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1974 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1973

1974 History Snapshot

  • Politics: President Richard M. Nixon resigned after the Watergate Scandal.
  • The Top Song was The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand
  • The Big Movies included Blazing Saddles, The Towering Inferno and The Trial of Billy Jack
  • Price of a postage stamp in 1974: 10 cents
    AMC Gremlin automobile: $2,408.00
  • The World Population was ~ 3,928,000,000
  • Connect Four was introduced in 1974.
  • G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu grip was released.
  • It wasn’t until Andy 'Fearless'Brown retired in 1974 that every goalie in the NHL wore the recommended facemask.
  • And... John Dyson's novel The Prime Minister's Boat is Missing was realeased on August 28. On September 5, ex-Prime Minister Edward Heath's yacht, Morning Cloud III, was lost.

World Series Champions

Oakland Athletics

Superbowl VIII Champions

Miami Dolphins

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Philadelphia Flyers

US Open Golf

Hale Irwin

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Jimmy Connors/Billie Jean King

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Jimmy Connors/Chris Evert

FIFA World Cup Soccer

West Germany

NCAA Football Champions

Oklahoma & USC

NCAA Basketball Champions

North Carolina State

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1974 - Penn State over LSU
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1974 - Ohio State over USC
Sugar Bowl : December 31, 1973 - Notre Dame over Alabama

Kentucky Derby


Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Gretchenhof Columbia River

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

King Faisal

Miss America

Rebecca King (Denver, CO)

Miss USA

Karen Morrison (Illinois)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Adrienne Barbeau, Barbi Benton, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Carol Burnett, Dyan Cannon, Veronica Carlson, Diahann Carroll, Angie Dickinson, Britt Ekland, Lola Falana, Karen Graham, Pam Grier, Margaux Hemingway, Lauren Hutton, Beverly Johnson, Sophia Loren, Mary Tyler Moore, Caroline Munro, Suzanne Pleshette, Diana Ross, Ann Simonton, Jane Seymour, Veruschka, Mary Woronov

"The Quotes"

"You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore"
- resigning President Richard Nixon

"And now for something completely different"
- Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969 in the U.K.)

" Tastes great, less filling"
- Miller Lite

J.J. Walker on Good Times

"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
- Al Pacino, in The Godfather Part II

"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."
- Joe Mantell, in Chinatown

Ian Ball attempted to kidnap Princess Anne. After shooting her bodyguard, chauffeur and a bystander, he asked her to get out of the car, to which she responded "Not bloody likely"

1974 Pop Culture History

Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramovic stood still for 6 hours as she invited the audience to do to her anything they wished. Visitors were gentle at the beginning but as time passed people acted more aggressively with the 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose on her, both plearable and painful. "What I learned was that... if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you. I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation."

When the national highway speed limit was set at 55 mph, it had nothing to do with improving safety, but was intended to optimize fuel consumption after the 1973 oil crisis. It was repealed in 1995 and states could once again set their own limits.

Aerosmith's Walk This Way was inspired in part by the movie scene in Young Frankenstein when Igor encourages Gene Wilder's character to "walk this way" down the stairs. The band saw the movie in 1974 in a Times Square screening and came back to the recording studio quoting the lines.

April 1 1974: Oliver Bickar took 70 tires to the top of Mt. Edgecumbe and lit them on fire. The locals thought the 400-year dormant volcano was erupting and a helicopter was sent up to check it out. When the helicopter arrived, the pilot found the words "APRIL FOOL" spray painted on the snow.

36 different songs hit number one in the US during 1974... and only 9 songs hit number one in the US during 2005.

Cancún was made into a tourist destination in 1974 with the Mexican Government investing in 9 hotels. The population in 1970 was 3 people whereas the population in 2010 was 722,880.

Jack H. Hetherington made his cat (F.D.C. Willard) the co-author of a paper because he'd accidentally written "We" Instead of "I" throughout the paper and couldn't be bothered changing it.

The post-it note was invented by Arthur Fry. It became widely used and available in 1980.

Thanks to a Japanese marketing campaign in 1974 called "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!" or Kentucky for Christmas!, eating KFC chicken on Christmas has become a tradition in Japan and over 3.6 million Japanese families eat KFC chicken on the holiday every year.

