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1974 Major News Events 50 Years Ago

  1. IRA begins bombing campaign on mainland Britain
  2. Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign after the Watergate Scandal
  3. Rumble in the Jungle
  4. The Kootenai Native American Tribe in Idaho declares war on the United States
  5. Stephen King, a 26-year-old author, published his debut novel “Carrie,”
  6. President Gerald Ford gives unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon
  7. Lucy an almost complete hominid skeleton over 3 million years old is discovered in Africa
  8. 55 MPH Speed Limit imposed to preserve gas usage US wide
  9. Sears Tower in Chicago becomes the worlds tallest building
  10. The Global Recession Deepens

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

What Happened in 1974 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

>What happened in 1974 Major News Stories include Global Recession Deepens, Richard Nixon resigns over Watergate, IRA bombing campaign on mainland Britain, FIFA World Cup, 55 MPH Speed Limit imposed, Rumble in the Jungle

1974 Inflation continues to spiral out of control around the world reaching 11.3% in the USA and 17.2% in the UK and the global recession deepens. The famous skeleton "Lucy" is discovered in Ethiopia which lived between 3.9 to 3 million years ago. More and more smaller digital based consumer products appear in the shops and the earliest forms of Word Processors appear which resemble a typewriter more than a computer. After the findings of the Watergate Scandal Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign from office.

IRA begins bombing campaign

IRA begins bombing campaign on mainland Britainand bombs The Tower of London on July 17th and the Houses of parliament and pubs in Birmingham

Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign

Following impeachment hearings started on May 9

Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign after the Watergate Scandal on August 9

More Information and Timeline for Nixon's Resignation

United States President Richard Nixon resigns from office on the 9th of August, 1974. He had previously announced his intention to resign the previous day during a televised address to the nation. Nixon had been facing near certain impeachment and conviction by the US Congress after his involvement in the Watergate Scandal.

The Watergate Scandal began in 1972 at the beginning of Nixon's second term as US president and it was related to his involvement in illegal activities within his administration. This included the break-in at the Democratic party headquarters by Nixon associates to sabotage political opponents.

There were also taped conversations that Nixon refused to release to investigators that were thought to reveal his knowledge of the corruption and wrongdoing within his administration. Nixon resigned in order to avoid the disgrace of a trial and subsequent removal from office. His vice president, Gerald Ford, took office after him and soon gave Nixon a full pardon for his wrongdoing.

Rumble in the Jungle

On October 30th, 1974 the much hyped boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali for Ali to regain his heavyweight title takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

More Information and Timeline for the Rumble in the Jungle

1. Muhammad Ali, a legendary boxer considered to be the greatest of all time by many, was stripped of his heavyweight title for refusing the Vietnam war draft in 1967. He was also banned from boxing for several years.

2. Muhammad Ali and the current heavyweight champion at the time, George Foreman, agreed to fight for the title in 1974.

3. The former champion would face off against Foreman, a twenty-five year old undefeated champion for a five million dollar purse in a boxing match to be held in Kinshasa, Zaire. Promoter Don King labeled the fight the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

5. Ali’s strategy was to let Foreman hit him until he was too tired and then Ali would come at him with a series of quick punches until he won by a knockout, a technique labeled by Ali’s trainer as the “Rope-a-Dope.”

6. Ali defeated Foreman by knockout in the eighth round of the boxing match, becoming only the second former heavyweight champion to regain his title.

Cost of Living 1974 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 11.3%

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 17.2%

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 616

Average Cost of new house $34,900.00

Average Income per year $13,900.00

Average Monthly Rent $185.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 0.42

Buick Station Wagon$4,371

A Dozen Eggs 45 cents

A few More Examples

Ford Galaxie 500 $3,883

Tomatoes 19 cents per pound

Boneless Hams $2.29 per pound

Portable TV $264.88

Dozen Medium Eggs 28 cents

Cassette Recorder $49.95

Combo Toaster and Mini-Oven $24.99

Men's shirt From $12.99

Country ranch 10 acres 3 bedroom large barn fruit and oak trees --- Vallejo --- California $59,200

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 9,942

Gallon of Petrol 0.35

Kootenai War

The Kootenai Native American Tribe in Idaho declares war on the United States

More Information and Timeline for the Kootenai War

On September 20th the sixty-seven members of the Native American Kootenai tribe, headed by Amy Trice, declares war on the United States government as a final effort to gain attention to the tribe's loss of land and subsequent troubles.

