20 Notable Events in 1976

Lots of things happened in 1976 in South Africa and around the world that are worth mentioning. I was only born one year later, in 1977, so I have no recollection of this year.

Hope you find these facts entertaining and informational. If I’ve left something notable out please tap me on the shoulder and comment on this post below

Here are 20 Notable Events in 1976:

1. The SABC started broadcasting

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) started it’s television service in South Africa on the 5th of January 1976.


2. The Concorde embarked on its first commercial flight

The Concorde was a French-British turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner. It was used by British Airways and Air France from 1976 until 2003.


3. 29 Countries boycotted the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada

Most of these countries were African. This happened because the Olympic Committee didn’t ban New Zealand from the games. New Zealand’s rugby team toured South Africa in that year, defying calls from the United Nations for a Sports Embargo against SA. Only 92 nations participated in the event.


3. Nadia Comaneci earned the first of 7 perfect scores of 10.

The now infamous Romanian gymast achieved this at the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

Nadia Comaneci

4. VHS was introduced in 1976

VHS (or Video Home System) was a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes. It was introduced in Japan in this year and in the USA in 1977.


5.Harold Wilson resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

He was succeeded by James Callaghan (who was succeeded by Edward Heath in the same year).

Howard Wilson

6. Isabel Peron was deposed by military forces in Argentina

Jorge Videla (a military dictator) succeeded her as the 43rd president of Argentina. He remained in power until 1981.

Isabel Peron

7. The Apple Computer company was founded in this year

Steve Jobbs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded the company on the 1st of April 1976. The first computer, the Apple I, went on sale on the 1st of July 1976. It was priced at $666.66.

Steve Jobbs, Steve Wozniak

8.The Soweto riots occurred in South Africa on the 16th of June 1976

Black youths protested against the policies of South Africa’s Apartheid government. Many people were killed and injured in the incident. The 16th of June is now a public holiday (Youth Day) in South Africa.

Soweto Riots 1976

9. Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky

He completed the script in three and a half days. He wrote it with a Bic pen on paper. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Sylvester Stallone

10. The USA celebrated 200 years of Independence

This happened on the 4th of July 1976. The US Treasury Department re-introduced the 2 Dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration in the same year.

20 Notable Events in 1976 1

11. Jimmy Carter was nominated for US President

This happened at the Democratic National Convention in New York City in 1976. He won the election and became the 39th president of the United States of America.

Jimmy Carter

12. The “Son of Sam” started killing people in New York City

He pulled a gun from a paper bag, killed 1 person and seriously wounded another. A series of attacks terrorized the city for the next year.

Son of Sam

13. Big Ben stopped running

This happened because the London Clock suffered internal damage. It started running again after 9 months of repairs were completed in May 1977.

Big Ben

14. 2 NASA Spacecraft landed on Mars

Viking 2 landed at Utopia Planitia on Mars and took the first close-up color photos of the planet’s surface in the same year. Viking 1 also successfully landed on Mars in 1976. NASA released the famous “Face on Mars” photo taken by the lander in the same year.

Viking 2 on Mars

15. Chairman Mao Zedong of the People’s Republic of China died

Hua Guofeng succeeded him as Chairman of the Communist Party of China. Mao Zedong had been chairman from 1949.

Mao Zedong

15. Bob Marley and his manager were shot in 1976

This failed assassination attempt happened on the 3rd of December 1976 in Kingston, Jamaica. Marley, his wife and manager were shot, but there were no fatalities.

Bob Marley

16. The world’s first laser printer was introduced

IBM designed the printer for data centres. It replaced line printers and was capable of high volume of printing. The printer offered speeds of 215 pages per minute.

Worlds First Laser Printer

17. A few great rock bands were formed in 1976

The year saw the formation of Black FlagThe ClashThe CureForeignerJoy Division and Madness. The Irish rock band U2 was also formed in the year. This happened after Larry Mullen Jr. posted a note seeking members for a band on the notice board of his Dublin school.

U2 in 1976

18. The word ‘meme’ was first used by Richard Dawkins

He used the word in his book, The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads.

Richard Dawkins

19. Paul Simon thanked Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album

Simon made this remark at the Grammy Awards. He won the Grammy for Album of The Year in 1976. Stevie Wonder had won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1974 and 1975.

Paul Simon

20. Andre the Giant set the world record for number of beers consumed in a single sitting

He drank 119 beers in six hours. That’s roughly 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of beer an hour.

Andre The Giant

Which important fact from 1976 did I leave out? Leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.

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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