20 Notable Events in 1971

1971 was an interesting year. I was only born 6 years later, so I have no recollection whatsoever of this year. I was curious about events in this year, so I delved into the corners of the internet to get some info to soothe my obsession with history.

Here are 20 Notable Events in 1971

1. Some legendary rock bands were formed

The list of rock bands formed in 1971 include the Eagles, Queen, Foghat, New York Dolls and Roxy Music.


2. Johannesburg’s Hillbrow Tower was completed

Construction took 3 years. It was also known as the JG Strijdom tower and was renamed to the Telkom Jo’burg Tower in 2005. The tower stands 269 metres (883 ft) tall and was the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere until 1978.

Hillbrow Tower

3. Radio & TV adverts for cigarettes were banned in the USA

The ban started on the 1st of January 1971.

3. The first ever email was sent

Roy Tomlinson sent himself and email. According to him “The test messages were entirely forgettable. . . . Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP or something similar.”

4. Rolls Royce went bankrupt

The British vehicle manufacturer became hopelessly crippled by its mismanagement of development of its advanced RB211 jet engine. The useful portions were bought by a new UK government-owned company named Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited.

Rolls Royce

5. Apollo 14 landed on the moon

It was the 3th NASA spacecraft to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands.

Apollo 14

6. The Nasdaq Index Made its debut on Wall Street

It was the world’s first electronic stock market. Nasdaq began operations on the 8th of February 1971.

7. Evel Knievel set a world record

The infamous daredevil jumped over 19 cars. He did this with a Harley Davidson XR-750 motorcycle at a raceway in California. He held on to this record for 28 years.

Evel Knievel

8. The Ed Sullivan Show aired its last episode

The popular CBS variety TV show was on air from 1948 to 1971. The last episode aired on the 6th of June 1971.

The Ed Sullivan Show

9. 60% of Americans were against the Vietnam War (according to the Harris Poll)

This was not a surprising statistic at the time. In April 1971 500,000 people in Washington DC and 125,000 people in San Fransisco marched to protest against the war (which only ended in 1974).

10. The New York Times started publishing the Pentagon Papers

The Pentagon Papers was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of US political / military involvement in Vietnam between 1945 & 1967.

11. Jim Morrison died

The lead singer of The Doors was found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France on the 3rd of July 1971. The official cause of death was listed as heart failure. Morrison died 9 months after Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and 2 years after Brian Jones (of the Rolling Stones).

Jim Morrison

12. 4 countries gained independence

Here’s the list of countries: Bangladesh (on the 26th of March 1971), Bahrain (on the 15th of August 1971), Qatar (on the 3rd of September 1971) and The United Arab Emirates (on the 2nd of December 1971).

13. The People’s Republic of China was admitted the General Assembly at the United Nations

The Republic of China (Taiwan) was expelled in the same year (thanks to the UN’s one China policy). The Republic of China was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945.

14. Mariner 9 entered Mars orbit

It was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Mariner 9 was launched on the 30th of March 1971 and reached the red planet in November of the same year. The spacecraft returned 7329 images over the course of its mission (which ended in October 1972).

Mariner 9

15. Intel launched the world’s first commercially available microprocessor

The 4 bit Intel 4004 processor had a max CPU clock rate of 740 KHz. It was in use until 1981. It was used as a Busicom calculator and for arithmetic manipulation.

16. Charles Manson and 3 of his followers were convicted

Manson and his followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969. He was originally sentenced to death, but the death penalty was ruled to be unconstitutional in 1972. His sentence was converted to a life sentence in 1977. Charles Manson died in prison in November 2017.

Charles Manson 1971

17. Starbucks opened their first store

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington in the USA in March 1971. Today there are more than 30,000 Starbucks stores around the world.


18. Idi Amin became the president of Uganda

Amin deposed Milton Obote and seized power on the 25th of January 1971. He became popularly known as the “Butcher of Uganda.”.  Amin is considered one of the cruelest despots in African history. He was in power until 1979 when he was forced into exile. He died in August 2003 in Saudi Arabia.

Idi Amin

19. Walt Disney World was opened in Florida

The resort opened on the 1st of October 1971. Today it’s the most visited vacation resort in the world. It has an average annual attendance of more than 52 million.

Walt Disney World

20. The Soviet Union launched the first space station into orbit

It was called Salyut 1 and it was launched in April 1971. The Salyut program followed this with five more successful launches of seven more stations. The final module of the program, Zvezda (DOS-8) became the core of the Russian segment of the International Space Station and remains in orbit.

Well, there you have it, our list of 20 Notable Events in 1971. I trust that you found this information fascinating and useful.

Have a fact that you want to add or want to tell me which fact you found the most interesting? Leave a comment below.

Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ron

    Queen was NOT formed in ’71, but ’70

    1. Henno Kruger

      Thanks 🙂

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