Timeline: 1974

Jan 4  Citing executive privilege, President Nixon refuses to surrender 500 tapes and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

Jan 4  Japan is suffering economically and cutting back its exports 15 to 25 percent. With the rise in price of oil, Japan is shifting auto production to more fuel efficient models, and Japan is shifting from oil-intensive industries to more investment in electronics.

Jan 30  In his State of the Union Address, President Nixon boasts of better relations with China and the Soviet Union and the peace accord in Vietnam. Peace, he says, has returned to our cities and to our campuses and the "17-year rise in crime has been stopped."  He adds: "One year of Watergate is enough."

Feb 4 Arab oil producers say they will increase supplies of oil to nations that have shown a "positive" attitude toward Arab aspirations, which can be read as including Arab hostility toward Israel. Europe gets around 80 percent of its oil from the Middle East and is currently suffering from the Arab oil embargo.

Feb 4  Patricia Hearst, U.C. Berkeley student and granddaughter of publisher William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment.

Feb 8  In northern California, the Symbionese Liberation Army, led by General Cinque, declares that it is holding Patricia Hearst. 

Feb 13  The Symbionese Liberation Army demands that the father of Patricia Hearst distribute more than $230-million worth of free food for the poor as evidence of good faith in negotiating the release of his kidnapped daughter.

Feb 14  Alexander Solzhenitsyn is sent into a forced exile. Authorities in the Soviet Union say that his family will be allowed to join him.

Mar 17 Arab oil ministers, with the exception of the Libyans, announce the end of their oil embargo against the United States.

Apr 1  In the US the rate of price increases for the year will be 11.3 percent, in Britain it will be 17.2 percent. People are distressed. Gasoline in the United States has risen to 55 cents per gallon. The average annual income in the US is $13,900. The average new house costs $34,900.

Apr 15  In San Francisco, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army rob a branch of the Hibernia National Bank, joined by Patricia Hearst carrying a rifle and shouting orders at bank customers. 

Apr 25  In Portugal, the Caetano regime's war to preserve colonialism in Africa, and its failure to institute democratic reforms, results in a coup by members of the armed forces. Coup leaders grant new liberties. Opposition political parties are legalized, and steps toward giving up African territories begin.

May 9  The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens impeachment hearings against President Nixon.

May 16-17  The Symbionese Liberation army has migrated to Los Angeles where General Cinque grew up and hopes to recruit people into his army. While shopping, a member is caught trying to shoplift a pair of socks. Shooting erupts and army members, including Patricia Hearst, escape in their van. The police find the van abandoned, with a parking ticket in the glove box that leads them to the house where the group is living. After watching the news the groups takes over a house in a black neighborhood. A tip leads the 400 policemen, the FBI and fire department to that house. A hot tear gas canister sets the house on fire. A shoot out ends with the death of General Cinque and four others. Seven other members of the army, including Patricia Hearst, head back to Northern California, their hopes of overthrowing "the system" diminished.

May 17  A Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Volunteer Force, explodes two car bombs in Ireland's capital, Dublin, and another car bomb in Ireland near the northern border. Thirty-three people die and nearly 300 are injured.  

May 18  India successfully conducts an underground nuclear test, code named as Smiling Buddha, and becomes the latest nuclear power. 

Jun 13  The Weather Underground explode a bomb a Gulf Oil's Pittsburgh headquarter, the creating a minor damage. The naive strategy that the Weather Underground favored in splitting from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1969 has produced no political gains. This year four members, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn among them, write a fantasy book titled Prairie Fire, It states, "We have only begun. At this time, the unity and consolidation of anti-imperialist forces around a revolutionary program is an urgent and pressing strategic necessity."

Jun 15  Members of the British National Front has grown to about 20,000 members, some outspokenly racist. On the streets of London's West End, the group clashes with communist counter-demonstrators, eager for a heroic confrontation with "fascists." A student with the counter-demonstrators is killed.

Jun 31  Vietnamese forces commanded from Hanoi have begun a build up of men and supplies in South Vietnam.

Jul 1  In Argentina, Juan Peron has been ill. He dies and is succeeded by the vice president, his wife, Isabel Peron, who becomes the first female head of state in North America.

Jul 2  In Nicosia, Cyprus, President Makarios believes that Greek military officers are undermining his government. He demands the military regime in Athens withdraw its officers from Cyprus.

Jul 15  The regime in Athens sponsors a coup d'etat in Nicosia. Makarios flees and is replaced by a fervent Greek nationalist politician: Nikos Sampson.

Jul 17  The Irish Republican Army continues politics by terror by exploding a bomb in the Tower of London, killing 1 person and injuring 41.

Jul 19  Makarios addresses the UN Security Council and accuses Greece of having invaded Cyprus and of being a threat to all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish.

Jul 20  Turkey invades Cyprus, describing it as a "peace operation" designed to protect the Turkish community in Cyprus.

Jul 23   In Greece, senior military officers withdraw their support from leaders of the military junta.

Jul 24  In Greece, a moderate-conservative politician, Constantine Karamanlis, is sworn in as interim prime minister. He is intent on preparing the country for elections.

Jul 24  The US Supreme Court rules that President Nixon cannot withhold subpoenaed tapes from the Watergate special prosecutor.

Jul 27  The US House of Representatives adopts 3 articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the House Watergate Committee.

Jul 31  By now the morale of Saigon's army is eroding. More than 90 percent have not been receiving enough pay to sustain their families. Commanders, perhaps foreseeing Saigon's collapse, or at least worried about it, have been looking out for themselves and robbing payrolls. 

Aug 5  President Nixon's tapes reveal that he and his aide, Haldeman, discussed using the Central Intelligence Agency to block an FBI investigation. This is considered the long sought "smoking gun." Nixon's support among Republicans in Congress collapses.

Aug 7  President Nixon is anguished. He asks Secretary of State Kissinger to join him on his knees in prayer.

Aug 8  President Nixon announces his resignation effective August 9.

Aug 9  Vice President Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States.

Sep 8  President Ford pardons former President Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

Sep 13  Three members of the Japanese Red Army seize the French Embassy in the Netherlands.

Sep 19  The Japanese Red Army has freed its hostages and won the release of one of its members. They have been given $300,000 and a flight to Aden. In Aden they turn themselves and the $300,000 over to Palestinian guerrillas. One of the three is the founder of a Red Army, a young Japanese woman, Fusako Shigenobu, who had arrived in Europe in 1971. She was one of the planners of the airport massacre in Tel Aviv. She will remain sheltered in the Middle East for years and will be arrested in Japan in the year 2000.

Oct 8  President Ford makes his Whip Inflation Now speech. He proposes more food production and complains that one-third of oil consumed in the US is from foreign sources. He says that either by law or agreement the automobile industry will lower gas consumption 40 percent.

Nov 17  In Greece, Premier Constantine Caramanlis' newly organized political party wins the first elections in more than a decade.

Nov 19  William Calley is freed after serving 3 1/2 years under house arrest following his conviction for the murder of 22 civilians at My Lai.

Dec 11  Congress passes a foreign policy appropriations bill which cuts funding to Saigon's military.

Dec 13  North Vietnam makes probing attacks in Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. President Ford responds with diplomatic protests but no military force in compliance with the Congressional ban on all US military activity in Southeast Asia. The North Vietnamese find resistance by Saigon's forces surprisingly weak.

Dec 18  North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to plan a final drive against Saigon.

Dec 30  President Ford signs the foreign policy appropriations bill.

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