1977: Death Penalty, Alaska Pipeline, Disco
By Patrick Mondout
The re-institution of the death penalty, so visible due to the execution
of Gary Gilmore, along with incredible rise of popularity of disco,
the death of Elvis Presley, the worst
air-disaster of all-time, and the completion of the Alaska Pipeline
were the major stories of 1977.
January 9: The Oakland Raiders defeat the
Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Super
January 17: Convicted
murderer Gary Gilmore becomes the first person executed in the United
States since 1967.
January 19: Gerald
Ford pardons "Tokyo Rose" on the final complete day of his
January 20: Jimmy
Carter is inaugurated as president of the U.S.
January 21: In his first major act as president,
Jimmy Carter signs an unconditional pardon covering more Vietnam draft
January 23-30: ABC televises the Roots
miniseries over eight days. Over 100 million watched the concluding
January 28: Freddie Prinze, who starred as Chico
on NBC's Chico and The
Man with Jack Albertson, takes his own life with a self-inflicted
March 24: Moraji Desai succeeds Indira Gandhi as
prime minister of India.
March 27: A Dutch KLM
on takeoff with a Pan
Am 747 at the Tenerife airport in the Canary Islands leaving 581 dead
in what remains the worst aviation accident in history.
May 28: The Beverly Hills Supper Club in
Southgate, Kentucky was engulfed in fire, killing 165 inside.
June 15: The first free elections since 1936 are
held in Spain.
June 20: The Alaska Pipeline opens.
July 13: An electricity blackout in New York
lasts 25 hours creating chaos, looting and disorder.
August 4: The Department of Energy is created by
an Act of Congress signed into law by President Carter.
August 10: New York postal employee David
Berkowitz is arrested and later charges with the "Son of Sam"
August 16: Elvis Presley dies at age 42 of a
heart attack at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.
October 4: Watergate Judge
John J. Sirica reduces the prison sentences of Nixon henchmen H.R.
Ehrlichman, and John
November 19-21: Egypt's Anwar Sadat upset many
in the Arab world by becoming the first Arab leader to visit Israel.
December 5: Five Arab nations end diplomatic
relations with Egypt over Sadat's Israel visit.