Since my high school graduation 45th anniversary occurred in May, I thought it would be interesting to research and write about what was going on in the world in 1970, the year I graduated.
The most obvious newsworthy, noteworthy event in 1970 was that the Vietnam War was raging. Friends that I had in the class ahead of me were drafted into the military and were sent to Vietnam. One of them lost his life. The U.S. invaded Cambodia with the goal of hunting out Viet Cong. Troops started being withdrawn from Vietnam this year. In November, there was a week when there were no U.S. casualties, the first such week in 5 years.
Widespread, large anti-war protests were commonplace on U.S. college campuses and elsewhere, including a protest of 100,000 people in Washington D.C. At Kent State University in Ohio 4 protesters were killed when fired on by the National Guard. Draft dodgers frequently relocated to Canada.
Richard Nixon was the President of the United States. Leonid Brezhnev was the First Secretary of the Soviet Union. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was Harold Wilson for the first part of the year, followed by Edward Heath.
The Beatles disbanded this year. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died from overdoses. Simon and Garfunkel released their final album Bridge Over Troubled Water. Elton John made his first appearance in the U.S. Aerosmith was formed. The American Top 40 countdown debuted with Casey Kasem as host. Garry Trudeau’s comic strip Doonsesbury was introduced. M*A*S*H, Catch-22 and Hello Dolly were popular films. All My Children was televised for the first time on ABC.
In the United States in 1970, the average income per year was $9,400.00. A gallon of gas cost 36 cents. A postage stamp cost 6 cents. The average cost of a new house was $23,450.00.
The Ford Pinto was produced for the first time. The Gremlin and the Chevrolet Vega were also introduced. The first dot matrix printer was introduced on the market.
The first Earth Day was observed. The United States Environmental Protection Agencywas established.
The Concord made its first supersonic flight.
The quote “Houston, we’ve got a problem” was born when the Apollo 13 mission to the moon had to be abandoned when oxygen tanks exploded. There was a successful splashdown and all crew members survived.
The U.S. lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. I remember some of the controversy. A common argument was that 19 year olds were fighting in Vietnam but they were not allowed to vote.
A bill banning cigarette advertising on television beginning 1/1/1971 was enacted.
The North Tower of the World Trade Center was topped out at 1,368 feet making it the tallest building in the world.
Among people born in 1970 are Tina Fey, Kelly Ripa, Queen Latifah, Phil Mickelson , Matt Damon and Naomi Campbell.
These were some of the highlights (or lowlights) from 1970 – a very important year in Good Woman’s life.
Sources:.thepeoplehistory.com; historyorb.com; wikipedia.org