1967 1968 1969 - 1970 - 1971 1972 1973
| Decades: |
1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Events of 1970
- January 5 - An earthquake (Richter Scale 7.7 magunitude) at Yunnan, China kills at least 15,621.
- January 12 - Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian civil war.
- January 15 - After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafran forces under Philip Effiong formally surrender to General Yakubu Gowon.
- January 20 - The Greater London Council announces its plans for the Thames Barrier at Woolwich to prevent flooding (the barrier opens in 1981).
- January 21 - Five lifeboatmen are killed when the Fraserburgh lifeboat Duchess of Kent capsizes during a rescue off Kinnaird's Head, Aberdeenshire.
- February 1 - A train collision near Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 236.
- February 10 - An avalanche at Val d'Isère, France kills 39 tourists.
- February 11 - Ōsumi, Japan's first satellite, is launched on a Lambda-4 rocket.
- February 18 - A jury finds the Chicago Seven defendants not guilty of conspiring to incite a riot, in charges stemming from the violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Five of the defendants are found guilty on the lesser charge of crossing state lines to incite a riot.
- February 21 - Construction begins on the Bogazici Bridge crossing the Bosphorus in Istanbul.
- February 22 - Guyana becomes a Republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
- March 1 - Rhodesia severs its last tie with the United Kingdom, declaring itself a racially-segregated republic.
- March 5 - The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect, after ratification by 43 nations.
- March 6 - A bomb being constructed by members of the Weathermen and meant to be planted at a military dance in New Jersey, explodes, killing 3 members of the organization.
- March 15 - The Expo '70 World's Fair opens in Suita, Osaka, Japan.
- March 17 - My Lai massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
- March 18 - General Lon Nol ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
- March 25 - The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight (700 mph/1127 km/h).
- March 31 - NASA's Explorer 1, the first American satellite and Explorer program spacecraft, reenters Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.
- March 31 - Japan Airlines Flight 351, carrying 131 passengers and 7 crews from Tokyo to Fukuoka, is hijacked by Japanese Red Army members. All passengers are eventually freed.
- April 1 - President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.
- April 8 - A huge gas explosion at a subway construction site in Osaka, Japan kills 79 and injures over 400.
- April 11 - An avalanche at a tuberculosis sanatorium in the French Alps kills 74, mostly young boys.
- April 11 - Apollo program: Apollo 13 (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert) is launched toward the Moon.
- April 13 - An oxygen tank in the Apollo 13 spacecraft explodes, forcing the crew to abort the mission and return in 4 days.
- April 16 - Rev. Ian Paisley wins a by-election to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.
- April 17 - Apollo program: Apollo 13 splashes down safely in the Pacific.
- April 22 - The first Earth Day is celebrated in the U.S.
- April 24 - China's first satellite (Dong Fang Hong 1) is launched into orbit using a Long March-1 Rocket (CZ-1).
- April 29 - The U.S. invades Cambodia to hunt out the Viet Cong; massive antiwar protests occur in the U.S.
- May 1 - Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000.
- May 4 - Kent State shootings: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by Ohio State National Guardsmen, at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia.
- May 6 - Arms Crisis in the Republic of Ireland: Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney are dismissed as members of the Irish Government, due to accusations of their involvement in a plot to import arms for use by the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland.
- May 8 - Hard Hat riot: Unionized construction workers attack about 1,000 students and others protesting the Kent State shootings near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street and at New York City Hall.
- May 9 - In Washington, D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.
- May 11 - Lubbock Tornado: An F5 tornado hits downtown Lubbock, Texas, the first to hit a downtown district of a major city since Topeka, Kansas in 1966; 28 are killed.
- May 14 - In the second day of violent demonstrations at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, state law enforcement officers fire into the demonstrators, killing 2 and injuring 12.
- May 17 - Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II, to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
- May 23 - A fire occurs in the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits in north Wales, contributing to its partial destruction and amounting to approximately £1,000,000 worth of fire damage.
- May 26 - The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.
- May 27 - A British expedition climbs the south face of Annapurna I.
- May 31 - The 1970 Ancash earthquake causes a landslide that buries the town of Yungay, Peru; more than 47,000 people are killed.
- June 1 - Soyuz 9, a two man spacecraft, is launched in the Soviet Union.
- June 2 - Norway announces that it has rich oil deposits off its North Sea coast.
- June 4 - Tonga gains independence from the United Kingdom.
- June 6 - A D-Day celebration is held in Washington, D.C..
