Century  20 8 th. Decade
Century  20 1971-1980


Jan 25  Milton Obote, the socialist president of the former British colony of Uganda, is attending a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore. His army chief, Idi Amin, is afraid that he, Amin, might be arrested for misappropriating army funds. Amin takes power. The British foreign office describes Amin as "A splendid type and a good football player."
Idi Amin
Idi Amin

Jan 28  Idi Amin releases 55 political prisoners and imposes a ban on political activities.

Feb 1-2  Idi Amin dismisses mayors and other local officials because of their ties to the previous regime, and he closes parliament. 

Feb 6  In Britain, the government of Edward Heath recognizes the Amin regime. Amin establishes the so-called "State Research Bureau" to hunt down and kill Obote's supporters and intellectuals whom he distrusts. Military leaders who had not supported the coup are executed, many by beheading.

Feb 7 Switzerland gives women voting rights in state but not nationwide elections.

Feb 13  Twelve thousand ARVN (Saigon) troops, backed by US air and artillery support, invade Laos to block the Ho Chi Minh trail. The move drives the Communist forces deeper into Laos, and Laos becomes another war front in Indochina.

Mar 1  A bomb explodes in the men's room at the White House. The Weather Underground claims responsibility. Capitalism continues undeterred.

Mar 8  In Turkey, four United States airmen are freed unharmed after five days in the hands of leftist kidnappers.

Mar 12  Hafez al-Assad becomes President of Syria. He has been Secretary of the National Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Syrian section) since November, 1970.

Mar 25  President Khan of Pakistan launches Operation Search Light, a military assault on East Pakistan against those who want independence.

Mar 29  US Army Lieutenant William Calley has been found guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre. He is sentenced to life in prison.

Apr 6   In South Vietnam, peasants in the hamlet of Phuqui return after having been forced from their homes during an American military sweep two years before. Many remain bitter and hostile toward the regime in Saigon.

Apr 8  China and the US have ping pong teams in Japan competing for the world table tennis championship. Ping pong diplomacy begins as China invites the United States team to China.

Apr 9  Charles Manson is sentenced to death.

Apr 17  President Khan's military operation in East Pakistan is bloody, aimed primarily at intellectuals but hitting at broader segments of the population. East Pakistan declares its independence from West Pakistan while
Khan's troops continue their operation.

Apr 19  National Public Radio's first transmission covers hearings on the Vietnam war by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Apr 19  The new government of Bangladesh flees from Pakistani forces to India.

Apr 20  The US Supreme Court rules unanimously that busing students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.

Apr 21   François Duvalier (Papa Doc), President of Haiti, dies. His son, Jean-Claude Duvalier follows him as president-for-life.

May 3  The Harris Poll claims that 60 percent of Americans oppose the Vietnam War.

May 3  National Public Radio begins its news program "All Things Considered."

Jun 4  President Nixon and Henry Kissinger discuss the conflict over Bangladesh. Nixon dislikes India and its Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, supporters of East Pakistan's independence. Kissinger says that "If East Pakistan becomes independent, it is going to become a cesspool." He adds: "They're going to become a ripe field for Communist infiltration."

Jun 10  The US ends its trade embargo against Communist China. Americans can now sell or buy goods from China.

Jun 13  The New York Times begins publishing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers - a 7,000 page study of US involvement in Vietnam by the Defense Department - given to the Times by a former military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg.

Jun 14  Norway begins producing oil from wells in the North Sea.

Jun 17  President Nixon, in the Oval Office, orders a break-in at the Brookings Institution to seize material that he fears might incriminate him regarding his violation of the Logan Act back on November 2, 1968 Nixon says, "I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it." (Not to be confused with the "Watergate break-in" on June 17, 1972.)

Jun 29  US Senator Mike Gravel, Democrat from Alaska, enters 4,100 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the record of his subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds.

Jun 30  The Nixon administration has applied an injunction against the New York Times publishing the Pentagon Papers. The US Supreme Court rules that the government's injunctions are unconstitutional.

Jul 3  In his apartment in Paris, Jim Morrison, singer and lyricist for the rock band the Doors, is found dead in his bathtub.

Jul 10-11  In Morocco, 1,400 military cadets take over Hassan's palace for three hours, and they kill 28. Hopes surge among the hundreds of dissidents in jail. Troops loyal to Hassan defeat the rising.  King Hassan describes four generals as having attempted a "Libyan-style coup."

Jul 12  In Libya, press and radio express support for the attempted overthrow of King Hassan II. In Morocco, ten high-ranking Army officers are shot. It is reported that on command, units of the army, navy and air force spat on the bodies.

Jul 14 Libya severs diplomatic ties with Morocco.

Jul 15  President Nixon tells the public that his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, has accepted an invitation to visit China.

Jul 16  In Spain, Franco makes Prince Juan Carlos his successor.

Jul 17  Ending a three-day meeting to discuss divisions in the Arab world, President Sadat of Egypt, Gaddafi of Libya and delegates from Syria and Sudan condemn what they describe as the repression in Morocco since the coup attempt on July 10th.

Jul 22  In a taped conversation with Kissinger, Nixon says, "We're doing the China thing to screw the Russians and help us in Vietnam."

July 24-25  Vice President Spiro Agnew visits King Hassan II. On behalf of President Nixon he congratulates Hassan for his courage. The US has three military bases in Morocco.

Aug 9  India signs a 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union.

Aug 9  Violence has been increasing in Northern Ireland. There the British launch Operation Demetrius, the introduction of internment without trial and a ban on all parades. Relying on outdated lists containing 450 names, the British Army arrests 342 men. Within 48 hours 116 of those arrested will be released.

Aug 14  Britain increases its troops in Northern Ireland to 12,500. They are stationed along the border between the north and the Republic of Ireland to stop arms traffic.

Aug 15  The United States had been running a balance of payments and trade deficits for the first time in the twentieth century. The US abandons the gold standard intending to let the value of the US dollar fall. President Nixon announces that the US will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value. And hoping to control inflation he imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.

Aug 16-17  In Londonderry, 8,000 workers go out on strike in a protest against the British. Thirty prominent Catholics withdraw from their public office jobs. The head of government in the Republic of Ireland, Jack Lynch, calls for an immediate end of internment of those from Northern Ireland whom the British have taken into custody.

Aug 18  Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.

Aug 19-22  Following the death of President René Barrientos Ortuño, Bolivia has had a succession of weak governments. Alarmed by public disorder and growing influence of leftists, the military has overthrown the left-leaning presidency of Juan Jose Torres and has installed Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez as President.

Aug 23  Bolivia's air force bombs the University of San Andres, where leftist students are making their last stand against the military coup.

Sep 1-31  This month, Supreme Court justices John Harlan and Hugo Black have announced their retirement. President Nixon wants to replace his vice president, Spiro Agnew, with John Connally. Nixon's White House tapes will record him and his advisor Haldeman discussing appointing Agnew to the Supreme Court. They are not recorded discussing Agnew's qualifications. Together they reject the idea believing that Agnew could not pass Senate confirmation. Nixon will nominate Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist.

Sep 3  Qatar becomes independent from British rule.

Sep 12  A four-day prison riot at Attica Prison in New York State kills 32 prisoners and 10 wardens.

Sep 28  In Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty, who has been in the US Embassy since 1956, is allowed to leave Hungary. He is moving to Vienna.

Oct 3  Governor Ronald Reagan tells delegates to the California Republican State Central Committee convention that he is not supporting a move to make him President in 1972, that he is supporting President Nixon's reelection.

Oct 14  Secretary of State William P. Rogers states his confidence that the campaign to save the seat of Taiwan (Nationalist China) in the United Nations will succeed.

Oct 19  Security Advisor Henry Kissinger arrives in Beijing for talks.

Oct 20  West Germany's Social Democrat chancellor, Willy Brandt, wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to get along with Communist East Europe - ostpolitik.

Oct 25  The UN General Assembly admits mainland China and expels Taiwan. US Senataor Barry Goldwater says "I suggested on the floor of the Senate today that we stop all funds for the United Nations. Now, what that'll do to the United Nations, I don't know. I have a hunch it would cause them to fold up, which would make me very happy at this particular point. I think if this happens, they can well move their headquarters to Peking or Moscow and get 'em out of this country."

Oct 27  The Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, is renamed Zaire.

Oct 28  Britain becomes the sixth nation to launch a satellite into orbit.

Oct 28  The British House of Commons votes 356 to 244 in favor of joining the European Economic Community.

Oct 29  US troops in Vietnam drop in number to 196,700, their lowest since January 1966.

Nov 10  Cambodian Communists, the Khmer Rouge (rouge being French for red), have been gaining adherents following US bombing raids. Prince Sihanouk is popular in rural Cambodia. Previously a neutral, he is now in exile in Beijing and supporting the Khmer Rouge. Khmer Rouge forces attack Phnom Penh and its airport, killing 44, wounding at least 30 and damaging 9 airplanes.

Nov 12  It is one year before another presidential election. President Nixon sets February 1 as a deadline for removal of another 45,000 troops from Vietnam.

Nov 23  The People's Republic of China takes its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Nov 28  The Irish Republican Army launches rocket attacks on targets in Northern Ireland. This and other incidents claim the lives of four.

Nov 29  Around 2,500, mostly women, march in Washington D.C. demanding a repeal of abortion laws, contraception laws and an end to forced sterilization.

Dec (day unknown)  Greenpeace is founded as an organization in Vancouver, Canada. It is opposed to US nuclear testing in Alaska.

Dec 2  Six sheikdoms found the United Arab Emirates.

Dec 3-4  Pakistan and India are at war regarding Pakistan's continued military operations against Bangladesh. Pakistan attacks nine Indian airbases. The next day India sends troops into Bangladesh.

Dec 14  Facing a military defeat in Bangladesh, Pakistan kills hundreds of Bangladeshi intellectuals.

Dec 16 In Bangladesh the Pakistani army surrenders, ending the conflict over Bangladeshi independence.

Dec 18  The Group of Ten (G10) meets in the United States and agrees with the US to fixed exchange rates, but without gold or a world currency for support - unlike the Bretton Woods conference of 1944. European currencies are fixed at undervalued parities in relation to the dollar and the dollar is devalued to $38 per ounce of gold - its second devaluation in history.

Dec 29  Britain gives up its military bases in Malta.


Jan 29  Senator Adlai Stevenson criticizes President Nixon for supporting the Pakistani government against East Pakistan (Bangladesh) seeking self-determination.

Jan 30  Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth after being advised that Commonwealth members, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, will recognize Bangladesh.

Jan 30  In Derry (Londonderry) Northern Ireland, British paratroopers respond to a civil rights march by Catholics, in defiance of a ban against marches, and shoot dead thirteen unarmed marchers.

Feb 1  The first hand-held calculator (HP-35) goes on the market for $395.

Feb 2  Responding to the incident in Derry, persons in Dublin, Ireland, burn the British Embassy to the ground. Also in Ireland, several British-owned businesses are set afire.  A bomb explodes at the British Yacht Club in West Berlin.

Feb 18  The California Supreme Court finds the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the state constitution. Everyone on death row, including Charles Manson, has his sentence commuted to life in prison.

Feb 21-28  President Nixon and a large entourage visit the People's Republic of China. The US and China pledge to work toward full normalization of diplomatic relations. The US acknowledges that Taiwan is a part of China and expresses interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue.

Feb 22  A bomb planted by the Irish Republic Army kills seven people in Aldershot, England.

Feb 24  North Vietnamese negotiators walk out of the Paris peace talks, complaining of the US bombing of their country.

Mar 4  Libya signs a cooperation treaty with the Soviet Union. There is to be a joint development and refining of Libyan oil.

Mar 7  Campaigning in New Hampshire as the Democratic Party's front runner for nomination for president, Ed Muskie, Senator from Maine, is televised appearing to weep while complaining about a letter published in the Manchester Union-Leader. Presidents are not supposed to weep in public. Muskie wins the New Hampshire primary, but doesn't look presidential and will drop out of the race. It will be revealed during the Watergate scandal that the letter was a dirty tricks project from Nixon campaign operatives.

Mar 20  In the wake of President Nixon's visit to China, Leonid Brezhnev confirms that the Soviet Union is concerned about the possibility of secret agreements between China and the United States.

Mar 24  Britain closes Northern Ireland's parliament and says it will rule there directly for one year. Some of Northern Ireland's Protestants are disturbed by their loss of power. They charge Britain with surrendering to "terrorist violence." Ireland's government welcomes the take-over. The IRA does not.

Mar 30  North Vietnamese forces attack enemy bases in the south in their biggest offensive in four years.

Apr 10  The US and Soviet Union join 70 other nations in signing an agreement to ban biological warfare.

Apr 16  The US extends its bombing to Hanoi and its harbor: Haiphong.

Apr 19  President Nixon tells his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger: "I’m the last president... I’m the only president... who had the guts to do what we’re doing.... Reagan never could make president to begin with, and he couldn’t handle it.... I’m going to destroy the [expletive] country, believe me, I mean destroy it if necessary.... We will bomb the living beejezus out of North Vietnam and then if anyone interferes we will threaten the nuclear weapon."

Apr 21  Kissinger is in Moscow, preparing for a summit meeting. He tells Brezhnev that the US has two objectives in Vietnam: "to bring about an honorable withdrawal of our forces in Vietnam " and " to put a time interval between our withdrawal and the political process which would then start... We are not committed to a permanent political involvement there." (David Reynolds)

Apr 27  In Burundi a Hutu led rebellion against the Tutsi military dictatorship erupts and starts killing people.

