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What Happened in 1971 Major Events, Popular Culture, Prices, Born This Year 50 years ago

What happened in 1971 Major News Stories include Intel releases world's first microprocessor, the 4004, Aswan Dam is completed, Charles Manson and three of his followers receive the death penalty, National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasts for the first time, Walt Disney World Resort opens in Florida, Mount Etna erupts, Voting Age Lowered US and UK to 18, UK Moves to Decimal Currency, San Fernando Valley Earthquake, Ibrox disaster

1971 This could well be the year that marked the start of the digital age when the Microprocessor was invented. We also saw the use of more and more of the transistor technology in use in things like hand held calculators which although are still very expensive over time will drop in price and increase in function to where we are today. It is also the first year North Sea Oil production begins in Norway. One other major change is the change to Decimalisation in the UK on and Ireland onFebruary 15 . The birth of Greenpeace signals a need to question how we manage the resources entrusted to us and a means of organised questioning of governments around the world.

Pentagon Papers

The New York Times begins to publish sections of the Pentagon Papers starting on June 13th showing the US Government had been lying to the American People.

More Information and Timeline for Pentagon Papers

The Pentagon Papers were commissioned as a report on the political and military involvement of the United States in Vietnam. The report covers U.S. involvement from World War II to 1968. The report was commissioned in 1967 by Robert S. McNamara, who was the Secretary of Defense at the time.

Daniel Ellsberg, a government consultant, gained access to some of the classified documents and leaked them to the New York Times in June of 1971. The reports revealed many large scale attacks that the U.S. public were not aware of, causing many U.S. citizens to lose trust in the United States government. The general feeling was that the United States government had misled the public and withheld the truth.

The information in these documents also added to the already growing unpopularity of the Vietnam War and only increased anti-war sentiments. In June of 2011 the Pentagon Papers were fully declassified and released to the public for the first time.

26th Amendment

The Voting Age in the United States is lowered to 18 yrs old when the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified

More Information and Timeline for 26th Amendment

1. People had been wanting the voting age to be lowered to 18 years old ever since FDR lowered the draft age to 18 years during World War II.

2. In June of 1970, President Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that would lower the voting age to eighteen for all elections.

3. On the 10th of March, 1971, the United States Senate voted almost unanimously to propose a constitutional amendment that would lower the voting age.

4. On March 23rd, 1971, the United States House of Representatives also voted nearly unanimously for the amendment.

5. The amendment was ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures within four months.

6. The 26th Amendment was officially adopted on July 1st, 1971.

The amendment reads:

The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on the account of age. and The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

7. President Nixon signed the amendment on July 5th, 1971.

Border battles between India and Pakistan

Border battles between India and Pakistan erupt into full-scale war when India invades East Pakistan ( Now Bangladesh ) in support of the independence movement

More Information for the India and Pakistan conflict.

The Bangladesh Liberation War begins in March of 1971 after the Pakistan military attacked Bengali civilians. India enters the war on December 3rd of 1971 on the side of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) after Pakistan preemptively attacked Indian airbases. The war between Pakistan and India lasts until December 16th when Pakistan surrenders, making it one of the shortest wars in history. Bangladesh was able to achieve independence as a result of the war.

Disney World Opens

The Walt Disney World Theme Park is opened.

More Information for Disney World

1. Walt Disney begins secretly purchasing large tracts of land in central Florida in 1965.

2. Walt Disney holds a press conference in November 1965, during which he discusses plans for what would become the Walt Disney World Resort.

3. Walt Disney dies in December of 1966 before construction begins on the resort. His brother Roy O. Disney takes over the project and postpones his own retirement in order to complete it.

4. Construction on the resort begins in 1967.

5. Construction on the Magic Kingdom park and several resorts is finished and Walt Disney World officially opens on October 1st of 1971.

6. Roy O. Disney dies in December of 1971, only a few months after the park opens.

7. The Epcot Center park opens in 1982.

8. Disney-MGM Studios, now known as Disney's Hollywood Studios, is opened in 1989.

9. Disney's Animal Kingdom opens in 1998.

The Walt Disney World theme park has its grand opening during October of 1971. The complex consisted of just the Magic Kingdom park and the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Fort Wilderness resorts. Located near Orlando, Florida, the grounds were built on swamplands that Walt Disney began purchasing during the 1960s. By 1965, Disney publicly announced plans for the park but he died in 1966 before construction could begin. Construction was overseen by Walt Disney’s brother Roy throughout the late 1960s and Roy died just a few months after the park opened in December of 1971. The original price for an adult ticket in 1971 was $3.50 and did not include the cost of tickets for rides which were separate at the time.

United Arab Emirates - UAE Established

1. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was created on December 2nd when it established independence from the United Kingdom after nearly 80 years of British rule.

2. The UAE was formed as an autocratic federation of seven emirates each controlled by a hereditary governor.

3. The seven principalities are Abu Dhabi (which is also the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaiman, Sarjah, and Umm al-Quwain.

