Timeline: 1973

Jan 1  Britain, Ireland and Denmark join the European Economic Community – the future European Union.

Jan 17  In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos becomes President for Life.

Jan 22  Former US President, Lyndon B. Johnson, dies four years after leaving office.

Jan 27  The Paris Peace Accords are signed by the United States, North Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam (of Saigon) and the Viet Cong (the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam). A ceasefire begins. Like the Geneva Accords of 1954, the agreement assumes that Vietnam is one country. There are to be negotiations between Saigon and the Viet Cong that will allow elections in the South and an eventual reunification of Vietnam to be "carried out step by step through peaceful means." The US agrees to withdraw it forces within sixty days.

Jan 30  Two former officials of President Nixon's re-election committee, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord, Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and bugging the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters.

Feb 2  President Nixon is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Feb 2  President Nixon has tried to get the CIA Director, Richard Helms, to help him block an investigation of the Watergate break-in. Helms refuses to cooperate in such an illegal act, except that he will not report Nixon. Nixon fires Helms as CIA Director.

Feb 4  The Suez Canal has been closed since the 1967 Six Day War. Israel still occupies Egyptian territory and refuses to budge without a treaty that inspires confidence in Egypt's good will. University students described as leftists have been demonstrating and beaten back with sticks and tear gas. They are unhappy with Israeli occupation of Egyptian territory. Consolidating his power in Egypt is Anwar Sadat. His party, the only political party in Egypt, purges from its ranks 64 journalists, writers and other intellectuals.

Feb 11  North Vietnam releases US prisoners of war.

Feb 13  The US dollar is devalued 10 percent against nearly all major currencies. US citizens must now pay more for goods with foreign components, and travel abroad will be more expensive.  

Feb 21  Over the Sinai Desert, an Israeli fighter pilot shoots down a Libyan passenger airliner he mistakes for a military plane, killing 108. Anti-Israeli passions in Egypt are inflamed. Some of the passengers were Egyptian. 

Feb 27  The hamlet at Wounded Knee is seized by followers of the American Indian Movement. They are unhappy with the Oglala tribal chairman of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Dick Wilson.

Mar 1  Eight Black September members seize the Saudi embassy in Sudan. They demand the release of the surviving gunman of the Lod Airport Massacre and the release of Japanese Red Army members in jail in Germany. Their demand is rejected and they kill three diplomats, two from the US and one from Belgium.

Mar 4  The Black September commandos surrender to the Sudanese Government.

Mar 4  Israel's Premier, Golda Meir, criticizes some European nations for submitting to what she said was "Arab terrorist blackmail" by releasing Arabs apprehended for terrorist acts.

Mar 8  Voters in Northern Ireland endorse remaining in the United Kingdom.

Mar 8  The Provisional Irish Republican Army explodes bombs in London's government district.

Mar 9  Sudan's government speaks of executing the Black September commandos and banning all Palestinian commando activity.  

Mar 12  Gold has risen to 90 dollars an ounce. International pressure to dump the dollar results in the Brussels Agreement. The US dollar is no longer to be linked to the price of gold.

Mar 13  A new Syrian constitution vests the Ba'ath Party with leadership functions in the state and society. It provides broad powers to the president, who is also Secretary General of the Ba'ath Party and is to be approved by referendum for a 7-year term.

Mar 15  Saigon has been seizing areas occupied by Communist forces in the Mekong Delta and elsewhere in the south. In a meeting in Hanoi, Communist strategists acknowledge that their troops in the south are exhausted and in disarray. Their spies tell them that Saigon's President Thieu has plans to continue grabbing territory.

Apr 17  At Wounded Knee, six members of the American Indian Movement are wounded in a gun battle with federal marshals.

Apr 28  Ireland's navy arrests six men transporting five tons of weapons destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Apr 29  Israel's Golda Meir describes Egypt's Anwar Sadat as a leader "in distress" and says that Israel must be prepared for a war that he might start.

Apr 30  President Nixon accepts the resignation of four close aides, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, his Attorney General, Kleindienst and his counsel, John Dean. In a special address to the nation he says, "There can be no whitewash at the White House," and he claims "full responsibility" for the actions of his subordinates in the Watergate scandal.

May 3-4  One of the six wounded at Wounded Knee has died. Another gun battle erupts and another is killed.

May 7  Negotiating with federal agents, the American Indian Movement agrees to end its stand at Wounded Knee. 

May 10  The Nixon administration has been trying to control developments in Laos and Cambodia by bombing. The US House of Representatives votes 219 to 188 to end funding for operations in Indochina. The House has a Democratic majority.

