Media History Project
mediahst@umn.edu

1970-1979 C.E.

  • 1970: Congress outlaws tobacco ads in broadcasting.
  • 1970: Heller, Good As Gold, a novel examining a man’s self-loathing, obsession.
  • 1970: On Broadway, Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • 1970: On television, Monday Night Football.
  • 1970: Sondheim brings Company’s sexual revolution to Broadway.
  • 1970: National Book Awards: Carol Oates, Lillian Hellman.
  • 1970: Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, adds to feminist literature.
  • 1970: The Protestant New English Bible and the Catholic New American Bible.
  • 1970: Postal Reform Bill makes U.S. Postal Service self-supporting.
  • 1970: Corning Glass Works spins out optical fiber clear enough for light pulses.
  • 1970: Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics stirs feminist thinking.
  • 1970: Teams of players compete in shooting games on Internet.
  • 1970: FCC refuses to extend Fairness Doctrine to anti-war, environmental groups.
  • 1970: In Germany, a videodisk is demonstrated.
  • 1970: IBM System 370 allows time-sharing, online computing.
  • 1970: Eudora Welty’s novel Losing Battles imagines two days in a Mississippi town.
  • 1970: Alohanet, first wireless computer networking system, University of Hawaii.
  • 1970: Picturephone commercial service begins in downtown Pittsburgh.
  • 1970: U.S. Post Office and Western Union offer Mailgrams.
  • 1970: The Mary Tyler Moore Show starts 7-year run on CBS-TV.
  • 1970: Also on TV: All My Children, Flip Wilson Show, Partridge Family.
  • 1970: Huntley-Brinkley Report becomes NBC Nightly News. Chet Huntley retires.
  • 1970: 55% of American adults complete high school; slightly more females.
  • 1970: Controversial Japanese author Mishima Yukio commits ritual suicide.
  • 1970: Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week starts 32-year run on TV.
  • 1970: Phil Donahue Show starts 26-year run.
  • 1970: Oscars (given 1971): Patton, George C. Scott (refuses Oscar), Glenda Jackson.
  • 1970: Also at the movies: Five Easy Pieces, Love Story, Airport, M*A*S*H.
  • 1970: Foreign language film Oscar: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Ital.
  • 1970: Mr. Sammler’s Planet wins Saul Bellow another National Book Award.
  • 1970: Big Bird of Sesame Street gets a Time cover.
  • 1970: Probably starting in New York: the disco hustle.
  • 1970: National Public Radio (NPR).
  • 1970: Picturephone services offered in downtown Pittsburgh.
  • 1970: AP sends news by computer.
  • 1970: Nobel Prize in Literature: Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
  • 1970: Film Jane Eyre made with new Dolby noise reduction.
  • 1970: Canadian filmmakers invent giant projector IMAX system.
  • 1970: FM stations target population segments, introducing “narrowcasting”.
  • 1970: Mini-Moog synthesizers sold to touring rock bands.
  • 1970: Some FM stations offer stereophonic music.
  • 1970: FCC forces television networks out of syndication business with “Fin-Syn” rules.
  • 1970: U.S. movie tickets drop from 3 billion plus in 1950 to under 1 billion.
  • 1970: Arcades go into shopping malls.
  • 1971: Computer Space competes in taverns against pinball machines, fails.
  • 1971: Software patent issued for computerized telephone switching system.
  • 1971: Nobel Prize in Literature: Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet.
  • 1971: Newspapers switch from hot metal letterpress to offset.
  • 1971: National Public Radio.
  • 1971: Email.
  • 1971: FCC orders broadcasters to “ascertain community needs..
  • 1971: National Science Foundation begins two-year videotex test.
  • 1971: Laser printer created by Xerox.
  • 1971: PBS imports Masterpiece Theater shows from Britain.
  • 1971: ARPANET, Internet forerunner, has 22 university, government connections.
  • 1971: Project Gutenberg starts to enter great documents, literature online.
  • 1971: Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War is a best-seller, will become a mini-series.
  • 1971: Intel builds the 4004 microprocessor, “a computer on a chip..
