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<< 1974 CE | 1971-1980 CE | 1976 CE >>

This is the year that the map changed. There were many new independent countries primarily in Africa and the South Pacific. It was a violent year; multiple heads of state were either assasinated or attempts were made; war still raged in South East Asia; there were several coups, the IRA bombings and kidnappings in London, and bombs throughout the World.

§Of World Interest

The first complete DNA genome to be sequenced is that of bacteriophage φX174


May 28 – Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.


January 15 – Portugal grants independence to Angola.

November 11 – Angola becomes independent from Portugal; civil war soon erupts.

§Cape Verde

July 5 – Cape Verde gains independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule.


April 13 – A coup d'état in Chad led by the military overthrows and kills President François Tombalbaye. The Chadian coup of 1975 was in considerable part generated by the growing distrust of the President of Chad, François Tombalbaye, for the army. This distrust came in part from the Chadian Armed Forces (FAT) incapacity to deal with the rebellion that was inflaming the Muslim north from when the rebel insurgent group FROLINAT had been formed in 1966 CE.


July 6 – The Comoros declare their independence from France.


February 11 – Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava, President of Madagascar, is assassinated.


November 6 – The Green March begins: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converge on the southern city of Tarfaya and wait for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.


June 25 – Mozambique gains independence from Portugal.

§São Tomé and Príncipe

July 12 – São Tomé and Príncipe declare independence from Portugal.

§Western Sahara

November 14 – Spain abandons Western Sahara.



February 4 – The Haicheng earthquake, the first successfully predicted earthquake, kills 2,041 and injures 27,538 in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.

August 8 – The Banqiao Dam, in China's Henan Province, fails after a freak typhoon; over 200,000 people perish.


March 10 – Shinkansen opens between Osaka and Fukuoka.



December 21 – An OPEC Conference in Vienna, Austria is raided by a mixed Palestinian/West German Commando team including Carlos (the Jackal), kidnap delegates , who take the oil Ministers hostage and fly to Algeria, where all go free. One guerilla, RZ member Hans Joachim Klein is severely injured in an exchange of fire in the OPEC office, which leaves three dead.


March 6 – A bomb explodes in the Paris offices of the Springer Press. The 6 March Group (connected to the Red Army Faction) demands amnesty for the Baader-Meinhof Group.


February 5 - RAF prisoners begin hungerstrike.

Feb 23 - Twenty thousand people occupy a nuclear reactor construction site in Whyl. February 27 – The Movement 2 June kidnaps West German politician Peter Lorenz. He is released on March 4 after most of the kidnappers' demands are met.

Feb 27 - Peter Lorenz, CDU candidate for West Berlin, kidnapped by 2JM. They demand release of six imprisoned guerillas: Rolf Pohl, Rolf Heissler, Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, Verena Becker, Ina Siepmann, and Horst Mahler.

March 3 - Pohl, Heissler, Becker, and Siepmann flown to Frankfurt with former West Berlin Mayor, Heinrich Albertz as hostage. Kröcher-Tiedemann decides to join them later in the day. Mahler declines. RZ bombs the Oratory in Bamberg to protest the role of the church in the oppression of women.

March 4 - Lorenz released unharmed. Women of the RZ bomb the Federal Court to protest the law illegalising abortions.

March 17 - Defense attorney Klaus Croissant is excluded from representing Baader.

March 20 - RAF members Petra Krause and Elisabeth van Dyck and three Swiss citizens arrested in Zurich, Switzerland.

April 11 - Interior Minister's Conference further centralizes the BKA and forms Abteilung T (Section T), as a special anti-terrorist unit.

April 24 - RAF “Commando Holger Meins”, all former SPK members, occupy the West German Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden and demand the release of 26 political prisoners. The West German government refuses to negociate and the guerillas execute the Military and Economic Attaches. Police storm the building, detonating explosives, explosives the guerilla had laid. Ulrich Wessel is killed, Siegfried Hausner is fatally injured, five other guerrillas are injured.

April 29 - RZ attacks the Headquarters of the Immigration Police in West Berlin to commemorate International Workers' Day (May 1st)

April 30 - RZ bombs Provincial Government buildings in Mainz and Ludwigshafen to commemorate International Workers' Day. Four suspects in Lorenz kidnapping arrested, including Ronald Fritzsch, Gerald Klöpper, Hendrick Reinders, and Paul Reverann.

