1972 1973 1974 - 1975 - 1976 1977 1978
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Events of 1975
- January 1 – Watergate scandal: John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.
- January 1 – Work is abandoned on the British end of the Channel Tunnel.
- January 2 – The Federal Rules of Evidence are approved by the United States Congress.
- January 5 – The bulk ore carrier MV Lake Illawarra strikes the Tasman Bridge in Tasmania, Australia, killing 12.
- January 7 – OPEC agrees to raise crude oil prices by 10%.
- 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.
- January 10 – Japanese soldier Teruo Nakamura surrenders on the Indonesian island of Morota.
- January 15 – Portugal grants independence to Angola.
- January 20 – In Hanoi, North Vietnam, the Politburo approves the final military offensive against South Vietnam.
- January 20 – Michael Ovitz founds the Creative Artists Agency.
- January 29 – The Weather Underground bombs the U.S. State Department main office in Washington, D.C..
- February 4 – The Haicheng earthquake, the first successfully predicted earthquake, kills 2,041 and injures 27,538 in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
- February 9 – The Soyuz 17 crew (Georgi Grechko, Aleksei Gubarev) returns to Earth after 1 month aboard the Salyut 4 space station.
- February 11 – Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for the leadership of the UK Conservative Party in the United Kingdom.
- February 11 – Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava, President of Madagascar, is assassinated.
- February 13 – A "Turkish Federated State of North Cyprus" is declared as an unsuccessful first step to international recognition of a Turkish Cypriot separatist state in Cyprus.
- 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.
- February 23 – In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly 2 months early in the United States.
- February 26 – A fleeing Provisional Irish Republican Army member shoots and kills off-duty London police officer Stephen Tibble, 22, as he gives chase.
- 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.
- February 28 – A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London kills 43 people.
- February 28 – In Lomé, Togo, the European Economic Community and 46 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries sign a financial and economic treaty, known as the first Lomé Convention.
- March 4 – Charlie Chaplin is knighted by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
- March 6 – Algiers Accord: Iran and Iraq announce a settlement in their border dispute.
- 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.
- March 9 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.
- March 10 – Vietnam War: North Vietnamese troops attack Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, on their way to capturing Saigon.
- March 11 – The leftist military government in Portugal defeats a rightist coup attempt.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.)
- March 28 – A fire in the maternity wing at Kucic Hospital in Rijeka, Yugoslavia, kills 25 people.
- April 3 – Bobby Fischer refuses to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title.
- 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 4 – Bill Gates founds Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- 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.
- April 13 – A coup d'état in Chad led by the military overthrows and kills President François Tombalbaye.
- 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 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. (See West German embassy siege)
- 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.
- 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.
- May 16 – Sikkim accedes to India after a referendum.
- May 27 – The Dibble's Bridge coach crash near Grassington, North Yorkshire, England results in 32 deaths (the highest ever toll in a United Kingdom road accident).
- May 28 – Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.
- June 5 – The Suez Canal opens for the first time since the Six-Day War.
- June 5 – The United Kingdom votes yes in a referendum to stay in the European Community.
- June 10 – In Washington, DC, the Rockefeller Commission issues its report on CIA abuses, recommending a joint congressional oversight committee on intelligence.
- June 25 – Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declares a state of emergency in India, suspending civil liberties and elections.
- June 25 – Mozambique gains independence from Portugal.
- June 26 – Two FBI agents and 1 AIM member die in a shootout, at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
- July 5 – Cape Verde gains independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule.
- July 6 – The Comoros declare their independence from France.
- July 9 – The National Assembly of Senegal passes a law that will pave way for a multi-party system(albeit highly restricted).
- July 12 – São Tomé and Príncipe declare independence from Portugal.
- 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.
- July 31 – In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
- August 1 – The Helsinki Accords, which officially recognize Europe's national borders and respect for human rights, are signed in Finland.
- August 5 – U.S. President Ford posthumously pardons Robert E. Lee, restoring full rights of citizenship.
- August 8 – The Banqiao Dam, in China's Henan Province, fails after a freak typhoon; over 200,000 people perish.
- August 8 – Samuel Bronfman, son of the president of Seagram's, is kidnapped in Purchase, New York.
- August 11 – British Leyland Motor Corporation comes under British government control.
- 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.
- August 15 – President Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh is killed during a coup.
- August 20 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
- 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 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 5 – The London Hilton hotel is bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army; 2 people are killed and 63 injured.
- September 6 – A Richter Scale 6.7 magnitude earthquake kills at least 2,085 in Diyarbakir and Lice, Turkey.
- September 14 – Rembrandt's painting "The Night Watch" is slashed a dozen times at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
- September 15 – The French department of Corse, comprising the entire island of Corsica, is divided into two departments: Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud.
- September 16 – Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.
- September 18 – Fugitive Patricia Hearst is captured in San Francisco.
- September 19 – General Vasco Goncalves is ousted as Prime Minister of Portugal.
- 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.
- September 22 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt, this time by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco.
- September 27 – Francoist Spain executes five ETA and FRAP members, the last executings in Spain to date.
- September 28 – The Spaghetti House siege takes place in London.
- October 2 – A blast at an explosives factory kills 6 in Beloeil, Quebec.
- October 9 – A bomb explosion outside the Green Park tube station near Piccadilly in London kills 1 and injures 20.
- October 16 – Five Australian-based journalists are killed at Balibo by Indonesian forces, during their incursion into Portuguese Timor.
- 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 3 – The first petroleum pipeline opens from Cruden Bay to Grangemouth, Scotland.
- 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.
- November 10 – United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379: By a vote of 72-35 (with 32 abstentions), the United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism. The resolution provokes an outcry among Jews around the world.
- November 10 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board (an event immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot).
- November 11 – Angola becomes independent from Portugal; civil war soon erupts.
- 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.
- November 14 – Spain abandons Western Sahara.
- November 20 – Former California Governor Ronald Reagan enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford.
- 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.
- November 25 – Suriname gains independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- 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.
- November 28 – Portuguese Timor declares its independence from Portugal as East Timor.
- November 29 – While disabled, the submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) discharges radioactive coolant water into Apra Harbor, Guam. A Geiger counter at 2 of the harbor's public beaches shows 100 millirems/hour, 50 times the allowable dose.
- December 2 – The communist Pathet Lao takes power in Laos.
- December 3 – The wreck of the HMHS Britannic is found in the Kea Channel by Jacques Cousteau.
- December 8 – New York City is approved for bailout of 2.3 billion each year through to 1978.So 6.9 billion total.
- December 7 – Indonesia invades East Timor.
- December 21 – Six people, including Carlos (the Jackal), kidnap delegates of an OPEC conference in Vienna.
- December 29 – A bomb explosion at LaGuardia Airport kills 11.
- January 5 - Gottlob Berger, German general (b. 1896)
- April 5 - Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, former Republic of China president (b. 1887)
- May 5 - Kivie Kaplan, Jewish president of the NAACP (b. 1904)
- June 6 - Otto Skorzeny, famous WWII German SS commando (b. 1908)
- August 27 - Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1892)
- November 6 - Ernst Hanfstaengl, close friend and later betrayer of Hitler (b. 1887)
- November 20 - Francisco Franco, leader of Spain (b. 1892)