April 30  The unelected Tutsi "president," Michel Micombero, declares martial law, and the Tutsi controlled army goes on the offensive. Targeted are Hutus, especially the educated or militarily trained. In the coming three months between 100,000 and 150,000 Hutus will be killed and a half million Hutus will flee the country, while other events dominate world news.

May 8  President Nixon orders the mining of Haiphong Harbor.

May 15  In Laurel, Maryland, while campaigning for the presidency, Governor Wallace of Alabama is shot. He will be paralyzed.

May 19  In Hamburg Germany, the Red Army Faction explodes three bombs at the building housing the Springer Press.

May 24  In President Nixon's otherwise friendly visit to Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev pounds the table and speaks of America's "shameful war" in Vietnam.

May 26  Following negotiations that began in 1969, President Nixon and Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), the first accord intending to regulate the nuclear arms race. The agreement locks strategic ballistic missile launchers at their current number.

May 27  To the Soviet Union's foreign secretary, Andrei Gromyko, Henry Kissinger speaks of US intentions to "leave the struggle to the Vietnamese... All we ask is a degree of time so as to leave Vietnam for Americans in a better perspective." (Summits, by David Reynolds, p. 267)

G. Gordon Liddy in later years
G. Gordon Liddy in later years

May 28  A first attempt is made by operatives working for the Republican Party to break into the Democratic Party's national headquarters, to find evidence that the Democrats have received funds from Cuba - a possibility suggested by one of the operatives: G. Gordon Liddy.

May 30  In Britain, members of the "Angry Brigade," go on trial. They are held responsible for around 25 bombings in Britain since 1970, bombings that caused property damage.

May 30  Three members of the Japanese Red Army kill 24 and injure 80 at Israel's airport in Tel Aviv. Two of the attackers kill themselves with grenades - making an impression on a few Palestinians. The third attacker is taken prisoner.
Jun 1  In Iraq, the vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Saddam Hussein, oversees the seizure of Iraqi oil from international interests.

Jun 2  In West Germany, members of the Red Army Faction, including Andreas Baader, are arrested after a shootout with the police.
Napalm warfare. Associated Press photograph
Napalm warfare. Associated Press
photograph, taken by Nick Ut

Jun 8  In South Vietnam, a tactic has been to bomb villages to discourage support of the Viet Cong. Terrorized children are televised running from the napalm bombing of the village of Trang Bang. Information about the later life of the naked girl with the burned flesh, seen running from her village (see photo), is available through a Wikipedia search for Phan Th? Kim Phúc.
Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Meinhof
Jun 15  In West Germany, more members of the Red Army Faction are arrested, including the co-founder Ulrike Meinhof, a former sociology and philosophy student and anti-Vietnam war activist. In four years, while in prison, she will hang herself.

Jun 17 Five men are arrested at the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. They were intending to plant listening devices and photograph papers.

Jun 17  The United States returns Okinawa to Japan.

Jun 23  President Nixon has a recording device in the White House, and he and his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the CIA to obstruct an FBI investigation of the break-in at the Watergate hotel.

Jun 28  President Nixon ends sending draftees to Vietnam, unless they volunteer for duty there.

Jul 14  Senator George McGovern wins the Democratic Party's nomination for president. He favors an immediate and complete withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam.

Jun 21  In Belfast, 22 bombs planted by the Irish Republican Army explode, kill nine people and seriously wound 130.

Aug 3  The US Senate votes 49-47 to withdraw all United States forces from Indochina within four months, provided all prisoners of war are released.

Aug 4  President Amin begins to expel Uganda's Indian minority to Britain.

Aug 4  According to a Gallup Poll,  60 percent of the voting-age public opposes an unconditional amnesty for men who have evaded the draft by leaving the country.

Aug 12  President Nixon withdraws the last US combat units from Vietnam.

Aug 16  King Hassan of Morocco, while returning home in his private Boeing 727, is fired upon by fighter aircraft of the Royal Moroccan Air Force. His plane lands and the fighter aircraft continue shooting at his plane. Hassan sends a message by radio, disguising himself as someone else and reporting that the king has been killed. The fighter planes withdraw, the pilots soon to be executed.

Aug 17  A survey of 456 of the richest, most powerful and most influential persons in the US reveals "a high level of acceptance of government intervention in the economy, approval of most of the things that make up the welfare state and rejection of hard-line anti-communism in foreign policy," what some people would call the liberal establishment. (The quote from the New York Times.)

Aug 22  Actress Jane Fonda is opposed to her country's military intervention in Vietnam. She is visiting North Vietnam. From Hanoi she broadcasts a description of her visit. For this she is to be called Hanoi Jane and a traitor.

Sep 5-6  At the Summer Olympics in Munich, eight Palestinians belonging to Black September enter the Olympic Village and murder eleven Israeli athletes .

Sep 14  Thirty-three years have passed since Germany invaded Poland. West Germany and Poland renew diplomatic relations.

Sep 21  President Marcos places the Philippines under martial law, allowing him to rule by decree. He describes this as necessary to prevent a Communist takeover.

Sep 29  Japan and China normalize diplomatic relations.

Oct 2  Denmark joins the European Community.

Oct 19  Two members of Black September hijack a German, Lufthansa, Boeing 727 airliner and demand release of three being held for the killing of the Israeli athletes in Munich.

Oct 25  In the US, the first female FBI agents are hired.

Oct 14  Chile is suffering economic decline and high inflation. Housewives are embittered by chronic shortages and rising prices and march beating on pots and pans. The leftist Allende regime declares an emergency and takes control of radio broadcasts as thousands of shopkeepers and small businessmen strike.

Oct 26   On the campaign trail in Kentucky, President Nixon says he is confident that difficulties regarding a cease-fire and peace settlement regarding Vietnam "can and will be worked out."

Oct 31  The United States seeks reassurance from Hanoi that when the settlement with Hanoi goes into effect, Hanoi will withdraw many of the 35,000 troops it has in the northern part of South Vietnam, although this is not among the terms of the agreement being negotiated by Henry Kissinger in Paris.

Nov 1  In Saigon, President Thieu describes agreement being made in Paris as "a surrender of the South Vietnamese people to the Communists."

Nov 1  West Germany has released the three demanded by the two Black September hijackers, who remain in Libya. Libya declares that it will not allow extradition of the two.

Nov 5  In Chile, a strike by truckers ends, and other strike leaders call for a return to work, ending a 26-day work stoppage.

Nov 7  President Nixon wins re-election with more than 60 percent of the popular vote.

Nov 11  The US turns the Long Binh military base over to Saigon's military.

Nov 20  Federal elections in West Germany gives Chancellor Willy Brandt's coalition 54 percent of the vote. Brandt wins a second term in office and support for his policy of reconciliation with Communism in East Germany and Eastern Europe - a policy detested by some conservatives.

Nov 20  Cuba informs the United States that it will put on trial the three hijackers who demanded and received $2 million in ransom and forced a Southern Airways jet to land in Havana.

Nov 21  The military junta ruling Argentina has invited Juan D. Peron to return, hoping he will contribute to a new unity in the country as it moves toward civilian rule for 1973. Peron receives a warm welcome.

Nov 22  US intelligence officials report that Hanoi has ordered Communist forces in South Vietnam to observe a cease-fire scrupulously for the first 60 days after it goes into effect and to refrain from all acts of vengeance, assassination and terrorism during that period.

Dec 7  In the Philippines, the First Lady, Imelda Marcos, is stabbed and seriously wounded. Her bodyguards shoot and kill the assailant, who was a geodetic engineer.

Dec 8  The United Nations proclaims this International Human Rights Day.

Dec 8  Trade flourishes between the Israelis and Jordanians. They watch each other's television programs. But Israeli-made goods and Israeli citizens are not welcome in Jordan.

Dec 15  Australia proclaims equal pay for women.

Dec 16  Henry Kissinger says that the negotiations between the United States and North Vietnam have so far failed to reach what President Nixon regards as "a just and fair agreement" to end the Vietnam war.

Dec 18  President Nixon has resumed bombing North Vietnam: Operation Linebacker. North Vietnam announces that they may break contacts with the US at the Paris Peace Conference.

Dec 21  East and West Germany recognize each other's government.

Dec 22  After five days and nights of heavy bombing, Hanoi is scarred and half deserted but, according to one observer, vigorous and in good spirits.

Dec 26  Former President Harry S. Truman dies.

Jan 1  Britain, Ireland and Denmark join the European Economic Community - the future European Union.

Jan 17  In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos becomes President for Life.

Jan 22  Former US President, Lyndon B. Johnson, dies four years after leaving office.

Jan 27  The Paris Peace Accords are signed by the United States, North Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam (of Saigon) and the Viet Cong (the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam). A ceasefire begins. Like the Geneva Accords of 1954, the agreement assumes that Vietnam is one country. There are to be negotiations between Saigon and the Viet Cong that will allow elections in the South and an eventual reunification of Vietnam to be "carried out step by step through peaceful means." The US agrees to withdraw it forces within sixty days.

Jan 30  Two former officials of President Nixon's re-election committee, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord, Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and bugging the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters.

Feb 2  President Nixon is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Feb 2  President Nixon has tried to get the CIA Director, Richard Helms, to help him block an investigation of the Watergate break-in. Helms refuses to cooperate in such an illegal act, except that he will not report Nixon. Nixon fires Helms as CIA Director.

Feb 4  The Suez Canal has been closed since the 1967 Six Day War. Israel still occupies Egyptian territory and refuses to budge without a treaty that inspires confidence in Egypt's good will. University students described as leftists have been demonstrating and beaten back with sticks and tear gas. They are unhappy with Israeli occupation of Egyptian territory. Consolidating his power in Egypt is Anwar Sadat. His party, the only political party in Egypt, purges from its ranks 64 journalists, writers and other intellectuals.

Feb 11  North Vietnam releases US prisoners of war.

Feb 13  The US dollar is devalued 10 percent against nearly all major currencies. US citizens must now pay more for goods with foreign components, and travel abroad will be more expensive. 

Feb 21  Over the Sinai Desert, an Israeli fighter pilot shoots down a Libyan passenger airliner he mistakes for a military plane, killing 108. Anti-Israeli passions in Egypt are inflamed. Some of the passengers were Egyptian.

Feb 27  The hamlet at Wounded Knee is seized by followers of the American Indian Movement. They are unhappy with the Oglala tribal chairman of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Dick Wilson.

Mar 1  Eight Black September members seize the Saudi embassy in Sudan. They demand the release of the surviving gunman of the Lod Airport Massacre and the release of Japanese Red Army members in jail in Germany. Their demand is rejected and they kill three diplomats, two from the US and one from Belgium.

Mar 4  The Black September commandos surrender to the Sudanese Government.

Mar 4  Israel's Premier, Golda Meir, criticizes some European nations for submitting to what she said was "Arab terrorist blackmail" by releasing Arabs apprehended for terrorist acts.

Mar 8  Voters in Northern Ireland endorse remaining in the United Kingdom.

Mar 8  The Provisional Irish Republican Army explodes bombs in London's government district.

Mar 9  Sudan's government speaks of executing the Black September commandos and banning all Palestinian commando activity. 

Mar 12  Gold has risen to 90 dollars an ounce. International pressure to dump the dollar results in the Brussels Agreement. The US dollar is no longer to be linked to the price of gold.

Mar 13  A new Syrian constitution vests the Ba'ath Party with leadership functions in the state and society. It provides broad powers to the president, who is also Secretary General of the Ba'ath Party and is to be approved by referendum for a 7-year term.

Mar 15  Saigon has been seizing areas occupied by Communist forces in the Mekong Delta and elsewhere in the south. In a meeting in Hanoi, Communist strategists acknowledge that their troops in the south are exhausted and in disarray. Their spies tell them that Saigon's President Thieu has plans to continue grabbing territory.

Apr 17  At Wounded Knee, six members of the American Indian Movement are wounded in a gun battle with federal marshals.

Apr 28  Ireland's navy arrests six men transporting five tons of weapons destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Apr 29  Israel's Golda Meir describes Egypt's Anwar Sadat as a leader "in distress" and says that Israel must be prepared for a war that he might start.

Apr 30  President Nixon accepts the resignation of four close aides, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, his Attorney General, Kleindienst and his counsel, John Dean. In a special address to the nation he says, "There can be no whitewash at the White House," and he claims "full responsibility" for the actions of his subordinates in the Watergate scandal.

May 3-4  One of the six wounded at Wounded Knee has died. Another gun battle erupts and another is killed.

May 7  Negotiating with federal agents, the American Indian Movement agrees to end its stand at Wounded Knee.

May 10  The Nixon administration has been trying to control developments in Laos and Cambodia by bombing. The US House of Representatives votes 219 to 188 to end funding for operations in Indochina. The House has a Democratic majority.

May 11  Premier Thanom Kittikachorn of Thailand says that US military are still needed in Thailand.

May 12  The White House announces that despite the vote in Congress it will continue bombing in Cambodia, to support Lon Nol's government.

May 14  The Senate Appropriations Committee votes 24 to 0 to cut off all funds for bombing Cambodia.

May 14  The British House of Commons votes to abolish capital punishment.

May 18  A Senate committee begins hearings on the Watergate scandal, with a promise to be meticulous rather than sensational. President Nixon's new Attorney General, Eliot Richardson appoints a special prosecutor for the Justice Department: Archibald Cox.