May 4 - RAF member Siegfried Hausner dies in Stammheim Prison in Stuttgart.

May 5-6 - Defense attornies Groenewold and Christian Ströbele are excluded as Baader’s lawyer on the basis of allegations that their office served as an “information central” to allow prisoners to communicate amongst themselves.

May 17 - Elisabeth van Dyck and Petra Krause extradited from Switzerland to West Germany.

May 21 - Trial of RAF members Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe and Andreas Baader begins in Stammheim.

May 23 - Federal Interior Minister, Werner Maihofer clairos there are two to three hundred terrorist sympathizers, with a hardcore of about thirty.

May 30 - Sigurd Debus, Wolfgang Stahl, Gerd Wieland, and Karl-Heinz Ludwig sentenced to between 5 ½ and 12 years in connection with a bank robbery to finance guerrilla activities.

June 4 - The European Commission of Human Rights declares that RAF prisoners have been held in unacceptable conditions since 1972.

June 6 - 2JM member, Till Meyer shot and arrested.

June 12 - Parliament begins to debate new “Anti-Terrorism Laws”.

June 13 - Left-wing attorney Kurt Groenwald disbarred.

June 18 - Andreas Baader presents Statement to Stammheim Trial.

June 23 - Defense attorneys for the RAF in Hamburg, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, and West Berlin have their offices and homes searched. Christian Ströbele and Klaus Croissant arrested.

June 26 - The Interior Ministers Conference gives police the right to shoot to kill when dealing with suspected terrorists. By the end of 1975 at least sixty four people had been killed.

June 29 - RAF member Kathrina Hammerschmidtd dies of cancer in a West Berlin hospital, having been denied adequate treatment until it was too late.

July 18 - RZ prints 100,000 false bus and tram tickets and distributes them in mailboxes in West Berlin. Only 3000 are voluntarily returned.

July - 2JM carries out a series of bank robberies in West Berlin.

August 17 - Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe and Ulrike Meinhof's present a joint Statement Regarding Their Identity at the Stammheim Trial.

August 31 - The European Commission for Human Rights declares prisoners of the RAF to be political prisoners.

September - The first issue of the feminist journal Courage comes out.

September 2 - Trial of RAF members, Manfred Grashof, Wolfgang Grundmann, and Klaus Junschke begins in Kaiserlautern under heavy security.

September 9 - 2JM members, Inge Viett, Julienne Plambeck, and Ralf Reinders arrested. All three are suspects in the 1972 Lorenz kidnapping.

September 13 - Bomb explosion in Hamburg Central Station injures eleven. An anonymous caller claims it in the name of the RAF “Commando Ralf Reinders”. The RAF, 2JM, and RZ disclaim it in a common statement accompanying a false bomb in Munich Central Station.

September 19 - A mathematician, whose ID papers 2JM member Fritz Teufel had when arrested, is arrested for “supporting a criminal association.”

October 6 - A 3 ½ kilo bomb is discovered in the Nurenberg Central Station. It is claimed by the "Southern Fighting Group of the RAF". The guerilla groups again distance themselves.

October 23 - West German and French authroities meet to discuss collaborating in the "war against terrorism".

November 12 - A bomb explodes in the Cologne Central Station. The RZ distance themselves.

§Great Britain

January 1 – Work is abandoned on the British end of the Channel Tunnel.

January 14 – Heiress Lesley Whittle, 17, is kidnapped from her home in Shropshire, England by Donald Neilson.

February 11 – Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for the leadership of the UK Conservative Party in the United Kingdom.

February 26 – A fleeing Provisional Irish Republican Army member shoots and kills off-duty London police officer Stephen Tibble, 22, as he gives chase.

March 4 – Charlie Chaplin is knighted by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

March 7 – The body of teenage heiress Lesley Whittle, kidnapped 7 weeks earlier by the Black Panther, is discovered in Staffordshire, England.

June 5 – The United Kingdom votes yes in a referendum to stay in the European Community.

August 11 – British Leyland Motor Corporation comes under British government control.

August 15 – The Birmingham Six are wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment in Great Britain.

September 5 – The London Hilton hotel is bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army; 2 people are killed and 63 injured

September 28 – The Spaghetti House siege takes place in London.

October 9 – A bomb explosion outside the Green Park tube station near Piccadilly in London kills 1 and injures 20.

