1973 in the United States
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Events from the year 1973 in the United States.
- President: Richard Nixon (R-California)
- Vice President:
- Chief Justice: Warren E. Burger (Minnesota)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Carl Albert (D-Oklahoma)
- Senate Majority Leader: Mike Mansfield (D-Montana)
- Congress: 92nd (until January 3), 93rd (starting January 3)
- January 1 – CBS sells the New York Yankees for $10 million to a 12-person syndicate led by George Steinbrenner ($3.2 million more than CBS bought the Yankees for).
- January 7 – Mark Essex kills four civilians and three police officers during a siege at the Downtown Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in New Orleans. Ten hours after the siege began, Essex is killed by a volley of gunfire from police officers stationed inside a Marine helicopter.
- January 14
- Elvis Presley's concert in Hawaii is the first worldwide telecast by an entertainer watched by more people than watched the Apollo moon landings. However, it was not shown in Eastern Bloc countries because of communist censorship, with the sole exception of East Germany. In the United States and Brazil, it did not air until April of that year.
- Super Bowl VII: The Miami Dolphins defeat the Washington Redskins 14–7 to complete the NFL's first (and only, thus far) perfect season.
- January 15 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
- January 20 – President Nixon is sworn in for his second term.
- January 22
- Roe v. Wade: The U.S. Supreme Court overturns state bans on abortion.
- Former President Lyndon B. Johnson dies at his Johnson City, Texas, ranch, leaving no former U.S. President living until the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.
- George Foreman wins boxing's World Heavyweight Championship, defeating Joe Frazier by technical knockout in the second round at Kingston, Jamaica.
- January 23 – President Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
- January 27 – U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ends with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.
- February 11 – Vietnam War: The first American prisoners of war are released from Vietnam.
- February 12 – Ohio becomes the first U.S. state to post distance in metric on signs (see Metric system in the United States).
- February 13 – The United States Dollar is devalued by 10%.
- February 21 – The 5.8 Mw Point Mugu earthquake affected the south coast of California with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). Several people were injured and damage totaled $1 million.
- February 22 – Sino-American relations: Following President Richard Nixon's visit to mainland China, the United States and the People's Republic of China agree to establish liaison offices.
- February 27 – The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
- March 17 – Many of the few remaining United States soldiers begin to leave Vietnam. One reunion of a former POW with his family is immortalized in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy.
- March 23 – Watergate scandal (United States): In a letter to Judge John Sirica, Watergate burglar James W. McCord Jr. admits that he and other defendants have been pressured to remain silent about the case. He names former Attorney General John Mitchell as 'overall boss' of the operation.
- March 26 – UCLA captures its seventh consecutive college basketball national championship and eighth in ten seasons under John Wooden, defeating Memphis State 87-66 in the finals of the NCAA tournament at St. Louis. UCLA center Bill Walton sets championship game records by connecting on 21 of 22 field goal attempts and scoring 44 points.
- March 29 – The last United States soldier leaves Vietnam.
- April 3 – The first handheld cellular phone call is made by Martin Cooper in New York City.
- April 4 – The World Trade Center officially opens in New York City with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
- April 6
- April 17
- Federal Express officially begins operations, with the launch of 14 small aircraft from Memphis International Airport. On that night, Federal Express delivers 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities from Rochester, New York, to Miami, Florida.
- For the first time, the Army Corps of Engineers opens the Morganza Spillway near Baton Rouge to relieve record flooding along the lower Mississippi River.
- April 30 – Watergate scandal: President Richard Nixon announces that White House Counsel John Dean has been fired and that Attorney General Richard Kleindienst has resigned along with staffers H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.
- May 3 – The Sears Tower in Chicago is finished, becoming the world's tallest building (held until 1998).
- May 5 – Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby.
- May 8 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and American Indian Movement activists who were occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants.
- May 10 – The New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 102–93 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA title.
- May 14 – Skylab, the United States' first space station, is launched.
