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1970 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1969

1970 50 Years Ago | History Snapshot

  • Television Highlight: While she was the highest paid woman on television, with 42% of the viewing audience, Debbie Reynolds quit her show because NBC was running cigarette commercials during its airtime.
  • The Top Song was Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkle
  • The Big Movies included Love Story, Airport and M*A*S*H
  • Price of loaf of bread in 1970: 25 cents
    Ford Pinto automobile: $1,919.00
    Ford Galaxie 500: $3,176.00
  • The World Population was ~ 3,657,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 67.1 years, Females: 74.7 years
  • Southwest Airlines began flying on June 18, 1971.
  • Samsung originally sold noodles! It wasn't until 1970 that they started selling electronics.
  • George Harrison subconsciously plagiarized a 1963 song called He's So Fine while writing his My Sweet Lord.
  • And... In the 1970 Mr. Olympia final, the judges could not decide between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Olivia so the two of them, exhausted, agreed to walk off. Sergio left, but Arnold, after taking one step, turned back to the judges, mocked Sergio for leaving, and started posing again and won.

World Series Champions

Baltimore Orioles

Superbowl IV Champions

Kansas City Chiefs

National Basketball Association Champions

New York Knicks

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Boston Bruins

US Open Golf

Tony Jacklin

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Ken Rosewall/Margaret Smith Court

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

John Newcombe/Margaret Court

FIFA World Cup Soccer


NCAA Football Champions

Nebraska & Ohio State & Texas

NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1970 - Penn State over Missouri
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1970 - USC over Michigan
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1970 - Ole Miss over Arkansas

Kentucky Derby

Dust Commander

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Arriba's Prima Donna

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Willy Brandt

Miss America

Pamela Eldred (West Bloomfield, MI)

Miss USA

Deborah Shelton (Virginia)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Ann-Margret, Carol Burnett, Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Diahann Carroll, Catherine Deneuve, Barbara Eden, Lola Falana, Barbara Feldon, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Peggy Lipton, Sophia Loren, Ali McGraw, Mary Tyler Moore, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Diana Rigg, Diana Ross, Naomi Sims, Marlo Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, Penelope Tree, Tina Turner, Twiggy, Veruschka, Raquel Welch

"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

"Itís the real thing"
- Coca-Cola

George C. Scott, who played Patton in the 1970 classic, refused to show up to the Oscar and accept his award because "The whole thing is a g*ddamn meat parade. I don't want any part of it." He believed every dramatic performance is unique and cannot be compared.

After Elvis performed Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon, who attended the show in Las Vegas, said "That's it, we might as well all give up now."

1970 Pop Culture History

Elton John charted a Top 40 single every single year from 1970 to 1997.

In 1901 the town of Sing Sing, NY changed its name to Ossining to avoid association with the prison. In 1970 New York renamed Sing Sing to the Ossining Correctional Facility to associate it to the renamed town. In 1985 the prison name was reverted to back Sing Sing.

In the Mr. Olympia final, the judges could not decide between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Olivia so the two of them, exhausted, agreed to walk off. Sergio left, but Arnold, after taking one step, turned back to the judges, made fun of Sergio for leaving, and started posing again and won. Sergio did beat Arnold, in 1969.

Sesame Street character Ernie's song Rubber Ducky You're The One made it to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970.

On January 3, 1970, residents in Oklahoma saw a fireball cross the sky. Within four days researchers had a possible landing zone. 2 days later, Gunther "Skip" Schwartz, was driving when he noticed a dark object sitting on the road. Schwartz had found a 9.83-kg chunk of the Lost City meteorite.

Orville Redenbacher paid an advertising company $13,000 to come up with a name for his popcorn company. Their advice was to call it "Orville Redenbacher".

The Royal Navy served sailors daily rum rations until 1970. The last day of rum was called Black Tot Day. Sailors wore black armbands and ships held mock funerals for tots of rum.

Ross Perot was "the biggest individual loser ever on the New York Stock Exchange": in April 1970, he lost $450 million in a single day.

Apollo 13 holds the absolute altitude record for a manned spacecraft, reaching a distance of 248,655 miles from Earth on 7:21 pm EST, April 14, 1970.

In 1970 Monsanto paid $5 for the glyphosate patent (Roundup) created by Dr. John Franz.

The BBC's rule against product placement forced the lead singer of the Kinks, Ray Davies, to fly back to re-record the words "Coca-Cola" with "cherry cola" in the band's 1970 classic song "Lola".

In 1970 the US Surgeon General declared that it was "time to close the book on infectious diseases." 11 years later AIDS was clinically observed for the first time.

She was the highest paid woman on television, with 42% of the viewing audience, but Debbie Reynolds quit her show because NBC was running cigarette commercials during its airtime.

Radio Shack was one of the first companies to start the personal computer revolution, back in 1970, with its TRS-80 computer.

John Lennon paid all of the fines for 96 people who had been arrested for protesting against the apartheid South Africa rugby team playing in Britain.

Tarawood Antigone, a four-year-old Burmese cat gave birth to 19 kittens. 14 males and one female survived from the litter in Oxfordshire, UK.

Writer Hunter S. Thompson shaved his head bald so he could refer to the Republican candidate as his "long-haired opponent" in the 1970 Pitken County, CO sheriff's election. His opponent had a crew cut.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Four Kent State University students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Vietnam War protest. In 2014, Urban Outfitters tried to sell a "vintage" bloody-looking Kent State sweatshirt on their website.

"Devo" bassist/singer Gerald Casale witnessed the Kent State shootings. That day, he "stopped being a hippie" and focused on their concept of devolution, that mankind had begun to regress.