November 25 – The Irish Republican Army is outlawed in the United Kingdom.

November 27 – Ross McWhirter, co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, is shot dead by the Provisional Irish Republican Army for offering reward money to informers.


August 24 – Officers responsible for the military coup in Greece in 1967 are sentenced to death in Athens. The sentences are later commuted to life imprisonment.


September 14 – Rembrandt's painting "The Night Watch" is slashed a dozen times at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


March 11 – The leftist military government in Portugal defeats a rightist coup attempt.

September 19 – General Vasco Goncalves is ousted as Prime Minister of Portugal.


November 3 – The first petroleum pipeline opens from Cruden Bay to Grangemouth, Scotland.


September 27 – Francoist Spain executes five ETA and FRAP members, the last executings in Spain to date.

October 30 – Juan Carlos I of Spain becomes acting Head of State after dictator Francisco Franco concedes that he is too ill to govern.

November 20 – Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies in Madrid.

November 22 – Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of dictator Francisco Franco.


September 14 – Elizabeth Seton is canonized, becoming the first American Roman Catholic saint.


May 16 – Sikkim accedes to India after a referendum.

June 25 – Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declares a state of emergency in India, suspending civil liberties and elections.


August 15 – President Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh is killed during a coup.

§Middle East


June 5 – The Suez Canal opens for the first time since the Six-Day War.


March 6 – Algiers Accord: Iran and Iraq announce a settlement in their border dispute.


April 13 – Bus massacre: The Kataeb militia kills 27 Palestinians during an attack on their bus in Ain El Remmeneh, Lebanon, triggering the Lebanese civil war.

§Saudi Arabia

March 25 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is shot and killed by his nephew; the killer is beheaded on June 18. (King Khalid succeeds Faisal.)

§Near East


September 6 – A Richter Scale 6.7 magnitude earthquake kills at least 2,085 in Diyarbakir and Lice, Turkey.

§North America


March 4 – A Canadian parliamentary committee is televised for the first time.

§United States

On January 1st, John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman were found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.

July 30 - Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union went missing.

January 29 – The Weather Underground bombs the U.S. State Department main office in Washington, D.C..

February 23 – In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly 2 months early in the United States.

July 31 - James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again.

June 26 – Two FBI agents and 1 AIM member die in a shootout, at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

August 5 – U.S. President Ford posthumously pardons Robert E. Lee, restoring full rights of citizenship.

September 5 – In Sacramento, California, Lynette Fromme, a follower of jailed cult leader Charles Manson, attempts to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is thwarted by a Secret Service agent.

September 18 – Fugitive Patricia Hearst is captured in San Francisco.

September 22 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt, this time by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco.

December 8 – New York City is approved for bailout of 2.3 billion each year through to 1978.So 6.9 billion total.

December 29 – A bomb explosion at LaGuardia Airport kills 11.

§U.S. Entertainment

January 6 – Wheel of Fortune premieres on NBC.

January 6 – AM America makes its television debut on ABC.

March 10 – The Rocky Horror Show opens on Broadway in New York City with 4 performances.

October 11 – NBC airs the first episode of Saturday Night Live (George Carlin is the first host; Billy Preston and Janis Ian the first musical guests).

November 3 – An independent audit of Mattel, one of the United States' largest toy manufacturers, reveals that company officials fabricated press releases and financial information to "maintain the appearance of continued corporate growth." They were toying with us.

§U.S. Industry

January – Altair 8800 is released, sparking the era of the microcomputer. It was invented by Ed Roberts of MITS. In February, MITS received 1,000 orders for the Altair 8800. The quoted delivery time was 60 days but it was many more months before the machines were shipped. By August 1975, they had shipped over 5,000 computers.

March 9 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.

April 4 – Bill Gates founds Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

September 30 – The Hughes Helicopters (later McDonnell-Douglas, now Boeing IDS) AH-64 Apache makes its first flight.

November 29 – The name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) is used by Bill Gates in a letter to Paul Allen for the first time (Microsoft becomes a registered trademark on November 26, 1976).

§U.S. Law

January 2 – The Federal Rules of Evidence are approved by the United States Congress.

§U.S. Politics

January 1 – Watergate scandal: John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.

January 8 – Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first woman U.S. governor who did not succeed her husband.