4. The nation has become strikingly diverse and modern partially due to its location on the Persian Gulf.

5. It has large number of immigrants (only around 15% of the population are native citizens), and its oil industry makes it one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

Mariner 9

Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet in November.

More Information and Timeline for Mariner 9

The Mariner 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to enter the orbit of another planet on November 14th of 1971. Mariner 9 had been launched on May 30th of 1971. It was successful in its missions which were becoming the first artificial satellite to orbit Mars, mapping the surface of Mars, gathering atmospheric data, and taking highly detailed images of the surface. The Mariner 9 craft was launched by NASA over a week after the USSR launched their Soviet Mars 2 spacecraft but made it to the planet much faster than the Soviet satellite. The Mariner 9 spacecraft stopped its communications in October of 1972 and is expected to remain in orbit around Mars for around 50 years before it will fall into the atmosphere of the red planet, Mars.

Cost of Living 1971 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 4.3%

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 8.6%

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 890

Average Cost of new house $25,250.00

Average Income per year $10,600.00

Average Monthly Rent $150.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 40 cents

Datsun 1200 Sports Coupe $1,866.00

United States postage Stamp 8 cents

Ladies 2 piece knit suites $9.98

Movie Ticket $1.50

A few More Examples

Dodge Charger $3,579

Fresh Turkey Lb 43 cents

Fresh Strawberries Lb 29 cents

Idaho Potatoes 10 Lbs 98 cents

Jiffy Peanut Butter 59 cents

Tape Cassette Recorder $29.88

2 Quart Preasure Cooker $7.77

Side By Side Fridge $704.95

Electrical Heater Fireplace $59.88

Malibu Barbie $1.94

Etch-A-Sketch $2.83

Rock Em Sock Em Robots $8.99

Ladies Beret and Scarf Set $6.00

3 Bedroom House Chicago $16,500

--Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 5,632

Gallon of Petrol 0.33

Popular Culture 1971

Led Zeppelin releases their untitled fourth album

Jim Morrison of The Doors found dead in bath tub in Paris

Popular Films

The Last Picture Show

Diamonds Are Forever

The French Connection

A Clockwork Orange

Fiddler on the Roof

Summer of '42

Dirty Harry


Popular Musicians and songs

James Taylor

The Doors

Bob Dylan

Tony Orlando and Dawn with " Knock Three Times "

Janis Joplin with " Me and Bobby Mcgee "

The Who

Mungo Jerry

John Lennon

The Jackson 5

Ike and Tina Turner

Marvin Gaye

Rod Stewart with " Maggie Mae "

The Osmonds

Michael Jackson

The Rolling Stones with " Brown Sugar "

Popular TV Programmes

All My Children

Mary Tyler Moore


The Odd Couple

The Partridge Family


Qatar becomes independent from Great Britain.

More Information and Timeline for Qatar

The nation of Qatar became independent from the United Kingdom during September of 1971. Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar had been a British protectorate since 1916 and had also been ruled by the House of Thani since the early 19th century. Qatar had a simple transition to independence as under its previous agreement with the United Kingdom, the country had already had internal autonomy. The independence agreement removed all British influence and involvement and Qatar became a fully sovereign state ruled by the Al Thani family as a hereditary constitutional monarchy.

United States - Apollo 14

NASA’s Apollo 14 mission to the Moon was launched on January 31st. This was the third successful manned mission to the Moon and the crew consisted of Commander Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa (Command Module Pilot), and Edgar Mitchell (Lunar Module Pilot). There were some issues with docking the modules, that were overcome after several attempts. Once they arrived on the Moon, Shepard became the fifth person to walk on the Moon and the first to try golfing on the surface after he attached a golf club head onto a lunar tool and attempted a few swings. The crew made it safely back to Earth on February 9th after nine days and brought back over 90 pounds of lunar rocks and samples to be examined.

Soviet Union - First Space Station

1. The Soviet Union launches the first space station, Salyut 1, into low Earth orbit April 19 News Events.

2. Salyut 1 weighed about 20 metric tons and was a 48 foot long cylinder.

3. The space station had several compartments but only two were accessible to crew.

4. The first crew arrived a few days after its launch but they were unable to dock and had to abandon the mission.

5. It was not until June that the Soyuz 11 became the first crew to board the space station and spent a record-breaking 23 days there.

6. Unfortunately, the Soyuz 11’s capsule depressurized after their achievement and all three crew members perished.

7. The Salyut 1 space station orbited for a total of 175 days before it was purposefully de-orbited and disintegrated above the Pacific.

