1974 Fun Facts, History and Trivia

1974 Fun Facts, History and Trivia

Quick Facts from 1974

  • The Odd Movie Premiere: The world premiere of Blazing Saddles took place at the Pickwick Drive-In theater in Burbank, CA, where 200 guests watched the film on horseback.
  • The Top Song was The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand
  • Influential Songs include Rebel Rebel by David Bowie, Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin, Seasons In The Sun by Terry Jacks, Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, and Piano Man by Billy Joel.
  • Political Pop Hit Recording: The Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion) by Gordon Sinclaire.
  • The Movies to Watch include The Godfather Part II, Benji, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Earthquake.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Billie Jean King.
  • Notable books include The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz, Jaws by Peter Benchley, and Carrie by Stephen King.
  • In 1974, Mr. Rosendo Cruz had his nearly-new Ferrari Dino 246 GTS stolen. After that, it was buried by the thieves in a Los Angeles backyard. In 1978, the supercar was found by kids digging in the garden and then dug up by the LAPD. The car was restored afterward.
  • Pepsi Cola six pack of 12 oz cans: 88 cents
    Minimum Wage in 1974: $2.00 per hour
  • New York Telephone Company’s Dial-a-Joke Guy: Henny Youngman
  • The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
    The Funny Lady was Carol Burnett
  • Hello Kitty was introduced in Japan (1976 in the US).
  • The Conversation: 1974’s The Unsuccessful Self-treatment of a Case of Writer’s Block by Dennis Upper is the shortest academic article ever. It has no words.
  • Take our 1974 Quiz!

Top Ten Baby Names of 1974

Jennifer, Amy, Michelle, Heather, Angela, Michael, Jason, Chris, Topher, David, James

The Sex Symbols, Hotties and Fashion Icons

Adrienne Barbeau, Barbi Benton, Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Angie Dickinson, Britt Ekland, Pam Grier, Beverly Johnson, Caroline Munro, Diana Ross, Ann Simonton, Jane Seymour, Mary Woronov

Hollywood Hunks, Leading Men and Sex Symbols

Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds

“The Quotes”

“You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.”
– resigning President Richard Nixon

“And now for something completely different.”
– Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969 in the U.K., imported to the US via Public Television in 1974)

” Tastes great, less filling.”
– Miller Lite

J.J. Walker on Good Times

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
– Al Pacino, in ‘The Godfather Part II”

“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”
– Joe Mantell, in ‘Chinatown’

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

King Faisal

Miss America

Rebecca King (Denver, CO)

Miss USA

Karen Morrison (Illinois)

The Scandals & Sad News

Rock Star Death: Mama Cass (obesity-related heart attack)

Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst Newspaper group, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, later joining the group in a bank heist.

While David Niven was at the Oscars podium, live on national television, a streaker (Robert Opal) ran by. David quipped, “Isn’t it fascinating to think that the only laugh that man will ever get is for stripping and showing his shortcomings?”

Mikhail Baryshnikov defected to the USA, leaving the Soviet Union’s Bolshoi Ballet behind him.

US Politics

August 9, 1974 (Friday): Inauguration of Gerald Ford

1974 Pop Culture Facts & History

Arthur Fry invented the Post-it note. It became widely used and available in 1980.

21-year-old Michael Kittredge opened his Yankee Candle factory.

The first intentional interstellar radio message was sent from the Arecibo telescope towards M41, a cluster of stars some 25,000 light years away

Liposuction was invented by Giorgio Fischer in Rome, Italy.

After several decades of deciding how to do it, in June, the first U.P.C. scanner was installed at a Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first product to have a bar code included was a packet of Wrigley’s Gum.

The national speed limit was lowered to 55 miles per hour.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1974: $103,000

Doomsday Clock

Nine minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1974: “South Asia gets the Bomb, as India tests its first nuclear device. And any gains in previous arms control agreements seem like a mirage. The United States and Soviet Union appear to be modernizing their nuclear forces, not reducing them. Thanks to the deployment of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), both countries can now load their intercontinental ballistic missiles with more nuclear warheads than before.”