January 8 – U.S. President Gerald Ford appoints Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to head a special commission looking into alleged domestic abuses by the CIA.

February 21 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, are sentenced to between 30 months and 8 years in prison.

June 10 – In Washington, DC, the Rockefeller Commission issues its report on CIA abuses, recommending a joint congressional oversight committee on intelligence.

November 20 – Former California Governor Ronald Reagan enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford.



August 1 – The Helsinki Accords, which officially recognize Europe's national borders and respect for human rights, are signed in Finland.


April 24 – Six Red Army Faction terrorists take over the West German embassy in Stockholm, take 11 hostages and demand the release of the group's jailed members; shortly after, they are captured by Swedish police.

§South America


March 15 – In Brazil, the Estado da Guanabara (State of Guanabara) merges with the state of Rio de Janeiro, under the name of Rio de Janeiro. The state's capital moves from the city of Niterói to the city of Rio de Janeiro.


November 25 – Suriname gains independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

§South East Asia


April 17th, the Khmer rouge chase all the citizens from the capital, Phnom Penh, forcing them to live on farms and in rural areas. The city remained abandoned and neglected for 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, until January of 1979.

May 12 – Mayaguez incident: Khmer Rouge forces in Cambodia seize the United States merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.

May 15 – Mayaguez incident: The American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued by the U.S. Navy and Marines; 38 Americans are killed.

When the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975, Sihanouk returned home from his exile in China. But he was detained and the former rebels ordered his execution. Only the personal intervention of Chinese leader Zhou Enlai saved him.

§East Timor

East Timor was invaded by Indonesia.

August 11 – Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese East Timor abandons the capital Dili, following a UDT coup and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.

October 16 – Five Australian-based journalists are killed at Balibo by Indonesian forces, during their incursion into Portuguese Timor.

November 28 – Portuguese Timor declares its independence from Portugal as East Timor.

December 7 – Indonesia invades East Timor.


December 2 – The communist Pathet Lao takes power in Laos.


September 20 – The term of Tuanku Al-Mutassimu Billahi Muhibbudin Sultan Abdul Halim Al-Muadzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, as the 5th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, ends.

September 21 – Sultan Yahya Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim Petra, Sultan of Kelantan, becomes the 6th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.


January 20 – In Hanoi, North Vietnam, the Politburo approves the final military offensive against South Vietnam.

March 10 – Vietnam War: North Vietnamese troops attack Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, on their way to capturing Saigon.

March 13 – Vietnam War: South Vietnam President Nguyen van Thieu orders the Central Highlands evacuated. This turns into a mass exodus involving troops and civilians (the Convoy of Tears).

April 4 – Vietnam War: The first military Operation Babylift flight, C5A 80218, crashes 27 minutes after takeoff, killing 138 on board; 176 survive the crash.

April 17 – Following several weeks successful fightning, the Communist Khmer Rouge guerilla forces captures of Phnom Penh, prompting a forcible mass evacuation of the city.

April 25 – Vietnam War: As North Vietnamese Army forces close in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy is closed and evacuated, almost 10 years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

April 30 – Vietnam War: The Fall of Saigon: The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces take Saigon, resulting in mass evacuations of Americans and South Vietnamese. As the capital is taken, South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally.

§South Pacific


July 1 – The Postmaster-General's Department is disaggregated into the Australian Telecommunications Commission (trading as Telecom Australia) and the Australian Postal Commission (trading as Australia Post).

July 4 – Sydney newspaper publisher Juanita Nielsen disappears, and is presumed to have been murdered.

November 11 – Australian constitutional crisis of 1975: Governor-General of Australia Sir John Kerr dismisses the government of Gough Whitlam and commissions Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister.


January 10 – Japanese soldier Teruo Nakamura surrenders on the Indonesian island of Morota.

§New Zealand

In 1975 the Treaty of Waitangi Act established the Waitangi Tribunal, charged with hearing claims of Crown violations of the Treaty of Waitangi. Some Māori tribes and the Moriori never signed the treaty.

§Papua New Guinea

September 16 – Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.


February 1 – The Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation is launched, becoming the first TV network in the Philippines.


February 9 – The Soyuz 17 crew (Georgi Grechko, Aleksei Gubarev) returns to Earth after 1 month aboard the Salyut 4 space station.

July 17 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock in orbit, marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the 2 nations.

August 20 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.


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