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The

1970s
Jehiel Regis, Weston Horn,
Kerrington Richards, Ryan Mayeux
Social Changes
Video Games
In the 1970s the video game arcade became huge. With such releases as Pong, Space
Invaders and Breakout, video game arcades hit the world by storm. Space Invaders, for
example, has left a huge mark on gaming; if you have ever played a game that got harder
as you played then you have seen the results of Space Invaders. The computers available
at the time could not handle the amount of sprites drawn on screen so they suffered from
sluggish speeds. As you killed aliens the remaining ones went faster as the lag cleared up
there by accidentally inventing a difficulty curve.
Movies
The 1970s featured many of the best american films so far and saw a transition to unconventional artistic
films and then later to the first modern blockbuster. Censorship was reduced which helped young
filmmakers, known as the film brats, create more provocative and/or creative films. This was definitely a
result of the drug filled culture of the 70s and the hippie and anti-war movements. The 70s saw films such as
Taxi Driver and Barry Lyndon that mirrored the previous French New Wave from the 60s. Jaws, released in
1975, was only a glimpse at what was to come. In 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope drastically changed films,
resulting in the constant big action blockbusters and money-grabbing sequels that are often seen today.
Fashion
The 70s were the first time the look of t-shirt jeans and sneakers was popularized.
Before this time t-shirts were considered underwear.

It was also the first full decade that women of all sorts wearing pants was
acceptable.

Button down shirts and lumberjack plaid were popular, and

of course who could think of the 70s without thinking of

the bell bottom pants?


