Timeline of the Seventies, 1972

This is a list of important events the occured during 1972. Exact dates are listed when known.

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

  • Vietnamization fails
    The process of allowing South Vietnam to defend itself without US intervention proved to be a mistake, the 120,000 North Vietnamese soldiers stormed into South Vietnam, surprising the 6000 US troops still in the country.

  • Attempts for Vietnam peace fail
    In October North Vietnam offered a comprimise if Communist troops were allowed to stay in South Vietnam, it wouldn't expell the South Vietnam government and try to reach a new agreement with them. The US agreed, and declared that peace "was at hand." Once Nixon was re-elected, Kissinger reversed himself on the issue of troops remaining and bombing of Hanoi resumed.

  • President Nixon visits China in February
    Officialy opening talks between the two countries, which had been bitter opponents during the 60s.

  • Idi Amin orders all Asians out of Uganda
    In order to distract the people from the collapsing economy, Idi Amin ordered all asian non-citizens out of the country and confiscated their businesses.

  • Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland
    13 protesters were shot by the British Army, touching off riots which led to the suspension of the Northern Ireland parliment.

  • Israeli athletes taken hostage/killed at Olympics
    The PLO group Black September in revenge for the 1970 defeat of Palestinian guerrillas, broke into the Olympic Village and killed two coaches and took nine hostages. It later ended in the death of the hostages and the commandos as they tried to leave the country.

  • The european Airbus takes its maiden flight
    The first European wide-body passenger plane, designed in part by five different countries. By 1992, the Europeans had gained 30 percent of the aircraft industry.

  • HBO (Home Box Office) subscription cable TV launch

  • First commercially successful game (Pong) released

  • Nike running shoes hit the market

  • George McGovern dropped his running mate
    After it was revealed that his running mate, Thomas Eagleton had electric-shock therapy to treat depression, he was replaced by Sargent Shriver.

  • George Wallace shot while campaigning
    While campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, he was shot and permanently paralyzed. He was well known for physically barring black students from entering the University of Alabama in 1963.

  • Last Apollo mission to the moon

  • Richard Nixon visits the Soviet Union
    Richard Nixon becomes the first US president to visit the Soviet Union and begins talks on arms control, penning the SALT I treaties, which restricted the development of nuclear arms and helped ease US-Soviet relations.

  • Anwar al-Sadat expells 15,000 Soviet troops

  • EPA bans use of DDT

  • Federal Express is founded

  • Supplimental Security Income (SSI)
    Aid for the aged, blind, and disabled

  • Federal Election Campaign Act
    Passed to limit campaign spending.

  • Watergate Burglary
    The act that felled the President two years later, was committed in June of 1972 by five men, among them ex-FBI man G. Gordon Liddy and ex-CIA man E. Howard Hunt.

  • Clifford Irving pleads guilty to forgery
    The novelist had complelty fabricated notes and "interviews" with Howard Hughes in an attempt to write an autobiography on the man.

  • Bobby Fischer beats Soviet Spassky
    The 15 year old Chicago born chess prodigy openly took on the Soviets in an attempt to reverse the Soviet dominated chess masters.

  • First Jamican general elections held

  • The book, Joy of Sex, is released
    The title is a take on the popular, Joy of Cooking, cookbook

  • Okinawa islands returned to the Japanese

  • Supreme Court rules against death penalty
    Ruling 5-4, it determined the death penalty as it was administered, was cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Chinese pandas at the Washington Zoo
    Chinese Giant Pandas HSING HSING and LING LING made their debut at the Washington Zoo in April of 1970, following Nixon's visit to China in February. The pandas were a gift from the chinese government as a gesture of peace and friendship between the United States and China. It also let us know about the plight of the panda and how it was in danger of becoming extinct. They were the first pandas to ever be introduced to a zoo in the United States.

  • ERA passed in the Senate
    The ERA Amendment passed in the Senate.

  • The Wars Act
    This was passed because Nixon authorized the invasion of Cambodia, Loas and later Hanoi and Haiphong. It requires that the president account for action within 30 days and taking troops into foreign wars.

  • E-Mail invented
    In 1972 the first E-Mail program was invented by Ray Tomlinson of the BBN.

  • KKK riots in NYC and 3 people die
    The KKK rioted in Central Park and 3 people died in the riot/protest.

  • Signing of Title IX
    On July 1, 1972, Richard Nixon signed into law Title IX of the Education Amendments. Few people noticed at the time, but eventually it became the single greatest force for full participation of females in education, both academics and sports.

  • Martial Law declared in the Philippines
    On September 21, 1972, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law in the Philippines and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

  • Strong earthquake shakes Nicaragua
    In 1972 Nicaragua was bracing for possible aftershocks to an earthquake measuring 5.9 degrees on the Richter scale that killed four people, injured at least 45 and caused widespread damage southeast of the capital, according to police. Then Nicaragua suffered a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake on December 23, 1972 that practically leveled Managua killing around 10,000 people, injuring 20,000 and leaving another 30,000 homeless.

  • First sucessful report of freezing embryo's.
    First successful report of freezing mouse embryo's. They actually survived after being frozen!

  • Last man on the moon
    Eugene Cernan Last man to walk on the moon. He was on Appollo 17 on December 1972.

[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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