- June 8 - A coup in Argentina brings a new junta of service chiefs; on June 18, Roberto M. Levingston becomes President.
- June 10 - U.S. President Richard Nixon signs a measure lowering the voting age to 18.
- June 18 - United Kingdom general election, 1970: the Conservative Party wins and Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister.
- June 22 - The English rock band Led Zeppelin performs in Iceland, with the visit inspiring them to write the Immigrant Song.
- June 24 - The United States Senate repeals the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
- June 28 - U.S. ground troops withdraw from Cambodia.
- July 4 - A chartered Dan-Air De Havilland Comet crashes into the mountains north of Barcelona; at least 112 are killed.
- July 4 - Bob Hope and other entertainers gather in Washington, D.C. for Honor America Day, a nonpartisan holiday event.
- July 6 - Air Canada Flight 621 catches fire after landing at Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario; all 109 passengers and crew are killed.
- July 11 - The first tunnel under the Pyrenees links the Basque towns of Aranoutes and Biesma.
- July 21 - The Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed.
- July 23 - Said bin Taimur, Sultan of Muscat and Oman, is deposed in a palace coup by his son, Qaboos.
- July 23 - Two CS gas canisters are thrown into the chamber of the British House of Commons.
- July 30 - Damages totalling £485,528 are awarded to 28 Thalidomide victims.
- August 7 - Harold Haley, Marin County Superior Court Judge, is taken hostage and murdered, in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.
- August 17 - August 18 - The U.S. sinks 418 containers of nerve gas into the Gulf Stream near the Bahamas.
- August 17 - Venera program: Venera 7 is launched. It later becomes the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from another planet.
- August 26–30 - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 takes place on East Afton Farm off the coast of England. Some 600,000 people attend the largest rock festival of all time. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.
- September 1 - An assassination attempt against King Hussein of Jordan precipitates the Black September crisis.
- September 3 - September 6 - Israeli forces fight Palestinian guerillas in southern Lebanon.
- September 5 - Vietnam War - Operation Jefferson Glenn: The United States 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thua Thien Province (the operation ends in October 1971).
- September 6 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacks 4 passenger aircraft from Pan Am, TWA and Swissair on flights to New York from Brussels, Frankfurt and Zürich.
- September 7 - An anti-war rally is held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, attended by John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
- September 7 - Fighting breaks out between Arab guerillas and government forces in Amman, Jordan.
- September 8–10 - The Jordanian government and Palestinian guerillas make truces they keep breaking.
- September 9 - Guinea recognizes East Germany.
- September 10 - Cambodian government forces break the siege of Kompong Tho after 3 months.
- September 15 - King Hussein of Jordan forms a military government with Muhammad Daoud as the prime minister.
- September 19 - Kostas Georgakis sets himself ablaze in Genoa, Italy as a protest against the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.
- September 20 - Syrian armored forces cross the Jordanian border.
- September 20 - Luna 16 lands on the Moon and lifts off the next day with samples. It lands on Earth September 24.
- September 21 - Palestinian armored forces reinforce Palestinian guerillas in Irbidi, Jordan.
- September 22 - Tunku Abdul Rahman resigns as prime minister of Malaysia, and is succeeded by his deputy Tun Abdul Razak.
- September 26 - The Laguna Fire starts in San Diego County, burning 175,425 acres (710 km²).
- September 27 - Richard Nixon begins a tour of Europe, visiting Italy, Yugoslavia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- September 28 - Gamal Abdal Nasser dies; Vice President Anwar Sadat is named temporary president of Egypt.
- September 29 - The U.S. Congress gives President Richard Nixon authority to sell arms to Israel.
- September 29 - In Berlin, Baader-Meinhof Gang members rob 3 banks, with loot totaling over DM200,000.
- October 3 - In Lebanon, the government of Prime Minister Rashid Karami resigns.
- October 4 - In Bolivia, Army Commander General Rogelio Miranda and a group of officers rebel and demand the resignation of President Alfredo Ovando Candía, who fires him.
- October 5 - U.S. President Richard Nixon's European tour ends.
- October 5 - The Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnaps James Cross in Montreal and demands release of all its imprisoned members. The next day the Canadian government announces it won't meet the demand, beginning Quebec's October Crisis.
- October 5 - The Public Broadcasting Service begins broadcasting.
- October 6 - Bolivian President Alfredo Ovando Candía resigns; General Rogelio Miranda takes over but resigns soon after.
- October 6 - French President Georges Pompidou visits the Soviet Union.