Sports
In the 1970s, there were as many tragic events in sports as there were exhilarating events. In 1970,
Muhammad Ali returns to boxing and the Marshall University Football team died in a plane crash. In 1971,
Richard Petty became the first three-time winner of the Daytona 500 and the second Ibrox disaster
occured. In 1972, a terrorist at the Summer Olympics killed 11 people from the Israeli team.
Political Changes
Federal Campaign Act Amendments
In response to the Watergate Scandal, Congress passed the Federal
Campaign Act Amendments in order to balance the power of government. These
amendments, known as the Federal Campaign Act Amendments, created an agency
that would enforce stricter laws. They also limited campaign funds as well.
National Environmental Policy Act
On January 1st, 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed. The act
required federal agencies to reconsider their decisions that could impact nature and the environment. They
also must create statements about the environmental impact of their decisions as well. According to Title I,
the government must use practical means where man and nature produce in harmony. NEPA also makes
sure that these federal agencies meet their obligations, under Title II. This was the first measures that the
United States took to protect the environment.
Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 was passed in response to
illegal drug use in the 1960s. The Act has two parts. The first part is Title II, which is called the Controlled
Substances Act. Title II lists drugs in five categories based on their danger level and medical purpose.
Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, while Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous. The
second part is Title III, which deals with the laws and penalties of importation and exportation of drugs.
Historical Events
Vietnam War
The United States got involved in the Vietnam war in the mid-60s, but the war did not end until 1975. Many
Americans protested against the Vietnam War, even before the dawn of the 1970s. Starting in 1970, the
United States invaded Cambodia and South Vietnam invaded Laos. These invasions sparked condemnation
and protests flared up in response to this. The United States and North Vietnam made a peace agreement in
1973, but the war between North and South Vietnam continued until 1975, when Vietnam took over Saigon.
A year later, Vietnam was unified into a communist country.
Watergate Scandal
Nixon had tried hard to become president in the past before he became one in 1968. Once he became
president, he tried to stay in power by listing people as those who oppose his administration, and those that
want to bring him down. As a result, Nixon and his team tried to gain an unfair advantage in the 1972
election. On June 17, 1972, several Nixon supporters broke into the Democratic Party’s office and stole
crucial campaign material. The men were later arrested, but then there was suspicion that the President was
involved. As a result, Nixon tried to cover up his involvement in the scandal. Nixon won the 1972 election,
but the scheme was revealed in 1973 when it was found that he was all behind the break-in at Watergate.
As a result, Nixon finally resigned in 1974. The Watergate Scandal had created an image in the minds of
Americans that they couldn’t trust in the government and that they could abuse their power.
OPEC Oil Embargo
The United States had become dependent on oil from Africa and the Middle East. Before the embargo, oil was cheap
and affordable. However, when the United States supported Israel against its Arab neighbors in the 1973 Yom Kippur War,
and in response the members of OPEC, especially its Arab members, placed an embargo on any country that supported Israel,
including the United States. This caused the price of oil to skyrocket. Price controls also created oil shortages, and oil
companies lost profits. The embargo eventually ended, but oil prices increased until the end of the 1970s. The oil crisis also led
to rampant inflation in the U.S. economy.
1976 Bicentennial
1976 was a significant year for the United States, since it marked the 200th anniversary of the nation. There
was going to be a nationwide event to celebrate the bicentennial, but smaller events celebrated it instead.
On the Fourth of July in 1976, sixteen ships arrived in New York as people watched them from a distance or
on TV. Leaders from many countries also visited the United States for the event, and President Gerald Ford
regarded the event as the best part of his administration. The event shows how America has endured and
existed for two hundred years, an achievement that isn’t feasible today.
Important People
Richard M. Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th elected President of the United States of America and served
from 1969 until 1974. Before his presidency, he served as a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator from
California. He was also the first and only president that resigned because of the issues involving the
Watergate scandal. He was born in Yorba, California on January 9, 1913 and died in Manhattan, New York
on April 22, 1994.
Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946. His early beginnings in
filmmaking began in his childhood. He became popular when a television movie
showed the potential that he could direct films for Hollywood. Some of his most
famous movies were Jaws, the Indiana Jones Movies, and Saving Private Ryan.
Cesar Chavez
Cesar Estrada Chavez was born in 1927. In his early years, he saw the conditions and hardships his parents and
fellow workers dealt with. He was a labor leader, aiming to improve the lives of farm workers by using nonviolence though
marches and hunger strikes. In 1962, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association. In 1965, Chavez’s union joined
with another union to protest against grapes. He also led to boycott lettuce and citrus fruits as well. Chavez then called for a
national boycott against California grapes in 1968. In 1972, Chavez’s union and the other union, the Agricultural Workers
Organizing Committee merged into one union, the United Farm Workers. Eventually, he and his supporters won their cause to
improve working conditions for farm workers. He died in 1993.
Science and Technology
The Mobile Phone
The first mobile phone was used in 1973 when Motorola engineer Martin
Cooper used a prototype to call another telecommunications company. Though the
mobile phone won’t be marketed until 1983, this technological innovation shows
how this affects today’s society, since the mobile phone is now part of everyday life.
VHS Tapes
In the 1970s, television recording became more affordable to the average consumer when a Japanese
company, JVC, released VHS tapes in 1976. A year later, the first VHS tapes in the United States were sold.
With VHS tapes, ordinary people can now record their favorite TV shows and watch them later when they
want. However, this kicked off a battle between JVC and Sony since Sony released Betamax, another type
of videocassette, in 1975. Nevertheless, the VHS format won against Betamax with its cheaper price and
longer recording time.
Digital Cameras
Before cellphones had cameras, Kodak engineer Steve Sasson created the first digital camera in 1975.
However, this camera weighed a whopping eight pounds, and it was not intended for production. The way
how the camera took pictures is pretty peculiar; it captured 0.01 megapixel pictures in black and white and
it was recorded on a cassette tape. It also took 23 seconds to take a picture on this camera. Lastly, the
pictures would be displayed on a TV while the data gets read from the cassette. This camera was a pioneer
of digital technologies that we use now on a daily basis.
Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972. The spacecraft was the first to pass through the
asteroid belt and make observations on Jupiter. By 1983, Pioneer 10 was the first
spacecraft to surpass Pluto’s orbit, making its way into the outer reaches of the
Solar System. Pioneer 10 also contains a golden plaque regarding on its origin.
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