  • 1971: Oscars (given 1972): The French Connection, Gene Hackman, Jane Fonda.
  • 1971: Also at the movies: Klute, The Last Picture Show, Fiddler on the Roof.
  • 1971: Foreign language film Oscar: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Italy.
  • 1971: World swallows hoax of primitive Philippine Tasaday tribe of cave dwellers.
  • 1971: Wang 1200 is the first word processor.
  • 1971: Gerry Trudeau introduces Doonesbury.
  • 1971: Texas Instruments sells a popular portable electronic calculator.
  • 1971: New York Times publishes “The Pentagon Papers."
  • 1971: American television grows more socially conscious with All in the Family.
  • 1971: Masterpiece Theatre arrives from Britain.
  • 1971: In Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens.
  • 1971: John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, seminal work in modern philosophy.
  • 1971: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ, Superstar, on Broadway.
  • 1971: Long-running musical Godspell begins off-Broadway.
  • 1971: National Book Awards: Saul Bellow, Francis Steegmuller.
  • 1971: Elizabeth Janeway, Man’s World, Woman’s Place.
  • 1971: AM-FM radios are installed in new cars.
  • 1971: Jerzy Kosinski’s satire on television viewing, Being There.
  • 1971: World watches as terrorists seize Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics.
  • 1971: On National Public Radio, All Things Considered.
  • 1971: Fiddler on the Roof closes; longest running Broadway musical.
  • 1972: Ms. magazine.
  • 1972: Videocassette movies for sale or rent in stores.
  • 1972: In Philippines, Marcos’ martial law throttles one of Asia’s freest presses.
  • 1972: C, a programming language for the Unix operating system.
  • 1972: Sony sells a videotape system for the home, the Betamax.
  • 1972: Deep Throat starts porn movie industry explosion.
  • 1972: Historian Daniel Boorstin publishes the first of his 3-volume The Americans.
  • 1972: European manufacturers (Decca, Phillips, AEG) bring out the video disc.
  • 1972: A satellite is used for live television transmission.
  • 1972: Washington Post begins Watergate reporting that will bring down president.
  • 1972: Public demonstration of ARPANET.
  • 1972: : On TV: The Waltons, Sanford and Son.
  • 1972: Broadway musical Grease begins long run.
  • 1972: National Book Awards: Flannery O’Connor, Charles Rosen.
  • 1972: HBO starts pay-TV service for cable.
  • 1972: New FCC rules lead to community access channels.
  • 1972: Polaroid camera can focus by itself.
  • 1972: Digital television comes out of the lab.
  • 1972: The BBC offers “Ceefax,” two-way cable information system.
  • 1972: “Open Skies”: any U.S. firm can have communication satellites.
  • 1972: Landsat I, “eye-in-the-sky” satellite, is launched.
  • 1972: Nobel Prize in Literature: German novelist Heinrich Böll.
  • 1972: On television: M*A*S*H*, Waltons, Maude, Bob Newhart, Sanford and Son.
  • 1972: Philadelphia Inquirer builds a computer database for a news story.
  • 1972: Atari’s Pong, a hit in arcades, taverns, starts video game industry.
  • 1972: Satellites used for television news reports.
  • 1972: Oscars (given 1973): The Godfather, Marlon Brando, Liza Minelli.
  • 1972: Also at the movies: Cabaret, Deliverance, The Poseidon Adventure.
  • 1972: Foreign language film Oscar: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, France.
  • 1972: Sony’s Port-a-Pak, a much more portable video recorder.
  • 1972: From Canada, a programmable word processor with a video screen, the AES 90.
  • 1972: The Xerox Alto, first computer with a mouse and a graphical interface.
  • 1972: The Godfather sets box office record of $1 million a day for first month.
  • 1972: FCC ends six-year ban on installing cable TV in large cities.
  • 1973: George Carlin’s “Seven dirty words” results in court slap for Pacifica Radio.
  • 1973: Starting in Columbus, Ohio, TV cable homes get identifiable addresses.
  • 1973: Nobel Prize in Literature: Australian novelist Patrick White.
