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1972 Major News Events in History

  1. 11 Israel Athletes murdered by Arab Gunman at Munich Olympics
  2. 5 White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee the start of the Watergate Scandal.
  3. The United States and Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty
  4. NASA’s Space Shuttle Program is officially launched
  5. United Kingdom --- Miners Strike
  6. 16 survivors from plane crash survive and are rescued after practicing cannibalism
  7. Bloody Friday 22 bombs explode in Belfast Ireland
  8. IRA bomb explodes at the 16th Parachute Brigade headquarters at Aldershot
  9. Antiwar demonstrations draw 100,000 demonstrators in US cities
  10. The Dow Jones closes above 1000 for the first time in history

More Detailed Information on each Event and those not included can be found below

What Happened in 1972 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

What happened in 1972 Major News Stories include Munich Olympics Terrorist Attack, Mark Spitz 7 gold medals, Digital Watches are introduced, Governor George Wallace is shot, First scientific hand-held calculator, Atari release PONG, Antiwar demonstrations draw 100,000, Cod War, Bloody Sunday and Bloody Friday Northern Ireland, Watergate Scandal,

1972 This year is marked as a black year in history due to the use of terrorism entering sport with the massacre of 11 Israel Athletes by Arab Gunman. Also this is the beginning of the biggest political scandal in modern times and the start of the Watergate Scandal. On the other side of the Atlantic a worsening of the problems between the IRA and the British government see wrongs from both sides and innocent lives are lost.

Munich Olympics Terrorist Attack

11 Israel Athletes murdered by Arab Gunman at Munich Olympics on September 6th

More Information and Timeline For the Munich Olympics Terrorist Attack

1. September 5th

2. 4:30 AM Eight members of Black September carrying duffel bags loaded with AKM assault rifles, Tokarev pistols, and grenades scaled a two-meter chain-link fence into the Olympic Village.

3. 4:55 AM Terrorists knock on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg.

3. Wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and Weightlifter Yossef Romano attack the terrorists and are killed

4. Terrorists hold nine live Israeli hostage

5. 9:30 AM Terrorists demand the release and safe passage to Egypt of 234 Palestinians and non-Arabs jailed in Israel, along with two German radicals held by the German penitentiary system, in exchange for the hostages.

6. 6:00 PM Terrorists demand safe flight to Cairo in Egypt and German Negotiators Pretend Agreement although Egyptian Prime Minister Aziz Sedki had already told the German authorities that the Egyptians did not wish to become involved

7. 10:10 PM Bus provided to take terrorists and their hostages from Olympic Village to two Bell UH-1 military helicopters nearby to transport them to nearby the NATO air base at Fürstenfeldbruck.

8. 10:12 PM Terrorists and hostages board Helicopters

9. Five German snipers deployed around the airport to shoot the kidnappers

10. Boeing 727 jet was positioned on the tarmac with six armed German police inside dressed as flight crew

11. Just before terrorists due to arrive the German police inside the aircraft vote to abandon mission ( Not relayed to central command )

12. 10:30 PM Helicopters arrive at airfield

13. 10:55 PM Terrorists Issa and Tony walked over to inspect the jet and find it empty signifying a trap had been set.

14. 11:00 PM German authorities give the order for snipers positioned nearby to open fire and take out the terrorists.

15. September 6th

16. 12:04 AM German armored personnel carriers arrive

17. 12:05 AM Terrorist Leader Issa Realizes situation doomed and shoots and kills Israeli hostages in one of the helicopters

18. 12:05 AM Terrorist Leader Issa pulled the pin on a hand grenade and tossed it into the cockpit; the ensuing explosion destroyed the helicopter and incinerated the bound Israelis inside.

19. 12:06 AM Terrorist Leader Issa then heads across the tarmac to reach the other helicopter to shoot other hostages and is shot and killed

20. 12:06 AM German authorities give the order for snipers positioned nearby to open fire and take out the terrorists.

21. 12:06 AM The remaining hostages on the second Helicopter are shot and killed

22. 12:10 AM Three of the Terrorists survive ( all hostages are killed ) 1 German Police Officer is also killed in the gun fight

The German authorities like many other European countries did not have a fully trained professional counter-terrorism force for the Olympics, following the lessons learned most European Countries now have counter-terrorism forces in place available at a moments notice. Following the attack the security precautions for future Olympics are much tighter and more stringent to prevent a similar attack.

