1973 Events

Watergate Scandal
January 30: Former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. Five other men plead guilty, but mysteries remain.
March 23: James McCord Jr., Watergate burglar, admits in a letter to Judge John Sirica that he and other defendants have been pressured to remain silent.
April 30: Nixon's top White House staffers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign over the scandal. White House counsel John Dean is fired.
May 17: Televised hearings begin in the US Senate. Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson taps former solicitor general Archibald Cox as the Justice Department's special prosecutor for Watergate.
June 3: John Dean has told Watergate investigators that he discussed the Watergate cover-up with President Nixon at least 35 times, The Post reports.

John Dean Testifying

June 13: Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman describing in detail the plans to burglarize the office of Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, The Post reports.
July 13: Alexander Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, reveals in congressional testimony that since 1971 Nixon had recorded all conversations and telephone calls in his offices.
July 18: Nixon reportedly orders the White House taping system disconnected.

Watergate Hearing

July 23: Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate committee or the special prosecutor.
October 20: The Saturday Night Massacre: U.S. President Richard Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns, along with Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the Department of Justice, then fires Cox. The event raises calls for Nixon's impeachment.
November 1: Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.
Nixon 'I am not a crook' speech
November 17: President Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors "I am not a crook."
November 21: President Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, reveals the existence of an 18 1/2 minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.
December 7: The White House can't explain an 18 1/2 minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes. Chief of staff Alexander Haig says one theory is that "some sinister force" erased the segment.

Woodward and Bernstein

Vietnam War ends
Vietnam War Ends
January 15: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
January 23: President Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
January 27: US involvement in the Vietnam War ends with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.
February 11: The first American prisoners of war are released from Vietnam.
March 17: Many of the few remaining US soldiers begin to leave Vietnam.
March 29: The last US soldier leaves Vietnam.

1973-1974 Stock Market Crash      January 11, 1973 - December 6, 1974
The 1973-1974 stock market crash was a bear market that affected all the major stock markets in the world and was one of the worst stock market downturns in modern history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 45% of its value, making it the 7th worst bear market in the history of the index. The American economy slowed from 7.2% real GDP growth to -2.1%, while inflation jumped from 3.4% to 12.3%. The crash was exacerbated by the OPEC oil price increase in October and was a major event in the 1970's recession.

OPEC Oil Embargo         October 17, 1973 - March 18, 1974
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)initiated an oil embargo on October 17 following the US and Western Europe's support of Israel against the Arab nations in the Yom Kippur War. The price of oil increased from 3 dollars a barrel to 12 dollars a barrel. Gas prices increased from .30 - .35 per gallon to $1.20 at the height of the crisis. This led to gas rationing, a 55 mph limit, the Energy Department established as a cabinet office and forcing the US to reevaluate the cost and source of energy. Long term effect is that US citizens began purchasing smaller cars that were more fuel efficient.

Oil Embargo

Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision         January 22
With the Roe v. Wade decision, the US Supreme Court overturns state bans on abortion ruling that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the 14th Amendment extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion.

Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns        October 10
Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States. In federal court he pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion on $29,500 he received in 1967, while he was governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on 3 years' probation.

Gerald Ford becomes Vice President        December 6
Gerald Ford confirmed by US House of Representatives, 387-35, as Vice President and is sworn in on the same day.

Gerald Ford Swearing in as VP

Lyndon Johnson Dies         January 22
Former President Lyndon Johnson dies, leaving no former US President living until the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.

Occupation of Wounded Knee

American Indian Movement Occupation of Wounded Knee         February 27
The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Seventy days later in May the occupation by Native American activists ends with an agreement between protesters and the U.S. government.

Screening of Airline Passengers begins
Screening of airline passengers begins in response to the spate of hijackings.

Alaska Oil Pipeline bill passes         November 16
The Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline System bill is passed to allow construction of a pipeline to access oil from the North Slope of Alaska. Bill is passed by House and Senate on November 12 and 13, signed by Nixon on November 16.

Alaska Oil Pipeline

Special Education passes      July 2
Congress passes the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) mandating Special Education.

War Powers Act passed by Congress
Congress passes legislation that prevents the president from commitment of US forces abroad for more than 60 days without Congressional approval

DDT Banned         December 1972
The US ban on the pesticide DDT takes effect. DDT continues to be produced in the US for foreign markets.

Endangered Species Act         December 28
The wide ranging Endangered Species Act of 1973 is signed into law to "protect species and the ecosystems upon which they depend."

Equal Rights for Females in Military       May 14
The US Supreme Court approves equal rights to females in the military.

Women Employed

Women Employed formed
The nonprofit advocacy organization, Women Employed, was formed to promote workplace equality and improve the economic status of women.

First Battered Women's Shelters
The first battered women's shelters open in the US: Tucson, AZ and St. Paul, MN.

