Timeline: 1970s


1970s graphic

Thumbs UpApril 22, 1970: More than 20 million people participate in first Earth Day.

Thumbs DownMay 1970: National Guard kills four Kent State students at a protest; police fire on Jackson State protesters, killing two. A nationwide student strike follows, with more than 4 million students closing 900 colleges and universities.

Thumbs UpDDT banned, and Water Pollution Control Act passes in 1972.

War tax resistance soars to more than 200,000 who refuse to pay the excise taxes on phone bills or income tax.

Thumbs UpMilitary draft ends in 1973. U.S. moves to all-volunteer force. Draft evaders eventually get full pardons.

Thumbs Up Jan. 2, 1973. Roe v. Wade establishes a woman's legal right to abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.

1974. Richard Nixon resigns from office after the Watergate Scandal.

Thumbs Up1976. Toxic Substances Control Act passes, empowering the EPA to track the tens of thousands of industrial chemicals used in the United States, as well as to ban those that pose a threat to the environment or human health.

Thumbs Down10-year moratorium ends with the execution of Gary Gilmore by firing squad in Utah, Jan. 17, 1977.

Oklahoma becomes the first state to adopt lethal injection as a means of execution.

Thumbs UpSept. 17, 1978: Camp David Accord sets framework for peace between Egypt and Israel.

Thumbs Down March 28, 1979. Three Mile Island meltdown, the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power generating history.