The war was peaceful and mainly involved charging tolls to pass through tribal lands near Bonners Ferry, Idaho along US Highway 95. They also distributed information to those passing through detailing the problems of the tribe.

The war gained a lot of publicity for the Kootenai tribe and the US government gave the Kootenai 12.5 acres of land to end the war.

Stephen King publishes his debut novel.

Stephen King publishes his debut novel.

More Information for King's Novel "Carrie"

Stephen King, a 26-year-old author, published his debut novel “Carrie,” during April of 1974. “Carrie” was actually the fourth novel that King had written but the first to be published, helping to launch his prolific career. The story focused on a bullied and sheltered teenage girl who discovers that she has telekinetic powers, ultimately using her powers to seek revenge. The novel is credited with revitalizing the horror genre during the decade and it became massively popular. It was also adapted for a 1976 feature film that was nominated for several Academy Awards.

Salyut-4 space station

The Soviet Union launches the Salyut-4 space station.

More Information and Timeline for Salyut-4.

The Soviet Union launches the Salyut-4 space station on December 26th 1974. The space station carried an x-ray telescope that began operation in January of 1975 after Salyut-4 went into orbit. During its time in orbit two Soviet crews successfully docked at Salyut-4 for long-term missions from January to February and May to July of 1975. There was also an unmanned mission that docked at Salyut-4 from November of 1975 to February of 1976. The space station was eventually taken out of orbit and it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on February 2, 1977.


President Gerald Ford gives unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon

West Germany - FIFA World Cup

West Germany wins the FIFA World Cup in July. The soccer tournament began during the previous month and was hosted by West Germany. The host country won the final against the Netherlands. Poland and Brazil placed third and fourth respectively. There were a total of 38 matches played by the 16 teams that qualified. Throughout the competition a total of 97 goals were scored and the World Cup was attended by over 1.8 million people. This was the first FIFA World Cup that teams from Australia, East Germany, Haiti, and Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) qualified.

Lucy an almost complete hominid skeleton

Lucy an almost complete hominid skeleton over 3 million years old is discovered in Africa.

More Information and Timeline for Lucy Discovery

Paleontologist Donald Johanson discovers a 3.2 million year old hominid skeleton in Ethiopia on November 24, 1974. The skeleton was about forty percent complete and was identified as the early human ancestor species Australopithecus afarensis. The scientists named the skeleton “Lucy.” At the time of the discovery Lucy was the oldest known example of a human ancestor to have been found. Based off of the skeletal evidence, Lucy was likely a female, walked upright, was about three and a half feet tall, and had ape-like facial features. It was a huge scientific discovery at that time.

More News and Key Events From 1974

Franklin National Bank

A major US Bank Franklin National Bank is declared insolvent

55 MPH Speed Limit

55 MPH Speed Limit imposed to preserve gas usage US wide

Brisbane river floods

The Brisbane river floods large areas of the Brisbane business district and more than 8,500 homes were flooded in Brisbane and Ipswich.

World Wide Inflation

Worldwide Inflationhelps to cause dramatic increases in the cost of fuel, food and manufacturing

Sears Tower

Sears Tower in Chicago becomes the worlds tallest building

Amnesty for Vietnam War deserters

President Ford announces an amnesty program for Vietnam War deserters and draft evaders

Worldwide Recession

The Global Recession Deepens

Gasoline shortages and price increases throughout the world help to cause problems in most of the western worlds economies

Governments and people around the world spend more time debating the use of Nuclear Energy to combat problems with Oil Prices and Supply

Worlds Population

Estimate of The Worlds Populationreaches 4 billion

Smallpox Epidemic in India

Smallpox Epidemic in India causes the deaths of between 10,000 and 20,000 people

Ceasefire on the Golan Heights

Henry Kissenger convinces Syria and Israel agree to a ceasefire on the Golan Heights on June 5 News Events

Turkey Invades Northern Cyprus

Turkey Invades Northern Cyprus

Patricia Hearst Kidnappers

Patricia Hearst Kidnappers Demand $70 of food be given to every needy Californian

Daylight saving time

In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving timecommences nearly four months early in the United States..