First Female Commercial Pilot
Emily Howell Warner became the first female pilot for a commercial U.S. airline, Frontier Airlines. She had wanted to become a flight attendant like her cousin but was too young to apply. Instead she signed up for flying lessons and progressed from there.

Emily Howell Warner

Children's Defense Fund started
The Children's Defense Fund was started by Marian Wright Edelman.

Drug Enforcement Administration founded       July 1

Rehabilitation Act

Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 501 prohibits the Federal Government as an employer from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. The EEOC is now responsible for enforcement of this law. The Act proves to be a model for Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for employees of private employers. EEOC, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice and AT&T, the nation's largest private employer, sign a landmark consent decree to eliminate discriminatory recruiting, hiring and promotion practices against women and minorities.

Heritage Foundation established
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, is established in response to President Nixon's embrace of the "liberal consensus". It plays a role in future administrations.

Sick Building Syndrome
Due to the energy crisis national energy policies were implemented to reduce the amount of outdoor air ventilation required for buildings. This strategy was intended to prevent conditioned air (air which has been heated or cooled) from escaping through the building's ventilation system. These changes in building code brought on symptoms later classified as Sick Building Syndrome.
The new policies also brought to light problems with indoor air pollution which were directly related to the change in building ventilation standards. It was concluded that the required decrease in ventilation "did not support the health and comfort of building occupants".
Health symptoms found within a sick building may include headaches, burning eyes, nasal congestion or respiratory difficulties. Occupants may also complain of fatigue, dizziness or nausea. These symptoms are generally shared by all occupants and usually disappear when the person leaves the affected building with no apparent cause of the illness.

Vidal Sasson Revolutionizes Style with a Pair of Scissors and Natural Hair Concept
Vidal Sasson revolutionizes the art of hair styling with his "wash and war" philosophy. His stylish low maintenance cuts freed up women from the tyranny of the salon. The cuts were natural, great looking and lacquer-free, relying on the natural shine of the hair for effect.
Sasson came to the US in 1973 by opening up his salon in New York. He also distributed his own popular brand of Vidal Sasson hair products the same year. His popular slogan: "If you don't look good, we don't look good."


The Sears Tower - World's Tallest Building
The Sears Tower in Chicago is completed in 1973 becoming the world's tallest building, a record which lasts until 1998.

Sears Tower

World Trade Center       April 4
Tower Number Two of The World Trade Center opens. This officially completes the construction of the Center. An official ribbon cutting is held.

London Bridge       March 17
The modern London Bridge is opened March 17 by Queen Elizabeth II after 7 years of construction.

Sydney Opera House       October 20
The Sydney Opera House is opened by Queen Elizabeth II after 14 years of construction.

Sydney Opera House

Bosporus Bridge       October 30
The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time in history.


Princess Anne Marries Captain Mark Phillips       November 14
Princess Anne of the United Kingdom marries a commoner, Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey. They divorce in 1992.

Marriage of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips

US and China Establish Liaison Offices       February 22
Following President Richard Nixon's visit to mainland China, the United States and the People's Republic of China agree to establish liaison offices.

Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev on Television       June 24
Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev addresses the American people on television, the first time a Russian leader speaks to the American public on television.

Yom Kippur War         October 6 - 25
Fourth and largest Arab-Israeli conflict begins when Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel on Yom Kippur. Egypt and Israel sign US-sponsored cease-fire accord on November 11. Both the US and the Soviet Union initiated massive resupply efforts to their respective allies during the war, and this led to a near confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.

Chile - President Salvadore Allende overthrown in coup       September 11
Chile's democratically elected government is overthrown in a military coup after serious instability. President Salvador Allende commits suicide during the coup in the presidential palace, and General Augusto Pinochet heads a US backed military junta that governs Chile for the next 16 years.

Sweden - King Gustaf VI Adolf dies       September 15
Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden dies. His grandson, Carl XVI Gustaf, becomes king.

Spain - Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco is assassinated       December 20
Spanish prime minister Luis Carrero Blanco is assassinated in Madrid by the terrorist organization ETA.

Greece - Dictator George Papadopoulos is ousted in military coup       November 25
Greek dictator George Papadopoulos is ousted in a military coup led by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannidis. Earlier, on June 1, the Greek military junta abolishes the monarchy and proclaims a republic.

Turkey - Naim Talu forms new government       April 15
Naim Talu, a civil servant, forms the new government of Turkey. It is the 36th government in that country.

Lebanon - Prime Minister Saib Salam resigns       April 10
Israeli commandos raid Beirut, assassinating 3 leaders of the Palestinian Resistance Movement. The Lebanese army's inaction brings the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Saib Salam, a Sunni Muslim.

Afghanistan - King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan is deposed       July 17
King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan is deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.