May 20  President Nixon claims that Hanoi has "persisted in violations" of the Vietnam cease-fire agreement and has failed to provide adequate information about the fate of missing American servicemen.

May 27  US intelligence analysts report that the chance of a North Vietnamese offensive in the near future is diminishing and that the Communists appear intent on concentrating instead on political activity.

May 31  The US Senate prohibits the use of any funds appropriated by Congress for combat activities in Laos or Cambodia. The vote is 63 to 19.

Jun 19  The US Congress passes the Case-Church Amendment which forbids any further US military involvement in Southeast Asia, effective August 15, 1973. The veto-proof vote is 278-124 in the House and 64-26 in the Senate.

Jun 23-25  Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev arrives in the US to meet with President Nixon to smooth over disarmament issues. The president's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, tells Chuck Conners that Brezhnev is a fan of his TV series The Rifleman. Conners gives Brezhnev a pair of Colt 45s on behalf of the movie industry in the United States. Some fans of Conners accuse him of being a Communist and some tear up his autographed photograph.

Jun 25  Former White House counsel John Dean begins to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee.

Jul 8  It is reported that in speaking at a meeting of leading Egyptian feminists, Colonel Qaddifi of Libya described women's liberation movements as no good.

Jul 10  The Bahamas gain full independence within the Common Wealth of Nations.

Jul 16  Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield tells the Senate Watergate Committee that President Nixon has secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

Jul 17  In Afghanistan, Prime Minister Daoud (62) seizes power from his cousin and brother-in-law, King (Shah) Zahir, creating a republic with himself as president. Zahir had ruled since 1933, had built castles but no roads and had mismanaged the economy. Only fifty miles of asphalt road exist in the whole of Afghanistan. The Barakzai Dynasty of Pashtun kings that began in 1818 is ended. President Daoud is an economic progressive who wants good relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union.

Jul 23  President Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the special prosecutor.

Aug 5  In Greece, two gunmen belonging to the Arab Nationalist Youth Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (ANYOLP) shoot down passengers disembarking from a TWA airliner that has arrived from Israel. Five passengers are killed and 55 wounded.

Aug 22  In Chile, inflation is at an annual rate of more than 500 percent. Chile's parliament, led by a coalition opposed to Allende, accuses the Allende government of unconstitutional acts and calls on the military to assure constitutional order.

Aug 23  In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has been speaking with Koranic references, has released Islamic activists from prison and has encouraged Islamic organizations on university campuses to counter Nasserites and political leftists. Frustrated over talks with Israel concerning Israeli occupation of Egyptian territory in the Sinai, Sadat is preparing for a war against Israel. Sadat negotiates an accord with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi king agreeing to use oil as a weapon during the coming war.

Sep 2  Libya announces the nationalization of 51 per cent of the assets of the oil companies operating in the country.

Sep 11  Chile's military overthrows Salvador Allende, who goes down fighting with the AK-47 said to have been given him by Fidel Castro.

Sep 15  Six Persian Gulf states declare a negotiating front to pressure for price increases and an end to support of Israel.

Sep 22  South Vietnamese troops assault North Vietnamese troops near Pleiku.

Sep 22  Henry Kissinger becomes Secretary of State.

Oct 1  Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's Security advisor, has had secret negotiations with Egypt's Anwar Sadat, but for eight months Kissinger has failed to convince Prime Minister Golda Meir that Sadat wanted peace with Israel. Sadat wanted negotiations that would allow Egypt to regain most of the Sinai lost in the 1967 war. He wanted an agreement by September. Meir didn't trust Sadat and didn't believe negotiations would be worthwhile. Now Sadat is preparing for war. (1973: the Road to War, by Yigal Kipnes)

Oct 6  President Sadat launches a war against Israel. He is joined by Hafez al-Assad's Syria and by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, with the latter expected to contribute money rather than soldiers. A surprise attack is launched against Israeli forces in Israeli-occupiked Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan has not joined the war against Israel.

Oct 8  Israel launches its first counterattack against Egypt, which is unsuccessful. Israelis fear this time it might be their defeat and annihilation. The Soviet Union is airlifting supplies to Syria.

Oct 10  European nations, under threat of an Arab oil embargo and trade boycott, have stopped supplying Israel with munitions. The Israelis are dependent on the United States. President Nixon has told Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that "your aircraft and tank losses will be replaced." His administration authorizes an airlift of military supplies to Israel.

Oct 10  Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States and in federal court pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion.

Oct 11  Secretary of State Kissinger warns the Soviet Ambassador that if the Soviet Union sends troops to the Middle East so will the United States.

Oct 14  Responding to Syrian requests for military help in the Golan, Iraq and Jordan send troops.

Oct 14  In Thailand, a student rebellion ends the military dictatorship of Field Marshall Thanom Kittikajorn and Prapas Charusathien. A foreign policy change is recommended, away from alignment with the United States and a diplomatic recognition of China. Some people dislike the presence of the US military in their country.

Oct 17  Secretary of State Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Le Duc Tho refuses the award. Henry Kissinger says the award amounts to recognition of "the central purpose of President Nixon's foreign policy - achievement of a lasting peace."

Oct 17  An Arab oil embargo against countries that support Israel triggers an energy crisis. Ten Arab member-nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announce they will cut oil production until Israel withdraws from Arab territory captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and the rights of the Palestinian people are "restored." The embargo will not be lifted completely until March 1974.

Oct. 20  Israeli tanks have succeeded against Syrian tanks and are within 10 miles of Damascus.

Oct 20  President Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns. So does Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the United States Department of Justice, doesn't follow suit. He becomes acting Attorney General and fires Cox.

Oct 21  Israeli forces have crossed the Suez Canal and surround Egypt's Third Army.

Oct 28  Since the Arab side has been losing, the UN and the Soviet Union have moved to end the war. Israeli and Egyptian military leaders meet to implement the cease-fire at Kilometer 101 marker in the Sinai. It is the first meeting between military representatives of the two countries in 25 years. By the end of the war, Israel has lost 2,688 killed and thousands wounded. On a per capita basis, Israel's loss is greater in the war's twenty-two days than the US suffered during all its years of combat in Vietnam.

Oct 30  The bridge in Istanbul that crosses the Bosporus is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia.

Nov 1  Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.

Nov 4  In Greece, student demonstrators, opposed to the country's dictatorship, clash with police.

Nov 6  Viet Cong and Saigon forces have been fighting for weeks. The Viet Cong claims that it is retaliating. Saigon accuses the Viet Cong of aggression. Little progress is being made toward the cooperation necessary for the free elections stipulated in the Paris Accords - elections that the Viet Cong (of South Vietnam) and North Vietnam wanted in the peace agreement.

Nov 6  In Northern California, Donald DeFreeze, who earlier in the year walked away from a work detail at Soledad Prison, has joined a group of urban guerrillas which he calls the Symbionese Liberation Army. He calls himself General Cinque. His group assassinates Oakland's Superintendent of Schools, Marcus Foster, because he favored identity cards, which the group denounces as fascist.

Nov 7  The US Congress overrides President Nixon 's veto of its War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.

Nov 17  Greek troops with a tank crash through the iron gates of the Athens Polytechnic University to help police dislodge around 2,000 students who have seized the campus in a protest against the dictatorship of George Papadopoulos.

Nov 19  Papadopoulos has imposed martial law. In Athens since the night of the 17th, there have been clashes in scattered areas between the police and demonstrators, the police firing their handguns into the air and using tear gas to disperse hostile crowds.

Nov 22  The chief of the Greek armed forces outlaws 28 student organizations, while demonstrations continue.

Nov 24  In Greece, demonstrating students are joined by young construction workers.

Nov 25  Papadopoulos is ousted in a military coup. People in the village where he grew up, Elaiohori, in the Peloponnese, are disappointed.

Nov 27  President Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act authorizing price, production, allocation and marketing controls.

Nov 27 The new Greek leadership, moving to generate public support, begins releasing students and others jailed in the demonstrations and riots against Papadopoulos.

Nov 28  The new military rulers of Greece move to consolidate their power by purging from the armed forces high-ranking officers who supported George Papadopoulos.

Dec 1  Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.

Dec 3  PRG (Vietcong) forces destroy 18 million gallons of fuel stored near Saigon.

Dec 7  The White House cannot explain an 18-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes.

Dec 15  The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

Dec 23  OPEC doubles the price of crude oil.

Dec 28  The US Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.

Jan 4  Citing executive privilege, President Nixon refuses to surrender 500 tapes and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

Jan 4  Japan is suffering economically and cutting back its exports 15 to 25 percent. With the rise in price of oil, Japan is shifting auto production to more fuel efficient models, and Japan is shifting from oil-intensive industries to more investment in electronics.

Jan 30  In his State of the Union Address, President Nixon boasts of better relations with China and the Soviet Union and the peace accord in Vietnam. Peace, he says, has returned to our cities and to our campuses and the "17-year rise in crime has been stopped."  He adds: "One year of Watergate is enough."

Feb 4 Arab oil producers say they will increase supplies of oil to nations that have shown a "positive" attitude toward Arab aspirations, which can be read as including Arab hostility toward Israel. Europe gets around 80 percent of its oil from the Middle East and is currently suffering from the Arab oil embargo.

Feb 4  Patricia Hearst, U.C. Berkeley student and granddaughter of publisher William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment.

Feb 8  In northern California, the Symbionese Liberation Army, led by General Cinque, declares that it is holding Patricia Hearst.

Feb 13  The Symbionese Liberation Army demands that the father of Patricia Hearst distribute more than $230-million worth of free food for the poor as evidence of good faith in negotiating the release of his kidnapped daughter.

Feb 14  Alexander Solzhenitsyn is sent into a forced exile. Authorities in the Soviet Union say that his family will be allowed to join him.

Mar 17 Arab oil ministers, with the exception of the Libyans, announce the end of their oil embargo against the United States.

Apr 1  In the US the rate of price increases for the year will be 11.3 percent, in Britain it will be 17.2 percent. People are distressed. Gasoline in the United States has risen to 55 cents per gallon. The average annual income in the US is $13,900. The average new house costs $34,900.

Apr 15  In San Francisco, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army rob a branch of the Hibernia National Bank, joined by Patricia Hearst carrying a rifle and shouting orders at bank customers.

Apr 25  In Portugal, the Caetano regime's war to preserve colonialism in Africa, and its failure to institute democratic reforms, results in a coup by members of the armed forces. Coup leaders grant new liberties. Opposition political parties are legalized, and steps toward giving up African territories begin.

May 9  The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens impeachment hearings against President Nixon.

May 16-17  The Symbionese Liberation army has migrated to Los Angeles where General Cinque grew up and hopes to recruit people into his army. While shopping, a member is caught trying to shoplift a pair of socks. Shooting erupts and army members, including Patricia Hearst, escape in their van. The police find the van abandoned, with a parking ticket in the glove box that leads them to the house where the group is living. After watching the news the groups takes over a house in a black neighborhood. A tip leads the 400 policemen, the FBI and fire department to that house. A hot tear gas canister sets the house on fire. A shoot out ends with the death of General Cinque and four others. Seven other members of the army, including Patricia Hearst, head back to Northern California, their hopes of overthrowing "the system" diminished.

May 17  A Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Volunteer Force, explodes two car bombs in Ireland's capital, Dublin, and another car bomb in Ireland near the northern border. Thirty-three people die and nearly 300 are injured. 

May 18  India successfully conducts an underground nuclear test, code named as Smiling Buddha, and becomes the latest nuclear power.

Jun 13  The Weather Underground explode a bomb a Gulf Oil's Pittsburgh headquarter, the creating a minor damage. The naive strategy that the Weather Underground favored in splitting from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1969 has produced no political gains. This year four members, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn among them, write a fantasy book titled Prairie Fire, It states, "We have only begun. At this time, the unity and consolidation of anti-imperialist forces around a revolutionary program is an urgent and pressing strategic necessity."

 Jun 15  Members of the British National Front has grown to about 20,000 members, some outspokenly racist. On the streets of London's West End, the group clashes with communist counter-demonstrators, eager for a heroic confrontation with "fascists." A student with the counter-demonstrators is killed.

Jun 31  Vietnamese forces commanded from Hanoi have begun a build up of men and supplies in South Vietnam.

Jul 1  In Argentina, Juan Peron has been ill. He dies and is succeeded by the vice president, his wife, Isabel Peron, who becomes the first female head of state in North America.

Jul 2  In Nicosia, Cyprus, President Makarios believes that Greek military officers are undermining his government. He demands the military regime in Athens withdraw its officers from Cyprus.

Jul 15  The regime in Athens sponsors a coup d'etat in Nicosia. Makarios flees and is replaced by a fervent Greek nationalist politician: Nikos Sampson.

Jul 17  The Irish Republican Army continues politics by terror by exploding a bomb in the Tower of London, killing 1 person and injuring 41.

Jul 19  Makarios addresses the UN Security Council and accuses Greece of having invaded Cyprus and of being a threat to all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish.

Jul 20  Turkey invades Cyprus, describing it as a "peace operation" designed to protect the Turkish community in Cyprus.

Jul 23   In Greece, senior military officers withdraw their support from leaders of the military junta.

Jul 24  In Greece, a moderate-conservative politician, Constantine Karamanlis, is sworn in as interim prime minister. He is intent on preparing the country for elections.

Jul 24  The US Supreme Court rules that President Nixon cannot withhold subpoenaed tapes from the Watergate special prosecutor.

