1970 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1970 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1970

  • World Changing Event: The United States stopped commercial whale hunting.
  • Music Changing Event: The Beatles disbanded
  • How Much is Peanut Butter? In 1959, the FDA proposed a standard for peanut butter that was not finalized until a decision by the U.S District Court of Appeals in 1970. The final standard required a 90% peanut content.
  • The Top Song was Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkle
  • Influential Songs include 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago, Get Up by James Brown, Ball of Confusion by The Temptations, and Lola by The Kinks.
  • The Movies to Watch include M*A*S*H, Woodstock, Patton, Five Easy Pieces, Patton, Love Story, Catch 22, Tora! Tora! Tora!, THX 1138, and The Aristocats.
  • San Diego Comic-Con International opened at the Grant Hotel
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Paul Newman
  • Notable books include The Late, Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey and Love Story by Erich Segal
  • Price of a movie ticket in 1970: $1.55
  • On March 12, the US voting age was lowered to 18 from 21.
  • Movie Rating “M” changed to “PG”
  • The Funny Troupe was Firesign Theater
    The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
  • The Conversation: Students Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Knox Schroeder were shot and killed by the National Guard at Kent State, Ohio. Nine more were wounded. The conversation about the Vietnam War peaked at this time.
  • Take our 1970 Quiz!

Top Ten Baby Names of 1970

Jennifer, Lisa, Kimberly, Michelle, Amy, Angela, Melissa, Tammy, Mary, Tracy
Michael, James, David, John, Robert, Christopher, William, Brian, Mark, Richard

US Statistics

Federal spending: $195.65 billion
Federal debt $380.9 billion
Unemployment: 3.5%
Gallon of Gas: 36 cents
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.06

Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols

Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Catherine Deneuve, Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Peggy Lipton, Ann-Margret, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Diana Rigg, Diana Ross, Cheryl Tiegs, Tina Turner, Twiggy, Raquel Welch

Leading Men and Hollywood Heartthrobs

Warren Beatty, Tom Jones, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley

“The Quotes”

“It’s not easy being green.”
– Kermit the Frog

“I told my coach, ‘Jimi Hendrix just died, and I’m quitting the team to become a guitar player.'”
– Joe Satriani

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
– Ali MacGraw in Love Story

“It’s the real thing.”
– Coca-Cola

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Willy Brandt

Miss America

Pamela Eldred (West Bloomfield, MI)

Miss USA

Deborah Shelton (Virginia)

The Scandal/Nerd News

Project Bluebook was the U.S. government’s study of UFOs from 1952 through 1970. A 14-part report was issued, but chapter 13 was mysteriously missing. It still is.

World & US History

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, was signed. The goal is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

The Expo ’70 World’s Fair opened in Suita, Osaka, Japan.

An unsuccessful attempt to land on the moon was postponed with the Apollo 13 mission to the moon accident. Astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert, and Fred Haise all survived.

Four students at Kent State University in Ohio, USA, were killed and nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia. #KentStateShootings

Four days after the Kent State Shooting, The Hard Hat Riot took place. Unionized construction workers attacked 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.

The first Earth Day was celebrated.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) began operations.

The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act was signed, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States as of January 1, 1971.

The Liberian-registered tanker Pacific Glory spilled nearly 100,000 gallons of crude oil into the English Channel.

The ‘Chicago Seven’ defendants were found guilty of intent to incite a riot at the Democrat National Convention in Chicago (1968). The Court of Appeals later overturned it.

The US lowered the voting age to 18 from 21.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was founded. Also, the Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed into international law, providing a unified procedure for filing and protecting patent applications.

RIP Rock Stars

September 18 – American musician Jimi Hendrix died at age 27 from an overdose of sleeping pills. #27club
October 4 – American singer Janis Joplin died at age 27 from an overdose of drugs. #27club

1970 Pop Culture Facts & History

The ‘blue raspberry’ flavor was created by the makers of ICEEs in 1970 to distinguish raspberry from their popular cherry flavor.

