Top News Stories from 1972

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decadeMore World Statistics...
  • 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

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: Richard M. Nixon
Vice President: Spiro T. Agnew
Population: 209,896,021
Life expectancy: 71.2 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 39.6
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 35.6
More U.S. Statistics...


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 billion
Consumer Price Index: $41.8
Unemployment: 5.9%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.08


Super Bowl
Dallas d. Miami
World Series
Oakland A's d. Cincinnati (4-3)
NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. New York
Stanley Cup
Boston d. NY Rangers
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
Riva Ridge
NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. Florida St. (81-76)
NCAA Football Champions
USC (12-0-0) 1972 Summer Olympics


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
Music: Windows, Jacob Druckman
Academy Award, Best Picture: The French Connection, Philip D'Antoni, producer (Twentieth Century-Fox)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Heinrich Böll (Germany)
Record of the Year: "It's Too Late," Carole King
Album of the Year: Tapestry, Carole King (Ode)
Song of the Year: "You've Got a Friend," Carole King, songwriter
Miss America: Laurie Lea Schaefer (OH)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • 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


  • Maxine Kumin, Up Country
  • John Gardner, The Sunlight Dialogues
  • John Ashberry, Three Poems
  • James Merrill, Braving the Elements
  • Eudora Welty, The Optimist's Daughter


Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Christian Boehmer Anfinsen, Stanford Moore, and William Howard Stein (all US), for pioneering studies in enzymes
Physics: John Bardeen, Leon N. Cooper, and John Robert Schrieffer (all US), for theory of superconductivity, where electrical resistance in certain metals vanishes above absolute zero temperature
Physiology or Medicine: Gerald M. Edelman (US), and Rodney R. Porter (UK), for research on the chemical structure and nature of antibodies
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • 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


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