1968 1969 1970 - 1971 - 1972 1973 1974
1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Events of 1971
- January 2 - A ban on radio and television cigarette advertisements goes into effect in the United States.
- January 8 - Tupamaros kidnap Geoffrey Jackson, British ambassador to Uruguay, in Montevideo, keeping him captive until September.
- January 9 - Uruguayan president Jorge Pacheco Areco demands emergency powers for 90 days due to kidnappings, and receives them the next day.
- January 14 - Seventy Brazilian political prisoners are released in Santiago, Chile. Giovanni Enrico Bucher is released January 16.
- January 15 - The Aswan High Dam officially opens in Egypt.
- January 18 - Strikes in Poland demand the resignation of Interior Minister Kazimierz Switala. He resigns January 23 and is replaced by Franciszek Szlachcic.
- January 19 - Representatives of 23 western oil companies begin negotiations with OPEC in Tehran to stabilize oil prices. February 14 they sign a treaty with 6 Persian Gulf countries.
- January 24 - The Guinean government sentences to death 92 Guineans who helped Portuguese troops in the failed landing attempts in November 1970; 72 are sentenced to hard labor for life; 58 of the sentenced are hanged the next day.
- January 25 - In Uganda, Idi Amin deposes Milton Obote in a coup, and becomes president.
- January 25 - In Los Angeles, Charles Manson and three female "Family" members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
- January 25 - Intelsat IV (F2) is launched; it enters commercial service over the Atlantic Ocean March 26.
- January 31 - Apollo program: Apollo 14 (carrying astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell) lifts off on the third successful lunar landing mission.
- February 4 - In Britain, Rolls-Royce goes bankrupt and is nationalised.
- February 5 - Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.
- February 7 - An earthquake in the city of Tuscania, Italykills 31.
- February 7 - Switzerland gives women voting rights in state elections, but not in all canton-specific ones.
- February 8 - A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts.
- February 9 - The Sylmar earthquake (6.4 on the Richter Scale) hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.
- February 9 - Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.
- February 11 - The US, UK, USSR and others sign the Seabed Treaty, outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor.
- February 11–12 - Palestinian and Jordanian fighters clash in Amman.
- February 13 - Vietnam War: Backed by American air and artillery support, South Vietnamese troops invade Laos.
- February 15 - Decimalisation Day: - The United Kingdom and Ireland both switch to decimal currency (see also decimalisation).
- February 20 - Fifty tornadoes rage in Mississippi, killing 74.
- February 26 - Secretary General U Thant signs the United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.
- March 1 - A bomb explodes in the men's room at the U.S. Capitol; the Weather Underground Organization claims responsibility.
- March 1 - Pakistani President Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan indefinitely postpones the pending National Assembly session, precipitating massive civil disobedience in East Pakistan.
- March 1 - Canadian John Robarts ends his term of office as the 17th Premier of Ontario.
- March 4 - The southern part of Québec, and especially Montreal, receive 42 cm of snow in what becomes known as the Century's Snowstorm (la tempête du siècle).
- March 5 - The Pakistani army occupies East Pakistan.
- March 6 - A fire in a mental hospital at Burghölzli, Switzerland, kills 28 people.
- March 12 - Hafez al-Assad becomes president of Syria.
- March 16 - Trygve Bratteli forms a government in Norway.
- March 18 - A landslide at Chungar, Peru crashes into Lake Yanahuani, killing 200.
- March 23 - General Alejandro Lanusse of Argentina takes power in a military coup.
- March 26 - East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) independence is declared by local Awami League leader Hannan Sarker on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, from Kalurghat Radio Station in Chittagong.
- March 27 - East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) independence is repeatedly declared by Army Major (later President of Bangladesh) Ziaur Rahman on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Kalurghat Radio Station, Chittagong.
- March 29 - U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is found guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre and sentenced to life in prison (later pardoned).
- March 29 - A Los Angeles, California jury recommends the death penalty for Charles Manson and 3 female followers.
- April 1 - The United Kingdom lifts all restrictions on gold ownership.
- April 5 - In Ceylon, a group calling themselves the People’s Liberation Front begins a rebellion against the Bandaranaike government.
- April 5 - Chile and East Germany establish diplomatic relations.
- April 5 - Mount Etna erupts in Sicily.
