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Fast Facts

POP Culture: 1970

ICONS: Watergate, Oil Embargo, Mars
Richard Nixon oil embargo Viking on Mars

  • The Ohio National Guard opens fire on protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine on May 4, 1970.
  • The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries announces an embargo on oil exports to the United States on October 15, 1973.
  • Construction is completed on the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) in Chicago, IL, in 1973, and it becomes the tallest building in the world until surpassed by the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998.
  • President Richard M. Nixon resigns from office on August 8, 1974.
  • The last Americans (10 U.S. Marines) depart Vietnam on April 30, 1975.
  • Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, a novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975.
  • NASA's Viking 1 lands on Mars on July 20, 1976.
  • The miniseries Roots airs from January 23 to January 30, 1977. The series would earn 36 Emmy nominations and win 9.
  • The 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical is awarded to "Ain't Misbehavin'."
  • The Bee Gees dominate the music charts with hits songs, including "Night Fever," "Stayin' Alive," and "How Deep Is Your Love."

The 1970 Census


10 Largest Urban Places

U.S. Resident Population: 203,302,031 Rank Place Population
Population per square mile of land area: 57.5 1 New York City, NY 7,894,862
Percent increase of population from 1960 to 1970: 13.4 2 Chicago, IL 3,366,957
Official Enumeration Date: April 1 3 Los Angeles, CA 2,816,061
Number of States: 50 4 Philadelphia, PA 1,948,609
Cost: $247,653,000 5 Detriot, MI 1,511,482
Cost per Capita (cents): 121.8 6 Houston, TX 1,232,802
Total Pages in Published Reports: 200,000 7 Baltimore, MD 905,759
Number of Enumerators: 166,406 8 Dallas, TX 844,401
Census Bureau Director: George Hay Brown 9 Washington, DC 756,510
Number of Questions on the Short Form: 12 10 Cleveland, OH 750,903
Number of Questions on the Long Form: 41

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: December 14, 2023