The 1970s Timeline
Timeline Description: The United States underwent great upheaval during the 1970s, both politically and culturally. Under domestic pressure, the country changed its approach to overseas conflicts and became involved in more conflicts in the Middle East. At home, marginalized groups demonstrated for more rights, and conservative groups lashed out against the freedom of the 1960s.

Date Event
August 26, 1970 Women strike for equality in New York City.

On the fiftieth anniversary of women's suffrage, the National Organization for Women (NOW) organizes the Strike for Equality Parade in New York City. Around 50,000 women march in this first big demonstration for women's rights.
November 12, 1970 The U.S. Army tries officers for covering up the My Lai massacre.

In 1968, Charlie Company of the U.S. Army massacres civilians in the Vietnamese village of My Lai, but the massacre is not revealed until 1969. An official Army investigation results in 14 officers being charged for their involvement; only one is found guilty.
February 21, 1972 President Nixon visits China.

Hoping to ease tensions with the People's Republic of China, President Richard Nixon visits the country in a highly televised trip. The visit is a success, leading China and the United States to establish formal diplomatic relations in 1979.
March 22, 1972 The Senate passes the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Senate passes the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, which proposes banning discrimination based on sex. The E.R.A. is sent to the states for ratification, but it falls short of the three-fourths approval needed, largely due to the anti-ERA campaign of Phyllis Schlafly and other conservative women.
May 26, 1972 The United States and the Soviet Union sign the SALT Treaty.

Nixon visits the Soviet Union as part of his effort to reduce tensions between the two superpowers. He and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) Treaty, in which both leaders agree to limit the number of nuclear weapons in their arsenals.
January 1973 The U.S. and Vietnam reach a ceasefire agreement.

After a long and inconclusive struggle in the Vietnam War, the US and South Vietnam reach a ceasefire agreement with the Vietcong during peace talks in Paris. The US begins to withdraw combat troops, but continues to send large amounts of aid to South Vietnam.
February 27, 1973 The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee.

The American Indian Movement (AIM) seizes Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and stages a 71-day occupation, calling attention to long-standing injustices towards Native Americans. A U.S. Marshal and two Native Americans die as a result of the occupation, which raises American awareness of these issues.
October 1973 OPEC halts oil exports to the United States.

Due to the United States' support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) issue an embargo against the United States, halting oil exports. Customers in the United States experience long lines at gas stations and at times cannot find gas at all. OPEC finally lifts the embargo in 1974.
August 8, 1974 Nixon resigns from office.

In the wake of the Watergate scandal, 1973 hearings reveal that Nixon covered up a botched burglary during his reelection campaign. Rather than face impeachment, Nixon becomes the first American president to resign from office. Representative Gerald Ford replaces him as president.
1975 The Voting Rights Act allows bilingual elections.

Congress amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark legislation that prohibited racial discrimination in voting. The 1975 amendment requires areas of the US with large non-English-speaking populations to hold bilingual elections. This legislation is a victory for Latinos and other minority groups.
July 4, 1976 The U.S. celebrates its bicentennial.

Throughout 1976 the U.S. marks its bicentennial with local parades, fireworks, and other events. The celebration culminates on July 4, the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
September 17, 1978 The Camp David Accords call for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The United States supported Israel during multiple Arab-Israeli conflicts throughout the 1970s, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter facilitates peace talks between Egypt and Israel. The Camp David Accords, signed in Maryland, call for an end to hostilities, and the two nations sign a peace treaty in 1979.
June 1979 Jerry Falwell forms the Moral Majority.

During the 1970s, evangelical Christian churches grew rapidly and took an interest in conservative political causes. Reverend Jerry Falwell founds the Moral Majority, a group that aids political candidates who favor conservative religious goals; the group later helps elect Ronald Reagan to the Presidency in 1980.
June 17, 1979 The United States and the Soviet Union sign the SALT II Treaty.

President Jimmy Carter and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II Treaty in Vienna. This treaty further limits the total of both nations' nuclear forces and eases tensions between them. However, the US withdraws the Treaty in early 1980 when the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
November 4, 1979 The Iranian hostage crisis begins.

After President Carter allows the deposed Shah of Iran to enter the United States for medical treatment, Iranian revolutionaries storm the American embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages, including 66 Americans. The crisis is not resolved until 1981, leaving tension between Iran and the US.