Timeline of the Seventies, 1971

This is a list of important events the occured during 1971. Exact dates are listed when known.

We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 80s and 90s

  • The microprocessor is introduced
    The foundation of all computers, or just about anything electric.

  • End of the Gold Standard for American Currency
    Gold payments ended in 1971 in an attempt to halt the increasing inflation America was seeing.

  • NASA and the Soviets send probes to Mars
    The NASA Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet on November 14th. The Soviets Mars 2 and Mars 3 arrived a month later, and sent a probe down to the planet (which unfortunately didn't work for long).

  • Three cosmonauts die after record breaking trip
    After a record breaking 24 days in space, the cosmonauts died on their return to Earth when their cabin depressurized.

  • The Pentagon Papers are released to newspapers
    Despite an attempt to conceal the evidence researched by the government, the 47 volume study was given to the New York Times and The Washington Post who printed excerpts from the study. It revealed the Eisenhower had been warned against involvment by his generals, Kennedy had approved the overthrow of the Sout Vietnam president, and Johnson's covert operations had sparked the Tonkin Gulf incident.

  • Bangladesh is created
    East Pakistan and West Pakistan split, and after a civil war which involved India and the US as well, the country was formed.

  • Cigarette ads are banned on TV

  • The first floppy disc is created for computers

  • Direct dial between New York and London

  • China joins the UN

  • Native Americans forced out of Alcatraz
    Citing an 1868 treaty which allowed them to live on unoccupied land, they were protesting the US goverment's poor record of handling treaties. Alcatraz became a national park in 1972.

  • Attica State Prision riot in Buffalo, New York
    The 1200 inmates took the 30 guards and other employees prision in an attempt for reforms. It ended in bloodbath four days later with 28 inmates and 9 gaurds killed, all by police gunfire when they took the prision back.

  • Supreme Court rules desegregation constitutional

  • Congress authorizes federal bailout of Lockheed

  • PBS begins Masterpiece Theater
    This started a trend with us today, of importing British shows directly to PBS.

  • South Vietnam & The US invades Laos
    In an attempt to shut down the Ho Chi Minh trail, the North Vietnam supply route. It wasn't successful.

  • Benefit Concert for Bangladesh organized
    George Harrison organized the first benefit concert, which would be the model for many more benefit concerts (especially in the 80s)

  • CAT scanning was introduced
    Computerizes Axial Tomograpghy (CAT), was the most important medical breakthrough since the X-ray

  • Black Admiral
    Captain Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr. becomes the first black American Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

  • Cellular Phone Battery Invented
    African-American Henry Thomas Sampson invents the gamma electric cell (US Patent # 3,591,860).

  • Greenpeace
    Founding of environmental organization Greenpeace

  • School House Rock Airs
    The songs are still played and they were first aired on Abc in 1971.

  • Disney World Opens

  • Amtrak created
    In April of 1971, the government created Amtrak to rescue America's long-distance passenger trains. Ridership had been decreasing since the late 1950s because of competition from the jet airplanes and the growing interstates.

  • Voting Age Lowered To 18
    On June 30, 1971, Ohio becomes the 38th state to ratify the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution - lowering the voting age to eighteen.

  • D.B. Cooper
    On Thanksgiving Eve, November 24,1971, a man who called himself, "Dan Cooper" skyjacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305 from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Later known as "D.B. Cooper," he demanded $200,000 in cash and four parachutes with a claim he had a bomb in his briefcase. Cooper jumped with the money to be never seen or heard of again.

  • United Arab Emirates is formed
    The seven Emirates of Abu Dhabi, DUBAI, Ras Al khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain federate and become known as the United Arab Emirates with their own new flag

  • Charles Manson is convicted
    Charles Manson and his female followers were convicted of murder and conspiracy to murder. They murdered seven people including actress, Sharon Tate.

  • Debut of Southwest Airlines
    June 18, 1971 After 4 years of legal infighting with other Texas airlines the small regional carrier "Southwest Airlines" is allowed to take flight.

  • The Electric Company debuts on PBS
    The first show aired on October 25th, it included Bill Cosby in the first season. Also among its cast were Irene Cara (2nd season), Rita Moreno, Skip Hinnant, Morgan Freeman, Jim Boyd, and Spider-man in seasons 5 and 6. New series continued in groups of 130 shows, aired twice a year, until the last new show aired on April 22, 1977.

  • A new stock market index called the Nasdaq
    1971 - A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts.

  • Opening of the Magic Kingdom in Florida
    Disney opened its second theme park on October 1, 1971. Walt didn't live to see the opening.

[1970] =[1971]= [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976] [1977] [1978] [1979] [1980s] [1990s]

We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 80s and 90s

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