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1972 Events

According to scientists, 1972 was a landmark. Not only was it a leap year but, apparently, a full two seconds was added to 1972, making it the longest year in history.

However, no one really noticed!

Notable 1972 events included:


  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the first hand-held scientific calculator
  • President Nixon initiates the space shuttle program


  • The Winter Olympics open in Sapporo, Japan
  • U.S. Airlines begins inspecting passengers and baggage
  • President Nixon makes a groundbreaking 8-day trip to the People’s Republic of China


  • Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made satellite to leave our solar system
  • The movie The Godfather takes U.S. theaters by storm
  • The last episode of Bewitched airs on television


  • The U.S. and Soviet Union sign a treaty agreeing to ban biological warfare
  • Women compete for the first time in the Boston Marathon


  • After 27 years of occupation by the U.S. Armed Forces, Okinawa is returned to Japan
  • Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT I treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty
  • The Magnavox Odyssey video game system is demonstrated, marking the beginning of the video game era


  • A leap second is added in June at the end of the month in 1972
  • Five operatives are arrested and the Watergate scandal begins to unfold


  • George McGovern declares his candidacy for president on the Democratic ticket
  • Fiddler on the roof aka Tevye ended and was the first musical to pass the 3,000 shows mark


  • The last U.S. ground troops are withdrawn from Vietnam
  • The Midnight Special show started and featured amazing music artist


  • Bobby Fischer becomes the first world chess champion from the U.S., defeating Boris Spassky
  • The first episode of The Price is Right with Bob Barker airs on CBS


  • The Joy of Sex, which becomes one of the largest-selling sex-related books in history, is published
  • The FBI hires its first female agents
  • The Airbus A300 airplane is introduced to the friendly skies


  • The beginnings of DNA technology are discussed at a scientific conference in Honolulu
  • President Richard Nixon wins a second term
  • On the stock market, the Dow Jones Average closes above 1,000 points for the first time in history
  • Atari releases Pong, the first commercially successful video game


  • The U.S. launches Apollo 17, the last manned space mission to the moon
  • Former president Harry S. Truman dies in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Baseball great Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash