- 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
- Apollo XVII, the last manned moon landing to date, returns to Earth with 250 pounds of lunar samples. Background: US Staffed Space Flights
- Gil Hodges
- J. Edgar Hoover
- Harry S. Truman