Life in 1971
Imagine living in a world without Internet where the only telephones available were located in your home mounted on a wall or on a desk.
Photographs had to be developed from film with chemicals and recorded music was listened to on a record player at your home stereo or through an eight-track tape player in your car.
On television, there were still just three major networks - NBC, CBS and ABC and “the news’’ was only broadcast on TV at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The “opinions’’ of the TV news people were seldom, if ever, broadcast. TV programming ended at midnight.
Color TV and color photographs were still big deals. Air conditioning in your home or vehicle was considered luxury.
The top TV shows included All In The Family, The Brady Bunch and The Beverly Hillbillies.
The top movies of the year - watched exclusively in movie theaters - were Big Jake, starring John Wayne and Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood. The top songs of the year included Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who and You’re Looking At Country by Loretta Lynn.
There were very few professional athletes making $1 million.
Internet did not exist. Typewriters were still common in the workplace.
This was how it was in 1971 when the great high school classes of that year were graduated. Obviously, our society and culture was a lot different back then. But it was a lot like today, too.
Here’s some of the big news from 1971:
January - After the passing of the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act in 1970, cigarette advertising was banned on television and radio.
Chemists at Berkeley announce the first synthetic production of a growth hormone.
Super Bowl V takes place, where the Baltimore Colts defeat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13. With just five seconds remaining, Jim O’Brien scores the winning points on a 32-yard field goal to win the Colts the NFL championship.
Apollo 14, the third crewed mission to land on the moon, launches to return to Earth after landing on Feb. 5.
Satchel Paige is the first black league player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In the Vietnam wWr, South Vietnamese troops invade Laos with the backing of American air and artillery support.
A secret taping system is installed in the White House by President Richard Nixon.
In boxing, Muhammad Ali’s 31-fight winning streak is ended by Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The fight was called the “Fight of the Century.”
An amendment is approved by the United States Senate to lower the voting age to 18.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds busing as a means of achieving racial desegregation in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.
There was a march on Washington D.C., by about 500,000 anti-Vietnam war protesters. Another 125,000 marched in San Francisco. It became the largest demonstration against a United States war in history.
May - The Amtrak Railroad in the United States begins operations.
A total of 13,000 anti-Vietnam war protesters are arrested by the Nixon administration in three days.
It is concluded that 60 percent of Americans are against the Vietnam War as the Harris Poll is taken.
June - TV host Ed Sullivan holds his final TV show on CBS.
North Vietnam demands that the United States end their aid to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Excerpts from the Pentagon Papers begin to be published by The New York Times. The Pentagon Papers were classified documents that carried information on the United States’ involvement in Vietnam.
July -Washington state becomes the first state to ban sex discrimination.
The 26th Amendment is formally certified by President Richard Nixon and becomes part of the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
The fourth manned landing on the moon takes place when Apollo 15 is launched.
After landing on the moon, astronauts on Apollo 15 take a six and a half hour electric car ride on the moon.
August - After winning the Dixie 500 in Atlanta, Ga., Richard Petty becomes the first NASCAR driver to win a million dollars in career earnings.
In the first $1 million contract in NHL history, Bobby Orr signs a five-year contract with the Boston Bruins.
September - The team involved in Watergate break into Daniel Ellsberg’s doctor’s office. The burglars were trying to find information about Ellsberg to discredit him.
October - In Orlando, Fla. Walt Disney World opened, becoming the most visited vacation resort.
In the 68th World Series, the Baltimore Orioles are beaten by the Pittsburgh Pirates 4 games to 3.
December - The longest game in NFL history takes place between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs, with the Chiefs losing to the Dolphins 27-24. The game lasted 82 minutes and 40 seconds.