  • 1973: Cell phone is invented.
  • 1973: Another popular network soap opera, The Young and the Restless.
  • 1973: Burr, best-selling historical novel by Gore Vidal.
  • 1973: $575 buys you a computer kit with a micrprocessor, the Scelbi-8H.
  • 1973: Oscars (given 1974): The Sting, Jack Lemmon, Glenda Jackson.
  • 1973: Also at the movies: The Exorcist, Last Tango in Paris, American Graffiti.
  • 1973: Foreign language film Oscar: Day for Night, France.
  • 1973: Non-compatible video player formats lead several manufacturers to fail.
  • 1973: National Book Awards: John Barth. John Williams, Arthur McCandless Wilson.
  • 1973: TV’s Maude has an abortion; Catholic leaders are outraged.
  • 1973: PBS viewers watch dysfunctional An American Family actually disintegrate.
  • 1973: IBM’s Selectric typewriter is now “self-correcting..
  • 1973: For television stations, electronic news gathering (ENG) starts an era.
  • 1973: Vonnegut writes more dark humor, Breakfast of Champions.
  • 1973: Erica Jong shocks with her language, Fear of Flying.
  • 1973: Complex Thomas Pynchon novel, Gravity’s Rainbow, wins National Book Award.
  • 1973: Fairchild builds an image-forming CCD chip, 100 rows x 100 columns.
  • 1973: Xerox sets up a LAN (local area network) called Ethernet.
  • 1973: Super 8 home movie cameras with magnetic striping for sound.
  • 1973: Newspaper editors get computer terminals.
  • 1973: Watergate exposure by press will lead to Nixon resignation next year.
  • 1973: Reggae music spreads out from Jamaica.
  • 1973: AP plans to store news photos in its computers.
  • 1973: Computer in England, another in Norway connect to ARPANET.
  • 1973: An American family, the Louds, come apart on national television.
  • 1973: People magazine steps out.
  • 1973: On TV: Barnarby Jones, Kojak, The Young and the Restless, Schoolhouse Rock.
  • 1973: 2-D CGI (computer-generated imagery) used in movie Westworld.
  • 1973: AP, UPI start to install computer terminals in all U.S. bureaus.
  • 1973: Playgirl gives women the eye candy men get from Playboy.
  • 1974: Telephone “hot line” is set up between the White House and the Kremlin.
  • 1974: Arcade video game Tank uses ROM chips to store graphics.
  • 1974: International digital voice transmission.
  • 1974: Carrie is the first of Stephen King’s blockbuster gothic novels.
  • 1974: Robert Pirsig’s oddly titled novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
  • 1974: In England, the BBC transmits Teletext data to TV sets.
  • 1974: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956.
  • 1974: Coaxial cable can carry 108,000 phone conversations at the same time.
  • 1974: Satellite transmission of mailgrams.
  • 1974: On TV: Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie.
  • 1974: President Nixon. resigns; 110 million viewers watch.
  • 1974: Wall Street Journal successfully transmits an edition by satellite.
  • 1974: Nobel Prize in Literature: Swedish novelists Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson.
  • 1974: Telnet offers commercial packet data service.
  • 1974: James Michener, Centennial, a fictional account of a Colorado town.
  • 1974: Heinrich Böll, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.
  • 1974: On TV: Happy Days.
  • 1974: National Book Awards: Isaac Bashevis Singer, Thomas Pynchon, Pauline Kael.
  • 1974: Magazine article on $439 Altair kit inspires many computer hobbyists.
  • 1974: Oscars (given 1975): The Godfather, Part II, Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn.
  • 1974: Gary Gygax and Dave Arnesen create board game “Dungeons & Dragons”.

  • 1974: Also at the movies: The Towering Inferno, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles.
  • 1974: Foreign language film Oscar: Amarcord, Italy.
  • 1974: U.S. newspapers start to replace reporters’ typewriters with terminals.
  • 1974: Punk rock music emerges in Britain, with themes of nihilism, anarchy.
  • 1974: “Teacher-in-the-Sky” satellite begins educational mission.