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Charles de Gaulle Airportopens in Paris, France.

Largest series of tornadoes

The largest series of tornadoesin history, hits 13 U.S. states and one Canadian province. By the time the last of 148 tornadoeshit early the following morning, 315 died and over 5,000 were injured.

Coal Miners Strike

British Coal Miners join many other unions striking for higher wages

India first nuclear weapon

India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon on May 18th becoming the sixth nation to do so.

Cyclone Tracy

Cyclone Tracy strikes on 25th December almost completely destroys Darwin, Australia

Africa Famine

Famine caused by drought threatens millions in Africa

1974 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

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

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1974

Toys From The Year 1974

1974 Toys including   Roller Skates, Curious George, Transistor Radios, Hoppity Hops, Girls Dolls

Popular Culture 1974

Elvis Presley's Aloha From Hawaii television special is seen around the world by more than 1 billion viewers

Popular Films

The Sting

The Exorcist


Herbie Rides Again

Blazing Saddles

The Great Gatsby


Death Wish

The Godfather, Part II

Murder on the Orient Express

Popular Musicians and songs


Beach Boys

David Bowie


Eric Clapton with " I Shot The Sheriff "

Alice Cooper

Deep Purple


Ella Fitzgerald


Grateful Dead

Joni Mitchell

Van Morrison

Dolly Parton


Minnie Riperton

Roxy Music



Jethro Tull

The Velvet Underground

Barry White

Paul McCartney with " Band on the Run "

Stevie Wonder

Popular TV Programmes

Kung Fu

The Price Is Right

The Waltons


Last of the Summer Wine

The Six Million Dollar Man

Born This Year in 1974

Leonardo DiCaprio November 11th

Alanis Morissette June 1st

Jimmy Fallon September 19th

Victoria Beckham April 17th

Georges Pompidou

The French President Georges Pompidou dies while in Office

Northern Ireland

Following a crippling strike, Northern Ireland's first power-sharing assembly collapses

Alaska Oil pipeline

Work begins on the 800 mile long Alaska Oil pipeline

Portugal Military coup

Bloodless Military coup led by General Antoniio de Spinola, in Portugal

World's First Woman President

Isabel Peron, Juan Peron's third wife, becomes President of Argentina after the death of her husband on July 1st. She became the first woman president in the world.

West Germany Wins World Cup

West Germany Wins 1974 World Cup in West Germany

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Soviet authorities expel Alexander Solzhenitsyn revoking his Russian citizenship


After 84 days in space, the last crew of the temporary American space station Skylab return to Earth

Pocket calculators start to appear in shops

Offices start using a very primitive word processor that resembles a typewriter

Lucy an almost complete hominid skeleton over 3 million years old is discovered in Africa

The first use of UPC or Universal product Code BAR CODE UPC scanner installed in Marshes Supermarket in Troy Ohio ( check 1952 for first bar code use not UPC ) or the standard used today

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

Calendar For The Year 1974

1974 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam

Brazilian President Emilio Medici Till 15 March

Brazilian President Ernesto Geisel From 15 March

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

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

French President Georges Pompidou Till 3 April

French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing From 27 May

German Chancellor Willy Brandt Till 7 May

German Chancellor Walter Scheel From 7 May

German Chancellor Walter Scheel Till 16 May

German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt From 16 May

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Italian Prime Minister Mariano Rumor Till 23 November

Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro From 23 November

Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka Till 9 December

Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Miki From 9 December

Mexican President Luis Echeverría

Russian / Soviet Union

First Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev

South African Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster

United States President Richard Nixon Till August 9,

United States President Gerald Ford From August 9,

United Kingdom Prime Minister Edward Heath Till 4 March

United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Wilson From 4 March