The longest-running active commercial is the Tootsie Pop ‘How Many Licks’ ad in 1970.

Tarawood Antigone, a four-year-old Burmese cat, gave birth to 19 kittens. Fourteen males and one female survived from the litter in Oxfordshire, UK.

A fighter pilot, Captain Gary Faust, was forced to eject during a training mission. His plane, a Convair F-106 Delta Dart, later righted itself and continued flying for miles, touching down gently in a farmer’s field. It earned the nickname “The Cornfield Bomber.”

The Microprocessor was invented.

The Ford Pinto, The Chevrolet Vega, the Citroën SM, and the AMC Gremlin were introduced.

The world’s first jumbo-jet, the Boeing 747, carried out the first commercial flight.

Unix time (aka Epoch time, POSIX time, UNIX Epoch time) is a system for describing a point in time. It is the number of seconds that have elapsed since the Unix epoch, which is the time 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970, minus leap seconds.

The word ‘Spam’ used in junk emails comes from a sketch on BBC’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus from 1970.

23-year-old Gary Anderson created the recycling logo in 1970 for a design contest.

The North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City reached 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world.

Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) made a plan to slip President Richard Nixon 600 micrograms of LSD when she was invited to a tea party at the White House by Nixon’s daughter in 1970, but she was turned away by security at the door.

Rocker Peter Gabriel played the flute part on the 1970 track Katmandu by Cat Stevens.

George Harrison was the first and last Beatle to have a U.S. No.1 with My Sweet Lord in 1970 and Got My Mind Set on You in 1988.

Jim Morrison was found guilty of “open profanity and indecent exposure” after allegedly exposing himself at a concert in Miami in 1969.

The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 took place. Artists included Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull.

In 1970, Totes brought the first quality folding umbrella to U.S. markets.

Elvis Presley met US President Richard Nixon in the White House.

US President Richard Nixon signed a bill (The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act) limiting cigarette advertisements as of Jan 1, 1971.

President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in December.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) began operating.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed into international law, providing a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions.

Douglas Engelbart received the patent (#3,541,541) for the first computer mouse, an “X-Y position indicator for a display system.”

The Weather Bureau was renamed the National Weather Service as part of NOAA.

Alvin Toffler published his book Future Shock.

The American Football League and the NFL merged, creating the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

Krazy Glue was introduced in 1970, although the main ingredient, cyanoacrylate, was discovered in 1942 by Harry Coover while working for Kodak.

On January 5 – The first episode of the soap opera All My Children was broadcast on the ABC.

On January 22, the Boeing 747 made its first commercial passenger trip to London.

January 25, 1970,  M*A*S*H, directed by Robert Altman and starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, was released.

On Friday, February 13, Black Sabbath’s debut album was released. It is often regarded as the first true heavy metal album.

On March 5, Airport, based on the book by Arthur Hailey, directed by George Seaton and starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, was released.

March 21, 1970 – The first San Diego Comic-Con International opened at the US Grant Hotel.

June 7, 1970:  The Who became the first to perform rock music (the rock opera, Tommy) at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

On July 4, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 debuted on LA radio station KIIS in syndication.

August 12, 1970 – The United States Postal Service was made independent in a postal reform measure for the first time since its creation.

On September 13th, the first New York City Marathon began. Only 55 people finished it.

September 21Monday Night Football debuted on ABC. The Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 31–21 in front of more than 85,000 fans at Cleveland Stadium.

Sep 30: The New American Bible was published. It is the only translation approved for use at Mass in the Roman Catholic dioceses of the United States and has been revised several times.

On October 4, the National Educational Television ended operations, succeeded by PBS (Public Broadcasting System) on October 5.

October 26 – Garry Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury debuted in approximately two dozen newspapers in the United States.

December 16: Love Story, a film based on the novel by Erich Segal, directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, was released.