- April 7 - Greece releases 261 political prisoners, 50 of which are sent to internal exile.
- April 8 - A right-wing coup attempt is exposed in Laos.
- April 9 - Charles Manson is sentenced to death; in 1972, the sentence for all California Death Row inmates is commuted to life imprisonment.
- April 12 - Palestinians retreat from Amman to the north of Jordan.
- April 17 - The People's Republic of Bangladesh forms, under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at Mujibnagor.
- April 17 - Libya, Syria and Egypt sign an agreement to form a confederation.
- April 19 - The government of Bangladesh flees to India.
- April 19 - Sierra Leone becomes a republic.
- April 19 - The Soviet Union launches Salyut 1.
- April 19 - Followers of Charles Manson, the Manson Family, are sentenced to the gas chamber.
- April 20 - Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education: The Supreme Court of the United States rules unanimously that busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.
- April 20 - Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol resigns, but remains effectively in power until the next elections.
- April 21 - Siaka Stevens is elected the first president of Sierra Leone.
- April 21 - François Duvalier, president of Haiti, dies; his son Jean-Claude Duvalier follows him as president-for-life.
- April 24 - Soyuz 10 docks with Salyut 1.
- April 24 - Five hundred thousand people in Washington, DC and 125,000 in San Francisco march in protest against the Vietnam War.
- April 24 - A tsunami 85 m high rises over the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. It throws a 750-ton block of coral 2.5 km inland.
- April 25 - Todor Zhivkov is re-elected as the leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
- April 25 - Franz Jonas is re-elected as chancellor of Austria.
- April 26 - The government of Turkey declares a state of siege in 11 provinces, Ankara included, due to violent demonstrations.
- May 1 - Amtrak begins inter-city rail passenger service in the United States.
- May 1 - The Ceylonese government promises amnesty for those guerillas who surrender before April 5.
- May 2 - In Ceylon, left-wing guerillas launch a series of assaults against public buildings.
- May 3 - The Harris Poll claims that 60% of Americans are against the Vietnam War.
- May 3 - East German leader Walter Ulbricht resigns as Communist Party leader but retains the position of head of state.
- May 3 - Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington, D.C.; police and military units arrest as many as 12,000, most of whom are later released.
- May 5 - The US dollar floods the European currency markets and threatens especially the Deutsche Mark; the central banks of Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland stop the currency trading.
- May 6 - The Ceylon government begins a major offensive against the People's Liberation Front.
- May 9 - Mariner 8 fails to launch.
- May 12 - An earthquake in Turkey destroys most of the city of Burdur.
- May 15 - Efraim Elrom, Israeli ambassador to Turkey, is kidnapped; he is found killed in Istanbul May 25.
- May 16 - A coup attempt is exposed and foiled in Egypt.
- May 19 - Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
- May 22 - An earthquake lasting 20 seconds destroys most of Bingöl, Turkey - more than 1,000 are killed, 10,000 made homeless.
- May 23 - An air crash at Rijeka Airport, Yugoslavia kills 78 people, mostly British tourists.
- May 26 - Austria and the People's Republic of China establish diplomatic relations.
- May 26 - Qantas agrees to pay $500,000 to bomb hoaxer-extortionist Mr. Brown (Peter Macari), who is later arrested.
- May 27 - Six armed passengers hijack a Romanian passenger plane and force it to fly to Vienna.
- May 30 - Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched toward Mars.
- May 31 - The birth of Bangladesh is declared by the government in exile, in territory formerly part of Pakistan.
- June 1 - Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, claiming to represent the majority of U.S. veterans who served in Southeast Asia, speak against war protests.
- June 6 - Soyuz program: Soyuz 11 (Vladislav Volkov, Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev) is launched.
- June 6 - A midair collision between Hughes Airwest Flight 706 Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a U.S. Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom jet fighter near Duarte, California, claims 50 lives.
- June 10 - The U.S. ends its trade embargo of China.
- June 10 - Corpus Thursday: A student rally on the streets of Mexico City is roughly dispersed.
- June 13 - Vietnam War: The New York Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers. .
- June 14 - Norway begins oil production in the North Sea.
- June 17 - Representatives of Japan and the United States sign the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, whereby the U.S. will return control of Okinawa.
- June 20 - Britain announces that Soviet space scientist Anatoli Fedoseyev has been granted asylum.
