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What Happened in 1975 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

>What happened in 1975 Major News Stories include Suez Canal reopens, Vietnam War ends, Unemployment Rate in the US reaches 9.2%, Britains inflation rate 25%, Cod War,

1975 In the UK inflation continues to spiral out of control reaching 24.2% the price of Petrol increased by nearly 70% in one year, but the US sees a start back down with US inflation going down to 9.2%, both governments use interest rates as a way of trying to control inflation with the US Federal Reserve at 7.25% and The Bank of England at 11.25%. Meanwhile one of the true success stories of modern times when Bill Gates and Paul Allen create the company Microsoft. The First of the new hobby computers are starting to appear including Altair 8800 and the battle for Video recorder standards of VHS and Betamax starts. This is also the year the Vietnam war finally ends. First disposable Razor, Jimmy Hoffa ex teamsters boss disappears, Suez Canal reopens, Dutch elm disease decimates Elm Trees in UK,

Oil goes over $13.00 per barrel

After OPEC agrees to raise crude oil prices by 10%. Oil Prices around the world spike up

Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the opposition for the Conservative party in the UK

The British Conservative Party chooses it's first women leader, Margaret Thatcher.

More Information for Margaret Thatcher.

On February 11th of 1975 Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the opposition for the Conservative party of which she had been a member and represented the party in parliament since 1959. She won the title after successfully challenging the leadership of former Prime Minister Edward Heath, making her the first woman in that role. In 1979 the Conservative party regained their majority and Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She resigned as the leader in 1990.

Vietnam The Battle of Ban Me Thuot

The Battle of Ban Me Thuot takes place during the Vietnam War, as North Vietnam begins its final push to end the war and capture the South.

More Information for the Battle of Ban Me Thuot.

The battle of Ban Me Thuot between South Vietnam and North Vietnam ends on March 10th of 1975. North Vietnam began enacting a campaign to take the city of Ban Me Thuot earlier in the year in an effort to destabilize South Vietnam. On March 4th, North Vietnam launched its offensive against the city despite a cease fire having been agreed upon two years earlier. Ban Me Thuot quickly fell and it became clear that South Vietnam would have difficulty defending itself against the North in further attacks. By the end of the next month South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam, ending the state of war between the two that had existed since 1955.

The Vietnam War ends

The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces take Saigon and South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally.

More Information for the end of the Vietnam War.

The War in Vietnam comes to an end at the end of April in 1975 as a series of events leads to the fall of Saigon. During the previous month the North Vietnamese Army began an aggressive campaign against South Vietnam and by the end of April, North Vietnam took Saigon. After realizing that it would be impossible to defend the South against North Vietnam, the South Vietnamese president resigned and South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally to the North. The United States’ involvement in the war ended on the last day in April of 1975 after about twenty years as the last American military members escaped in helicopters taking off from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

"Operation Babylift"

The US Carries out Vietnam "Operation Babylift" bringing Vietnamese orphans to the US

Cost of Living 1975 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA9.2%

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 858

Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 7.25%

Cost of a gallon of Gas 44 cents

Average cost new car$4,250.00

A few More Examples

Average Cost of new house $39,300.00

Average Income per year $14,100.00

Average Monthly Rent $200.00

Foster Grant Sun Glasses $5.00

Chevrolet Caprice $4,819

Ford Mustang II $4,105

Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale $5,626

Pontiac Ventura Coupe $3,829

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 11,787

Gallon of Petrol 0.72

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 24.2%

Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 11.25%

Sony introduces Betamax videotapes and Matsushita / JVC introduce VHS.

More Information for Betamax Videotapes.

During May of 1975, electronics manufacturer Sony released their Betamax video cassette recording system for sale in Japan. The system originally retailed for several thousand dollars and not long after the release other companies began selling their own systems using a different format, the VHS (Video Home System). Sony’s Betamax was somewhat popular throughout the late 1970’s but by the mid-1980’s VHS had won the so-called “Videotape Format War.” Betamax quickly faded into obscurity, effectively becoming obsolete in 1988 when Sony began to manufacture their own VHS systems. Despite relatively little demand for the Betamax format after the late 1980s, Sony continued to sell Betamax recording systems until 2002.

First blockbuster movie, Jaws, is released

One of the very first blockbuster films, Jaws, is released during June.

More Information for Jaws

The hit film Jaws had its theatrical release in June of 1975. It was one of the first blockbuster films and at the time of its release it had become the highest grossing film of all time. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw. The plot revolved around a killer shark terrorizing a small town and those who would hunt it. It was nominated for several Academy Awards and won three of them. Known for its dramatic score, superior editing and suspenseful premise, the film Jaws is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest films ever made.

Spanish Dictator Franco Dies.

Spanish Dictator Franco Dies.

More Information for Franco's Death.

General Francisco Franco, the dictatorial leader of Spain, died at the age of 82 in November of 1975. Franco had taken power as Spain’s head of state in 1939 after his Nationalist forces defeated the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. Franco’s early regime was characterized by harsh political oppression but as he aged more progressive ideas and reforms were allowed. During World War II he aligned Spain with the Axis powers but managed to keep his country only minimally involved in the conflict. After his death the monarchy was restored and King Juan Carlos took power as per Franco’s instructions. Democracy was established soon after his death.

IRA Attacks UK

An IRA hit squad takes refuge and hostages at Balcombe Street in central London

The IRA bombs London Hilton Hotel In Park Lane

The IRA murders Ross McWhirter the co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records

Patty Hearst

Patty Hearst becomes Most Wanted and is arrested for armed robbery.

