1972 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

1972 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

Quick Facts from 1972:

  • World Changing Event: Intel invented the single-chip microprocessor.
  • The Top Song was The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack
  • The Movies to Watch include The Godfather, The Getaway, What’s Up Doc and The Poseidon Adventure
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably
  • Notable books include: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Price of Peter Max sneakers in 1972: $4.44
    Q-Tips: 87 cents/125
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 67.4 years, Females: 75.1 years
  • The Funny Guy was: Martin Mull
    The Other Funny Guy was: Don Rickles
    The Funny Girl was Lily Tomlin
  • The Other Funny Guy was George Carlin
  • Bloody Sunday: On January 30, British troops shoot unarmed protesters in Northern Ireland, killing 13 civilians. Rock band U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday memorialized the event.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1972:
Jennifer, Michelle, Lisa, Kimberly, Amy, Michael, Chris, Topher, James, David, John
The Hotties, Sex Symbols, and Fashion Icons:
Adrienne Barbeau, Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Lynda Carter, Pam Grier, Peggy Lipton, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Maria Schneider, Barbra Streisand, Shelia Roscoe, Diana Ross
Sex Symbols, Hollywood Hunks, and Leading Men:
Richard Roundtree, Burt Reynolds, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley

“The Quotes:”
“Hey, Mikey! He likes it!”
– Life cereal ad

“The mind is a terrible thing to waste”
-United Negro College Fund

” It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken”
– Frank Perdue

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”
– Marlon Brando, in The Godfather

“Nothing runs like a Deere”
– John Deere

“Nobody does it like Sara Lee”
– Sara Lee

Time Magazine’s Men of the Year:
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger
Miss America:
Laura Lea Schaefer (Bexley, OH)
Miss USA:
Tanya Wilson (Hawaii)

Vesna Vulović holds the world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160 m (33,330 ft; 6.31 mi). She was the sole survivor after a briefcase bomb tore through the baggage compartment of JAT Flight 367 on January 26, 1972.

In 1972, Ted Bundy was appointed to the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee.

The Deaths and Scandals:
The Iranian blizzard of 1972 was the deadliest blizzard in history. It dropped up to 26 feet of snow and killed over 4,000 people. Those who survived the -13 degree Fahrenheit temperatures were trapped without water, food, heat, and medical aid for days.

George Carlin was arrested in Milwaukee in 1972 for violating obscenity laws. His crime was delivering his “Seven Dirty Words” bit in public.

On June 17, agents of the Richard Nixon (Republican) White House and the Nixon reelection campaign were arrested while breaking into the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which at the time was located in Washington D.C.’s Watergate Complex.

Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam, supporting the communist side of the war, earning the nickname “Hanoi Jane”.

Scottish Musician Les Harvey of the band Stone the Crows was electrocuted in front of a live audience in 1972 when he touched an un-grounded microphone cable and his guitar at the same time.

Bloody Sunday in Derry, Northern Ireland, 14 unarmed protestors and civilians were shot by British paratroopers. U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ was based on this event.

Now You Know:
Walt Disney wasn’t cryogenically frozen. He was cremated and his ashes interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. The rumor that he wanted to be frozen was started in 1972 by the president of the California Cryogenics Society and has since been denied by Disney’s family.
Pop Culture Facts:
Former teen idol Ricky Nelson was booed off stage at a rock ‘n roll reunion concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971. He took that horrible experience and wrote a song called “Garden Party”. It reached #6 on the US top 100 in 1972.
The word ‘spam’ used in reference to e-communications (commonly emails) comes from a 1972 Monty Python sketch in which two customers are lowered into a restaurant and everything on the menu contains spam. The connection is that no matter what you want, you can’t get away from the unwanted spam.

Doritos were introduced in 1964 as plain tortilla chips. Taco flavor was introduced in 1967 and nacho cheese in 1972.

The ‘Battle of the Sexes’ was over once and for all when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in three straight tennis sets.

Jerry Lewis wrote, directed, and starred in a movie (The Day The Clown Cried) about a Jewish man who dresses as a clown to lead children into gas chambers in the Holocaust; upon screening, Lewis had the film locked in a vault so nobody would see it, but he donated a copy to the Library of Congress and it could be released in June 2024.

The Great Daylight Fireball (US19720810) was an Earth-grazing fireball that passed within 35 miles of Earth’s surface on August 10, 1972. It entered Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 9.3s per second in daylight over Utah, United States, and passed northwards leaving the atmosphere over Alberta, Canada.

On August 4, 1972, dozens of sea mines randomly exploded off the coast of Hon La, Vietnam for no apparent reason. In 2018, it was discovered that a huge Solar Storm at the time had been the culprit, triggering magnetic sensors on the sea mines which led to sudden explosions.

The famous baseball mascot “The San Diego Chicken” has been played by the same dude in all official appearances (aside from a short replacement period during a lawsuit) since it’s debut in 1972.

The rights to the original Captain Marvel have been owned by DC Comics since 1972. However, trademark conflicts with Marvel have resulted in DC marketing the hero under the name, “Shazam!”

