There were 203 million people living in the U.S. in 1970 -- and almost 8 million of them lived in the country's biggest city, New York City. It's the year first lady Melania Trump was born, as was director M. Night Shyamalan and singer Mariah Carey. It's the decade that gave us the pet rock and "Pong," as well as Stephen Hawking's theories about the Big Bang and the existence of black holes. Think you know '70s trivia? Dream on!
"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" was the only one of the three "Star Wars" movies to open in theaters, debuting on May 25, 1977. "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" opened in theaters in 1980. And three years later, the third installment, "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," was released on May 25, exactly six years after "A New Hope."
When five men were arrested in the offices of the DNC on the morning of June 17, 1972, it was for wiretapping phones and stealing documents. The scandal, found to be connected to President Nixon's re-election campaign, was called Watergate, after the name of the building the DNC offices were in.
The Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, opened on October 1, 1971, with the Magic Kingdom theme park and three resort hotels. Today, it contains four theme parks, including Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and the original Magic Kingdom theme park. More than 56,000 people visit the resort every day, with the Magic Kingdom park the most popular.
Happy 200th birthday, America! The U.S. celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1976.
Although John Lennon had decided to leave the group several months prior, the Fab Four didn't announce their break up until April 1970. Just one month after Paul McCartney made the announcement, the group's final album, "Let It Be," was released.
While the direct involvement of U.S. troops ended in 1973, the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War.
The Atari 2600 debuted in September 1977, and by 1979 a million units had been sold. It was, typically, bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers and a game cartridge. First, it was "Combat" that was included with the console but that was later changed to "Pac-Man."
In the late '70s, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb -- The Bee Gees -- dominated the U.S. charts with their songs from the "Saturday NIght Fever" soundtrack, including "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever" and "How Deep Is Your Love" (among others). "Jive Talkin'," though, was released on the group's 13th album, "Main Course," in July 1975.
We know Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II, the papal name he chose when he became pope in 1978. Wojtyla was the first non-Italian to be chosen as pope in more than 400 years.
NASA debuted its first space shuttle orbiter, the Constitution, on September 17, 1976, in Palmdale, California. Originally named for the country's bicentennial, NASA changed the shuttle's name to the Enterprise, after fans of the TV series "Star Trek" conducted a write-in campaign urging the name change. The Enterprise, though, never went to space.
When Elvis Presley met Richard Nixon on December 21, 1970, the singer asked the president if he could have a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (which was the predecessor of the Drug Enforcement Administration). (And he was given a badge.)
On September 20, 1973, tennis stars Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs faced off in a "Battle of the Sexes" exhibition match at the Houston Astrodome. Prior to the match, Riggs was known to make public comments such as "the best way to handle women is to keep them pregnant and barefoot." King beat Riggs in three sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
In the Roe v. Wade case, heard in 1973, the Supreme Court ruled, in a 7-2 decision, that women have a constitutional right to an abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
The 1977 television miniseries, "Roots," starring LeVar Burton as the character Kunta Kinte, was based on the novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," by Alex Haley.
The Concorde began flying between New York and London in 1976, with expected flight times that were half of those offering normal subsonic service -- about three hours and 30 minutes on the supersonic aircraft versus seven to eight hours on other passenger planes.
"Grease," released in 1978, is ranked fourth on the list of top films of the 1970s. Followed by 1973's "The Exorcist," at No. 3, and 1975's "Jaws" at No. 2. And the No. 1 film of the 1970s is "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope." "Star Wars" was also the top film of 1977, the year it was released.
Although she may be best known for her years spent on NBC's "Today" show and ABC's "20/20," Barbara Walters was the first woman to co-anchor a major network evening newscast in the U.S. She made her history-making debut at ABC in October 1976, making an unprecedented $1 million salary.
According to Billboard, it was Simon and Garfunkel with the best-selling album of the year in 1970. "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which was released in January that year, was the pair's fifth album. It would also end up being their final studio album, as the duo broke up later in the year.
At the beginning of the decade, you could expect to pay 36 cents per gallon of gas.
Lyndon B. Johnson was in office from 1963-1969, assuming the presidency after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Richard Nixon succeeded President Johnson and held office until 1974, when he resigned from office rather than face impeachment. Gerald Ford, vice president during Nixon's resignation, held office until 1977 when Jimmy Carter was elected.
The Sears Tower, which is actually named the Willis Tower, is in downtown Chicago. When it was completed in 1973, the 108-story building was taller than the World Trade Center towers, the previous tallest (located in New York City) in the world. The tower held the title for just about 25 years.
Although postage stamps today hover around 50 cents per stamp, in 1970 you could buy a stamp for 6 cents. By 1979, the price had gone up to 13 cents per stamp.
"Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" Comedian George Carlin was the first host of the new sketch comedy show called "NBC's Saturday Night," featuring a cast of comics known as "The Not Ready for Prime Time Players." The first show aired on Saturday, October 11, 1975 (its name-change to "Saturday Night Live" didn't happen until 1977).
It's the 26th Amendment that established the voting age as 18. These others? The Second Amendment protects your right to keep and bear arms. The Sixth Amendment protects your right to a fair and speedy trial. And the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the sale and manufacturing of alcohol.
NASA designed its first space station to go into space and to successfully orbit the planet for nine years. It had a workshop, a solar observatory and was outfitted for other scientific experiments (and, of course, crew survival). But it didn't add any way to control its fall back to Earth. And on July 11, 1979, America waited for the 77-pound Skylab to plummet back to Earth. Most of it fell into the ocean when it did come down, although some did also hit areas of western Australia.
Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 -- a tradition that began in 1970. That same year, Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act and just two years later followed with both the Clean Air and the Clean Water acts.
At about 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, one of the plant's two reactors failed. Caused by a combination of mechanical and human error, it was a primary coolant system depressurization and partial core disintegration -- a partial meltdown -- in the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) reactor that caused the nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island site.
On May 4, 1979, unarmed students at Kent State University were fired on by the Ohio National Guard during a protest of the Vietnam War. Four students were killed and nine others were injured that day.
More than 50 Americans were taken hostage and held for 444 days, after militant students supporting Iran's Islamic Revolution seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979. The students released the hostages the day of President Reagan's inauguration on January 21, 1981.
Disco, punk rock and New Wave were all musical styles born in the 1970s. Reggae, though, originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s.
During its first month on the market, the Sony Walkman sold what was considered a disappointing 3,000 units.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution guarantees equal rights for all U.S. citizens regardless of sex. It was approved by Congress in 1972 but never ratified.
Jimi Hendrix died of an overdose on September 18, 1970, in London. Janis Joplin, too, died of an overdose, also in 1970. Her death was on October 4, in Los Angeles. Less than a year later, Jim Morrison, at the time in Paris, died on July 3, 1971, of, as it's officially noted, heart failure. Prince, though, was age 57 when he died of an overdose and is not a member of what's known as the "27 Club."
Along with the popularity of trucker culture in the '70s came the popularity of the CB radio. It was so popular, in fact, first lady Betty Ford was known under the handle "First Mama."
Secretariat was one of only a few horses to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. "Big Red," as he was nicknamed, still holds the fastest time for each individual Triple Crown race.