Toys From The Year 1971

1971 Toys including  Malibu Barbie, Tumblestone Maker, Rocking Horse, Etch A Sketch, Game Of Operation, Phonograph / Record Player, Scooter, NFL Hockey Game, Hot Wheels, Battleship, Rebound,

Some of the toys included in the 1971 images below include Malibu Barbie, Tumblestone Maker, Rocking Horse, Etch A Sketch, Game Of Operation, Phonograph / Record Player, Scooter, NFL Hockey Game, Hot Wheels, Battleship, Rebound,

1971 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1971 including

Fashion Accessories Examples From 1971

More News and Key Events From 1971

Gabrielle Choco Chanel

France Gabrielle Choco Chanel Fashion Designer and Icon dies at the age of 87


China is admitted to the United Nations UN

Ibrox disaster

Ibrox disaster in Scotland when On January 2nd 66 die in stairway crush at Rangers v Celtic football match

Nasdaq debuts

A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts

Sylmar earthquake

Sylmar earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.

Peru Earthquake

Peru Earthquake results in the destruction of the town of Chungar, Peru, and the death of most of the towns people

UK Decimalisation

Decimalisation in United Kingdom and Ireland both switch to decimal currency.

Thatcher The Milk Snatcher

Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher's ( "Thatcher The Milk Snatcher". ) ends free school milk for children over the age of seven in the UK

IRA Bombing

IRA Bomb Post Office Tower in London

Attica Prison Riots

Prison riot and prisoners take hostages at Attica Prison in New York, resulting in the death of 10 hostages and 29 inmates.

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court upholds School Busing Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education 402 U.S


Women are granted the right to vote in Switzerland

Amtrak created

Amtrak created to provide US inter city passenger train services.


Mount Etna erupts

60% of Americans are against the war in Vietnam

Harris public opinion poll claims that 60% of Americans are against the war in Vietnam

Tsunami India

Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal in Orissa State in India kills 10,000.

"Ping Pong Diplomacy"

The US table tennis team visits to the People's Republic of China (PRC) known as "Ping Pong Diplomacy" on April 10th


Greenpeace formally comes into existence.

Federal Express

Federal Express is started by Fred Smith

Thousands protest UK

Thousands protest against the British government's new industrial relations Bill.


Australia and New Zealand Announce Pull Out Of Troops from Vietnam

Cigarette Advertising Ended

Cigarette Advertising Ended on Television in USA


A fatal stampede at Glasgow Soccer Game

90 day freeze on wages and prices

In an attempt to control inflation President Richard M. Nixon implements 90 day freeze on wages and prices, he also removed the gold/silver backing from the US Dollar

Idi Amin

Major General Idi Amin takes control of Uganda soon to become one of the worst and most notorious dictators of modern times

New Immigration Bill

Following Public Concern Over Immigration in the UK, a new Immigration Bill stops Commonwealth citizens automatic entry

National Public Radio (NPR)

Following on from the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasts for the first time in April 1971

Northern Ireland

Problems in Northern Ireland continue as rioting increases as part of the IRA campaign to end British Government Rule.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Gains Independence From Great Britain

Charles Manson

Charles Manson and three of his followers receive the death penalty

Born This Year in 1971

Lance Armstrong September 18th

Winona Ryder October 29th

Mariah Carey March 27th

Tupac Shakur June 16th

Justin Trudeau December 25

Snoop Dogg October 20

Elon Musk June 28

Mark Wahlberg June 5

Richard Armitage August 22

Sacha Baron Cohen October 13

Selena April 16


Oil Production from the North Sea begins in Norway

Intel releases world's first microprocessor, the 4004.

Texas Instruments releases the first pocket calculator

The First Internet Chat rooms appear

The First Cat Scanner Produced by EMI

BBC Open University broadcasts begin in the UK.

The Aswan Dam is completed in Egypt

The Worlds Largest Tanker 372,400 tons Nisseki Maru is launched

Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.

Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover a day after landing on the surface.

Three Soviet cosmonauts die during Soyuz 11 accident on June 30th .

First Soft Contact Lens became available commercially in the USA

Kevlar goes on to the market, Kevlar had been discovered by Stephanie Kwolek while working as a chemist for Du Pont, Kevlar is a polymer that is five times stronger than steel ( Weight for Weight ) and can be spun into thread, It's uses range from bridge cables to Lightweight body armor.

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

Microprocessor USA

Pocket Calculator The Sharp Company

E-Mail USA Ray Tomlinson

Floppy Disk USA by IBM

Liquid Crystal Displays ( LCD ) Switzerland

Calendar For The Year 1971

1971 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia -- Prime Minister -- John Gorton -- Till 10 March

Australia -- Prime Minister -- William McMahon -- From 10 March

Brazil -- President -- Emilio Medici --

Canada -- Prime Minister -- Pierre Trudeau --

China -- Chairman of the People's Republic of China -- Song Qingling --

France -- President -- Georges Pompidou --

Germany -- Chancellor -- Willy Brandt --

India -- Prime Minister -- Indira Gandhi --


Italy -- Prime Minister -- Emilio Colombo --

Japan -- Prime Minister -- Eisaku Sato --

Mexico -- President -- Luis Echeverría --

Russia / Soviet Union -- First Secretary of the CPSU -- Leonid Brezhnev --

South Africa -- Prime Minister -- Balthazar Johannes Vorster --

United States -- President -- Richard Nixon --

United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Edward Heath --