Jul 27  The US House of Representatives adopts 3 articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the House Watergate Committee.

Jul 31  By now the morale of Saigon's army is eroding. More than 90 percent have not been receiving enough pay to sustain their families. Commanders, perhaps foreseeing Saigon's collapse, or at least worried about it, have been looking out for themselves and robbing payrolls.

Aug 5  President Nixon's tapes reveal that he and his aide, Haldeman, discussed using the Central Intelligence Agency to block an FBI investigation. This is considered the long sought "smoking gun." Nixon's support among Republicans in Congress collapses.

Aug 7  President Nixon is anguished. He asks Secretary of State Kissinger to join him on his knees in prayer.

Aug 8  President Nixon announces his resignation effective August 9.

Aug 9  Vice President Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States.

Sep 8  President Ford pardons former President Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

Sep 13  Three members of the Japanese Red Army seize the French Embassy in the Netherlands.

Sep 19  The Japanese Red Army has freed its hostages and won the release of one of its members. They have been given $300,000 and a flight to Aden. In Aden they turn themselves and the $300,000 over to Palestinian guerrillas. One of the three is the founder of a Red Army, a young Japanese woman, Fusako Shigenobu, who had arrived in Europe in 1971. She was one of the planners of the airport massacre in Tel Aviv. She will remain sheltered in the Middle East for years and will be arrested in Japan in the year 2000.

Oct 8  President Ford makes his Whip Inflation Now speech. He proposes more food production and complains that one-third of oil consumed in the US is from foreign sources. He says that either by law or agreement the automobile industry will lower gas consumption 40 percent.

Nov 17  In Greece, Premier Constantine Caramanlis' newly organized political party wins the first elections in more than a decade.

Nov 19  William Calley is freed after serving 3 1/2 years under house arrest following his conviction for the murder of 22 civilians at My Lai.

Dec 11  Congress passes a foreign policy appropriations bill which cuts funding to Saigon's military.

Dec 13  North Vietnam makes probing attacks in Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. President Ford responds with diplomatic protests but no military force in compliance with the Congressional ban on all US military activity in Southeast Asia. The North Vietnamese find resistance by Saigon's forces surprisingly weak.

Dec 18  North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to plan a final drive against Saigon.

Dec 30  President Ford signs the foreign policy appropriations bill.

Jan 9  In Florence, Italy, police raid an abortion clinic, creating controversy.

Jan 15  In Greece, former dictator, George Papdopoulos, is charged with high treason and insurrection.

Feb 11  In Britain, Margaret Thatcher is chosen leader of the Conservative Party, the first woman to lead a British political party. She is known as an articulate member of the House of Commons.

Feb 18  Jane Fonda files $2.8 million damage suit against the US government, charging violation of her civil rights. The Justice Department confirms that the CIA intercepted her overseas mail.

Feb 18  Italy's highest court rules that abortion is legal if a pregnancy threatens the mother's physical or psychological health.

Feb 21  The Vatican declares the ruling on abortion questionable and of extreme gravity and states that abortion is morally unconscionable even if it is permitted by civil law.

Feb 25  The West German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe declares as unconstitutional a law allowing abortions on request during the first three months of pregnancy.

Mar 6  The Shah of Iran and Baathist Iraq agree on a border between the two countries and declare a bond of "friendship and neighborliness.".

Mar 15  Aristotle Onassis dies. The former Jacqueline Kennedy is a widow again.

Mar 18  In Iraq, the peace and friendship between Iran and Iraq ends a year-old Kurd rebellion led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani. The Kurds had been supported by the Shah of Iran and by the CIA, the latter having been disturbed by Iraq's association with the Soviet Union.

Mar 26  During a royal audience, the young Saudi prince, Faisal ibu Masaed, fires three bullets at his uncle the king, Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz, fatally wounding him.

Mar 30  North Vietnam's Army is the fifth largest army in the world. It has overrun the city of Hue. Saigon's military is in full retreat. The city of Da Nang is overrun. Around 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers surrender after being abandoned by their commanding officers.

Apr 4  The first group of boat people from South Vietnam begin arriving in Malaysia.

Apr 5  Chiang Kai-shek's dream of taking back the mainland has come to an end with his death. Taiwan is shifting its focus from that project to advancing its economy.

Apr 12 In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge are closing in on the capital, Phnom Penh. The US evacuates its embassy personnel. Among the evacuees are some of Cambodia's most senior government ministers, including its acting president, Saukham Khoy.

Apr 17 In Paris, representatives of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge announce that the new Khmer Rouge government will follow a policy of neutrality and nonalignment. In Phnom Penh, many are joyous, believing that five years of civil war has ended. Khmer Rouge troops march into the city, disciplined, without a smile of friendship toward the celebrants in the streets.

Apr 18 China conveys its "warmest congratulations and highest esteem" to Prince Norodom Sihanouk and the new Cambodian leaders on their victory.

Apr 20 A radio station in Phnom Penh has been broadcasting only revolutionary music and slogans. The Khmer Rouge tells the people of Phnom Penh that the Americans are going to bomb the city. They begin to evacuate all residents.

Apr 21 Members of the Symbonese Liberation Army rob a bank in suburban Sacramento, California. One member, Emily Harris, kills a mother of four with a 12-gauge shotgun. Patricia Hearst drives the getaway car.

Apr 21 Nguyen Van Thieu resigns as President of South Vietnam. In an address he accuses the United States of having broken its promises. He is succeeded by Vice President Tran Van Huong.

Apr 23  President Ford announces that the Vietnam War is "finished as far as America is concerned." He says that "the fate of responsible men and women everywhere, in the final decision, is in their own hands, not ours."

Apr 25  A few members of Germany's Red Army Faction take over the German embassy in Stockholm, and after denied their demand for the release of twenty-six of their comrades they explode a bomb that kills two German diplomats.

Apr 26  From the French Embassy in Phnom Pehn, diplomats express concern about shortages of food, water and medical supplies. The embassy is housing diplomats and other foreigners, including five American newsmen.

Apr 27  Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops. Looting erupts.

Apr 29  US helicopters lift people to three US aircraft carriers. South Vietnamese pilots land their helicopters, which are pushed over the side to make room for more arrivals.

Apr 29  US and Greek officials announce the end of the home-port arrangement for the US Sixth Fleet and the closing of the US air base at Athens airport.

Apr 30  The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong occupy the presidential palace in Saigon.

May 5  The US State Department announces its belief that the Khmer Rouge has forcibly evacuated virtually the entire population from Phnom Penh.

May 12  The Khmer Rouge, aboard three gunboats, takes possession of a US cargo ship, the US Mayaguez, in a shipping lane off the coast of Cambodia.

May 14  US President Gerald Ford sends a company of Marines to rescue the Mayaguez and its crew. The ship's 40 crew members are rescued and an equal number of US servicemen are killed in the operation. Three Marines are taken prisoner and will not survive their captivity. The Khmer Rouge have gained nothing.

May 16  In Sikkim, people have rebelled against their monarchy. India annexes Sikkim, which becomes India's second smallest state.

Jun 2  In Maine, James A. Healy becomes the first black Roman Catholic bishop.

Jun 5  The Suez Canal, closed during Egypt's 1967 war with Israel, is reopened.

Jun 18  In a Riyadh shopping center, Prince Faisal ibu Masaed Faisal Ibn Mussed is beheaded for having killed his uncle, King Faisal.
Jun 25  In Eastern Africa, Mozambique becomes independent after five centuries of Portuguese rule. Around 600,000 Portuguese farmers have abandoned their farms, devastating Mozambique's agriculture.

Jul 1  Thailand and China establish diplomatic relations.

Jul 5  Arthur Ashe defeats Jimmy Conners, becoming the first black to win a Wimbledon singles title.

Jul 5  Portugal grants independence to the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of West Africa.

Aug 1  In Helsinki, Finland, representatives of 35 countries sign the Helsinki Accords. They include the Soviet Union, the United States, Turkey and Europe's various states. The Accords declare respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty, the inviolability of frontiers, non-intervention in internal affairs, self-determination, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. The Soviet Union is happy with the Accords, believing it offers them more security.

Aug 4  In Malaysia, the Japanese Red Army raids a building that houses the US, Swedish, Japanese and Canadian embassies. They take 50 hostages and demand release of comrades in prison in Japan.

Aug 8  The Japanese government sends the Red Army their seven comrades, and the Red Army releases its hostages. Japan Airlines flies the Red Army members to Libya where the army members surrender peacefully to Libyan authorities.

Aug 15  In Bangladesh, a pre-dawn military coup by mid-ranking army officers murders the country's founding leader, Sheik Mujibar Rahman, and his family.

Aug 16  In Bangladesh, coup officers back a political figurehead, Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed. He announces that parliamentary democracy will be restored by February 1977, and he lifts what had been the ban on political parties.

Aug 18  A Japan Air Lines spokesman expresses his view that the airline will refuse future requests to fly terrorists to countries that might offer them political asylum.

Aug 23  In Laos, a coalition government created by Communists takes power peacefully following days of planning and negotiations. The king of Laos, Savang Vatthana, is reduced to a figurehead.

Aug 24  In what has been an open trial, Col. George Papadopoulos and 19 others who took power in 1967 are found guilty of high treason and insurrection. Papadopoulos and two others are sentenced to death by firing squad.

Aug 25  Greece's government spares the lives of Papadopoulos and the two others sentenced to death, leaving the three with life sentences.

Aug 26  In Venice, Italy, preventive measures, long in progress, stop the city from sinking into the sea. 

Aug 27  Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, out of power for almost one year and still worshipped as a savior and as God Incarnate by Rastafarians, dies at the age 83.

Sep 5  In Sacramento, California, Lynette "Squeeky" Fromme, a mystic and follower of Charles Manson, plans to speak to President Ford about the plight of California's redwood trees. President Ford is visiting Sacramento. Fromme points a pistol at the president and pulls the trigger but there is no round in the chamber. She is arrested. 

Sep 8  Boston's public schools begin a court-ordered citywide busing program. The National Guard has been called out to prevent violence.

Sep 18  In an apartment in San Francisco with other Symbionese Liberation Army members, Patty Hearst is arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sep 22  In San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore, an FBI informer and self-proclaimed revolutionary fires a shot at President Ford. She had tried to reach by telephone those protecting the President. She believes that the government is making war against the left. She is to say that she did not want to kill anybody but "there comes a point when the only way you can make a statement is to pick up a gun."

Oct 9  Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov, civil rights advocate and creator of the first hydrogen bomb, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Soviet Union will not allow him to travel to Norway to receive the prize.

Oct 10  Israel and Egypt sign the Sinai Accord. Borders between the two countries are re-established and shipping through the Suez Canal is opened to Israel.

Oct 15  Iceland, committed to its fishing industry, moves its international boundary from 50 miles offshore to 200 miles.

Oct 30 The dictator Franco is incapacitated. Prince Juan Carlos assumes power in Spain.

Nov 3  In Bangladesh, military officers who resent the military coup of August 15 take power.

Nov 7  Fear that the new regime will renew ties with India, another coup takes place in Bangladesh. President Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed returns as a figurehead president. Ziaur Rahman is the power behind the president. He cancels the elections for 1977.

Nov 11  Angola acquires independence from Portugal. Fidel Castro orders Cuban troops to Angola to support the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which declares itself Angola's legitimate government.

Nov 18  Apparently having given up on revolution and seven years of exile, Eldridge Cleaver flies from Paris to New York, willing to face legal charges against him.

Nov 20  Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, dies at the age of 83.

Nov 22  Juan Carlos is proclaimed king of Spain.

Nov 26  A federal jury in Sacramento finds Lynette Fromme guilty of trying to assassinate President Ford.

Nov 26  Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson has created a new field of study, expressed in his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. He is being attacked from the political left and answers a hostile article in the New York Review of Books in this week's issue of that journal.

Nov 28  In Southeast Asia, East Timor proclaims independence from Portuguese rule.   

Dec 3  In Laos, King Savang Vatthana is forced to abdicate. The People's Democratic Republic is proclaimed. The new republic is aligned with Vietnam and gives Vietnam the right to station troops within its borders and to appoint personnel to assist in overseeing the country.

Dec 6  Lebanon's army has disintegrated as soldiers have deserted to ethnic militias. On this day, to be known as Black Saturday, an estimated 200 to 600 people, mostly civilians, are killed in sectarian violence. A civil war has begun that will last to 1990.

Dec 8  Indonesia claims rule over East Timor and invades.

Dec21  In Austria the Saudi oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, and other oil ministers at the OPEC gathering are abducted by four "pro-Palestinian" terrorists. They kill three and take 11 oil ministers and about 80 others hostage.

Dec 23  The terrorists have been flown to Algiers with forty hostages and $1 billion in ransom money, a stop on a journey that will extend into 1976, to Baghdad and then to Tripoli. A Venezuelan revolutionary in his twenties, to be known as Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez), is to take credit for planning the operation. He speaks five languages, has been in Europe since 1968, and has been active with Palestinians.

Dec 25  Equatorial Africa's dictator, Francisco Macías Nguema, has 150 of his political opponents executed in football stadium football in Malabo to the amplified sound of a band playing the Mary Hopkin's tune Those Were the Days.

Jan 21  Air France and British Airways begin commercial flights with the supersonic Concorde aircraft.

