|During the 1970's the United States underwent some profound changes. In 1972, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein exposed corruption in the nation's capital when they investigated the Watergate Hotel break-in.First a Vice President and then a President resigned under threat of impeachment.
George Wallace, Governor of Alabama; shot and paralyzed from the waist down while campaigning for the presidency in 1972 on an anti-bussing, law and order platform. Andrew Young was the first African-American voted into the U.S. House of Representatives from the deep South since 1898. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.
Women, minorities, and gays increasingly demanded full legal equality and privileges in society. Shirley Chisholm, was the First African-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and ran for the office of President of the United States in 1972. Women surpassed men in college enrollment in 1979.
Jumbo jets revolutionized commercial flight, doubling passenger capacity and increasing flight range to 6,000 miles. The movement of Americans from cities to suburbs resulted in urban decay, and the movement of newly-affluent minorities to the suburbs created racial tension.
Pong was a hot new game. Established amusement parks like Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, and a revamped Cedar Point were joined by new parks, including Opryland in Nashville, King's Island in Ohio, Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia, Great America in California and Illinois, the Six Flags parks, and Walt Disney World in Florida.
There were many fads including Pet rock. They came in little boxes with little peace of straw in the bottom of the box.
Platform shoes were also the rage and people wore them mostly to parties Jogging suits were also a big trend in fashion. Mood rings, lava lamps, Rubik's cube, Sea Monkeys, and smiley face stickers all captured the imagination of Americans during this decade. The wildest fad surely was streaking nude through very public places!
Disco dancing became popular with the release of the movie Saturday Night Fever. Also, heavy metal rock music was born in the 70's. A popular heavy metal bands was Led Zeppelin; David Bowie was another heavy metal rocker. In the late 1970's, a new rock movement, known as "punk rock" became the rage.
The Rubiks Cube hit big with a complicated, confusing formula
that both confused and captivated children and adults alike. The skateboard was a simple toy that only took a short time to boom
into the sport that we all recognize today.
Many of the books published revolved around a general theme of man's alienation from his spiritual roots. John Updike portrayed characters trying to find meaning in a society spiritually empty and in a state of moral decay.
The movies mad a bigh comeback after years of box office erosion caused by the popularity of television. George Lucas's Star Wars was one of the highest grossing films ever. Other memorable movies included Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Poseidon Adventure, and Airport. The Godfather spawned multiple sequels, there was the terror of Jaws, the Exorcist, and Kramer vs. Kramer.
There was a definite public yearning for simpler, more innocent times as evidenced by the popularity of the movies, American Graffiti and Grease, which both presented a romanticized view of the Fifties. Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta fueled the "disco fever."
Television offered Happy Days, which followed the lives of a group of fifties-era teenagers while The Brady Bunch comically presented the contemporary family. Sesame Street and the Muppets for children kept a lot of little kids glued to the TV. Sitcoms became more realistic with Archie Bunker, Maude, Fred Sanford, and Barney Miller.
Other great TV included
The Electric Company,
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,
The Bob Newhart Show,
The Partridge Family,
Eight Is Enough,
One Day At A Time,
All In The Family,
Sanford & Son,
My Three Sons, The Flip Wilson Show,
The Carol Burnett Show,
Sonny & Cher,
Tony Orlando & Dawn,
Donny & Marie,
The Captain & Tennille,
The Andy Williams Show,
and The Dean Martin Show.
Christmas specials were full of holiday cheer, and Johnny Carson was the king of late-night TV. The last cigarette commercial to air on network TV was broadcast right before midnight on January 1, 1971 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Among the top names in popular music were Aerosmith, the Bee Gees, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Eagles, Electric Light Orchestra, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Three Dog Night, and The Who. "Easy listening" regained popularity with groups such as the Carpenters, and Bob Marley gained a huge core of fans in the U.S. performing Jamaican reggae music.
Social movements, particularly the anti-war movement, were highly visible on college and university campuses. The Kent State massacre was the most devastating event, with four students gunned down by Ohio National Guardsmen attempting to stem the anti-war demonstrations.
The 8-Track Tape Player was developed as a car accessory to give drivers an alternate to listening to radio stations. Motorola manufactured the first players, which were installed in Ford automobiles. Many record companies were quick to put many of their artists on the new format, but by the mid 1970's, most record labels had stopped producing music in 8-Track tape format.
There are no quarters dated 1975. The United States Mint began issuing
Bicentennial quarters in 1975, which
were dated 1776-1976. No regular
quarters were issued by the Mint in 1975.
String Art was considered to be pop art. This fad was a challenge and you could choose from a variety of unassembled kits ranging from ships to animals. They took many hours to complete and could hung on the wall as a conversation piece.
Dashboard Hula Girls danced when the car moved were made popular by California surfers. Star Wars action figures become big business.
After the popular Star Wars movies there was a cult following with many fans who couldn't get enough of their favorite characters. Many youths started collecting action figures of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and more.
Men sported shoulder length hair and non-traditional clothing became the rage, including bellbottom pants, hip huggers, colorful patches, hot pants, platform shoes, earth shoes, clogs, T-shirts, and gypsy dresses. Knits and denims were the fabrics of choice. Leisure suits for men became commonplace, and women were fashionable in everything from ankle-length grandmother dresses to hot pants and micro-miniskirts.
Young people were finding partners at singles bars, singles clubs, and through computer dating services. Gays & lesbians began coming out of the closet, and many alternative lifestyles were explored.
At the American Legion Conference in Philadelphia in 1976, 221 attendees became sick and 34 died from a mysterious illness that was first known as "legion fever." Legionnaire's Disease was caused by bacteria growing in the water supply of the hotel's air-cooling system.
Big Business dominated the sports world in the Seventies. Families vacationed in station wagons and everyone wanted an RV.