May 11  Premier Thanom Kittikachorn of Thailand says that US military are still needed in Thailand.

May 12  The White House announces that despite the vote in Congress it will continue bombing in Cambodia, to support Lon Nol's government.

May 14  The Senate Appropriations Committee votes 24 to 0 to cut off all funds for bombing Cambodia.

May 14  The British House of Commons votes to abolish capital punishment.

May 18  A Senate committee begins hearings on the Watergate scandal, with a promise to be meticulous rather than sensational. President Nixon's new Attorney General, Eliot Richardson appoints a special prosecutor for the Justice Department: Archibald Cox.

May 20  President Nixon claims that Hanoi has "persisted in violations" of the Vietnam cease-fire agreement and has failed to provide adequate information about the fate of missing American servicemen.

May 27  US intelligence analysts report that the chance of a North Vietnamese offensive in the near future is diminishing and that the Communists appear intent on concentrating instead on political activity.

May 31  The US Senate prohibits the use of any funds appropriated by Congress for combat activities in Laos or Cambodia. The vote is 63 to 19.

Jun 19  The US Congress passes the Case-Church Amendment which forbids any further US military involvement in Southeast Asia, effective August 15, 1973. The veto-proof vote is 278-124 in the House and 64-26 in the Senate.

Jun 23-25  Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev arrives in the US to meet with President Nixon to smooth over disarmament issues. The president's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, tells Chuck Conners that Brezhnev is a fan of his TV series The Rifleman. Conners gives Brezhnev a pair of Colt 45s on behalf of the movie industry in the United States. Some fans of Conners accuse him of being a Communist and some tear up his autographed photograph.

Jun 25  Former White House counsel John Dean begins to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee.

Jul 8  It is reported that in speaking at a meeting of leading Egyptian feminists, Colonel Qaddifi of Libya described women's liberation movements as no good.

Jul 10  The Bahamas gain full independence within the Common Wealth of Nations.

Jul 16  Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield tells the Senate Watergate Committee that President Nixon has secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

Jul 17  In Afghanistan, Prime Minister Daoud (62) seizes power from his cousin and brother-in-law, King (Shah) Zahir, creating a republic with himself as president. Zahir had ruled since 1933, had built castles but no roads and had mismanaged the economy. Only fifty miles of asphalt road exist in the whole of Afghanistan. The Barakzai Dynasty of Pashtun kings that began in 1818 is ended. President Daoud is an economic progressive who wants good relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union. 

Jul 23  President Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the special prosecutor.

Aug 5  In Greece, two gunmen belonging to the Arab Nationalist Youth Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (ANYOLP) shoot down passengers disembarking from a TWA airliner that has arrived from Israel. Five passengers are killed and 55 wounded.

Aug 22  In Chile, inflation is at an annual rate of more than 500 percent. Chile's parliament, led by a coalition opposed to Allende, accuses the Allende government of unconstitutional acts and calls on the military to assure constitutional order.

Aug 23  In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has been speaking with Koranic references, has released Islamic activists from prison and has encouraged Islamic organizations on university campuses to counter Nasserites and political leftists. Frustrated over talks with Israel concerning Israeli occupation of Egyptian territory in the Sinai, Sadat is preparing for a war against Israel. Sadat negotiates an accord with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi king agreeing to use oil as a weapon during the coming war. 

Sep 2  Libya announces the nationalization of 51 per cent of the assets of the oil companies operating in the country.

Sep 11  Chile's military overthrows Salvador Allende, who goes down fighting with the AK-47 said to have been given him by Fidel Castro.

Sep 15  Six Persian Gulf states declare a negotiating front to pressure for price increases and an end to support of Israel.

Sep 22  South Vietnamese troops assault North Vietnamese troops near Pleiku.

Sep 22  Henry Kissinger becomes Secretary of State.

Oct 1  Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's Security advisor, has had secret negotiations with Egypt's Anwar Sadat, but for eight months Kissinger has failed to convince Prime Minister Golda Meir that Sadat wanted peace with Israel. Sadat wanted negotiations that would allow Egypt to regain most of the Sinai lost in the 1967 war. He wanted an agreement by September. Meir didn't trust Sadat and didn't believe negotiations would be worthwhile. Now Sadat is preparing for war. (1973: the Road to War, by Yigal Kipnes)

Oct 6  President Sadat launches a war against Israel. He is joined by Hafez al-Assad's Syria and by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, with the latter expected to contribute money rather than soldiers. A surprise attack is launched against Israeli forces in Israeli-occupiked Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan has not joined the war against Israel.