Cost of Living 1972 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.27%

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 6.4%

Average Cost of new house $27,550.00

Average Income per year $11,800.00

Average Monthly Rent $165.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 55 cents

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1020

Roxanne Ladies Swimsuit $30.00

Kodak Pocket


Wrangler Jeans $12.00

ladies Timex WatchFrom $30.00

Ford Pinto $2,078

Barbie Doll Designer Collection From $2.85

Frisbee 94 cents

Ladies Stylish Over the Knee Boot $22.97

Ladies Deirdra Wig $20.00

Ladies Front Slit Dress $18.00

Classic Cook Center $474.95

White Contemporary Dinette Set $282.95

Hellmanns Mayonnaise $1.39

Fresh Strawberries Lb 31 cents

Ground Beef Lb 98 cents

Fruit Cocktail Can 20 cents

Split Level Home on Hill Top living room , dining room , 3 bedrooms , cathedral ceilings , 3 baths central air and double garage Iowa City $32,400

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 7,374

Gallon of Petrol 0.35


Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee the start of the Watergate Scandal.

More Information and Timeline For The Watergate Scandal

1. 1972

2. January G. Gordon Liddy general counsel to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President proposes burglarizing and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C

3. on May 17 wiretaps placed on the telephones of Democratic National Chairman Lawrence O'Brien and Executive Director of Democratic States' Chairmen R. Spencer Oliver, Jr.

4. June 17th Frank Wills, a security guard at the Watergate Complex called police at 1:30 AM and five men are arrested inside the Democratic National Committee's headquarters office

5. June 18th Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James W. McCord, Jr., Eugenio Martínez, and Frank Sturgis are charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications.

6. June 19th Washington Post ( Reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward ) reveal that one of the Watergate burglars ( James McCord ) was a Republican Party security aide.

7. June and July Washington Post Reporters source "Deep Throat." reveals Examination of the burglars' accounts showed the link to the 1972 Committee to Re-Elect the President, through its subordinate finance committee.

8. August 29th President Richard Nixon speaking at a news conference stated "I can say categorically that no one in the White House staff, no one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident ( Watergate Break In"

9. September 15 News Events Grand jury indicted the five and E. Howard Hunt, Jr. and G. Gordon Liddy for conspiracy, burglary, and violation of federal wiretapping laws.

10. September 29th Washington Post Reporters reveals John Mitchell, while serving as Attorney General, controlled a secret Republican fund used to finance intelligence-gathering against the Democrats

11. October 10th Washington Post Reporters breaks the story that the Watergate break-in was part of a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage on behalf of the officials and heads of the Nixon re-election campaign.

12. November 7th President Richard Nixon was re-elected in one of the biggest landslides ever in American political history.

13. 1973 Over the next 12 months following the United States Senate establishing a select committee to investigate Watergate and former members of Nixons inner circle delivering testimony which was damaging to the President. That together with the eventual release of the Watergate tapes which proved that the President was involved in the cover up eventually led to his resignation.

14. 1974 The House of Representatives began formal investigations into the possible impeachment of the president. The House Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 on July 27, 1974 to recommend the first article of impeachment against the president: obstruction of justice.

15. August 8, 1974 In a nationally televised address from the Oval Office president Richard Nixon announces he will resign the Presidency effective at noon the next day

16. August 9 Vice President Ford sworn in as President of the United States.

17. September 8th President Gerald Ford issued a full and unconditional pardon of former President Nixon, immunizing him from prosecution for any crimes he had "committed or may have committed or taken part in" as President.

If not for the persistence of the two Washington Post Reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and the backing of the Washington Post I believe the Watergate Scandal would never have been investigated showing that back in the 70's true investigative journalism still existed. Their source inside the FBI "Deep Throat" was much later (2005) revealed to be former Deputy Director of the FBI William Mark Felt, Sr. .

Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

The United States and Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and an interim treaty after the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT I) take place during May. US President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev met in Moscow to negotiate arms control between the two nations. It was the first time a US president visited the Soviet Union since World War II. The ABM Treaty limited the US and USSR to 2 anti-ballistic missile complexes with 100 anti-ballistic missiles each. The SALT I agreement limited the numbers of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and strategic ballistic missile launchers.

United States - Landsat 1 Launches

1. NASA launches the Landsat 1 Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) on July 23rd.

2. It was the first of several Landsat satellites which were developed with the purpose of observing and studying the Earth.

3. It was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Delta 900 rocket.

4. The satellite transmitted over 300,000 images of Earth’s surface back to researcher before it became defunct on January 6th, 1978.