Ray Tomlinson invented internet based email.

The Mecha genre of science fiction was founded in Japan. The first depiction of Mecha Super Robots being piloted by a user from within a cockpit was introduced in the manga and anime series Mazinger Z by Go Nagai in 1972.

In 1972, Nolan Bushnell founded Atari with an investment of $250.

The first commercial home video game console was the Magnavox Odyssey. It was released in 1972 and cost $100 (equivalent to about $611 in 2019). An individual game price: $5.49.

HBO (Home Box Office) was launched by Time-Warner.

Chrysler brought electronic ignition to automobiles.

A Canadian radio station CBC held a poll to find a national simile (like ‘As American as apple pie’). The winning response was “As Canadian as possible under the circumstances.”

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg introduced her knit jersey dress style.

Clothes had a lot less static cling in 1972, thanks to the introduction of Bounce dryer sheets.

1972 was when Carnival Cruise Lines began sailing.

In 1972, there were only 12 paramedic units in North America. The TV show Emergency! starring Randolph Mantooth as Johnny Gage introduced people to the concept of pre-hospital care and CPR.

While initial planning started in the 1920s, household dish cleaner ‘Dawn’ was released in 1972.

In 1972, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad formed a pop music group in Sweden. They used their first initials to name their band… ABBA.

Singer and guitarist Chuck Berry’s only number-one single was a live recording of a raunchy New Orleans tune called My Ding-a-Ling.

The U.S. Men’s Basketball team was 63-0 in Olympic History going into the finals of the 1972 Munich Olympic finals. The loss, by one point to the Soviet team in one of the most controversial events in Olympic history. The U.S. team never accepted their silver medals in protest.

Mark Spitz, a nine-time Olympic champion, jokingly told the Russian swim team coach in 1972 that his mustache increased his speed in the water, deflecting water away from his mouth. The next year, every Russian swimmer was sporting one.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1972: $86,000

Doomsday Clock:
12 minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1972: “The United States and Soviet Union attempt to curb the race for nuclear superiority by signing the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The two treaties force a nuclear parity of sorts. SALT limits the number of ballistic missile launchers either country can possess, and the ABM Treaty stops an arms race in defensive weaponry from developing.”
The Habits:
Pong (arcade), Hacky Sacks.
Watching The Godfather in theaters.
1st appearances & 1972’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Pong, Dawn dolls, Hacky Sack, Seance Game, Nerf Football
Best Film Oscar Winner:
The French Connection (presented in 1972)
Charlie Chaplin was given a 12-minute standing ovation at the Academy Awards gala in 1972, the longest in the Academy’s history.
Popular and Notable Books From 1972:
August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Deathwatch by Robb White
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth
Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins
Shane by Jack Schaeffer
Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Wheels by Arthur Hailey
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
The Word by Irving Wallace
East End Show:
Jesus Christ Superstar (Musical) Opened on August 9, 1972, and Closed: August 23, 1980
Broadway Show:
Grease (Musical) Opened on February 14, 1972, and Closed: April 13, 1980
Pippin (Musical) Opened on October 23, 1972, and Closed: June 12, 1977
1972 Most Popular TV shows:
1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. Sanford and Son (NBC)
3. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
4. Maude (CBS)
5. Bridget Loves Bernie (CBS)
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS)
7. Gunsmoke (CBS)
8. The Wonderful World of Disney (NBC)
9. Ironside (NBC)
10. Adam 12 (NBC)

1972 Billboard Number One Songs
December 25, 1971 – January 14, 1972:
Brand New Key – Melanie

January 15 – February 11:
American Pie – Don McLean

February 12 – February 18:
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

February 19 – March 17:
Without You – Nilsson

March 18 – March 24:
Heart of Gold – Neil Young

March 25 – April 14:
A Horse With No Name – America

April 15 – May 26:
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack

May 27 – June 2:
Oh Girl – Chi-Lites

June 3 – June 9:
I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers

June 10 – June 30:
The Candy Man – Sammy Davis, Jr.

July 1 – July 7:
Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond

July 8 – July 30:
Lean on Me – Bill Withers

July 29 – August 25:
Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’ Sullivan

August 26September 1:
Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) – Looking Glass

September 2September 15:
Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan

September 16September 22:
Black and White – Three Dog Night

September 23 – October 13:
Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me – Mac Davis

October 14 – October 20:
Ben – Michael Jackson

October 21 – November 3:
My Ding-A-Ling – Chuck Berry

November 4 – December 1:
I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash

December 2 – December 8:
Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone – The Temptations

December 9 – December 15:
I Am Woman – Helen Reddy

December 16, 1972 – January 5, 1973:
Me and Mrs. Jones – Billy Paul

World Series Champions: Oakland Athletics
Superbowl VI Champions: Dallas Cowboys
NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins
U.S. Open Golf Jack Nicklaus
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ilie Nastase/Billie Jean King
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Stan Smith/Billie Jean King
NCAA Football Champions: USC
NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
Kentucky Derby: Riva Ridge
Sports Highlight:
Sandy Koufax was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the youngest player ever elected, at age 36.