South Korea - Politician Kim Dae-Jung is kidnapped by the KCIA       August 8
Kim Dae-Jun is kidnapped by the KCIA (Korean Central Intelligence Agency) in response to his criticism of President Park's yushin program, which granted near-dictatorial powers to the president. Kim is saved from death when American Ambassador Phillip Habib intervenes. He is later imprisoned by released. He eventually becomes South Korea's president from 1998 to 2003.

Phillipines - Ferdinand Marcos becomes President for Life       January 17

Bermuda - Governor Sir Richard Sharples is assassinated       March 10

Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 shot down       February 21
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 (Boeing 727) is shot down by Israeli fighter aircraft over the Sinai Desert, after the passenger plane is suspected of being an enemy military plane. Only 5 (1 crew member and 4 passengers) of 113 survive.

The Ezeiza massacre occurs, Buenos Aires       June 20
The Ezeiza massacre occurs in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Snipers shoot on left-wing Peronists, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 300.

Black September members open fire at Athens airport       August 5
Black September members open fire at the Athens airport; 3 are killed, 55 injured.

Northern Ireland votes to remain part of the United Kingdom       March 8
Irish nationalists are encouraged to boycott the referendum. Provisional Irish Republican Army bombs explode in Whitehall and the Old Bailey in England.

Six Irishmen arrested for carrying 5 tons of weapons       April 28
Six Irishmen are arrested by the Irish Naval Service off County Waterford, on board a coaster carrying 5 tons of weapons destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Stockholm Syndrome       August 23 - August 28
The Norrmalmstorg robbery occurs, famous for the origin of the term Stockholm Syndrome. The robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden was a 6 day ordeal. The bank employees held hostage became emotionally attached to their captors. Stockhom syndrome was named from this event and is used to identify the situation whenever hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.


Comet Kohoutek discovered       March 7
Before its close approach, Kohoutek was dubbed as the "comet of the century". Even though Kohoutek was visible to the naked eye, it turned out to be not as bright as expected. Its next visit will be in about 75,000 years. Don't wait up for it.

Comet Kahoutek

Pioneer 11 launched      April 2
Pioneer 11, built by TRW, was launched to study the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn, solar wind, cosmic rays and the far reaches of the solar system. It provided much valuable information and photos and provided good details for the Voyager exploration. Communication was lost on November 30, 1995.


Skylab, the first space station, launched by NASA.       May 14

Solar Eclipse occurs       June 30
A very long total solar eclipse occurs. During the entire 2nd millennium, only 7 total solar eclipses exceeded 7 minutes of totality.

UFO Sightings
Several UFO sightings occur in the US and around the world. In the US from January to September there were at least 100 sightings including 23 in September. Then in October close to 100 sightings occured at least 45 of which were in Indiana and Ohio. Throughout the year sightings occurred in 30 states and at least 16 countries. There were flurries of sightings in various areas including Northern California, Alabama - Georgia - Mississippi - Louisiana, Indiana - Ohio, and Spain. The sightings ranged from sightings, close encounters with objects, landings, scary events and even an abduction or two. Several sightings occurred with multiple independent witnesses who reported similar experiences. A police office dispatched to investigate a sighting had a close encounter. The 3 astronauts in Skylab even saw a UFO for approximately 10 minutes and took 4 pictures.

UFO in South Carolina, 1973

Canon City Meteorite      October 27
The Canon City, Colorado, meteorite, a 1.4 kilogram object, strikes Earth on the evening of October 27. It landed on a garage, tearing a six-inch hole in the roof and leaving a two-inch gash in the garage's cement floor. The meteorite, which weighed 1.4 kg (3.1 pounds) at the time of impact, was classified as a chondrite, a stony meteorite that is the most common type to hit Earth. It broke up into 4 large pieces and more than 50 fragments. It originated 60 million miles away in the asteroid belt.
San Juan Capistrano, CA also had a strike on March 15, 1973, through the roof of a carport.
Meteorites have hit 110 human made structures in recorded history. 14 humans and 6 animals have been struck. Only two locations have had more than one strike. Honolulu had meteorite strikes in 1825 and 1949. Wethersfield, Connecticut had strikes on 4/8/71 and 11/8/82. Both strikes in Wethersfield occurred on homes. One strike occurred in the room where a couple were watching television. They reported that it came in through the roof and bounced around before coming to a rest.

New Foods introduced in 1973:
Cup o'Noodles
Promise brand margarine
Stove Top Dressing General Foods
Cup o'Noodles Nissin Foods
Brim caffeine free instant coffee General Mills
Nature Valley Granola Cereal General Mills
Boo Berry Cereal General Mills
Sprite Zero, with zero calories, three decades before Coca-Cola Zero.
Raintree Carbonated Fruit Drink Coca-Cola
Sugarbush Grape Drink Coca-Cola
Zucchini Bread

Other food news:
The California Certified Organic Farmers was founded
The modern Cuisinart was redesigned and marketed in the US.

Watergate Indicted