- June 21 - Britain begins new negotiations for EEC membership in Luxembourg.
- June 25 - Madagascar accuses the U.S. of being connected to the plot to oust the current government; the U.S. recalls its ambassador.
- June 30 - After a successful mission aboard Salyut 1, the world's first manned space station, the crew of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft are killed when their air supply leaks out through a faulty valve.
- June 30 - New York Times Co. v. United States: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Pentagon Papers may be published, rejecting government injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraint.
- July 5 - Right to vote: The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, formally certified by President Richard Nixon, lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
- July 6 - Hastings Banda is proclaimed President for Life of Malawi.
- July 9 - The United Kingdom increases its troops in Northern Ireland to 11,000.
- July 10–11 - Coup attempt in Morocco: 1,400 cadets take over the king's palace for 3 hours and kill 28 people; 158 rebels die when the king's troops storm the palace. Ten high-ranking officers are later executed for involvement.
- July 13 - Ólafur Jóhannesson forms a government in Iceland.
- July 13 - Jordanian army troops launch an offensive against Palestinian guerillas in Jordan.
- July 13 - The Yugoslavian government begins allowing foreign companies to take their profits from the country.
- July 14 - Libya severs its diplomatic ties with Morocco.
- July 16 - Spanish leader and head of state Francisco Franco makes Prince Juan Carlos his successor.
- July 17 - Italy and Austria sign a treaty that ends the schism about Alto Adige/Südtirol.
- July 18 - The Trucial States are formed in the Persian Gulf.
- July 19 - The South Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,362 feet, making it the second tallest building in the world.
- July 19–23 - Major Hashem al-Atta ousts Jaafar Muhammad al-Nimeiri in a military coup in Sudan. Fighting continues until on July 22, when pro-Nimeiri troops win. Al-Atta and 3 officers are executed.
- July 26 - Apollo 15 (carrying astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden, and James Irwin) is launched.
- July 29 - The United Kingdom opts out of the Space Race, with the cancellation of its Black Arrow launch vehicle.
- July 30 - In Japan, an All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 collides with a Japanese fighter jet; 162 people are killed.
- July 31 - Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin become the first to ride in a lunar rover, a day after landing on the Moon.
- August 1 - In New York City, 40,000 attend the Concert for Bangladesh.
- August 7 - Apollo 15 returns to Earth.
- August 9 - India signs a 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union.
- August 9 - Internment in Northern Ireland: British security forces arrest hundreds of nationalists and detain them without trial in Long Kesh prison; 20 people die in the riots that follow.
- August 11 - Construction begins on the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
- August 12 - Three thousand people from Belfast and Derry flee to Ireland because of the violence.
- August 12 - Syria severs diplomatic relations with Jordan because of border clashes.
- August 14 - British troops are stationed on the Ireland border to stop arms smuggling.
- August 14 - Bahrain declares independence as the State of Bahrain (Kingdom of Bahrain as of February 2002).
- August 15 - The number of British troops in Northern Ireland is raised to 12,500.
- August 15 - President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
- August 18 - Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.
- August 18 - British troops are engaged in a firefight in Derry, Northern Ireland.
- August 19–22 – A right-wing coup ignites a rebellion in Bolivia. Miners and students join troops to support president Juan Jose Torres, but eventually Hugo Banzer takes over.
- August 25 - Border clashes occur between Tanzania and Uganda.
- August 25 - Bangladesh and eastern Bengal are flooded; thousands flee the area.
- August 26 - A civilian government takes power in Greece.
- August 30 - The Alberta Progressive Conservatives under Peter Lougheed defeat the Social Credit government under Harry E. Strom in a general election, ending 36 years of uninterrupted power for Social Credit in Alberta.
- September 3 - Qatar gains independence from the United Kingdom. Unlike most nearby emirates, Qatar declines to become part of either the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia.
- September 3 - Manlio Brosio resigns as NATO Secretary General.
- September 4 - A Boeing 727 (Alaska Airlines Flight 1866) crashes into the side of a mountain near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.
- September 9 - September 13 - Attica Prison riots: - A revolt breaks out at the maximum-security prison in Attica, New York. In the end, state police and the United States National Guard storm the facility; 42 are killed, 10 of them hostages.