Feb 26  Spain's mandate over Western Sahara ends. It hands administrative power there to Morocco. An independence movement in Western Sahara is ignored despite a decision by the International Court of Justice upholding the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination. The independence movement in Western Sahara is leftist and supported by an anti-Western bloc: Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mauritania. Spain and Morocco are allied with the US, and the US is supporting King Hassan II of Morocco.

Mar 9  At Cavalese in Italy a steel cable breaks, sending 42 people in cable cars plunging 200 meters (700 feet) to their death.

Mar 15  Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is upset that Cuba's Fidel Castro has the nerve to send troops to Angola to help the government there against insurgents supported covertly by the Ford administration and South Africa's apartheid regime. In the Oval Office he complains about the Cubans to the president and calls Castro a "pip-squeek."

Mar 20  In the US, Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery.

Mar 24 Kissinger meets with a national security team and expresses his fear of falling dominos "If the Cubans destroy Rhodesia then Namibia is next and then there is South Africa." He adds that o permit the "Cubans as the shock troops of the revolution" in Africa is unacceptable and could cause racial tensions in the "Caribbean with the Cubans appealing to disaffected minorities and could then spillover into South America and even into our own country." Kissenger expresses fear of an appearance of US weakness and discussing military options against Cuba. He says, "There should be no halfway measures. We get no reward for using military power in moderation."

Mar 24  In Argentina, the military overthrows Isabella Peron, whose authoritarian rule was considered unpopular and ineffectual. Anti-Communist death squad activities during Isabella's regime, supported by her leading minister, José Lopez Rega, will continue under the new junta's leader, General Jorge Videla.

Mar 31  Karen Ann Quinlan has been kept alive by a ventilator for several months without improvement. Her parents have requested that the hospital allow her to die. The hospital has refused. The New Jersey Supreme Court sides with the parents.

Apr 1  Steve Jobs and Steve Woznik form Apple Computer Company. Big innovations are coming from small startup companies rather than IBM, Xerox and others. Big companies have their own bureaucracies and in-the-box thinking. The bigger companies will be advancing their technical capabilities by buying up young start-up companies.

Apr 4  In Cambodia, now called Democratic Kampuchea, the Khmer Rouge regime deposes Prince Norodom Sihanouk as head of state and places him under house arrest. Five of his 14 children are to die as victims of Khmer Rouge rule. The Khmer Rouge is attempting to create a classless society by forcing the urban population into agricultural communes. It is executing intellectuals, seeing them as a threat to their new order.

Apr 16  In India, to curb population growth, the minimum age for marriage is raised to 21 years for men and 18 years for women.

Jun 1  Britain and Iceland end their Cod War with a compromise, an agreement allowing a maximum of 24 British fishing boats within 200 miles of Iceland.

Jun 16  In South Africa's black township of Soweto, students protest against a government decree that Afrikaans be the language of instruction in schools. Police move against the demonstrators. The police shoot and kill a twelve-year-old student, Hector Pieterson, who is to be memorialized.
Jun 27  Palestinians hijack an Air France plane in Greece and land it in Entebbe, Uganda. More than 100 of the 246 passengers are Israelis.

Jul 2   Idi Amin of Uganda asks U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to appeal to Israel and four other countries to comply with the demands of the hijackers for the release of 53 prisoners from jails.

Jul 4   Israeli commandos free 103 hostages being held by Palestinian hijackers of an Air France plane at Uganda's Entebbe Airport. Several Ugandan soldiers are killed. The Israeli commander, Colonel Yoni Netanyahu, is killed.

Jul 6  The US Naval Academy inducts its first class with women.

Jul 12   A newly unified Vietnam moves to normalize relations with its Southeast Asia neighbors. It establishes diplomatic ties with the Philippines and has plans to meet a delegation from Thailand.

Jul 15  Democrats have nominated Jimmy Carter as their candidate for US President. In his acceptance speech, Carter declares his intention to lead the Democrats "back to victory and our nation back to greatness."

Jul 17  East Timor is declared the 27th province of Indonesia, while the people there prefer independence.

Jul 20  The US completes the withdrawal of air force bases from Thailand, paving the way for normalization of relations between Thailand and Vietnam.

Aug 1  The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago becomes a republic, replacing Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as head of state with an elected president.

Aug 4   The first recognized outbreak of Legionnaires' disease kills 29 at the American Legion convention in Philadelphia. The disease is a mystery.

Aug 6  Thailand and Vietnam re-establish diplomatic relations.

Aug 11  In the US, the Republican Party platform subcommittee votes not to endorse the equal rights amendment for women. First Lady Betty Ford is appalled.

Aug 16  At the Republican National Convention, those backing the nomination of Ronald Reagan for president, especially members of the Texas delegation, are faulting the Ford Administration for détente with the Soviet Union, are critical of Ford for having signed the Helsinki Accords, and fault Ford for the fall of Saigon.

Aug 18  North Koreans shoot and kill two US soldiers in Korea's Demilitarized Zone. The two soldiers were chopping down part of a tree that was restricting their view.

Aug 19  President Ford wins the Republic Party's nomination for president.

Sep 9  Chairman Mao Zedong, 82, dies.

Sep 24  Patricia Hearst is sentenced to 7 years in prison for her role in a 1974 bank robbery.

Oct 6  The period of mourning the death of Chairman Mao is at an end. The politburo of China's Communist Party moves against Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and other leaders of the Cultural Revolution, the so-called Gang of Four. They are arrested and accused of conspiring to seize state power.

Oct 6  Thailand's middle class is annoyed by leftist politics, and rightists have been associating student activists with communism. Students demonstrate against the return from exile by the former dictator, Thanom, who had been driven from power in 1973. The military assaults the demonstration. More than 1,700 are arrested and 30 or more students are killed and many others injured.

Oct 16  Thailand's military junta has begun a nationwide roundup of leftist writers, professors and students. Some are running to join the Communist Party's insurgent forces operating from bases in Laos.

Nov 2  Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Gerald Ford, becoming the first candidate from the Deep South to win the presidency since the Civil War.

Dec 1  Angola, independent since November 11, 1975, joins the United Nations.

Dec 15  Samoa, independent since 1962, joins the United Nations.


Jan 1
  In what is called the Bush War, rebels fighting the white regime in Rhodesia are operating from bases inside Zambia and Botswana. The white regime, led by Ian Smith, is forcing people to relocate to villages controlled by the government. The white regime is recruiting volunteers from overseas, including some military veterans from Australia and the United States.

Jan 18  Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the "Legionnaires' disease."

Jan 19  US President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino, known in the United States as "Tokyo Rose".

President James Earl Carter 
President James Earl Carter

Jan 19  Jimmy Carter succeeds Gerald Ford as the 39th President of the United States. He speaks of "a new beginning, a new dedication within our Government, and a new spirit among us all."

Jan 21  President Jimmy Carter gives a full pardon to those who evaded the draft during the war in Vietnam. The pardon does not extend to those who were in the military and refused to finish their tour of duty or received a less than honorable discharge.

Jan 23  Alex Haley's historical novel Roots begins as a series on ABC television.

Jan 24  Spain is in a transition to democracy. A few Spanish and Italian rightists belonging to an anti-Communist "black international" kill five and injure four leftists at an office in Madrid - to be known as the Massacre of Atocha.

Feb 2  Wearing a cardigan sweater, President Carter speaks to the nation via television about the need to conserve energy.

Feb 10  Soviet authorities are disturbed by the activities of "dissidents." They arrest Yuri Orlov, chairman of a group in the Soviet Union that is monitoring compliance with the Helsinki accords.

Feb 25  In Russia, a leading scientist and dissident, Andrei Sakharav, who has been harassed by authorities, has been photographed with a letter of support from President Carter. General Secretary Brezhnev is angered and sends Carter a message telling him that Sakharov is a "renegade who proclaimed himself an enemy of the Soviet state."

Feb 1-28 The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, responds to President Carter's concern for human rights by releasing 357 political prisoners and allowing the Red Cross to visit prisons.
Dictator: Anastasio Somoza Debayle
Dictator: Anastasio Somoza Debayle

Mar 1 In Nicaragua, Roman Catholic bishops have accused the Somoza dictatorship of torture, rape and summary executions of civilians during the dictatorship's battle against leftist guerrillas.

Mar 15  Italian Tenor Luciano Pavarotti debuts in the United States in a PBS production of Puccini's La Boheme.

Mar 27  The worst air disaster ever. Passenger jets in the Canary Islands collide, killing 574. A seasoned and celebrated Dutch pilot tried to take off without having received clearance from the tower. Less importance given to rank in the cockpit might have saved the day.

Apr 10  In Spain, indignation over the Massacre of Atocha results in legalization of Spain's Communist party.

Apr 12  President Carter commutes the 20-year prison term of G. Gordon Liddy to eight years, 4 1/2 years of which he has already served.

Apr 12  Afghanistan's self-proclaimed president, Mohammed Daoud Khan, is on a neighborly visit to the Soviet Union. The Russians are unhappy with him for having purged leftists from his government and soviet advisors from his military. He is criticized for the anti-Communists he has appointed to his cabinet, for his criticism of Cuba, his friendliness with Iran and Saudi Arabia and his scheduled visit to Washington in 1978.

Apr 14  In Pakistan's major cities, people are demonstrating their displeasure at what they believe was wholesale fraud in last month's parliamentary elections. They demand the resignation of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Apr 18  President Carter describes his program for conservation. It is, he says. a problem that "is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century." He proposes to reduce energy demand, to increase coal production, insulate 90 percent of American homes and all new buildings and to use solar energy in more than 2.5 million houses.

May 25 In the US a movie called Star Wars opens and is destined to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

Jun 1 The US Defense Department is organizing deployment of a warhead capable of destroying Soviet missiles in their silos. White House Press Secretary Jody Powell announces administration willingness to undertake "serious negotiations" with the Soviet Union concerning deployment of the new warheads.

Jun 5  The first Apple II computers go on sale.
Ali Shariati, Iran's leading dissident 
Ali Shariati, Iran's leading dissident

Jun ?  Dr. Ali Shariati, a popular Iranian sociologist with a doctorate from France's Sorbonne University, is Iran's leading opponent to the regime of the Shah of Iran. Shariati has spent 18 months in an Iranian prison for his opinions. He is released from prison but his activities are restricted and he is monitored by the secret police: SAVAK. Shariati moves to England. In three weeks he is dead, at the age of 44. His followers believe he was murdered by SAVAK. Shariati's death leaves the Ayatolah Khomeini as the most popular opposition leader against the Shah's rule - not as popular as he will be in 1979, the year of the Iranian revolution. Khomeini's education has been in religious schools only.

Jun 15  In Sweden, an international research body declares that an arms race is increasing the probability of nuclear war.

Jun 15  After 41 years of rule by Franco, Spain has its first democratic elections.

Jun 15  The Central Committee of Spain's Communist Party rejects Moscow's criticism of their secretary general, Santiago Carrillo, and vows to continue its independence.

Jun 19  In the Soviet Union, the Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, claims that US support for human rights is a cover for an arms buildup.

Jun 30  President Carter believes the program to build the B-1 bomber wastes taxpayer dollars. Affected communities defend the program, describing it as a social welfare issue: that jobs are at stake. Carter follows the advice of Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, who is supported by ranking military men. In the B1 Bomber's place, secret work is being done on a new stealth system that cannot be discussed, and there are plans for a fleet of modernized B-52s armed with air-launched Cruise missiles.

Jul 3   Opinion on the B-1 bomber has split roughly along party lines, with former President Gerald Ford calling it a mistake and Congressman Robert Dornan of California describing Moscow as jubilant over the decision.

Jul 5   Responding to civil disorder, Pakistan's General Zia-ul-Haq overthrows Prime Minister Bhutto and imposes Martial Law.

Jul 22  Deng Xiaoping, General Secretary of China's Communist Party until he was purged during the Cultural Revolution, returns as the Communist Party's most influential member, but without an official office.

Jul 30  In West Germany, leftist terrorists assassinate Jürgen Ponto, chairman of the Dresdner Bank.

Aug 4  In the US, the Department of Energy is formed, the result of President Carter having influenced Congress.

Aug 16  Elvis Presley's "fiancee," Ginger Allen, finds him unconscious on his bathroom floor. At a hospital he is pronounced dead, a victim of heart failure. He was 42.

Aug 18  In South Africa, police arrest Steve Biko at one of their roadblocks. Biko is a former medical student, a well known anti-apartheid activist and a writer.

Sep 7  President Carter and Panamanian president, Omar Torrijos Herrera, sign a treaty that provides for control of the Panama Canal to be given to Panama in 1999. Under the treaty the US retains the right to defend the canal from any threat that might interfere with its continued neutral service to ships of all nations. Some in the US are disturbed by what they perceive as Carter giving away the canal. Senate ratification of the treaty is pending. Senator Jesse Helms, the former governor of California, Ronald Reagan, Richard Viguerie and many other conservatives are opposed to the treaty. So too are student leftists in Panama. William F. Buckley will favor the treaty.

Sep 12  While in police custody, Steve Biko has been beaten to death.

Sep 1-31 Riots erupt in Kabul as students and government workers protest against the government of Mohammed Daoud Khan. The police crush the protests and several members of Afghanistan's Communist Party are arrested.