- May 17 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
- May 25 – Skylab 2 (Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz, Joseph Kerwin) is launched on a mission to repair damage to the recently launched Skylab space station.
- May 30 – Gordon Johncock wins the Indianapolis 500 in the Patrick Racing Special Eagle-Offenhauser, after only 133 laps, due to rain. (The race was begun May 28 but was called due to rain, and the race was unable to be restarted May 29.)
- June 9 – Secretariat wins the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths becoming a Triple Crown winner and breaking a 25-year hiatus since 1948.
- June 16 – U.S. President Richard Nixon begins several talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
- June 21 – The Supreme Court of the U.S. delivers its decision in the landmark case Miller v. California, establishing the "Miller test" for determining obscenity.
- June 22 – W. Mark Felt ("Deep Throat") retires from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- June 24 – UpStairs Lounge arson attack: A fire at a gay bar in New Orleans' French Quarter kills 32.
- June 25 – Watergate scandal: Former White House counsel John Dean begins his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee.
- July 1 – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is founded.
- July 2 – The United States Congress passes the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) mandating Special Education federally.
- July 5 – The catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, kills 11 firefighters. This explosion has become a classic incident, studied in fire department training programs worldwide.
- July 12 – 1973 National Archives Fire: A major fire destroys the entire 6th floor of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
- July 15 – Nolan Ryan of the California Angels pitches his second no-hitter of the season vs. the Detroit Tigers. He previous no-hit the Kansas City Royals exactly two months prior.
- July 16 – Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield informs the United States Senate Watergate Committee that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.
- July 28 – Skylab 3 (Owen Garriott, Jack Lousma, Alan Bean) is launched, to conduct various medical and scientific experiments aboard Skylab.
- July 31 – A Delta Air Lines Flight 173 DC9-31 aircraft lands short of Boston's Logan Airport runway in poor visibility, striking a sea wall about 165 feet (50 m) to the right of the runway centerline and about 3,000 feet (914 m) short. All 6 crew members and 83 passengers are killed, 1 of the passengers dying several months after the accident.
- August 8 – The death of Dean Corll leads to the discovery of the Houston Mass Murders: 27 boys have been killed by 3 men.
- August 11 – DJ Kool Herc originates the hip hop music genre in New York City.
- August 15 – The U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, officially halting 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia.
- September 11 – Chile's democratically elected government is overthrown in a military coup after serious instability. President Salvador Allende commits suicide during the coup in the presidential palace, and General Augusto Pinochet heads a U.S.-backed military junta that governs Chile for the next 16 years.
- September 20 – The Battle of the Sexes: Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match, 6–4, 6–4, 6–3, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.
- September 22 – Henry Kissinger, United States National Security Advisor, starts his term as United States Secretary of State.
- September 28 – ITT is bombed in New York City by the Weather Underground protesting its involvement in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état.
- October 1 – The Ideal Toy Company debuts the Evel Knievel stunt-cycle, which would go on to become one of the best-selling toys of Christmas 1973.
- October 6 – American Country Countdown, a country music-oriented spinoff of the nationally syndicated radio program American Top 40, debuts with host Don Bowman. The countdown, featuring the top 40 country hits of the week according to the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart, becomes a major success.
- October 10 – Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States and then, in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion on $29,500 he received in 1967, while he was governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on 3 years' probation.
- October 18 – Donna Olson joins California Dental Service (CDS). Donna, who was on the exclusive SF Chronicle's 1972 list of Top 20 Under 20, had recently graduated from Balboa High School. She spent the summer attending San Francisco's most exclusive galas and doing charity work with European royalty.
- October 20 – The Saturday Night Massacre: U.S. President Richard Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns, along with Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the Department of Justice, then fires Cox. The event raises calls for Nixon's impeachment.
- October 21 – The Oakland A's repeat as champions of Major League Baseball, defeating the New York Mets 5-2 in game 7 of the World Series.
