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macrohistory & world timeline

Timeline: 1975

Jan 9  In Florence, Italy, police raid an abortion clinic, creating controversy.

Jan 15  In Greece, former dictator, George Papdopoulos, is charged with high treason and insurrection.

Feb 11  In Britain, Margaret Thatcher is chosen leader of the Conservative Party, the first woman to lead a British political party. She is known as an articulate member of the House of Commons.

Feb 18  Jane Fonda files $2.8 million damage suit against the U.S. government, charging violation of her civil rights. The Justice Department confirms that the CIA intercepted her overseas mail. 

Feb 18  Italy's highest court rules that abortion is legal if a pregnancy threatens the mother's physical or psychological health.

Feb 21  The Vatican declares the ruling on abortion questionable and of extreme gravity and states that abortion is morally unconscionable even if it is permitted by civil law.

Feb 25  The West German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe declares as unconstitutional a law allowing abortions on request during the first three months of pregnancy.

Mar 6  The Shah of Iran and Baathist Iraq agree on a border between the two countries and declare a bond of "friendship and neighborliness.". 

Mar 15  Aristotle Onassis dies. The former Jacqueline Kennedy is a widow again.

Mar 18  In Iraq, the peace and friendship between Iran and Iraq ends a year-old Kurd rebellion led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani. The Kurds had been supported by the Shah of Iran and by the CIA, the latter having been disturbed by Iraq's association with the Soviet Union.

Mar 26  During a royal audience, the young Saudi prince, Faisal ibu Masaed, fires three bullets at his uncle the king, Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz, fatally wounding him.

Mar 30  North Vietnam's Army is the fifth largest army in the world. It has overrun the city of Hue. Saigon's military is in full retreat. The city of Da Nang is overrun. Around 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers surrender after being abandoned by their commanding officers.

Apr 4  The first group of boat people from South Vietnam begin arriving in Malaysia.

Apr 5  Chiang Kai-shek's dream of taking back the mainland has come to an end with his death. Taiwan is shifting its focus from that project to advancing its economy.

Apr 12 In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge are closing in on the capital, Phnom Penh. The U.S. evacuates its embassy personnel. Among the evacuees are some of Cambodia's most senior government ministers, including its acting president, Saukham Khoy.

Apr 17 In Paris, representatives of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge announce that the new Khmer Rouge government will follow a policy of neutrality and nonalignment. In Phnom Penh, many are joyous, believing that five years of civil war has ended. Khmer Rouge troops march into the city, disciplined, without a smile of friendship toward the celebrants in the streets.

Apr 18 China conveys its "warmest congratulations and highest esteem" to Prince Norodom Sihanouk and the new Cambodian leaders on their victory.

Apr 20 A radio station in Phnom Penh has been broadcasting only revolutionary music and slogans. The Khmer Rouge tells the people of Phnom Penh that the Americans are going to bomb the city. They begin to evacuate all residents.

Apr 21 Members of the Symbonese Liberation Army rob a bank in suburban Sacramento, California. One member, Emily Harris, kills a mother of four with a 12-gauge shotgun. Patricia Hearst drives the getaway car.

Apr 21 Nguyen Van Thieu resigns as President of South Vietnam. In an address he accuses the United States of having broken its promises. He is succeeded by Vice President Tran Van Huong.

Apr 23  President Ford announces that the Vietnam War is "finished as far as America is concerned." He says that "the fate of responsible men and women everywhere, in the final decision, is in their own hands, not ours."

Apr 25  A few members of Germany's Red Army Faction take over the German embassy in Stockholm, and after denied their demand for the release of twenty-six of their comrades they explode a bomb that kills two German diplomats.

Apr 26  From the French Embassy in Phnom Pehn, diplomats express concern about shortages of food, water and medical supplies. The embassy is housing diplomats and other foreigners, including five American newsmen.

Apr 27  Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops. Looting erupts.

Apr 29  U.S. helicopters lift people to three U.S. aircraft carriers. South Vietnamese pilots land their helicopters, which are pushed over the side to make room for more arrivals.

Apr 29  U.S. and Greek officials announce the end of the home-port arrangement for the U.S. Sixth Fleet and the closing of the U.S. air base at Athens airport.

Apr 30  The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong occupy the presidential palace in Saigon.

May 5  The U.S. State Department announces its belief that the Khmer Rouge has forcibly evacuated virtually the entire population from Phnom Penh.

May 12  The Khmer Rouge, aboard three gunboats, takes possession of a U.S. cargo ship, the U.S. Mayaguez, in a shipping lane off the coast of Cambodia.

May 14  U.S. President Gerald Ford sends a company of Marines to rescue the Mayaguez and its crew. The ship's 40 crew members are rescued and an equal number of U.S. servicemen are killed in the operation. Three Marines are taken prisoner and will not survive their captivity. The Khmer Rouge have gained nothing.

May 16  In Sikkim, people have rebelled against their monarchy. India annexes Sikkim, which becomes India's second smallest state.

Jun 2  In Maine, James A. Healy becomes the first black Roman Catholic bishop.

Jun 5  The Suez Canal, closed during Egypt's 1967 war with Israel, is reopened.

Jun 18  In a Riyadh shopping center, Prince Faisal ibu Masaed Faisal Ibn Mussed is beheaded for having killed his uncle, King Faisal.

Jun 25  In Eastern Africa, Mozambique becomes independent after five centuries of Portuguese rule. Around 600,000 Portuguese farmers have abandoned their farms, devastating Mozambique's agriculture.

Jul 1  Thailand and China establish diplomatic relations.

Jul 5  Arthur Ashe defeats Jimmy Conners, becoming the first black to win a Wimbledon singles title.