The 'Arecibo Message' was a 1974 interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star cluster M13 in the hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it.

US ski jumper Anders Haugen finished 4th at the 1924 Olympics, when 50 years later a Norwegian historian discovered a scoring error was made and Haugen should have gotten the bronze medal, which was handed to him in Norway in 1974 by the daughter of the original bronze medal winner.

Lorne Michaels offered $3000 on SNL for the Beatles to reunite, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, both of whom happened to be watching the show together at Lennons home, considered walking over to the studio just a few blocks away, but decided not to because they were tired.

The longest confirmed golf shot ever occurred when 64 year old Mike Austin hit his ball 515 yards with a wooden-headed driver, his ball coming to a rest 65 yards beyond the 450 yard hole he was hitting at, in Las Vegas.

The quote "I reject your reality and substitute my own!" though it owes its current popularity to Adam Savage of Mythbusters, originally comes from a 1974 episode of Doctor Who.

Stephen King checked in as the only guest in the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO before it shut down for the winter. He dreamed that night of his three-year old son being chased through the long, empty corridors. He woke up and had the inspiration for The Shining.

Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to win Oscars (Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor) for playing the same character in different films: Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974)

The national speed limit was lowered to 55 miles per hour.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1974: $103,000

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Christine Chubbuck , a newscaster, committed suicide during a live broadcast. Her last words were "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in 'blood and guts', and in living color, you are going to see another first - attempted suicide."

The Cleveland Indians hosted Ten Cent Beer Night which resulted in a forfeit against the Texas Rangers due to rowdy, drunk, fans.

There was a Sesame Street Muppet named Don Music, a composer who would bang his head against his piano trying to complete the lyrics to children's songs. He was pulled from the show after children started imitating him by banging their heads against things.

Clinical psychologist Dennis Upper published a 'zero content' paper because he failed to find a method to solve a writer's block problem.

The last allowed visit to the Fort Knox gold vault, by members of the US Congress and some journalists, who saw a presentation and were allowed to take a handful of photographs, was on September 23, 1974.

After Philippe Petit's famous high-wire performance between the Twin Towers - "the artistic crime of the century" - he was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. These charges were dropped on the condition that Philippe put on a free high-wire performance for children in Central Park.

A US soldier, Robert K. Preston, stole a helicopter from Fort Meade in Maryland and flew to the White House in Washington D.C. As he hovered above the south grounds, the Secret Service shot and injured him, forcing him to land. He received a one-year prison sentence and $2,400 in fines

Jane Goodall observed a social rift in a community of chimpanzees turn into a violent 4 year civil war for territory involving kidnapping, rape & murder, changing her perception of chimpanzees, it is known as the "Gombe Chimpanzee War".

The main villains of Psycho (1960), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991) were all loosely based on the same person: Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. Rock Star Death: Mama Cass (obesity related heart attack)

Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst Newspaper group, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, later joining the group in a bank heist.

Until 1974, banks could refuse to issue a credit card to a woman unless she was married and her husband co-signed for the card. A divorced woman was considered too much of a risk because she "couldn't keep a marriage under control."

While David Niven was at the Oscars podium, live on national television, a streaker (Robert Opal) ran by. David quippped "Isn't it fascinating to think that the only laugh that man will ever get is for stripping and showing his shortcomings?"

On April 1, 1974, the local residents of Sitka, Alaska woke to their nearby dormant volcano, Mount Edgecumbe, billowing out black smoke. When a Coast Guard pilot came closer to investigate, he found 70 tires burning and the words "APRIL FOOL" spray painted into the snow. Oliver Bikar had lit nearlu 100 tires on fire. #aprilfools

Mikhail Baryshnikhov defected the the USA, leaving the Soviet Unon's Bolshoi Ballet behind him.

During an interview in 1974, Pete Maravich said, "I don't want to play 10 years (in the NBA) and then die of a heart attack when I'm 40." He died of a heart attack in 1988, at age 40, after his 10 year career in the NBA.

Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier, was stranded on a island for 30 years after World War II ended. His commander came to the island to personally dismiss him in 1974.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Connect Four, G.I. Joe with KUNG FU GRIP, Magna Doodle

21 year-old Michael Kittredge opened his Yankee Candle factory.

Liposuction invented by Giorgio Fischer in Rome, Italy.

