- President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 17).
- Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24).
- Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invades Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5).
- Nixon orders "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam (Dec.). Background: Vietnam War
George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15).
Five men are apprehended by police in attempt to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex—start of the Watergate scandal (June 17).
US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $1,237.30 billion
Federal spending: $230.68 billion
Federal debt: $435.9 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $9,697
Consumer Price Index: 41.8
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.08
Dallas d. Miami (24-3)
Oakland A's d. Cincinnati (4-3)
LA Lakers d. New York (4-1)
Boston d. NY Rangers (4-2)
Women: Billie Jean King d. E. Goolagong (6-3 6-3)
Men: Stan Smith d. I. Nastase (4-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 7-5)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. Florida St. (81-76)
NCAA Football Champions
- Time Inc. transmits HBO, the first pay cable network.
- Women dominate the 1971 Grammy Awards, taking all four top categories. Carole King won Record, Album and Song of the Year, while Carly Simon takes the Best New Artist award.
- The National Institute of Mental Health and the surgeon general issue a report that claims exposure to violence on television fosters aggression in children.
- Gloria Steinem's Ms magazine debuts.
- M*A*S*H premieres on CBS.
- Atari introduces the arcade version of Pong, the first video game. The home version comes out in 1974.
- The Godfather, Deliverance, Cabaret, Sleuth, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
- John Ashberry, Three Poems
- John Gardner, The Sunlight Dialogues
- Maxine Kumin, Up Country
- James Merrill, Braving the Elements
- Eudora Welty, The Optimist's Daughter
CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scanning is developed in England.
The compact disk is developed by RCA (US).
The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) is developed by Bryan B. Malloy (Scotland) and Klaus K. Schmiegel (US). Background: Health & Nutrition
The video disk is introduced by Philips Company (Netherlands).
Electronic mail is introduced. Queen Elizabeth will send her first email in 1976. Background: Computers and Internet
the last manned moon
landing to date, returns to Earth with 250 pounds of lunar samples. Background: US Staffed Space Flights
J. Edgar Hoover
Harry S. Truman
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