Jul 5  Portugal grants independence to the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of West Africa.

Aug 1  In Helsinki, Finland, representatives of 35 countries sign the Helsinki Accords. They include the Soviet Union, the United States, Turkey and Europe's various states. The Accords declare respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty, the inviolability of frontiers, non-intervention in internal affairs, self-determination, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. The Soviet Union is happy with the Accords, believing it offers them more security.

Aug 4  In Malaysia, the Japanese Red Army raids a building that houses the U.S., Swedish, Japanese and Canadian embassies. They take 50 hostages and demand release of comrades in prison in Japan.

Aug 8  The Japanese government sends the Red Army their seven comrades, and the Red Army releases its hostages. Japan Airlines flies the Red Army members to Libya where the army members surrender peacefully to Libyan authorities.

Aug 15  In Bangladesh, a pre-dawn military coup by mid-ranking army officers murders the country's founding leader, Sheik Mujibar Rahman, and his family.

Aug 16  In Bangladesh, coup officers back a political figurehead, Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed. He announces that parliamentary democracy will be restored by February 1977, and he lifts what had been the ban on political parties.

Aug 18  A Japan Air Lines spokesman expresses his view that the airline will refuse future requests to fly terrorists to countries that might offer them political asylum.

Aug 23  In Laos, a coalition government created by Communists takes power peacefully following days of planning and negotiations. The king of Laos, Savang Vatthana, is reduced to a figurehead.

Aug 24  In what has been an open trial, Col. George Papadopoulos and 19 others who took power in 1967 are found guilty of high treason and insurrection. Papadopoulos and two others are sentenced to death by firing squad.

Aug 25  Greece's government spares the lives of Papadopoulos and the two others sentenced to death, leaving the three with life sentences.

Aug 26  In Venice, Italy, preventive measures, long in progress, stop the city from sinking into the sea.  

Aug 27  Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, out of power for almost one year and still worshipped as a savior and as God Incarnate by Rastafarians, dies at the age 83. 

Sep 5  In Sacramento, California, Lynette "Squeeky" Fromme, a mystic and follower of Charles Manson, plans to speak to President Ford about the plight of California's redwood trees. President Ford is visiting Sacramento. Fromme points a pistol at the president and pulls the trigger but there is no round in the chamber. She is arrested.  

Sep 8  Boston's public schools begin a court-ordered citywide busing program. The National Guard has been called out to prevent violence.

Sep 18  In an apartment in San Francisco with other Symbionese Liberation Army members, Patty Hearst is arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sep 22  In San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore, an FBI informer and self-proclaimed revolutionary fires a shot at President Ford. She had tried to reach by telephone those protecting the President. She believes that the government is making war against the left. She is to say that she did not want to kill anybody but "there comes a point when the only way you can make a statement is to pick up a gun."

Oct 9  Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov, civil rights advocate and creator of the first hydrogen bomb, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Soviet Union will not allow him to travel to Norway to receive the prize.

Oct 10  Israel and Egypt sign the Sinai Accord. Borders between the two countries are re-established and shipping through the Suez Canal is opened to Israel.

Oct 15  Iceland, committed to its fishing industry, moves its international boundary from 50 miles offshore to 200 miles.

Oct 30 The dictator Franco is incapacitated. Prince Juan Carlos assumes power in Spain.

Nov 3  In Bangladesh, military officers who resent the military coup of August 15 take power.

Nov 7  Fear that the new regime will renew ties with India, another coup takes place in Bangladesh. President Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed returns as a figurehead president. Ziaur Rahman is the power behind the president. He cancels the elections for 1977.

Nov 11  Angola acquires independence from Portugal. Fidel Castro orders Cuban troops to Angola to support the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which declares itself Angola's legitimate government.

Nov 18  Apparently having given up on revolution and seven years of exile, Eldridge Cleaver flies from Paris to New York, willing to face legal charges against him.

Nov 20  Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, dies at the age of 83.

Nov 22  Juan Carlos is proclaimed king of Spain.

Nov 26  A federal jury in Sacramento finds Lynette Fromme guilty of trying to assassinate President Ford.

Nov 26  Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson has created a new field of study, expressed in his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. He is being attacked from the political left and answers a hostile article in the New York Review of Books in this week's issue of that journal.

Nov 28  In Southeast Asia, East Timor proclaims independence from Portuguese rule.    

Dec 3  In Laos, King Savang Vatthana is forced to abdicate. The People's Democratic Republic is proclaimed. The new republic is aligned with Vietnam and gives Vietnam the right to station troops within its borders and to appoint personnel to assist in overseeing the country.

Dec 6  Lebanon's army has disintegrated as soldiers have deserted to ethnic militias. On this day, to be known as Black Saturday, an estimated 200 to 600 people, mostly civilians, are killed in sectarian violence. A civil war has begun that will last to 1990.

Dec 8  Indonesia claims rule over East Timor and invades.

Dec21  In Austria the Saudi oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, and other oil ministers at the OPEC gathering are abducted by four "pro-Palestinian" terrorists. They kill three and take 11 oil ministers and about 80 others hostage.

Dec 23  The terrorists have been flown to Algiers with forty hostages and $1 billion in ransom money, a stop on a journey that will extend into 1976, to Baghdad and then to Tripoli. A Venezuelan revolutionary in his twenties, to be known as Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez), is to take credit for planning the operation. He speaks five languages, has been in Europe since 1968, and has been active with Palestinians.

Dec 25  Equatorial Africa's dictator, Francisco Macías Nguema, has 150 of his political opponents executed in football stadium football in Malabo to the amplified sound of a band playing the Mary Hopkin's tune Those Were the Days.

to 1974 | to 1976

Copyright © 2007-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.