More Information for Patty Hearst.

Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst is found in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery in September of 1975. She had been kidnapped in Berkeley, California on February 4, 1974 and in April of 1974 she sent letters to the media stating that she was joining the leftist group SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) of her own free will. Later that month, a surveillance camera took a photo of her participating in an armed robbery of a San Francisco bank, making her a wanted criminal by the FBI. Following Hearst’s capture by the FBI, she went on trial for her crimes and was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison. She served two years and had her sentence commuted, she was later pardoned by President Clinton.

Apollo and Soyuz Joint Mission

NASA launches the first joint United States and Soviet Union space flight during July News Events. The mission objective was to dock a U.S. Apollo module with a Soviet Soyuz 19. This was the final space flight of an Apollo module, a program that had ended in 1972. The two spacecraft launched on the same day, the Soyuz mission returned to Earth after almost 6 days in space and the Apollo mission returned to Earth after about 9 days in space. The docking was considered successful and the two crews performed several experiments together. It was considered a successful mission and symbolized a softening of the relationship between the United States and Soviet Union at that particular moment in time.

More News and Key Events From 1975


Suriname Gains Independence From Netherlands

Suez Canal reopens

The Suez Canal reopens for the first time since the Six-Day War

Morocco "The Green March"

"The Green March" with 350,000 unarmed Moroccans cross the border into the Spanish controlled area of Western Sahara demanding the return of Moroccan Sahara Desert

U.S. Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate in the US reaches 9.2% and recession is recognized by President Ford

King Faisal

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Assassinated

Baader-Meinhof Guerrillas

Baader-Meinhof guerrillas take 11 hostages at West German embassy in Stockholm

U.S. Strike by Doctors

The First ever strike by Doctors in the US causes hospitals to reduce services

UK Inflation reaches 25%

Britains inflation rate jumps 25% An example of this is seen when Coal Miners recieve a 35% pay rise also reflected in other industries

North Sea Oil

The first oil pipeline to serve Forties oilfield starts pumping North Sea Oil

The Cod War

Cod War breaks out between Britain and Iceland when Iceland extends it's fishing rights to 200 miles

New York City avoids bankruptcy

New York City avoids bankruptcy when President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion loan

US Pulls out of Cambodia

US Pulls out of Cambodia

Dutch elm disease

Dutch elm disease destroys more than three million Elm trees in the UK

Beginning of 15 years of civil war Lebanon

Beginning of 15 years of civil war between Maronite Christians and Muslim militias in Lebanon

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi India Prime Minister is found guilty of electoral corruption

Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Act

The UK implements the Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Act

London underground train crash Moorgate Station

London underground train crashed into a brick wall on February 28 News Events at Moorgate in London's Financial district

United Kingdom votes yes in referendum to join EU

The United Kingdom votes yes in a referendum June 6th on staying in the European Community

Angola Gains Independence

Angola Gains Independence From Portugal

Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa ex teamsters boss disappears never to be seen again

1975 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

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

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1975

Toys From The Year 1975

1975 Toys including   Roller Skates, Curious George, Transistor Radios, Hoppity Hops, Girls Dolls

Popular Culture 1975

Bruce Springsteen releases his third album, Born To Run, widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time

The film version of The Who's Tommy premiers in London

Saturday Night Live debuts on NBC

Muhammad Ali beat Joe Fraser in the "Thriller In Manilla" match

Popular Films


The Towering Inferno


Young Frankenstein

The Godfather Part II

Funny Lady

Murder on the Orient Express

The Return of the Pink Panther


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Popular Musicians and songs

Minnie Riperton


Black Sabbath


Bob Dylan

David Bowie with " Fame "

Alice Cooper

The Eagles with " Best of My Love "

Jefferson Starship

Elton John with Island Girl and " Lucy in the sky with Diamonds "


Led Zeppelin

John Lennon

Bob Marley and the Wailers

Paul McCartney and Wings

Pink Floyd

Paul Simon


Bruce Springsteen

The Who

ZZ Top

Popular TV Programmes

The Six Million Dollar Man


The Jeffersons

All in the Family


Good Times


The Carol Burnett Show

Born This Year in 1975

Jimmie Johnson September 17th

Tiger Woods December 30th

Angelina Jolie June 4th

Kate Winslet October 5th


Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins

Bill Gates and Paul Allen develop a BASIC program for the Altair 8800

Motorolla obtains patent for the first portable mobile phone

The name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) and Microsoft becomes a registered trademark

NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.

US Apollo and Soviet Soyuz 9 spacecraft link up in space and Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts shake hands

BIC launches first disposable Razor

The Microcomputer Altair 8800 is released

Work on the Alaskan Oil Line begins

Sony introduces Betamax videotapes and Matsushita / JVC introduce VHS

Tuvalu Gains Independence From Great Britain

Mozambique Gains Independence From Portugal

Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, invented by Seymour Cray

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

Personal Computer USA Microsoft

The Digital Camera Steven Sasson and Kodak Company

Laser Printer USA

Calendar For The Year 1975

1975 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Gough Whitlam Till 11 November

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser From 11 November

Brazil President Ernesto Geisel

Canada Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Post Abolished

France President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Germany Chancellor Helmut Schmidt

India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Italy Prime Minister Aldo Moro

Japan Prime Minister Takeo Miki

Mexico President Luis Echeverría

Russia / Soviet Union

First Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev

South Africa Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster

United States President Gerald Ford

United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Wilson