati Reds defeat the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win the World Series.

23 – An IRA bomb planted in a car belonging to Conservative MP Hugh Fraser explodes prematurely in Holland Park, London, killing Professor Gordon Hamilton Fairley – a leading cancer specialist – who happened to be walking by.

23 – 11 people are killed in Cairns, Australia, when a light plane crashes during a violent storm.

24 – Turkish Ambassador to France, Ismail Erez, is assassinated in his car in Paris.

29 – Peter Sutcliffe, later known as the Yorkshire Ripper, commits his first murder in Leeds, England.

31 – Provisional Sinn Fein leader Seamus McCusker is shot dead in Belfast, apparently by the Official IRA.


November

01 – Three die and six are hurt in a fire on the Ekofisk A oil rig in the North Sea.

02 – The first Israeli ship uses the Suez Canal.

03 – The Queen formally begins the operation of the UK’s first oil pipeline at a £500,000 ceremony in Scotland. The 130-mile (209-kilometre) pipeline from Cruden Bay to Grangemouth has been built by British Petroleum (BP).

06The Sex Pistols play their first live gig at London’s St Martin’s School of Art. Their set lasts 10 minutes before organisers turn off the electricity.

08 – The siege in Monasterevin, near Dublin, of a house where kidnapped businessman Tiede Herrema is being held, ends when the kidnappers give themselves up to the police and release Dr Herrema, tired but unhurt.  In March 1976, Eddie Gallagher is sentenced to 20 years and Marion Coyle to 15 years for the kidnap.

10 – The New Jersey Superior Court denies the parents of Karen Anne Quinlan the right to turn off their comatose daughter’s life-support system. Although Karen Anne’s condition is irreversible, the court rules that she is not legally or medically dead. The New Jersey Supreme Court reverses the decision in March 1976.

10 – The Edmund Fitzgerald, a Lake Superior cargo boat with a crew of 29, sinks in a storm. Singer/Songwriter Gordon Lightfoot will memorialise the event in his 1976 Top 10 hit, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

10 – The UN General Assembly adopts a pro-Arab resolution that equates Zionism with racism.

10 – Portugal announces it is quitting Angola after five centuries.

11 – In a move that shocks the nation, the Australian Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, sacks the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, and dissolves Parliament. Sir John appoints the former Opposition leader, Malcolm Fraser, as Prime Minister and commissions him to form an interim government until elections are held.

11 – Civil war erupts in Angola immediately after Portugal grants it independence. The Communist-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), aided by Cuban “engineers”, will gain the advantage, fighting off other Angolan factions, foreign mercenaries, and South African troops. The US steers clear of direct military involvement.

18 – Two die when the IRA bomb Walton’s Restaurant in Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London. Almost two dozen others are injured. The IRA use miniature ball bearings within the bomb to maximise injuries.

20 – Spanish ruler and dictator-for-life Generalissimo Francisco Franco dies, aged 82, ending his 36-year reign.

22 – The monarchy returns to Spain after the death of General Franco, with Crown Prince Juan Carlos declared King.

20Bay City Rollers vocalist Les McKeown is cleared of causing the death of 76-year-old Euphemia Clunie by dangerous driving but is found guilty of driving recklessly and dangerously. He is fined £150 and banned from driving for a year.

26President Ford announces his support for a short-term federal loan of $2.3 billion to New York City to help America’s largest city avoid bankruptcy

26 – China launches China IV, which returns the military satellite to Earth.

27Guinness Book of Records guru and Record Breakers presenter Ross McWhirter is shot dead on the doorstep of his Enfield home by an IRA gunman. Three weeks earlier, outraged at the IRA bombings in London, he had launched a ‘Beat The Bombers’ campaign, calling for the restoration of the death penalty for bombers and offering a reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of IRA bombers.

29 – British Formula 1 racing champ Graham Hill, 46, dies in an air crash when the Piper Aztec aircraft he is piloting crashes in freezing fog near Elstree, England. Five other members of the Embassy Hill racing team are also killed, including Tony Brise.

29 – After New Zealand’s general election, National Party leader Robert Muldoon becomes prime minister.


December

02 – Dutch East Indies immigrants hijack a train in the Netherlands, killing the driver and two passengers and holding captive 50 others.

04 – Another group of East Indies immigrants seizes the Indonesian Consulate in Amsterdam.

06 – Four IRA gunmen break into the flat of Mr and Mrs John Matthews in Balcombe Street, Marylebone and take the middle-aged couple hostage.

07 – Indonesian troops seize Dili, capital of Portuguese Timor.

11 – An Icelandic gunboat opens fire on unarmed British fishery support vessels in the North Atlantic Sea. The violent clash leaves the Icelandic coastguard ship, Thor, badly damaged but the three British vessels involved unaffected.

12 – A six-day siege by IRA gunmen on a flat in London’s Balcombe Street ends without casualties as the four gunmen surrender. Hostages John and Sheila Matthews are released without injury. The “Balcombe Street Gang” – Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty – are charged with 10 murders and 20 bombings and jailed for life (but later freed under the terms of the Good Friday agreement).

13Malcolm Fraser sweeps to power with Liberal Party in Australia after a bitter campaign.

14 – The South Moluccan terrorists on the train in the Netherlands surrender, and all hostages are freed.

16 – The UK government injects £162 million to save the Chrysler group.

17 – Judith Campbell Exner declares that although she was a close friend of former president John F Kennedy, she did not serve as a go-between for the White House and the Mafia.

19 – The siege in the Indonesian Consulate in Amsterdam ends when the South Moluccan terrorists surrender and free their hostages.

21 – Six Palestinian terrorists led by Carlos the Jackal in Vienna seize 42 hostages at a meeting of OPEC ministers.

22 – Austrians agree to Palestinian terrorists’ demand to be flown out with their hostages. The hostages are later freed, and the terrorists surrender in Algiers.

25 – Composer Bernard Herrmann dies in Hollywood.

25 – In Kings Cross, Sydney (Australia), a hotel inferno kills 13.

26 – The Russian Tupelov TU-144 starts scheduled flights carrying mail and freight from Moscow to Alma Ata, a distance of 2000 miles.

27 – An explosion after a flood in a coalfield at Bihar, India, kills 372 people.

29 – A bomb explosion at La Guardia Airport, New York, kills 11 people.

31 – Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act pass into law in the UK


Also this year . . .

  • International Women’s Year
  • UK inflation reaches 25%. The unemployment rate reaches 1.25 million
  • The microcomputer, in kit form, reaches the US home market
  • Sony’s Betamax and JVC’s VHS battle for public acceptance
  • Pong, a video game version of table tennis, is sold to home users for the first time by Atari
  • West Ham beat Fulham 2-0 in the FA Cup Final
  • ‘Grundy’ wins the Derby
  • ‘L’Escargot’ wins the Grand National
  • Niki Lauda becomes world motor racing champion
  • ‘Think Big’ wins the Melbourne Cup for the second year running
  • Eastern Suburbs defeat St George 38-0 in the Australian Rugby League Grand Final
  • Unemployment in Australia reaches 5.2% – the highest figure since the Depression