Copernicus Satellite

The OAO-3 Copernicus Satellite is launched

More Information on Copernicus OAO-3 Satellite

The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3 (OAO-3), or, Copernicus satellite is launched by NASA on August 21st, 1972. The satellite was created as a joint effort in astronomical research between the United States and the United Kingdom. OAO-3 carried a UV telescope that was built at Princeton and an X-Ray experiment created at University College London. The OAO-3 Copernicus satellite was considered to be the most successful of all four OAO missions, having made several scientific discoveries. It remained in operation until February of 1981.

Space Shuttle Program Introduced

NASA’s Space Shuttle Program is officially launched during January . President Nixon approved the program and announced its inception to the American public. The purpose of the program was to create a reusable spacecraft with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of space exploration and making it more commonplace. The first fully functional space shuttle was the Columbia which completed its first mission in Apri l of 1981 after years of testing and development.

Japan -- XI Winter Olympics

The XI Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan were held from February 3rd to the 13th of 1972. A total of 1006 athletes from 35 different countries participated in 35 events. The Soviet Union, East Germany, and Switzerland with 16, 14, and 10 respectively. These games were some of the most extravagant to date and the Japanese government spent a lot of money to upgrade the city’s transportation in preparation for the games. Controversy over the use of professional athletes erupted when one Austrian skier was removed from the games due to commercial advertising but full-time players in the sport of ice hockey from other countries were allowed to participate.

Space -- Pioneer 10

NASA launched the Pioneer 10 spacecraft on March 3rd 1972. The mission of Pioneer 10 was to become the first spacecraft to become the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt and the first to visit Jupiter. Pioneer 10 successfully completed its mission when it arrived at Jupiter in December of 1973 and took the first up-close images of the solar system’s largest planet. After it arrived at Jupiter, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft continued to explore the outer solar system, even after its mission ended in March of 1997.

United Kingdom --- Miners Strike

The British government declares a state of emergency over 47 day miners' strike

More Information and Timeline For Miners Strike

1. 1972

2. January 5th National Executive Committee of the NUM reject pay rise offer from the National Coal Board,

3. January 9th Miners go on strike for the first time since 1926.

4. January 10th - February 9th Miners begin by picketing coal power stations and then escalate to all power stations, steelworks, ports, coal depots and other major coal users.

5. February 9th British Conservative Government under Prime Minister Edward Heath declares a state of emergency

6. February 9th British Government announces 3 day working week introduced to save electricity

7. February 19th New wages agreement reached between the National Executive Committee of the NUM and the Government.

8. February 28th Following ballot of NUM Union Members Miners accept agreement and return to work

Following the settlement the miners wages increased significantly and two years later called a further strike.

1972 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Part of our Collection of Clothing From The 1970's Fashion

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1972

Fashion Accessories Examples From 1972

Toys From The Year 1972

1972 Toys including Baby Grand, Barbie Designer Collection, Easy Bake Oven, Talking Chrissy Doll, Aerobat, Ideal Toss Across Game, Fisher Price Farm and Animals

Popular Culture 1972

Popular Films

The Godfather

The Poseidon Adventure

What's Up, Doc?


Jeremiah Johnson


The Getaway

Pink Flamingos

Popular Musicians and songs


Roxy Music

The Eagles

John Lennon

Paul Simon

Simon and Garfunkel

Rod Stewart

Don Mclean with -- " American Pie "

Michael Jackson with -- " Ben "

Don McLean

Elton John

The Moody Blues

David Bowie

Led Zeppelin

Popular TV Programmes

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Sesame Street

The Benny Hill Show

The Brady Bunch

Dad's Army

Hawaii Five-O

Here's Lucy

Born This Year in 1972

Gwyneth Paltrow September 27th

Scott Peterson October 24th

Jonny Lee Miller November 15th

Ben Affleck August 15

More News Stories From This 1972

Earthquake Turkey

Earthquake lasting 20 seconds destroys most of Bingol, Turkey - more than 1000 dead, 10.000 made homeless

Israel Terrorist Attack

Three gunmen open fire at Lod International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 26 people and injuring dozens more

Earthquake Iraq

Earthquake in the town of Ghir, in southern Iraq leaves over 5,000 dead

Hurricane Agnes

Hurricane Agnes on June 13th ( Category 1 hurricane ) wrecks havoc on the state of Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia causing the death of 117 , In the worst hit state of Pennsylvania 48 people die due to the hurricane.

practicing cannibalism

16 survivors from plane crash survive and are rescued after practicing cannibalism

Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer beats Boris Spassky to become the World Chess Champion in Reykjavik, Iceland,


Last US ground troops withdrawn from Vietnam

Earthquake in Nicaragua

Earthquake in Nicaragua kills 5,000-10,000 in the capital Managua


The last major epidemic of smallpox in Europe breaks out in Yugoslavia.