  • 1974: The word “Internet” enters the lexicon.
  • 1974: Dolby Labs demonstrates Surround Sound and Pro Logic for movies.
  • 1974: Board game Dungeons & Dragons introduces multi-player role play.
  • 1974: Atari’s Tank shows beginnings of graphic design in video games.
  • 1974: Powerful radio greeting beamed into space. Is anyone out there?

  • 1975: 100,000 coin-operated video games in U.S.
  • 1975: Home version of Pong from Atari.
  • 1975: Magnavox adds sound and scoring for Odyssey 200.
  • 1975: Microprocessor used in Taito’s Gunfight.
  • 1975: Saturday Night Live starts TV run. So does Good Morning America.
  • 1975: Also on TV: Wheel of Fortune, The Jeffersons, Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • 1975: Two new soap operas: Ryan’s Hope, One Day at a Time.
  • 1975: Philips demonstrates an optical videodisk system.
  • 1975: The microcomputer, in kit form, reaches the U.S. home market.
  • 1975: Oscars (given 1976): One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher.
  • 1975: Also at the movies: Jaws, Nashville, Funny Lady, Dog Day Afternoon.
  • 1975: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws will be the first film to earn more than $100 million.
  • 1975: Foreign language film Oscar: Dersu Uzala, U.S.S.R.
  • 1975: Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation informs public of humane treatment.
  • 1975: Feature film, Lisztomania has Dolby Stereo optical soundtrack.
  • 1975: HBO’s “Thrilla’ from Manila,” nationwide by satellite, begins pay cable boom.
  • 1975: Substantial entertainment production for cable channels.
  • 1975: Playwright David Mamet, American Buffalo.
  • 1975: In Maine, the last manual telephone company switchboard is put away.
  • 1975: HBO bounces signal off satellite to reach cable systems and customers.
  • 1975: National Book Awards: Robert Stone, Thomas Williams, Lewis Thomas, Roger Shattuck.
  • 1975: A Chorus Line. Broadway examines its own.
  • 1975: The Wiz, all-black version of The Wizard of Oz, comes to Broadway.
  • 1975: Bob Fosse brings Chicago casual corruption to Broadway.
  • 1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen start a company they call Micro-Soft.
  • 1975: Frances Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet opposes meat, sells 1.5 million copies.
  • 1975: Venera 9 sends pictures of the surface of Venus.
  • 1975: In Los Angeles, the first computer store; it sells assembled computers.
  • 1975: Nobel Prize in Literature: poet Eugenio Montale, Ital.
  • 1975: Saul Bellow’s comic novel Humboldt’s Gift wins Pulitzer Prize.
  • 1975: On television, Saturday Night Live.
  • 1975: Paul Theroux’s travel by train through Asia, The Great Railway Bazaar.
  • 1975: New Yorkers read Reuters news via teletext and videotex on cable.
  • 1975: In France, a test of the Antiope text-only teletext service via TV signals.
  • 1975: E.L. Doctorow’s historical novel, Ragtime; will become 1998 Broadway musical.
  • 1975: U.S. television networks agree to set a “family hour” free of sex and violence.
  • 1975: Tom Wolfe writes about the astronauts, The Right Stuff.
  • 1975: Citizens band (CB) radio service available for public use.
  • 1975: Gunfight, an arcade video game for two players, uses a micrprocessor.
  • 1976: Digital still-store can access 1,500 stills in random order.
  • 1976: Apple computer founders design popular video game Breakout.
  • 1976: Court rules that “family hour” on television is unconstitutional.
  • 1976: U.S. Copyright Act extends protection.
  • 1976: Barbara Walters becomes first woman to anchor a U.S. TV nightly network newscast.
  • 1976: CB radio use leaps as FCC lifts license requirement.
  • 1976: Alex Haley’s search for his ancestors is published as Roots.
  • 1976: Nobel Prize in Literature: American novelist Saul Bellow.
  • 1976: The Apple I. Steve Jobs sells his VW van to raise manufacturing funds.
