Timeline of United States history (1970–1989)

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This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1970 to 1989.


The Watergate scandal causes Nixon to be the first U.S. president to resign from office.

Presidency of Richard M. Nixon[edit]

Presidency of Gerald R. Ford[edit]

Presidency of Jimmy Carter[edit]

  • 1977 – Carter sworn in as the 39th President, Mondale as Vice President
  • 1977 – The first home personal computer, the Commodore PET, is released for retail sale.
  • 1977 – The television miniseries Roots airs on ABC, to critical acclaim and record audiences.
  • 1977 – The science-fiction space opera film Star Wars debuts in theaters.
  • 1977 – The New York City blackout of 1977 lasts for 25 hours, resulting in looting and other disorder.
  • 1977 – Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll, dies in his home in Graceland at age 42. 75,000 fans line the streets of Memphis for his funeral
  • 1977 – The Atari 2600 becomes the first successful home video game system, popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code
  • 1978 – Volkswagen becomes the second non-American automobile manufacturer (after Rolls-Royce) to open a plant in the United States, commencing production of the Rabbit.
  • 1978 – The Camp David Accords commence, where Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Israel) and President Anwar Sadat (Egypt) begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
  • 1978 – The Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Act is signed into law, adjusting the government's economic goals to include full employment, growth in production, price stability, and a balance of trade and budget.
  • 1978 – The Senate votes to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
  • 1978 – Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone are assassinated by Dan White in San Francisco on November 27.
  • 1979 – The Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurs, America's most catastrophic nuclear power plant accident in its history.
  • 1979 – The Iran hostage crisis begins. In the aftermath, a second energy crisis develops, tripling the price of oil and sending U. S. gasoline prices over $1 per gallon for the first time.
  • 1979 – American Airlines Flight 191 crashes after takeoff from O'Hare International Airport, killing all 271 aboard and two on the ground, making it one of the deadliest aviation incidents on U.S. soil.
  • 1979 — Facing bankruptcy, Chrysler receives government loan guarantees upon the request of CEO Lee Iacocca to help revive the company.
  • 1979 – The Sugarhill Gang releases Rapper's Delight, widely considered the first major hip hop song. The hip hop music movement occurred in the Early 1970s, but would evolve over time.


President Ronald Reagan was the face of the United States during the 1980s

Presidency of Ronald W. Reagan[edit]

Presidency of George H.W. Bush[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meet 'Mr. Earth Day,' the Man Who Helped Organize the Annual Observance". Time. Retrieved 2022-07-04.