20 8 th. Decade
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 releases 55 political prisoners and imposes a
ban on political activities.
Idi Amin dismisses mayors and other local officials
because of their ties to the previous regime, and he closes
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.
Switzerland gives women voting rights in state but not nationwide
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.
A bomb explodes in the men's room at the White House.
The Weather Underground claims responsibility. Capitalism continues
In Turkey, four United States airmen are freed unharmed
after five days in the hands of leftist kidnappers.
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.
President Khan of Pakistan launches Operation Search
Light, a military assault on East Pakistan against those who want
US Army Lieutenant William Calley has been found
guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre. He is sentenced to life in
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.
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.
Charles Manson is sentenced to death.
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.
National Public Radio's first transmission covers
hearings on the Vietnam war by the US Senate Foreign Relations
The new government of Bangladesh flees from Pakistani
forces to India.
The US Supreme Court rules unanimously that busing
students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.
François Duvalier (Papa Doc), President of
Haiti, dies. His son, Jean-Claude Duvalier follows him as
May 3 The Harris Poll claims that 60 percent of Americans
oppose the Vietnam War.
National Public Radio begins its news program "All
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
The US ends its trade embargo against Communist China.
Americans can now sell or buy goods from China.
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.
Norway begins producing oil from wells in the North
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,
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.
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
In his apartment in Paris, Jim Morrison, singer and
lyricist for the rock band the Doors, is found dead in his bathtub.
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."
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.
President Nixon tells the public that his National
Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, has accepted an invitation to visit
In Spain, Franco makes Prince Juan Carlos his
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.
In a taped conversation with Kissinger, Nixon says,
"We're doing the China thing to screw the Russians and help us in
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.
India signs a 20-year treaty of friendship and
cooperation with the Soviet Union.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their
troops from Vietnam.
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.
Bolivia's air force bombs the University of San
Andres, where leftist students are making their last stand against the
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.
Qatar becomes independent from British rule.
A four-day prison riot at Attica Prison in New York
State kills 32 prisoners and 10 wardens.
In Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty, who has been in the
US Embassy since 1956, is allowed to leave Hungary. He is moving to
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.
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.
Security Advisor Henry Kissinger arrives in Beijing
West Germany's Social Democrat chancellor, Willy
Brandt, wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to get along with
Communist East Europe - ostpolitik.
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
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the
dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, is renamed Zaire.
Britain becomes the sixth nation to launch a satellite
The British House of Commons votes 356 to 244 in favor
of joining the European Economic Community.
US troops in Vietnam drop in number to 196,700, their
lowest since January 1966.
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.
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.
The People's Republic of China takes its seat on the
United Nations Security Council.
The Irish Republican Army launches rocket attacks on
targets in Northern Ireland. This and other incidents claim the lives
Around 2,500, mostly women, march in Washington D.C.
demanding a repeal of abortion laws, contraception laws and an end to
unknown) Greenpeace is founded as an organization in
Vancouver, Canada. It is opposed to US nuclear testing in Alaska.
Six sheikdoms found the United Arab Emirates.
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.
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.
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.
Britain gives up its military bases in Malta.
Senator Adlai Stevenson criticizes President Nixon for
supporting the Pakistani government against East Pakistan (Bangladesh)
Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth after being
advised that Commonwealth members, Britain, Australia and New Zealand,
will recognize Bangladesh.
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.
The first hand-held calculator (HP-35) goes on the
market for $395.
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.
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.
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.
A bomb planted by the Irish Republic Army kills seven
people in Aldershot, England.
North Vietnamese negotiators walk out of the Paris
peace talks, complaining of the US bombing of their country.
Libya signs a cooperation treaty with the Soviet Union.
There is to be a joint development and refining of Libyan oil.
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.
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.
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.
North Vietnamese forces attack enemy bases in the
south in their biggest offensive in four years.
The US and Soviet Union join 70 other nations in
signing an agreement to ban biological warfare.
The US extends its bombing to Hanoi and its harbor:
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."
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)
In Burundi a Hutu led rebellion against the Tutsi
military dictatorship erupts and starts killing people.
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.
President Nixon orders the mining of Haiphong Harbor.