After several decades of deciding how to do it, in June, the first U.P.C. scanner was installed at a Marsh's supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first product to have a bar code included was a packet of Wrigley's Gum.

People began publication

The Habits

CB Radio
Kung Fu Fighting
Watching All In The Family on CBS,
Reading Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
Reading Centennial by James A. Michener

1974/75 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. Sanford and Son (NBC)
3. Chico and the Man (NBC)
4. The Jeffersons (CBS)
5. M*A*S*H (CBS)
6. Rhoda (CBS)
7. Good Times (CBS)
8. The Waltons (CBS)
9. Maude (CBS)
10. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1974 include
Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Barry White, Billy Swan, Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, Bobby Womack, Charlie Rich, Chicago, Diana Ross, Eddie Kendricks, Elton John, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Grand Funk Railroad, Harry Chapin, Helen Reddy, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Jim Stafford, John Denver, John Lennon, Johnnie Taylor, Kool & the Gang, Love Unlimited, MFSB, The O'Jays, Ohio Players, Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney & Wings, Roberta Flack, Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, The Spinners, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics, Tavares, The Temptations, The Three Degrees, 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 1974

December 29, 1973 - January 11, 1974: Jim Croce - Time in a Bottle

January 12, 1974 - January 18, 1974: Steve Miller Band - The Joker

January 19, 1974 - January 25, 1974: Al Wilson - Show and Tell

January 26, 1974 - February 1, 1974: Ringo Starr - You're Sixteen

February 2, 1974 - February 8, 1974: Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were

February 9, 1974 - March 1, 1974: Love Unlimited Orchestra - Love's Theme

March 2, 1974 - March 22, 1974: Terry Jacks - Seasons in the Sun

March 23, 1974 - March 29, 1974: Cher - Dark Lady

March 30, 1974 - April 5, 1974: John Denver - Sunshine on My Shoulders

April 6, 1974 - April 12, 1974: Blue Swede - Hooked on a Feeling

April 13, 1974 - April 19, 1974: Elton John - Bennie and the Jets

April 20, 1974 - May 3, 1974: MFSB and The Three Degrees - TSOP

May 4, 1974 - May 17, 1974: Grand Funk - The Loco-Motion

May 18, 1974 - June 7, 1974: Ray Stevens - The Streak

June 8, 1974 - June 14, 1974: Paul McCartney and Wings - Band on the Run

June 15, 1974 - June 28, 1974: Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods - Billy, Don't Be a Hero

June 29, 1974 - July 5, 1974: Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown

July 6, 1974 - July 12, 1974: The Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat

July 13, 1974 - July 26, 1974: George McCrae - Rock Your Baby

July 27, 1974 - August 9, 1974: John Denver - Annie's Song

August 10, 1974 - August 16, 1974: Roberta Flack - Feel Like Makin' Love

August 17, 1974 - August 23, 1974: Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died

August 24, 1974 - September 13, 1974: Paul Anka and Odia Coates - (You're) Having My Baby

September 14, 1974 - September 20, 1974: Eric Clapton - I Shot the Sheriff

September 21, 1974 - September 27, 1974: Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe

September 28, 1974 - October 4, 1974: Andy Kim - Rock Me Gently

October 5, 1974 - October 18, 1974: Olivia Newton-John - I Honestly Love You

October 19, 1974 - October 25, 1974: Billy Preston - Nothing from Nothing

October 26, 1974 - November 1, 1974: Dionne Warwick and The Spinners - Then Came You

November 2, 1974 - November 8, 1974: Stevie Wonder - You Haven't Done Nothin'

November 9, 1974 - November 15, 1974: Bachman-Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

November 16, 1974 - November 22, 1974: John Lennon - Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

November 23, 1974 - December 6, 1974: Billy Swan - I Can Help

December 7, 1974 - December 20, 1974: Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting

December 21, 1974 - December 27, 1974: Harry Chapin - Cat's in the Cradle

December 28, 1974 - January 3, 1975: Helen Reddy - Angie Baby

Popular Movies

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Blazing Saddles, Chinatown, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, Harry and Tonto, Herbie Rides Again, Lenny, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Omega Man, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, That's Entertainment, The Towering Inferno, Young Frankenstein

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1974
# 1 Hits of 1974
Pop Culture News

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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
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culture:(noun) That which is excellent in the arts.
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