1972: Terrorism at the Olympics, Watergate Break-in, Nixon Visits China
By Patrick Mondout
Nixon in China, Nixon in Russia, and Nixon in a landslide were among
the biggest stories of the year. But in retrospect, the murder of Israeli
athletes during the Summer Games in Munich and the break-in of the
Democratic National Committee at the Watergate are perhaps the two biggest
stories of 1972.
January 16: The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Miami
Dolphins 24-3 to win Super
January 26: A bomb
explodes aboard a Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 at 33,000 feet. Incredibly, a
survives the crash.
February 3-13: Japan becomes the first Asian
nation to host the Winter Olympics.
February 21-28: Richard Nixon becomes the first
U.S. president to visit China.
March 30: Provisional government in Northern
Ireland is suspended and direct rule from London is reinstated.
April 15: Bombing of North Vietnam by the U.S.
May 3: J. Edgar Hoover dies ending a 48-year
reign of terror as director of the FBI. L. Patrick Gray is named as acting
May 15: The island of Okinawa is returned to
Japan by the United States.
May 15: President candidate and noted-racist
George C. Wallace is shot while campaigning in Maryland. He is left
paralyzed but does not withdraw from the race, finishing third.
June 17: Five "third-rate buglers" are
arrested after breaking into the Democratic National Committee in the
Watergate complex in Washington.
July 18: Unhappy with the assistance he is
getting from the Soviets and hoping to warm relations with the West,
Egypt's Anwar Sadat orders Soviet military advisors out of the country.
August 26-September 11: The Summer Olympics are
held in Munich, Germany. Arab terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes and
September 1: Temperamental Bobby Fischer becomes
the first American to win the world chess title.
September 23: Martial law is declared in the
Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos.
October 24: Jackie Robinson, who was the first
black baseball player to play in the major leagues, dies at age 53.
November 7: Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew easily
win reelection over George McGovern and R. Sargent Shriver.
November 14: The Dow-Jones Industrial Average
reaches 1,000 for the first time.
December 19: NASA's Apollo mission ends with the
splash-down of Apollo
17. The Apollo 17 astronauts would be the last people of the century
to walk on the moon.
December 29: An Eastern
Air Lines Lockheed L-1011
into the Everglades killing 99 of 163 onboard.
December 31: Baseball superstar Roberto Clemente
is killed in an airplane crash while attempting to deliver disaster relief
supplies to earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua.