20 Notable Events in 1975

I was born in 1977, so I don’t have a recollection of events in 1975. I dug around and found out that a lot of significant things happened that year, so I decided to highlight 20 of them for you…

Here are 20 Notable Events in 1975

1. Nicholaas Johannes Diederichs became the 4th state president of South Africa

He replaced Jim Fouce. He became and died of a heart attack in August 1978. Diederichs was succeeded by Marais Viljoen (who acted as State President until October 1978). Viljoen was replaced by BJ Vorster in October 1979. Viljoen was the State President of South Africa from October 1979 until September 1984.

2. Some great bands started making music

1975 saw the formation of Iron Maiden, The Boomtown Rats, Motorhead, The Runaways and Sex Pistols.

Iron Maiden in 1975

3. Some great bands split up

Faces (which featured Rod Stewart on lead vocals), The Guess Who, Humble Pie and Stealer’s Wheel split up in 1975. The Guess Who reformed in 1977 and Stealer’s Wheel re-united in 2008.

4. The Altair 8800 was released

The release sparked the era of the micro-computer.

Altair 8800

5. 9 countries gained independence

Mozambique gained independence in June 1975. Cape Verde, The Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe became independent in July 1975. Papau New Guinea gained independence in September 1975. Angola, Suriname and East Timor gained independence in November 1975.

Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor gained independence from Portugal. Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia. The Comoros gained independence from France and Suriname gained independence from The Netherlands.

6. Microsoft was founded

Bill Gates and Paul Allen established Microsoft in Albequerque, New Mexico on the 4th of April, 1975. They developed and sold BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.

Microsoft in 1975

7. Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing

The former Teamsters Union president was last seen on the 30th of July 1975 in the Bloomfield Township (a suburb of Detroit, Michigan). He was never found  was eventually declared dead in 1982.

Jimmy Hoffa

8. BIC launched the first disposable Razor

The brand’s first razor made its appearance in 1975 after two years of research. It was the first razor to allow men to shave quickly and safely. Previously, men had to use a straight razor, also known as a cut-throat razor, or visit the barber.

9. Saturday Night Live made its debut on NBC

Comedian George Carlin was the first host of the popular program. To date more than 850 episodes of the popular late-night sketch comedy and variety show have aired on television.

10. Carlos (the Jackal) and 5 militants kidnapped delegates at the OPEC conference

The conference was held in Vienna, Austria on the 21st of December 1975. The self-named “Arm of the Arab Revolution” group called for the liberation of Palestine. The siege resulted in complex diplomatic negotiations and eventually ended 2 days later.

Carlos (the Jackal)

11. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was killed

He was shot point-blank by his half-brother’s son, Faisal bin Musaid on the 25th of March 1975. The nation’s high religious court convicted Faisal of regicide and sentenced him to execution. He was beheaded in the public square in Riyadh in June 1975.

12. Junko Tabei reached the summit of Mount Everest

She was the first woman to reach the summit. Tabei eventually became the first woman to ascend all the Seven Summits in 1992. She climbed the highest peak on every continent. She died of stomach cancer in 2016.

13. The Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement was founded in South Africa

The movement was founded by Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi on the 21st of March 1975. It was renamed to the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1994.

Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi

14. The Vietnam War ended

This was probably one of the most significant events in 1975. It happened on the 30th of April of that year. Saigon Fell, the North Vietnamese Army entered the city and captured key buildings and installations.

Vietnam War 1975

A tank from the 324th Division crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace at 11:30 AM local time and the Viet Cong flag was raised above it. President Dương Văn Minh surrendered to Colonel Bùi Tín. The Vietnam War was fought between North and South Vietnam and officially ended after 19 years of fighting.

15. Ethiopia abolished its monarchy after 3,000 years

The Derg officially abolished the monarchy on 21 March 1975. In April 1989, Amha Selassie was proclaimed Emperor in exile at London. His succession was backdated to the date of Emperor Haile Selassie’s death in August 1975 (rather than his deposition in September 1974).

16. Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was removed from office

This happened on the 11th of November 1975. He was removed by Governor General Sir John Kerr. It was first elected Aussie prime minister to be removed in 200 years.

17. Franciso Franco died

The Spanish Dictator ruled Spain from 1936 until his death on the 20th of November 1975. The official cause of death was heart failure.

Franciso Franco

18. Queen released A Night At The Opera

It was reportedly the most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release. A Night At The Opera contained “Bohemian Rhapsody” and was released on the 21st of November 1975.

A Night At The Opera - Events in 1975

19. Pink Floyd released Wish You Were Here

The album was released in September 1975. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. To date the 5-track album has sold more than 13 million copies.

Pink Floyd

20. Led Zeppelin released Physical Graffiti

The album was Led Zeppelin‘s 6th studio album and was released on the 24th of February 1975. The album was produced by Jimmy Page. It was recorded in Headley Grange in 1974. To date it has sold more than 8 million copies.

Well, there you have it, 20 notable events in 1975. Which events in 1975 did I miss? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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


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

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