October 13-17  Despite recent hijackings, poor airline security remains common, except for Israel's El Al airline. Four Palestinians hijack Lufthansa Airlines flight 181 from Mallorca to Frankfurt. The hijackers demand 15 million US dollars and the release from prison of 11 of Germany's Red Army Faction members. Members of the Red Army Faction kidnap a German, Hanns-Martin Schleyer. The plane refuels in Rome and in various countries is denied permission to land. It ends up in Somalia. The hijackers kill the pilot and throw his body onto the ground. Nine German commandos storm the plane. Three of the four hijackers are killed. A flight attendant is injured and the 86 passengers are successfully rescued. The Red Army Faction murders its hostage, Hanns-Martin Schleyer.

Andreas Baader, another failed revolutionary
Andreas Baader, another failed revolutionary

Oct 18 In the wake of failing to be released from prison, Red Army Faction members, Andreas Baader, Jan-Carl Raspe and Gudrun Ensslin commit suicide. Irmgard Möller tries but merely wounds herself. Years later Möller will take up the claims of faction followers that the deaths were extrajudicial killings - murders - without explaining why she would have been spared to tell about it.

Oct 26  Smallpox is considered eradicated - a success of vaccination.

Oct 31 In Iran late this month, the son of Ayatollah Khomeini has been found dead in his bed. Islam does not allow autopsy, and many suspect that SAVAK has murdered him.

Nov 4 A journalist asks the Shah of Iran what "scenarios" he fears most in the years to come. He replies: "Growing terrorism, permissive societies, democracies collapsing through lack of law and order."

Nov 9 Sadat tells Egypt's parliament that he is ready to go to Israel's "Knesset and discuss peace with them if need be."

Nov 11 Israel's prime minister, Menachem Begin, broadcasts to Egypt an invitation to Sadat. He says: "Let us say to one another, and let it be a silent oath by the peoples of Egypt and Israel: no more wars, no more bloodshed and no more threats."

Nov 15 The Shah of Iran visits President Carter. Tear gas envelopes the welcoming ceremony blown in from the nearby anti-Shah demonstration. President Carter believes that the Shah still has 2,500 political prisoners in his jails. Carter asks the Shah if there is anything he can do to alleviate the damage to Iran's reputation regarding human rights. The Shah says no, that he "must reinforce the Iranian laws, which are designed to combat Communism."

Nov 19-20  Anwar Sadat of Egypt visits Israel, the first Arab leader to do so in an official capacity. A 21-gun salute is fired in his honor. To Israel's Knesset he speaks of God, the blessings of peace and of a permanent peace settlement. Much of the Arab world is outraged by his visit.

Dec 4  The captain of Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 radios that an unidentified hijacker is aboard. The plane crashes without explanation, killing all 100 passengers and crew.

Dec 25  Charlie Chaplin dies. He was thought by many to be Jewish. My father (1907-62) despised him believing that he was. He was not, but Chaplin was too good of a man to deny it publicly.

Dec 31  In Teheran, President Carter visits the Shah of Iran and toasts him, describing Iran as "an island of stability." Carter tells the Shah of "the respect and the admiration and the love" that the Iranians had for him and says that "There is no leader whith whom I have a deeper sense of personal gratitude and personal friendship."


Jan 1  The Soviet economy is in crisis. Its growth rate for 1977 having been around 1-2 percent per year, down from over 5 percent in the 1960s. The Soviet economy is burdened by military spending. Investment is bureaucratic rather than interested in new ideas. People still lived in cramped housing and are seeing little material progress for themselves. Cynicism is high and alcoholism prevalent. People are taking little pride in their work. The massive effort in education is producing people with talent that will go unused.

Jan 10  The owner of Nicaragua's leading newspaper, La Prensa,Pedro Chamorro, is assassinated. He was a critic of the Somoza dictatorship, and many believe that the Somoza dictatorship is responsible. Nicaraguans demonstrate in the streets and set fire to buildings owned by Somoza.

Jan 23  Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.

Jan 1-31  In Iran, Shah Pahlavi's steps at liberalization has emboldened his opponents. An organization of writers and publishers has called for freedom of thought. Lawyers have joined together and called for the abolition of military tribunals and an end to torture by the Shah's police, SAVAK. Teachers and academics have joined students in demanding academic freedom. This month, January, 4,000 religious students demand restoration of freedoms. The police arrive and point their guns at the demonstrators. The demonstrators dare the police to shoot and the police do, killing between 10 and 72. A new surge against the rule of the Shah begins.

Feb 15  Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Florida.

Mar 18  In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Zulficar Ali Bhutto (father of Benazir) is charged with ordering the assassination of a political opponent. He is sentenced to death by hanging.

Apr 7  President Carter postpones production of the neutron bomb which kills people with radiation but leaves buildings relatively intact.

Apr 7  The United Nations forms the World Health Organization.

Apr 18  In a close vote, after months of political wrangling, the US Senate ratifies the Panama Canal Treaty.

Apr 19  At the funeral of a prominent, murdered leftist, Mir Akbar Khyber, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 listen to speeches by Nur Muhammad Taraki, Hafizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal - members of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. President Daoud is alarmed by the gathering and orders the arrest of Communist leaders.

Apr 26-8  Claiming an anti-Islamic coup has begun, President Daoud has mobilized his military. He has had Taraki arrested and Amin put under house arrest. Karmal has escaped to the Soviet Union. Using his family as messengers, Amin orders an uprising against Daoud. Rebel soldiers win against troops loyal to Daoud. At the presidential palace, Daoud and most of his family are assassinated.

Nur Taraki, amateur poet and new president of Afghanistan
Nur Taraki, amateur poet and
 new president of Afghanistan

May 1  Afghanistan is renamed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and Nur Mohammed Taraki is named president.

May 11  China is engulfed in discussion over a newspaper article that disseminated a new Communist Party slogan: "Practice Is the Only Criterion for Judging the Truth." The article argues that science and Marxism are amenable to revision, supplementation, and development in practice. It is considered a rejection of Mao-like formulations and declarations. Mao has been dead since September 1976.

May 18  In the Soviet Union, a nuclear scientist and political dissident, Yuri Orlov, is sentenced to 7 years hard labor for distributing 'counterrevolutionary material'.

Jun 6  In California a tax revolt led by Howard Jarvis results in voter approval of a ballot initiative, Proposition 13, which cuts property taxes nearly 60 percent.

Jul 17-8  At an economic summit meeting in Bonn, Germany, there is talk of relatively low gasoline prices in the United States encouraging waste and stalling exploration for more supplies. Interested in less dependence on foreign oil supplies, President Carter tells the conference of discontinuing price controls and letting gas prices rise to world levels.

Aug 19  In Iran, a movie theatre in the capital city, Tehran, catches fire, killing more than 400 patrons. The fire may have been set by religious zealots, who are known to oppose attending such movies, but many blame the Shah and SAVAK. A more intense wave of demonstrations erupt.
Begin, Carter and Sadat at Camp David
Begin, Carter and Sadat at Camp David

Jean Paul II
Jean Paul II

President Jimmy Carter and Governor-elect Bill Clinton 

President Jimmy Carter and Governor-elect Bill Clinton
Jim Jones, temple leader
Jim Jones, temple leader
Sep 3  In the Bush War in Rhodesia, insurgents using surface-to-air missiles shoot down a Rhodesian airliner, and they massacre the crash survivors. Thirty-eight are killed.

Sep 8  The Shah sends troops, helicopter gunships and tanks against crowds of protesters in Teheran. Barricades rise around the city. People arm themselves with Molotov cocktails. The day is to be known by opponents of the Shah as Black Friday.

Sep 17  The Camp David Accords are signed by Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt, witnessed by President Carter. The Accords allow self-government in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, promise a withdrawal of Israeli forces and 4,500 Israeli civilians from Egypt's Sinai region.

Oct 6  From Iraq the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini has been urging actions against the Shah, including work stoppages that have swept Iran. The Shah has asked Iraq's acting president, Saddam Hussein, to expel Khomeini. Saddam has accused Khomeini, a Shia, of fomenting rebellion in Iraq. Syria allows Khomeini refuge but Khomeini heads for France. From France Khomeini will urge rebellion against the Shah and also rebellion in Iraq.

Oct 16  Cardinal Karol Wojtyl becomes the 264th pope, Pope John Paul II - the first Polish pope.

Oct 24  President Carter speaks to the nation about inflation, which he describes as having increased from an average of 6.5 percent in the last ten years to an average of eight percent during his administration. He speaks of uncertainties but that his administration "will slash Federal hiring and reduce the Federal work force... restrain Federal pay... delay further tax cuts [to reduce the budget deficit] ... and use Federal policy to encourage more competition."

Nov 5  Fifty-six white American teachers of transcendental meditation arrive in war-torn Rhodesia. They plan to travel through the country to train whites and blacks in techniques to reduce violence.

Nov 7  In the US, Republicans gain 15 seats in the House of Representatives and the Democrats maintain a 277-158 majority. The Republicans gain three seats in the Senate, where the Democrats remain a majority: 58 to 41. In Arkansas, Bill Clinton, 32, is elected governor. Twelve out of sixteen anti-tax initiatives on state ballots pass.

Nov 7-8  The Shah recognizes that his power is diminished. He is losing the support of ordinary soldiers. He still has Iran under military rule, which he says is only temporary to restore order. On television he promises not to repeat past mistakes and to make amends. He has thirteen prominent members of his regime arrested and says he will continue his efforts to form a coalition government.

Nov 18  At Jonestown in Guyana, a visiting US congressman, Leo Ryan, is shot and killed while departing with people who want to leave the settlement. Jim Jones recognizes that he is now in trouble. His solution is mass suicide. Followers drink poisoned Kool Aid, and a few shots are fired, killing 918, including more than 270 children and "Father" Jones.

Nov 24  President Carter has cut supplies to Nicaragua's dictator, Somoza (President Anastasio Somoza Debayle). Venezuela is aiding Nicaragua's rebels, the Sandinistas. The US is seeking a democratic alternative in Nicaragua and has proposed a nationwide plebiscite to decide whether Somoza should stay in power.

Nov 1-31  In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, 47, has had a few years of success and innovation as a Communist Party governmental functionary. He is appointed Central Committee Secretary in charge of agriculture.

Dec 5  After two days of talks in Moscow, Taraki of Afghanistan and Brezhnev of the Soviet Union sign a treaty that commits their countries to 20 years of friendship and cooperation. Article 4 of the treaty allows for Soviet intervention to protect Afghanistan from an armed invasion.

Dec 11  In China, the Communist Party, now led by Deng Xiaoping, chooses a major reversal in economic policy. Agricultural is to be decollectivized.

Dec 25  In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge has been hostile toward the Vietnamese. Relations between Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime and Vietnam has been further aggravated by refugees fleeing from Cambodia into Vietnam. The Khmer Rouge has crossed the border into Vietnam. Vietnam launches a military offensive against the Khmer Rouge.

Dec 27  The Spanish people approve a new constitution, a referendum that officially ends 40 years of military dictatorship. Spain has become one of the world's stable democracies.

Dec 29  The Shah asks an old opponent, Shahpur Bakhtiar, 63, to become prime minister and to form a new civilian government.


Jan 1  An expectation of a decline in the production of gas has created a run on gas to buy it while it's cheaper. This is reducing supply, a rise in gas prices, speculation on gas as a commodity, and it will be spurring inflation in energy importing countries.

Jan 1  The United States and China establish full diplomatic relations.

Jan 7  Vietnam and its Cambodian allies announce the fall of Phnom Penh. The Khmer Rouge retreats to the forests along the border of Thailand. Prince Sihanouk is siding with the Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese.

Jan 16  The Shah and his family have left for Egypt. In Iran, streets are crowded with joyous people shouting "Shah raft, Shah raft!" (the Shah is gone).

Feb 1  Patty Hearst is released from prison. Her seven-year sentence for bank robbery has been commuted by President Carter.
Iran's Prime Minister Bakhtiar
Iran's Prime Minister Bakhtiar, Sorbonne University PhD
 and anti-fascist underground vet.

 Ayatollah Khomeini
Ayatollah Khomeini

Feb 1  In the spirit of a new freedom for Iran, Prime Minister Bakhtiar has allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini to return. Millions greet Khomeini, who calls for expelling all foreigners from Iran.

Feb 8  The Carter administration believes its negotiations with the Somoza regime have failed. It announces that the US is severing longstanding military ties with Nicaragua and ordering US personnel serving in Nicaragua to return to the United States.

Feb 11  Khomeini has been demanding Bakhtiar's resignation. Youthful Khomeini supporters seize weapons and take control of the streets. Bakhtiar goes underground and will resurface in Paris in July. US citizens who have been working in Iran begin to leave, joining many wealthy Iranians who for weeks have been emigrating.

Feb 12  In Rhodesia, insurgents use surface-to-air missiles to shoot down another Rhodesian airliner. This time they kill 58. White Rhodesians are becoming less willing to continue the war. But Rhodesia's military presses on.

Feb 14  In Kabul, Afghanistan, extremists kidnap and kill US Ambassador Adolph Dubs.

Feb 15  China's 1950 treaty with the Soviet Union expires. China chooses this day to send about 80,000 soldiers and 300 tanks into northern Vietnam. China describes as reasons for the attack Vietnam's mistreatment of its ethnic Chinese minority and Vietnamese occupation of the Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China. Some people believe that China wants to punish Vietnam for its war against the Khmer Rouge and to teach the Vietnamese that they should consider China's desires concerning the region.

Feb 22  The US announces that its aid to Afghanistan will be drastically cut.

Feb 22  The Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia becomes independent from Britain.

Mar 16  The Chinese in Vietnam have suffered against Vietnam's military. They withdraw. Their casualties will be estimated at more than 60,000, including about 26,000 killed.