- October 27 – The Canon City meteorite, a 1.4 kilogram chondrite type meteorite, strikes Earth in Fremont County, Colorado.
"People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."
President Richard Nixon, November 17, 1973
- November 1 – Watergate scandal: Acting Attorney General Robert Bork appoints Leon Jaworski as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.Confirmation needed
- November 3
- November 7 – The Congress of the United States overrides President Richard M. Nixon's veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.
- November 11 – Egypt and Israel sign a United States-sponsored cease-fire accord.
- November 16
- November 17 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors "I'm not a crook."
- November 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, reveals the existence of an 181⁄2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.
- November 27 – The United States Senate votes 92–3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.
- December 3 – Pioneer program: Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
- December 6 – The United States House of Representatives votes 387–35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States; he is sworn in the same day.
- December 15 – Gay rights: The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its DSM-II.
- December 16 – O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills became the first running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a pro football season.
- December 26 – The Exorcist, the film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's 1971 bestselling novel, is released in 30 theaters nationwide. Long lines form as it becomes a huge success, helped by accounts of audiences fainting and vomiting.
- December 28 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
- Cold War (1947–1991)
- Space Race (1957–1975)
- Vietnam War, U.S. involvement (1964–1973)
- Détente (c. 1969–1979)
- Watergate scandal (1972–1974)
- Capital punishment suspended by Furman v. Georgia (1972–1976)
- 1973 oil crisis (1973–1974)
- 1970s energy crisis (1973–1980)
- DOCUMERICA photography project (1972-1977)
- January 4 – Harmony Korine, director, producer, and screenwriter
- January 29 – Jason Schmidt, baseball player
- March 20 – Cedric Yarbrough, actor
- April 13 – Bokeem Woodbine, actor
- April 20 – Todd Hollandsworth baseball player and sportscaster
- May 1 – Curtis Martin, American football player
- May 12
- May 17 – Josh Homme, Singer/Songwriter
- June 11 – Dana Brunetti, film producer
- June 15 – Neil Patrick Harris, actor, producer, singer, comedian, magician, and television host
- June 21 – Juliette Lewis, actress and singer
- August 3 – Chris Murphy, United States Senator from Connecticut since 2013.
- August 6 – Vera Farmiga, actress, director and producer
- August 22 – Kristen Wiig, actress, comedian, writer and producer
- August 24 – Dave Chappelle, stand-up comedian
- August 28 – Matthew John Armstrong, actor
- September 12 – Paul Walker, actor (d. 2013)
- October 10 – Mario Lopez, actor and entertainment journalist
- October 24 – Kurt Kuenne, filmmaker, known for the documentary Dear Zachary
- October 27 – Anthony Doerr, Author ( All The Light We Cannot See)
- November 14
- November 24 – Amy Faye Hayes, ring announcer and model.
- December 12
- December 21 – Mike Alstott, American football player
- December 24 – Stephenie Meyer, American young adult fiction writer and film producer
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2011)
- January 22 – Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States from 1963 until 1969, 37th Vice President of the United States from 1961 until 1963 (born 1908)
- January 24 – J. Carrol Naish, actor (born 1896)
- March 18 – William Benton, United States Senator from Connecticut from 1949 until 1953. (born 1900)
- May 18 – Jeannette Rankin, first United States congresswoman (born 1880)
- July 20 – Bruce Lee, actor, martial artist and filmmaker (born 1940)
- September 20 – Jim Croce, singer (born 1943)
- December 20 – Bobby Darin, American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, dancer, impressionist and TV presenter (born 1936)
- James Stuart Olson, ed. (1999). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of the 1970s. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-30543-6.
- Mitchell K. Hall (2008). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of the Nixon-Ford Era. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6410-8.
- "Birthplace of Hip Hop". History Detectives. PBS. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
- "On This Day", New York Times, retrieved November 26, 2014
- "Denise PARKER - Olympic Archery | United States of America". International Olympic Committee. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Media related to 1973 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons