1971 News and Interesting History Tidbits


Wage Freeze
President Richard M. Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents in an attempt to bring inflation that was increasing under control.








Charles Manson Death Penalty
Charles Manson and three of his followers receive the death penalty for the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others.

The California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty before they could be executed in 1972 and the four were given life sentences. They are still incarcerated despite numerous applications for parole .








My Lai Massacre Vietnam
Following the massacre of up to 500 South Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai, Vietnam when Lieutenant Calley was in charge of Charlie Company, a unit of the American Division's 11th Infantry Brigade, the unit committed crimes which included murder, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault of civilians.

Lieutenant William Calley has been found guilty of murder at a court martial for his part in the My Lai massacre.

He was the only officer ever convicted for the massacre and was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor but was released within three days , pending appeal, on the personal instructions of President Richard Nixon, and spent the next three years under house arrest at Fort Benning in Georgia.

He was Freed on bail in 1974 his sentence was then cut to 10 years but he was paroled later that year after completing one third of his sentence.








Britain Introduces Decimal Currency
The UK banks will reopen today as the British Government launches the changeover to the new decimal currency system across the country.

The familiar pound (£), shilling (s) and pence (d) coins are to be phased out over the next 18 months

The new currency has been in circulation since 1968 but prices have still been marked in shillings and pence

The new system will divide the pound into units of ten, including half, one, two, five, ten and 50 pence denominations. ( The 20 pence piece was not introduced until 1982. )


Below is Rough Conversion Guide



The New 1 Pound Coin = 1 Old Pound = 20 Shillings = 240 old pence

The New 50 Pence Coin = 10 shillings = 120 old pence

The New 20 Pence Coin = 4 shillings = 48 old pence

The New 10 Pence Coin = 2 shillings = 24 old pence

The new 5 Pence = One Shilling or 12 old Pence


The old tanner 6 old pence will not be replaced

The old Half Crown = 2 shillings and 6 pence will not be replaced










Fight For Independent Bangladesh
Two weeks after the Indian invasion of East Pakistan ( Now Bangladesh ) in support of the independence movement, 90,000 Pakistani troops surrender to Indian forces.







Chay Blyth
Chay Blyth docks his yacht British Steel at the Hamble in Hampshire on the south coast after a voyage of 292 days and becomes the first man to sail round the world non-stop in the "wrong" direction - east to west - against the prevailing winds and currents.







Jim Morrison / The Doors
The lead singer of "The Doors " Jim Morrison is found dead in a bathtub in his apartment in Paris with heart failure aggravated by excessive drinking.







Mount Etna Erupts
Walls of Lava are threatening two towns in Sicily as they continue towards the towns of Sciara and Giarre , Mount Etna has been erupting for many days and lava buries the Etna Observatory and destroyed the first generation of the Etna cable-car, and seriously threatened several small villages on Etna's east flank










Thatcher The Milk Snatcher
Opposition to Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher's ( "Thatcher The Milk Snatcher". ) plans to end free school milk for children over the age of seven is growing with many labour controlled local councils threatening to increase local rates to provide Free School Milk. The conservative government has said more is spent on free school milk than books in the education system and this needs to change.









New Immigration Bill Britain
A new Immigration Bill announced will restrict Commonwealth citizens automatic rights to remain in the UK, they will now be treated with the same restrictions as any other person applying to live and work in Britain. This bill is in response to the public concern about a large number of immigrants entering Britain in the last few years.








Qatar Gains Independence
Qatar one of the Gulf States Gains Independence from Britain in 1971








Welsh Language Society
Eight members of the Welsh Language Society ( The Society wishes to preserve the Welsh Language and part of that was to include all signs in Wales to be bilingual ) they are accused of conspiring to damage, remove or destroy English language road signs in Wales.

Seven are later found guilty, but in part because of their protests all road signs in Wales have been bilingual on Welsh roads for the last 20 years .









Supreme Court Upholds Busing for Schools
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing (This is the practice of attempting to integrate schools by assigning students to schools based primarily on race ) ,to achieve racial desegregation in schools.







Soyez 11
Three Soviet cosmonauts who had spent 23 days orbiting the earth began reentry procedures and when they fired the explosive bolts to separate the Soyuz 11 , a critical valve was jerked open and the capsule was suddenly exposed to the nearly pressure less environment of space seconds later, the cosmonauts were dead.






Amtrak Created To Provide Inter City Services
National Railroad Passenger Corporation / Amtrak went into service, to provide inter city passenger train services. ( All Amtrak's preferred stock is owned by the U.S. federal government. )

Currently it operates passenger service on 21,000 miles of track primarily owned by other railroads connecting 500 destinations in 46 states.








Peru Earthquake
An earthquake sets off a landslide, flood and avalanche that result in the destruction of the town of Chungar, Peru, and the death of most of the towns people.








Sierra Leone Gains Independence
Sierra Leone a country in Africa Gains Independence from Britain in 1971








Iraq Deports 60,000 Iranians
60,000 Iranian men, women and children are deported from Iraq following breakdown of relations between Iraq and Iran .








Deadly Twister Mississippi
A twister was reported to have killed 73 people in the South. A total of 68 of these tornado deaths had occurred in Mississippi, and the other five had occurred in Louisiana. Additionally, damage was done in Texas, but no deaths were reported as of this time.








British Union Workers Protest Industrial Relations Bill
Hundreds of thousands of workers possibly as many as 1.5 million people across Britain have taken part in an unofficial day of protest against the government's new industrial relations Bill.








India Pakistan War Looms
Border battles between India and Pakistan erupt into full-scale war when jets from West Pakistan attack at least four Indian airports,.







Apollo 15
During a moon safari on "lunar rover" astronauts David Scott and James Irwin have uncovered a rock ( Genesis rock ) believed to be about 4,500 million years old which may date back to the origin of the Moon.





Golf On The Moon
Apollo 14 commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the fifth human to walk on the moon with astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell . Alan Shepard became the first man to hit a golf ball on the Moon, using a ball and golf club head he had smuggled on board inside his space suit.






Switzerland Women Get The Vote 1971
Women in Switzerland were granted the right to vote today there are only five other countries who still continue to bar women from the polls, the Arab states of Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and tiny Liechtenstein.








Ping Pong Diplomacy
As a continuing effort to build better relations between the U.S. and China a US table tennis team begins a week long visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC) at the invitation of China's communist government.








Hijack and Jump
A man hijacked a 727 plane ,( Dan Cooper ) threatening to blow up the jet unless he received $200,000 and four parachutes. he then jumps from the plane somewhere over the state of Washington and he nor the money was ever seen again . ( postscript some of the money stolen was found in the Columbia river 8 years later








Major General Idi Amin
Major General Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda and chief of the armed forces. Shortly after taking power he launched a genocidal program to purge Uganda of its Lango and Acholi ethnic groups and later that year, he ordered all Indians and Pakistanis to leave the country.








Ibrox Disaster
66 fans are killed in a stampede at Ibrox Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland following the crush barriers collapsing








Cigarette ads banned TV ad Radio
America bans cigarette ads on TV and radio .










1970 Previous Year ---- ( Current Year Is 1971 ) ---- Following Year 1972



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