  • 1976: Queen Elizabeth II is the first head of state to send an email message.
  • 1976: The Cray-1 supercomputer can do 240 million calculations per second.
  • 1976: Small satellite dishes go into residential backyards.
  • 1976: On Broadway, Evita.
  • 1976: On TV: Scooby Doo, Laverne and Shirley.
  • 1976: “Electric Pencil,” the first popular microcomputer word-processing program.
  • 1976: Dolby stereo goes into movie theaters.
  • 1976: Viking II sends color photos from Mars.
  • 1976: National Book Awards: William Gaddis, Paul Fussell.
  • 1976: FCC reserves line 21 on television sets for closed captions.
  • 1976: Trials begin on TCP/IP protocol for Internet.
  • 1976: Ted Turner delivers programming nationwide by satellite.
  • 1976: Sony’s Betamax and JVC’s VHS battle for home market. Sony will lose.
  • 1976: Steadicam, a camera stabilizing system.
  • 1976: TV “family hour” rejected as violating the First Amendment.
  • 1976: In England the BBC starts Ceefax, a teletext and videotex system.
  • 1976: Oscars (given 1977): Rocky, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway.
  • 1976: Also at the movies: Network, All the President’s Men, Taxi Driver.
  • 1976: Foreign language film Oscar: Black and White in Color, Ivory Coast.
  • 1976: A still camera, Canon AE-1, uses a microprocessor.
  • 1976: U.S. Copyright Act revison considers photocopying, fair use, interlibrary loans.
  • 1976: Channel F for the TV set, using a game cartridge.
  • 1976: Death Race 98 raises public complaints about video games.
  • 1977: Toy company Mattel manufactures hand-held LED video games.
  • 1977: Atari 2600 with joystick offers many games.
  • 1977: Columbus, Ohio, residents try 2-way cable experiment, QUBE.
  • 1977: Oscars (given 1978): Annie Hall, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Keaton.
  • 1977: Also at the movies: Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever, Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
  • 1977: Foreign language film Oscar: Madame Rosa, France.
  • 1977: Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room, a novel of feminist frustration.
  • 1977: National Book Awards: Li Li Chen, Wallace Stegner, Bruno Bettelheim.
  • 1977: National "Turn the TV Off Week" is a failure viewers want their shows.
  • 1977: Andre Blay begins business of renting videotapes.
  • 1977: On TV: Three’s Company, The Love Boat, CHIPs, Eight is Enough, Lou Grant.
  • 1977: Star Wars released in 46 theaters equipped with Dolby Stereo.
  • 1977: Atari introduces a programmable home video game system in a cartridge.
  • 1977: The Apple II microcomputer is a best seller. Also: Commodore Pet, TRS-80.
  • 1977: Annie Hall adds to writer-director Woody Allen’s list of works.
  • 1977: Nobel Prize in Literature: Spanish poet Vicente Aleixandre.
  • 1977: John Cheever’s novel, Falconer.
  • 1977: Toronto Globe and Mail offers public access to newspaper text database.
  • 1977: As a TV miniseries, Roots draws 130 million viewers over 8 nights.
  • 1977: Disco music becomes the rage.
  • 1977: King’s novel, The Shining; like Carrie, it will become a hit movie.
  • 1977: Nintendo begins to sell computer games.
  • 1977: In Chicago, AT&T transmits telephone calls by fiber optics.
  • 1977: MCI ends AT&T exclusivity for long distance phone service.
  • 1977: Apple II’s floppy disk drive leads to writing of many software programs.
  • 1978: Cellular radio gets spectrum allocated to cable channels 70 to 83.
  • 1978: RCA introduces the Selectavision video disc.
  • 1978: John Irving’s novel, The World According to Garp.
  • 1978: Another Michener novel, Chesapeake, Maryland history, semi-fiction across time.
  • 1978: From Japan’s Konica, the point-and-shoot, autofocus camera.
  • 1978: BBS (Bulletin Board Software) lets computers communicate via phone modems.
  • 1978: First tests of cellular telephones.
  • 1978: AM stereo system gets FCC green light.