- October 7 - General Juan José Torres becomes the new President of Bolivia.
- October 8 - The U.S. Foreign Office announces that renewal of arms sales to Pakistan.
- October 8 - Soviet author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- October 8 - Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects U.S. President Richard Nixon's October 7 peace proposal as "a maneuver to deceive world opinion."
- October 9 - The Khmer Republic is proclaimed in Cambodia.
- October 10 - Fiji becomes independent.
- October 10 - October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, a national crisis hits Canada when Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte becomes the second statesman kidnapped by members of the FLQ terrorist group.
- October 11 - Eleven French soldiers are killed in a shootout with rebels in Chad.
- October 12 - Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas.
- October 13 - Canada and the People's Republic of China establish diplomatic relations.
- October 13 - Saeb Salam forms a government in Lebanon.
- October 14 - A Chinese nuclear test is conducted in Lop Nor.
- October 15 - In Egypt, a referendum supports Anwar Sadat 90.04%.
- October 15 - A section of the new West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses into the river below, killing 35 construction workers.
- October 16 - October Crisis: The Canadian government declares a state of emergency and outlaws the Quebec Liberation Front.
- October 17 - October Crisis: Pierre Laporte is found killed in south Montreal.
- October 17 - A cholera epidemic breaks out in Istanbul.
- October 17 - Anwar Sadat officially becomes President of Egypt.
- October 20 - The Soviet Union launches the Zond 8 lunar probe.
- October 20 - Egyptian president Anwar Sadat names Mahmoud Fawzi as his prime minister.
- October 21 - A U.S. Air Force plane makes an emergency landing near Leninakan, Soviet Union. The Soviets release the American officers, including 2 generals, November 10.
- October 22 - Chilean army commander Rene Schneider is shot in Santiago; the government declares a state of emergency. Schneider dies October 25.
- October 24 - Salvador Allende is elected President of Chile.
- October 25 - The wreck of the Confederate submarine Hunley is found off Charleston, South Carolina, by pioneer underwater archaeologist, Dr. E. Lee Spence, then just 22 years old. Hunley was the first submarine in history to sink a ship in warfare.
- October 28 - In Jordan, the government of Ahmed Toukan resigns; the next prime minister is Wasfi Al-Tal.
- October 28 - A cholera outbreak in eastern Slovakia causes Hungary to close its border with Czechoslovakia.
- October 28 - Gary Gabelich drives the rocket-powered Blue Flame to an official world land speed record of 622.287 mph (1,001.452863 km/h) on the dry lake bed of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The record, the first above 1,000 km/h, stands for nearly 13 years.
- October 30 - In Vietnam, the worst monsoon to hit the area in 6 years causes large floods, kills 293, leaves 200,000 homeless and virtually halts the Vietnam War.
- November 1 - Fire destroys the Le Cinq Sept dance hall in St. Laurent Du Pont, France, killing 144.
- November 3 - Democrats sweep the U.S. Congressional midterm elections; Ronald Reagan is reelected governor of California; Jimmy Carter is elected governor of Georgia.
- November 4 - Vietnam War - Vietnamization: The United States turns control of the air base in the Mekong Delta to South Vietnam.
- November 5 - Vietnam War: The United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam reports the lowest weekly American soldier death toll in 5 years (24 soldiers die that week, which is the fifth consecutive week the death toll is below 50; 431 are reported wounded that week, however).
- November 8 - Egypt, Libya and Sudan announce their intentions to form a federation.
- November 9 - The Soviet Union launches Luna 17.
- November 10 - Vietnam War - Vietnamization: For the first time in 5 years, an entire week ends with no reports of United States combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.
- November 12 - Soviet author Andrei Amalrik is sentenced to 3 years for 'anti-Soviet' writings.
- November 13 - Hafez al-Assad comes to power in Syria, following a military coup.
- November 13 - 1970 Bhola cyclone: A 120-mph tropical cyclone hits the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people (considered the 20th century's worst cyclone disaster).
- November 14 - Southern Airlines Flight 932 crashes in Wayne County, West Virginia; all 75 onboard, including 37 players and 5 coaches from the Marshall University football team, are killed.
- November 17 - Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre.
- November 17 - Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world, and is released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
- November 18 - U.S. President Richard Nixon asks the U.S. Congress for US$155 million in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government (US$85 million is for military assistance to prevent the overthrow of the government of Premier Lon Nol by the Khmer Rouge and North Vietnam).
- November 18 - The United Nations Security Council demands that no government recognize Rhodesia.