Black Lung Benefits bill

The Black Lung Benefits bill signed into law by President Nixon

Bloody Friday Northern Ireland

Bloody Friday 22 bombs explode in Belfast Ireland and 9 people are killed with a further 130 seriously injured.

Bloody Sunday Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday14 unarmed Catholic protesters are gunned down by the British Army on bloody Sunday

IRA bomb UK

IRA bomb explodes at the 16th Parachute Brigade headquarters at Aldershot

Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment which provided for the legal equality of the sexes passed by the U.S. Senate on 22nd March

Pilots strike

Pilots organise worldwide strike protesting increased Air Piracy / Hijacking and lack of government action.

CND ( Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament )

CND ( Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ) organises a series of demonstrations against nuclear arms

Thalidomide victims

After spending 20 years fighting in the courts for compensation 300 Thalidomide victims are offered £11.85 million over 10 years

Second Cod War

The Second Cod War between UK and Iceland

biological warfare

The worlds leaders agree to banning biological warfare

Antiwar demonstrations

Antiwar demonstrations draw 100,000 demonstrators in US cities

Palestinian hijackers

Palestinian hijackers hijack a Lufthansa jet

Martial Law Philippines

Martial Law Declared in the Philippines

RMS Queen Elizabeth

The ex RMS Queen Elizabeth Sets on Fire and Sinks in Hong Kong


Ceylon becomes a republic and changes its name to Sri Lanka

Idi Amin

General Idi Amin of Uganda takes control of British firms and interests in the country

General Idi Amin of Uganda expells 50,000 Asians From Uganda

UK unemployment rises to 1 million

UK unemployment rises to one million for the first time since the depression years of the 1930s

Dow Jones closes above 1000

The Dow Jones closes above 1000 for the first time in history

Star of Sierra leone

The Largest Diamond The Star of Sierra leone is unearthed it is 969.8 carats

Flash Flood

Flash Flood caused by dam burst on June 9th in Rapid City, South Dakota kills over 200

Governor George Wallace is shot three times

Governor George Wallace is shot three times on May 15th in an attempted assasination attempt by Arthur Bremer which leaves him paralyzed.


Bangladesh Gains Independence From Pakistan

Cameroon Gains Independence From France and Britain

Richard Nixon Visits China

Richard Nixon Visits China

Buffalo Creek Valley Dam Collapse

A dam In West Virginia’s Buffalo Creek Valley collapses killing 118 people

Mark Spitz

American Swimmer Mark Spitz wins a record 7 gold medals in the Summer Olympics in Munich

Winter Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Sapporo, Japan

Federal Water Pollution Control

Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments come into force


HBO launched in US as the first subscription cable service

Richard Nixon orders the start for the space shuttle program

Apollo 16 lands on the moon where the Lunar Rover is tested by astronauts John W Young and Charles M Duke

Apollo 17 lands on the moon and the last men to walk on the moon are Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan

Digital Watches are introduced

First scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced (price $395).

The Volkswagen Beetle becomes the most popular car ever sold with in excess of 15 million sold.

Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of PONG, the first game to achieve commercial success

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

Artificial Heart USA Willem J Koiff

Optical Fiber USA

Calendar For The Year 1972

1972 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

--Australia -- Prime Minister -- William McMahon -- Till 5 December

--Australia -- Prime Minister -- Gough Whitlam -- From 5 December

--Brazil -- President -- Emilio Medici -

--Canada -- Prime Minister -- Pierre Trudeau --

--China -- Chairman of the People's Republic of China -- Dong Biwu --

--France -- President -- Georges Pompidou --

--Germany -- Chancellor -- Willy Brandt --

--India -- Prime Minister -- Indira Gandhi --

--Italy -- Prime Minister --Emilio Colombo -- Till 17 February

--Italy -- Prime Minister --Giulio Andreotti -- From 17 February

--Japan -- Prime Minister --Eisaku Sato -- Till 7 July

--Japan -- Prime Minister --Kakuei Tanaka -- From 7 July

--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 --