  • 1978: In England, the start of a videotex and teletext system called Oracle.
  • 1978: Nobel Prize in Literature: Jewish short story writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.
  • 1978: Broadcasting finds many uses for computers.
  • 1978: In Japan, the Captain videotex service begins public tests.
  • 1978: Intel offers a 16-bit microprocessor.
  • 1978: 120 million watch Holocaust drama on TV.
  • 1978: Toni Morrison’s novel, Song of Solomon.
  • 1978: PBS goes to satellite for delivery, abandoning telephone lines.
  • 1978: Oscars (given 1979): The Deer Hunter, Jon Voight, Jane Fonda.
  • 1978: Also at the movies: Coming Home, Superman, Midnight Express, The Wiz.
  • 1978: Foreign language film Oscar: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, France.
  • 1978: Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance, a best-seller, will lead to mini-series.
  • 1978: Electronic typewriters go on sale.
  • 1978: 20/20 debuts to scathing criticism; ABC fires anchors, producer.
  • 1978: National Book Awards: Mary Lee Settle, Gloria Emerson.
  • 1978: Also on TV: Dallas, Taxi, Mork and Mindy, Diff'rent Strokes, WKRP in Cincinnati, Paper Chase.
  • 1978: Hewlett-Packard begins development of inkjet printer.
  • 1978: AT&T tests a cell phone system in Chicago.
  • 1978: Games like Space Invaders draw teenagers to arcades.
  • 1978: Louise Brown, the first test tube baby.
  • 1978: Will Eisner’s A Contract with God is the first graphic novel.
  • 1978: Atari’s arcade game Football introduces video sports.
  • 1979: Atari’s Lunar Lander arcade game originally designed for space program.
  • 1979: Speech recognition machine has a vocabulary of 1,000 words.
  • 1979: Wordstar, an early, successful word processing program.
  • 1979: News groups arrive on the Internet.
  • 1979: Prestel videotex provides data by television on command in England.
  • 1979: Rap music goes beyond the streets of New York.
  • 1979: Game players discover the Internet, especially multi-user potential.
  • 1979: From Holland comes the digital videodisk read by laser.
  • 1979: On Broadway, Sweeney Todd, Evita.
  • 1979: National Book Awards: Tim O’Brien, Peter Matthiessen.
  • 1979: Canada tests Telidon videotex.
  • 1979: Star Raiders video game anticipates space-combat simulators.
  • 1979: In Japan, first cell phone network.
  • 1979: Atari 400 and 800 model game computers.
  • 1979: V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River, questions accuracy of history.
  • 1979: Sony’s Betascan shows picture in fast forward mode.
  • 1979: A spreadsheet program, VisiCalc, turns small businesses on to computers.
  • 1979: Nobel Prize in Literature: Greek poet Elytis Odysseus.
  • 1979: Motorola’s 68.000 microprocessor contains 68,000 transistors.
  • 1979: Oscars (given 1980): Kramer vs. Kramer, Dustin Hoffman, Sally Field.
  • 1979: Also at the movies: Apocalypse Now, Norma Rae, All That Jazz, The Black Stallion.
  • 1979: Foreign language film Oscar: The Tin Drum, West Germany.
  • 1979: Computerized laser printing is a boon to Chinese printers.
  • 1979: From England, a text-only Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) game.
  • 1979: William Styron’s, Sophie’s Choice, a horrific novel of Nazi atrocity.
  • 1979: Sony Walkman tape player starts a fad.
  • 1979: CompuServe comes online.
  • 1979: USENET begins.
  • 1979: For TV news watchers: Nightline, Nightly Business Report, CBS Sunday Morning.
  • 1979: Four-player video game, Atari Football.
  • 1979: On cable: C-SPAN, Nickelodeon, ESPN, The Movie Channel.
  • 1979: Galxian arcade game, introduces three-channel RGB color.
  • 1979: Asteroids, arcade game that publicly records initials of high scorers.
  • 1979: Adventure has an “Easter Egg,” a hidden room with designer’s name.
  • 1979: WordStar, an early, successful word processing program.