Mar 10-20  Afghan army officers in the city of Herat mutiny and they are crushed.

Mar 13  On the island of Grenada, in the Caribbean, a Marxist, Maurice Bishop, overthrows Eric Gairy, who had a reputation for corruption and authoritarianism. It has been claimed that Bishop made his move believing Gairy was going to attack Bishop's movement. The coup is popular. Bishop will replace parliament with worker's councils and transform Grenada into a socialist state with collective farms but also free enterprise and trade with the United States.

Mar 20  In Moscow, President Taraki of Afghanistan requests Soviet troops. He is told by Brezhnev that Soviet forces "would only play into the hands of our enemies - both yours and ours." Brezhnev advises Taraki to go slow with social reforms and to seek broad support for his regime. He advises Taraki to remove Prime Minister Amin. He promises Taraki military equipment.

Mar 26  President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel sign a peace treaty in Washington. The main features of the treaty are recognition of each other's country and an end to the state of war engendered by Egypt since 1948.

Mar 28  A cooling malfunction at a nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island, in Pennsylvania, causes a partial core meltdown. An above normal amount of radiation is released.

Apr 5  President Carter is in his third-year in office. Responding to growing energy shortages, he announces a plan for gradual decontrol of oil prices, and he proposes a windfall profits tax. The average price of crude oil is $15.85 per barrel.

Apr 6  Measurements of radiation in milk from Pennsylvania and New Jersey indicate to the New York State Health Department that the accident at Three Mile Island constituted "no public health concern whatsoever."

Apr 11 Idi Amin of Uganda has been at war against Tanzania, where anti-Amin Ugandans gathered. On this day, Tanzanian forces and Ugandan exiles force Amin to flee Uganda's capital city, Kampala. Amin is headed for Libya. Eventually he will find asylum in Saudi Arabia.

Emperor Bokassa

Apr 17  The newly converted Roman Catholic emperor, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, since 1966 has ruled in what is now called the Central African Empire. He dislikes schoolchildren protesting against the compulsory wearing of school uniforms. The children are arrested and around 100 of them are massacred.

John Lennon. One of his last photos.
  A rabbit chased by hounds swims toward President Carter's boat, while he is fishing. Carter fends off the rabbit with a paddle. The press describes Carter as having been attacked by a killer swamp rabbit. The incident is called "Paws" with the movie "Jaws" in mind.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Pope John Paul
In June, millions cheer John Paul's
first visit to Poland as Pope.

Lining up for gas, June 15
Lining up for gas, June 15

May 1  Greenland gets home rule. Greenland became an integral part of the Kingdom of Denmark in 1953. It was granted home rule by the Folketing (Danish parliament) in 1978. The law went into effect on May 1, 1979. The Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, remains Greenland's Head of State. Greenland's voters subsequently chose to leave the European Economic Community upon achieving self-rule.

May 4  Britain has been suffering through high unemployment and collapsing public services. Labor Unions have been striking for higher wages, troubling the Labor government of James Callaghan. Margaret Thatcher has promised to end economic decline and reduce the size of government. She becomes the new prime minister.

May 21  Mexico breaks diplomatic relations with Nicaragua and urges the US to end all remaining assistance programs to the Somoza regime.

May 24  About 300 Sandinista insurgents are reported to have entered Nicaragua from Costa Rica.

Jun 1  The Sandinistas start their all-out military offensive against the Somoza regime.

Jun 1  In Rhodesia, whites have allowed blacks who are not involved in the Bush War to run for political office and to share power with the whites (who are 22 to 1 minority in the country). The majority black political parties have boycotted the elections. A black United Methodist Church bishop, Abel Muzorewa, is declared prime minister. Britain does not recognize his government as legitimate. The insurgency against white rule in Rhodesia continues.

Jun 3  An off-shore exploritory oil well explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles from the coast of the Mexican state of Campeche (on the Yucatan Peninsula). It will take Mexico's oil company, Premex, more than nine months to stop oil from gushing into the gulf. The oil will reach the shore of Texas and it will ruin fishing off the coast of Campeche well into the 21st century.

Jun 15  The US has people bumper to bumper in long lines waiting to buy gas.

Jun 18  The Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev and US President Carter sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna, an agreement to limit the number of missile launching facilities.

Jun 20  While a camera is rolling, a Nicaraguan National Guard soldier kills ABC TV news correspondent Bill Stewart and his interpreter Juan Espinosa.

Jun 30  President Carter's approval rating has dropped to 25 percent, lower than President Nixon's during the Watergate scandal.

Jul 3  President Carter signs a directive for secret aid to the opponents of Afghanistan's government. His National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, tells Carter that this aid will induce a Soviet military intervention. He wants to draw the Russians into a disaster - its Vietnam War.

Jul 15  President Carter makes his so-called malaise speech. The speech is his response to his question why the nation has been unable to resolve its energy problem. He speaks of our "erosion of confidence in the future" and says that we can develop a new unity of purpose and new confidence. He concludes: "Let us commit ourselves together to a rebirth of the American spirit. Working together with our common faith we cannot fail."

Jul 16  In Iraq, President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by the acting president, Vice President Saddam Hussein.

Jul 17  The dictator Anastasio Somoza flees from Nicaragua to his Florida island villa in the United States. There he declares that a Communist conspiracy has driven him from power. Much of Latin America is pleased by the fall of Somoza.

Jul 19  Marxist Sandinistas take power in the capital city, Managua.

Jul 31
  Former governor of California, Ronald Reagan, visits the underground nerve center of US missile defense, NORAD, in Colorado. In response to a question from Reagan, the NORAD commander tells him that if the Soviets drop a missile next to the base "It would blow us away." Reagan is surprised and his interest in protection against nuclear strikes is intensified.

Aug 6  Paul Volcker takes office as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve (the "Fed"). There is hope that he will succeed in reducing inflation.

Aug 9  The first British nudist beach is established in Brighton, many years after nude beaches were established in France and near San Francisco, California, and two years after the opening of a nude beach in Australia. Prime Minister Thatcher takes no responsibility for it, although it occurs under her watch.

Aug 27  Provisional Irish Republic Army terrorists have planted a 50-pound bomb on Lord Mountbatten's 30-foot sailboat. It is detonated by radio control . Mountbatten, a grandson 14 and his 15-year old friend are also killed, along with the 83-year-old mother-in-law of Mountbatten's eldest daughter. Other bombs planted by the Provisional IRA terrorists kill18 British soldiers in Northern Ireland.

Sep 6  Rhodesia announces that its forces are staging a land and air attack against troops and installations of the Mozambican Army as well as insurgent bases inside Mozambique.
President Amin of Afghanistan
President Amin of Afghanistan, a Columbia University graduate,
accused by the Russians of of being a CIA agent.

Sep 11  The Carter administration warns Congress that failure by the United States to supply aid to Nicaragua could push the new leadership there toward Communism.

Sep 16  In Afghanistan, squabbling within the Taraki regime results in Taraki's death. Vice President Hafizullah Amin takes power.

Oct 6  The energy crisis continues. Inflation in the US has been running at an annual rate of 10.75 percent, unprecedented for peacetime.

Oct 9  In Afghanistan, Amin announces that his predecessor, Taraki, died from "a severe and prolonged illness."

Oct 26  South Korea's president, Park Chung Hee, is assassinated by his KCIA chief, Kim Jaekyu.

Nov 4  The US has informed the Khomeini regime in Iran that the former Shah of Iran, Pahlavi, has come to the United States from Mexico to receive medical treatment. Pahlavi has serious illnesses, including cancer. About 3,000 youthful Iranians invade the US Embassy and take 53 Americans and others hostage. They are outraged over Pahlavi having entered the US, and they demand that the United States send Pahlavi to Iran to stand trial.

Nov 1-31  Afghans have been fleeing to Iran and Pakistan and organizing resistance against what they view as the "atheistic" and "infidel" Communist Amin regime. President Amin launches a successful military operation against anti-government forces in Paktria Province (next to Pakistan) obliterating a few villages. He also attempts to appease opinion by promising more religious freedom and to repair mosques. He begins distributing the
Koran. He refers to Allah in his speeches and describes his revolution as "totally based on the principles of Islam."

Nov 20  According to the Muslim calendar it is the beginning of a new century. Juhayman bien Seif al Uteybi believes in signs of the coming of the Mahdi. Around 200 of his heavily armed Sunni followers, with an appointed young Mahdi, take over the crowded Grand Mosque in Mecca, believing that with God they are overthrowing the Saudi government, which they believe to be corrupt and in league with the devil.

Nov 21  The Carter administration suspects that the seige at Mecca is a creation of Iran's Ayatolah Khomeini. Iran's foreign ministry complains that "Zionist and US circles" are associating the uprising with Iran. Then Khomeini accuses the US and Israel of orchestating what he describes as the despicable horrors at the Grand Mosque at Mecca. A wave of anti-US demostrations and attacks against US embassies sweeps across the Muslim world, first on this day in Pakistan.

Nov 24  Pope Jean Paul II is visiting Turkey. There, Mehmet Ali Agca escapes from prison and describes the Pope's visit as part of the infidel plot in Mecca and the Pope as masquerading as a man of faith. He warns that "the crusaders" will pay for this. It is Agca who will shoot and wound the Pope, in 1981.

Nov 25-30 In Saudi Arabia's eastern oil producing region, along the Persian Gulf, youths belonging to the county's Shiite minority rebel. The Saudi government blacks out all news of the uprising. With armored personnel carriers, machine guns, helicopter gunships and artillery, the Saudi National Guard crushes the rising. The older generation of Shiite leaders in the area successfully sue for peace.

Dec 4 The Carter administration responds to anti-US demonstrations and the siege at Mecca with a formulation that will be called the Carter Doctrine, intended to demonstrate US strength and commitment to the defense of countries in the Persian Gulf region that are of "vital interest" to the United States. Within a few days US negotiators will fly to Oman to discuss establishing a military base. It is the beginning of an increased military presence in the Gulf region.

Dec 4  The Saudi Press Agency issues a statement by Prince Nayef that "the purge of renegades" from the Grand Mosque has been completed. Many pilgrims have died, their number to be officially declared as 26. Independent observers and witnesses estimate that more than 1,000 have died.

Dec 4  US officials announce that the Soviet Union is giving low-key support to US efforts to release the hostages in Iran.

Dec 10  In response to the siege at Mecca, the Carter administration has dispatched the carrier USS. Kitty Hawk and a battle group from the Philippines to the Persian Gulf. Military leadership in the Soviet Union, initially cool to the idea of sending troops into Afghanistan has decided that if the US can make such a deployment tens of thousands of kilometers from its territory why should the Soviet Union not be able to defend its positions in neighboring Afghanistan. The Soviet military begins to assemble a force of 75,000 to 80,000 along the Afghan-Soviet border.

Dec 12  At South Korea's headquarters and Ministry of Defense, a bloody shoot out leaves Chun Doo-hwan and close friends in control of South Korea's military.

Dec 24  The Soviet Union begins sending troops into Afghanistan.

Dec 27  It will be said that on this day in Afghanistan, Soviet KGB agents in Afghan uniforms, storm the presidential palace and kill President Amin and around 200 of his guards. It is to be said that Amin lied about Taraki's death back in September, Taraki having been shot. Amin had carried out purges within the ruling political party, the PDPA (People Democratic Party of Afghanistan). The Soviet Union had been happy with Taraki and believed that Amin was responsible for having created instability. The Soviet government describes Amin as having been the head of "a bloody dynasty" and an agent of "United States imperialism."
Babrak Kamal subsequent
Babrak Kamal subsequent

President of Afghanistan
Dec 29  Another member of the PDPA, who had been in safe exile as the ambassador to the Czech Republic, becomes President of Afghanistan: Babrak Kamal.

Dec 31  President Carter tells ABC News that the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan has "made a more dramatic change in my own opinion of what the Soviets' ultimate goals are than anything they've done in the previous time I've been in office."


Jan 1  In Afghanistan, the Kamal regime declares that it invited Soviet troops into the country "in view of the present aggressive actions of the enemies of Afghanistan."

Jan 3  With Afghanistan in mind, President Carter wins congressional backing for lifting the ban on military aid to Afghanistan's neighbor, Pakistan. Pakistan's neighbor, India, is not pleased. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India excuses Soviet action in Afghanistan, suggesting that the United States is also meddling in Afghanistan.

Jan 3 The Soviet Union's press agency, Tass, complains of President Carter having described Soviet troops into Afghanistan as an "invasion." Tass calls the remark "propaganda" and says it "breaks all records of hypocrisy and lies."

Jan 4 President Jimmy Carter speaks of "severe" conseqences for the Soviet Union. He proclaims a grain embargo. His administration announces his decision to maintain a permanent American naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

Jan 9 In Saudi Arabia, 63 Muslim extremists are beheaded for their part in the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca in November. The leader of the uprising, Juhayman, is executed first. Juhayman, nevertheless, has influenced some extremists in Egypt who will assassinate Anwar Sadat  And Juhayman's ideas and actions leave an impresson on Osama bin Laden, who will praise what he did and join him in condemning Saudi rule.

Jan 12 Some experts in the US are skeptical about the Soviet Union's military intervention in neighboring Afghanistan as motivated largely by fear of the spread of Islamic fundamentalism to Muslims in the Soviet Union.

Jan 19  Responding to the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan, China announces that it will not resume talks with the Russians regarding improving relations.

