Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

The longest year ever

The longest year ever

1. January 4: The first scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) is introduced (price $395).

2. January 16: Super Bowl VI: The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Miami Dolphins 24-3.

3. February 3- February 13: The 1972 Winter Olympics are held in Sapporo, Japan.

4. February 4: Mariner 9 sends pictures from Mars.

5. February 5: Bob Douglas becomes the first African-American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

6. March 2: The Pioneer 10 spacecraft is launched from Cape Kennedy, to be the first man-made satellite to leave the solar system.

7. March 24: "The Godfather" is released in cinemas in the United States.

8. April 16: Apollo 16 (John Young, Ken Mattingly, Charlie Duke) is launched. During the mission, the astronauts achieve a lunar rover speed record of 18 km/h.

9. May 26: The Watergate first break-in, the "Ameritas dinner," fails.

10. May 27: A second Watergate break-in attempt fails.

11. June 17: Watergate scandal -- Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee.

12. June 23: Watergate Scandal -- U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the C.I.A. to obstruct the F.B.I.'s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.

13. June 30: An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the month.

14. July: U.S. actress Jane Fonda tours North Vietnam, during which she is photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.

15. August 10: A brilliant, daytime meteor skips off the Earth's atmosphere due to an Apollo asteroid streaking over the western US into Canada.

16. September 1: Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky in a chess match at Reykjavík, Iceland, becoming the first American to be world chess champion.

17. September 28: The Canadian national men's hockey team defeats the Soviet national ice hockey team in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series (French: La Série du Siècle, Russian: Суперсерия СССР - Канада), 6-5, to win the series 4-3-1.

18. October 25: The first female FBI agents are hired.

19. Apollo 17: (Gene Cernan, Ronald Evans, Harrison Schmitt), the last manned Moon mission to date, is launched.

20. December 11: Apollo 17 lands on the Moon.

21.How Much things cost in 1972:

• Yearly Inflation Rate USA: 3.27%
• Yearly Inflation Rate UK: 6.4%
• Year-End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average: 1020
• Average Cost of new house: $27,550.00
• Average Income per year: $11,800.00
• Average Monthly Rent: $165.00
• Cost of a gallon of gas: 55 cents
• Roxanne Ladies Swimsuit: $30.00
• Kodak Pocket Camera History: $28.00
• Wrangler Jeans: $12.00
• Ladies Timex Watch: $30.00

22. Popular Films:
• The Godfather
• Fiddler on the Roof
• Diamonds Are Forever
• What's Up, Doc?• Dirty Harry
• The Last Picture Show
• A Clockwork Orange
• Cabaret

23. Popular musicians and songs:
• Abba
• Roxy Music
• The Eagles
• John Lennon
• Paul Simon
• Simon and Garfunkel
• Rod Stewart
• Don McLean with "American Pie"
• Michael Jackson with "Ben"
• Elton John
• The Moody Blues
• David Bowie
• Led Zeppelin

24. Popular books:
• John Ashberry, Three Poems
• John Gardner, The Sunlight Dialogues
• Maxine Kumin, Up Country
• James Merrill, Braving the Elements
• Eudora Welty, The Optimist's Daughter

25. Born this year:
• Gwyneth Paltrow, Sept. 27
• Scott Peterson, Oct. 24
• Jonny Lee Miller, Nov. 15
Jonny Lee MillerBen Affleck, Aug. 15

26. Died this year:
• Gil Hodges
• J. Edgar Hoover
• Harry S. Truman

27. Technology:
• HBO launched in U.S. as the first subscription cable service
• Richard Nixon orders the start for the space shuttle program
• Apollo 16 lands on the moon, where the lunar rover is tested by astronauts John W Young and Charles M Duke.
• Apollo 17 lands on the moon and the last men to walk on the moon are Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan.
• Digital watches are introduced.
• First scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced (price $395).
• The Volkswagen Beetle becomes the most popular car ever sold with more than 15 million sold.
• Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of Pong, the first game to achieve commercial success.

28. Top 10 songs:
• 1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack
• 2. Alone Again (Naturally), Gilbert O'Sullivan
• 3. American Pie, Don McLean
• 4. Without You, Nilsson
• 5. The Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr.
• 6. I Gotcha, Joe Tex
• 7. Lean On Me, Bill Withers
• 8. Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me, Mac Davis
• 9. Brand New Key, Melanie
• 10. Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast, Wayne Newton

29. Baseball
• January 19: The BBWAA elects Sandy Koufax (344 votes), Yogi Berra (339), and Early Wynn (301) to the Hall of Fame.

30. Other facts
• The 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone diamond was discovered in February. It ranks as the third-largest gem-quality diamond and the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered.
• On January 30, the British Army killed 13 unarmed Roman Catholic civil rights marchers in Derry, Ireland. The incident is referred to as "Bloody Sunday" by future generations. This was the inspiration behind the protest song Sunday Bloody Sunday by Irish rockers U2.
• 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich
• In the final of the men's basketball, the United States lost to the USSR, in what USA Basketball calls "the most controversial game in international basketball history". In a close-fought match the U.S. team initially believed it had won with a score of 50-49, but confusion over a late timeout gave the Soviet team a few seconds to score two more points and claim victory. Ultimately the U.S team refused to accept their silver medals, which remain held in a vault in Lausanne, Switzerland.