Rock and Roll Deaths: Jimi Hendrix (chocked on drug-induced vomit), Janis Joplin (heroin overdose)

A state commission in Mississippi voted to ban Sesame Street because of its "highly integrated cast of children".

United Airlines had men-only flights. The "New York" and "Chicago Executive" were advertised as "a club in the sky for men only", with business-oriented amenities, free cigars, and a steak dinner served by stewardesses (the only women aboard). A lawsuit by feminists ended the flights.

A book published in 1970 alleged that Amelia Earhart survived and changed her identity to Irene Craigmile Bolam, a New York banker. Bolam sued and the book was pulled.

The Oregon Highway Division attempted to blow up a washed ashore dead sperm whale, using half a ton of dynamite, to dispose of its rotting carcass. The explosion threw whale flesh over 800 feet away, crushing cars and almost killing bystanders.

Dr. Robert J. White was able to completely swap the head of one monkey and put it on another monkey and have it remained alive for nine days.

Sean Flynn, the son of famous actor Errol Flynn, was a freelance photojournalist who covered the Vietnam War. He took an assignment in Cambodia in 1970 and has not been heard from since.

Project Bluebook was the US government's study on UFOs from 1952 through 1970. A 14 part report was issued, but chapter 13 was mysteriously missing. It still is.

A group of hikers outside of Bergen, Norway, suddenly came upon the charred, naked, fingerprint-less corpse of a woman in the middle of the Isdalen Valley. The woman was nicknamed the Isdal Woman and her story remains one of Norway's deepest mysteries.

On August 25, 1970, a group of Icelandic farmers blew up a dam project on the Laxá River that would have swept away their farms. Around 100 farmers turned themselves in but not one would snitch on who lit the fuse, so they all walked free.

Doc Ellis pitched a no hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while high on LSD.

For the Muhammad Ali-Jerry Quarry boxing match in Atlanta in 1970, printed invitations were circulated to attendees for a post-fight gala. The people who showed up were robbed at gunpoint as they walked in the door.

McSorley's Old Ale House, the oldest Irish tavern in New York City (founded 1854) didn't allow women inside until 1970 when the National Organization of Women sued them for discrimination.

A bomb exploded in the Senate Chamber of the Louisiana State Capitol building and left a pencil embedded in the ceiling, where it remains to this day.

The burnt remains of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were destroyed in 1970 by order of KGB head Yuri Andropov except for a few fragments of bone and skull, which were rediscovered in 1993. In 2009, DNA testing by Univ of Connecticut on the fragments confirmed they didn't belong to Hitler or Braun.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Stylophone musical toy, Mastermind, Whizzer

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

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

Boeing's Jumbo Jet, the 747 debuted.

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

National Lampoon Magazine (1970-1998)

Smithsonian began publication

The Habits

The cool kids were reading Garry Trudeau's 'Doonesbury' comic strip.
Reading Love Story by Erich Segal
Reading Deliverance by James Dickey

United States 1970 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

1970 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Marcus Welby, M.D. (ABC)
2. The Flip Wilson Show (NBC)
3. Here's Lucy (CBS)
4. Ironside (NBC)
5. Gunsmoke (CBS)
6. ABC Movie of the Week (ABC)
7. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
8. Medical Center (CBS)
9. Bonanza (NBC)
10. The F.B.I. (ABC)
11. The Mod Squad (ABC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1970 include
Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, B.J. Thomas, Bobby Sherman, Bread, The Carpenters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Dionne Warwick, The Delfonics, Diana Ross, Edwin Starr, Elvis Presley, The 5th Dimension, George Harrison, Glen Campbell, The Guess Who, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Johnnie Taylor, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Mark Lindsay, The Moments, Neil Diamond, The Partridge Family, Rare Earth, Rufus Thomas, Simon & Garfunkle, Sly & the Family Stone, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Threee Dog Night, Tom Jones, Tyrone Davis

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1970

December 27, 1969 - January 2, 1970: Diana Ross & the Supremes - Someday We'll Be Together

January 3, 1970 - January 30, 1970: B. J. Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

January 31, 1970 - February 6, 1970: The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back

February 7, 1970 - February 13, 1970: Shocking Blue - Venus

February 14, 1970 - February 27, 1970: Sly & the Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Everybody Is a Star

February 28, 1970 - April 10, 1970: Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water

April 11, 1970 - April 24, 1970: The Beatles - Let It Be

April 25, 1970 - May 8, 1970: The Jackson 5 - ABC

May 9, 1970 - May 29, 1970: The Guess Who - American Woman / No Sugar Tonight

May 30, 1970 - June 12, 1970: Ray Stevens - Everything Is Beautiful

June 13, 1970 - June 26, 1970: The Beatles - The Long and Winding Road / For You Blue

June 27, 1970 - July 10, 1970: The Jackson 5 - The Love You Save

July 11, 1970 - July 24, 1970: Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me (Not to Come)

July 25, 1970 - August 21, 1970: The Carpenters - (They Long to Be) Close to You

August 22, 1970 - August 28, 1970: Bread - Make It with You

August 29, 1970 - September 18, 1970: Edwin Starr - War

September 19, 1970 - October 9, 1970: Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough

October 10, 1970 - October 16, 1970: Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie

October 17, 1970 - November 20, 1970: The Jackson 5 - I'll Be There

November 21, 1970 - December 11, 1970: The Partridge Family - I Think I Love You

December 12, 1970 - December 25, 1970: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - The Tears of a Clown

December 26, 1970 - January 22, 1971: George Harrison - My Sweet Lord / Isn't It a Pity

Popular Movies

Airport, The Aristocats, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, El Topo, Five Easy Pieces, Gimme Shelter, Little Big Man, Love Story, M*A*S*H, Patton, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Woodstock 3 Days of Peace & Music

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1970
# 1 Hits of 1970
Pop Culture News

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