Jan 21  Speculation in gold has skyrocketed its price to its its highest ever (adjusted for inflation) at $850 a troy ounce - equivalent to almost $2,400 an ounce in 2006.. In the US people have been lining up at jewelry stores selling their gold.

Jan 23  In his State of the Union message, President Carter introduces what is called the Carter Doctrine: appearing strong in its commitments abroad. He declares that "we will continue to reduce the deficit and then to balance the Federal budget." He speaks of working with business to hold down prices, with organized labor to restrain pay increases "in a fair fight against inflation." And he speaks of cutting paperwork and dismantling "unnecessary Government regulation."

Jan 26  The war in Rhodesia has ended in a negotiated settlement. Insurgents are turning in their weapons at disarmament centers. South Africa agrees to withdraw the troops it has stationed just inside Rhodesia. Two rival rebel groups are interested in power. One is headed by Robert Mugabe, more Maoist in orientation and backed by the Shona tribe. The other is backed by a smaller tribe, the Ndebele, and headed by a former trade unionist, Joshua Nkomo.

Jan 27  Six US diplomats sneak out of Iran, using passports provided them by Canada.

Jan 29  A special session of the UN General Assembly passes resolutions 104-18 calling for an immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

Jan 31 Argentinian traders and farmers seek benefit from sales to the Soviet Union to replace supplies embargoed by the United States.

Jan 31 Hostages at the US embassy is world news. In Guatemala, Indian peasants have been holding hostages at the Spanish embassy. The embassy burns, killing 36.

Jan 31 It is a presidential election year. Ronald Reagan says he believes the United States should not stand in the way of foreign countries developing their own nuclear weapons, saying: "I just don't think it's any of our business."

Jan 31 Carter and some academic analysts believe that Soviet success in Afghanistan would be a threat to the rich oil fields of the Persian Gulf area and to the crucial waterways through which so much of the world’s energy supplies pass. One analyst, George F. Kennan, disagrees and questions the maturity of Carter's statesmanship. He describes Soviet action as reflecting “defensive rather than offensive impulses.” Kennan does not believe the Soviets are extending their power into the Persian Gulf region.

Feb 1  A Defense Department report on the Persian Gulf region concludes that US forces cannot stop a Soviet thrust into northern Iran and that the US should, therefore, consider using "tactical" nuclear weapons in any conflict there.

Feb 1  Senator Edward Kennedy complains that President Carter has created "war hysteria" in the United States.

Feb 14  Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany criticizes the United States for failing to consult its allies in developing a response to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
Archbishop Oscar Romero
Archbishop Oscar Romero

Feb 17  In El Salvador, Archbishop Óscar Romero Romero has been speaking against murder, torture, social injustice. He writes a letter to President Carter. He mentions Carter's Christianity of apparent desire "to defend human rights." He requests that Carter forbid military to the Salvadoran government and that "your government will not intervene directly or indirectly, with military, economic, diplomatic, or other pressures, in determining the destiny of the Salvadoran people."

Feb 25  In South America's Republic of Suriname, discontented army sergeants seize power in a predawn coup. Six are reported to have been killed.

Mar 4  Rhodesia is now called Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe, the former public school teacher, is elected prime minister. He has agreed with the British to reserve for whites 20 of the 100 seats in the new assembly and not to alter Zimbabwe's constitution for ten years.

Mar 15  After an interruption of a few months, the East German Government resumes its program of releasing political prisoners in return for payments from West Germany.

Mar 21 President Carter interjects politics into the Olympics. He announces his desire that the United States boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Mar 24 In El Salvador, Archbishop Óscar Romero Romero is assassinated.

Mar 30 At the funeral of Archbiship Romero, gunfire and bombs kill 42.

Mar 31 While publicly signing legislation, President Carter speaks of the creation of "the first balanced budget that our nation has had in 12 years."

Apr 2 Ayatollah Khomeini has been complaining of oppressed Shia and has advocated a Shia rebellion against Saddam Hussein. In Iraq, Hussein speaks in public about "Persian cowards and dwarfs who try to avenge" the
Arab victory at Al-Qadisiyah - a famous seventh century battle.

Apr 5 In the last twelve months the price of crude oil has more than doubled: from $15.85 per barrel to $39.50.

Apr 7 In response to the occupation of its embassy, the United States severs diplomatic relations with Iran and imposes economic sanctions.

Apr 13 It is reported that the US is responding to events in Nicaragua and El Salvador by urging the powerful in Hondurus to consider reforms and a return to civilian rule.

Apr 15 Cuba allows any person who wants to leave the island free access to depart from the port of Mariel. The Marial boat lift begins. President Carter is to use emergency powers to admit as many as 3,500 who seek asylm in the United States.

Apr 16 In Costa Rica, more than 230 Cubans, some weeping, others shouting "Liberty" and "Down with Communism," debark from two airliners.

Apr 19 In Havana, hundreds of thousands of Cubans march, demonstrating their support for the Cuban revolution and Fidel Castro.

Apr 24 The US attempts to rescue people from its embassy in Iran. Transport planes and eight RH-53 helicopters meet at a desert airstrip in eastern Iran. One of the helicopers is damaged in landing. A sandstorm results in two helicopters breaking down. The mission is aborted and in departing a helicopter clips a C-30 transport plane and crashes. Eight US servicemen are killed.

Apr 25  Ayatollah Khomeini credits divine intervention in Carter's failure to rescue the hostages. He exercises his wisdom as man dedicated to his faith and warns that another attempt would endanger the captives' lives.

Apr 26  President Carter vows to pursue the release of the hostages by "every avenue."

Apr 26  The boat lift continues with 1,300 small boats reported at Cuba's port of Mariel, picking up Cubans and taking them to Florida.

Apr 27  Government attacks on student demonstrations in Kabul result in the death of more than 50 students.

May 5  President Carter pledges "an open heart and open arms " for the "literally tens of thousands" of refugees arriving in Florida from Cuba.

May 11 The New York Times reports that criminals and "retarded people" are among those arriving in Florida. It will be said that Cuba is emptying its jails and unburdening itself of undesirables.

May 14 In South Korea, thousands of police battle more than 50,000 students protesting continued martial law in South Korea.

May 17 In Korea, President Chun Doo-hwan, head of the Defense Security Command, drops pretense of civilian rule. He extends martial law to the entire country and disbands the National Assembly.

May 18 The use of police against students has inspired an increase in demonstrations. South Korea's government announces the closure of universities. It prohibits political gatherings and labor strikes and increases press censorship.

May 19 In western Washington State, Mount St. Helens erupts, sending volcanic ash about 2,100 meters into the air and eastward across the state, most of it within 12 miles. Compared to some other places in the world, Washington state is not yet densely populated, so only 200 homes are destroyed. Fifty-seven die.

May 20  Demonstrations continue in the city of Kwangju, South Korea. The cabinet of Prime Minister Shin Hyon Hwack takes responsibility "for failure to maintain domestic calm" and resigns.

May 22  Military authorities accuse South Korea's pro-democracy opposition leader, Kim Dae Jung, of planning to use students to stage a revolution.

May 22  Japan announces that it is imposing a freeze on export and service contracts signed with Iran since the beginning of the hostage crisis.

May 24 The International Court of Justice calls for the release of US Embassy hostages in Iran.

May 26  At Kwang-ju, a city of about 750,000, troops take 90 minuets to overrun demonstrators. It will be reported that they kill around 2,000 - to be called the Kwang-ju massacre.

Jun 3 Running against President Carter as a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for president, Senator Ted Kennedy wins several "Super Tuesday" primaries.

Jun 25 An assassination attempt against Syrian president Hafez al-Assad fails.

Jun 27 President Jimmy Carter signs a bill requiring 19 and 20-year-old males to register for the draft - a response to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

Jul 1 In Iraq, President Hussein, wearing a bush jacket and a pistol belt, campaigns in a rural area, greeted by cheering crowd arrives at a remote rural village. He inspects a market place and kisses a baby.

Jul 3 In Syria, association with the Muslim Brotherhood has become a capital offense. Troops are sent into various cities in search of Brotherhood members.

Jul 1-31 President Carter has a favorable rating of only 21 percent in the Gallup Poll, the lowest rating of any president, including Richard Nixon at the time of his resignation, since polling began in 1936.

Jul 14  President Carter's younger brother Billy (William Alton Carter) registers with the Justice Department as an agent of the Government of Libya. He discloses that he has received more than $220,000 in payments from Libya. Two weeks later the president admits having given Billy classified information dealing with Libya.

Jul 17 At the Republican National Convention, Ronald Reagan becomes the party's presidential nominee. In his acceptance speech his speaks of " family, work, neighborhood, peace and freedom." He says he wants his candidacy "to unify our country; to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose." He says he "will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose."

Jul 19 In Moscow the Summer Olympic Games begin. Eighty-one nations partipate. Sixty-four countries have followed the US lead and boycott the games, citing the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. The British,
Dutch, Irish, Italians, French, Spanish, Greeks, Finns, Swedes, Danes, Brazilians and Mexico were among those who participate.

Jul 22 In Lebanon the journalist Riad Taha is assassinated, said to be the work of Syrians.

Jul 23 In Paris a former prime minister of Syria and opponent of President Hafez al-Assad is assassinated.

Jul 26 The former Shah of Iran dies of cancer at the age of 60, in Egypt.

Aug 2 In Bologna, Italy, a bomb destroys the railway station, killing 85 and wounding more than 200. Eventually a group of rightists believing in violent political action will be blamed.
Strikers in Poland,
Strikers in Poland, at Gdansk, a stop
toward the end of Communism in Europe.

Aug 7-14 In Poland the Communist government has found it economically necessary to stop subsidizing food prices. Prices have been rising, and citizens are protesting. Workers strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk - the first of many such strikes. It is the beginning of the decline of Communism in Europe.

Aug 14 US President Jimmy Carter defeats Senator Edward Kennedy to win renomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City.

Aug 18 In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars presidential candidate Reagan describes the US action in Vietnam "a noble cause."

Sep 1-31 Desertions from Afghanistan's army has reduced its number from an estimated 80,000 at the time of the Soviet intervention to around 32,000.
Reagan and Carter debate
Reagan and Carter debate

Ita Ford, Jean Donovan, 

Murdered on December 2:
Ita Ford, Jean Donovan,
Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel.
Ita Ford, Jean Donovan,Muder spot
an isolated spot where they are
beaten, raped and murdered.

John Lennon. One of his last photos.
John Lennon. One of his last photos.

Sep 17 In the wake of the recent strikes in Poland, a nationwide independent trade union, "Solidarity," is established.

Sep 17 President Carter has refused to allow former dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle residency in the United States. Somoza has moved to Paraguay (ruled by the dictator Alfredo Stroessner). While driving his car in downtown Asunción, Somoza is killed by a bazooka rocket fired by a commando team led by the Argentinean Enrique Gorriarán Merlo.

Sep 17 Saddam Hussein declares Iraq's 1975 agreement with Iran null and void.

Sep 20 Iran calls up several thousand military reservists "to defend the integrity of the country."

Sep 22 Saddam Hussein launches a land and air invasion against Iran.

Sep 23 President Carter pledges not to intervene in the Iran-Iraq War and calls on the Soviet Union and all other nations to do the same.

Sep 24 Ronald Reagan describes warfare between Iran and Iraq as the result of weak foreign and defense policies by President Carter.

Sep 26 Chairman Brezhnev calls on Iran and Iraq to negotiate a settlement to their war.

Sep 30 As in other countries, including the United States, Britain is suffering inflation. It also has rising unemployment. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is trying to balance the budget, and she is declining in the polls. Former Prime Minister Callaghan calls her government "reactionary, hard-faced and incompetent."

Oct 9 Iranian officials are reporting victories in the war against Iraq. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini tells the Iranians that they are fighting not only to throw the invaders back across the border but to punish the "criminal Baath Party regime for its crimes." (The Baathists are Sunni; Khomeini is Shia.)

Oct 15  An estimated 900,000 Afghanis are seeking shelter in Pakistan.

Oct 28 In the last of three "debates" between Carter and Reagan, Reagan says that with all his heart he believes "that our first priority must be world peace." Carter boasts of having built up a US military presence in the Gulf region with two major carrier task forces, and he speaks of his economic accomplishments, including reducing inflation. Reagan describes inflation as growing at a 12.7 percent rate. He criticizes Carter for having accused people of living too well and for calling on people to do with less. Reagan speaks of cutting government spending, more investment in defense, balancing the budget and reducing taxes. He asks listeners whether they are better off economically and whether they feel that the nation is providing more security.

Oct 29 Aircraft equipment failures permanently postpone another Carter administration rescue mission to Iran.

Oct 31 The Communist regime governing Poland recognizes Solidarity.

Oct 31 Mikhail Gorbachev has become a member of the leading body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: the Presidium, also known as the Politburo (short for political bureau.)

Nov 4 Ronald Reagan wins a landslide electoral victory against President Carter. He takes away from the Democratic Party all southern and border states except West Virginia and Georgia.

Nov 6 Microsoft signs a contract with IBM that will launch it as a major company. The contract is to develop software for IBM's new microcomputer.

Nov 20 In China the trial of "the Gang of Four" begins.

Dec 2  In El Salvador more political killings. Five members of the National Guard, in civilian clothes, take four Catholic Maryknoll missionaries, Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Jean Donovan and Dorothy Kazel, to an isolated spot where they are beaten, raped and murdered.

Dec 8 In New York City, a deranged fan shoots and kills John Lennon.

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