Timeline: 1970

Jan 2  Regarding Nixon administration policy toward Africa, including South Africa's apartheid, Henry Kissinger sends President Nixon a memorandum recommending adoption of a National Security Council (NSC) option, the so-called "tar baby" option, which states: "The whites are here to stay and the only way that constructive changes can come about is through them. There is no hope for the blacks to gain the political rights they seek through violence, which will only lead to chaos and increased opportunities for the communists." The NSC option favors "more substantial economic assistance ... to draw the two groups [whites and blacks] together and exert some influence on both for peaceful change."

Jan 26  In Britain, rock star Mick Jagger is fined £200 for possession of marijuana. 

Feb 2  England's Bertrand Russell, described by some as the 20th century's greatest philosopher, dies at the age of 97.

Mar 1  The United States declares commercial whale hunting illegal. 

Mar 5  A three-story townhouse in Greenwich Village in New York City blows up, killing three Weathermen who were making a bomb. All that can be found of one of the three, Diana Oughton, is the tip of one of her fingers. A Pulitzer prize-winning book will be written titled Diana: The Making of a Terrorist.

Mar 5  Forty-three nations have ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the treaty goes into effect. It acknowledges five nuclear-weapons states. Other signatory states agree not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. The treaty was proposed by Ireland. 

Mar 13  While Cambodia's popular head of state, Norodom Sihanouk, is abroad, conservative forces order North Vietnamese troops to leave Cambodia.

Mar 17  The US Army charges 14 officers with suppression of facts regarding the My Lai massacre.

Mar 18  Norodom Sihanouk is still abroad. A vote in Cambodia's National Assembly removes him from power.  He is replaced by General Lon Nol, who is pro-US and anti-Vietnamese. Cambodian conservatives look forward to economic advancement through association with the United States and Japan.

Mar 29  In Cambodia, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch an offensive against Cambodia's army. 

Apr 1  President Nixon signs a bill banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect on January 1, 1971.

James Rhodes

Ohio Governor James Rhodes

Apr 1  The US Army charges Captain Ernest Medina with war crimes at My Lai.

Apr 12  In Mississippi a black one-armed farmer, Rainey Pool, is beaten and tortured by a mob and his body thrown off a bridge into the Sunflower River.

Apr 30  President Nixon announces on television a joint US-Saigon offensive into Cambodia. The goal: to drive North Vietnamese forces from Cambodia.

May 1  Protests erupt on campuses across the United States.

May 3  In a press conference, the Republican governor of Ohio, James A. Rhodes, calls anti-war protesters "the worst type of people we harbor in America, worse than the brown shirts and the communist element." Governor Rhodes orders the National Guard to quell the demonstration at Kent State University.

May 4  At Kent State University, national guardsmen order a noontime rally of some 2,000 students to disperse. The guardsmen fire tear gas and charge the crowd. A number of guardsmen fire their rifles at the students for 13 seconds, killing four and wounding from 9 to 11 others.

May 5  In response to the Kent State shootings, over 900 colleges and universities shut down. So too do some high schools and elementary schools. The Kent State campus is to remain closed for six weeks. 

May 8  Division in the US about the war is at a new emotional high. On Wall Street in New York City, construction workers break up an anti-war demonstration.

May 14  At Jackson State College in Mississippi, around 100  protestors set small fires and overturn vehicles. Police fire into the demonstration, killing two. 

May 20  Around 100,000 people demonstrate in the Wall Street district in support of the war.

May 31  The federal government shuts off power and stops fresh water supplies on its property, Alcatraz Island, still occupied by American Indians. Hundreds of Indians flock to the island to protest the government's plan to turn the island into a park.

Jun 20  President Nasser of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, and other Arab leaders have flown to Libya to take part in celebrations regarding the US having turned its military air transport base near Tripoli over to the Libyans. 

Jun 30  President Nixon announces the withdrawal of US troops from Cambodia but warns that if necessary he will continue to bomb Vietnamese troops and supply lines there. He expresses hope that Hanoi will now agree to serious negotiations.

Jul 1  More than 5,000 soldiers from South Vietnam – those allied with the United States – remain in Cambodia, occupying areas with large populations. Looting and pillaging of Cambodian towns by South Vietnamese troops is reported in the New York Times as having "become a serious problem."

Jul 6  California passes the nation's first "no fault" divorce law.

Aug 1  After three days of disturbances involving blacks and Puerto Ricans, a state of emergency is declared in Hartford, Connecticut. A curfew is established from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.  A Puerto Rican man is shot and differences arise as to who is responsible.

Aug 2  In Hartford, police arrest seven men at the Black Panther Party headquarters. The seven are said to be suspected of sniper shootings.

Aug 24  A bomb planted by "anti-war extremists" explodes at the University of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center, killing 33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht.

Sep 4  With 36.3 percent of the vote, a socialist candidate, Salvador Allende Gossens, wins the presidential election in Chile.