In Laurel, Maryland, while campaigning for the
presidency, Governor Wallace of Alabama is shot. He will be paralyzed.
In Hamburg Germany, the Red Army Faction explodes
three bombs at the building housing the Springer Press.
In President Nixon's otherwise friendly visit to
Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev pounds the table and speaks of America's
"shameful war" in Vietnam.
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
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)
Gordon Liddy in later years
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
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.
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.
In Iraq, the vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command
Council, Saddam Hussein, oversees the seizure of Iraqi oil from
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, 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.
15 In West Germany, more members of the Red Army
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.
The United States returns Okinawa to Japan.
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.
President Nixon ends sending draftees to Vietnam,
unless they volunteer for duty there.
Senator George McGovern wins the Democratic Party's
nomination for president. He favors an immediate and complete
withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam.
In Belfast, 22 bombs planted by the Irish Republican
Army explode, kill nine people and seriously wound 130.
The US Senate votes 49-47 to withdraw all United States
forces from Indochina within four months, provided all prisoners of war
President Amin begins to expel Uganda's Indian minority
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.
President Nixon withdraws the last US combat units
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.
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.)
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.
At the Summer Olympics in Munich, eight Palestinians
belonging to Black September enter the Olympic Village and murder
eleven Israeli athletes .
Thirty-three years have passed since Germany invaded
Poland. West Germany and Poland renew diplomatic relations.
President Marcos places the Philippines under martial
law, allowing him to rule by decree. He describes this as necessary to
prevent a Communist takeover.
Japan and China normalize diplomatic relations.
Denmark joins the European Community.
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.
In the US, the first female FBI agents are hired.
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.
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."
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.
In Saigon, President Thieu describes agreement being
made in Paris as "a surrender of the South Vietnamese people to the
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.
In Chile, a strike by truckers ends, and other strike
leaders call for a return to work, ending a 26-day work stoppage.
President Nixon wins re-election with more than 60
percent of the popular vote.
The US turns the Long Binh military base over to
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
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.
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
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
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.
The United Nations proclaims this International Human
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.
Australia proclaims equal pay for women.
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
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.
East and West Germany recognize each other's
After five days and nights of heavy bombing, Hanoi is
scarred and half deserted but, according to one observer, vigorous and
in good spirits.
Former President Harry S. Truman dies.
Britain, Ireland and Denmark join the European Economic
Community - the future European Union.
In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos becomes President
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.
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
President Nixon is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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.
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.
North Vietnam releases US prisoners of war.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Black September commandos surrender to the Sudanese
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.
Voters in Northern Ireland endorse remaining in the
The Provisional Irish Republican Army explodes bombs in
London's government district.
Sudan's government speaks of executing the Black
September commandos and banning all Palestinian commando
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.
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.
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.
At Wounded Knee, six members of the American Indian
Movement are wounded in a gun battle with federal marshals.
Ireland's navy arrests six men transporting five tons
of weapons destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
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.
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
One of the six wounded at Wounded Knee has died.
Another gun battle erupts and another is killed.
Negotiating with federal agents, the American Indian
Movement agrees to end its stand at Wounded Knee.
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.
Premier Thanom Kittikachorn of Thailand says that US
military are still needed in Thailand.
The White House announces that despite the vote in
Congress it will continue bombing in Cambodia, to support Lon Nol's
The Senate Appropriations Committee votes 24 to 0 to
cut off all funds for bombing Cambodia.
The British House of Commons votes to abolish capital
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Former White House counsel John Dean begins to testify
before the Senate Watergate Committee.
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.
The Bahamas gain full independence within the Common
Wealth of Nations.
Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield tells
the Senate Watergate Committee that President Nixon has secretly
recorded potentially incriminating conversations.
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.
President Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential
tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the special
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.
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.
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.
Libya announces the nationalization of 51 per cent of
the assets of the oil companies operating in the country.
Chile's military overthrows Salvador Allende, who goes
down fighting with the AK-47 said to have been given him by Fidel
Six Persian Gulf states declare a negotiating front to
pressure for price increases and an end to support of Israel.
