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1971 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1970

1971 History Snapshot

  • Politics: The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the government from denying the right of United States citizens, eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age.
  • The Top Song was Joy To The World by Three Dog Night
  • The Big Movies included Billy Jack, Fiddler on the Roof and The Last Picture Show
  • Price of a postage stamp in 1971: 8 cents
    Chiquita Bananas, 1 pound in 1972: 12 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 3,724,000,000
  • "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down" - the Weeble Toys were released.
  • And... 1971's The French Connection famous car chase was filmed without obtaining the proper permits from the city.

World Series Champions

Pittsburgh Pirates

Superbowl V Champions

Baltimore Colts

National Basketball Association Champions

Milwaukee Bucks

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Jack Nicklaus

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Stan Smith/Billie Jean King

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

John Newcombe/Evonne Goolagong

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1971 - Nebraska over LSU
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1971 - Stanford over Ohio State
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1971 - Tennessee over Air Force

Kentucky Derby

Canonero II

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Chinoe's Adamant James

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Richard Nixon

Miss America

Phyllis George (Denton, TX)

Miss USA

Michele McDonald (Pennsylvania)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Ann-Margret, Candice Bergen, Carol Burnett, Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Diahann Carroll, Catherine Deneuve, Lola Falana, Karen Graham, Pam Grier, Goldie Hawn, Peggy Lipton, Sophia Loren, Mary Tyler Moore, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Diana Ross, Tannia Rubiano, Cybill Shepherd, Naomi Sims, Marlo Thomas, Penelope Tree, Tina Turner, Twiggy, Veruschka, Raquel Welch

"The Quotes"

'Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - "I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained," et cetera, et cetera..."Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum," et cetera, et cetera..."Memo bis punitor delicatum!" It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing!
You lose!
Good day sir!'
-Gene Wilder, as Willy Wonka
*All six members of Monty Python expressed interest in playing Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"
- Clint Eastwood, as Harry Callahan, in 'Dirty Harry'

"Is it live or is it Memorex? "
- Memorex

"You deserve a break today"
- McDonald's

"Marsha Marsha Marsha!"
- Maureen McCormick as Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch

"My wife, I think Iíll keep her"
- Geritol

"Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."
- State Farm Insurance

"My bologna has a first name. It's O-s-c-a-r. My bologna has a second name. It's M-e-y-e-r."

"Try it, youíll like it"
- Alka Seltzer

Astronaut Ed Mitchell said of his experience on the moon in 1971: "From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'"

1971 Pop Culture History

The friendly exchange between an American and Chinese player in the 1971 World Ping-Pong Championship prompted Mao Zedong to invite the American table-tennis to China, helping re-open Sino-American relations for the first time since the cold war.

Carolyn Davidson, the creator of the NIKE Swoosh symbol, was paid only $35 for the design.

Metallica owns the rights to the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun. It was cheaper than paying royalties every time the music video for their song One (which uses clips from the film) played.

The term "male chauvinist pig" was first used to describe the writer Norman Mailer, by Kate Millett.

The US left a memorial on the Moon for every astronaut who died in the pursuit of space exploration, including Russian Cosmonauts when Apollo 15 landed.

The heavy metal "sign of the horns" hand gesture is credited to the 60's band Coven, who is best known for the hit One Tin Soldier from the movie Billy Jack.

The 2038 Problem: a computer science problem theorized to be worse than Y2K. 2038 day will occur on January 19th at 3:14:07 UTC, when the number of seconds since the clock started (January 1st 1971), passes the maximum integer in 32 bits (2^31). #thenextbigfear

The first Starbucks opened at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Gordie Howe originally retired from the NHL in 1971. He unretired two years later, in 1973 when he was in his mid-40s, because he wanted to play with his sons, Mark and Marty. He played for 7 more seasons before retiring at 52.

The 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire in was "the most expensive party in history". The cost? About 90,000,000 in 1971 dollars, around half a $billion today.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. and changed his name when he converted to Islam in 1971.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was funded by Quaker Oats in exchange for producing a tie-in candy bar, the "Wonka Bar".

Barry Manilow wrote the State Farm jingle "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" in 1971

Billionaire oil tycoon John Paul Getty's grandson was kidnapped for a $17 million ransom. Even after the ransom was reduced and his grandson's ear was delivered to a newspaper, Getty would only pay $2.2 million (the most allowed for tax deduction), then he loaned the rest to his son at 4% interest.

There is no known written documentation of the food dish known as "fajitas" prior to 1971.

A 17 year old Girl Juliane Koepcke was the only survivor of a plane crash in the jungle of Peru. She wandered ten days through the jungle with an injured knee, a broken collarbone and only some sweets as food until she found a group of lumbermen who brought her into a town.

There is a small sculpture on the moon named "Fallen Astronaut". Made by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck and placed by the crew of Apollo 15.

Stewart Adams, the scientist that discovered Ibuprofen first tested it (600 ng) on his hangover at a European conference.

Peter Ostrum (aka Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) has never acted in another film other than Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and has a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Ronald Dahl hated the 1971 film so much he refused to authorize a sequel.

Fiddler on the Roof was filmed with a nylon stocking placed over the camera lens to give the footage a washed-out, earthy feel.

When Frank Sinatra couldn't get a ringside ticket to Ali & Frazier's Fight of the Century, he managed to get a press pass to shoot photos for LIFE magazine instead.

Jerry Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati from 1971 - 1974

Based on an earlier cooker called the 'Beanery,' the Crock Pot sold its first of over 100 million in 1971.

The body of Xin Zhui, a Chinese noblewoman who died in 163 BCE, was discovered remarkably preserved. Her skin was soft and moist, with muscles that still allowed for her arms and legs to flex at the joints.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1971: $72,000

George C Scott refused to accept the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1971, and described the Oscar ceremony as "a two-hour meat parade".