- November 19 - European Economic Community prime ministers meet in Munich.
- November 21 - Syrian Prime Minister Hafez al-Assad forms a new government but retains the post of defense minister.
- November 21 - In Ethiopia, the Eritrean Liberation Front kills an Ethiopian general.
- November 21 - Vietnam War - Operation Ivory Coast: A joint Air Force and Army team raids the Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American POWs thought to be held there (no Americans are killed, but the prisoners have already moved to another camp; all U.S. POWs are moved to a handful of central prison complexes as a result of this raid).
- November 22 - Guinean president Sekou Toure accuses Portugal of an attack when hundreds of mercenaries land near the capital Conakry.
- November 23–24 - The Guinean army repels the landing attempts.
- November 25–29 - A U.N. delegation arrives to investigate the Guinea situation.
- November 25 - In Tokyo, author and Tatenokai militia leader Yukio Mishima and his followers take over the headquarters of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. When Mishima's speech fails to sway public opinion towards his right-wing political beliefs, he commits seppuku.
- November 26 - East Pakistan leader Sheik Mujibur Rahman accuses the central government of negligence in catastrophe relief.
- November 26 - Pope Paul VI begins an Asian tour.
- November 27 - Bolivian artist Benjamin Mendoza tries to assassinate Pope Paul VI during his visit in Manila.
- December 1 - Ethiopia recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- December 1 - The Basque ETA kidnaps West German Eugen Beihl in San Sebastián.
- December 1 - Luis Echeverría becomes president of Mexico.
- December 2 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations.
- December 3 - October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross is released by the Front de Libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days. Police negotiate his release and in return the Government of Canada grants 5 terrorists from the FLQ's Chenier Cell their request for safe passage to Cuba.
- December 3 - Burgos Trial: In Burgos, Spain, the trial of 16 Basques terrorism suspects begins.
- December 4 - The Spanish government declares a 3-month martial law in the Basque county of Guipuzco, due to strikes and demonstrations.
- December 4 - The U.N. announces that Portuguese navy and army units were responsible for the attempted invasion of Guinea.
- December 5 - The Asian and Australian tour of Pope Paul VI ends.
- December 7 - Giovanni Enrico Bucher, the Swiss ambassador to Brazil, is kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro; kidnappers demand the release of 70 political prisoners.
- December 7 - The U.N. General Assembly supports the isolation of South Africa due to its apartheid policies.
- December 7 - During his visit to the Polish capital, German Chancellor Willy Brandt goes down on his knees in front of a monument to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto.
- December 12 - A landslide in western Colombia leaves 200 dead.
- December 13 - The government of Poland announces food price increases. Riots and looting lead to a bloody confrontation between the rioters and the government on December 15, and martial law December 17–22.
- December 15 - The USSR's Venera 7 becomes the first spacecraft to land successfully on Venus and transmit data back to Earth.
- December 15 - The South Korean ferry Namyong Ho capsizes off Korean Strait; 308 are killed.
- December 16 - The Ethiopian government declares a state of emergency in the county of Eritrea, due to the activities of the Eritrean Liberation Front.
- December 20 - General Secretary of the Polish Communist Party, Władysław Gomułka, resigns; Edward Gierek replaces him.
- December 20 - An Egyptian delegation leaves for Moscow to ask for economic and military aid.
- December 22 - The Libyan Revolutionary Council declares that it will nationalize all foreign banks in the country.
- December 22 - Franz Stangl, the ex-commander of Treblinka, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
- December 23 - The Polish government freezes food prices for 2 years.
- December 23 - The Bolivian government releases Regis Debray.
- December 23 - The North Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world.
- December 25 - The ETA releases Eugen Beihl.
- December 27 - India's president declares new elections.
- December 28 - Burgos Trial: Three Basques are sentenced to death (3 twice), others sentenced for 12-62 years, and 1 is released.
- December 28 - The suspected killers of Pierre Laporte, Jacques & Paul Rose and Francis Sunard, are arrested near Montreal.
- December 30 - In Viscaya, Spain, Basque county, 15,000 go on strike to protest the Burgos trial death sentences.
- December 30 - Francisco Franco commutes the death sentences of the Burgos Trial defendants to 30 years in prison.
- July 27 - António de Oliveira Salazar, leader of Portugal (b. 1889)
- October 3 - Truman Smith, WWII American intelligence officer (b. 1893)
- October 6 - Einar Åberg, Swedish nationalist and pamphleteer (b. 1890)