The Habits

CB Radio, Kung Fu Fighting, watching All In The Family on CBS, reading Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying
1st Appearances & 1974’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents: Connect Four, G.I. Joe with KUNG FU GRIP, Magna Doodle

Best Film Oscar Winner

The Sting (presented in 1974)

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1974

All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz
Burr by Gore Vidal
Carrie by Stephen King
Centennial by James A. Michener
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth
The Fan Club by Irving Wallace
Jaws by Peter Benchley
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
The Pirate by Harold Robbins
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer
Something Happened by Joseph Heller
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! by Dr. Seuss
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Broadway Shows

The Magic Show (Musical) Opened on May 28, 1974 and closed on December 31, 1978
 Equus (Play) Opened on October 24, 1974 and closed on October 2, 1977

1974 Most Popular TV Shows

1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. Sanford and Son (NBC)
3. Chico and the Man (NBC)
4. The Jeffersons (CBS)
5. M*A*S*H (CBS)
6. Rhoda (CBS)
7. Good Times (CBS)
8. The Waltons (CBS)
9. Maude (CBS)
10. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

1974 Billboard Number One Songs

December 29, 1972January 11, 1974:
Time In A Bottle – Jim Croce

January 12January 18:
The Joker – Steve Miller Band

January 19January 25:
Show And Tell – Al Wilson

January 26February 1:
You’re Sixteen – Ringo Starr

February 2February 8:
The Way We Were – Barbra Streisand

February 9March 1:
Love’s Theme – Love Unlimited Orchestra

March 2 – March 22:
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

March 23March 29:
Dark Lady – Cher

March 30April 5:
Sunshine On My Shoulders – John Denver

April 6April 12:
Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede

April 13April 19:
Bennie And The Jets – Elton John

April 20May 3:
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) – MFSB featuring The Three Degrees

May 4May 17:
The Loco-Motion – Grand Funk

May 18June 7:
The Streak – Ray Stevens

June 8June 14:
Band On The Run – Paul McCartney & Wings

June 15June 28:
Billy, Don’t Be A Hero – Paper Lace

June 29July 5:
Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot

July 6July 12:
Rock The Boat – The Hues Corporation

July 13July 26:
Rock Your Baby – George McCrae

July 27August 9:
Annie’s Song – John Denver

August 10August 16:
Feel Like Makin’ Love – Roberta Flack

August 17August 23:
The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace

August 24September 13:
(You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka & Odia Coates

September 14September 20:
I Shot The Sheriff – Eric Clapton

September 21 – September 27:
Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe – Barry White

September 28October 4:
Rock Me Gently – Andy Kim

October 5October 18:
I Honestly Love You – Olivia Newton-John

October 19October 25:
Nothing From Nothing – Billy Preston

October 26November 1:
Then Came You – Dionne Warwick & The Spinners

November 2November 15:
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive

November 16November 22:
Whatever Gets You Through the Night – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

November 23December 6:
I Can Help – Billy Swan

December 7December 20:
Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

December 21December 27:
Cat’s In The Cradle – Harry Chapin

December 28, 1974 – January 3, 1975:
Angie Baby – Helen Reddy


World Series Champions: Oakland Athletics
Superbowl VIII Champions: Miami Dolphins
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Philadelphia Flyers
U.S. Open Golf Hale Irwin
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Jimmy Connors/Billie Jean King
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Jimmy Connors/Chris Evert
NCAA Football Champions: Oklahoma & USC
NCAA Basketball Champions: North Carolina State
Kentucky Derby: Cannonade
World Cup (Soccer): West Germany

More 1974 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1974X
1974 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
10 Fascinating Facts About Watergate
1970s, Infoplease.com World History
1974 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
Richard Nixon (Whitehouse.gov)
1970s Slang
Wikipedia 1974