Whataburger in Texas and What-A-Burger in Virginia opened about the same time in 1950, but they didn’t know of each other’s existence until 1970. They both sued the other, but the court ruled that customers would not likely be confused about whether the burgers served came from Texas or Virginia.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1970: $78,000

Pop Culture Mystery

Isdal Woman Mystery: In November 1970, the badly burned body of a woman was found in a remote spot in Norway’s Isdalen valley. Someone had cut the labels off her clothes and scraped distinctive marks off her belongings. Police uncovered a trail of coded messages, disguises, and fake identities.

The Habit

The cool kids were reading Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strip.

1st Appearances & 1970’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents

Stylophone musical toy, Mastermind, Whizzer

Best Film Oscar Winner

Midnight Cowboy (presented in 1970)

Broadway Show

Sleuth (Play) Opened on November 12, 1970, and closed on October 13, 1973

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1970

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
Deliverance by James Dickey
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) by David Reuben
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight by Jimmy Breslin
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell
The Greening of America by Charles A. Reich
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
The Late, Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey
Love Story by Erich Segal
Play As It Lays by Joan Didion
QB VII by Leon Uris
Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw
The Secret Woman by Victoria Holt
The Selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinniss
The Sensuous Woman by J (Joan Garrity)
Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
Up the Organization by Robert Townsend
What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles

1970 Most Popular TV Shows

1. Marcus Welby, M.D. (ABC)
2. The Flip Wilson Show (NBC)
3. Here’s Lucy (CBS)
4. Ironside (NBC)
5. Gunsmoke (CBS)
6. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
7. Medical Center (CBS)
8. Bonanza (NBC)
9. The F.B.I. (ABC)
10. The Mod Squad (ABC)

1970 Billboard Number One Songs

December 27, 1969 – January 2, 1970:
Someday We’ll Be Together – Diana Ross & The Supremes

January 3January 30:
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head – B. J. Thomas

January 31February 6:
I Want You Back – The Jackson 5

February 7February 13:
Venus – The Shocking Blue

February 14February 27:
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody is a Star – Sly & The Family Stone

February 28April 10:
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

April 11April 24:
Let It Be – The Beatles

April 25May 8:
ABC – The Jackson 5

May 9May 29:
American Woman – The Guess Who

May 30June 12:
Everything Is Beautiful – Ray Stevens

June 13June 26:
The Long And Winding Road – The Beatles

June 27July 10:
The Love You Save – The Jackson 5

July 11July 24:
Mama Told Me (Not To Come) – Three Dog Night

July 25August 21:
(They Long To Be) Close To You – The Carpenters

August 22August 28:
Make It With You – Bread

August 29September 18:
War – Edwin Starr

September 19October 9:
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

October 10October 16:
Cracklin’ Rosie – Neil Diamond

October 17November 20:
I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5

November 21December 12:
I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family

December 12 – December 25:
The Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

December 26, 1970 – January 22, 1971:
My Sweet Lord – George Harrison

1970 United States Census

Total US Population: 203,302,031
1. New York, New York – 7,894,862
2. Chicago, Illinois – 3,366,957
3. Los Angeles, California – 2,816,061
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1,948,609
5. Detroit, Michigan – 1,511,482
6. Houston, Texas – 1,232,802
7. Baltimore, Maryland – 905,759
8. Dallas, Texas – 844,401 
9. Washington, District of Columbia – 756,510
10. Cleveland, Ohio – 750,903


World Series Champions: Baltimore Orioles
Superbowl IV Champions: Kansas City Chiefs
NBA Champions: New York Knicks
Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins
U.S. Open Golf Tony Jacklin
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ken Rosewall/Margaret Smith Court
Wimbledon (Men/Women): John Newcombe/Margaret Court
NCAA Football Champions: Nebraska & Ohio State & Texas
NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
Kentucky Derby: Dust Commander
World Cup (Soccer): Brazil

More 1970 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Born in 1970 (OverTheHill.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1970X
1970 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
1970s, Infoplease.com World History
1970 in Movies (according to IMDB)
70s Nostalgia
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1970 Television
15 Trends From the 1970s
1970s Slang
1970 US Census Fast Facts
Wikipedia 1970