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Organic advocate Jerome Rodale... In 1971 he made an appearance on The Dick Cavett show where he was interviewed. Throughout the interview, Rodale constantly bragged about his health, stating that he was 'going to live to be 100!'. During the interview he had a heart attack and died.

John List murdered his family to save their souls and arranged their bodies on sleeping bags. He then cleaned up, cut himself out of the family's photos, turned on a religious radio station, and fled. Only after the lights in the house had burned out one by one did neighbors call police.

Ex-Beatle George Harrison plagiarized the Chiffons' He's So Fine with his hit My Sweet Lord.

A man named Sylvester Magee claimed to be the last living slave and survivor of the Civil War. He died in 1971 at the supposed age of 130.

The Lawrence Welk Show covered Brewer & Shipley's One Toke Over the Line, mistaking it for a modern spiritual.

Eric Clapton dedicated "Layla" to the model Pattie Boyd, the wife of his good friend George Harrison of The Beatles. Pattie Boyd first refused Eric Clapton but then later fell apart from George Harrison, as George Harrison was having an affair with the wife of Ringo Starr.

Until 1971, the Post Master General was one of the candidates for Presidential Succession.

In London, a Frank Zappa concertgoer rushed the stage and shoved Zappa into the orchestra pit, enraged over his girlfriend's infatuation with the mustachioed rocker. Zappa suffered a crushed larynx which resulted in a deeper, huskier singing voice and was also in a wheelchair for a year.

America's war on drugs, officially began in 1971. At that time 1 gram of cocaine cost $200 ($1,100 adjusted for inflation). Today that same gram of cocaine cost $50.

Charles Manson (who DID NOT audition for the Monkees) and three of his followers were convicted of killing Sharon Tate and six others in 1969.

Only one NFL player has died on the field: Chuck Hughes in 1971. The game continued with a silent crowd.

A fire broke out at the Montreux Casino during a Frank Zappa concert, this event was the inspiration for Deep Purple's iconic Smoke on the Water.

Airplane Celebrity Death: Audie Murphy

Rock and Roll Deaths: Duane Allman (motorcycle crash), Jim Morrison (pretty young for the official "heart failure", some suggest it was the massive amount of drugs in his system)

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Weebles, Landslide, Big Jim action figures, Space Hoppers, Klackers, Etch-A-Sketch in New HOT PINK or COOL BLUE frames, Uno

The Intel 4004 was the first microprocessor.

Ray Tomlinson invented internet based email.

Century 21 Real Estate LLC opened their doors in Orange County, California.

Gillette introduced the TracII Razor, the first double-blade shaving tool.

The Habits

Spacewar!, a scientist-only lab game, became the Galaxy game, the first coin-operated video game.
Reading Wheels by Arthur Hailey
Reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

1971 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. The Flip Wilson Show (NBC)
3. Marcus Welby, M.D. (ABC)
4. Gunsmoke (CBS)
5. ABC Movie of the Week (ABC)
6. Sanford and Son (NBC)
7. Mannix (CBS)
8. Funny Face (CBS)
9. Adam 12 (NBC)
10. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1971 include
Al Green, Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Bread, Carole King, The Carpenters, Cher, Chicago, The Chi-Lites, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Honeycone, Ike & Tina Turner, Issac Hayes, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Jean Knight, Joe Tex, Johnnie Taylor, Marvin Gaye, Melanie, The Osmonds, The Persuaders, Rod Stewart, Rufus Thomas, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics, The Temptations, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones, Tommy James, Tony Orlando, Tyrone Davis, The Undisputed Truth, Wilson Pickett

(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 1971

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

January 23, 1971 - February 12, 1971: Tony Orlando and Dawn - Knock Three Times

February 13, 1971 - March 19, 1971: The Osmonds - One Bad Apple

March 20, 1971 - April 2, 1971: Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee

April 3, 1971 - April 16, 1971: The Temptations - Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)

April 17, 1971 - May 28, 1971: Three Dog Night - Joy to the World

May 29, 1971 - June 11, 1971: The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar

June 12, 1971 - June 18, 1971: The Honey Cone - Want Ads

June 19, 1971 - July 23, 1971: Carole King - It's Too Late / I Feel the Earth Move

July 24, 1971 - July 30, 1971: Paul Revere & the Raiders - Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)

July 31, 1971 - August 6, 1971: James Taylor - You've Got a Friend

August 7, 1971 - September 3, 1971: Bee Gees - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

September 4, 1971 - September 10, 1971: Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney - Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

September 11, 1971 - October 1, 1971: Donny Osmond - Go Away Little Girl

October 2, 1971 - November 5, 1971: Rod Stewart - Maggie May / Reason to Believe

November 6, 1971 - November 19, 1971: Cher - Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves

November 20, 1971 - December 3, 1971: Isaac Hayes - Theme from Shaft

December 4, 1971 - December 24, 1971: Sly and the Family Stone - Family Affair

December 25, 1971 - January 14, 1972: Melanie - Brand New Key

Popular Movies

10 Rillington Place, A Clockwork Orange, The Andromeda Strain, Bananas, Bednob and Broomsticks, Billy Jack, Brian's Song, Carnal Knowledge, Death in Venice, Diamonds Are Forever, Dirty Harry, Duel, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Fiddler on the Roof, The French Connection, Get Carter, Harold and Maude, Johnny Got His Gun, Klute, The Last Picture Show, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nicholas and Alexandra, Play Misty For Me, Shaft, Straw Dogs, Sunday Bloody Sunday, THX 1138, Two Lane Blacktop, Walkabout, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1971
# 1 Hits of 1971
Pop Culture News

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