South Vietnamese troops assault North Vietnamese
troops near Pleiku.
Henry Kissinger becomes Secretary of State.
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)
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
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.
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.
Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United
States and in federal court pleads no contest to charges of income tax
Secretary of State Kissinger warns the Soviet
Ambassador that if the Soviet Union sends troops to the Middle East so
will the United States.
Responding to Syrian requests for military help in the
Golan, Iraq and Jordan send troops.
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.
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
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
Israeli tanks have succeeded against Syrian tanks and
are within 10 miles of Damascus.
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.
Israeli forces have crossed the Suez Canal and
surround Egypt's Third Army.
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.
The bridge in Istanbul that crosses the Bosporus is
completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia.
Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon
Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.
In Greece, student demonstrators, opposed to the
country's dictatorship, clash with police.
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.
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.
The US Congress overrides President Nixon 's veto of
its War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war
without congressional approval.
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.
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.
The chief of the Greek armed forces outlaws 28 student
organizations, while demonstrations continue.
In Greece, demonstrating students are joined by young
Papadopoulos is ousted in a military coup. People in
the village where he grew up, Elaiohori, in the Peloponnese, are
President Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum
Allocation Act authorizing price, production, allocation and marketing
Nov 27 The
new Greek leadership, moving to generate public support,
begins releasing students and others jailed in the demonstrations and
riots against Papadopoulos.
The new military rulers of Greece move to consolidate
their power by purging from the armed forces high-ranking officers who
supported George Papadopoulos.
Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
PRG (Vietcong) forces destroy 18 million gallons of
fuel stored near Saigon.
The White House cannot explain an 18-minute gap in one
of the subpoenaed tapes.
The American Psychiatric Association removes
homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
OPEC doubles the price of crude oil.
The US Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.
Citing executive privilege, President Nixon refuses to
surrender 500 tapes and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate
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
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.
Patricia Hearst, U.C. Berkeley student and
granddaughter of publisher William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from
In northern California, the Symbionese Liberation Army,
led by General Cinque, declares that it is holding Patricia Hearst.
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.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn is sent into a forced exile.
Authorities in the Soviet Union say that his family will be allowed to
Mar 17 Arab
oil ministers, with the exception of the Libyans, announce
the end of their oil embargo against the United States.
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.
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.
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.
The United States House of Representatives Judiciary
Committee opens impeachment hearings against President Nixon.
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
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.
India successfully conducts an underground nuclear
test, code named as Smiling Buddha, and becomes the latest nuclear
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
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.
Vietnamese forces commanded from Hanoi have begun a
build up of men and supplies in South Vietnam.
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.
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.
The regime in Athens sponsors a coup d'etat in
Nicosia. Makarios flees and is replaced by a fervent Greek nationalist
politician: Nikos Sampson.
The Irish Republican Army continues politics by terror
by exploding a bomb in the Tower of London, killing 1 person and
Makarios addresses the UN Security Council and accuses
Greece of having invaded Cyprus and of being a threat to all Cypriots,
Greek and Turkish.
Turkey invades Cyprus, describing it as a "peace
operation" designed to protect the Turkish community in Cyprus.
In Greece, senior military officers withdraw
their support from leaders of the military junta.
In Greece, a moderate-conservative politician,
Constantine Karamanlis, is sworn in as interim prime minister. He is
intent on preparing the country for elections.
The US Supreme Court rules that President Nixon cannot
withhold subpoenaed tapes from the Watergate special prosecutor.
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.
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
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.
President Nixon is anguished. He asks Secretary of
State Kissinger to join him on his knees in prayer.
President Nixon announces his resignation effective
Vice President Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President
of the United States.
President Ford pardons former President Nixon for any
crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.
Three members of the Japanese Red Army seize the
French Embassy in the Netherlands.
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.
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
In Greece, Premier Constantine Caramanlis' newly
organized political party wins the first elections in more than a
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.
Congress passes a foreign policy appropriations bill
which cuts funding to Saigon's military.
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.
North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to plan a final
drive against Saigon.
President Ford signs the foreign policy appropriations
In Florence, Italy, police raid an abortion clinic,
In Greece, former dictator, George Papdopoulos, is
charged with high treason and insurrection.
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.
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.
Italy's highest court rules that abortion is legal if
a pregnancy threatens the mother's physical or psychological health.
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.
The West German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe
declares as unconstitutional a law allowing abortions on request during
the first three months of pregnancy.
The Shah of Iran and Baathist Iraq agree on a border
between the two countries and declare a bond of "friendship and
Aristotle Onassis dies. The former Jacqueline Kennedy
is a widow again.
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.
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.
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
The first group of boat people from South Vietnam begin
arriving in Malaysia.
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
Apr 18 China
conveys its "warmest congratulations and highest esteem"
to Prince Norodom Sihanouk and the new Cambodian leaders on their
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops.
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.
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.
The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong occupy the
presidential palace in Saigon.
The US State Department announces its belief that the
Khmer Rouge has forcibly evacuated virtually the entire population from
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.
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.
In Sikkim, people have rebelled against their
monarchy. India annexes Sikkim, which becomes India's second smallest
In Maine, James A. Healy becomes the first black Roman
The Suez Canal, closed during Egypt's 1967 war with
Israel, is reopened.
In a Riyadh shopping center, Prince Faisal ibu Masaed
Faisal Ibn Mussed is beheaded for having killed his uncle, King Faisal.
In Eastern Africa, Mozambique becomes independent
after five centuries of Portuguese rule. Around 600,000 Portuguese
farmers have abandoned their farms, devastating Mozambique's
Thailand and China establish diplomatic relations.
Arthur Ashe defeats Jimmy Conners, becoming the first
black to win a Wimbledon singles title.
Portugal grants independence to the Cape Verde Islands,
off the coast of West Africa.
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.
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.
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.
In Bangladesh, a pre-dawn military coup by mid-ranking
army officers murders the country's founding leader, Sheik Mujibar
Rahman, and his family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greece's government spares the lives of Papadopoulos
and the two others sentenced to death, leaving the three with life
In Venice, Italy, preventive measures, long in
progress, stop the city from sinking into the sea.
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.
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
Boston's public schools begin a court-ordered citywide
busing program. The National Guard has been called out to prevent
In an apartment in San Francisco with other Symbionese
Liberation Army members, Patty Hearst is arrested by the Federal Bureau
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."
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.
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.
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.
In Bangladesh, military officers who resent the
military coup of August 15 take power.
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.
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
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.
Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, dies at the age of
Juan Carlos is proclaimed king of Spain.
A federal jury in Sacramento finds Lynette Fromme
guilty of trying to assassinate President Ford.
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
In Southeast Asia, East Timor proclaims independence
from Portuguese rule.
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
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.
Indonesia claims rule over East Timor and invades.
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.
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.
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.
Air France and British Airways begin commercial
flights with the supersonic Concorde aircraft.
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.
At Cavalese in Italy a steel cable breaks, sending 42
people in cable cars plunging 200 meters (700 feet) to their death.
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
In the US, Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
In India, to curb population growth, the minimum age
for marriage is raised to 21 years for men and 18 years for women.
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.
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.
Palestinians hijack an Air France plane in Greece and
land it in Entebbe, Uganda. More than 100 of the 246 passengers are
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.
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.
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
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."
East Timor is declared the 27th province of Indonesia,
while the people there prefer independence.
The US completes the withdrawal of air force bases
from Thailand, paving the way for normalization of relations between
Thailand and Vietnam.
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.
The first recognized outbreak of
Legionnaires' disease kills 29 at the American Legion convention in
Philadelphia. The disease is a mystery.
Thailand and Vietnam re-establish diplomatic relations.
In the US, the Republican Party platform subcommittee
votes not to endorse the equal rights amendment for women. First Lady
Betty Ford is appalled.
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.
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.
President Ford wins the Republic Party's nomination
Chairman Mao Zedong, 82, dies.
Patricia Hearst is sentenced to 7 years in prison for
her role in a 1974 bank robbery.
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.
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.
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
Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Gerald Ford, becoming
the first candidate from the Deep South to win the presidency since the
Angola, independent since November 11, 1975, joins the
Samoa, independent since 1962, joins the United
Jan 1 In what is called the Bush War, rebels
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.
Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as
the cause of the "Legionnaires' disease."
US President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino,
known in the United States as "Tokyo Rose".
President James Earl Carter
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."
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.
Alex Haley's historical novel Roots begins as a series
on ABC television.
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.
Wearing a cardigan sweater, President Carter speaks to
the nation via television about the need to conserve energy.
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.
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
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.
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.
Italian Tenor Luciano Pavarotti debuts in the United
States in a PBS production of Puccini's La Boheme.
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
In Spain, indignation over the Massacre of Atocha
results in legalization of Spain's Communist party.
President Carter commutes the 20-year prison term of
G. Gordon Liddy to eight years, 4 1/2 years of which he has already
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.
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.
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.
5 The first Apple II computers go
Shariati, Iran's leading dissident
? 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.
In Sweden, an international research body declares
that an arms race is increasing the probability of nuclear war.
After 41 years of rule by Franco, Spain has its first
The Central Committee of Spain's Communist Party
rejects Moscow's criticism of their secretary general, Santiago
Carrillo, and vows to continue its independence.
In the Soviet Union, the Communist Party newspaper,
Pravda, claims that US support for human rights is a cover for an arms
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.
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.
Responding to civil disorder, Pakistan's
General Zia-ul-Haq overthrows Prime Minister Bhutto and imposes Martial
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
In West Germany, leftist terrorists assassinate Jürgen
Ponto, chairman of the Dresdner Bank.
In the US, the Department of Energy is formed, the
result of President Carter having influenced Congress.
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.
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.
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.
While in police custody, Steve Biko has been beaten to
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
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
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.
Smallpox is considered eradicated - a success of
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays
that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.
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.
Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Florida.
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.
President Carter postpones production of the neutron
bomb which kills people with radiation but leaves buildings relatively
The United Nations forms the World Health Organization.
In a close vote, after months of political wrangling,
the US Senate ratifies the Panama Canal Treaty.
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.
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
1 Afghanistan is renamed the Democratic Republic
Afghanistan and Nur Mohammed Taraki is named president.
new president of Afghanistan
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.
In the Soviet Union, a nuclear scientist and political
dissident, Yuri Orlov, is sentenced to 7 years hard labor for
distributing 'counterrevolutionary material'.
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.
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.
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
Begin, Carter and Sadat at Camp David
President Jimmy Carter and Governor-elect
Jones, temple leader
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cardinal Karol Wojtyl becomes the 264th pope, Pope
John Paul II - the first Polish pope.
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."
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
In China, the Communist Party, now led by Deng
Xiaoping, chooses a major reversal in economic policy. Agricultural is
to be decollectivized.
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.
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.
The Shah asks an old opponent, Shahpur Bakhtiar, 63,
to become prime minister and to form a new civilian government.
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.
The United States and China establish full diplomatic
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
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).
Patty Hearst is released from prison. Her seven-year
sentence for bank robbery has been commuted by President Carter.
Iran's Prime Minister Bakhtiar, Sorbonne University PhD
anti-fascist underground vet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, extremists kidnap and kill US
Ambassador Adolph Dubs.
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.
The US announces that its aid to Afghanistan will be
The Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia becomes
independent from Britain.
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.
Afghan army officers in the city of Herat mutiny
and they are crushed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
In June, millions cheer John Paul's
first visit to Poland as Pope.
Lining up for gas, June 15
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.
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.
Mexico breaks diplomatic relations with Nicaragua and
urges the US to end all remaining assistance programs to the Somoza
About 300 Sandinista insurgents are reported to have
entered Nicaragua from Costa Rica.
The Sandinistas start their all-out military offensive
against the Somoza regime.
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.
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.
The US has people bumper to bumper in long lines
waiting to buy gas.
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.
While a camera is rolling, a Nicaraguan National Guard
soldier kills ABC TV news correspondent Bill Stewart and his
interpreter Juan Espinosa.
President Carter's approval rating has dropped to 25
percent, lower than President Nixon's during the Watergate scandal.
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
disaster - its Vietnam War.
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."
In Iraq, President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and is
replaced by the acting president, Vice President Saddam Hussein.
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.
Marxist Sandinistas take power in the capital city,
Jul 31 Former governor of California, Ronald
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.
Paul Volcker takes office as the new chairman of the
Federal Reserve (the "Fed"). There is hope that he will succeed in
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.
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.
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, a Columbia University graduate,
by the Russians of of being a CIA agent.
The Carter administration warns Congress that failure
by the United States to supply aid to Nicaragua could push the new
leadership there toward Communism.
In Afghanistan, squabbling within the Taraki regime
results in Taraki's death. Vice President Hafizullah Amin takes power.
The energy crisis continues. Inflation in the US has
been running at an annual rate of 10.75 percent, unprecedented for
In Afghanistan, Amin announces that his predecessor,
Taraki, died from "a severe and prolonged illness."
South Korea's president, Park Chung Hee, is
assassinated by his KCIA chief, Kim Jaekyu.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
US officials announce that the Soviet Union is giving
low-key support to US efforts to release the hostages in Iran.
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.
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.
The Soviet Union begins sending troops into
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
29 Another member of the PDPA, who had been in
as the ambassador to the Czech Republic, becomes President of
Afghanistan: Babrak Kamal.
Babrak Kamal subsequent
President of Afghanistan
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."
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."
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
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."
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
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
Responding to the Soviet Union's intervention in
Afghanistan, China announces that it will not resume talks with the
Russians regarding improving relations.
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.
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."
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.
Six US diplomats sneak out of Iran, using passports
provided them by Canada.
A special session of the UN General Assembly passes
resolutions 104-18 calling for an immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops
Argentinian traders and farmers seek benefit from sales to the
Soviet Union to replace supplies embargoed by the United States.
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."
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.
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.
Senator Edward Kennedy complains that President Carter
has created "war hysteria" in the United States.
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
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
In South America's Republic of Suriname, discontented
army sergeants seize power in a predawn coup. Six are reported to have
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.
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.
President Carter interjects politics into the Olympics. He
announces his desire that the United States boycott the Summer Olympics
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
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"
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.
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.
President Carter vows to pursue the release of the
hostages by "every avenue."
The boat lift continues with 1,300 small boats
reported at Cuba's port of Mariel, picking up Cubans and taking them to
Government attacks on student demonstrations in Kabul
result in the death of more than 50 students.
President Carter pledges "an open heart and open arms "
for the "literally tens of thousands" of refugees arriving in Florida
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.
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.
Military authorities accuse South Korea's
pro-democracy opposition leader, Kim Dae Jung, of planning to use
students to stage a revolution.
Japan announces that it is imposing a freeze on export
and service contracts signed with Iran since the beginning of the
May 24 The
International Court of Justice calls for the release of US
Embassy hostages in Iran.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
in Poland, at Gdansk, a stop
toward the end of Communism 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
Aug 18 In a
speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars presidential
candidate Reagan describes the US action in Vietnam "a noble cause."
Desertions from Afghanistan's army has reduced its number from
an estimated 80,000 at the time of the Soviet intervention to around
Reagan and Carter debate
Murdered on December 2:
Ita Ford, Jean Donovan,
Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel.
isolated spot where they are
beaten, raped and murdered.
17 In the wake of the recent strikes in Poland, a
independent trade union, "Solidarity," is established.
John Lennon. One of his last photos.
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.
Saddam Hussein declares Iraq's 1975 agreement with Iran null and
Sep 20 Iran
calls up several thousand military reservists "to defend
the integrity of the country."
Saddam Hussein launches a land and air invasion against Iran.
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.
Ronald Reagan describes warfare between Iran and Iraq as the
result of weak foreign and defense policies by President Carter.
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."
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.)
An estimated 900,000 Afghanis are seeking shelter in
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.
Aircraft equipment failures permanently postpone another Carter
administration rescue mission to Iran.
Oct 31 The
Communist regime governing Poland recognizes Solidarity.
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.
Microsoft signs a contract with IBM that will launch it as a
major company. The contract is to develop software for IBM's new
Nov 20 In
China the trial of "the Gang of Four" begins.
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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