As the 1970s progressed to its middle years, many things began to change.
The Vietnam War ended when Saigon fell in 1975 though most of the U.S. soldiers had come home a few years prior.
These veterans were now struggling to make a new life in a country full of individuals that had objected to America’s involvement in Vietnam, so – in many cases – it wasn’t easy.
But, overall, Americans rejoiced that they were now entering an era free of military conflicts. As a matter of fact, as of 1973, no further draft orders were issued, so those who were turning 18 in the middle of the 70s decade didn’t have to fear conscription into the military.
Television shows like All in the Family, which premiered in 1971, opened the door for all sorts of new shows that took on a variety of issues such as race, gender equality, religion, and more.
But, mostly, the television shows we watched were quite tame compared to the shows of today.
The most popular series of the 1974-1975 season included favorite series such as Maude, Rhoda, Happy Days, Medical Center, Adam 12, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Odd Couple, Sanford and Sons, Mary Tyler Moore, the Bob Newhart Show, Streets of San Francisco, and Chico and the Man.
Gerald Ford assumed the presidency in 1974 after Nixon’s resignation and would hold the post until the 1976 election when a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia – Jimmy Carter – would become the new leader of the U.S.
Women of the 70s expanded their participation in politics, and by the middle of the decade the number of women in state legislatures tripled as compared to the beginning of the 70s.
In 1976, the United States celebrated its Bicentennial and the country rejoiced. Big cities and small towns alike pulled out all the stops to mark this momentous occasion with parades, fairs, street parties, concerts, and plenty of fireworks. It was a year full of national pride.
A new kind of music came onto the scene in the mid 1970s and they called it “Disco”. It was a genre that would permeate the nation’s dance clubs for about three years and it launched the careers of many new musical artists.
John Travolta epitomized the disco genre in his movie “Saturday Night Fever.” Some people loved it, others detested it. But Disco certainly produced some of the most memorable music of the decade.
In sports, baseball great Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run in April 1974, surpassing the record long held by Babe Ruth.
Two years later, the 1976 Summer Olympics were held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and the world would find a new athletic hero in a tiny Romanian girl, Nadia Comaneci, who would score seven perfect 10s for her breathtaking gymnastics routines, the first 10s issued in gymnastics history.