Oct 8  Israel launches its first counterattack against Egypt, which is unsuccessful. Israelis fear this time it might be their defeat and annihilation. The Soviet Union is airlifting supplies to Syria.

Oct 10  European nations, under threat of an Arab oil embargo and trade boycott, have stopped supplying Israel with munitions. The Israelis are dependent on the United States. President Nixon has told Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that "your aircraft and tank losses will be replaced." His administration authorizes an airlift of military supplies to Israel.

Oct 10  Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States and in federal court pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion.

Oct 11  Secretary of State Kissinger warns the Soviet Ambassador that if the Soviet Union sends troops to the Middle East so will the United States.

Oct 14  Responding to Syrian requests for military help in the Golan, Iraq and Jordan send troops.

Oct 14  In Thailand, a student rebellion ends the military dictatorship of Field Marshall Thanom Kittikajorn and Prapas Charusathien. A foreign policy change is recommended, away from alignment with the United States and a diplomatic recognition of China. Some people dislike the presence of the US military in their country.

Oct 17  Secretary of State Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Le Duc Tho refuses the award. Henry Kissinger says the award amounts to recognition of "the central purpose of President Nixon's foreign policy – achievement of a lasting peace."

Oct 17  An Arab oil embargo against countries that support Israel triggers an energy crisis. Ten Arab member-nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announce they will cut oil production until Israel withdraws from Arab territory captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and the rights of the Palestinian people are "restored." The embargo will not be lifted completely until March 1974.

Oct. 20  Israeli tanks have succeeded against Syrian tanks and are within 10 miles of Damascus.

Oct 20  President Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns. So does Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the United States Department of Justice, doesn't follow suit. He becomes acting Attorney General and fires Cox. 

Oct 21  Israeli forces have crossed the Suez Canal and surround Egypt's Third Army. 

Oct 28  Since the Arab side has been losing, the UN and the Soviet Union have moved to end the war. Israeli and Egyptian military leaders meet to implement the cease-fire at Kilometer 101 marker in the Sinai. It is the first meeting between military representatives of the two countries in 25 years. By the end of the war, Israel has lost 2,688 killed and thousands wounded. On a per capita basis, Israel's loss is greater in the war's twenty-two days than the US suffered during all its years of combat in Vietnam.

Oct 30  The bridge in Istanbul that crosses the Bosporus is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia.

Nov 1  Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.

Nov 4  In Greece, student demonstrators, opposed to the country's dictatorship, clash with police.

Nov 6  Viet Cong and Saigon forces have been fighting for weeks. The Viet Cong claims that it is retaliating. Saigon accuses the Viet Cong of aggression. Little progress is being made toward the cooperation necessary for the free elections stipulated in the Paris Accords – elections that the Viet Cong (of South Vietnam) and North Vietnam wanted in the peace agreement.

Nov 6  In Northern California, Donald DeFreeze, who earlier in the year walked away from a work detail at Soledad Prison, has joined a group of urban guerrillas which he calls the Symbionese Liberation Army. He calls himself General Cinque. His group assassinates Oakland's Superintendent of Schools, Marcus Foster, because he favored identity cards, which the group denounces as fascist. 

Nov 7  The US Congress overrides President Nixon 's veto of its War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.

Nov 17  Greek troops with a tank crash through the iron gates of the Athens Polytechnic University to help police dislodge around 2,000 students who have seized the campus in a protest against the dictatorship of George Papadopoulos. 

Nov 19  Papadopoulos has imposed martial law. In Athens since the night of the 17th, there have been clashes in scattered areas between the police and demonstrators, the police firing their handguns into the air and using tear gas to disperse hostile crowds. 

Nov 22  The chief of the Greek armed forces outlaws 28 student organizations, while demonstrations continue.

Nov 24  In Greece, demonstrating students are joined by young construction workers.

Nov 25  Papadopoulos is ousted in a military coup. People in the village where he grew up, Elaiohori, in the Peloponnese, are disappointed.

Nov 27  President Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act authorizing price, production, allocation and marketing controls.

Nov 27 The new Greek leadership, moving to generate public support, begins releasing students and others jailed in the demonstrations and riots against Papadopoulos.

Nov 28  The new military rulers of Greece move to consolidate their power by purging from the armed forces high-ranking officers who supported George Papadopoulos.

Dec 1  Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.

Dec 3  PRG (Vietcong) forces destroy 18 million gallons of fuel stored near Saigon.

Dec 7  The White House cannot explain an 18-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes.

Dec 15  The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

Dec 23  OPEC doubles the price of crude oil.

Dec 28  The US Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.

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