Sep 6-14  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijack five airliners. One is an Israeli airliner, and security on board thwarts the highjacking. The four other airliners are forced to fly to an airfield near Amman, Jordan. The fifth airliner is flown to Cairo, the passengers are taken off the plane and the plane is blown up. In Jordan, the highjackers bargain for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Yasser Arafat

Yasser Arafat

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Sep 9  US Marines launch a ten-day search for North Vietnamese troops near Da Nang.

Sep 12  With help from his wife Rosemary and the Weathermen, Timothy Leary walks away from a minimum security prison where he has been serving time for marijuana possession.

Sep 15  At a meeting in the oval office, President Nixon says he wants to prevent president-elect of Chile, Salvador Allende, from taking office.

Sep 16  In Jordan war erupts. It is called Black September. The Palestinian Liberation Army, led by Yassar Arafat, attempts to seize power. Syria sends a force with around 200 tanks to help Arafat's forces.

Sep 18  Jimi Hendrix, British rock star guitarist, age 27, dies in London of a drug overdose.

Sep 22  The League of Arab states meets in order to end the fighting between King Hussein and Palestinians in Jordan. Hussein accuses Arafat of conspiring to overthrow him, and Arafat pounds the table and screams obscenities. He accuses Hussein of being an agent of imperialism and of conspiring with the USA and Israel against the Palestinians. The Libyan leader, General Moammar al-Gaddafi, accuses Hussein of being a lunatic. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, disheartened by the vulgar recriminations and incoherent ranting, declares them all to be mentally unbalanced.

Sep 28  An ailing and tired President Nasser of Egypt dies of a heart attack at the age of 52.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Oct 1  With Nasser's funeral procession through Cairo's streets, millions are weeping, and mourners attempt to bear Nasser's coffin themselves. Soldiers use their rifle butts and batons to repel the crowd. People are crushed to death. Authorities end the procession by transferring the coffin to a military vehicle and rushing it to the place of burial.

Oct 4  Janis Joplin, rock star, dies at the age of 27. The cause of death: whisky and heroin overdose. In the US an age of pushing sensation and thrill to its limits is coming to an end.

Oct 8  Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn is named winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Oct 10  Quebec Provincial Labor Minister, Pierre Laporte, and the British trade commissioner, James Cross, are kidnapped by the Front de Liberation du Quebec.

Oct 10 Fiji becomes independent of British rule.

Oct 12  President Nixon announces the pullout of 40,000 more American troops in Vietnam by Christmas.

Oct 14  Moscow accuses Nobel judges of anti-Soviet motives in giving the Nobel Prize to Solzhenitsyn.

Salvador Allende

Salvador Allende

Oct 18  The body of Pierre Laporte is found in the trunk of a car. He has been strangled to death.

Oct 23  The commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army, General René Schneider, is assassinated. He was opposed to military involvement in politics and stood in the way of CIA plans to have Salvador Allende overthrown by military force.

Oct 31  China describes Japan's "white paper" on defense as intending unrestricted expansion of Japanese armaments, acquisition of nuclear weapons and a preparation for "unleashing a new war of aggression."

Nov 3  Salvador Allende is inaugurated President of Chile.

Nov 3  In California, Ronald Reagan wins a second term as governor. His Democratic Party opponent was Jesse Unruh, whom he described as a tax-and-spend liberal.

Nov 4  Andre Sakharov, Russian nuclear physicist, forms his Human Rights Committee.

Nov 9  Charles De Gaulle dies at age of 79.

Nov 20  In the UN General Assembly, an Algerian resolution to unseat the regime in Taiwan, which claims to represent China, and replace it with representation by the People's Republic of China, wins majority approval.

Yukio Mishima with sword

Yukio Mishima

Nov 21  Fifty-six US commandos, supported by 26 aircraft, attempt to rescue POWs at the Son Tay camp north of Hanoi. The prisoners have been moved to another camp and the commandos return empty-handed. 

Nov 24  The Viet Cong has changed its name from the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam to the Government of the Republic of South Vietnam.

Nov 25  In Japan, novelist Yukio Mishima invades the military headquarters in Tokyo, fails to persuade the military to join him in renouncing the US imposed constitution and commits hara-kiri. 

Nov 26  The Nixon administration has been holding to a wait and see attitude regarding Chile's new president, Allende. Allende has taken over two businesses controlled by American companies and on this day he announces to Communist Party leaders his plans for large-scale nationalization of basic industries. 

Nov 27  Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose books are not published in the Soviet Union, says he has decided not to ask for official permission to go to Stockholm to accept the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature.     

Dec 2  President Nixon creates the Environmental Protection Agency, which takes over functions previously performed by the Department of Interior. 

Dec. 7  In Poland, Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany signs a treaty opening normal relations with Poland. Poland is expected to allow "tens of thousands" of ethnic Germans still living in Poland to emigrate to West Germany.

Dec 18  In Poland, five days of unrest come to an end, said to have been caused by shortages and rising prices. The Polish government describes six people as having been killed by government forces in the city of Gdansk.

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