1970 was an interesting year. It’s hard to believe that the events in that year occured more than 50 years ago. I’m a child of a 1970s, but sadly I was only born in 1977.
Here are 20 Notable Events That Happened in 1970
1. The Beatles disbanded in 1970
Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving the band in April 1970. This is when the band officially disbanded. Their last album, Let It Be was released in May 1970.
2. Apollo 13 failed to make it to the Moon
This NASA misson was supposed to be the American Space Administration’s third trip to the Moon and was launched in April 1970. 2 days into the mission the crew notified CapCom of issues with the now infamous words “Houston, we have a problem”. 3 hours after this, all of their oxygen stores were gone and there was a loss of water, electricity and the propulsion system.
Thanks to some lunar model reconfigurations and tricky calculations the crew made it safely back to earth on the 14th of April 1970. The events of this mission is depicted in the 1995 film, Apollo 13 (which was directed by Ron Howard).
3. The Boeing 747 made its first commercial passenger trip to London
This happened on the 22nd of January in this year. The plane was operated by Pan-Am and the flight traveled from New York to London carrying 332 passengers and 18 crew members. The Boeing 747 revolutionized air travel and the commercial airline business.
The jumbo jet could carry up to 550 people during one flight. This reduced the amount of flights needed to transport the same amount of people on smaller planes. Less planes in the air meant reduced air traffic volumes. Sadly two of these planes were involved in the worst air disaster in history in the Canary Islands in 1977.
4. Two countries gained independence
Tonga gained independence from the UK on the 4th of July and Fiji gained indepence from the UK on the 10th of October in this year.
5. Four people got killed in the Kent State Shootings
The United States invaded Camobia in 1970. Students protested against this at Kent State University in Ohio on the 4th of May in this year. The Ohio National Guard was deployed to deal with the protesters. Shots were fired. 9 people were wounded and 4 people died.
6. Edward Heath became the Prime Minister of the UK
Heath’s new cabinet included Margaret Thatcher (Education and Science), William Whitelaw (Leader of the House of Commons) and the former prime minister Alec Douglas-Home (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs).
7. The Aswan High Dam was completed
The Aswan High Dam is the world’s largest embankment dam (which is built accross the Nile) in Egypt. It took 10 years to construct. It was designed by the Moscow-based Hydroproject Institute. The Soviet Union provided technicians and heavy machinery for construction. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to its construction.
8. The Isle of Wight festival was hosted at East Afton Farm (off the coast of England)
It was the last of three consecutive music festivals to take place on the island between 1968 and 1970 and widely acknowledged as the largest musical event of its time, greater than the attendance of Woodstock (which was held in Upstate New York in the USA in 1969). More than 600,000 people attended this festival (which was held between the 26th and 31st of August in this year).
Artists on the line-up included Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull.
9. All My Children made its debut on Television
Set in the fictional East Coast suburb Pine Valley, this show was the risk-taking soap opera that centered around Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and her long line of husbands. The show aired for more than 4 decades until it finally ended in 2011. 10,755 episodes of the soap opera was broadcast on ABC over the years.
10. Japan became the Fourth Space Power
Yes folks, Japan joined the space race in this year. Before this, the Soviet Union, the USA and France were the only 3 countries who sent astronauts into space.
11. Two famous rock stars died
Jimi Hendrix died of a barbiturate overdose in London on the 18th of September 1970.
Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose in Hollywood, California on the 4th of October 1970.
12. A few legendary bands were formed in 1970
Aerosmith, America, The Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra, Jefferson Starship, Mudcrutch (Tom Petty‘s first band), Queen and Wild Cherry were formed in this year.
13. Some really good songs were released
Simon & Garfunkel released “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, The Guess Who released “American Woman”, Edwin Starr released “War”, Diana Ross released “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, The Jackson 5 released “I’ll Be There”, The Beatles released “Let It Be”, Three Dog Night released “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”, Norman Greenbaum released “Spirit In The Sky”, The Hollies released “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, The Kinks released “Lola”, Mountain released “Mississippi Queen”, B.B, King released “The Thrill Is Gone”, Elton John released “Your Song” and Free released “All Right Now” in 1970.
14. Cigarette adverts were banned on TV and radio in the USA
President Nixon signed the legislation on the 1st of April 1970. The last cigarette advert ran on US Television on the 1st of January 1971 (during the Johnny Carson Show).
15. A patent for the first computer mouse was issued
The patent was issued to Douglas Engelbart (an American engineer).
16. John Lennon and Yoko Ono announced Their Sex-Change Plans
The couple sent out a press release on the 1st of April 1970 stating that they had checked into the London Clinic to undergo sex-change operations. This was not for real though. This was an April Fool’s Joke.
17. Brazil won their Third FIFA World Cup
This was also the third time that Pele was in a team that won the FIFA World Cup. Brazil beat Italy by 4 goals to 1 at Estadio Azteca in front of 107,000 fans in Mexico City.
18. Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic ocean on a raft
It took the Norwegan 57 days to travel from Barbados to Morocco on the Ra II.
19. The Royal Navy stopped sanctioned rum rations
31 July 1970 will remembered as Black Tot Day. It was the day that the Royal Navy stopped it. Sanctioned rum rations officially started in 1740.
20. Elton John played his first show in the USA
Elton John played this show in Los Angeles, California on the 25th of August 1970.
Well, there you have it, 20 Notable Events that happened in 1970. If there’s something important that I left out, feel free to comment below.
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