- September 21 - Pakistan declares a state of emergency.
- September 24 - Britain expels 90 KGB and GRU officials; 15 are not allowed to return.
- September 27 – October 11 - Japanese Emperor Hirohito travels abroad.
- September 28 - József Cardinal Mindszenty, who has taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest since 1956, is allowed to leave Hungary.
- September 29 - A cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, in Orissa State in India, kills 10,000.
- October 15 - The 2,500 Year Celebration of Iran begins, celebrating the birth of Persia.
- October 18 - In New York City, the Knapp Commission begins public hearings on police corruption.
- October 21 - U.S. President Richard Nixon nominates Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- October 21 - A gas explosion in Clarkston, Glasgow kills 20 people.
- October 25 - The United Nations General Assembly admits the People's Republic of China and expels the Republic of China (or Taiwan).
- October 27 - The Democratic Republic of the Congo is renamed Zaire.
- October 28 - The British House of Commons votes 356-244 in favour of joining the European Economic Community.
- October 28 - The United Kingdom becomes the 6th nation to launch a satellite into orbit, the Prospero X-3, using a Black Arrow carrier rocket.
- October 29 - Vietnam War - Vietnamization: The total number of American troops still in Vietnam drops to a record low of 196,700 (the lowest since January 1966).
- October 30 - Rev. Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party is founded in Northern Ireland.
- October 31 - A bomb explodes at the top of the Post Office Tower in London.
- November 6 - Operation Grommet: The U.S. tests a thermonuclear warhead at Amchitka Island in Alaska, code-named Project Cannikin. At around 5 megatons, it is the largest ever U.S. underground detonation.
- November 10 - In Cambodia, Khmer Rouge forces attack Phnom Penh and its airport, killing 44, wounding at least 30 and damaging 9 airplanes.
- November 12 - Vietnam War - Vietnamization: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1, 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam.
- November 13 - Mariner program: Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to enter Mars orbit successfully.
- November 14 - Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria is enthroned.
- November 15 - Intel releases the world's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
- November 20 - A bridge still in construction, called Elevado Engenheiro Freyssinet, falls over the Paulo de Frontin Avenue, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 48 people are killed and several injured. Reconstructed, the bridge is currently a part of the Linha Vermelha elevate.
- November 23 - The People's Republic of China takes the Republic of China's seat on the United Nations Security Council (see China and the United Nations).
- November 24 - During a severe thunderstorm over Washington, a man calling himself D. B. Cooper parachutes from the Northwest Orient Airlines plane he hijacked, with US$200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again (as of March 2008, this case remains the only unsolved skyjacking in history).
- December 1 - Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensify assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray, 10 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh.
- December 2 - Six Persian Gulf sheikdoms found the United Arab Emirates.
- December 3 - The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 begins as Pakistan attacks 9 Indian airbases. The next day India launches a massive invasion of East Pakistan.
- December 3–4 - The Indian navy destroyer INS Rajput sinks Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi (former USS Diablo).
- December 4 - The Montreux Casino burns down during a Frank Zappa concert. The event is memorialized in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water". The casino is rebuilt in 1975.
- December 8 - U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the 7th Fleet to move towards the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.
- December 11 - The Libertarian Party (United States) is established.
- December 16 - Victory Day of Bangladesh: The Pakistan Army surrenders to the Joint Force, i.e. Mukti Bahini (Freedom Force) and Indian Armed Forces, ending the Bangladesh Liberation War.
- December 18 - The U.S. dollar is devalued for the second time in history.
- December 18 - The world's largest hydroelectric plant in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, begins operations.
- December 19 - The Clube Atletico Mineiro wins the first Brazil Football Championship.
- December 19 - Intelsat IV (F3) is launched; it enters commercial service over the Atlantic Ocean February 18, 1972.
- December 24 - Giovanni Leone is elected President of the Italian Republic.
- December 25 - Fire at a 22-story hotel in Seoul, South Korea kills 158 people.
- December 29 - The United Kingdom gives up its military bases in Malta.
- March 11 - Philo Farnsworth, American television pioneer (b. 1906)
- April 3 - Anthony Ludovici, English philosopher (b. 1882)
- "Cigarette Maker Phillip Morris Agrees to Remove Advertising Signs from Sports Stadiums Where They Were Shown on TV" (1995), DOJ315.