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What The World Was Like In 1974 When Richard Nixon Resigned

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from the office.

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• The Cold War was ongoing.

• The U.S. population was just more than two hundred million.

• The U.S. was still in the midst of the Space Race.

• The death penalty was still briefly suspended in the United States (from 1972-1976).

• The energy crisis of the 1970s was ongoing. Gas was sometimes limited in the United States.

• Pioneer 11 made its famous fly-by of Jupiter. Sending back some of the most famous images of the giant gas planet.


The Sting won best picture.

• The F-16 made its first flight.

• Teruo Nakamura and Hiroo Onoda, two of the last known Japanese soldiers from World War II, who still believed the war to be ongoing, either surrendered or were captured.

• The Oakland Athletics won the World Series. The Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl. The Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup.

• Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record.

• Patty Hearst was kidnapped and then joined her kidnappers in the Symbionese Liberation Army in a famous case of Stockholm Syndrome.

• Odd-even rationing of gas was ongoing, as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. Drivers with odd-numbered license plates were allowed to purchase gas only on odd-numbered days of the month, and vice versa.


• The most popular baby name was Jennifer.

All in the Family was the most popular show.

• Stephen King's first novel to be published, Carrie, came out.

• Connect Four was trademarked and first sold.

• Christian Bale was born.

• Cee Lo Green was born.

• Mark-Paul Gosselaar was born.

• Leonard DiCaprio was born.

• Seth Green was born.

• Alyson Hannigan was born.

• BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti was born.

• Penelope Cruz was born.

• Derek Jeter was born.

• Amy Adams was born.

• Jimmy Fallon was born.

• Duke Ellington died.

• Charles Lindberg died.


• India tested an atomic bomb.

• The Warsaw radio mast, a giant radio broadcaster in Poland became the world's tallest structure.

• The United Nations voted to give the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.

• "Lucy," the 3.2-million-year-old bone remnants of an early hominid, was discovered in Ethiopia.

• Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crashed in France killing 346 people.

• The median U.S. home price was between $34,000 and 37,000.

• Car bombings took place in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland. The bombings, for which a Northern Ireland paramilitary group claimed responsibility for years later, left 43 dead and wounded 300.

• The Rumble in the Jungle took place in Zaire where Muhammed Ali defeated George Foreman to regain the heavyweight title.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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